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Leading Off:

NY-13: Man. I'm not sure there's any seat that's experienced as much craziness in recent years as New York's 13th Congressional District. It would take me pages and pages just to bring you up to speed if you're new to NY-13; all I can recommend is that you head back deep into the SSP archives and work your way forward from May 1, 2008. On that eventful day, we learned that GOP Rep. Vito Fossella had been arrested for drunk driving in Virginia... and from there, the insanity could only explode (and explode and explode) further.

Fast forward to the present, where—as we once said of Vito—NY-13's newest Republican congressman, Mike Grimm, is on the ropes, due to allegations of extremely shady fundraising on his part (including, reportedly, envelopes filled with cash). Though Grimm's epitaph has not yet been written, the vultures are already swarming... and amazingly enough, one of them is Fossella. While he's careful to say that Grimm "should have the opportunity to explain and defend himself" and that speculation about his future is "premature," Fossella adds: "What the future brings, I cannot say." The Staten Island Advance further notes that Fossella has "not discussed a possible run for his old seat with his family," suggesting that a run is indeed possible—and leading a thousand wags to ask, "Which family?" (If you don't know why that's so funny, click here.) I suspect this race will get a lot crazier before it gets any saner.

4Q Fundraising:

HI-Gov (last six months of 2011): Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D): $1.1 mil raised, $829K cash-on-hand

MO-Sen: Rep. Todd Akin (R): $231K raised, $1.2 mil cash-on-hand; John Brunner (R): $230K raised (plus $1 million self-funding), $210K cash-on-hand; Sarah Steelman (R): $84K raised, $570K cash-on-hand (man are these all terrible or what? Steelman's numbers would be crappy in a House race)

NM-Sen: Hector Balderas (D): $109K raised, $434K cash-on-hand

OH-Sen: Josh Mandel (R): $1.4 mil raised, $4.1 mil cash-on-hand

VT-Sen: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D): $787K raised, $2.9 mil cash-on-hand

Senate:

HI-Sen: As promised, Honolulu Civil Beat also released a general election portion of its Senate poll, which finds ex-Rep. Ed Case and Rep. Mazie Hirono pulling in identical shares of the vote, but sees Republican Ex-Gov. Linda Lingle performing rather differently against each candidate. Case leads Lingle 46-33, but Hirono only leads 46-39. I'm not sure how to explain this, since Civil Beat didn't appear to ask candidate favorables, but John Temple says that since PPP's poll in October, "Case has had a much more visible campaign than Hirono." I'm iffy on that being the answer, though. Temple also points out that Case's wider leader isn't actually a good argument for his electability:

While the poll indicates Case is in a stronger position versus Lingle today, an analysis of what primary voters who back Hirono and Case will do in the general election shows more voters will switch to Lingle if Case wins the primary.

If Case beats Hirono, the poll shows that he would retain 58 percent of his supporters but that 40 percent would shift to Lingle. If Hirono beats Case, 86 percent of her supporters will stick with her, while just 12 percent would switch to Lingle.

Speaking of the primary poll—which showed Case with a lead—both the Hirono campaign and the DSCC attacked it, with the DSCC even releasing a memo criticizing the survey in a number of areas. Both pointed out that Merriman River Group, the firm which conducted the survey, also did polling for Case last year, and the DSCC memo (written by Peter Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group, which just happens to be Hirono's pollster) further took issue with the poll's methodology, saying that it tested all "likely voters," not merely primary voters.

Civil Beat defended its poll, saying that they'd been using Merriman before Case ever hired them, and arguing that Merriman's Hawaii polls last cycle were accurate. I don't think that stands up, though. Merriman's final poll of the Hawaii governor's race gave a five-point edge to Dem Neil Abercrombie; he won by 17.

And in Connecticut (the other state, oddly, where Merriman polls regularly), many of their numbers were also way off, as my colleague Steve Singiser demonstrated. They had Republican Sam Caligiuri beating Dem Rep. Chris Murphy by eight; that was the margin Murphy won by. They also showed GOPer Dan Debicella edging Rep. Jim Himes by two, even though Himes prevailed by six. And at one point, they had Dem Rep. John Larson up only 7; he won by 20. You get the idea.

So I really don't think Merriman's track record holds up well to scrutiny. I respect Civil Beat's work a great deal—I've expressed admiration for them many times recently—and I know Hawaii is a difficult state to poll, but I think they might want to consider switching to another pollster.

HI-Sen: This new Ed Case ad (his second) is so weirdly substance-free I'm not sure what to make of it. The spot frames the Democratic primary as a choice between Case and Mazie Hirono, and then has a bunch of "man-on-the-street"-type clips of people saying they're going with Case... but without offering a single reason why. I'm really dumbfounded. Here, see for yourself:

While we're at it, Hirono is out with her first ad, in which she specifically says she's the only candidate who opposed the Iraq war from the start and opposed the Bush tax cuts. It also has much higher production values than anything Case has put forth. Here, watch:
MO-Sen: Yow: PPP's latest poll of the Missouri Senate race "finds that Claire McCaskill's approval numbers have hit their lowest mark since Democrats' disastrous summer of 2010, and that she no longer leads any of her potential Republican opponents for reelection." Click the link for our full analysis of all the results at Daily Kos Elections.

VA-Sen: This Mason-Dixon poll, conducted "for a private client," flew under the radar last week, but it shows what every poll except for PPP's last survey have shown: a tie game between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, at 46 apiece. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are also virtually deadlocked, with the president leading 46-45. For what it's worth (not a lot), Obama crushes Newt Gingrich, 49-38.

TX-Sen: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst just released another internal poll (again from Baselice & Associates) that's almost identical to the one he put out in early November. The newest survey has him at 50% in the GOP primary, versus just 9 for former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, 5 for former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, and a mere 3 for widely despised football analyst Craig James. You'll have to squint hard to see the differences from the prior poll, which had Dewhurst at 50, Leppert at 9, and Cruz at 6. (James wasn't in the race then.) Presumably this is pushback against a recent PPP poll which found a much tighter race: Dewhurst 36, Cruz 18. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just accuse PPP of being a "biased Democrat polling firm"?

Gubernatorial:

MO-Gov: Plastics magnate Dave Spence, recently seen trailing Some Dude Bill Randles for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, is up with his first ad of the race. Spence insists he'll create jobs without, of course, saying how he plans to do so. I also think the voice-over announcer used here (someone you've definitely heard many times before) is a little over-wrought for a run-of-the-mill positive spot—reminds me of the voice-over from this classic Miller High Life ad. Anyhow, you be the judge:

NH-Gov: Even though the GOP field had seemed set for some time, with 2010 Senate candidate Ovide Lamontange and conservative activist Kevin Smith preparing to out-wingnut each other, it looks like there may be another entrant. Businessman Steve Kenda says he's exploring a bid, and it sounds like he may be the sort of rich guy who could flood the race with money. The question is whether New Hampshire Republicans are interested in someone with this kind of profile, or whether they'll insist on a firebreather like Lamontage or Smith. Last cycle, in the Senate race, they picked the more moderate Kelly Ayotte instead of Lamontagne, but I wouldn't necessarily expect that kind of judgment to hold sway twice.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Tim Cullen wasn't ever really high on anyone's lists of Democrats in demand to run against Scott Walker in the recall election. Accordingly, his fundraising never really got off the ground (he raised a total of $157 in the last six months... that's not a typo, and there's no "K" after that number), and on Wednesday, he pulled the plug on his stillborn campaign. That leaves former Dane Co. Exec Kathleen Falk as the only Dem actively seeking the nomination, though new fundraising reports show Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (a possible entrant) sitting on a decent pile of cash, some $415K. (David Jarman & David Nir)

House:

AZ-08: This is interesting: Even though state Rep. Matt Heinz just became the first Democrat to announce for the special election to replace Gabby Giffords, he also added that he'd defer to Giffords' former district director, Ron Barber, if Barber wanted to run to serve out the remainder of the term. In that case, says Heinz, he'd run in the primary for the regular November election. However, an unnamed Giffords staffer previously told Politico that Barber won't run, though we haven't yet heard anything from Barber on the record.

CA-30: You already knew that Rep. Howard Berman raised a terrifying one meelyon dollars in the fourth quarter of last year. I'd have thought his Democratic primary rival, fellow Rep. Brad Sherman, would at least try to keep pace, but it turns out Sherman pulled in a a mere $125K. That's almost shockingly small. Now, that said, Sherman does still have a sizable cash-on-hand advantage: $3.7 million versus Berman's $2.9 million. But another quarter like this and that discrepancy will disappear. So, too, may Sherman's hopes.

CA-38: Good news for progressives: State Sen. Ron Calderon is dropping his challenge to Rep. Linda Sanchez in the redrawn 38th Congressional District. Calderon very likely would have occupied ideological space to Sanchez's right, so we're better off having the incumbent in Congress. Calderon probably thought he had a shot because about half the turf in the 38th is new to Sanchez; on top of that, her campaign account was recently wiped out by Kinde Durkee, the rogue treasurer who embezzled funds from a whole swath of California Democrats. In any event, this is one less race to worry about now.

CO-07: After going from "rumored" to "considering," Joe Coors, Jr. has finally upgraded to "running": He will indeed take on Dem Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the 7th. This district actually got a touch redder, going from 59-40 Obama to 57-41, but it'll still be difficult turf for any Republican. Also, don't be fooled by that "Junior" hanging off the end of Coors' name: He's 69 years old.

FL-22, FL-18: The developments continue to come fast and furious in Florida's proposed new 18th and 22nd Congressional Districts, a pair of coastal seats that are drawing a lot of attention, despite the lack of final maps. On Tuesday, we learned that GOP Rep. Tom Rooney planned to vacate the 18th for the incumbent-less 17th a bit further inland. That let another Republican, freshman Allen West, to declare that he'd seek re-election in Rooney's 18th rather than the considerably bluer 22nd. Even though two Democrats—former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and accountant Patrick Murphy—have long been seeking to take a shot at West and have both raised a ton of money, several other Dems immediately started expressing interest now that the 22nd is open.

The first was Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom, who refused to rule out a run on Wednesday. Not long after, one of his fellow commissioners, Kristin Jacobs, who said she is "seriously" considering a bid. (I've gotta say, though: The fact that these names are only coming out of the woodwork now that West says he won't run here, though, doesn't make me think particularly highly of them. Frankel and Murphy had the courage to run when these guys were nowhere to be seen.) A couple of Democrats did decline, though: Ex-Rep. Ron Klein, who represented this seat for two terms before losing to West in 2010, and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, who literally just won re-election to his current post on Tuesday.

Frankel, for her part, said that she's staying put, and she also released what looked like a message to would-be entrants in the form of a big-name endorsement from former CFO Alex Sink. (Sink, you'll recall, fell just short of Republican Rick Scott in the 2010 governor's race and was also the last Florida Democrat to win election to the state cabinet, back in 2006.) Murphy left things more open-ended in his public remarks on Tuesday, and a report later in the day on Wednesday in the Palm Beach Post stated that the proverbial "sources close to" Murphy say he's "giving serious thought" to following West north to the 18th CD. Murphy still lives in the redrawn 22nd, but West doesn't live in the 18th, either, and he doesn't even live in the old 22nd, so it's not like he could make a carpetbagging charge stick.

Whoever remains in the 22nd will still have a fight on their hands, though, against former State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner. After a day of fumbling (and much razzing in the Daily Digest) Hasner finally announced that he would, as reported, drop down from the Senate race to run as West's replacement. I've already said that I think Hasner is far too conservative for this 57% Obama seat; the fact that he touted an endorsement from none other than West (who himself realized he couldn't get re-elected here) in his announcement shows he may also be too stupid to win here.

Democrats will, of course, also need a challenger in the 18th, which is why Patrick Murphy is reportedly thinking about switching districts. If he doesn't, the Great Mentioner (that is to say, Daily Kos Elections) has a few ideas for your consideration. On is include St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft, a DCCC recruit against Tom Rooney in the old 16th (the predecessor to the new 18th) last cycle. Craft dropped out in March of 2010, though, after weak fundraising and, I'm sure, once he realized what a disaster the election was shaping up to be for Democrats. (He does have an interesting background, though.)

Another is former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, who was the D-Trip's first choice against Rooney in 2010 but who decided to run for attorney general instead. (He got spanked in the primary by fellow state Sen. Dan Gelber, who in turn got spanked by Republican Pam Bondi in the general.) However, Aronberg recently announced plans to run for Palm Beach County State Attorney, a seat which unexpectedly became open just a few weeks ago, so he's unlikely to change course.

Finally, on Twitter, Jeff DeLuca suggests one more name: St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara. If that unusual last name rings a bell, it's because he's a nephew of the late Frank Mascara, who represented Pennsylvania's old 20th District in Congress in the 1990s.

IL-16: Dave Catanese points out that in the primary matchup between Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo—sadly, the only confirmed Republican incumbent-vs.-incumbent battle in the nation—Kinzinger had the fundraising edge in the fourth quarter of last year: $286K to $170K. But more important is this tidbit from unnamed sources: "Informed Republicans say Manzullo is on retirement watch."

NJ-10: Back in November, we mentioned that Newark City Councilman Ronald Rice was reportedly gearing up to take on veteran Rep. Donald Payne in the Democratic primary. Now, at a recent campaign event, Rice rallied supporters with the mantra "It's time"—but he's still not committing to a run just yet. Indeed, it's almost getting to be past time, since new Jersey's primary is coming up in just five months on June 5.

PA-07: Well, damn. Local Democratic officials in the 7th District are saying that ex-Rep. Joe Sestak hasn't been circulating petitions and won't try to reclaim his old seat with a bid against freshman GOPer Pat Meehan. Pretty grating, though, that Sestak couldn't have at least made his intentions clear before the filing period began—and that he hasn't even spoken on the record about this, leaving Democrats scrambling to read tea leaves... and find a replacement.

PA-10, PA-11: And here's another former Dem congressman who won't be making a comeback bid this year: Chris Carney, who served the old 10th District for two terms before getting swept out in 2010's red tide. Carney had reportedly been considering a run in either the 10th or the 11th (both of which had been redrawn in redistricting), but now it's not to be.

WI-02: Just the other day, I was saying I'd been wrong about the state of play in the Democratic primary in WI-02, believing that Dane County Treasurer Dave Worzala had surprised everyone and raised more money in the fourth quarter than his two more prominent opponents, state Reps. Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys. Well, it turns out I was wrong to think I was wrong. This post at WisPolitics said that Worzala had "outraised" the field, "pulling in $223,140."

Only that wasn't right. According to his FEC reports, Worzala raised just $49K. The other $170K was a loan from himself. (Oddly, it's not listed as such on the FEC's "detailed summary" page, but elsewhere on his report, it clearly states the money is from Worzala.) I don't know how this miscommunication happened, but it's important to take note of the situation, because it means Worzala is still at the back of the pack when it comes to fundraising strength. It also means that Pocan was the fundraising leader this quarter with $151K, while Roys was second with $77K.

Other Races:

PA-AG: Former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane has pumped a ton of family money into her bid for the Democratic nomination for attorney general: a $500K donation and a loan of $1.75 million, both from her husband. She's also out with an internal poll (PDF) from Benenson Strategy Group, though it's something of an odd choice, since it shows her trailing Patrick Murphy in the primary by a 40-24 margin. Of course, there's also an informed ballot question based on positive bios, which has Kane up big, 51-35. The memo also says the race is tied at 45 on the initial ballot among people who already know both candidates. I think the message here is: "I can beat Murphy once I get my name out there—and with my millions, I will." Murphy's no fundraising slouch, though: He's socked away $1 mil in the bank already (the hard way).

Grab Bag:

CO St. House: This sure is an unusual story. Colorado's state House is just barely in GOP control, by a 33-32 margin. One Republican lawmaker, though, is threatening to bolt her party and possibly become an independent, which could throw the chamber to the Democrats. Why? State Rep. Laura Bradford was recently arrested under suspicion of driving drunk, and police claimed she tried to invoke her status as a legislator during the incident. Bradford hotly denied this, and quite amazingly, the police reversed themselves and said that a sergeant lied about what had happened. Bradford is furious that the legislature has nevertheless decided to investigate her, and cites that as her reason for thinking about leaving the GOP. It sounds, though, like she's also run afoul of leadership in the past, so this might either be a fig-leaf or the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

SSP: Good news, everyone: The old Swing State Project archives are back online! Our host had mistakenly flagged the site as "inactive" and took it offline on Tuesday, but it's since been restored. Don't worry, we have no intention of taking the site down—among other things, we still regularly use it as a research tool and link back to stuff there regularly. And if for some reason we did decide to mothball the site, we'd certainly let you know in advance. Anyhow, bottom line is, we're all good.

Redistricting Roundup:

NY Redistricting: State Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Martin Dilan, have filed a lawsuit against the GOP's plans to add a brand-new 63rd seat to the Senate map. The New York state constitution does indeed contemplate the creation of new seats in the Senate, but there is some dispute over how to calculate the proper number. You can read the exact details in the complaint—I can't summarize the math any more succinctly.

But suffice it to say that there are two competing methods for figuring out how many Senate seats there should be, and as the complaint alleges (in ¶ 11), the GOP wants to use both techniques at the same time—one in Queens & Nassau County, and a different one in Staten Island & Suffolk County. Democrats say (¶ 14) that as long as you use one method consistently, you wind up with 62 seats. It's only because of this selective picking-and-choosing that Republicans are able to reach 63 seats, something Democrats allege is unconstitutional.

VA Redistricting: It's a story we've already seen a number of times this cycle: litigation over redistricting threatening to push a primary later. The latest chapter belongs to the state of Virginia, where Republicans have failed to get a key suit against the state's new congressional map dismissed. As a result, AG Ken Cuccinelli is now asking the legislature to move the June 12 primary to August, so that there's sufficient time for legal challenges to be resolved first. No word yet on whether the lege actually plans to follow suit, though.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The New York Senate lawsuit could have a major (3+ / 0-)

    effect on when the Democrats can retake it. 62 seats give them a good chance to do so, 63 makes it a great deal harder.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 05:16:19 AM PST

  •  NY- Redist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, R30A

    After reading through the first 20 or numbered items and skimming the rest, its hard to see how Democrats don't win.  The point numbered 11-13 are most telling, especially the use of tow different methodologies to 2 separate counties to achieve a desired result.  

    It's dumber than Texas when you get down to it.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 05:50:20 AM PST

  •  Jobless claims 367K, down 12K from prior week (6+ / 0-)

    4-week rolling average 375,750, down 2K from prior week 4-week average

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 05:52:01 AM PST

    •  Not bad, not bad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      The January unemployment figures must be on the way, right?

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:35:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The unemployment figures for each month (5+ / 0-)

        are released on the first Friday of the next month.

      •  unemployment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        I would not get hung up on one-month changes in unemployment. Those numbers come from the household survey which has a much smaller sample than the payroll survey (which produces the job growth estimates) and there is a lot of month-to-month noise. 3 months make a trend, but 1 month doesn't.

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

        by sacman701 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:11:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We know (0+ / 0-)

          If anything its hard to make hide nor hare of the situation when you dig into the numbers, which we all do (probably too deep lol).

          There are so many moving parts that the news can actually be twisted to meet everyone's political needs without actually lying it seems.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:14:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Really good news for tomorrow's report... (4+ / 0-)

      ...on unemployment and job growth.

      The correlation is pretty high in particular between jobles claims and the unemployment rate.  That doesn't mean we'll see a drop again from 8.5, and it's no guarantee the survey won't show an uptick to 8.6 as experts believe.  But it means the odds are better than they would be otherwise of that it will hold at 8.5 with a realistic chance of dipping below it.  We got down to 8.5 from 9.1 over 3 months with a much higher 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims than we have now, and the moving average still keeps falling.

      By the way, as DKE member sacman pointed out last week, be wary of the 4-week moving averages for February, because the 2 crazy weeks in January where claims topped 400K one week and plummeted to 352K the next week will drop out in successive weeks and skew the moving average.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:36:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you find these numebrs perplexing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        Given the huge run-up in retail and courier hiring, didn't you expect more than a 1 week jump above 400K?  

        I just find these numbers odd, I can't see how retailers and couriers could keep these people on the rolls this long considering the holiday season's late stages weren't that great and we're already 6 weeks after Christmas.

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:44:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're wrongly making too much of couriers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo, itskevin

          The couriers and seasonal retail aren't nearly as big a deal as you think they are.

          So no, there's nothing odd about these numbers.

          I haven't found any economists or other analysts say there's anything odd at all.

          The economy is just getting better, it's as simple as that.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:54:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo

            58K transport and warehousing jobs and 80K retail jobs added in Q4, most in Nov./Dec., which certainly are abig deal.  That's close to 140K jobs that haven't hit the weekly numbers for some reason.

            They must be off the books by now, they certainly weren't permanent workers.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:04:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  seasonal adjustment (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DCCyclone, Setsuna Mudo, itskevin

              The seasonal adjustment didn't pick up the couriers, etc. in the first place and the week claims spiked to 402k probably reflected a lot of these people being let go. December and the first half of January are always weird because the amount of seasonal hiring is different every year but the seasonal adjustment assumes that it's about the same every year.

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

              by sacman701 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:15:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All of these numbers are seasonally adjusted (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Setsuna Mudo

                Dec 2010 saw 50K couriers hired in Dec and 44K let go in Jan.  In Dec 2011 50K couriers were hired again.  

                Why would the weekly numbers not already have the seasonal couriers impact baked in, and thus showing the same as the monthly numbers.  The trend seems almost identical year-over-year.  

                My main concern is retail anyways.  Hiring in Q4 was decent, but December sales weren't great (esp late Dec.) so I would just assume those jobs would be gone already, but the weekly numbers didn't seem to show it.  140K jobs spread across the weeks in Jan would be 35K uptick per week that I just didn't see.

                I'm worried the monthly numbers have some bad news; unless manufacturing picked up more than expected or some other areas got back in gear.

                "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:20:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The data points you cite aren't that reliable (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo

                  All those numbers can have lots of noise, these are surveys after all.

                  Remember that August thanks to two revisions went from ZERO to 104K net jobs gained.  That's the extreme example of what can happen, but much less extreme revisions are enough to change a picture plenty enough.

                  The December sales number itself is pretty noisy, as I read from economist Ian Shephardson (someone whose musings I've taken to following over the past 6 months since he's had very accurate near-term predictions).

                  It's best not to obsess over cherry-picked data points and instead look at the totality of information.  And the totality of information is that a jobs recovery is underway, even though not dramatically fast.

                  43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:15:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What is the noise (0+ / 0-)

                    The idea of a lot of courier hires in December doesn't seem that odd.  And a single data point that lines up well with prior year numbers seems to be more normal than noise.

                    Plus, the 2010 numbers are final; the fact that 2011 closely mirrors seems confirmation too.

                    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 12:00:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Closely mirroring isn't confirmation (0+ / 0-)

                      That the initial number mirror previous year numbers for that same month doesn't confirm anything.  There's no reason to think it does.  Adjustments could increase or decrease the final.

                      Again, these are surveys, they're statistical sampling, a sound science but not absolute.  That they do adjustments for awhile itself betrays that initial numbers can't be taken to the bank.

                      My point on couriers is that whatever number was published, the final revised can differ, even though it certainly should show a spike from preceding months thanks to Christmas.

                      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

                      by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 12:55:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  adjustment (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo

                  You could argue for a bigger seasonal adjustment in January to reflect the unusually big number of hires in December, but if you used different adjustments on the upside and the downside the overall numbers would end up skewed.

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

                  by sacman701 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:16:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I guess (0+ / 0-)

                    But couldn't we just argue that the adjustments were wrong for December in both 2010 and 2011 and will likely be wrong for Jan 2011 and 2012.

                    I think it's still pretty much apples and apples.  besides, courier isn't my concern as it seems cut and dry.  My concern is retail, as the hiring pattern in 2011 was different from 2012, and I'm worried there will be some bigger than expected losses there.  great if it doesn't pan out, but if it does I'm not sure what the totality of January looks like.

                    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 12:02:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  If discouraged workers start looking for (3+ / 0-)

        jobs the unemployment rate could increase. So yeah, an improving economy can actually cause the unemployment rate to rise.

        You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

        by yellowdog on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:48:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah it could, or maybe it won't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          It's not a given that people re-entering the workforce will cause the unemployment rate to rise.  That's not a universal pattern in recovery, history is uneven on that happening.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:56:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  NJ-Pres (8+ / 0-)

    Jersey Shore's Snooki, who voted Republican in 2008, says she's voting for Obama due to feud with Chris Christie. http://www.politico.com/...

    Oh, politics...

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:13:09 AM PST

  •  David, you're famous! (7+ / 0-)

    at least on PolitickerNJ, which quotes you (and Bergen Co. Dem chairman Lou Stellato) getting fed up with Bill Pascrell's attacks on Steve Rothman. http://www.politickernj.com/...

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:14:51 AM PST

  •  NJ-gay marriage update (8+ / 0-)

    The Assembly only has 34 confirmed yet votes (it needs 41 to pass and 54 to override a veto). However, the Senate officially has the votes to pass as Senator Donald Norcross (D) switched from undecided to yes: http://www.politickernj.com/...

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:17:41 AM PST

    •  Do they need to get to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      40 or 41.  Is it a majority of the votes or is it a majority of the seats (i.e. even including the vacancies)?  I assume its just a normal bill and 40 will be enough but I never know.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:36:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        it will probably be vetoed.

        •  I'm not too worried about that (8+ / 0-)

          Christie can do what he wants.  Once we get GOP members on record of voting for it, it will be all the easier to pass in 2014 when a Dem is governor.  Not the optimal solution but Christie is a temporary roadblock.  

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:42:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're that confident Christie loses re-election? (0+ / 0-)

            19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at politicohen.com

            by jncca on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:39:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              as long as marriage equality stays in the conversation, it hurts Christie. Of course it won't be the main issue until next year but hopefully it will do irreparable damage to his relationship with Democrats like Cory Booker and Brian Stack.

              21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

              by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:55:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It actually seems like everyone is (0+ / 0-)

                backing off of Christie. Sweeney came out in support of Marriage Equality essentially to force his hand and to try and make himself seem more progressive. I have a good feeling about next year.

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

                by ndrwmls10 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 12:04:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  the annoying thing was (0+ / 0-)

                  Sweeney was actually in favor from the beginning. even when he abstained from the vote, he claimed he would have been happy to see it pass, but it was doomed anyway so he abstained. He only admitted his cowardice when it became clear that he wanted to move up. But whatever, his support is valuable (both for putting heat on Chris Christie and for actually whipping votes) so I'll take it...

                  21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                  by sapelcovits on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 01:33:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  It's 41 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        I'm pretty sure because this article mentions that the NJ Senate needed 21 votes to pass gay marriage in 2010: http://www.nj.com/...

        And at the time there were only 39 Senators (LD-5 was vacant because Dana Redd resigned to become Mayor of Camden...which is interesting in and of itself because State Sens. Brian Stack and Nick Sacco both serve as mayor and state sen at the same time)

        21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

        by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:42:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Belated correction (0+ / 0-)

          turns out that there was a law passed in 2008 that forbid people serving in two posts at once but those who were already doing so were allowed to grandfather in, hence why Redd had to resign.

          21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

          by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:18:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I just noticed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      Caroline Casagrande, the third legislator from the district which has provided both Republican supporters of the bill so far (Sen. Beck and Asm. Angelini) is now listed as no. Damn! I thought she was undecided. This is a ~55% Obama district in Monmouth County which overlaps considerably with Frank Pallone's district, but because of the way New Jersey elects assemblymembers (top two finishers win), it's hard to target Casagrande specifically - especially since she actually ran slightly ahead of running mate Angelini last year. (They pulled in a collective 53% to the Dems' 43%, with a liberal independent getting 3%.)

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:12:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I previously posted this tuesday night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    but it got buried under the Florida Primary live blog

    I was looking through the new florida districts and who is most likely to run in them. Without much background knowledge outside of the maps and wikipedia, I guessed the following:
    01- Miller
    02- Southerland
    03- Bilirakis
    04- Crenshaw
    05- Brown
    06- Mica
    07- Webster
    08- Posey
    09- Adams
    10- Open (New)
    11- Stearns
    12- Nugent
    13- Young
    14- Castor
    15- Ross
    16- Buchanan
    17- Rooney
    18- West
    19- Open (Former 14th)
    20- Hastings
    21- Deutch
    22- Open (Former 22nd)
    23- Wasserman Schultz
    24- Wilson
    25- Diaz-Balart
    26- Rivera
    27- Ros-Lehtinen

    Based off this map

    Do any of these come across as being absurd considering where people's bases are and such?

    Registered in NY-02, College CT-01, Spent most of the rest of my life on the border of NY-08 and NY-15

    by R30A on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:26:35 AM PST

    •  Adam Hasner supposedly is running in the 22nd (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      It's now a very Dem seat, and either Frankel or Murphy should be the next Representative there, but I read just yesterday that Hasner after dropping down from the Senate race and is supposed to run here now.

      I don't remember who wrote the story I read, but it said that state GOPers think that Lois Frankel has skeletons in her closet they can exploit and they feel good about Hasner.  It sounded wishful to me that they thought they can win this seat with him.  Meanwhile, I took note that tidbit mentioned Frankel but not Murphy, as if Frankel is expected to win the primary, which I haven't seen elsewhere as any kind of assumption.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:54:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe they are assuming that Murphy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        will go to FL-18 now.

        Registered in NY-02, College CT-01, Spent most of the rest of my life on the border of NY-08 and NY-15

        by R30A on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:57:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so, especially since... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bumiputera

          ...Murphy publicly just called West a "coward" for leaving the race in the 22nd!

          So I don't think Murphy himself will switch districts now!

          And I've seen no hint that Murphy was thinking about any such thing, nor does he have reason to.  If he thinks he can beat Frankel, then he's got a good path to Congress where he is.

          43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:07:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But a Republican moving to a Republican district (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            R30A

            is a lot easier to call cowardly than a Democrat moving to a Republican district.

            21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

            by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:32:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not good for him to HAVE to explain that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jncca

              Once you're in "explaining" mode, you're losing the argument.

              Calling West a "coward" was a visceral hit, you're not going to make a logical counterargument that the media or voters take seriously.

              43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:18:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Frankel just picked up (0+ / 0-)

            the endorsement of more local politicians today. There is a clear trend. She has the edge and he would be wise to go to the 18th.

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

            by ndrwmls10 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:57:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  NY 13 (0+ / 0-)

    Staten Island is actually pretty even in its R/D registration, even though it is considered the reddest part of NYC and perhaps the entire state. It's only heavily  Republican relative to the rest of the city. When a good candidate comes along, Dems do win out there. In years past, ironically, it used to be the most reliably Democratic borough in the city. That changed in the late '70's and '80's.

    •  Although part of NY-13 is in Brooklyn (0+ / 0-)

      many people are very vocal that it is Staten Island's seat and will not vote for a Brooklynite. I worked in the 2008 primary and the vitriol on the local paper's website was amazing.
      My candidate (Steve Harrison) lived in the district in Brooklyn. His mom and sister lived on SI and he was there at least weekly. Not good enough for some. They want their seat.
      BTW the map of the Brooklyn portion of the district looks like a drunken walk with a paint can.

  •  PA-redistriciting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    So even before the SC opinion on redrawing the maps, the GOP House Speaker is suing saying suing the 2001 maps is unconstitutional.  

    http://blogs.mcall.com/...

    Of course I think he's right, but since one of the justices went on record stating that using 2001 lines is the way to go, that comment in an interview outweighs whatever the opinion might be until it's released.  

    Of course Dem's would have filed a similar lawsuit had this suit not be filed, and may still.  The week-long state of flux is quite interesting.  Hopefully a full opinion comes quickly and that the map drawers are already drawing potential new maps as we speak.  

    So AdmaB, what's the status on all this?

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:13:31 AM PST

  •  CA-24: Maldonado fundraising illusion (5+ / 0-)
    On Sept. 30, the end of the next reporting period, Maldonado again loaned his campaign $250,000. On Oct. 1, the campaign paid him back. On Dec. 30, Maldonado again loaned his campaign $250,000. He will report April 15 whether this was immediately paid back.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/...

    Of course, this makes fundraising reports look good, but it's not like it's actually boosting his campaign cash.

    25, Male, CA-24, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:22:58 AM PST

  •  Florida's districts close to final (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapelcovits

    (at least until the court challenges that is.)

    The Florida House is expected to approve their final plans today and the Senate has signed off on the House versions of the Congressional and State House plans.

    There is a new state Senate plan being considered today by the house, but given that the House leadership has already agreed to accept the Senate version and this new plan is being submitted by a House Democrat, I don't see that one going anywhere (unless there's some backroom deals with Republicans behind the plan, which is doubtful.)

    Bottom line, it looks like the congressional plan, which caused the falling dominoes this week in the SE Florida congressional districts will be the one approved and sent on for judicial and DOJ review.

    A fool will lose tomorrow reaching back for yesterday.

    by kansasr on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:36:17 AM PST

  •  Erskine Bowles not running for NC Governor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, aggou, Setsuna Mudo

    sources tell Politco and WRAL.

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

      There goes our top candidate, polling wise.

      Tine for Brad Miller to jump in - we need a progressive option.

      •  Erskine Bowles confirms he's not running (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        “I will not be a candidate for governor,”

        http://projects.newsobserver.com/...

      •  Polling unreliable, he's not really... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod

        ...the "top" candidate as far as I'm concerned.

        You can't trust snap polling in a situation like this when testing a bunch of people most voters don't have strong opinions about.

        Bowles ran twice statewide and stunk it up both times.  He was a poor candidate and ran a poor campaign.  A lot of people here seem unaware of that.  He got pasted by Liddy Dole 54-45 in '02, then lost 52-47 to Burr a couple years later after having a post-primary polling lead.

        The only reason Bowles polls best at the outset for Governor is that he has the best name rec from people remembering him on the ballot twice in Senate races, plus he's been in the news quite a bit otherwise first in the Clinton years and then more recently on the deficit commission.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:16:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WI-senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, fearlessfred14

    take a look at Tommy Thompson's latest attack on workers

    http://www.journaltimes.com/...

  •  Tags (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    For Patrick Murphy it links to both PA's Pat Murphy and Florida's.  In the future we might need state-specific tags for common names (unimaginative-named Irish mainly).

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:23:19 AM PST

  •  Two dems for guv in wis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, LordMike
    ... Kathleen Falk as the only Dem actively seeking the nomination ...

    From yesterday.

    Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer

    by CalbraithRodgers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:12:19 AM PST

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