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Think it's been hard passing legislation in the Senate with 59 Democrats?

It will become nearly impossible to pass legislation if we have fewer than 57 Democrats ...

Just picture it ...

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Could Krystal Ball pivot off a minor scandal and pull off an upset win in Virginia's first congressional district?

She's been a decent fundraiser and an interesting candidate, but name recognition has been an uphill climb ... at least it was until a blog released old photos of her at a college costume party.

If results of an online poll (and the only local poll I could find of any sort for this race) in the daily paper of Newsport News is any indication, there's a possiblity that this photo scandal may turn out to be a blessing in disguise:

  • Only 17% of respondents in the local paper's poll thought the photos reflected negatively of Krystal's character
  • 42% said it was no big deal
  • 30% thought the blogger who posted them was shameful, and
  • 11% said they actually liked the photos

Now with all eyes on Krystal Ball in the district, she's taking the opportunity to bring voters a simple message in a new ad: "My dad named me Krystal Ball, so I know what it’s like to be made fun of. But there’s nothing funny about the way those in Washington have been spending our money."

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It is unfair to let Republican Pat Toomey spend millions and millions of dollars for months in Pennsylvania and then flip it all on its head with just one simple ad. It's not fair!!!

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If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, please watch this video of Michelle Obama. She was known on the campaign trail as "The Closer," because for many folks on the fence in the primary election, she was the final bit of umph that pushed them into Barack Obama's camp.

I traveled to Iowa twice in 2007 to get out the vote for Barack Obama, including the final week, after Christmas and over New Years, where we knocked on doors in the snow all day, every day, talking about hope and change, often times in doorways, driveways, and in the kitchens of Iowans I'd never met before.

For many, Michelle Obama made them believe it was all possible. Here she is, three years ago, in August of 2007, talking at a time when the polls looked scary. Barack Obama made a believer out of me, but Michelle kept me believing we could really do it.

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I didn't believe it when I read it. Then I watched the footage of it.

No wonder John McCain thinks Americans won't pick cabbage for $50 an hour. No wonder David Vitter thinks everybody's rich. No wonder seemingly every Republican running for office is excited about dismantling Social Security, unemployment benefits, and other safety nets for the 97% of Americans who really need it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel thinks that ...

no one is suffering more than people making more than $250,000 a year

He doesn't just think it, he said words to that effect on the floor of the Senate ... with a straight face.

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Can Republicans flip 10 seats to get them a majority in the Senate?

Ha ha ha! No, not after last night!

After last night, flip that script:

Thanks to Republicans running extreme, weak, and weird candidates, Democrats can flip 10, putting Democrats in control of 69 Senate seats.

I say, screw the summer polls. After last night, I'm getting pretty damned fired up. And you know what? I'm getting pretty damned ready to go.

Obama and the Democrats know when to peak. You don't peak months before an election, when only political junkies and pundits pay attention. You close strong. You peak after Labor Day. You get fired up. You get to work. This year, we peak on November 2.

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Before you rule out our chance of beating John McCain in Arizona this year, take a few minutes to watch the following video of Democratic Senate candidate Rodney Glassman talking to the Maddow blog.

The first thing you notice: he can talk. He talks a mile a minute and he knows his stuff. He knows Arizona issues -- whether it's immigration, solar power, water, rail, whatever -- and he speaks optimistically about a better future that's within reach.

Rodney just won the Democratic primary last week, and he looks like someone who's on his game.

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Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 09:18 AM PDT

Bend. That. Arc.

by horizontalrule

An idea shaped by King and Obama and up to us to make true:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

It bends towards justice.

But here's the thing. It doesn't bend on its own. It bends because each of us puts our hand on that arc, and we bend it in the direction of justice

We each have the power to bend that arc over the next 10 weeks. ONLY 10 WEEKS!!! Ten weeks left until Election Day 2010. We can sit and watch an avalanche collapse on top of us, or with a little jujitsu and leg work, we can humiliate Republicans at the polls.

Of the Senate races this year, someone once said:

  • Joe Sestak will never win his primary
  • Jack Conway will never win his primary
  • Harry Reid doesn't have a fighting chance
  • Sue Lowden will never lose her primary
  • Lisa Murkowski will never lose her primary

The only poll that matters now is on Tuesday, November 2. We don't bend the arc by quoting polls or convential wisdom or talking about what happened in 1994. We bend the arc by getting behind our candidates and pulling that arc toward justice.

What we can do below the fold...

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Republicans -- already culled down to a mere 41 Senate seats -- are getting eaten alive this election season by the Tea Party. Despite the hype of rosy GOP prospects, it's like GOP politicos are feebly succombing to brain-eating zombies.

  • Yesterday Alaska was attacked by brain-eating zombies and has very likely replaced "safe incumbent" Lisa Murkowski with rival Tea Party-infected loon Joe Miller. Similar zombie attacks have already occured in Utah, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada.

And make no mistake, like Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller is loony, extreme, and proud of it. And like Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller gives Democrats a chance in a state that would have otherwise been a very steep climb.

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Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 07:00 AM PDT

59 vs. 41

by horizontalrule

As the 2010 elections approach this fall and as the Tea Party and Sarah Palin continue to take on Republican incumbents, here are a few numbers to ponder:

  • 41 - number of sitting GOP Senators
  • 34 - number of sitting GOP Senators who aren't retiring this year
  • 24 - number of sitting GOP Senators who don't have a re-election to worry about this year

These are humiliating numbers for Senate Republicans at a time when they don't have a heck of a lot of accomplishments or solutions to run on.

In 2006 the GOP lost 6 Senate seats, in 2008 they lost 8 seats, and in 2010 they may be ready to hang the Mission Accomplished banner before Election Day, but they could actually lose a handful more depending on which way the wave crashes on November 2.

I don't care what anybody says, this is a great time to be a Democrat.

Just look at what's left of the GOP caucus ...

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Long before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on racketeering charges, a former governor of Louisiana once said:

The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.

With that scenario in mind today I'd like to present to you our 12 toughest Senate races this year.

Remember, there are 18 GOP seats up, and now 19 DEM seats up in the Senate this year. In 2012 and 2014, the numbers skew much harder against us with many more DEM seats on defense. Rassmusen and other pollsters of questionable credibility may paint a grim picture regarding our chances this year, but I believe now's our chance not just to maintain our 59 seats in the Senate, but to gain seats.

We have excellent opportunities all over the map, but we may need the imprisoned governor's scenario above to play out to have a shot at winning some of these toughest seats ...

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It was an odd choice for him to say it in 2009, and it's an odder choice to promote the video on the front page of his campaign site now.

Here's a screen shot of CastleforSenate.com:

Charming: "I am going to cock block Delaware" - Mike Castle

Republican Mike Castle could have a serious race here. The only polls so far have been by pollsters with slim credibility --Research 2000 and Rasmussen -- and Democrat Chris Coons has only started to bring out the big guns. We may see a tightening race this fall along with several other races that are currently off the radar.

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