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As discussed in a recent post, I am getting more interested in Kansas at the moment, and whether the Moderate Republicans can capitalise on the current anger against Brownback.

I had a wide range of questions when I looked at Kansas, including:
Who are the Moderate Republicans in the State House, and how many are there ? How many gains / losses did they make in the primary ? And is there (mathematically at least) a chance of a Moderate Coalition if there are enough Dems and Moderate GOP.

NOTE: I am not advocating that Kansas voters should vote for Moderate Republicans, by all means please vote for Paul Davis and the Dems ! This diary is essentially my research into trying to understand the influence of the Moderate Republicans in the State House, given so many veteran Moderates support the three Dems running for Gov, Lt Gov and SoS.


So for those that would fall asleep reading the long version, the Kansas State House of Representatives is 125 strong. This means you need 63 for a Majority. There are 32 Dems in the current State House, and you would need 31 GOP Moderates to form a Moderate Coalition (This may not be realistic, but just trying to see what vague possibility might exist). There are currently at a fairly broad definition of Moderate, around 18 Moderates, including a recent Dem who switched parties. Although there are a several Conservative Republicans who are being targeted for not being Koch Drones who could theoretically vote for a Moderate Speaker, they would not be useful in winding back too much legislation I would have thought.

I cant see any Moderate Republicans that lost their primary. The one Moderate who retired, Vern Swanson, has his wife running in his place, who won the GOP primary.
The Moderates have picked up an Open Obama seat, with Linda Gallagher winning the 23rd (or the Dems will win it) and the open 125th seat in the South Western corner of the State. The Moderates also defeated the Conservative Incumbent Josh Powell to claim the 50th District.

Therefore there should be 21 Moderate Republicans after the elections (assuming the Moderates win their races).  So combined if the Dems hold their number they will have 53, 10 short of a majority.

So it could be possible that Ray Merrick gets deposed as Speaker... but I think we will need to win those three key Statewide races, and the Dems need to win 10 seats off Conservative Republicans !


By the way I should mention that while there have been a few DKE diaries on the State Senate here and here by ptgkc and here by KingofSpades, there have been none on the State House, which I need to correct, to help complete this Ready Reckoner of State Legislature diaries... Apologies for the cross promotion !

Here is the overall map of the House of Representatives, although the Urban Districts are a bit hard to see. Don't forget to check Stephen Wolf's Legislative Districts Map for the details of how well President Obama did in 2012 as well as the incumbents margin of victory.

Kansas State House District Map photo KansasHouseofRepMap_zps2fed874b.jpg

Historically it seems that the Moderates in recent years have been far more successful in the State Senate than the State House which they havent controlled for very long periods of time. And it has been even longer since the Dems controlled the House (1992 Cycle). Unfortunately there did not seem to be a list of Moderates vs Conservatives that I could just look at.

I though that the HB 2506 Bill was a good start to identify the Moderate Republicans (or at least sane establishment republicans) This bill prompted the teachers union recently to sue the state, because it rolled in provisions making it easier to sack teachers into the appropriations bill. While it might not be perfect whoever voted for the bill is likely pretty conservative given it only won 63 - 57 with 5 not voting (3 GOP and 2 Dems).


The table below looks at the voting records of the GOP who voted no on HB 2506, and I have also put in there for those that voted Nay or Did Not Vote for the bill, their votes on HB-2453 and HB-2014. As a guide to who is conservative, it appears that there were 30 House Bills for the last cycle. Conservative House Speaker Ray Merrick voted Nay only three time, twice for gaming legislation, while House Majority Leader Gene Vickrey voted Nay on twice. Essentially Voting Nay 2 - 4 times means that the Republican is Koch Drone, with 4 to 6 times means that the Republican is Very Conservative and likely COC endorsed. HB-2453 is basically just an anti-gay bill, which passed the House, indicating that the house is a bunch of Kochs, fortunately the newly Conservative State Senate recognized that they should not take up the bill, so thankfully it has died (for the moment at least). Whereas HB-2014 was to repeal Gov. Sebelius's Renewable Energy Standard, a bill very popular in the Kock household but very unpopular with the people. It was defeated, a rare win for the good guys, and part of the reason why Gov. Brownback could well be defeated by Paul Davis.

Kansas State House - Looking for Moderate Republicans - Voting

HD Name General Voting Patterns HB 2506 Education HB 2453 Religious HB 2014 Renewable
7 Richard Proehl 23 Yays / 6 Nays Nay Yea Nay
11 Jim Kelly 22 Yeas / 8 Nays Nay Yea Nay
13 Larry Hibbard 16 Yeas / 14 Nays Nay Yea Nay
19 Stephanie Clayton 4 Yeas / 26 Nays Nay Nay Nay
21 Barbara Boiler 2 Yeas / 28 Nays Nay Nay Nay
25 Melissa Rooker 4 Yeas / 26 Nays Nay Nay Nay
26 Larry Campbell 20 Yeas / 7 Nays / 3 DNV Nay Yea Nay
45 Tom Sloan 9 Yeas / 20 Nays / 1 DNV Nay Nay Nay
47 Ramon Gonzalez Jnr 24 Yeas / 6 Nays Nay Yea Nay
59 Blaine Finch 11 Yeas / 13 Nays / 6 DNV Nay Nay Nay
60 Don Hill 8 Yeas / 21 Nays / 1 DNV DNV Nay Nay
64 Vern Swanson 16 Yeas / 14 Nays Nay Nay Nay
67 Tom Phillips 17 Yeas / 13 Nays Nay Nay Nay
68 Tom Moxley 13 Yeas / 17 Nays Nay Yea Nay
71 Diana Dierks 15 Yeas / 15 Nays Nay Nay Nay
74 Don Schroder 20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 2 DNV Nay Yea Nay
98 Steven Anthimedes 6 Yeas / 4 Nays / 1 DNV Nay Yea Nay
102 Jan Pauls 13 Yeas / 17 Nays Nay Yea Nay
104 Steven Becker 14 Yeas / 16 Nays Nay Nay Nay
107 Susan Concannon 20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 1 DNV Nay Nay Nay
111 Sue Boldra 25 Yeas / 5 Nays Nay Yea Nay
112 John Edmonds 18 Yeas / 11 Nays / 1 DNV Nay Yea Yea
117 John Ewy 24 Yeas / 6 Nays Nay Yea Nay
118 Don Hineman 15 Yeas / 15 Nays Nay Nay Nay
122 Russ Jennings 21 Yeas / 9 Nays Nay Nay Nay
123 John Doll 13 Yeas / 17 Nays Nay Nay Nay
124 Stephen Alford 22 Yeas / 8 Nays Nay Nay Nay
125 Reid Petty 26 Yeas / 4 Nays Nay Yea Nay
So it seems a few of the Nay votes on HB-2506 are pretty Conservative, with 8-10 of these 28 Conservative.

So there you have it - the remarkable Barbara Bollier only voted Yea twice, with 28 Nays... A record better than many Democrats.

 photo rep_bollier_barbara_1_zps16fbf21b.jpg
Rep. Barbara Bollier

She was the only Republican to vote against HB 2022 Prohibits Automatic Deductions by Public Labor Organizations for Political Fundraising. One Dem, Mike Peterson Did not vote for that bill.

Brandon Whipple (96), Kathy Woolfe Moore (36) and Julie Menghini (3) voted Yea more times than she did. She was one of two Republicans that voted against HB 2069 Prohibits Local Governments from Enforcing a Union Wage (along with John Doll), which had universal opposition from Dems.

Then you have the telegenic Stephanie Clayton and Melissa Rooker, who unlike Bollier voted Yea on HB 2022 and 2069, but only voted Yea 4 times overall, again better than some Dems.

Melissa Rooker photo rep_rooker_melissa_1_zps4d650aae.jpg
Rep. Melissa Rooker

All three also voted Yea on HB 2456 Amends Property Tax Laws for Certain Equipment which passed the house 100 to 23, with the 23 Nays split between a quixotic mix of Dems and GOP. HB 2272 Amends Gaming Law which passed 84 to 36 was actually opposed by Speaker Ray Merrick who voted Nay, with most of the opposition from the GOP. So voting Yea on this one doesn't appear to be that ideological.


Here is some further details on HB-2014. The Map below shows the various GOP districts circled for those who voted Nay, and those not circled voted Yea. As you can see the vast majority of the western half of Kansas voted Nay. 113 is a notable exception, but the incumbent was running for State Senate seat vacated mid term, so he was trying to suck up to the Kochs no doubt (he did not win the primary). Not shown below very well is the greater Johnson County area where only 7 of the 18 Republicans voted Nay. So yes the Kochs over-reached big time with this one.

HB-2014 photo HB-2013_zps263fe2c2.jpg
Rough Map showing who voted Nay on HB-2013 (those GOP districts circled voted Nay).

Well while I used HB-2506 as the 'Key" for the table above, there were a few Members who voted Yea, but who voted Nay on HB-2453. They were Troy Waymaster (HD-109) one of 7 Nay votes, Steven Johnson (HD-108) one of 4 Nay votes, John Barker (HD-70) which was one of 5 Nay Votes, and James Todd (HD-29), which was his only Nay Vote. So yeah the fact that James Todd an otherwise automatic far right conservative voted Nay must mean he is Libertarian or has a small piece of his soul not sold to the Kochs. I didnt end up putting these in the table, as they are all Conservatives, but I thought that some of you may be interested.

Kansas State House - Looking for Moderates - Endorsements

7 Richard Proehl No/Yes No No No No No 29% Yes
11 Jim Kelly No/Yes No No No No No 14% Yes
13 Larry Hibbard No/No No No No No No 29% Yes
19 Stephanie Clayton No*/No No No Yes Yes No 57% Yes
21 Barbara Boiler No*/No No No Yes Yes No 57% Yes
25 Melissa Rooker No/No No No Yes ? Yes 57% Yes
26 Larry Campbell No/No Yes No ? No ? 71% Yes
45 Tom Sloan No*/No No Yes Yes No Yes 71% Yes
47 Ramon Gonzalez Jnr Yes/Yes Yes No? No No No 14% Yes
59 Blaine Finch No*/No No Yes No No No? 43% Yes
60 Don Hill No/No No No No No No 43% Yes
64 Susie Swanson No*/No No No No No No N/A Yes
67 Tom Phillips No/No No No No No No 29% Yes
68 Tom Moxley No/No No No No No Yes 43% Yes
71 Diana Dierks No*/No No No No No No 14% Yes
74 Don Schroder No/No Yes No No No No 29% Yes
98 Steven Anthimedes No/Yes Yes No No No No 57% No!
102 Jan Pauls No/No Yes No No No No! 86% Yes
104 Steven Becker No/No No No No No Yes 57% Yes
107 Susan Concannon No/Yes No No No No No 43% No
111 Sue Boldra No/Yes Yes No No No No 14% Yes
112 John Edmonds Yes/Yes Yes No No No No 43% No!
117 John Ewy No/Yes Yes Yes No No No 29% No!
118 Don Hineman No/No No No No No No 29% Yes
122 Russ Jennings No*/No No Yes No No No 29% No!
123 John Doll No/No No No No No No 57% Yes
124 Stephen Alford No/Yes No No No No No 29% No!
Note: Reid Petty is not running again. Susie Swanson running instead of Vern.

So basically the Mainstream Coalition covers the three Overland Park based Republicans, and Tom Sloan from a 56% Obama District. Barbara Bollier and Stephanie Clayton are even endorsed by the Sierra Club. Tha AFL-CIO has endorsed Tom Sloan an obviously labour friendly Republican, Melissa Rooker, as well as Tom Moxley and Steven Becker.

Now that we have looked at the Endorsements, it is time to work out who are the Moderate Republicans !


Liberal Republicans - 3 Bollier, Clayton and Rooker
So in the end Barbara Bollier is a Liberal Republican who votes better than many Democrats. Melissa Rooker and Stephanie Clayton are also fairly Liberal Republicans who are just as good as some of the Moderate and Conservative Democrats, albeit are best on Social issues (eg. Paul Davis voted Yea 6 times).

These three all occupy Overland Park based districts in Johnson County, with Reps Bollier and Rooker occupying 2 of the 4 GOP held districts that voted for Pres. Obama in 2012. The figure below is an extract from Stephen Wolf's Kansas Map:

Johnson County GOP photo JohnsonCountyRepublicans_zps664d2175.png
Johnson County Liberal Republican Districts
Extract from Stephen Wolf's Mapping

Rooker Bollier Clayton photo Rooker_Bollier_Clayton_zpsb3d72a9a.jpg
Reps. Rooker, Bollier and Clayton

Rooker Wolf Clayton photo RookerWolfClayton_zpsea9df5a0.jpg
Reps. Rooker and Clayton with Senator Kay Wolf, a surviving Senate Moderate. Note: Sen. Wolf's State Senate District overlaps the same area as the three Liberal Republican House Reps, and the only seat won by Pres. Obama that is held by a Republican.

Really Moderate Republican - 2 Sloan and Hill
Tom Sloan (9 Yeas / 20 Nays / 1 DNV) basically votes the same as Rooker and Clayton, and in addition voted for 5 other Bills in relation to guns, A NRA friendly Moderate I guess you could say.

Rep Tom Sloan photo RepTomSloanKansas_zps2001e0a8.jpg
Rep. Tom Sloan

He occupies an Obama District.

HD-45 (2) photo HD-45_zpsd4e361f3.jpg
HD-45 (Sloan's House District)
Extract from Stephen Wolf's Mapping

Hill had 8 Yeas, 21 Nays and 1 DNV on the HB 2014, and has no Conservative endorsements. Unlike Sloan though, he seem pretty low profile. Of course unlike Sloan, he does not have a seat that voted for Pres. Obama, although 46% Obama is not too bad.

 photo RepDonHill_zpsb34356f0.jpg
Rep. Don Hill

Why are these guys really Moderate ? Well they voted Yea less times than to most conservative Democrats, Brandon Whipple who voted Yea 12 times and Julie Menghini (10 times). Although Whipple is in a 48% Obama seat and Menghini in a 47.5% Obama seat, and Sloan is from Laurence County, where those Liberals live.

Moderate Republicans - 9
These guys either vote more Nay than Yea, or only vote Yea slightly more than Nay.
Larry Hibbard (16 Yeas, 14 Nays, No Conservative Endorsements), Blaine Finch (11 Yeas, 13 Nays 6 DNV, Endorsed by NRA), Vern Swanson (16 Yeas / 14 Nays), Tom Phillips (17 Yeas / 13 Nays), Tom Moxley (13 Yeas / 17 Nays), Diana Dierks (15 Yeas / 15 Nays), Stephen Becker (14 Yeas / 16 Nays), Don Hineman (15 Yeas / 15 Nays), and John Doll (13 Yeas / 17 Nays). The COC does not endorse any of these republicans running either in the primary election or the general election.

Of course Tom Moxley (HD-68) and Stephen Becker (HD-104) are AFL-CIO endorsed, with Becker having a 31% Obama district and Moxley a 35.2% Obama seat, I think that is a pretty good deal...

Rep John Doll photo rep_doll_john_1_zpse085970d.jpg
Rep. John Doll

Check out HERE for a great speech from John Doll. Honestly he seems like someone who join a coalition with Democrats ahead of Conservative Republicans if they could get the numbers. He is in a 32.9% Obama district.

Conserva Dem turned Republican - Pauls

The member for the 102nd (Hutchinson), Janice Pauls is a former Conserva Dem and was the last elected Democrat House Rep in Western Kansas until switching to the GOP recently. So perhaps not surprising that she is not endorsed by the COC, as she still votes Nay more than Yea. She also represents the only seat above 45% Obama in Western Kansas (and basically the only seat above 35% Obama). She has Dem opposition for the election. She seems like a character... and a bigot.

Establishment Republicans
Larry Campbell (20 Yeas / 7 Nays / 3 DNV) voted Nay on some big votes, and seems to essentially be a somewhat Union friendly Republican (71% Rating by AFL-CIO), but otherwise votes Yea a lot more than Nay. Endorsed by KFL.

Rep Russ Jennings photo RussJennings_zpsc8e1eddb.jpg
Rep. Russ Jennings

Russ Jennings (21 Yeas / 9 Nays) voted Nay on some big votes, and was the leader of the successful insurrection against the Koch drive to repeal the Renewable Energy Standard. Endorsed by NRA. He worked on the transition for Dem Governor Mark Parkinson.

Don Schroder (20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 2 DNV) also voted Nay on some big votes and has not been endorsed by the COC for either the Primary or the General.

Conservative Republicans Who are Not Koch Drones
And who else failed to get endorsed by the COC in the General Election ? Kent Thompson was not endorsed in the Primary or the General (7 Yeas, 4 Nays). Scott Schwab was also not endorsed for the Primary or the General (A whopping 27 Yeas, 2 Nays and 1 DNV). Yes thats right even when you vote as a Koch Drone Republican, it is still not enough... Schwab claims it was not even the Nay Vote on HB 2014 (Renewable Energy) that was the problem... It was that he asked the Koch Lobbyists to testify on the public record...

You then have the pretty Conservative Republicans, who didnt get COC endorsement in the Primary, but did in the General. Presumably this is meant to be a signal that while the COC considers them okay, and wont spend money on primary challengers, they are happy for a more conservative candidate to come along. These Republicans not endorsed in the Primary Election were: Richard Proehl-7th (23 Yeas / 6 Nays / 1 DNV), Jim Kelly-11th (22 Yeas / 8 Nays), Steven Anthimedes-98th (6 Yeas / 4 Nay / 1 DNV), Susan Concannon-107th (20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 1 DNV), Troy Waymaster-109th, Sue Boldra-111th (25 Yeas / 5 Nays), Ronald Ryckman Snr-115th, John Ewy-117th (24 Yeas / 6 Nays), Bud Estes-119th (10 Yeas / 1 Nay), Stephen Alford-124th (22 Yeas / 8 Nays)

Sue Boldra voted Yea all year, until the very end, when obviously in response to public opinion voted Nay on various Education Bills and HB 2014. She was penalised by not being endorsed in the Primary, although she was in the General, now that she is running againts a Dem. Likewise for Bud Estes, whose only crime was to vote Nay on HB 2014 and for Ronald Ryckman Snr who voted Nay four times (twice on bills Ray Merrick also voted Nay on). Looking at past endorsements Susan Concannon was endorsed by COC and KFL for the last cycle, and probably votes Yea more than Nay. Steven Anthimedes wasn't endorsed by the KNEA despite not voting for HB-2506. Richard Proehl was endorsed by COC and NRA last cycle. Jim Kelly had all three conservative endorsements last time, and voted Yea a lot more than Nay through the cycle. Sue Boldra votes Yea a lot more than Nay. Stephen Alford in the past has had all three conservative endorsements.

John Edmonds must be liked... with 18 Yea / 11 Nays / 1 DNV, he was still endorsed by the COC for the Primary and the General Election ! That is the best we can hope for in a 23.5% Obama district I guess ! Ramon Gonzalez Jnr also got Primary and General Election endorsement with 24 Yeas / 6 Nays.

For those that want a different test to find moderates,  there was only 20 Republican Nay votes on HB2453, a typical GOP sexual orientation discrimination bill - those that voted Nay can be found here -  there. Please note that 3 Dems supported the Bill.


AFL-CIO Primary Election Endorsements are here.
Kansas Sierra Club General Election Endorsements are here.
Kansas Sierra Club General Election Endorsements are here.
Main PAC Primary Election Endorsements are here.
KNEA PAC Primary Election Endorsement are here.

Chamber of Commerce Primary Election Endorsements are here.
Chamber of Commerce General Election Endorsements are here.


For an interesting profile on House Speaker Ray Merrick, go here.


So over the orange squiggly line I go through the primary election results and work out how well the broader Moderate coalition have gone.

Did you enjoy this diary ?

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This diary is an updated version of my original diary on this which aims to identify the various brilliant DKE diaries out there on State Legislatures... Mostly concentrating on the current composition of the State Legislature, redistricting impacts, election results and predictions, and how Democratic or Republican various seats are.

Fortunately the utterly amazing Presidential Results by Legislative District is nearly complete. Thanks to the Jeffs only Maryland, Mississippi and Alabama are left to do. The Legislative Districts Maps diary by Stephen Wolf makes things so much easier when doing your research.

This is my attempt I guess to do something similar to the official DKE resources on Congressional redistricting and the various "living" dictionary type diaries that  SaoMagnifico, wwmiv and others have in their signature.

Please feel free to correct any mistakes, as this is my attempt to sort out the data that is available.

So I guess this is a bit of a Meta diary (I think) as it is about our community resources as opposed to original research.

The aim of this diary is to provide you all with a:

- Ready Reckoner providing quick links to DKE diaries on state legislature.
- Guide on what State Legislatures need a DKE diary...
- A collection of diaries so you can refresh yourself on what makes a great state legislature diary.
- Helpful hint on what your next diary should be !
- Chance for you to help me track down the many diaries I have missed on this topic.

I haven't included any fantasy redistricting diaries unless they also gave a review of the legislative maps. This is a review of DKE diaries only... so if it doesn't have the DK Elections tag then it was not included... So let me know about them. If you have any old school Swing State Project diaries that are still useful resources, I would love to link to them.


Will you be doing a diary on a State Legislature that hasnt been covered yet ?

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This diary is an attempt to understand how we managed to miss a very competitive race in NY-23 and blow a chance of gaining another seat in the recent elections. For 2013/2014 the many and varied DKE commentators carefully list the seats that they think are competitive CA-31 etc. However, when we did these for the last elections I think we all stuffed up by not paying closer attention to NY-23 which surprised us all.

NOTE: I do not in this diary really discuss the upcoming race in the district or the Dems  great candidate, Martha Robertson who outraised Reed in the 4th quarter there will be a follow on diary for that.

NY-23, is the southern tier of Upstate New York and saw 29th District incumbent, Tom Reed (40yrs) challenged by Nate Shinagawa (28yrs). While listed as an Emerging Race by the DCCC, all major pundits had it at Safe Republican... And most had it at Safe Republican long before the adjoining NY-22 was listed as such... Despite that district being more conservative than NY-23 and having a popular moderate incumbent in apostate Richard Hanna.

Then a month before the election a poll came out of nowhere showing a 5% race with Reed just falling short of 50%... At the time I thought that this was a desperate last gasp attempt for some money... And since the race was no longer competitive it was not on the fundraising lists ensuring I missed the late increase in cash for Shinagawa.

So how competitive was it ?


The NY-23 Candidates

Info Nate Shinagawa (DEM) Tom Reed (GOP)
Photo Photobucket Photobucket
Job Vice Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature / Guthrie Health Administrator. Incumbent (Former Mayor of Corning / Lawyer)

How Competitive was NY-23 ?

Factor Details
Polling There was only one publicly released poll on the race (22nd October) which showed Reed below the magic 50% level with 49.7% to Shinagowa's 44.7% and 5.6% undecided. Interestingly the poll had an almost dead even 3 way split between Democrats, Republicans and Independents, despite the Republicans having a 30,000 registration advantage over the Dems. I dismissed the poll at the time, due to a lack of prior polling and the seemingly convenient figure of 49.7% assigned for Reed (looked like the poll was trying to show a path to victory). The poll did however ominously showed a 10% decrease in Obama voters.
NY-23 The seat is half Appalachian, so Democrats have always struggled to get a majority in the seats in this area. Allegany County was one of two (?) counties that voted against Gillibrand in the 2012 senate race (Wyoming in NY-27 also voted against her. However there seems to be a fairly high floor to go with the low ceiling, as Tompkins County is a reliable source of Dem votes, and the Finger Lakes region seems to be trending Democratic
The Candidate Shinagowa was probably a fairly strong Democratic candidate given that this seat is historically Republican, and there is a fairly non-existent bench for the Dems in the area. He seems to be backed by Progressives and prominent elected Asian Americans. While there may have been better candidates out there, he certainly seemed like someone who could give Reed a good race.
The Opposition Reed, whilst conservative, certainly seems saner than the average Republican congressman. He represented 54% of the district after winning the special election to replace Massa.
The Ballot Weirdly Shinagawa outperformed the top of the ticket in two counties, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus... not sure why. Or it is more correct to say that Reed didn't get all the Romney voters in these two districts. Obama won Tompkins and Seneca Counties whereas Shinagowa only won Tompkins (fairly similar margin too). So Shinagawa performed fairly similar to Obama, albeit slightly worse and with some noticeable but still fairly minor differences in performance in some counties. Reed had the Independence nod and this was good for 5,750 votes (the winning margin was 10,014).
So Is It Competitive ? NY-23 is very definitely competitive, with the addition of Ithaca to the district giving the Dems a valuable stronghold of fundraising support and reliable Dem voters. With Massa winning the Appalachian county of Cattaraugus, it shows that voters are no longer rock solid Republican (albeit Massa was a fairly conservative Dem who voted against ACA). But the real key it seems to winning in a good Dem year was that Massa out raised incumbent Randy Kohl in their rematch, thus attracting strong support. But yeah the district has a Republican registration advantage and Steuben County is a good stronghold to match Tompkins for the Dems.
So How Did We Miss It ? Still not really sure... Basically the collective wisdom was that there is no such thing as a Safe Republican New York seat, but NY-23 was generally ranked by everybody as being the second safest Republican seat. Shinagawa was seen as... well no one mentioned him or the race very much. It seems like a lack of fundraising early on and losing $$ winning the primary doomed Shinagawa to invisibility. Sienna Research polled all of the competitive races, which did not include NY-23 (or so we thought) which also seemed to indicate that they didn't think it worthwhile. NY-29 didn't have a strong Democratic bastion like Ithaca, but even so Eric Massa managed to give incumbent Randy Kuhl a close race in 2006 before winning in 2008 (albeit both strong Dem years). When the late poll showing a close race came out, I thought it was a desperate measure and dismissed it (did you ?).
Way Forward I think the Obama 2008 path to victory is the way forward - we are likely to have an Ithaca or at least Thompkins County candidate who needs to max out Thompkins County, win in Ontario and Seneca Counties and try and get Chautauqua or at least level it. Not sure if there is a good Chautauqua candidate that could compete in the primary ? Not only that but I think that a loyal democrat (ie will vote for Pelosi and praise President Obama) could win this district, maybe they will not be able to vote ultra progressive, but hey I dont think we need to recruit another Eric Massa here !
For those not reading the Long Version, please let me know if you have any further info on the district (eg. any old Swing State Project diaries). Any and all feedback appreciated.



NY-23 is a rural district with some small cities (Jamestown, Ithaca, Elmira and Geneva) that is located in the Southern Tier region and the Finger Lakes region of Western New York.

NY-23 is ranked as the 24th most Democratic seat out of the 27 New York Congressional Districts with only NHY22-Hanna, NY-11-Grimm and NY-27-Collins considered more Republican.

2008 Presidential Results (new 23rd): 49.58% (Obama)/48.77% McCain
As you can see the Southern Tier region is very red, while Tompkins County is bright blue with the Finger Lakes region and coastal parts of Chautauqua County being competitive.

Senator 2008-2010 Results: 57.02% Schumer / 41.28% Townsend
Governor 2008-2010 Results: 47.48% Cuomo / 48.36% Paladino
Comptroller 2008-2010 Results: 36.25% Di Napoli / 59.00% Wilson
Attorney General 2008-2010 Results: 43.69% Scheniderman / 55.04% Donovan
Senator 2008-2010 Results: 54.78% Gillibrand / 42.94% DioGuardio

Population: 717,707
Voting Age Population: 562,496
Demographics: 90% White, 3% Black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian
Voter Registration: 446,348 (Total) consisting of 401,258 (Active) & 45,090 (inactive)
Party Registration:

Redistribution: 54.26% (old 29th-Reed), 18.80% (old 27th-Higgins), 16.72% (old 24th-Hanna), and 10.23% (old 22nd-Hinchey).
The figure below shows the new NY-23 compared to the old NY-29 (Green is common to both, with blue = areas not in NY-29 and orange = areas not in NY-23
Please Note: The Monroe section of the old NY-29 is not drawn accurately.

NY-23 Counties

County Region County Largest City County Seat Control
Allegany Southern Tier Belmont 14R/1 I
Cattaraugus Southern Tier Little Valley 15R / 6D
Chautauqua Niagara & Southern Tier Jamestown Mayville 13R / 6D
Chemung Southern Tier Elmira Elmira 12R / 3D
Ontario (Pt.) Finger Lakes Geneva Canandaigua 14R/6D/1I
Schuyler Finger Lakes Watkins Glen 7R / 1D
Seneca Finger Lakes Waterloo 9R / 5D
Steuben Southern Tier Corning Bath 14R / 3D
Tioga (Pt.) Southern Tier Owego 9R / 0D
Tompkins Finger Lakes Ithaca Ithaca 3R / 11D
Yates Southern Tier Periphery Penn Yan 14R / 0D
There are two counties where only part of the county is in NY-23, most of Tioga and the eastern third of Ontario which includes the city of Geneva. Tioga is nearly entirely within the district (37 of the 49 districts are in NY-23) whereas only the eastern third of Ontario County (40 out of 92 districts) is within the district.  Only two of the counties have County Executives (Chemung and Chautauqua) and both are Republicans (Hat Tip to elucas730 for the County Legislature breakdown).

As you can see from the table below NY-23 is an Obama 2008 district, which he won by 2,499 votes. This included winning 4 of the counties, including a narrow plurality win of Chautauqua by 550 votes.

2008 Presidential Results

County Obama (D) McCain (R) Total % Total
Allegany 7,016 (38.12%) 11,013 (59.83%) 18,406 6%
Cattaraugus 14,307 (43.86%) 17,770 (54.48%) 32,617 11%
Chautauqua 29,129 (49.54%) 28,579 (48.60%) 58,802 19%
Chemung 18,888 (48.81%) 19,364 (50.04%) 38,695 13%
Ontario (Pt.) 10,089 (52.33%) 8,899 (46.16%) 19,281 6%
Schuyler 3,933 (45.73%) 4,542 (52.81 %) 8,600 3%
Seneca 7,422 (50.35%) 7,038 (47.74%) 14,741 5%
Steuben 17,148 (40.92%) 24,203 (57.75%) 41,911 14%
Tioga (Pt.) 7,764 (44.62%) 9,309 (53.50%) 17,400 6%
Tompkins 29,826 (70.09%) 11,927 (28.03%) 42,552 14%
Yates 4,890 (47.57%) 5,269 (51.25%) 10,280 3%
TOTAL 150,412 (49.59%) 147,913 (48.77%) 303,285 100%
As you can see from the table below, Obama only lost the district in the 2012 election by 3353 votes... Not bad given how he went in the rest of Appalachia. So when people list the 17 Obama 2012 districts held by Republicans, don't forget that NY-23 is not far away either ! Where was the biggest difference ? He lost Chautauqua this time, and by a comfortable 4159 votes which was enough to flip the district. He actually did better in the two of the other counties he won, Seneca and Ontario (Part), but a slight dip in the margin for Thompkins County hurt him also

2012 Presidential Results

County Obama (D) Romney (R) Total % Total
Allegany 6,139 (36%) 10,390 (62%) 16,895 6%
Cattaraugus 12,649 (42%) 16,569 (56%) 29,765 11%
Chautauqua 23,812 (45%) 27,971 (53%) 52,686 19%
Chemung 16,797 (48%) 17,612 (50%) 34,947 13%
Ontario - Part 9,393 (54%) 7,751 (44%) 17,496 6%
Schuyler 3,674 (45%) 4,281 (53%) 8,130 3%
Seneca 7,094 (54%) 5,889 (45%) 13,215 5%
Steuben 15,787 (41%) 21,954 (57%) 38,434 14%
Tioga - Part 6,882 (42%) 8,990 (55%) 16,249 6%
Tompkins 27,244 (69%) 11,107 (27%) 39,643 14%
Yates 4,488 (48%) 4,798 (51%) 9,442 3%
TOTAL 133,959 (48.38%) 137,312 (49.59%) 276,902 100%
So how did President Obama lose NY-23 in 2012 after winning it in 2008 ? Basically it was not because Appalachia swung hard against him ! It was losing Chautauqua by 4,159 votes after winning it by 550, and by the Presidents margin of victory in bright blue Thompkins County falling by 1762 votes. With Romney winning by just 3,353 overall, this was enough to flip the district.

2012 vs 2008 Presidential Vote Margins

County Obama (2012) Margin Obama (2008) Margin Change in Obama Margin
Allegany -4,251 -3,997 -254
Cattaraugus -3,920 -3,463 -457
Chautauqua -4,159 550 -4,709
Chemung -815 -476 -339
Ontario - Part 1,642 1,190 452
Schuyler -607 -609 2
Seneca 1,205 384 821
Steuben -6,167 -7,055 888
Tioga - Part -2,108 -1,545 -563
Tompkins 16,137 17,899 -1762
Yates -310 -379 69
TOTAL -3,353 2,499 -5,852
As you can see from the table below, Reed won 10 out of 11 counties, with Shinagawa winning only Tompkins due to bright blue Ithaca. He does of course have greater than 46% in 5 of the 10 other counties.

2012 Congressional Results

County Shinagowa (D) Reed (R) Total % Total
Allegany 5,400 (36%) 9,560 (64%) 14,960 6%
Cattaraugus 11,450 (44%) 14,680 (56%) 26,130 11%
Chautauqua 22,042 (47%) 24,558 (53%) 46,600 19%
Chemung 15,080 (48%) 16,291 (52%) 31,371 13%
Ontario (Pt.) 6,983 (47%) 7,807 (53%) 14,790 6%
Schuyler 3,364 (46%) 3,973 (54%) 7,337 3%
Seneca 5,372 (48%) 5,775 (52%) 11,147 5%
Steuben 13,922 (40%) 20,836 (60%) 34,758 14%
Tioga (Pt.) 5,512 (39%) 8,450 (61%) 13,962 6%
Tompkins 24,264 (70%) 10,201 (30%) 34,465 14%
Yates 4,071 (43%) 4,937 (52%) 9,512 4%
TOTAL 117,055 (48.1%) 126,519 (51.9%) 243,574 100%
The first issue is that there was 33,328 votes difference between this race and the Presidential race... Not sure if this is normal or not. The table below shows where Obama did better / worse than Shinagawa in his much narrower loss... And it shows that despite Obama doing better in 9 counties, once more Chautauqua was a strange exception - there must be a reason for Shinagowa doing better here !

Obama - Shinagowa photo ObamavsShinagowaFinal_zps6c643213.jpg


To determine how competitive NY-23 is, I guess you have to look at lessons learned from NY-29. Before you all groan I know it is a bit embarrassing bringing up Eric Massa... and he fought two close elections in 2006 and 2008 which were very favourable years for Democrats. But... lets face facts, if we want to have a shot at winning the house given the gerrymandering of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan we have got to max out in California and New York.

Whilst only 54% of NY-23 is the old 29th, it is the clear predecessor to the 23rd. NY-29 had a lone blue stronghold in part of Monroe County, similar to the role Tompkins County plays in NY-23.

2006 Election Results - 29th Congressional  District
In 2006, Massa gave Kuhl a close race, although he won only one of the counties. Kuhl was able to win by racking up a large margin in Steuben County to largely cancel Massa's advantage in Monroe County. Kuhl then won all the other counties by solid margins.


2008 Election Results - 29th Congressional  District
In 2008, Massa was able to beat Kuhl by racking up twice the margin in Monroe County as Kuhl had in Steuben County, as well as keeping all of the other counties (aside from blood red Allegany County) close, even winning Appalachian counties Chemung and Cattaraugus.


So upon review of these results, while they are promising in that the Dems won, it has a few flaws, in terms of being a useful strategy moving forward. Shinagawa won Tompkins by the same sort of amount that Massa won the part of Monroe in his district... yet he still lost. To win Massa actually won two Southern Tier counties... the Finger Lakes counties despite normally being less Republican managed to stay red. Competitive Ontario's numbers barely budged. Both Massa and Kuhl were from Steuben County, with Kuhl a former NY State Senator and Steuben County Official and Massa having no prior experience.

With Ithaca in the district it seems unlikely a blue dog will win this district, so it seems we might need to take advantage of presidential turnout. Reed has a strong advantage in Steuben County that is the red equivalent of Tompkins and I am sure he will try and pad his margins in the Appalachian counties going forward... pity there is no more pork barreling or earmarks...




Nate Shinagawa is a fairly strong fundraiser, and while well outraised by Reed, still posted respectable numbers... But certainly below most other Dems in competitive NY races, although he did raise considerable more than Dan Lamb who challenged Hanna in NY-22 (Lamb only raised $300K). Murphy in the 11th got around $100K more.

TOTAL - $698K (Collected), $107K (Cash On Hand), $602K (Spent).
PG2012 - $70K (Raised), $130K (Cash On Hand), $107K (Spent).
3Q2012 - $312K (Raised), $170K (Cash On Hand), $251K (Spent).
2Q2012 - $194K (Raised), $109K (Cash On Hand). $192K (Spent).
1Q2012 - $113K (Raised), $95K (Cash On Hand), $18K (Spent).

So where did Nate (who is not a self funder) raise his cash this cycle ? Well it was mostly though around 85% individual contributions.

Of the other contributions... The late great Senator Dan Inouye's PAC swung $7k Nate's way... not inconsiderable. Mike Honda also sent cash, as did Larson. The unions contributed, as did Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club and a few "Asian" PACs. 5 of the 11 County Democratic Parties in the district sent some cash his way:  Allegany, Steubens, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates.

So in short there was union support, local support and Asian American support in funding the campaign.

Unfortunately winning the primary drained him of cash, prompting DKE to downgrade his race from Lean R to Likely R in August.


Shinagowa actually didn't perform too badly against Reed compared to Obama against Romney. The gap in Tompkins County was pretty small, and he actually did better against Reed than Obama did against Romney in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua (not sure why this is ?). But Obama won Seneca and Shinagawa didn't (wouldn't have changed the election but it is a clear difference).

Certainly it seems that Reed was largely limited to the rump Republican vote, when compared against the other Republicans in Obama Districts. Richard Hanna (won 61% of the vote) ran well ahead of Romney, as did Peter King (58%). The rest of the New York GOP reps essentially won by enough, as opposed to their being a huge % difference between the top of the ballot and the down ballot races.

So while the area may be historically Republican, Reed hasn't demonstrated any cross over appeal yet, and doesn't out perform the top of the ballot much at all.


Nate won the the Working Families ballot line, and was endorsed by Cattaraugus County Democratic Committee, Chautauqua County Democratic Committee, Steuben County Democratic Committee and Tompkins County Democratic Committee and Chemung County Democratic Committee. He was also endorsed by the mayors of Ithaca, Elmira, Dunkirk, Waterloo, Hornell,  Jamestown, and Freedonia.

As reflected in the contributions, Senator Inouye endorsed Nate for NY-23 along with the retiring Maurice Hinchey, Donna Edwards and Raúl Grijalva. I am guessing Nate was not a conservative! Snark.


In the primary, Shinagowa won a three-way race:

Shinagawa, Nate  5,697 (55%)
Burke, Leslie         3,841 (37%)
Dobson, Melissa    0,727 (7%)

After the primary, David Nir made a very nearly prophetic remark about him:

NY-23 (D) is called for Nate "The Great" Shinagawa. He earns the right to take on GOP freshman Tom Reed in November.


I won't go into his various positions on the key issues, but it is fair to say that he is fairly progressive, for example supporting SSM:


Still not really sure... But the primary did him in really. Basically the CW is that there is no such thing as a Safe Republican seat, but NY-23 was generally ranked by everybody as being the second safest Republican seat. Shinagawa was seen as... well no one mentioned him or the race very much. I couldn't find very many diaries on the subject at all, aside from the various DKE Live Digests etc.

It seems like a lack of fundraising early on and losing $$ winning the primary doomed Shinagawa to invisibility. Sienna Research polled all of the competitive races, which did not include NY-23 (or so we thought). Eric Massa managed to give incumbent Randy Kuhl a close race for the old 29th in 2006 before winning in 2008 (albeit both strong Dem years), and this was written off as a lost opportunity to get an entrenched incumbent (ala Owens).


Obama won this seat in 2008, and I believe that is the more likely coalition to win the seat... try to win Seneca and Ontario along with maxing out Tompkins and try for a win in Chautauqua whilst keeping it close in Chemung and Finger Lakes. I just don't think a conservadem could make any inroads into the Southern Tier against Reed, like Massa did to Kuhl but that is just my subjective take on it... nothing to back this up aside from the general shift against the Dems in the greater Appalachian region. Well certainly a Thompkins County / Ithaca based liberal is far less likely to !

Yes it will be tough in a non-presidential year and Reed is likely to be ready for a contest, but I believe we have to make this one of our targeted races over the next two cycles, right up there in the top ten targets. Lets turn this historically Republican stronghold blue !


All feedback is welcome, but please bear in mind that this is a Daily Kos Elections diary, which means that we look at the horse race rather than policy matters.

What is the key strategy going forward ?

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This diary aims to identify the various brilliant DKE diaries out there on State Legislatures... Mostly concentrating on the current composition of the State Legislature, redistricting impacts, election results and predictions, and how Democratic or Republican various seats are.

This is my attempt I guess to do something similar to the official DKE resources on Congressional redistricting and the various "living" dictionary type diaries that wwmiv, SaoMagnifico and others have.

I notice that Steve Singiser has issued a rallying call to pay attention to State Legislature races.

Please feel free to correct any mistakes, as this is my attempt to sort out the data that is available. I am sure I have made many... But given Steve Singiser's diary I wanted to get this out there right away.

So I guess this is a bit of a Meta diary (I think) as it is about our community resources as opposed to original research.

The aim of this diary is to provide you all with a:

- Ready Reckoner providing quick links to DKE diaries on state legislature.
- Guide on what State Legislatures need a DKE diary...
- A collection of diaries so you can refresh yourself on what makes a great state legislature diary.
- Helpful hint on what your next diary should be !
- Chance for you to help me track down the many diaries I have missed on this topic.

This could also be a useful ongoing forum for DKE members to prompt others on what State Legislature diaries need post election follow ups/updates Eventually!).

I haven't included any fantasy redistricting diaries unless they also gave a review of the legislative maps. I also haven't included any of the Wisconsin special elections diaries (at this stage, I will include these at some stage). This is a review of DKE diaries only... so if it doesn't have the DK Elections tag then it was not included... So let me know about them. If you have any old school Swing State Project diaries that are still useful resources, I would love to link to them.


Will you be doing a diary on a State Legislature that hasnt been covered yet ?

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This is a comparison of the various house race ratings... And I will be identify who is the most accurate of the experts following the results.

Currently based on my house race ratings I am projecting a house still controlled by the Republicans 229 - 206... But that is my head talking - my heart says that it will 224 - 211, a far narrower margin. Why the difference ? Well Lean D doesn't guarantee a Dem win and vice versa, so my prediction is different to what my house race ratings projection says... I am an optimist even when the polls are not so good.  

I was hoping to have this done earlier... but life has its challenges at the moment!

So this is more for posterity than anything given there is not much time for a debate.


Apologies for any errors and omissions...

Apologies in advance to those non-DKE types for your local races that I have rated Safe R - I realise that your candidate will win because truth and justice will prevail... But in a few hours they will lose and I envy your enthusiasm in these blood red seats.


Who is the greatest house race rater of them all ? Or even who are you closer to in your own ratings(Out of modesty I am not on the list)

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This diary looks at the Democrats chances of taking the Arizona State House of Representatives for the first time since the 1966 election. Fortunately for the Democrats, the Republican Party is so poor at competing for the Hispanic vote, it has only two (non-Hispanic) candidates competing in the seven Hispanic VAP Majority Districts. This is a strange type of racial profiling - the Republicans have no qualms about competing for heavily Democratic seats which are not Hispanic majority. To make matters worse - one of the two Republican House candidates competing for a Hispanic majority seat is a known killer.

I did have a look at the Legislative Districts overall and some of the house races in my last two diaries here and here, and Xenocrypt looked at the competitiveness of some key districts here and here, but I wanted to take a closer (albeit still brief) look at the quality of the State House candidates and the historical successes of running a single candidate in a competitive district.  

Which Legislative Districts Are We Targeting ?
The final list of candidates for the primary election on Wednesday 29 August 2012 is available on the SOS website.

The table below has the number of Democrats and Republicans running for the 60 seats in the 30 Legislative Districts. Those seats marked with a # are Hispanic VAP majority. Those seats that have a "Yes" in the "RTW" (Race To Watch) column have an in depth summary below the fold.  

As you can see from the table, with all the Democratic leaning voters now compressed into the top 16 or 17 LDs, the Democrats don't really bother competing for the more Republican seats. And for the 12 most Democratic districts, there are 7 Hispanic seats that the Republicans are only fielding 2 (non-Hispanic) candidates, but they are fielding 8 Republican candidates in the 5 Non-Hispanic majority Democratic seats.

Arizona State House - Primary Candidates & Race Ratings

LD Region House Ds House Rs House Race Ratings Rank RTW
27 Greater Phoenix # 3 Ds (2Is) 1 R Certain D / Certain D 1 Yes
3 Greater Tucson # 2 Ds (2I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 2 No
7 Rural-Navajo Nation 3 Ds (1I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 3 No
19 Greater Phoenix # 4 Ds (0I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 4 No
24 Greater Phoenix 4 Ds (2Is) 1 R Certain D / Safe D 5 Yes
29 Greater Phoenix # 3 Ds (1I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 6 No
26 Greater Phoenix 2 Ds (0Is) 4 Rs Likely D / Likely D 7 Yes
30 Greater Phoenix # 3 Ds (1I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 8 No
2 Greater Tucson # 2 Ds (0I) 1 R Certain D / Likely D 9 No
4 Greater Tucson/Yuma # 3 Ds (0I) 0 Rs Certain D / Certain D 10 No
9 Greater Tucson 3 Ds (0I) 1 R Certain D / Likely D 11 Yes
10 Greater Tucson 3 Ds (1I) 2 Rs (1I) Likely D / Likely D 12 Yes
8 Rural-Pinal 3 Ds (0I) 2 Rs (1I) Lean D / Lean D 13 Yes
18 Greater Phoenix 2 Ds (0I) 2 Rs (2I) Tilt D / Tilt R 14 Yes
6 Rural-Flagstaff 2 Ds (0I) 2 Rs (1I) Tilt D / Tilt D 15 Yes
28 Greater Phoenix 1 D (1I) 2 Rs (2I) Certain R / Likely D 16 Yes
20 Greater Phoenix 2 Ds (0I) 3 Rs (1I) Likely R / Lean D 17 Yes
21 Greater Phoenix 2 Ds 2 Rs (2I) Likely R / Likely R 18 Yes
17 Greater Phoenix 1 D 2 Rs (2I) Certain R / Lean R 19 No
11 Rural-North of Tucson 1 D 2 Rs Certain R / Likely R 20 No
14 Rural-East of Tucson/Cochise 2 Ds 2 Rs (2I) Likely R / Likely R 21 No
16 East Mesa/Apache Junction 1 D 4 Rs Certain R / Safe R 22 No
15 North Phoenix / Cave Creek 1 D 4 Rs (2I) Certain R / Safe R 23 No
23 Scottsdale 0 D 3 Rs (2I) Certain R / Certain R 24 No
22 North Peoria/Sun City West 0 D 3 Rs (1I) Certain R / Certain R 25 No
25 Mesa 1 D 2 Rs (2I) Certain R / Safe R 26 No
13 Yuma/Buckeye 0 D 4 Rs (2I) Certain R / Certain R 27 No
5 Mohave County 1 D 4 Rs (1I) Certain R / Safe R 28 No
12 Gilbert/Queens Creek 0 D 3 Rs (1I) Certain R / Certain R 29 No
1 Prescott/Yavapai County 0 D 3 Rs (2I) Certain R / Certain R 30 No
Note: In both the 1st & 11th LDs there is an incumbent Republican State Senator also running.

The Republican House Members
There are 40 Republican House incumbents, but only 27 are running. There are 4 who are term limited (James Weiers, Jerry Weiers, Nancy McLain) and 2 running for State Senate (John Fillmore in the 16th, Kimberley Yee in the 28th).

There are also 7 House Reps who are not running. There are the two redistricting vitctims from the old 26th LD who don't dare run in the new 9th LD: Terri Proud (going to work for Jerry Weiers campaign for Glendale Mayor) and Vic Williams (running for Pima County Supervisor). There are the two redistricting vitctims from the old West Mesa 18th LD which was split in two, but who don't dare run in the new East Mesa 25th LD or the blue 26th LD: Cecil Ash (running for North Mesa JP) and House Majority Leader Steve Court who is not going to run again. Basically, both have admitted defeat at taking on the East Mesa Republican incumbents Olsen and Pierce who are now running unopposed.

Steve Urie of the current 22nd (running for JP), Jack Harper is probably another redistricting victim, given that the 1st LD has two House incumbents and a State Senator already running (finding a real job - check out for a good laugh and Peggy Judd of the current 25th is another redistrcting victim (running for Cochise County rather than add another incumbent to the 30th LD primary).

Arizona State House of Representatives Predictions
At this stage I am predicting that the Republicans and Democrats make no major stuff ups, and end up with a narrow Democratic win, but at the moment the Race Ratings show a very narrow Democratic edge:

Certain D: 16                                 Certain R: 17
Safe D: 2                                      Safe R: 4
Likely D: 7                                     Likely R: 6
Lean D: 3                                      Lean R: 1
Tilt D: 3                                        Tilt R: 1

Total D: 31 Seats                           Total R: 29 Seats

Given the large amount of seats in the Certain/Safe category, the battle for the Arizona State House will occur in comparatively few seats. I have rated two seats Tilt D for LD-06 & one Tilt D and one Tilt R for LD-18. However both LDs are good chances for the Democrats to take the House, and they will clearly need both seats in each to really have a chance (and vice versa for the Republicans).

As per the State Senate, LD-06, LD-08 and LD-18 are the key for leveling the House. The Dems need to try to win both seats in each to make a strong play for the State House. For competitive seats - the single shot method can get a high profile candidate to win one seat in an LD, even as the seat elects a State Senator of the opposing party. This technique however only works in fairly competitive seats, and at this stage the technique will be deployed to great effect in LD-28, and could potentially be used in other LDs, post primary if the numbers make a two seat win unlikely - LD18, LD20, and LD21.

How Strong Are Our Candidates ?
As a general comment on the Democratic House candidates, we are of course the victims of our own success in having a fair redistricting process. A lot of our high powered house representatives are running for higher office. We essentially have 20 out of the 60 House seats at present (including one Independent for now). However only 13 of the 20 incumbents are even available to run due to the need to make a play for the State Senate and US House. Many quality incumbents are therefore unavailable for the House elections.

Currently we have all 18 House members in the 9 Legislative Districts held by Democrats State Senators, as well as two lone House Members (Dr Eric Meyer and Lynne Pancrazi) in LDs which otherwise have a Republican State Senator and one Republican State House Representative.

History of Control of the House of Representatives
The Republicans have held the Arizona State House of Representatives for a long time, whereas by comparison, even in modern times, the Democrats have held or tied the State Senate. The Dems tied the State Senate in the 2000 Election, won it for a single term in the 1990 Election, and only lost the Senate narrowly in the first place in 1978, whereas the Republicans have held onto the House since they first took it in the 1966 election.  Historically pre-1964 Arizona, saw conservative rural based "Pinto Democrats" controlled the State Senate, due to the arcane rules that saw two State Senators elected from each county regardless of population. The House was largely controlled by the Republicans as only one House member was automatically allocated to each county then the rest by population allowing suburban Maricopa County Republicans to have great influence. So a shake up of the electoral system saw the Republicans take control of the House, so will the new shake up end up costing them the House ? Certainly they seem to think so... Whilst independent redistricting is not new, the Democrats have always gotten a raw deal until the latest round.

Relevant Electoral Details
When considering the upcoming elections, just remember:
- A 1998 Ballot Initiative allows Independents to vote in the party primaries.
- Write In Candidates can still make the ballot in July.
- All Legislators can only serve four consecutive terms (or eight years) in each house.
- Legislators are eligible to run again after a 2 year gap.
- 5 House Republicans are Term Limited, (but no Democrats are this year).

Redistricting Details
- There are 30 Legislative Districts (LDs) in the State.
- The LDs are redistricted after each US Census by the Independent Redistricting Commission, in accordance with proposition 106.
- Each LD is a multi-member constituency, electing a Senator and 2 Representatives for a two-year term.

Single Shot Voting
Single shot voting is where in a district favoring one party, the opposite party only fields one candidate in the seat. This technique has been successfully employed by Eric Meyer in the current 11th LD, and hopefully the 28th LD. See diary by Xenocrypt for an explanation on how the 28th LD works. I will leave it to Eric to explain how the single shot voting works:

Every voter has the ability to cast two votes for their representatives at the State House.  However, if you use both of your votes, you might end up canceling out your first vote.  My race is a perfect example of how using a single vote can make a greater impact.  Both of my opponents have values that are very different from mine.  They intend to make deeper cuts to education funding and continue to steer our state down the same, irresponsible path.  A vote for either of them is a vote against me and the values that we share.  If I am one vote behind one of them and you cast your vote for me, we tie. If you cast one vote for me and your second vote for my opponent, I lose, and you have elected someone you may not support. Casting only one vote, for the candidate who supports your values, makes your single vote more impactful.
So basically you encourage all Democrats and left leaning Independents to vote "single shot" and then hopefully pick up a few extra votes from moderate Republicans who in this seat probably vote for the moderate incumbent Adam Driggs and one of the two Republican House candidates, the also moderate Kate Brophy-McPhee (the other Republican is very conservative).

So it seems the Democrats have a narrow but strong chance to take the State House.


Do you think Democrats can take the State House for the first time in many decades ?

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With the Tuesday primary coming up, the pre-primary voter registration counts have been published.

This diary is part of a series looking at voter registration in Arizona, in order to help determine whether the State could become competitive in the upcoming elections. Frustratingly the Democrats have still not recovered to 2008 levels, and voters are being transitioned from the "active" voter rolls to the "inactive" voter rolls. I presume a large amount of inactive voters are being kicked off the rolls altogether, as Obama for America must be registering lots of voters...

What is really messed up is that while registered Republicans make up around 36% of active voters compared to the Dems 30%, for inactive voters the Dems outnumber the GOP 31% to 26%.  

For anyone that can provide a bit more analysis on these numbers feel free... but at this moment it appears that the Dems have failed to make much headway despite making some progress in blue districts.

Overall Numbers
Good news ! The number of active registered Dem voters has increased from 946,614 to 935,098 ! Wait a second that is a decrease... The total number of "active" voters is down by 45 thousand overall. How is that possible given Obama For America are registering voters left and right in Arizona ? Well overall the number of "inactive" voters has increased by 81,507, so it seems the number of active voters pushed onto the inactive voter rolls is greater than the number of newly registered voters.

Active Voters - August 2012               Active Voters - June 2012
Democrat:     935,098    (30.16%)       Democrat:     946,614    (30.09%)
Republican:    1,113,123 (35.90%)       Republican:    1,130,164 (35.92%)
Others:         1,052,345 (33.94%)       Others:         1,069,195 (33.99%)
Total:           3,100,575                    Total:           3,145,973
%VEP:          69.23%                        %VEP:          70.24%    

Inactive Voters - August 2012            Inactive Voters - June 2012
Democrat:     167,390 (31.32%)          Democrat:       147,599 (32.59%)
Republican:    139,232 (26.05%)          Republican:     113,125 (24.98%)
Others:         227,836 (42.63%)          Others:          192,227 (42.44%)
Total:           534,458                       Total:             452,951
%VEP:          11.93%                        %VEP:            10.11%

Total Voters - August 2012                Total Voters - June 2012
Democrat:     1,102,488 (30.33%)       Democrat:     1,094,213  (30.40%)
Republican:    1,252,355 (34.45%)       Republican:    1,243,289 (34.55%)
Others:         1,280,190 (35.22%)       Others:         1,261,422 (35.05%)
Total:           3,635,033                    Total:            3,598,924
%VEP:          81.2%                         %VEP:           80.36%

Assumption: Voting Eligible Population is 4,478,732 which I calculated using the data from the Independent Redistricting Commission submission to the Department of Justice.

Key Legislative District Statistics
Okay, so it is not just about the overall stats, what is happening in the key Legislative Districts ? Well I couldn't help but notice that the number of registered voters in red districts contains the lions share of the loss in active registered voters. The table below compares the 15 most red seats against the 15 most blue seats.


If you compare the 18 most red seats against the 12 most blue seats the numbers are even more skewed.


On average there is almost no loss of active registered voters in the 12 bluest districts, almost all of the losses have occurred in the 18 reddest districts. In fact, there is a modest gain of registered Dems in the 12 bluest districts !

So it seems that for one reason or another the blue parts of Arizona contain relatively motivated registered voters when compared to the red parts. Of course... without knowing how many active voters were shifted to the inactive voter rolls it is hard to know the true state of affairs.

Which individual districts had the biggest gains ?

Total voters: the Mohave based 5th (+1,711) and the Tucson based 9th (+1,109),
                   10th (+1,048), and 2nd (+1,004)
Dem Voters: the Phoenix based 27th (+737), and the Tucson based 9th (+641),  
                  10th (+523), and 2nd (+534)
GOP Voters: the Mohave based 5th (+742) and the Navajo Nation focused 7th (+606)
Oth Voters: the Phoenix based 30th (+413)

Which individual districts had the biggest losses ?

Total voters: the Prescott based 1st (-5,702) and several red seats lose 4,000-5000.
Dem Voters: the Navajo Nation based 7th (-1,092) and the Tempe/Mesa based 26th
                  (-772) were the blue seats with the biggest losses and several red seats
                  lost around 1,000-1,500 Dems with the 25th (-1,532) the highest loss,  
                  along with the battleground Flagstaff based 6th (-1,019).
GOP Voters:  the Prescott based 1st (-1,763), the 12th (-2,132) the 17th
                  (-1,788) and the Mesa based 25th (-1,762) and several red seats have
                  lost around 1,000-1,500 GOP voters.
Oth Voters:   the Prescott based 1st (-2,587), the 12th (-1,903) the 17th

Overall which seats have the highest % of Voting Eligible Population that are registered voters, whether active or inactive ? You guessed it, as per last time, the Hispanic seats are still those with the lowest % of VEP that are Registered Voters. Interestingly the Secretary of State doesn't publish the combined figures, so I had to add up the active and inactive voters.


The number of active voters is down, as no doubt Bennett directed the county clerks to do a purge to ensure that non-existent voter fraud doesn't occur. All types of registered voter was down with 11,516 less Dems, 17,041 less GOP, and 16,850 less Others. A total of 45,398 less active voters.

The number of inactive voters is up, with 19,791 more Dems, 26,107 more GOP and 35,609 more others. A total of 81,507 more inactive voters than in June...

-We are still going backwards overall, although making slight progress in blue districts, it is hard to see how we can register 100,000 more voters as OFA wanted to do.
- We still need more data to identify how many voters are being made "inactive voters" by Ken Bennett.

Further Info
For my spreadsheets with the full numbers, please see below the fold.

Please vote in the poll.

Any feedback appreciated.


What is happening with Registered Voters in Arizona ?

47%20 votes
33%14 votes
19%8 votes

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This diary compares the number of registered voters in Arizona in June compared to April. It is an update to my last diary which looked at the historical state of party registration in Arizona.

Okay the  number you have all been waiting for... the number of Registered Democratic "Active Voters" in Arizona increased by -4335. But wait a minute, that is a decrease ! Overall the decrease was 7318. For the Republicans, they also actually decreased by 3702, and Others (mostly Independents) actually increased only by 719.

So Status Quo prevails. Sigh - I was hoping to see evidence of an Obama For America Voter Registration Drive surge by now.

But is that wily Romney Arizona Campaign Chair/Totally Independent Pandered to Birthers Secretary of State Ken Bennett taking voters off the rolls faster than OFA can put them on ? Unfortunately I wont be able to tell that until after the end of July... as they did not release the number of "inactive voters" in the April stats... only in the June 2012 stats.  

Essentially the Democrats made gains in 7 LDs including four safely Democratic Phoenix LDs, and the GOP leaning 28th. There is big gains in the competitive Flagstaff based 6th LD, but these are outweighed by monster GOP gains with the 6th LD being unusually strong for them (an extra 1000 registered GOP voters).

Here is the table showing by Legislative District the increase or decrease in active voters from April to June 2012. (D=Dem, R-GOP, O=Others incl Independents,T=Total).  


If you have forgotton which LD is which these maps may help.

Here is the Independent Redistricting Commission's Arizona LD Map

Here is the Independent Redistricting Commission's Phoenix LD Map
2012 Phoenix LDs

-We are still going backwards overall.
- We need more data to identify how many voters are being made "inactive voters" by Ken Bennett.
- Inactive Voters are around 10% of the Voting Eligible Population in general (see tables below for details).
- There are three Tucson Democratic LDs (3rd, 9th and 10th) with greater than 17% of the Voting Eligible Population being "Inactive Voters" (See tables below for details).

- How many voters has OFA actually registered ? This would be useful in determining whether there is funny business with the stats. and voters being made inactive.
- Why do the Baja Arizonans, particularly the Democratic seats in Tucson have far more "inactive" voters ?

For my spreadsheets with the full numbers, please see below the fold.

Please vote in the poll.


Why Are Voter Registrations Not Going Up ?

29%9 votes
51%16 votes
12%4 votes
6%2 votes

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This diary is to identify what success looks like for Obama for America in Arizona over the next few months in terms of voter registration, and what it takes to build a winning coalition. Can Arizona become a great Democratic State like it was when Carl Hayden was in the US Senate ?

Okay you should all remember Jim Messina's update, but for those who don't the "Expansion Path" involves registering "100,000+ Voters" (he actually says hundred of thousands of new voters to put the State on the table):

Between March and April the number of Registered Democrats increased by 1,958 voters... at this rate we might get 10,000 extra registered Democrats for the next election... but not an extra 100,000. April 2012 has also seen the share of Registered Democrats drop to a historic low of 30%. Ken Bennett, who is the Arizona Secretary of State (Who oversees voter registration) has kindly offered to chair the Romney campaign in Arizona. More on that later, but as you have no doubt heard, Ken has paid homage to the birthers and requested a copy of President Obama's birth certificate... to the Romney campaigns dismay... But given Arizona's unfortunate choice of Secretary of State to also be next in line of succession after Governor it is a position likely to be held by an extreme partisan.

Arizona has always been a growing state, constantly gaining in population due to increases in the Sun Corridor (Phoenix - Tucson). The state is also famous for Hispanic growth and for regular appearances by snowbirds in winter time. It surpassed Nevada to be the fastest growing state in the nation. The graphs below start from when Arizona was a territory, with data from Wikipedia.


So with such constant growth in population, you would expect there to be constant growth in the number of registered voters...

So how has Arizona grown ? Well after World War Two, the population of Greater Phoenix grew rapidly, helped by an influx of snowbirds and the creation of air conditioning. The rural Pinto Democrats ruled Arizona through malapportionment even after they lost the majority of overall voters (they stuck strictly to electing candidates based on county lines despite two counties holding the bulk of the population). In 1966 when One Person, One Vote was reinforced, the Suburban Republicans stormed the State House overthrowing the Pintos. In 1978 they did the same in the State Senate again winning through a massive advantage in Maricopa County. So perhaps Carl Hayden was the architect of destruction for his own party - a victim of his own success in bringing large public projects to Arizona. In modern times, growing Pima County is not growing as fast as the regional areas and Maricopa County.

The number of registered voters has steadily increased...but in recent years the numbers have often plateaued...due to purges of voter roles of "inactive voters". This neat little trick has the effect of greatly restricting overall voter registrations, and particularly Democrats. Republicans also are only increasing slowly, but Independent voters are still making reasonable gains.
As you can see in the lead up to the 2008 Election the Democratic Voter Registration reversed the previous inexorable decline and increased by 168,024 voters, far more than the increase in the number of GOP and independent voters. This reduced the gap between Dems and GOP voter registration to just 96,335, the first time since 1994 that the deficit was below a 100,000 voters.

Despite Arizona being a conservative state, the Republican Party has in fact never had a majority of voters in Arizona. This is because after the Democratic Party lost the majority of registrations, changes in voter registration meant that registered Independents greatly increased at a great rate, before the Republicans could claim an outright majority. This was due to a 1998 ballot initiative which allowed Registered Independent voters be able to vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary. Over 12 years from 1998 until 2010 the % of Independents exploded going from 15% to 32%. Prior to this, Independents had slowly grown over 32 years from 2% to 15% from 1966 to 1998. In fact by 2010, the number of Registered Independent Voters surpassed the number of Registered Democrats.
So as you can see, in 2012 the Dems have hit a historic low in share of registered voters having just 30%.

In terms of the actual gap in the number of registered voters, as of March 2012 it was 181,187. So it is not inconceivable that that gap could be overcome with a large push, particularly if similar GOP efforts are lacking. Either way the large amounts of registered independents makes a true win by OFA hard to determine. Obviously, the perception is that far more of the Independents are Conservative (anecdotal feedback is that in some areas they are more conservative). We want to seem more registered Democrats... but in many areas I suppose people might choose to be Independents just in case.

Please refer to the tables below the fold for further details on voter registration numbers if you are interested. (Note: Throughout this diary I use the Other category which is mostly independents but includes the tiny numbers of other parties such as Libertarians and Greens).

So with Obama for America aiming to register 100,000+ voters how much of an increase in voter registrations have occurred ? Well according to the most recent statistics released by Arizona, total voter registration has barely increased from 2010 to April 2012 has barely increased. And the Democrats have slumped to a historic low (by % of total registrations). In fact, since the 2008 election, 72,000 Registered Democrat voters have vanished from the active voter rolls.

So what is a victory of OFA in Arizona Registration ? Well how about getting the inactive voters back on the rolls... and bring the Democrats up to have the highest number of registrations. The current voter registration gap between the Dems and GOP registered voters as of April 2012 is 182,417. Getting the 100,000 new voters registered and getting the 72,000 inactive voters back on the rolls would be a good win (well presumably more than that given new Dems would be registered at the same time inactive ones were being purged). Registering enough Democrats to surpass Independents once more is a start, surpassing Republicans is a definite win, and seemingly realistic (although presumably they will lift their efforts also).

A comparison of the Dem registration stats for each Legislative District that the Independent Redistricting Commission and the April 2012 data, the % of registered Democrats has decreased in every district. The same comparison for the Republican registered voters shows that they have increased their % voter registration in almost every seat.  

(Note: The IRC stats only give percentages and do not seem to provide the date that they were taken. I presume they are 2010, but the official stats on the SOS website are only by the old LDs, with April 2012 the first numbers done under the new LDs.)

The % of Dem voters in the 15 most Red Legislative Districts has decreased by 0.72%, and in the 15 most Blue Legislative Districts has decreased by 0.76% Registered Voters.
(Note: The colours I have used are from my previous diaries on the Legislative Districts. Dark Blue means a Democratic District, White means a competitive seat, Pink means a Republican Leaning District, and Red means a Strongly Republican District.

The % of GOP voters in the 15 most Red Legislative Districts has increased by 0.49%, and in the 15 most Blue Legislative Districts has increased by 0.43% Registered Voters. (Note: The way I did the spreadsheet effectively created a double negative - so those LDs with % with a - sign in front actually gained in GOP registered voters. The few that don't lost population.

So as you can see the Dems lost Registered Voters across the board, whereas the GOP gained in almost all districts.

When the April 2012 numbers originally came out I was hoping to see big increases in some of the Hispanic districts in Glendale and Phoenix...

There are routinely stories now that talk about decreases in voter registration, such as here, and here..

NOTE: This section had to become a diary in its own right so I cut it. Long story short - Dems finally lost the State Senate in 1978. The backbone for the Democratic Party between 1974 (at least) and 1990 when they finally won back the State Senate was the Pinto Democrats. After losing the State Senate in 1992 the number of rural seats held by the Dems shrank, with even rural seats drowned out by suburban growth in their regional centres. The Democratic coalition was Tucson/Phoenix based Urban Liberal and Hispanic seats, along with a Navajo Nation seat and a dwindling number of rural seats mostly with large Hispanic minorities (all of this last type were lost after the 2010 election). Since one person, one vote was enforced for the 1966 election, the Dems haven't held the house. They have held the State Senate at various times, from at least 1974 (if not earlier) until 1978, 1990-1992, and 2000-2002. On all these occasion the Dems only cobbled together a very shaky coalition that relied on Democratic State Senators in suburban Greater Phoenix seats where the House Reps were Republican. Going forward, it is vital that the Dems expand the playing field in Greater Phoenix...

So OFA wants to register Democratic voters, and particularly Hispanic voters who are growing as a share of the Arizona population as a whole. This is because Hispanics in Arizona tend to vote Democratic in large numbers, are often attacked by Republicans and unlike neighboring states like Nevada and New Mexico there are no prominent Statewide elected Hispanic Republicans. The Arizona Legislature has one Hispanic Republican in Steve Montenegro, but he is far from the candidate of choice for Hispanic voters in his district.

In 2010, the American Community Survey found that Hispanic Population of Arizona is 1,908,914, which is around 29.8% of the total Arizona population of 6,413,737. This compares to a 2005 Hispanic pop percentage of 28.8%  and a 2000 Hispanic pop percentage 25.53%. So such a growing community is clearly one we need to target.

And President Obama has shown that they do consider the Hispanic Vote to be essential in the upcoming elections. Now it may be that they are mainly courting the Hispanic vote to ensure that they still win states that they won last time - eg. Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico (and even North Carolina). But it is clear that at the very least Arizona is still a stretch target, if not a plan B of some kind. If nothing else they are at least trying to find out how much of an advantage McCain was last time.

So where is the there potential gain for OFA ? If large numbers of Hispanic voters are either too young or not citizens where are the eligible voters that OFA could turn into Registered Voters ?

Pew Hispanic Center 2008 Review of the American Community Survey - Hispanics in Arizona's Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Arizona is the fifth-largest in the nation. Nearly 2 million Hispanics reside in Arizona, 4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- The population in Arizona is 30% Hispanic, the fourth-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 766,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Arizona-the fifth-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Nearly two-in-ten (18%) of eligible voters in Arizona are Latinos, the fouth-largest Hispanic eligible population nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Some 39% of Latinos in Arizona are eligible to vote, ranking Arizona 23rd nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 79% of the state's white population is eligible to vote.
So how do the Democratic districts rank in terms of unregistered eligible voters compared to the Republican districts ? And where are the districts with large Hispanic VAP proportions rank in terms of unregistered eligible voters ?

What I found was taking the average of the 15 most Democratic LDs and comparing it with the average of the 15 most Republican LDs and the Total LDs there are far more unregistered eligible voters in the 15 most Democratic districts (Note: as per my previous diaries I use Index 2 of Compactness and Competitiveness Report by the IRC).
Surprisingly there does not appear to be much difference in VAP between the 15 most Democratic LDs and the 15 most Republican LDs. I thought the Republican LDs would have far more Snowbirds... and the Democratic LDs more young Hispanics. On the other hand there are large differences in the number of Hispanics, with the Blue LDs having far higher proportions of Hispanics. Importantly Democrat LDs have a far bigger gap between %VAP per district and %registered voters per seat.  

So it seems that all of the Blue districts seem to be where the opportunities exist. However, given the lower citizenship rates amongst Arizona Hispanics (mostly Mexican Americans) is there a far smaller voter pool of eligible unregistered voters ? Even so, does it matter given the traditionally low voter turnout rates for the Hispanics community, there is still likely a large amount of eligible Hispanic voters out there ?

To test these theories I spent hours trying to find the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) stats for Arizona by Legislative District for Hispanics. I finally found it in the submission by the Independent Redistricting Commission to the Department of Justice for Voting Rights Act pre-clearance.

The following tables show the top 15 and the bottom 15 LDs in order of number of unregistered VEP, which is a more accurate than the above tables which looked at unregistered VAP.

I created these tables assuming 100% eligibility for Non-Hispanic Whites and other Minorities. So the total VEP for each district simply adds Hispanic CVAP+Non Hispanic White VAP and Non Hispanic Minority VAP.

This of course is a worse case scenario for the Democrats as I presume that there are several districts with substantial "Snowbird" populations who are registered in other States and who are therefore ineligible to vote. One or two Blue seats in Phoenix may also have some students who are registered to vote elsewhere.

The top 16 seats are almost all Democratic ! I guess this is great news for OFA, as I guess this is better than being the minority party in AZ and have no growth potential.
Generally speaking the best opportunities for the Dems to register voters are in Phoenix, with the Tucson seats having slightly higher existing registration rates.
With most other seats having 47,000-60,000 eligible unregistered voters, there are two seats that have around 65,000 eligible unregistered voters, the Tucson based 3rd and the Pinal County/Gila County Copper Corridor based 8th (possibly the last of the Pinto Democrat seats). The 8th has a large degree of racially polarized voting, with only the Rios family being successful Hispanic Democrats in the seat. As all three of our House candidates for the seat are Hispanic, we could really use some increased voter registration in this seat. On the other hand our State Senate candidate is Barbara McGuire, a Non-Hispanic White candidate who survived the 2010 bloodbath.

The bottom 14 seats include all bar one (LD-20) of the Republican held Phoenix seats seats all of which have voter registration % of 72-86% of the VEP. There is also two regional Republican seats - Prescott based 1st and Cochise County based 14th, and the competitive 18th.
There is only one Dem seat - Navajo Nation, which has the least voter registration opportunity due to an incredibly young population combined with a very high proportion of registered voters. This seat will be crucial for the Dems to win AZ-01, but reportedly turnout is higher in the mid-terms as that is when Navajo Nation has their elections.

The Arizona Secretary of State website publishes statistics from 1997 onwards... the period when Republicans started to consistently win the Secretary of State position. So I don't know how it was done previously. While it is not as bad as Florida's ad-hoc voter purges Arizona is thorough in ridding the role of inactive voters. All statistics are presented with "active" voters and "inactive" voters listed separately (although the latest April statistics infuriatingly don't show the number of inactive voters).

I haven't included my full working tables on this, but if you add the number of inactive Dem voters to the number of active Dem voters, basically inactive voters form the following percentages of total voters: 13.4% in Jan 2008, 9.7% in Jan 2009, 7.6% in Jan 2010, 9.8% in Jan 2011, and 12.7% in Mar 2012. Interestingly the SOS website never provides total numbers, always keeping them separately.

By consistently ridding the rolls of these voters, they have managed to go from having 10 of 15 Arizona Counties Democratic in January 2009 to 7 of 15 in March 2012. Pinal, Gila and Graham Counties have all been turned Republican despite being the historic strongholds of the Pinto Democrats. This clearly can very quickly have an impact and assist the strong exurban growth in Pinal County in particular (where Paul Babeau is the first Republican elected as County Sheriff and the 2nd elected Republican county official).

Each County Recorder needs to keep two lists - one of "active voters" and one of "inactive voters". Basically the law requires County Recorders to check voter registration each May, and if people appear to have changed addresses then the County Recorder sends them a notification that must be responded to 29 days before the election. If this fails to occur then they are moved onto the inactive voter list. This means they will need to provide proof of address to vote and other measures. So obviously this sounds all mild mannered and fine to Republicans but we all know that the system is designed to depress Democratic turnout - it is a crude method that hits Republicans too of course.  

But yeah this system is designed to deter poor voters who change addresses regularly (far greater proportion of renters) and who don't necessarily have access to a car... The greater the trial it is to cast a ballot on election day... the greater the chance they will stay at home.

Changes to Voter Registration
There has been a big win on some important aspects of the voter registration process. In 2004, proposition 200 required County Officials to reject any voter registration application that did not also provide proof of citizenship. MALDEF subsequently won a suit (Gonzalez v. Arizona, 08-17115), against the State on the issue of submitter voter identification with registration. The Court of Appeal decided in Oct 2011 and again in April 2012 that this provision conflicted with the National Voter Registration Act's provisions to increase voter turnout. There is a good summary here. Arizona, of course decided to appeal the 9th Circuit's decision to the Supreme Court. But as revealed in a diary by alaprst (and maybe others not sure) (Tip of the hat to KingofSpades for bringing this to my attention in a timely fashion) the Supreme Court
declined to stay the ruling by the Ninth Circuit... this means there is no funny business before the November elections. Not the final win on the matter, but a moral boosting victory.

So great news ! We have increased the Dem share of registered voters substantially before, just in 2008, and we can do it again. Bad news is that we have to do it again just to ensure we don't go backwards. Based on my research I can confirm a few things:

1. (To State The Obvious) Arizona is a state where rapid population growth combined with changing demographics has and will greatly .

2. (To State The Obvious) The GOP has dominated Presidential Elections since 1952, when Maricopa County increased to around 50% of the State population. The GOP have held the State House of Representatives ever since 1966 after one person, one vote saw the demise of the Pinto Democrats system of malapportionment, and later took the State Senate in 1978 by taking out the last stragglers of the Suburban Maricopa Dems.

3. Historically, voter registration in Arizona steadily increased... until the modern era of Republican Secretaries of State, where the number of registered voters has often plateaued. The number of Republican voters passed the number of Democratic voters in 1986, but never reached an outright majority. From 1998 when Independents were allowed to vote in party primaries, the number of Registered Independents has increased each year, and passed the number of Registered Democrats in 2010.

4.  The number and % of Democrats increased for the first time in the modern era in 2008 in the lead up to the Presidential Election.

5. The % of Registered Democrats is now only 30%... a historic low after the enthusiastic enforcement of Arizona's voter registration rules by the Romney Campaigns' Arizona Chairman and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett. But the actual voter registration gap between Dems and GOP is not so large and could be overcome, but this may not be the best indicator of Likely Dems vs Likely GOP.

6. The April 2012 Voter Registration figures are the first released by the Secretary of State that show registration by the new Congressional Districts and Legislative Districts. Compared to the figures used by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the % of Democratic voters have decreased in every Legislative District. Between March and April the number of Registered Democrats increased by 1958... at this rate we might get 10,000 extra registered Democrats... but not an extra 100,000.  

7. The Hispanic population in Arizona has increased, including in the Republican stronghold of Maricopa County, the lynchpin of their winning margins over the years. Looking at the Voter Eligible Population in each Legislative District compared to the number of registered voters, the Republican Districts aside from rural areas are already highly engaged with high % of the VEP registered as voters. By contrast the Democratic Districts and some competitive battlegrounds have large numbers of the VEP who are not registered. The Republican districts generally have 25,000-40,000 unregistered eligible voters, whereas the Democratic district generally have 42,000-60,000 unregistered eligible voters. There is therefore much greater room for growth in the Democratic vote, and the Hispanic vote in particular.

8. If Obama for America register 100,000 voters, there will still likely be a huge number of active voters (eg. 10%) that Ken Bennett will no doubt enthusiastically push to the inactive voter roll (which he can do lawfully). But with Prop 200 repealed there should be no artificial barrier to OFA registering new voters !  

Please let me know if there is any key data that you think I have missed... Or if I have made any errors in my sums... Or if any of it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

NOTE: Below the fold are some of the other numbers that I looked at, which will not interest most.


What Would Be A Good Democratic Voter Registration Target for Obama For America in Arizona over the next few months (at least to keep it as a target of some sort)

20%6 votes
40%12 votes
3%1 votes
36%11 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

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This diary takes a look at how competitive the Colorado 6th District is, and how well we should rate Joe Miklosi's chances against incumbent Mike Coffman. I see Joe has done his first diary on Daily Kos just recently. So can we take a seat that was once the stronghold of Tom Tancredo prior to redistrictings turning the district competitive. (Tancredo is still around - explaining the evils of multiculturalism)

At the outset I should say that I think the race has received a fair amount of coverage in the various DKE Digests, and so much of this old ground (there is a new poll out though on the effect on Hispanic voters). But I like to understand some of these races where the Republicans are angry at the redistricting outcome. To see how competitive Miklosi can be I have looked at his endorsements/party backing, fundraising, campaign, opponent/s, electoral experience and and policy platform. I also look at the numbers for CO-06 and the various Senate Districts and House Districts "nested" within CO-06, and briefly the upballot and electoral environment.

I rated the race as a Tossup, but what do others rate the C0-06 race ?

The Hill:               Tossup                            Daily Kos Elections: Lean Republican
Rothenberg:          Tossup                            Roll Call:               Lean Republican
Cook:                   Tossup                           Sabato:                Lean Republican
SaoMagnifico:        Tossup/Tilt Republican
jncca:                  Tilt Republican

ColoradoPols seems to be a good place for race and legislature control ratings. They seem to be pretty good - they rank Coffman as a slight favourite over Miklosi. By way of context they dismiss the Coors challenge in CO-07 and rate Pace at even money with Tipton. They basically write off the GOPs chances in the State Senate and find that GOP Speaker Frank McNulty is basically gifting the State House to the Dems, who are unusually out raising the GOP candidates. So it seems Miklosi needs to get some more traction - but CO-06 is very real target. At the end of the day I looked at changing to Tilt R or Lean R, but I maintain that it is a genuine Tossup.

Partisan (Presidential 2008): Obama (53.65%) vs McCain (44.93%)
Partisan (Ave 2010): Democratic (103,687, 46.6%) vs Republican (118,887 53.4%)
Population: Total (717,014), Non-Hispanic White (453,820, 63.3%), Hispanic (141,204, 19.7%), Black (61,816, 8.6%), Asian (37,342 5.2%), Native (2,795 0.4%), Other (20,037, 2.8%)
Voting Age Population: Total (519,570), Non-Hispanic White (350,232, 67.4%), Hispanic (86,706, 16.7%), Black (43,609, 8.4%), Asian (27,510 5.3%), Native (2,133 0.4%), Other (9,380, 1.8%)

Presidential Results
The new district is centered on blue Aurora and has negligible rural voters. The southern parts of the district are fairly Republican - the Highlands Ranch portion of Adams County and the Centennial area in Arapahoe County, but the district stretches around Denver County to take Blue areas around Brighton. So there are reliably blue areas in the seat, as well as wealthy Suburban Republican voters. The Republican vote is now the suburban vote with little help from rural counties that were much more prevalent in the old 6th.

Presidential Results (By County)(Courtesy of DKE)

County Obama (%) McCain (%) Total
Adams (pt) 18,922 (53.96%) 15,480 (44.14%) 35,068
Araphoe (pt) 132,652 (55.68%) 102,103 (42.86%) 238,234
Douglas 23,432 (44.27%) 29,006 (54.80%) 52,931
Total 175,007 (53.65%) 146,5896 (44.93%) 326,232
The effects of redistricting dramatically changed the district from a 53%-46% McCain (PVI-R+8) district into a 54%-45% Obama district. However in the 2010 US Senate race, the votes was 50/50 between Bennet and Buck. The district also voted for Republican Walker Stapleton over Democrat Cary Kennedy.

While the 3 Democrat held CDs all have Democratic Party registrations, CO-06 has a 1% Republican registration advantage (33%D, 34% R, 32% Unaffiliated).

The new 6th took the urban and suburban parts of the old 6th and merged them with the Aurora and Brighton portions of the old 7th, effectively becoming an Eastern collar district around Denver. There are 419,961 (58.45%) from the old 6th, 263,833 (36.72%) from the old 7th, 22,280 (3.10%) from the old 2nd, and 12,382 (1.72%) from the old 1st.

Joe Miklosi seems to be a hard working candidate who is backed by the Colorado Democratic establishment. To see how competitive he can be I have looked at his endorsements/party backing, fundraising, campaign, opponent/s, electoral experience and and policy platform.

I also look at the numbers for CO-06 and the various Senate Districts and House Districts "nested" within CO-06.

If only mojo could get you over the line, Ryan Taylor would be a certainty for Governor of... probably both Dakotas. But it certainly can help in a tight race. Miklosi isn't up on the air yet (no primary so no adds I guess) but he does have his launch speech and there are a few other things on youtube. He certainly seems passionate and seems to have what it takes...

Launch Speech

Miklosi is a Red to Blue Candidate backed by the DCCC. He started out in the CO-06 as a hard working opponent who through sheer luck somehow found that he had a golden opportunity. After a small period where some top tier primary opponents entered the race, he since had the way to November cleared for him. Not only that but unless my eyes deceive me, he has the endorsement of every Democratic State House Representative ! All 31 of his colleagues appear to have endorsed him. Then all the current Colorado Dem congressmen, both Senators and many local councillors in CO-06.

State Senators on the other hand haven't been as consistent although he has the support of all three Arapahoe State Senators, and two from Denver: Linda Newell, Suzanne Williams, Morgan Carroll, Pat Steadman, and Irene Aguilar. So from his website it doesn't look like the Governor and State Senate Leadership have endorsed him, he seems to have a huge amount of endorsements, when compared to most other Dem candidates. While I am not sure how much endorsements help - it is certainely a sign of confidence in him that he has so many. He is also endorsed by the AFL-CIO.

Clearing the Primary
As David and others described in detail blow by blow, Miklosi had some prominent company in the Dem Primary for a little while, albeit most interested parties deferred to Miklosi.

Brandon Shaffer, the current Colorado State Senate Leader, based in Longmont in CO-04 considered shifting to the more competitive race but decided in February against it.  

Physician/Business Owner Perry Haney was also in the race, but dropped out in February despite having more money than Miklosi (courtesy of self funding), probably due to Republican complaints to the FEC. By the time 4th Quarter 2011 fundraising was due, businessman Perry Haney had raised $16K, spent $84K and had $353K in COH.

Miklosi is not a particularly strong or weak fundraiser:
Pre-Primary FEC Report - Raised ($176K) Spent ($114K), COH ($394K)
1st Quarter 2012 - Raised ($235K) Spent ($70K), COH ($338K)
4th Quarter 2011 - Raised ($104K) Spent ($27K), COH ($174K)
9th July 2011 - Declared for CO-06

It has been reported that Steve Farber, a Denver attorney and registered democrat who lead the fundraising effort to bring the 2008 DNC Convention to Denver was hosting a $500 a head fundraiser for Coffman.

Well like many other campaigns, Miklosi got had various shake ups this year with staff changes. He had a dispute with his finance director Kirsten Boyd, daughter of term limited Democratic State Senator Betty Boyd, who still may not have been paid. Other staffing changes include shifting his campaign manager Dean Meinen to Campaign Political Director and bringing in Joe Hammill. None of this would appear to be too unusual for a first congressional run I would have thought, but it certainly hasn't been smooth sailing. It is worth noting that prior to running for the Colorado State House, Miklosi worked for Progressive Majority, so he should have some skills relevant to campaigning.

In an attempt to try and overshadow his own gaffes, Coffman has caught Miklosi saying that the DCCC pays for several of his staff. This is meant to show that he is a Washington insider but is really just a bit of good news for Dems that show Miklosi is getting some help from DCCC to win in 2012.

Policy Platform
His page seems to be stock standard mainstream Dem, yet hits all the right notes. His first diary however seems to far better articulate his policy platform. He sponsered online registration - I wonder how much difference it will make ? I am thinking a lot, particularly younger voters who would be far more likely to take the time to register online, yet might not register otherwise. He also appears to have sponsered or co-sponsored bills in support of the Dream Act, and same sex civil unions. His website does have a good note about Coffman's support for the Ryan Plan and other Republican attacks on Medicare:

The 6th congressional district would have been the 10th most negatively impacted congressional district in the entire country had those bills passed and 74,000 residents would have lost their Medicare and each resident would have had to pay an additional $6,400 a year.
Opponent - Mike Coffman
Is Mike Coffman the right type of candidate for this seat ? You have to remember that he inherited the 6th district from Tom Tancredo, so he has always been running as a hard right Republican in a hard right district. The infamous comment he made about Obama was made in Elbert County a rural county in the old 6th that is removed from the new 6th. Coffman was once Secretary of State, where he did his best to make it hard for people to register to vote, and shockingly had a fair degree of perceived control at the very least over the voting process in CO-06 when he first ran for congress. The software salesman for the machines used in vote counting owned a loft that Coffman's State Elections Director was staying in!  The machines were purchased by Colorado when Coffman was SOS. It is so disgusting... A diary by Wade Norris is a good read.

Apologizing For Being Caught Being A Birther

Coffman finally made a real apology - which may have simply been to put the whole matter to bed after his pathetic fake apology, or hopefully it shows that he is worried about being in a more moderate district. He later admitted that while he was wrong he did at least party apologise for political purposes.

Miklosi Campaign's Crafty Quoting

Coffman Fundraising
Coffman is a typical cashed up incumbent:
Pre-Primary FEC Report - Raised ($320K) Spent ($102K), COH ($1.586M)
1st Quarter 2012 - Raised ($526K) Spent ($121K), COH ($1.369M)
4th Quarter 2011 - Raised ($423K) Spent ($64K), COH ($961K)

Opponent - Kathy Polhemus
Yep this is a real problem right here - Kathy Polhemus might as well be Mike Coffman's campaign chair. Blah blah blah I am a moderate - system is broken - I will get 2 or 3% of the vote to give Coffman an edge. I love how this former Democrat has to pick a race where she can function as a devastating spoiler. As I write this, I am struggling to be polite - but I can't see how this is anything but a real vanity project. As if Kathy is going to change this Congress - yet another independent trying to steal the Democratic vote to promote bipartisanship/independence. The problem is on the Republican side... The Dems have constantly compromised... for almost nothing. If you want to have a look at this fiercely independent webpage go ahead. She has raised $40K so far apparently. Very disappointing. Apparently she views Miklosi as too liberal for the district. I find her typical talking points amusing - have heard these before.

CO-06 Polling/Early Voting
There has not been any polls released for this district. Early voting has begun and Republicans have a large turnout advantage across the board in Colorado so far. To be fair, the only Statewide race has no Democratic primary, but does have a hotly contested Republican primary.

Upballot Races - NEW POLL
There are only two upballot races this year - the Presidential Race, and the Colorado University Regent role. In Miklosi's favour is the President's Hispanic pitch.

Latino Decisions and America's Voice have released polling showing Colorado Hispanics favour him 70% to 22%! After the birther comments it is tougher to see any Obama/Coffman voters... Advantage Miklosi.

NEW POLL Methodology:

Full results by state are here and archived with others at our Recent Polls page. Latino Decisions interviewed 2,000 Latino registered voters between June 12-21, 2012 using live telephone callers, sampled across five states, with 400 each in AZ, CO, FL, NV, VA.  A mix of landline and cell phone-only households were called, and up to 5 attempts were made per number. Latino respondents had the opportunity to complete the survey in either English or Spanish, using fully bilingual callers, and overall 38% of Latinos chose to complete the survey in Spanish.  Data are weighted to the state proportion of the Latino population across the five states for a combined battleground sample as well as weighted accurately within each state. Overall, the entire sample has a margin of error of +- 2.2% and each state sample has a margin of error of +- 4.9%. Additional survey results, including Congressional vote and policy attitudes will be reported later this month.
Ballot Question
Apparently there is a ballot question on whether to decriminalize pot - and there is speculation this will bring out the youth vote. Haven't looked into this one, but if it works, it works.

Electoral Environment
It seems that the Secretary of State, Scott Gessler (a Republican) is continuing to run the place like Mike Coffman - he doesn't want to send ballots out to inactive voters. You guessed it, inactive means they didn't vote in 2010. What an assault on democracy, they don't care about stealing elections do they ? Fortunately the Pueblo County Auditor Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz seems to be trying to keep Gessler honest... by sending ballots to those registered voters who missed 2010. And Gessler the fascist - is suing him over it. He also sued Debra Johnson, the Denver County Clerk over the same issue. He lost in the interim however, she was allowed to send them out for the primary. We will see what the final ruling will be going forward. Ortiz points out that to not send ballots to all serving military personnel, whether they are "active" or "inactive" registered voters would be in violation of federal law.

State Senate/House Districts in CO-06
See below the fold for the details, but in the down ballot races the Democrats are competitive holding 5 of 7 State Senate Seats and 4 of 10 State House Seats, with redistricting set to deliver one more. It is pretty clear that the area is a bit of a bellwether for Colorado. Generally for both side, local legislators are well represented in Party Leadership.  


What is more decisive in whether Joe Miklosi can beat Mike Coffman?

66%39 votes
0%0 votes
5%3 votes
11%7 votes
1%1 votes
6%4 votes
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| 59 votes | Vote | Results

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This is the second of three diaries on how well the Democrats will perform well in Arizona in 2012. In breaking news the maps will stand for 2012, but the teabaggers are still going to continue the court challenge. That is crucial to any Dem attempt to retake the State Legislature this year. So given the depredations of Sheriff Joe and his loyal (yet recalled lackey Russell Pearce), Governor Brewer and her attempts to impeach Colleen Mathis, the bat shit crazy legislature (including the Dems) can Phoenix rise from the ashes ? My answer is yes we can (apologies to the disillusioned) ! In a heartening sign for the Democrats, Mark Mitchell won the Tempe Mayoral race despite being accused of being a sexual predator when he was a kid. Tempe is the bedrock of AZ-09 and of a couple of the Legislative Districts discussed here.

Key Objectives
1. Predict how well the Dems will do in the Arizona State Senate (and State House).
2. Analyse in greater depth the Legislative Districts within AZ-07 & AZ-09 and the candidates for the State Senate (and State House).
3. Identify the number of Republican State Senators who have decided against running for re-election, particularly due to redistricting.

My previous diary looked at the Legislative Districts within the rural/regional AZ-01, and the Tucson based AZ-02 and AZ-03. I have since made a few edits to it, to correct some errors (thanks guys for your comments).

Key Motivation
The first reason why I am looking at these areas, is that I believe through the redistricting process all Dem leaning and competitive voters were concentrated within 15 Legislative Districts. In addition these districts are all located within the 5 Dem leaning / competitive CDs. All of the safe Republican Legislative Districts were located within the 4 Safe GOP CDs.

The second reason is that the Redistricting Commission really #$#%$#$% off the Republicans, who were outraged. Since then the Republican incumbents have voted with their feet at both the Congressional and Legislative level, showing us which seats are ripe for the taking. The Arizona Eagletarian has a few useful updates on the continued Republican attacks on the AIRC, here, and here where he states that it seems that the new maps will stand for the 2012 election.

The third reason is that Obama for America (OFA) registering new voters and increasing Hispanic turnout could change everything and see a huge electoral payoff. This tactic paid off in the last Phoenix City Council elections, which saw the election of a second Hispanic Democrat to Council, representing the 5th District (which is located in Glendale).

The fourth reason is that in three big city council elections, the Democrats have won, despite determined opposition in Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson. Between them they have a huge share of the State's population. In Tempe Mark Mitchell (son of former Congressman and Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell) won last week in a nailbiter against Michael Monti (backed by incumbent Hugh Hallman). Greg Stanton won in Phoenix and Jonathan Rothschild won Tucson, succeeding a long term Republican.

Legislative Districts within the Greater Phoenix based 7th and 9th Congressional Districts
There are 17 Greater Phoenix based LDs (if you include the 13th LD although that is half Yuma). Of the 16 LDs, 8 are wholly or partly contained within the 7th and 9th CDs. It is these 8 LDs that are the major focus below the fold, as the other 8 LDs are fairly Safe Republican LDs, with the open 20th LD the most competitive at 43.3% Dem. The map below from the Independent Redistricting Commission shows the Greater Phoenix area.

Phoenix Key Findings
Of the 8 LDs within the 7 & 9th CDs - 6 are strongly Dem leaning, including 5 "Successors" to seats currently held by existing Dem State Senators after the brutal 2010 blood bath: 24th (David Lujan, a placeholder replacement for Sinema), 26th (Schapira), 27th (Landrum-Taylor), 29th (Gallardo) and 30th (Meza). There is a brand new Hispanic VRA district - the 19th LD which is half of Steve Larado's old LD. A Republican North Phoenix seat (Lori Klein's old 6th) is vaporized, which allows for the creation of this new West Phoenix seat. Assistant House Minority Leader, Anna Tovar is running for the seat giving us a top tier candidate for this new seat.

Unlike the Tucson seats which seem a lighter shade of blue, all the Phoenix seats seem very Safe Dem to me. Schapira's 26th at 58% Dem and Meza's 30th at 57.4% Dem are the most competitive but I still rate them as Likely and Safe Dem respectively. Should incumbent Republican Jerry Lewis not run for the 26th LD, it would go to Safe Dem.

There are two Republican leaning seats (LD-18 and LD-28) with entrenched Republican incumbents who plan to run again, in John McComish and Adam Driggs. Both are considered to be on the more moderate side of the Republican State Senators.

For the House of Representatives, it seems fairly inconceivable that we wouldn't get two State Reps in each of the 6 Dem leaning seats. For LD-18 and LD-28 it seems more likely that we could only get one Dem for the two House Seats. Prior to 2010 Rae Waters was a House Rep in the former LD-20 (now LD-18) and Eric Meyer is an incumbent Dem House rep in the former LD-11 (now LD-28). Most LDs have either two Republicans or two Democrats, but two LDs have one House Rep of each party.

McComish was not challenged in 2010 and LD-18 has 71% carry over from the old LD-20, but has a decent challenger this time.

So at this stage it seems that for the 8 LDs within AZ-07 and AZ-09 there are 6 strong Dem seats that will elect 6 Dem State Senators and 12 Dem House Representatives. The are 2 Republican leaning seats that are competitive, but have entrenched incumbent State Senators, but have a history of electing at least 1 Dem to the 2 seats in the LD.

So looking ahead at 2012, most of the gains in Dem leaning and competitive seats are in Tucson and rural/regional areas, which were also where the 3 State Senate seats lost by the Dems in 2010 were located. Phoenix sees only modest gains by comparison.
Obviously increased registration by OFA, or and strong competition by Dems in 2012 could change that, if we can actually put LD-18 and LD-28.

Overall Key Findings
Okay my findings are (including from Part 1), that redistricting has created 12 Dem LDs and 3 Competitive LDs:
- These 15 LDs include the 9 seats currently held by Dems.
- They only include 1 Republican incumbent (& 1 potential other).
- They include the 3 seats previously held by the Dems pre-2010 wave.
- There are 5 R-incumbents for these 15 seats that will not seek re-election for them.
- The Republican Legislators have been largely purged of moderates in both houses.
- Without moderates, the Republicans are ill-equipped to run for the 12 Dem seats.
- The most moderate Republicans are now typical suburban Establishment types.
- All of the 15 seat have strong Dem tickets, with many Reps running for Senate.

Dem Primary Election Predictions (State Senate)
For the State Senate seats, in Dem & Competitive LDs, here are my predictions (may need to update this if anyone files prior to the filing deadline on 30 May). Most Senate Seats are not contested in the Dem Primaries because our strongest Dems are running. 11 of the 15 LDs that the Dems have a strong chance at, are uncontested primaries.

There are two hispanic challengers to the incumbents in the 27th and 30th LDs. I assume the incumbents win, but I have no horse in these races and both are safe seats so don't particularly care if the challengers win. In the 3rd LD Olivia Cajero-Bedford has a challenger also.

The 24th LD is a battle royale, because the placeholder incumbent David Lujan is not running to be elected. This is surprising as he was a House Rep with Krysten Sinema, but has seemed content just filling in for her. The primary is between the establishment backed candidate Katie Hobbs, (a current House Rep) vs Ken Cheuvront a former State Senator and State Rep, who was term limited. Cheuvront who is openly gay, is running on a ticket with his mother. HoosierD42, found that after a 2 year gap, term limited candidates can run again, if they so chose.  

Table 1: Arizona State Senate Race Dem Primaries of the 15 most Democratic Seats

# Region Predicted Winner The Others
27 Greater Phoenix Leah Landrum-Taylor (Inc) Victore Jett Contreras
(Hispanic Top Tier Challenger)
3 Greater Tucson Olivia Cajero-Bedford (inc) Maria Garcia
(former 27th LD Placeholder)
(perhaps not actually running)
7 Rural-Navajo Nation Jack C. Jackson Jr None
19 Greater Phoenix Anna Tovar (Inc House Rep/Ass Min. Leader) None
24 Greater Phoenix Katie Hobbs (Inc House Rep) Ken Cheuvront (former State Senator)
29 Greater Phoenix Steve Gallardo (Inc) None
26 Greater Phoenix Ed Ableser None
30 Greater Phoenix Robert Meza (Inc) Raquel Teran
2 Greater Tucson Linda Lopez None
4 Greater Tucson/Yuma Lynne Pancrazi (Inc House Rep) None
9 Greater Tucson Steve Farley (Inc House Rep) None
10 Greater Tucson Dave Bradley (Former House Rep) None
8 Rural-Pinal Barbara McGuire (Former House Rep) None
18 Greater Phoenix Dr Janie Hydrick None
6 Rural-Flagstaff Tom Chabin (Inc House Rep) None

Republican Primary Election Predictions
Not a matter of key interest to me in the Republican leaning seats (in terms of researching in depth), but will wait until filing deadline, and see if there is anything of interest. Obviously the big one is rabid Arpaio supporter Russell Pearce is running in the new 25th district (heavily Mormon Mesa) against a very conservative, but polite Mormon businessman Robert Worsley. The guy who beat Pearce in the recall, Jerry Lewis was redistricted into the Dem leaning 26th District that includes western Mesa. The other Mormon Mesa State Senator, the relatively moderate Rich Crandall is running for the Eastern Mesa/Apache Junction 16th LD. Because he was originally going to retire than run against Pearce, he has a primary challenge for a House Rep who decided to run here when Crandall announced his retirement. Honestly have no idea whether the extremely conservative moderates Lewis, Crandall and Worsley will do well. The Secretary of State website does now list Lewis under LD-26, so perhaps he is running.

General Election predictions (at the moment)

- We will win 15 out of the 15 Dem & Competitive Senate seats.
- We will win 28/30 House seats in the 15 LDs where we win the Senate seats.
- We will only win one House seat in LD-06 (we only have 1 runner at the moment!)
- We will only win one House seat in LD-18.
- We should also win 3 House seats in 3 LDs where we have had previous success.
- These 3 will be Inc. Rep Eric Meyer (LD-28) along with Dems in LD17 & LD-20.
- The Dems will therefore win (narrowly) the State House of Representatives.
- The Dems can "win" the State Senate if they can score wins in LD-06 & LD-18.

After the primary election is over, and we know a bit more about the OFA's attempts at registering voters I will re-visit these predictions.

General Election Stretch Targets
If OFA are trying to register 100,000 voters, then this should have a large effect on the Tucson and Phoenix based seats, greatly increasing the number of Dems. You should all have seen the latest video update by Jim Messina by now.

The following seats could be in play, particularly if OFA succeed in registering enough new voters:
- LD-14 given the 27% Hisp. VAP, and enthusiastic Dems to at least win a House Seat.
- LD-28 to help Eric Shelley win the State Senate Seat as well help AZ-09 efforts.
- LD-20 to help win the open State Senate Seat vacated by Linda Grey.

Current LD-20 and LD-28 incumbent Adam Driggs and Linda Grey are on the more moderate side of the Republican Caucus, so perhaps we do have a chance in LD-20 and LD-28.

Further Research
The figures I use are straight from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. Because I don't feel comfortable using the more complex competitive ratings, I simply chose Competitive Index 2 to create the Rankings columns in my tables below. This may be far from the best index to use, not sure what others think ? However of the 12 Dem leaning seats, only one is rated by any of the Competitiveness Indexes and having a Dem Ave % below 50%, which is the Tucson based 10th (two indexes have it as 49.3-49.9%). The only other seat that averages above 50% Dem on some indexes which is the historically Democratic 8th LD, which is pretty 50/50 across the board. Not sure if there are some Statewide races that might serve as a good measure.

Xenocrypt, who seems to be the best amateur opposition researcher in the business, has completed a diary on LD-18. I encourage you all to read it, because it will be a decisive seat in any win for the Arizona State Senate, and is an anchor of the 9th Congressional District so is vital for us to do well in. Some very interesting research on a deadlocked State Senate in a State without a Lieutenant Governor also.

I hope suitable peer group pressure can be placed on him to look at LD-06 and/or the  stretch target seats...

Please Vote
That is the short version, and for those who are finished please vote in the poll below. For those who want a little more, please see over the fold for the background info.


What do you think of the Dems chances in taking the Arizona State Legislature

8%3 votes
32%11 votes
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| 34 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM PDT

Race Ratings Comparison

by CF of Aus

Okay the release of the DKE 2012 House Ratings Chart changed this diary half way through so hopefully it isnt too garbled.

This diary is a comparison of my house race ratings with the right leaning commentators Cook, Sabato and Rothenberg with David's new House Ratings as well as Roll Call's and a few other DKE commentators ratings thrown in. I also look at what the DCCC and RCCC are saying with their $$$ and the various offensive (Young Guns, Red 2 Blue) and defensive programs (Patriots and Frontline).

One thing I have to say about Cook, Sabato and Rothenberg is that they have race ratings that are regularly updated and easy to find. I always believed that they seemed a little bit biased against the Democrat (to a believable degree) but I have not seen a Dem leaning counterpart. It is good that DKE are firing up their House Ratings now.  The other race ratings that is around is the Roll Call ones, which is a site where I dont think they display much bias (although Rothenberg is a guest writer)

However, the DKE House Ratings is clearly (AT THIS STAGE) is even more conservative with their ratings than the terrible trio.

In the tables below, the presidential race ratings (the column pres. 2012) is those ratings given by SaoMagnifico which seemed as good a rating system that has been produced. The two House ratings that I included were jncca and SaoMagnifico, as Stephen CLE is still working through his, and sawolf's were done pre-redistricting for a few key states. But both were very helpful. I also found Darth Jeff's Golden State Smackdown and atdnext's Nevada summary invaluable.

DKE have clearly chosen a very conservative approach, which should ensure very few bad predictions, and a very careful path forward. I will say that there does not seem to be much weight placed into 2010 being a wave year therefore top tier Dem or no you would think a few seats would revert to type (those not gerrymandered post elections).

However the very Republican leaning ratings of DKE shows that the main race raters are actually not that biased I guess (which was my theory when I started this diary).
DKE is actually far more conservative in ascribing ratings than the Cook, Sabato or Rothenberg. The difference being the DKE clearly are being deliberately conservative to start with, whilst quietly confident that many races will turn blue.

I still think for a few seats NM-01 etc, that the ratings seem unfairly conservative, but I think it is good to have a wide range of opinions out there.

The whole point of this diary is really to clarify in my head how I should be rating each race. At this point a large amount of my competitive races are one rating higher than DKE and the others, but are far more in line with the other DKE commentators.

Thanks David for producing the House Ratings Chart - I will watch the race ratings with interest !

Please don't take anything in this diary negatively - there is no way I could have attempted this without the excellent resources of DKE - the presidential numbers, the unbelievably awesome New York, California and Florida cheat sheets, the redistricting info (although I wish you guys would also produce pdf maps of the google overlays).

I have also tried not to change too many race ratings as a result of this exercise, as I wanted to complete it and see how far I was off. Basically for the Competitive Seats I am generally one rung off in the Dem direction.


What do you think of Cook, Sabato & Rothenberg ?

40%8 votes
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0%0 votes
15%3 votes
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| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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