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Leading Off:

AZ-08: In case you missed it, Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords announced that she would resign from Congress this week, to focus on recovering from the near-fatal assassination attempt where she was shot in the head a little over a year ago. She posted an extremely moving video in which she says: "I'm getting better. Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country."

A special primary and a special general election will be held to fill Giffords' seat, with the former likely to take place in April and the latter in June. We will of course be following developments here closely, but above all else, we wish Rep. Giffords all the best in her recovery.

4Q Fundraising:

CT-Sen: Chris Shays (R): $422K raised (plus $100K in self-funding)

FL-Sen: George LeMieux (R): $388K raised, $1.1 mil cash-on-hand

HI-02: Tulsi Gabbard (D): $204K raised, $313K cash-on-hand

PA-Sen: Sam Rohrer (R): $122K raised (since late Nov.), $69K cash-on-hand

WI-Sen: Mark Neumann (R): $518K raised (no self-funding)


FL-Sen: Wow. It looks like former steakhouse CEO Craig Miller is actually running an ad starring former pizza CEO Herman Cain. Amazing.

FL-Sen, MA-04: Seriously? Rep. Connie Mack, who is only in office because his famous father was a senator, is trying to feed red meat to his base by attacking potential House candidate Joseph P. Kennedy III for the alleged sins of his own dad, who served as a congressman in Massachusetts, of course. (Not particularly close to Florida, I notice.) It's a delightfully rich move that's almost Rovian, but I'm not willing to give credit to Mack for being that clever. I do love the P.S. in his "open letter," though:

I am giving you a platform to condemn Hugo Chavez, not perpetuate using our nation's less fortunate as props for your father's pro-Chavez campaign.

MA-Sen: Uh, that's a lot of money. Fresh off announcing that she'd raised $5.7 million in the fourth quarter, Democrat Elizabeth Warren conducted a one-day "moneybomb" effort on Thursday and raked in another $1.2 million. Yeah, wow. Oh, and I love why Warren timed it like this, too: Her opponent, Scott Brown, formally kicked off his campaign the same day. Squashing his announcement this way really represents my favorite kind of Brooklyn-style (Brookline-style?) politics.

TX-Sen: PPP, which put out GOP primary numbers the other day, of course also has some general election results. But as Tom Jensen says: "In 8 matchups pitting four different Republicans against two Democrats, the GOP candidate leads by at least an 8 point margin in every one." In fact, Republicans had double-digit leads except for one head-to-head between the odious Craig James and Democrat Sean Hubbard. Anyhow, I'll let you explore this one on your own.


CA-15: Ro Khanna, the former Obama administration Commerce Dept. official who raised a mind-blowing $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, says that if Dem Rep. Pete Stark seeks re-election this year, he won't challenge him. Nothing Khanna said, though, had him ruling out a run in 2014. Also worth noting, as Carla Marinucci reports, is that power players seem to be coalescing around Khanna as the heir apparent to Stark, rather than Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett. Considering Khanna already has the support of people like Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown, well, no kidding!

FL-06: I guess Jimmy Jett decided not to wait after all: The Clay County Clerk of Court said a week ago that he wanted to see the outcome of redistricting before deciding on a congressional run. But even though the map-makers haven't yet completed their work, he's launching a bid on Monday. The real question is whether he winds up in a new district, or if he remains in the 6th, where he'd have to wage a primary challenge against fellow Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns.

GA-02: Army veteran and defense consultant John House became the second Republican to announce a challenge to Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop. He joins unsuccessful 2010 primary candidate Rick Allen.

HI-02: I want to strongly encourage you to read this incredibly thorough and well-researched diary by Xenocrypt, who takes a long, hard look at the background of a Democratic congressional candidate whose views have been a major cause of concern for progressives, Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard is Honolulu city councilor and former state representative who is running to fill Rep. Mazie Hirono's seat in the House. She's admitted to holding some very retrograde social views (particularly with regard to gays) in the past, but says her positions have since evolved in a leftward direction. But even if we take her at her word, there are still a whole host of troubling issues surrounding her candidacy, like the fact that her campaign manager once said of a Department of Education committee trying to stem harassment of gay students: "Their agenda is to teach homosexuality in the schools." I can't possibly summarize Xenocrypt's excellent work, though, so again, please have a look for yourself.

MO-01: Slight slip of the tongue? Russ Carnahan's district director said on Thursday that his boss plans to seek re-election "in the district he lives in." That would be the 1st CD, which would set up a primary fight with fellow Dem Rep. Lacy Clay, something many observers have long speculated about. But a different Carnahan spokesman very quickly tried to over-rule the district director, saying he had "misinterpreted the Congressman" and that no decision had been made. Carnahan himself added in a statement that he is "focused" on the court case he's been pushing against the new congressional map. So, whatever. I still don't think Carnahan will get much love from the courts and that he'll either wind up running in the 1st or retiring.

ND-AL: Last cycle, Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer failed to get the official Republican Party endorsement for North Dakota's House seat at the state convention, but abided by the party's decision to back Rick Berg and dropped out of the race. This time (with the Republican nomination open once more, seeing as Berg is running for Senate), Cramer says he'll do no such thing and pledged to fight on to the primary, regardless of what happens at the convention.

NH-01, NH-02: There are new polls out for both of New Hampshire's congressional districts, but there are two big caveats. First off, the group which paid for the surveys,, is described by Dean Barker—as keen an observer of Granite State politics as there is—as "a right-wing organization masquerading as a think tank." Second, the polls were conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, the for-hire arm of Rasmussen Reports. So bear this all in mind as you examine the results, which are definitely somewhat contrary to what you'd expect: GOP Rep. Frank Guinta is tied with the woman he beat in 2010, ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, at 41 apiece in the 1st CD, while Democrat Annie Kuster (who is also seeking a rematch) trails Republican Rep. Charlie Bass in the 2nd, 39-35. Dean, though, has a "hunch that the first district will be more competitive than conventional wisdom says, and the second will be a bit harder to flip than everyone assumes," so perhaps these numbers aren't off-base.

NY-13: Just days after Democrats finally landed a legitimate challenger to GOP freshman Mike Grimm in the form of Mark Murphy, former city councilman John Gangemi says he, too, is interested in the race. Gangemi, though, served a single term on the council in the 1970s (!) as a Republican; he later switched to the Democratic Party and made a few unsuccessful bids for other offices. What's more, he's 73 years old and is from Brooklyn, which only makes up a small portion of this Staten Island-centric district, so I'm having a hard time viewing him as a serious candidate.

OR-01: Democrat Suzanne Bonamici and Republican Rob Cornilles have both filed reports with the FEC detailing their recent fundraising for the Jan. 31 special election. Between Oct. 20 and Jan. 11, Bonamici raised $805K and had $236K cash-on-hand. (Remember, that's as of almost ten days ago.) Cornilles pulled in $521K and had $172K left over. Since the end of the reporting period, though, campaigns have been filing so-called "48 hour reports," which list last-minute donations. Annoyingly, these need to be toted up one-by-one, though Cornilles had only filed three such reports as of Friday, totaling $24,500, while Bonamici had filed 11, yielding $34,700.

PA-12: PoliticsPA's Keegan Gibson says his sources are telling him that Republican state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai will indeed run for Congress, though Turzai himself would only say that he's giving it "serious consideration." Turzai's name first came up last month when fellow legislator Jim Christiana unexpectedly declined to make the race, and he had refused to rule out a bid, so this move was expected. Turzai, if he gets in, will still have to handle a primary fight against attorney Keith Rothfus, who nearly beat Democrat Jason Altmire in the old 4th last year (which makes up the bulk of the new 12th).

UT-02: Former NFL and Brigham Young football player Jason Buck, who had seemed like he was planning a run for congress for quite some time, finally launched his campaign in the open 2nd District. Buck, who now spends his days working as a "conservative motivational speaker," had filed paperwork all the way back in September but hadn't identified a particular district since a new congressional map was not yet in place. With redistricting long since finished, it looks like he was finally able to make a decision, though he joins a very crowded Republican field.

Other Races:

MO-LG: Following up on an earlier item, former state Rep. and 2008 MO-09 Democratic nominee Judy Baker confirms that she will indeed run for Lt. Gov. She joins former state Auditor Susan Montee and Missouri Conservation Commission member Becky Plattner in the race for the right to take on incumbent LG Peter Kinder (who may also have a primary of his own to worry about).

Redistricting Roundup:

ID Redistricting: This here is some Arizona-style intrigue, albeit of a more internecine variety. Because the Idaho Supreme Court struck down the state's new legislative maps, the panel which originally drew them has to be reconvened. But Republicans now want to oust two of their own appointees, former state Reps. Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen, because they think they were too accommodating to Democrats the first time around. This is vaguely insane, given the massive edge the Idaho GOP has in the legislature—but it's not entirely crazy, because state law (rather surprisingly) requires the redistricting commission to be composed of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. However, the attorney general's office issued an opinion saying it doesn't look like there's any way to remove a commissioner, "with or without cause." Panel members can resign, though, so maybe these guys will feel threatened enough to quit.

KY Redistricting: Well, it's sounding like any optimism over a deal between Democrats and Republicans on a new congressional map was misplaced: Democratic state Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, who is on the joint House/Senate conference committee, says: “I think its going to be hard for everybody to agree from what I’ve seen thus far."

Meanwhile, Dem Gov. Steve Beshear signed off on separate legislative redistricting plans, even though the senate map deliberately screws Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein and the voters of Lexington, which is located in central Kentucky. Beshear blamed the move on the guy whose ass he kicked last November, state Senate President David Williams, saying it "goes beyond partisanship" and reflects "personal vindictiveness." But Beshear is no hero in this story, since he could have issued a veto. (His excuse? The filing deadline is coming up on Jan. 31. But that of course could be delayed.)

Regardless, what's at stake here is quite interesting, though, and in my opinion puts the GOP in a very dangerous legal position. Let me try to explain: Kentucky, like a number of other states, staggers its Senate elections, with half the body up every two years. (Terms last four years.) Senators in even-numbered districts are (or were) up for election in 2010, 2014, 2018, and so on; in odd-numbered districts, 2008, 2012, 2016, etc. Stein had represented SD-13, which means she last went before voters in 2008 and would have been on the ballot again this fall.

However, the territory covered by her district was renumbered to SD-04, which under Kentucky's bizarre rules means that it would actually be represented Dem Sen. Dorsey Ridley, the guy who was last elected to the old 4th—a district that happens to be on the far western end of the state, 200 miles away! (Ridley says he'll represent Lexington but has no plans to move there.) At the same time, SD-13 was stuffed into northeastern Kentucky, a region Stein obviously has no connection to. (This map will help illustrate things.) She could theoretically seek re-election there in November (if she moved there), but it would be pretty nuts to do so. Instead, she'd likely have to wait until 2014, when SD-04 will come up again.

But worse is the fate of the voters of Lexington, who will be forced to go six years between Senate elections. And that's why I think this map is on thin ice (even though the Democratic-controlled House passed it and a Democratic governor signed it). In a similar (albeit less-insane) situation in Wisconsin, a three-judge federal panel strongly suggested last fall that for a chamber with staggered elections (Wisconsin's Senate works the same way Kentucky's does), the legislature must do everything it can to minimize the number of people who get disfranchised this way. Given how transparently unnecessary this move is, I can't see how Senate Republicans could claim they tried to disenfranchise as few voters as possible. So the question now is, who would sue? Voters in Lexington would certainly have standing, and Stein herself might as well, but does anyone have the resources to bring a lawsuit? I certainly hope someone does, because this is obviously bullsh*t.

NY Redistricting: Assemblyman Jack McEneny, who appears to be the lead Democrat on the legislature's redistricting panel (aka LATFOR), confirms Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos's earlier remarks that legislative maps will be released next week, but says that there isn't even a "rough draft" of a congressional plan yet.

TX Redistricting (PDF): On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down the interim legislative and congressional maps drafted by the San Antonio district court and ordering them back to the drawing board. (The full opinion is available at the link.) Rick Hasen calls this "a big win" for the defendants—nominally the state of Texas, but practically speaking, the Republican-held legislature. Here's why:

More technically, the Court held that as to the Voting Rights Act section 2 standards, the three-judge court is not to defer on those districts where it appears more likely than not that Texas is in violation of the section 2 standards.  (Burden appears to be on the VRA section 2 plaintiffs.)

As to section 5, however, because only the Washington DC court can decide on preclearance, the Court is not to take the section 5 preclearance question into account unless those plans have a reasonable probability of failing section 5 review (a tough standard for challengers to the law to meet).

So this is a big win for Texas, and will require the drawing of districts much more likely to favor Texas’s interim plan (and therefore favor Republicans over Democrats favored by the three-judge court’s original map).

In light of what Hasen says, here are what I think are some key excerpts from the decision (emphasis added):

To avoid being compelled to make such otherwise standardless decisions, a district court should take guidance from the State’s recently enacted plan in drafting an interim plan. That plan reflects the State’s policy judgments on where to place new districts and how to shift existing ones in response to massive population growth. This Court has observed before that “faced with the necessity of drawing district lines by judicial order, a court, as a general rule, should be guided by the legislative policies underlying” a state plan—even one that was itself unenforceable—“to the extent those policies do not lead to violations of the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.” […]

A district court making such use of a State’s plan must, of course, take care not to incorporate into the interim plan any legal defects in the state plan. […] Where a State’s plan faces challenges under the Constitution or §2 of the Voting Rights Act, a district court should still be guided by that plan, except to the extent those legal challenges are shown to have a likelihood of success on the merits. Plaintiffs seeking a preliminary injunction of a statute must normally demonstrate that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to that law. […] There is no reason that plaintiffs seeking to defeat the policies behind a State’s redistricting legislation should not also have to meet that standard. And because the local district court—here, the District Court for the Western District of Texas—will ultimately decide the merits of claims under §2 and the Constitution, it is well equipped to apply that familiar standard. […]

The need to avoid prejudging the merits of preclearance is satisfied by taking guidance from a State’s policy judgments unless they reflect aspects of the state plan that stand a reasonable probability of failing to gain §5 preclearance. And by “reasonable probability” this Court means in this context that the §5 challenge is not insubstantial. That standard ensures that a district court is not deprived of important guidance provided by a state plan due to §5 challenges that have no reasonable probability of success but still respects the jurisdiction and prerogative of those responsible for the preclearance determination. And the reasonable probability standard adequately balances the unique preclearance scheme with the State’s sovereignty and a district court’s need for policy guidance in constructing an interim map.

So basically, the first graf says that the district court needs to follow the legislatively-enacted maps (aka "take guidance" from them) when drawing interim maps. The second and third grafs explain where the court is required to make exceptions to the legislature's maps: (1) where challenges to specific portions of the map under the constitution or Section 2 of the VRA "are shown to have a likelihood of success on the merits" and (2) where challenges under Section 5 of the VRA "stand a reasonable probability of failing to gain §5 preclearance."

Michael Li zooms in on on a key point:

It is not entirely clear, for example, what "reasonable probability" means or how it differs from the traditional injunction standard of "substantial likelihood of success," except that the court went on to say that it meant "not insubstantial." Some commentators and observers have suggested that is a high standard; other observers think the standard could be somewhat less demanding. Others have no idea what the opinion means. As one prominent civil practitioner said in an email, "The definition of 'reasonable probability' being 'not insubstantial' is not really clearing things up for me."

Lyle Denniston at the SCOTUSblog has more, as does Adam B at Daily Kos.

VA Redistricting: As expected, Virginia's state Senate passed the new congressional redistricting plan on Friday that had already cleared the House. The one bit of good news is that the vote went strictly along party lines, with no Democrats (or Republicans) crossing the aisle. (Side note: GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling didn't have to break a tie because one Democratic senator was absent.) The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature.

It's cold comfort to election junkies, but at least the state of Virginia provides election statistics for a number of different races in 2008 and 2009 for the proposed map. Below is a table comparing the Obama-McCain numbers for the new districts versus the old districts:

District Incumbent Party Obama
VA-01 Wittman (R) 46 53 48 51 -4
VA-02 Rigell (R) 49 50 51 49 -3
VA-03 Scott, Bobby (D) 78 22 76 24 4
VA-04 Forbes (R) 48 51 50 49 -4
VA-05 Hurt (R) 47 52 48 51 -2
VA-06 Goodlatte (R) 41 58 42 57 -2
VA-07 Cantor (R) 43 56 46 53 -6
VA-08 Moran (D) 66 33 69 30 -6
VA-09 Griffith (R) 40 59 40 59 0
VA-10 Wolf (R) 50 50 53 46 -7
VA-11 Connolly (D) 61 38 57 42 8
WV Redistricting: The SCOTUS was very busy on Friday: Two hours after issuing their Texas decision, they also stayed implementation of the lower court ruling which found West Virginia's new congressional redistricting plan unconstitutional. Lyle Denniston observes that this means that the state can, in all likelihood, conduct elections this fall under the map passed by the legislature last year. But there are potential legal ramifications, too:
Because the Supreme Court’s order delaying the lower court decision contained no explanation, there is no way to know just why the Justices acted. But the core issue raised by state officials in their stay application… was whether state legislatures in drawing new congressional maps must do everything they can to achieve absolute equality in the population assigned to each district. A stay order, however, is not a guarantee that the Supreme Court will ultimately overrule the lower court and reject the equal population principle as that court applied it. One factor that the Court does consider in granting a stay, though, is whether there is a reasonable likelihood that the lower court will be overturned at the end of the review process.

Denniston notes, though, that given current scheduling, it's unlikely that the Supremes would hear the case this term, which ends in June.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Resolved: (8+ / 0-)

    very little could be more important to our chances in November than the outcome of the Republican primary in Florida.

    Given that, what do people think of the propriety of Democrats doing groundwork for Newt there?

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:11:46 AM PST

  •  Scott Brown's campaign kick off included (3+ / 0-)

    two fellas under investigation by the Justice department and almost the entire Republican members of the legislature. He has  questionable people at the fore front and has to really on other Republican politicians to make his events look large.

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:18:29 AM PST

  •  From Here On Out - The Math (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Loge, Setsuna Mudo, itskevin, askew

    I've reposted this from the Weekend Thread, simply because it won't be very visibile there from here on out.

    Romney 31 - Gingrich 26 - Paul 10 - Santorum 8

    Florida's at-large rules are winner take all, and everything this year is winner take all because of Rule 10. Gingrich +50

    Gingrich 76 - Romney 31 - Paul 10 - Santorum 8

    12 CD and 13 AL. Both proportionally with no (apparent) floor and no modifications. Santorum will likely have dropped out by this point. For the statewide vote total I'll go with Romney 50, Gingrich 35 Paul 15. This gives Romney 7, Gingrich 5, and Paul 1. I don't anticipate large deviations from the statewide vote in any given congressional district. This math, however, does screw Paul. Romney scores another 8 delegates, while Gingrich nets 4.

    Gingrich 82 - Romney 46 - Paul 11

    21 CD and 12 AL. This is too much to analyze, with no adequate polling picture of the initial caucuses to provide a starting point. However, Romney got 60% of the vote here last time, which netted him 22 delegates. We'll just apply that here as well, with the balance split between Paul and Gingrich.

    Gingrich 88 - Romney 68 - Paul 16

    24 CD and 13 AL. PPP hinted that Gingrich was crushing here based on early interviews during the poll currently taking place. The at large delegates aren't bound unless the state convention votes to bind them (in which case it would be winner take all in all but name). Let's assume that, given Minnesota's process, they are bound for Gingrich. For the CD delegates, Gingrich gets the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th, while Romney secures the 4th and 5th. That's 18 for Gingrich and 6 for Romney.

    Gingrich 119 - Romney 74 - Paul 16

    6 CD and 15 AL. These are all uncommitted. Let's assume that they break proportionally for the election result, which I'll assume will be Romney 55, Gingrich 30, Paul 15... with Romney's support coming mainly from the Portland area and Gingrich from the outlying areas. So, I'll assign 8 AL to Romney, 5 AL to Gingrich, and 2 AL to Paul. For the 1st district, I'll give Romney 2 and Gingrich the remainder and for the 2nd district I'll switch that. I.E. Each gets 3.

    Gingrich 127 - Romney 85 - Paul 18

    Penalize by Rule 16. 29 delegates and they are winner take all. Romney +29.

    Gingrich 119 - Romney 103 - Paul 16.

    Also penalized by Rule 16. 30 total delegates awarded proportionally. I'm assuming that these are all AL because of Rule 10 a la Florida. Let's assume a Romney win here 50-35-15 (with Paul actually edging above the 15% threshold and not just below). That breaks the delegates down at 15-11-4.

    Gingrich 130 - Romney 118 - Paul 20

    I honestly have no idea where to start with this one. There are 30 CD and 10 AL. McCain won here in 2008, but only narrowly above Huckabee and Paul. Romney came in last. With that in mind, let's assume an original caucus vote of Gingrich 45, Romney 30, and Paul 25. The AL delegates break down 5-3-2. The CD results are quirky. 2 Gingrich to 1 Paul in the 4th and 5th, 2 Gingrich to 1 Romney in the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 10th, and 2 Romney to 1 Gingrich in the 3rd, 7th, and 9th. The total CD delegates break down to 15 Gingrich, 11 Romney, and 2 Paul.

    Gingrich 150 - Romney 132 - Paul 24

    SUPER TUESDAY, continued in reply

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:19:14 AM PST

    •  Super Tuesday - The Math (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, bear83, Setsuna Mudo, itskevin, askew

      Gingrich 150 - Romney 132 - Paul 24

      3 CD and 21 AL. Both awarded proportionally. Romney 45, Gingrich 35, Paul 20. 2-1 CD and 9-7-4 AL.

      Gingrich 158 - Romney 143 - Paul 28

      42 CD and 31 AL. 20% threshold and proportional for AL and majority makes winner take all in CDs. Gingrich 60, Romney 30, Paul 10. Gingrich gets all 42 CD delegates, while the ALs break 20-11 for Gingrich.

      Gingrich 220 - Romney 154 - Paul 28

      Idaho has a very complex allocation process. The final breakdown I got, after a vote of Romney 65, Gingrich 20, and Paul 15, is 24-7-3.

      Gingrich 227 - Romney 178 - Paul 31

      27 CD and 11 AL. Proportional with 15% floor. Romney 55 (he didn't even reach that in 2008), Gingrich 35, Paul 10. No substantial differences among CDs, so they break 18-9. ALs break 7-4.

      Gingrich 240 - Romney 203 - Paul 31

      North Dakota:
      3 CD and 22 AL. These delegates are not bound, but I'm assuming that the original caucus voting will determine their behavior. Gingrich 45, Romney 35, Paul 20. Romney got 35% here in 2008 as the conservative alternative to McCain (whom he beat in this state). 2-1 for CDs and 10-8-4 for ALs.

      Gingrich 252 - Romney 212 - Paul 35

      48 CD and 15 AL. Winner take all if majority. My money is on Gingrich. Gingrich 55, Romney 40, Paul 5. Gingrich +15 CDs are all winner take all, Gingrich wins in all but the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 11th. 36-12 for CDs.

      Gingrich 303 - Romney 224 - Paul 35

      15 CD and 25 AL. Winner take all if majority. Gingrich 60, Romney 35, Paul 5. Gingrich +25. CDs the same, Gingrich +15.

      Gingrich 343 - Romney 224 - Paul 35

      27 CD and 28 AL. Proportional with 20% threshold unless 66% (where winner take all). Similar for CDs. Gingrich 60, Romney 35, Paul 5. 18-10 ALs and 18-9 CDs.

      Gingrich 379 - Romney 243 - Paul 35

      3 CD and 11 AL. Majority makes winner take all. Romney 60, Gingrich 30, Paul 10. Romney +13.

      Gingrich 379 - Romney 256 - Paul 35

      Romney +46

      Gingrich 379 - Romney 302 - Paul 35

      After doing this, I honestly expect Gingrich to win provided two things: he wins Florida and his sugar daddies keep writing him fat checks. If he can perform well up until super Tuesday, he'll have the nomination sewn up soon after with the battle turning super southern heavy.

      I now see why the Republican establishment is freaking out. They know they've lost it. This is probably why Jeb Bush won't endorse. He doesn't want to be tied to a campaign which, even in the event he endorses, is going to lose.

      If we apply every single state's RNC delegates up until Super Tuesday (inclusive) to Romney's total (which is unlikely), it only brings him up to 365, still behind Gingrich.

      22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

      by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:19:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should really make a diary out of this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the morning digest usually goes dead by about 2 or 3 pm.

      25, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:58:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  f---ing sad but understandable. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Setsuna Mudo

    Yes, Giffords needs to put her health first.  Yes, her situation is compelling enough that resigning her seat is a reasonable step. Yes she should take care of herself and heal up as far as possible given the grievous harm that was inflicted on her.

    Nevertheless it's f---ing sad.  It's sad because it's another victory for a lone nut with a weapon, and a de-facto encouragement to others to do likewise.  It's sad because it takes another D out of Congress, probably to be replaced with an R, if recent analyses around here are correct.  

    And what we need to do about this, after the time for expressions of sympathy, sadness, hope that she'll recover more fully, and prayers & good wishes for her and her family, is take up the fight and vow that we are going to keep up the fight, redouble our efforts, make real gains in Congress this year, and put the lie to the notion held by would-be terrorists and assassins that their hateful acts change anything in the long run.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:33:18 AM PST

  •  Gingrich v. Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, bythesea

    What an interesting race that would be, according to the Economist.

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:41:16 AM PST

  •  HI-Sen: Ed Case's first ad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zornorph, Setsuna Mudo

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:59:19 AM PST

  •  Rasmussen: Gingrich 41% Romney 32% (6+ / 0-)

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:15:48 AM PST

  •  Feel The Newtmentum (6+ / 0-)

    Events turn on a Dime.
    House of Ras in FL
    Newt 41 (19)
    Romney 32 (41)
    Santorum 11 (15)
    Paul 8 (9)

    •  Forgot... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, itskevin

      Forgot the damn link!
      Notable here that it's not just a re-rise of Gingrich, but an 11 point fall for Romney as well. Santorum clearly has lost any 'mo' that he might have had (and hanging out with bigoted preachers isn't going to get him any good press, either.

    •  It is amazing how quickly these primary (5+ / 0-)

      voters change their positions. Polls taken on a Monday mean squat on Tuesday.

      These idiots might just go ahead and pick Gingrich.

      Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

      by tigercourse on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:58:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, itskevin

        It's because they never liked Romney. People only would move to him when they thought there was no other alternative. As more and more people have come to think that he has a glass jaw and that Speaker Gingrich has a better chance of winning, the shift is understandable. The same sort of thing happened to Howard Dean - a rapid fall (though the press kind of helped that one by endlessly replaying that scream).

        •  Dean (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo, wishingwell

          I never understood why that scream doomed him... It was a scream, not something crazy. He was sane compared to people like Bachmann and Perry.

          22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

          by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:20:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ReWatched... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo, Zornorph, itskevin

            Okay, he did look unstable.

            22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

            by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:22:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't the scream (4+ / 0-)

            itself, but the massive, seemingly coordinated pile on by every media outlet large and small that doomed him. It was the excuse they were waiting for, IMHO. Dean scared the shit out of the power brokers on both sides.

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:23:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Two reasons. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            First that Democrats have higher standards.  Whether or not we applied those standards appropriately to Dean is another matter to debate.

            Second we were very focused on finding the best candidate to beat Bush.  Electability was a quality we paid a lot of attention to.  And at the time Dean polled worse than other major contenders.  And that moment just reinforced our fears that he could blow the election.

            Looking back it is a gamble I would've taken.  But that of course is biased by hindsight that we didnt have back then.  We already KNOW Kerry lost and got swiftboated.  So there isn't much to lose in substituting Kerry for ANYONE else (save Kucinich and Sharpton).

            •  I was telling (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I was telling all my Dem friends, if they wanted to win, they had to vote for Edwards. I maintain that had he been the top of the ticket, he would have won in 2004. Granted, he turned out to be a sleazebag, but I think most Dems would have taken him over Bush even if they knew that in advance.

              •  Why do you think he would have won? (0+ / 0-)
                •  Because (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Taget, jncca

                  Because I could see the weaknesses of Kerry. The fact that he was from Mass was a big red flag. Dems thought his war record would inoculate him from the attacks that came, but I felt the fact he had come home and then protested the war would take most of the sheen off of that. Bob Kerry of Nebraska, despite being involved in an atrocity, would have had none of that weakness.
                  Edwards was from the south - he would not have been able to caricature the same way Kerry was. He also had more charisma and had a wife who was an assent and not a liability. He had cute young children. Given how close it was, I do think Edwards would have won had he been the nominee.

              •  And considering the affair happened in 2006, you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                would have been spot on, I think.

                Who knows if the affair would have ever happened had he been elected President or VP? Perhaps not.

                The affair happened 2 years after he lost the election with a videographer he spent a lot of time with alone to make a video for the 2008 kick off his campaign.

              •  maybe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Edwards was a much better speaker than Kerry, but he might not have passed the basic sniff test as commander in chief.

                SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

                by sacman701 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:25:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  There's still a case that Kerry (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Taget, itskevin

              was the best choice, even in retrospect. At minimum, he was competitive (and showed us where we could be competitive in 2006).

              Ok, so I read the polls.

              by andgarden on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:39:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's true (0+ / 0-)

                It's true that you can never know how things would have happened. Edwards might have made a huge mistake on the trail. In truth, I considered Kerry one of the less electable of the Dems based on his home state. I ranked Gephardt as more electable than him. I also thought Dean's fiscal record was a big plus for him.

            •  I often wonder whether Kerry would have won (0+ / 0-)

              if he had done a few things differently. Aside from perhaps his health care policy (which I happen to think is what our system will resemble sooner rather than later, if you are wondering), was there anything that stood out about his platform? It was a long time ago, but still, you can more or less remember the big things that Bush ran on...or at least I can. Instead of merely proposing to eliminate the tax cuts on high earners, what if he had tried to basically rip up the tax code and largely replace it with a progressive consumption tax and/or replace payroll taxes with pollution taxes?

              •  I think (0+ / 0-)

                I think he would have won had he shut his wife in the closet at the start of the race and not let her out until the end. In an election as close as that one, any little thing could make the difference.

  •  So, I've been looking at the history of Upstate (5+ / 0-)

    New York, and for all I've heard in 2009-2010 about how it's trending blue so much both on a Presidential and local level, that doesn't really seem to be the case.

    Dukakis got 47% Upstate (not including Westchester), which made it D+1 then, Obama got 54.5%, which also makes it D+1.

    Down to a region-by-region level, Rockland and lower Upstate trended blue, as did Rochester, while most of the rural areas trended R.

    On a 1980s CD-by-CD level:

    Then: Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, down to Mt. Kisco.
    Then: R+7, represented by a Republican (Hamilton Fish)
    Old boundaries today: EVEN, mostly repped by Nan Hayworth (R)

    Then: Rockland County, Middletown
    Then: R+3, repped by a GOPer (Ben Gilman)
    Now: EVEN, pretty much disintegrated

    Then: Albany, Schenectady, Troy
    Then: D+10, repped by a Dem (Mike McNulty)
    Now: D+8, repped by a Dem (Paul Tonko)

    Then: From Warren County south to northern Dutchess
    Then: R+5, repped by an R (Gerald Solomon)
    Now: R+2, repped by an R (Gibson)

    Then: Utica, Rome, from Cortland Cnty east to Schoharie
    Then: R+1, repped by an R (Sherwood Boehlert)
    Now: R+4, mostly repped by an R (Richard Hanna)

    Then: Adirondacks, relatively similar to the modern 23rd
    Then: R+2, repped by an R (David Martin)
    Now: R+1, repped by a D (Bill Owens)

    Then: Syracuse
    Then: D+1, repped by an R (James Walsh)
    Now: D+5, mostly repped by an R (Ann-Marie Buerkle)

    Then: Ithaca, Binghampton, Kingston
    Then: D+1, repped by a D (Matt McHugh)
    Now: D+4, repped by a D (Maurice Hinchey)

    Then: Oswego, Auburn, Eastern Rochester suburbs
    Then: EVEN, repped by a liberal R (Frank Horton, ACU score 22)
    Now: R+2, mostly dismantled

    Then: Rochester, Genesee County
    Then: R+1, repped by a D (Louise Slaughter)
    Now: D+3, mostly dismantled

    Then: non-Buffalo or Tonawanda-Erie County, east to Ontario County
    Then: R+2, repped by an R
    Now: R+4, mostly dismantled

    Then: Niagara, Tonawanda, some western Rochester suburbs
    Then: D+5, repped by a D (John LaFalce)
    Now: R+3, mostly dismantled

    And no, this is not a mistake. Niagara County almost went for McCain, while Dukakis got 50.4% (D+5) there.

    Then: Buffalo
    Then: D+20, repped by Henry Novak (D)
    Now: D+15, mostly dismantled (what I mean is that there is not a clear successor district anywhere)

    Then: PA border east to Elmira
    Then: R+6, repped by Amory Houghton (R)
    Now: R+8, mostly repped by John Reed (R)

    As you can see, Western NY mostly trended towards the Republicans, and Buffalo in addition lost population-- the two federally Democratic districts of the 1988 election in Western New York both just have 400,000 people in their borders today.

    The same applies to many of the rural areas in Central Upstate.

    Meanwhile, Syracuse, Rochester and lower Upstate (Rockland and such) trended to the Democrats, sometimes fairly dramatically.

    Finally, neither then or now was there much discord between Presidential Election results and local representation. Democrats held some federally marginal (D+1-R+1) districts then, and still do so now, the same applies for Republicans.

  •  NC-Gov - Dems Planning for 2016? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo
    Jim Goodnight, founder of SAS, the computer software giant, will host a major fundraiser at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, the Triangle's ritziest hotel (for Lt Gov Walter Dalton). The sponsors of the events are a who's who of the Democratic Party: a former governor, a former U.S. ambassador, the agribusinessman nicknamed "Boss Hog," the head of the state's biggest insurance company, Raleigh's mayor, a former Cabinet secretary, bank presidents, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court and so forth.

    The powerful lineup behind Dalton reflects the growing perception in Raleigh that Dalton may be the top Democrat in state government next year.

    What they really ought to do is push Dalton to primary Bev Perdue this year.

  •  Nate Silver (6+ / 0-)

    Nate now had Newt Gingrich winning Florida 37.6 to Romney's 30.0. He also has a 66% chance of winning. I'm really starting to like the numbers being released today.

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:54:26 AM PST

  •  Oregon! Bonamici! January 31! This is a BFD. (0+ / 0-)

    Suzanne Bonamici is being challenged in a blue district, and her challenger is now polling within the margin of error (according to his own polls).

    This seat has been held by a Democrat since 1975. We cannot afford to lose in a week from now.

    Bonamici is a Better Democrat

    Send Bonamici some love, right now.
    Oregon voters: Don't forget, postal rates just changed. You need to affix correct postage, or drop your ballots at the official collection points.

    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:55:00 AM PST

  •  "Placeholder" for Giffords? (4+ / 0-)

    This seems like it can only end badly (from National Journal):

    A ‘PLACEHOLDER” AFTER GIFFORDS STEPS DOWN? Speculation on who might run in special election, still to be scheduled, to replace Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., includes current Giffords staffers. Chief of staff Pia Carusone and State Director Ron Barber are on that list. Giffords will step down this week, almost exactly a year after she was shot at point blank range. One source said Giffords and her aides plan to rally behind a Democratic candidate to succeed her, and that the choice is someone who might become a “placeholder” for the congresswoman until she might be able to return to office. Giffords plans to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address as one of her last official acts.
    Like it or not, whoever takes her place is going to be a congressman or congresswoman in their own right and it is unreasonable to expect that duly elected member simply to step aside when Giffords is well enough to run again. Giffords does not have permanent dibs on this seat just because of the events of last year.
  •  rasmussen now polling GE daily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He has Obama up two on Romney and I think 8 on Newt. So
    I guess he can be used as a barometer. Keep in mind he is probably giving republicans an extra % or 2.

  •  The "Connie Mack" Brand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Actually the Senator and following generations adopted the name to play off the famous name of grandfather Connie Mack and fool the senile old folks in FL who kinda remembered the old ballplayer & manager. I forget the details of how he was able to get the phony name on the ballot. Now it's taken on a life of its own.......

  •  Am I missing something? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The VA redistricting doesn't seem like a great rout of Democrats; the only Repub seat getting shored up is the 1st District (Cantor's district does get more Republican, but he wasn't under any serious threat anyway).  In exchange, they basically make Gerry Connolly's district a Dem vote sink (and guarantee him no more close calls like the one in 2010).  They made Wolf a little safer, but we have a good shot at that seat as soon as he retires.  

    An armed society is... a society in which a lot of people get shot.

    by lungfish on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 10:15:24 AM PST

  •  Jared Loughner & Sarah Palin are gloating. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure the two people the most responsible for leading up to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' resignation are grateful.  Whether or not they care, dark clouds will be pouring rain over Jared's and Sarah's heads for the rest of their lives.  Jared Loughner is lost on cloud nine and Sarah Palin up to this point has not even ONCE expressed any condolences to Gabrielle Giffords and her family.  She has of course continued to play the victim.  Explains why her two daughters Bristol and Willow are just as messed up as she is.  I guess if I had to live on a diet of mac and cheeese, I'd be messed up too.

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