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Leading Off:

• Fundraising: You've asked for it, and now here it is: our gigantic roundup of House fundraising reports for the fourth quarter of 2011. We've gathered numbers for 478 candidates—incumbents, challengers, and open-seat aspirants alike—in 203 different races around the country. Click the link for our entire spreadsheet, as well as a look at which current members of Congress need to really watch their backs, since they're getting out-raised by opponents who want their seats... badly. (David Nir)

Senate:

MI-Sen: Are you ready for some [expensive political advertising during an important game of] football?!? Pete Hoekstra hopes you are, as the Republican ex-Rep. looks for something to help close the polling gap (usually in the high single-digits) against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow. He just spent $144K to air an ad (in Michigan only) during the Super Bowl. People are abuzz about the ad because it's from Republican ad impresario Fred Davis, whose success in Michigan with Rick Snyder's "one tough nerd" ad (which catapulted Snyder from rich-but-unknown status) is balanced out against other duds like Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep." Also, if you were dying for a sneak peak of the ad before the big game, Hoekstra was ready to e-mail it to you in advance, for a mere $7.50! (Not sure I've ever seen that kind of fundraising gimmick before.) The spot made its way on to YouTube before Sunday, though, and wow is it a piece of work. (David Jarman & David Nir)

NM-Sen: When you're spending all your time putting out press brush fires that you're about to drop out of the race, well, suffice it to say, you're probably about to drop out of the race whether you want to or not. That's the state of things for Republican Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, who, as we mentioned in Thursday's digest, was rumored to be on the verge of quitting the Senate race and possibly dropping down to NM-01. While Sanchez is continuing to push back on the rumors, sources tell NM Politics' Heath Haussamen that the decision to bail has already been made—and the evasive knots that Sanchez ties himself into certainly don't instill much confidence (the whole story is worth a read). Haussamen also notes that Sanchez's 4Q fundraising report still isn't available, and that it's been months since anything has changed at his website or Facebook page

OH-Sen: Public Policy Polling is out with the Senate portion of their newest Ohio poll, and find Dem incumbent Sherrod Brown with his usual double-digit lead over GOP state treasurer Josh Mandel, 47-36. That's still a little closer than their November sample, where Brown led 49-34.

UT-Sen: Orrin Hatch, potentially in trouble in the Republican primary in Utah, seems to have some anonymous big-dollar friends in high places. Freedom Path, a 501(c)(4) that seems only involved in Hatch's race, is out with a new direct mail blast that doesn't mention Hatch but goes after his two state legislator opponents, Dan Liljenquist and Chris Herrod. (Don't confuse them with FreedomWorks, which is actively opposing Hatch.)

WA-Sen: I don't think anyone gave much weight to persistent Dave Reichert-for-Senate fantasies other than Seattle Times writers trying to drum up eyeballs, but those rumors can finally be put to rest. The four-term Rep. from WA-08 in the Eastside suburbs gave official word on Friday that he'll be seeking re-election to the House, probably feeling happier that he got a decidedly safer seat out of redistricting (trading Bellevue for Wenatchee).

That leaves the GOP without a top-tier challenger to Maria Cantwell; they do have state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in the race, but his 4Q fundraising was weak ($120K) and most people's first exposure to him was him sticking his foot in his mouth by saying Cantwell didn't have standing to talk about teenage girls' right to access the "morning after" pill because she isn't married. The story does mention that Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant is still interested in the race; Bryant would give the GOP someone with a more moderate presence and a King County base, but the downside is that Port Commissioner is a pretty obscure position and few people even in King Co. have heard of him.

Gubernatorial:

MO-Gov: Here's one more sizzling poll hot off the PPP grill: To perhaps no one's surprise, Dem incumbent Jay Nixon has huge leads over his token GOP opposition. I feel confident calling them both "token opposition" seeing that he leads Some Dude Bill Randles by a smaller margin (18) than he leads the rich guy who was supposed to ride to the GOP's rescue after the Peter Kinder implosion (Dave Spence, at 20).

NC-Gov Rep. Brad Miller, who's looking for a new job once his term ends and who had expressed a bit more interest in a gubernatorial run with each passing day last week, publicly said that he'd make a decision over the weekend whether or not to join the race. (If he does, he'd face Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge, and state Rep. Bill Faison in a Dem primary.)

House

FL-22: The newly Allen West-free 22nd is already turning out to be a magnet for Dems looking for a promotion, as Adam Hasner may not look as imposing a threat to keep this Dem-leaning district in GOP hands. The newest entrant is Kristin Jacobs, considered one of the more liberal members of the Broward County Commission, who confirmed earlier chatter and said on Friday that she'll run. Fellow Broward Co. Commissioner John Rodstrom is also scoping out the race, but West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel and accountant Patrick Murphy have already staked out the pole position by virtue of a year's worth of gangbusters fundraising.

FL-26: Anybody remember Karen "Snakes in a Pool" Diebel? The Republican Winter Park city councilor was widely hyped in the 2010 FL-24 GOP primary for a few weeks (until less-than-flattering news about her mental stability started to come out). She lost that primary to now-Rep. Sandy Adams, but resumed running in early 2011, signing up with the FEC for the not-yet-existing 26th. Well, while combing through the FEC Q4 dump, we wondered why her latest report had six figures worth of refunds... and, after a little research, it turns out that she dropped out from the race last November. I'm mentioning that partly just because we like to be thorough, but also because it's amazing that someone of her (well, one-time) stature could drop out so quietly, with, as far as we can tell, nary a peep from even the local, let alone Beltway, press.

HI-02: Former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann is out with an internal poll giving him a showy lead over Honolulu city councilor Tulsi Gabbard and the minor players in the Democratic primary race to succeed Rep. Mazie Hirono. The poll, from never-heard-of-'em-before pollster QMark, finds Hannemann at 57% and Gabbard at 14%, with Esther Kiaaina, chief advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and attorney Bob Marx both at 4%. This seems credible based on the huge name rec disparity that must exist between Hannemann and the rest of the field—the Honolulu mayor has jurisdiction over the entire island of Oahu, giving him 953K constituents, almost 3/4ths of the state's entire population. However, this gap will presumably tighten as the other candidates get better known. (If you aren't familiar with this race, it's a common source of consternation among our commenters that with either Hannemann or Gabbard, this 73% Obama district seems poised to elect a social crypto-conservative; the question is which of them fits that bill more?)

IL-11: It's always a little embarrassing for any politician to flub getting on the ballot because of signature-gathering snafus, but this has a whole new dimension of chagrin to it, because of the day job of the politician in question. Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham was going to run against Rep. Judy Biggert in the GOP primary in the 11th—already a tall order, given her long incumbency... though redistricting essentially dismantled her old 13th and left her best option as running in the new 11th, sort of a descendant of the Kane County-centered old 14th. Turns out he can't, because only 526 of the needed 600 signatures were valid (out of the 1,265 he submitted). For Kane County's chief elections officer, that's a whole new level of fail.

ME-02: Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, who's held the rural 2nd for 10 years (which holds 1/2 of Maine's population and maybe 80% of its area), is out with a survey from Normington Petts that gives him a 55-32 lead over his Republican rival Kevin Raye. That's not surprising given the power of incumbency and the district's Democratic lean, but perhaps somewhat more favorable than you'd expect given that Raye is a cut or three above Michaud's usual Some Dude-level opposition. Raye is the state Senate president and narrowly lost to Michaud once before, in 2002 when the seat was open. But you can bet Raye's wishing he tried this in 2010.

MI-11: We see a lot of weird fundraising reports during the reporting season, but this one really raised our eyebrows. You may remember Republican ex-state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski, who lost pretty narrowly to Rep. Gary Peters in MI-09 in 2010. Despite early signals he'd run again for Congress, in October he verified he wouldn't run in the 11th and would be supporting Thad McCotter in his reelection bid. Nevertheless, he continued to raise and spend throughout Q4 like a man intent on running for something, with $107K raised and $192K spent. The explanation? Turns out he's still getting scammed by Base Connect, the churn-and-burn Republican direct mail fundraising operation (formerly known as BMW Direct) that, unless your name is Allen West, leads to high yields and even higher costs. (Even West's burn rate is still pretty remarkable, though.)

NC-10, NC-11: Democratic State Rep. Patsy Keever, despite (or perhaps because of) being targeted by the Great Mentioner on Friday morning, has announced that she will not switch from her run against Patrick McHenry in the 10th, to the open seat race in the 11th (vacated by Heath Shuler's early retirement). That switch would have made sense under the old lines, as not only was the 11th friendlier than the 10th but it was where Keever ran well against Rep. Charlie Taylor in 2004. But under the new lines, though, the 11th is now redder than the 10th and the odious McHenry may present a better target than whatever blank slate emerges from the 11th's GOP primary.

As for the 11th, Roll Call's Joshua Miller reports that, according to an unnamed source, Dem Rep. Heath Shuler's chief-of-staff, Hayden Rogers, is thinking about running to replace his boss in Congress.

NJ-09: "Celebrity rabbi" isn't a very common job description, but it looks like the GOP might actually land one in an interesting race: Shmuley Boteach, author of "Kosher Sex," frequent Oprah guest, and spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson. Boteach, who lives in Englewood, put his name in for the GOP nomination just ahead of the filing deadline. The 9th does have a significant Orthodox population, but the winner of the Bill Pascrell/Steve Rothman primary slugfest should have little trouble in November; this was a safely Democratic district even before redistricting (61% Obama), and the new addition of Paterson ought to push it even further in the blue direction.

NJ-10: Quite a few members of the Congressional Black Caucus are facing primary challenges this year (about the only way you ever get turnover, in most of these deep blue districts), and we can add one more to the list: Donald Payne, Sr., who represents the Newark-based 10th. The 77-year-old Payne will face much younger Newark city councilor Ronald Rice, in what seems more like a generational changing-of-the-guard primary than one motivated by ideology; Rice made his long-awaited bid official on Thursday.

OK-02: Here's one more amusing find from our trolling of a quarter's worth of FEC data. Marine vet and defense consultant Dakota Wood is one of the Republicans running to succeed the retiring Democrat Dan Boren, but his latest FEC filing won't do a lot to give potential backers much confidence that he knows what he's doing. Not only are the actual numbers down in Some Dude territory ($20K receipts in Q4), but he used a Presidential reporting form to report those numbers (despite the fact that it clearly asks him to break down primary expenditures by state). Well, can't fault him for dreaming big, I guess.

TN-03: Ice cream mogul Scottie Mayfield just confirmed plans floated a few weeks ago that he's going to run in the GOP primary in the 3rd, where freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is still trying to get entrenched. Mayfield owns a prominent dairy products company, so he's wealthy and, given that his name is plastered all over supermarket aisles, has name rec... but he may suffer the curse of the clown car, as Weston Wamp, son of ex-Rep. Zach Wamp, is also in the field and together they're liable to split the anti-Fleischmann vote.

Other Races:

AZ-St. Sen: Much like the namesake of his metropolitan area—Phoenix—former state Senate president Russell Pearce hopes to rise up from the ashes of the pyre that was his recall election last year and take flight once more. (Maybe he can use a convenient unfinished offramp to get his orange Pinto aloft.) While he hasn't formally declared his intent to run for his old seat, Pearce has filed state paperwork allowing him to do so, and says he's being pushed by a lot of people to run.

Grab Bag:

DCCC (PDF): The D-Trip is touting some cool numbers: The average 4Q fundraising haul for its Red to Blue candidates was better than the average 4Q for their Republican opponents, by a margin of $201K to $178K. You can click through to their PDF to see the individual race-by-race breakdown, where Dems won 10 of the 19 faceoffs. Of course, you'll also want to hit up our own mega fundraising chart, which has all these numbers and more—a lot, lot more.

Jobs: I know that a lot of our readers like to analyze the monthly jobs numbers, since there's no doubt that the health of the economy plays a role in determining who wins at the ballot box. So on that note, I want to recommend this post by my colleague Tim Lange (aka Meteor Blades), who, like clockwork, is always Johnny-on-the-spot with a clear-eyed take on the new employment report each month. (David Nir)

Redistricting Roundup:

FL Redistricting: As expected, the Florida state House passed its version of the state's congressional map Friday afternoon, and it goes this week to the state Senate. The Senate has been pushing its own similar-but-visibly-different map, so it remains to be seen whether they pass the House's plan or come up with something else. (Most commentators seem to expect the Senate will sign off on the House's work, though.) And here's something to be said in favor of Florida's beleaguered Dems that can't be said about a lot of other Democratic lawmakers in swing states with GOP-held legislatures: They held the line against the map, with not one voting in favor of it. Regardless of what happens in the Senate, expect this one to go to litigation, as Florida's anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts Initiative, vague as it is, gives Dems a potentially strong weapon here.

FL Redistricting: All of the attention lately has been on the Rooney/West/Hasner reshuffle along Florida's Gold Coast, brought on by the new maps heading toward completion in the state legislature. But there's a similar dance going on in the state's north, where long-time Rep. Cliff Stearns is trying to figure out where to run. If he stays in the district where he lives, he keeps Ocala but gets mostly new territory to Ocala's south (instead of north like current FL-06, which stretches up to Jacksonville's suburbs)... and possibly also a primary matchup with fellow GOP Rep. Rich Nugent, who lives in that 11th district under the state House's map (but not under the state Senate map, called the 26th on that map, which puts Hernando County in a different district).

Alternately, Stearns can move one district to the north, to the one centered in Jacksonville-burb Clay County (the House 3rd/Senate 6th), which is incumbent-free but seems likely to attract Clay County Clerk Jimmy Jett, or maybe more imposingly, state Sen. Steve Oelrich. And there's yet one further possibility for Stearns: He could move full-time to his beach house in the St. Augustine area, but that would put him in the House 6th/Senate 7th, where Rep. John Mica is likely to run (as it's most of his old turf, though Mica's Winter Park house isn't there anymore). If none of this makes any sense, the linked article has a very helpful closeup map.

PA Redistricting: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally released its hotly anticipated opinion explaining the reasoning behind its recent ruling that the state's new legislative maps violate the state constitution. The main opinion is 87 pages long, so there's a lot to digest—plus there are also two opinions which concur in part and dissent in part (here and here), as well as a full-blown dissenting opinion. DKos Electioneer andgarden has taken a first stab at analyzing the whole thing, so we suggest you check him out here. (David Nir)

TX Redistricting: I could have predicted this just based on, y'know, the last few decades' worth of attempts by Democrats to negotiate with Republicans... but it looks like the proposed settlement of the Texas redistricting logjam, which seemed promising a week ago, is now on the verge of being DOA. With no new court-drawn map forthcoming soon, that makes it likelier Texas will have to push its primary back from April (or spend millions to have split its presidential primary vote off from the rest).

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NJ-10 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, redrelic17

    Recall that after several news outlets reported he was going ahead, Rice said he was still in the exploratory phase.

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

    by sapelcovits on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 06:12:06 AM PST

    •  Argh! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, redrelic17

      I really freaking hate it when candidates pull this shit. I know I've said it a thousand times, but argh!

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:50:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we don't know why (0+ / 0-)

        the news outlets reported that he was running. It could have just been bad information. Note that the Star-Ledger article you linked to doesn't have any concrete quotations that he is running - it only links to a YouTube video in which Rice sounds like a candidate, but never explicitly says "I'm running for Congress." (he solicits donations, sure, but he was doing that before too.)

        The report that he wasn't official yet however did in fact come from Rice himself.

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

        by sapelcovits on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 09:07:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Question for discussion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, andgarden, Odysseus

      (Recalling our earlier discussions): How much of that do you think is the improved economic situation and how much of that is Romney and his gaffes?  

      To put it another way, what do you think those numbers would be if the economic situation was the same, but if Obama was running against a (real or hypothetical) "generic Republican"--a Bob McDonnell or someone like that?

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 06:44:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, sacman701, Odysseus

        It seems Americans like many GOPers less as they get to know them more, so who knows if McDonnell wouldn't be the same.  he'd have to tack right and go negative like everyone else, so I don't see his path as being altogether different from what we have now.

        To me, the real person who would be likeable, at least to me, was Huckabee.  I find him fairly earnest and likeable for someone who has many differing opinions from mine; the 2012 crop not so much.

        "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 06:48:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

          I think the "tell" is that Obama's job approval is at 50%, way above where it's been (at least on average, I don't know about this poll).  I think it's much more likely, from all I've read, that the economy is driving Romney's numbers down than that Romney's gaffes are driving Obama's numbers up.

          26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:11:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Or perhaps more clearly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus, Woody

          "Acceptance" of an improved economic environment.  I still don't know many long-term unemployed people getting back to work, or rebounds in real estate prices, etc.

          But I think there is an acceptance that these things have a better environment to happen right now than we've seen in a while.  

          The fact the GOP is now arguing with the numbers that 3 months ago they were using as gospel as to why they should be elected makes me believe so even more.

          "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:15:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's 90% the economy, 10% Romney (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, askew, Odysseus, Woody

        Obama's job approval is at 50-47.  That has zero to do with Romney.  No amount of dislike of Romney can fix Obama's job approval even a trivial amount.

        But Romney being increasingly disliked does help Obama in the trial heat, it's just a distant second as a factor.

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

        by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:13:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder if it really does have nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          to do with Romney. Even if the voters don't think so, I assume they are already beginning to make comparative judgements.

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:16:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That doesn't affect Obama's job approval (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo, Woody

            Comparative judgments affect their answers to comparative questions, like the trial heat and other directly comparative questions of which there are many in this WaPo/ABC poll.

            Obama's job approval is going to get evaluated on its own terms.  Proving the point is that he's held mostly steady in trial heats vs. Romney even has his own job approval has fluctuated.  We now see Obama opening up a very slightly larger lead in trial heat averaging, but not commensurate with the changes in job approval over time.

            I think some of what's happening is that in job approval, Obama is bringing home the lower-hanging fruit, people who are dissatisfied with him on the economy but still would vote for him over any Republican.  So winning over those people on Obama's performance doesn't translate to a gain vs. Romney.

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

            by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:26:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You say (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus
              Obama's job approval is going to get evaluated on its own terms.  Proving the point is that he's held mostly steady in trial heats vs. Romney even has his own job approval has fluctuated.

              But I am not entirely convinced that this is so. Nor am I convinced that we could easily prove it one way or the other.

              Ok, so I read the polls.

              by andgarden on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:28:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's very easy to prove (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sacman701, Woody

                Look at a graph of Obama's job approval over the past year, and compare to a graph of Obama-Romney trial heats over the past year.  You'll see Obama's job approval has had much greater fluctuation than Obama's margin vs. Romney, and also they don't necessarily always even move together in the same direction.  You can see this on graphs on Real Clear and on Pollster.

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

                by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:44:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  All that proves (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo

                  is that people don't necessarily form their views about public issues is a parallel way (i.e., in tandem).

                  Ok, so I read the polls.

                  by andgarden on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:52:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's a distinction how? (0+ / 0-)

                    Yeah, they don't form views in tandem, so they evaluate Obama job approval in isolation from their evaluation of Romney or of who to favor in voting in November.

                    I don't follow you on why there's a difference there.

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

                    by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:59:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Even if they haven't fluctuated together (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo, DCCyclone

                  I have to think that job approval is more important/predictive than trial heats right now.  Do you think that's the case?

                  26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:54:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Which isn't to say that I think (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo, DCCyclone

                  An incumbent with 40% approval in February is doomed--just that I'd rather know if the incumbent has a 40% or 50% approval rating than how they're doing in trial heats.  Still, I'm not really sure February job approval has historically been a better predictor than February trial heats.

                  26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:56:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your last sentence is a winner (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

                    No, February job approval is no more valuable than February trial heats.

                    The basic point is right that vote share won is almost never going to deviate wildly from job approval.  The only exception is where the opponent is wholly unacceptable to a large majority of voters.  That describes pretty much everyone but Romney.  In that case, Obama at 40% job approval still beats someone like Newt, probably even by a comfortable margin.  This is the Sharron Angle scenario, where Reid outperformed his job approval by about 10 points, a whopping overperformance.  But neither major party has nominated someone for President who is that unacceptable to swing voters in a very long time.  All these months while the economy was flailing, we were all crossing our fingers hoping that some nut like Newt would surge to beat Mitt.  As it goes now, it's looking increasingly like we don't need it.

                    I do think in the end Obama's vote share ends up exceeding his job approval by a small amount, because he will destroy Mitt.  If Obama really is in the 50s in job approval after the convention in Charlotte, then he actually could find himself with an outside chance at a full-blown rout, even though that's still a longshot.

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

                    by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:05:30 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Part of the difficulty with proving it (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                andgarden, DCCyclone, Setsuna Mudo

                is that voters' opinions of Romney presumably aren't independent of the general political climate, which in turn is influenced by the economy.  

                I read someone over the weekend who made the point that Romney's attacks probably sound hollower when the economy is doing well and sharper when the economy is doing badly.

                26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:48:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That point is true, I was thinking myself... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Setsuna Mudo

                  ...that Romney's and his allies attacks on Obama on the economy sound tone deaf lately.

                  All the GOP attacks against Obama on foreign policy have sounded tone deaf and stupid for a very long time.

                  So there is merit in that.

                  But hollow attacks don't necessarily affect public opinion of Mitt.  They affect Democratic base voters' opinion of him, but swing voters I think just shrug with indifference.

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

                  by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:57:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My hypothesis is more that (6+ / 0-)

                    the change in the public climate impacts everyone's opinion of the President to some degree. And as that improves, Romney has less "force." People then have the luxury to think more about why they don't like Romney.

                    Or some iteration of that. It's a bit of a chicken/egg problem.

                    Ok, so I read the polls.

                    by andgarden on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:15:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK, now I finally follow you (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      andgarden, Odysseus

                      That's a smart hypothesis, but ultimately I think public opinion of Romney is very little if at all affected by national climate.  I do think, as one other commenter said in this subthread, the hollowness of Mitt's message might cause some people to dislike him as the economy gets better and people already approve of the President's foreign policy, but I think it's really only base Democrats who react that way.  Swing voters will just shrug with indifference at Mitt's messaging.  So I think your hypothesis works insomuch as Obama firms up the base, but I don't think makes a dent with swing voters in dragging down Mitt's image.

                      Mitt's image is poor because of his own professional biogrphy and political behavior, independent of all else.

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

                      by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:44:53 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  When people are asked if they approve (0+ / 0-)

                of the job Obama is doing as president, I dont know that they are thinking, "well, I dont like Mitt Romney, so I approve of the job Obama is doing."

                I mean, that's just not logical. Obviously, when they are asked about a head to head matchup, then the comparison become more of an issue.

        •  Do you mean that you think the trial heats (0+ / 0-)

          are more affected by Romney, and Obama's job approval is more affected by the economy?  Or that both are 90% explained by the economy and 10% by Romney?

          26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:52:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I mean the former (0+ / 0-)

            The trial heats have more to do with Romney, although Obama's job approval obviously is a big factor in setting limits on how good it can be for us there.

            But Obama's job approval is completely independent of Romney.  Even if an evaluation of Romney could be said to affect Obama's job approval, which I think is incorrect, most general election voters haven't been thinking November is Obama vs. Romney since Romney hasn't wrapped up the nomination, and even until Florida looked like there was a serious chance he might not get it at all.

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

            by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:09:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and get this: even Rasmussen is... (4+ / 0-)

      ...50-48 in Obama job approval this morning.  They had him at 51-47 last week, at or over 50 for 2-3 days total, before sliding again, but back up today.  "Strong" is at 27% which is the highest in a very long time, and Obama leads Romney 49-42 now in the daily track.

      Ras really is struggling to keep POTUS down.  That's a good sign.

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

      by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:15:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a post Citizens United World (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    I don't know if I should feel the need to follow these individual campaign fundraising numbers. As Chuck Todd seems to constantly say on MSNBC that Citizens United and the Superpacs will likely be more felt on the Senate and House races than on the Presidential election. If so, what good does it do me to see our guy keeping pace on fundraising with his Republican House opponent at say 1.5 million each only to have a Republican Superpac drop five million onto the campaign in October?

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

      One could say why bother to follow politics at all if you feel the money issue is a foregone conclusion.

      But its about more than that.  If the GOP primary has taught us anything, it's that SuperPAC's are not the best judges of political talent, nor creators of ads, nor spenders of money, nor community organizers and so on.

      The candidate fundraising matters.  SuperPAC's simply will not be dropping $5M on any house races.  And the big Senate races the SuperPAC's will get into are likely to be easier races like ND and NE where they can flood things and guarantee wins.  While they'll likely spend more actual dollars in MA and say, MO, their impact will be less because the overall dollars will be so high given individual fundraising and the totality of all groups involved.

      "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 06:45:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since I disagree so much with everything you wrote (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is where to start. First, I do not believe money is everything in politics so it is very worth while to bother to follow politics.

        Your second paragraph goes without saying and is a bit of preaching to the choir.

        Your third paragraph is really what lost me in your response. With the Koch Bros. in for 100 million with Adelson in for 50 million and with other fat cats lined up, there will be plenty of money available to bomb down ticket races with.

        My point about the Post Citizens United World is, that parody is futile when it comes to matching the Republicans now, umless my fantasy of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and George Soros calling a press conference to announce that in light of the obscene right wing dollars, they will collectively match the billionaire right wing donors dollar for dollar to pro Democratic superpacs, (not likely) then we must prepare to raise enough to compete and get our message out and use grass roots campaign efforts to offset the dollar advantage that they will have, which is what you say in the second half of your third paragraph.

        •  Then why bring it up (0+ / 0-)

          You state that looking at the reports is meaningless but then you say we must prepare to raise enough to compete.  I don't understand your logic, either the money reports matter or they don't.

          Plus, $5M per House and Senate race comes up to like $2.4B which of course won't happen.  there will be very few races where outside spending will come close to $5M, especially in the House.  The few where they do hit that mark are likely to be gimmes where they love the candidate or longshots where they hate the Dem.

          I just don't think SuperPACs diminish the usefulness of individual money in any way.  I also think that in a lot of races they'll be irrelevant.

          "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 10:22:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is an interesting question (4+ / 0-)

      And a good reminder to link to an OpenSecrets blog post I found that addresses another earlier discussion about the importance of spending:

      The big spender always wins?

      They took a comprehensive look at whether or not the candidate who spent the most won the election.  Looking at all contested Congressional elections since 2000, they found that the biggest spender won 93% of the time in House races, and 83% of the time in Senate races.

      However,

      It's a mistake, though, to conclude from this set of facts that more campaign money necessarily means more votes.

      The data may also reflect the lack of competitiveness in the system and the difficulty that non-incumbents have raising money.

      When incumbents look like safe bets for reelection -- because of district characteristics, campaign war chests, or other reasons -- challengers who can break through either financially or electorally are scarce.

      As a test for this, we looked at the set of all congressional races in which the winning margin was 10 percent or less.  

      Looking only at these elections, the biggest spender only won 64% of the time in House races, and 59% of the time in Senate races.

      Furthrmore,

      These tables include only spending by the candidates themselves, which made us wonder whether outside spending (e.g., independent expenditures by parties and outside groups) would also be a factor.


      We found, however, that the proportion of races in which the biggest spender won was nearly unchanged when outside spending was factored in.

      (The only effect was for the biggest cumulative spender to now win 64% of Senate races, not 59%.)

      In a diary looking at OpenSecrets data, I found that only a few Democratic incumbents out-raised their opponents individually but were out-raised/out-spent once outside spending was factored in.  However, the comments made me think that we should study when the spending takes place, and not just the raw amounts.

      Furthermore, as wwmiv has said, fundraising has actually had a negative correlation with electoral success in some studies.  Although I thought this one on the electoral impact of the HCR vote was one of them, but apparently spending had a positive and significant correlation there.  

      Either way, we don't really know how much fundraising has a causal effect, or how much--even if it has a positive correlation--it's not just, for example, serving as a rough proxy measure for candidate quality.  (That's how I often think about fundraising--not "man, she'll buy so many ads with that money!" but "man, she must be really hard-working and well-connected!")  And to the extent that the latter is what's being measured, outside spending wouldn't help.

      My point is: I think it's something of an open question how much outside spending can matter, and I don't think we should assume that it will necessarily have a dramatic impact on the 2012 elections.  

      But I think you're right that we shouldn't get too focused on candidate fundraising--it's interesting, and might help highlight which races are attracting interest, or which candidates are well-connected, but it's not like you can use it to call the election.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The conventional wisdom here is/used to be (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xenocrypt, Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

        that you needed enough money to keep your message heard, but that an election was unlikely to be decided by a few extra commercials.

        For example (Hillary wins the PA primary after being outspent more than 2:1).

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:14:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's plausible (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          andgarden, Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

          Another reminder: [http://www.campaignmoney.com/... This list of the top (federal) campaign contributors since 1999.

          1. Linda Mcmahon ... $53,601,850
          2. Bob Perry ... $25,634,200
          3. John Raese ... $20,415,300
          4. Edward Lamont ... $14,300,593
          5. Haim Saban ... $13,193,900
          6. James Pederson ... $11,803,104
          7. Stephen Bing ... $10,554,693
          8. Fred Eychaner ... $8,963,846
          9. Jared Polis ... $7,776,203
          10. Richard Tarrant ... $7,090,600
          11. Steve Forbes ... $7,057,000
          12. Harold Simmons ... $6,116,876
          13. Sandy Treadwell ... $5,942,321
          14. Dawn Arnall ... $5,384,250
          15. Vernon Buchanan ... $5,382,144
          16. Joshua Rales ... $5,376,347
          17. Carly Fiorina ... $5,318,378
          18. Alex Spanos ... $5,309,156
          19. John Davis ... $5,039,313
          20. Boone Pickens ... $4,855,101

          Some of them plausibly had an impact--but there's quite a few notable failures in there, too.  Linda McMahon, John Raese, Ned Lamont, James Pederson, Richard Tarrant, Steve Forbes, Sandy Treadwell, and Carly Fiorna would be pretty surprised to learn elections could be won by spending enough money.  And Jared Polis and Vern Buchanan spent quite a bit to end up with pretty safe seats that other politicians--or even they themselves!--might have won while spending less.

          (Of course, I'm assuming that those candidates ended up on the list largely thanks to their self-funding, but I think that's likely true, isn't it?)

          26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:34:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah I never do understand this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        I mean it seems like to do an analysis you basically have to go looking for the races that prove the point that money doesn't equal wins and then use just the subset of races that prove that.  

        Overall when you factor all races it's a rather positive correlation as their base analysis shows.

        I tend to think that in a world where the biggest spender wins 90+% of the time and incumbents win 90%+ of the time we don't have to dig to prove a contrarian opinion too much.  I'd guess that the years in which the biggest spender lost more than the norm in their subset incumbents also lost/retired more than usual (i.e 2002 had 12 races <10% margin, but Wellstone was dead, Carnahan was a placeholder from 2000 who lost re-election, Torricelli fiasco in NJ, NH/NC/SC/TN were open seats, etc.)

        "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:32:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correlation isn't causation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          Bob Brady spent almost $750,000 on his 2010 campaign to his opponent's $12,279.  But I don't think that's why he won.

          I think one way to look at it is to ask the question I asked in my diary: Which specific elections were won based on spending?  In other words, which elections would likely have had a different outcome if spending had been equalized but everything else remained the same?  Bob Brady had a spending advantage, but I don't think that's why he won.  

          Within that, and relevant to the OP's question: Which specific elections were won based on outside spending?

          If I could see the tables in the article I linked to, we might be able to know more.  But even then--I've looked up the OpenSecrets entries for every Democratic incumbent who lost in 2010, and the story in those races is very much Democrats spending and losing, even when outside spending is accounted for.  You might say that's because of the national mood.  But that might just be more evidence that national mood is more important than campaign spending, which is part of the point that people make.

          26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:44:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, brady wins based on incumbency (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xenocrypt, Setsuna Mudo

            Which is my point.  Where incumbency and spending lead to 90%+ margins, aren't we looking for a needle in a haystack.  When you look at the OS data and you see things like 2002 and 2010, doesn't that almost prove my point, that the money spending when tied to incumbency explains such a high percentage that we ened not look further.

            I mean the list of the top 20 spenders who lost in the past decade (McMahon, Fiorina, etc.) is littered with non-incumbents.  

            I mean sure money can't make a 100% guarantee of victory.  Money can only make you do so much.  It's not surprising there wasn't a dollar amount that could elect Linda McMahon.  People will go on "Fear Factor" and eat cow brains for $50K, but there's not an amount of money that would make them eat their parents.  It has limits obviously...

            "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:56:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I think I just misunderstood (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Setsuna Mudo, andgarden, Odysseus

              Your point--when you said that 90% of incumbents win and that 90% of out-spenders win, I thought you meant that the latter was the causal factor.  Sorry, and thanks for clarifying.

              By the way, that's not a list of the top 20 self-funders who lost--it's a list of the top 20 aggregate campaign contributors to all federal races since 1999.  (At least as best as they can keep track of, presumably.)  That's how much McMahon spent on her campaign--she became the largest federal campaign contributor of the decade.

              26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

              by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:02:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wanna bet she's going to try and (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Setsuna Mudo, sapelcovits

                break her record? What's her deal anyways? Is she trying to angle for a cabinet position in a hypothetical Romney administration? Lets get real, she's a loser and always will be.

                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 Feb 06, 2012 at 08:05:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think she likes the attention (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ndrwmls10, Xenocrypt, Setsuna Mudo

                  And hasn't yet realized that being a financial puppeteer to the useless Connecticut GOP party is about as good as it could get for her.

                  "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:08:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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

                  I have a disagreement with a Connecticut friend.  I'd rather McMahon win the primary because she's a weaker candidate than Shays.  He'd rather McMahon lose the primary because he wants her to lose every time.

                  However, McMahon apparently isn't self-funding like she used to:

                  Two years after critics chastised Linda McMahon for spending $50 million from her personal fortune on an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate, the former wrestling executive is taking a different tack for her 2012 campaign: raising money from voters.

                  McMahon raked in more than $326,000 in campaign donations in the fourth quarter of 2011, more than three times the amount raised from individuals during her entire 2010 run against Democrat Richard Blumenthal, her campaign said Monday.
                  ...
                  In one such offer, the campaign lured small donors with a signed “Linda 2012″ hat to those who gave $10 before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

                  Man, if I had known about that, I might have ponied up for the hat.  It'd be fun to wear on primary/election night.

                  By the way, check out this classic headline on "Wrestling, Inc.":

                  Linda McMahon & Opponent Arguing + More Linda News

                  26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:12:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Nah, incumbency always is the lead (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Setsuna Mudo

                I just don't think that when we ponder the "money doesn't win elections" concept I find it to be a "well duh" moment, because usually the cases where it doesn't work or is very extreme.

                For instance when i look at 2012's races, I think there a 2 situations (Toricelli dropping out mid-race and replaced by Laugtenberg and Wellstone dying) that not only muck up the analysis but also make me question how the numbers were counted (i.e. was Wellstone's spending counted in Mondale's total, was Toricelli's counted with Laugtenberg's) that I find the analysis really loses meaning.

                I think if we dug deeper we'd keep finding a few more wacky situations to the point the analysis is borderline useless.  But I still think if you factor in incumbency plus money we can stop looking for other causal factors :-)

                "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:13:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the biggest factors are national mood (0+ / 0-)

                  district partisanship, and incumbency, in some order.  Beyond that, I don't know--but I think spending, voting records, etc., are secondary to those three things, and as far as I know that's consistent with what I've read and seen from others.  

                  For example, here is a great Stochastic Democracy/twohundertseventy post on Candidate Quality in the 2010 Congressional Elections.

                  A simple Linear Regression model with just three variables (two dummy variables concerning Incumbency and the Cook PVI of a given Congressional district) does a pretty good job in explaining the variance within the performance of Democratic Congressional Candidates in 2010[.]

                  So that's incumbency and district partisanship, and since it's just 2010, the national mood is constant.  

                  With just that, the r-squared is 0.87, with all variables very significant.  And who stands out--big spenders?

                  The Democrats who did very well can generally be clustered into three groups:
                  1) Very conservative Blue Dog Democrats in conservative districts, such as Dan Boren, Matheson, Taylor, Bright, Minnick, Peterson and Oliviero. Sure, some of these lost, but they didn't get the beat-down that a more liberal Democrat would have suffered in their districts. This is also true for moderate Democrats running in liberal districts, such as Dan Lipinski in Chicago.
                  2) Democrats who ran against tainted Republican incumbents, such as Joe Wilson, Michele Bachmann, Jean Schmidt, Virginia Foxx, Jason Chaffetz (conservative even by Utah standards!) and Roscoe Bartlett (who isn't ideologically controversial but at age 86 due for retirement).
                  3) Democrats running against California Republicans, who had a terrible year considering that their party was successful everywhere else.

                  Some of that might be a spending effect--e.g., Ami Bera is one of the California Democrats who over-performed the model.  And maybe some of the incumbency effect is really a spending effect.  We know from the Masket/Greene study that the HCR vote as well as spending had significant effects in 2010.  And we know from Nate Silver's PPI that more might matter than PVI in determining a district's partisanship, like whether it's a poor or a rich district.  Although all of these used different elections or metrics.

                  But overall, you can do pretty well with just national mood, PVI, and incumbency--at least in 2010.

                  26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:32:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, and who did badly? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bumiputera

                    That list

                    includes, of course, the corruption-laden Kanjorski, a couple of very liberal candidates (Frank, Grayson, Mary Jo Kilroy and arguably David Cicciline who isn't out of the mainstream policy-wise, but openly gay), a couple of Democrats who just seemed to have underestimated the wave and neglected their campaigns (Kildee, Cleaver, Carnahan, Hare, Kosmas), some who had very charismatic or well-funded opponents (Halvorson vs. Kinzinger, Murphy vs. Fitzpatrick, Klein vs. West, Loebsack vs. Miller-Meeks) and, lastly, some who just had the bad luck of underperforming as Congressional challengers in conservative Districts even more than they should have (against King, Duncan, Luetkemeyer, LoBiondo, Huizenga, Miller).

                    (my emphasis)

                    So that might be where there's room for a spending effect (with the significance of the HCR vote coming out in the liberal Dems who did badly and the conservative Dems who did well).  

                    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                    by Xenocrypt on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 08:36:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Makes sense (0+ / 0-)

                    To me it comes back to money can only make you do so much.  PVI and national mood can't really be altered by money in an individual race so i think we end up reaching the same conclusion using different means.

                    "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 Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 10:25:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  The fatal flaw in that approach is... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xenocrypt, Setsuna Mudo, sacman701

          ...that most of the races, even in a wave election, involve safe incumbents who massively outraise sacrificial lamb challengers.  So those are races where the money really doesn't matter because of the district's partisan nature and/or the incumbent's personal popularity, and yet the safe incumbent raises massively more.

          The conventional wisdom on money, which I think is correct, is that as long as you have enough to get your own message out, about both yourself and your opponent, you should be OK.  There is a diminishing marginal return in any spending advantage above that.  That doesnt' mean there's no return, and in the closest races even a very small return can be decisive.  But in many cases the disparity just didn't matter in the outcome.

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

          by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:49:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I originally said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    My next Doubling the House diary would be Nebraska and Missouri, but with all the news about North Carolina coming out this week, I decided to rush this out.

    Doubling the House: North Carolina

    Please check it out and let me know what you think!

    23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 07:10:06 AM PST

  •  Orrin Hatch (0+ / 0-)

    Senator Orrin Hatch has been in D.C. for half a lifetime.  He's sold his Conservative soul to the D.C. Progressives.  He's voted for 17 debt ceiling increases = 7.6 trillion dollars, and he'll willing to lie to his constituents about it:
    http://www.youtube.com/...

    He voted for the Auto and Bank bailouts- using plundered funds to support his buddies that keep him in D.C.
    A vote for the NDAA is enough to condemn him under the Constitution as a Tyrant

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