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Leading Off:

NE-Sen: After enduring a Hamlet act for the ages, Democrats—amazingly enough—have landed their man. Former Sen. Bob Kerrey, on the eve of the filing deadline, changed his mind and decided that he would indeed seek his old Senate seat. So much ink has been spilled on this race and this candidate that there isn't much more to say, beyond the fact that this move undoubtedly gives Team Blue a much better chance of holding this seat than we had a day earlier—but it'll still be a very difficult race no matter what.

Also, the path isn't entirely clear for Kerrey: University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook says he plans to stay in the Democratic primary regardless of Kerrey's decision.

Senate:

ME-Sen, ME-01, ME-02: GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe's shocking decision not to seek re-election has set off a miniature thermonuclear explosion in Maine politics, and tracking the ensuing carnage has been a challenge, to say the least. Here's what we can tell you for sure: The filing deadline is fast approaching on March 15, and candidates for Senate must submit 2,000 signatures to appear on the ballot. (Those running for the House must submit 1,000.) That may not sound like a lot, but as Bob Tyrer, a longtime chief-of-staff to former Republican Sen. Bill Cohen, explains, each signature must be "validated by the town clerk of the signer’s town before they can be filed with the Secretary of State." That makes for a labor-intensive petition drive in a very short period of time.

That also explains why so many potential office-seekers are preparing for possible bids, even if they aren't certain yet whether they'll pull the trigger. In local parlance, they've been "taking out papers" from the Secretary of State's office, and the state's two most prominent Democrats have indeed already done so: 1st CD Rep. Chellie Pingree and 2nd CD Rep. Mike Michaud. Those maneuvers have in turn set off their own avalanches, with candidates now also scrambling to take out papers for both Pingree's and Michaud's House seats. (This includes some of the lesser-known names who were already running for Senate but clearly sense a better opportunity by dropping down a notch.) One other well-known Dem, two-term ex-Gov. John Baldacci, also pulled papers for the Senate contest, though given his unpopularity when he left office, he definitely ranks a notch below the two congressmembers.

So here's a look at the playing field for all three potentially open federal seats in Maine—but we warn you: it's a fast-moving situation and this list is subject to change at any moment.

ME-Sen:

• Ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D): Taken out papers

• Rep. Mike Michaud (D): Taken out papers

• Rep. Chellie Pingree (D): Taken out papers


• '10 Gov primary loser (and former Susan Collins CoS) Steve Abbott (R): sources say "maybe"

• Ex-Ambassador and '02 gubernatorial nominee Peter Cianchette (R): source says "Gov. LePage... would support... if he were to run"

• '10 Gov primary loser (and rich guy/co-owner of Boston Red Sox) Les Otten: "no indications... he's interested"

• State Treasurer (and '10 Gov primary loser) Bruce Poliquin (R): sources say "likely to very likely"

• State Senate President Kevin Raye (R): "I am assessing" (currently running for ME-02)

• Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R): among "names currently being circulated"


• '10 Gov independent candidate Eliot Cutler (I): A year ago (before Snowe retirement) said a run was "unlikely... no desire to live in Washington" (more interested in ME-Gov '14)

• Ex-Gov. Angus King (I): "giving it serious consideration"

Note that independents like King and Cutler have until June 1 to file petitions, so they can take more time to decide, but they need to submit twice as many signatures (4,000).

For the two House seats, we're confining our list to candidates reported to have taken out papers in various sources, including the Portland Press-Herald, WMTM, and the Bangor Daily News.

ME-01:

• State Sen. Phil Bartlett (R)

• State Sen. Jon Courtney (R)

• State Senator Cynthia Dill (D) (currently running for Senate)

• Ex-SoS Mark Gartley (R)

• State Rep. Jon Hinck (D) (currently running for Senate)

• Ex-SoS David Lemoine (D)

ME-02:
• Ex-state Sen. Bruce Bryant (D)

• State House Minority Leader Emily Cain (D)

• Assistant Senate Majority Leader Debra Plowman (R)

NJ-Sen: It's the second poll this week showing a big lead for Dem Sen. Bob Menendez over state Sen. Joe Kyrillos: Quinnipiac has Menendez up 49-34, which I believe is the first time they've tested the two men head-to-head. (A Rutgers-Eagleton survey the other day had Menendez on top 44-22.) Quinnipiac also notes that the incumbent's job approval rating is his best ever, 48-31.

NY-Sen: My headline for this story: "Hedge Fund Manager Decides to Light Money on Fire." Joe Carvin, who in addition to his Wall Street gig is also the supervisor for the town of Rye (in Westchester), says he plans to join the GOP Senate field and will spend $1 mil of his own money on the race. Amazingly, that makes him the third Republican to run, along with attorney Wendy Long and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Good luck to all of yous!

WI-Sen: Public Policy Polling just rolled out the Senate portion of its Wisconsin sample; we'll have a full post about it soon, but for now, suffice it to say that they show a closer race than that Marquette Law School poll from a few days ago. PPP sees Dem Tammy Baldwin leading GOPer Tommy Thompson 46-45, with bigger leads against the more conservative Republicans in the field. (David Jarman)

WI-Sen: Check out the awful makeup job on Republican ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is out with his first ad of the Senate race. Tell me it doesn't look like he's wearing lipstick:

Gubernatorial:

NH-Gov: Republican ex-Rep. and current state Sen. Jeb Bradley was on a lot of gubernatorial shortlists when four-term Dem New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch announced his retirement, but he declined last September and how now offered his endorsement to Ovide Lamontagne, the '10 Senate primary loser who wasted no time after his loss in pivoting to a Gov race. Another pivot for Lamontagne is that, despite his having been the tea-flavored insurgent in last cycle's campaign, he now seems to have leveraged his way back into being the establishment candidate, with Kevin Smith now playing the insurgent role. With Bradley, John Stephen, and John Sununu, Jr. out, the only "establishment" GOPer left who we haven't heard from is Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas, though rich guy Steve Kenda is also still exploring. (David Jarman)

UT-Gov: It's official: We've got a Democrat running for Governor in Utah. Obviously that's a heavy lift for any Dem, but our guy looks to have a strong resume: retired Major General Peter Cooke, the former head of the Salt Lake City-based 96th Readiness Command. (He'd expressed interest several months ago, but only formally kicked off his campaign Wednesday.) Given the state's lean, he starts as definite underdog, though he might have an opening if incumbent Republican Gov. Gary Herbert (a "moderate" by Utah's out-of-whack standards) gets Bennett-ized at the state nominating convention by his several more-conservative primary rivals. (David Jarman)

House:

CA-25: Rep. Buck McKeon already warded off the specter of a big primary challenge with fellow Republican member Elton Gallegly (who retired instead, thanks to redistricting), but he'll still face a fight in the GOP primary. His new opponent seems to have a Some Dude resume, but may be one cut above that thanks to what we'll call "inherited name rec"—Catherine Wright has the same name as her mother, who represented much of this turf in the state Senate in the 1980s. (Though that begs the question: how many people in this fast-growing exurban district lived here 30 years ago, let alone remember their state legislator from then?) (David Jarman)

CA-26: Republican Ventura Co. Commissioner Linda Parks will be doffing her GOP label and running as "no party preference" in the Top 2 primary in this district. That's not really a surprise, as she's staked out a moderate or at least unpredictable reputation on the county commission, and state Sen. Tony Strickland looms large as the top Republican option here. The question is whether this'll help her squeak into the #2 ticket out of the primary, a real possibility since there are a number of credible Democrats running here and dividing the Dem vote (though Assemblywoman Julia Brownley seems to have consolidated the establishment Dem backing). (David Jarman)

IL-16: The GOP primary between two members—old Don Manzullo and young Adam Kinzinger—gets hyped in the Beltway press as one of the nastiest House primaries of the cycle, and here's some local color from Illinois' Capitol Fax blog on how they're roughing each other up. (Not that it matters in terms of November; this is a GOP vote sink without a strong Dem candidate to pick up the mess—or in fact any Democratic candidate at all.) Manzullo's also running a TV ad making the case that he's the conservative one of the two, though no word on the size of the buy, nor do we know where the ad's running. (I can't imagine he can afford to run it in the Chicago market, so it might be Rockford-only, or a targeted cable buy.)

(David Jarman)

MI-03 ($): Subscription-only tipsheet MIRS reports that former state Rep. Steve Pestka is considering a challenge to Republican freshman Justin Amash. Pestka hasn't held office for a decade (he made an unsuccessful bid for the state Senate in 2002), but he subsequently served as a local judge for a number of years. Pestka wouldn't be the only Democrat in the race—gay rights activist Trevor Thomas is already running—but Pestka's more conservative profile is almost sure to be a better fit for this seat in the general election. Don't be fooled by those Obama numbers: Though MI-03 was almost 50-50 in 2008, that represented an enormous swing from prior years, which Bush won by roughly 20% both times. (Those are pre-redistricting numbers, but the lines didn't change enormously.)

OH-09, WA-01: It just won't go away... Dennis Kucinich, or at least his spokesperson (when cornered by Politico), wouldn't entirely shut the door on the possibility of Special K beaming down to a different district in case he loses his primary election next Tuesday—a distinct likelihood, as he's up against fellow Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur in a new district that contains more of her turf. Could Kucinich head back to Washington's open 1st district, where he notoriously put out feelers last year? Washington's filing deadline is May 18, so, yes, he'd have plenty of time to decide. (And, yes, we predicted something like this back in July.)

In fact, over half (36) the states have filing deadlines that follow the Ohio primary, so why limit himself to Washington? I hear Maine might be having a couple open seats this year, and they might be particularly receptive to his brand of wackiness. In fact, if he wanted to weigh his options until August 17, he could still run in Louisiana. (Geaux Kucinich!)

While we're on the topic of weird ideas, the weirdest super PAC ever, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, is riding to Kucinich's rescue with a new ad attacking Kaptur (hitting her over the common cold of political scandals: late property tax payments). It's not for peanuts, either: a $116K district-wide buy. You can watch the ad at the link or below:

(The CPA actually puts some real money behind the inchoate bipartisan "throw all the bums out" mentality—something that's usually the province of low-info voters, not guys with six figures to spend. But the CPA has nevertheless thrown money into primary races of both parties where they deem one incumbent to have gotten too entrenched or unresponsive, without any clear ideological pattern to it.) (David Jarman)

PA-01: Going up against the Bob Brady machine in Philadelphia always seemed like a fool's errand, so it was never quite clear what former judge Jimmie Moore was up to—except perhaps for the possibility that he was hoping to peel away African American voters in the Democratic primary in this heavily black district. But regardless of what his aims were, Moore's no more: He's pulled the plug on his bid. The fix appears to be in, though: Check out the weird "joint statement" he and Brady put out at the link, full of statements like: "Congressman Robert A. Brady praised Judge Moore for his noble and selfless decision to withdraw his candidacy." Who are they trying to fool?

Other Races:

Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso:

Michigan HD-29: Easy Dem hold; Tim Greimel defeated Republican Bob Gray by a 77-23 margin.

Michigan HD-51: Republicans had a fairly easy time here; Joseph Graves defeated Democrat Steven Losey by a 53-42 margin. Green Cary Neuville-Justice picked up 4% of the vote.

Makes you wonder if all that effort to recall Paul Scott in HD-51 last November was really worth it, since he was just replaced by another Republican.

Redistricting Roundup:

FL Redistricting: The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the state's new legislative maps on Wednesday, per the new Fair Districts amendments, but there's already been some wrangling among the justices over how broad a review to conduct. The court's conservative justices almost want to wish away the new amendments, saying any inquiry into the plans' compliance with the law should be "extremely limited"—and they didn't even want to force lawmakers to cough up a list of their home addresses, to be able to judge whether incumbents were protected under the new lines. Fortunately, the conservatives were over-ruled on that issue, but on others, they've carried the day, which makes me very skeptical that the whole Fair Districts effort will mean much in the end. Click the link for the full background—definitely an interesting read.

NY Redistricting: By the time you wake up and read this, all the parties in New York's congressional redistricting case should have filed their proposed new maps with the court, and you'll be able to find all of them at the link. (The deadline was midnight Wednesday, and based on my personal experience, I know lawyers love to keep working until the very last second and file at 11:59. Oh, how I don't miss that.) What's really cool is that the three-judge panel hearing the case has also specifically requested input from the public, and you can find instructions on how to submit your own map (plus the upload form) at this link. The deadline is soon, though: Friday, March 2. So hop to it!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bob Kerry - war criminal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tommy Allen

    This is what slowed down his run for president and his withdrawal from politics.

    http://www.antiwar.com/...

  •  Kucinich (4+ / 0-)

    If he doesn't win the primary against Kaptur, I think he should retire.

  •  Am I the only one for whom DRA isn't working (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, HoosierD42

    this morning?

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:40:02 AM PST

  •  NYED docket is getting slammed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, Setsuna Mudo

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:40:36 AM PST

  •  How dare Orrin Hatch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt

    denigrate hipsters after all of the sacrifices they've made for this country!

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:45:54 AM PST

  •  Jobless claims good again! (10+ / 0-)

    Initial number for last week is 351K, basically flat from the previous week's revised 353K.  That revision was up 2000 from an initial 351K, the same as last week's initial, so we're looking at a new constant.  The 4-week moving average is down to 354K, underscoring the new stability.

    This all means that February should be another month of very good job growth, and hopefully with another slight tick downward in unemployment.

    But in a real boom, initial jobless claims are even lower than they are now, typically in the low 300s.  So I wouldn't count on a precipitous decline in the unemployment rate.

    Still, the election is far enough away that we have a good chance of seeing the unemployment rate drop into the 7s before the election.

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

    by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:49:30 AM PST

    •  I'm not worried about the official rate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      as much as I am about the numbers. As many have noted, with so many people looking for jobs or eager to begin looking again, we might not see such big drops. But that's okay, because we want people to be looking for jobs.

      A big part of changing peoples' minds is getting them to see their personal situations improve, but that's a long process. A more immediate part is getting them to feel better, to be more hopeful and optimistic. If we see at least three months with job gains around 300,000, so the point where we can say that 1,000,000 jobs have been created in just a few month's time, that's probably a huge psychological boost in its own right and will make for a lot of "Obama is back!"-style stories in the media.

      •  The Official Rate Is What Will Compel..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, Setsuna Mudo

        ....low-information voters to believe the employment situation is improving and reward Obama.  The people who will decide the election won't register 300,000 new jobs per month versus 100,000 new jobs per month.....but they will be able to register an 8% unemployment rate having declined from 9% unemployment.  Far as I'm concerned, the only figure that matters politically is the percentage figure unemployment rate.  

        •  In what world do people care about that? (0+ / 0-)

          I have seen no references, none zip zero zilch, to unemployment rates in this election.

          But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

          by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:17:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you don't watch the news? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27, LordMike

            The only statistic average people really absorb and remember off the tops of their heads, if any, is the unemployment rate.  It tops the news headlines every time it comes out when we're in, or recovering from, a recession.  I remember even as a kid seeing the unemployment rate getting major headlines through a recession and recovery...but nothing else registered.

            Mark27 is right, the unemployment rate matters a lot.

            Now, I do think there is an outside chance that if the rate doesn't come down much more through the year, but the economic headlines still are very good because people seem to be reentering the workforce and finding jobs, then it's possible those headlines overcome the unemployment rate.  It all depends on how economic news is reported.

            People swallow headlines, and the unemployment rate always tops economic headlines.  But if the headlines stay good even without a declining official rate, that at least helps keep confidence up which is what matters on election day.

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

            by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:29:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  unemp rate (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DCCyclone, Inkpen

              If the unemployment rate stays flat or rises because people are flooding back into the work force, that's an easy "elevator pitch" for Dems. The job growth numbers (which are much more consistent from month to month than the unemployment numbers) get a fair amount of attention these days too.

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

              by sacman701 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:27:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  People don't care about the number (0+ / 0-)

              They care about what the number represents. People voting on the economy are voting based on their personal situation and those of their friends and family and neighbors. It's not enough to make the numbers go up or down; you have to actually make people's lives better.

              •  That's not true (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jncca, stevenaxelrod

                People's votes are influenced by the news.  The number matters.

                Yes people's personal experiences and observations of their own surroundings also matter.  But unless what they see is atypically conspicuous, in either a good or bad direction, most people don't know what to make of what they see around them, because that picture is very muddled.

                The news helps color the picture greatly for most people.  If headlines are good, that matters for people who don't know what to make of what they see in life, and most people don't know what to make of what they see in life.

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

                by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:45:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  The only name I want to see in ME-Sen… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, Ponder Stibbons

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

    by DemSign on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:02:27 AM PST

  •  Not to jump ahead... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird

    But actually, yes, I do want to jump a head and look at 2014.

    The improving Senate picture helps, but it sure would be nice for the Democrats to go into 2014 with at least as much of an advantage as they have now if not an actual increase.  Even if they hold all of their seats (including NE and ND) and add the top three pickup opportunities (ME, MA, NV), to go into 2014 at +6, they could still be in trouble.  Look at the mess of difficult-to-swingy seats they'll have to defend in 2014:

    AK (Begich)
    LA (Landrieu)
    AR (Pryor)
    SD (Johnson)
    MT (Baucus)
    NC (Hagan)
    NH (Shaheen)
    CO (Udall)
    VA (Warner)
    WV (Rockefeller)
    MN (Franken)
    IA (Harkin)
    MI (Levin)
    OR (Merkley)
    NM (Udall)

    Other than ME (Collins), the Democrats have almost nothing to shoot for, barring retirements from other Senate classes.  (They made a run KY and GA in 2008, but if that's happening again the climate is so favorable that they're going to hold most if not all of the other seats.)

    So, while, especially compared to losing it, it will be nice for the Democrats to barely hold the Senate at 51 or 50 (plus VP).  But, in that scenario, they'd be nearly guaranteed to lose it in 2014.  Of course, looking on the bright side, since 2010 was so awful, they'll have a lot more targets in 2016.

    •  If Obama wins, we'll lose the senate in '14 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL, jncca

      If we don't lose it this year.

      The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

      by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:22:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're far too willing to (8+ / 0-)

        declare things will happen before they happen.

        I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:43:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have to pre-defeat ourselves (9+ / 0-)

          and send ourselves into a helpless depression well in advance. More doomster Democrat-ism.

          Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

          by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:57:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look at the seats that are up (0+ / 0-)

          Assuming we hold the senate this year with a reduced margin, tell me how in the world we'd be able not to lose at least a net of 3 seats with that list.  It's a tougher battleground than this year.  Which is tough enough.

          The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

          by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:11:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think there's a good chance (4+ / 0-)

            Landrieu loses, but then again, we had a pretty good year last year in Louisiana in terms of legislative elections.  We also may be vulnerable in Alaska and South Dakota, even more likely in Montana, but we'll have to see who they run, if we have retirements, and how it plays out before I'm willing to concede anything.  They certainly aren't as bad as Nebraska, I'd put them more at this year's level of North Dakota, and that's looking like Tossup-Tilt R, not a definite loss.

            I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

            by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:22:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Aside from perhaps Jindal, who is the most obvious (0+ / 0-)

              candidate? The same can asked about Alaska and South Dakota.

              Also, while we are at it, let's try to start thinking about every other race in 2014 where it's an uphill battle. I don't think we have a good shot at knocking off Roberts or Crapo or the others in deep red states, but we might see a retirement from some of them. Even if we don't, it never hurts to prepare.

              •  I don't think Jindal runs for Senate (0+ / 0-)

                He wants to be President.

                24, 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 Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 10:30:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  alright (0+ / 0-)

                LA: Bill Cassidy IS running.  That's what all local sources say.

                SD: Kristi Noem.
                AK: Sean Parnell.

                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 Mar 01, 2012 at 12:04:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  North Dakota ain't what it used to be (0+ / 0-)

              Aside from the focus on social wedge issues that has become endemic in that region, I somehow doubt very many of the gas drilling people that have invaded the state over the last few years vote Dem.

          •  What did you say in Feb 2005 about 2006? (3+ / 0-)

            Everyone then said we were in for a long GOP majority, that we would lose even more Senate seats in '06.  Dubya's reelection vindicated him on Iraq, etc.

            These types of projections are complete nonsense.  There are too many variables that can and do overcome the early math, so much so that early math isn't worth much.

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

            by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:31:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, it's might be much easier than this year (0+ / 0-)

            because most of the action takes place in blue to very blue states, with strong to very strong incumbents. The most difficult seats for us to old are more difficult in 2014, but the rest of them are much easier. I'd rather have a more narrow battlefield even if the battles themselves are harder.

            Also, there's virtually no guarantee we will lose seats. A net gain of one is pretty easy to envision: losing in Nebraska, North Dakota, and Missouri, but picking up those in Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine. A net gain of two isn't even that hard to imagine. And if we go from 53 to 55 this year and then see Begich, Landreiu, Pryor, and Baucus all lose, we can still hold on even before hopefully knocking off McConnell or Graham.

      •  That's absurdly negative. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, JBraden, stevenaxelrod

        Of course, a lot depends on what happens this year. If we scrape by with a bare majority, it's certainly more likely than not, but what races in 2014 seem so outrageously difficult to you?

        To me, I'd say we will probably have tough races in Louisiana, Alaska, and Arkansas, and depending on the status of the incumbent, in South Dakota and Montana. Other than that, I think we hold an edge in every other state, and perhaps a considerable one. And even in the first five states, none of them seem hopeless now--not even in the case of Baucus. None of this is to say that a strong challenger couldn't emerge in North Carolina or Colorado or some other state, or that Begich or Pryor could begin a Lincoln-like decline some time soon, or that any of these incumbents could suffer because of the year. I'm aware of the historical precedent, but it's not clear how it will apply or if it will apply at all.

        On the contrary, let me say that we lose two this year, out of Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, and North Dakota, but then win three, out of Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana, Arizona, and Nevada. That's a net gain of one, bringing us up to 54. We then have the ability to lose up to four seats--as in, say, Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, and Baucus all lose--but still gain control. You can obviously adjust the numbers in a different way to make them easily worse or easily better, but I think what I suggested above is reasonable. Notice how I didn't talk about us picking up any seats. It's hard, since most of the seats that will be up are in Democratic hands, but you could make a case for Cornyn, Graham, Chambliss, and especially McConnell being vulnerable. And perhaps we could get lucky and have someone like Alexander or Cochran retire and see us, after recruiting a strong challenger, flip the seat. Notice now how I didn't even mention Susan Collins. If she runs as a Republican, she probably wins, but she could switch or retire. In those situations, that's probably an effective Democratic gain.

        You know, it's funny. I sent a text to my former coworker, a friend who is an ABD in political science and a Democrat like me, saying how odd it was that Bob Kerrey and Olympia Snowe were suddenly my two favorite politicians. He said how we could probably "cling" to the Senate now. We are usually on opposite sides of these matters. I'm fairly confident we can hang on in states like Montana and Missouri and very confident that we can pick up the seats in states like Nevada and Massachusetts. The things that make me so confident can change quickly, but I am not expecting them to do so. And as it happens, our opinions change over time, literally reversing themselves, and he is usually right about election predictions. So, based on previous history, he'll start to think we could even make gains leading into the fall, and I will worry like a Park Slope mother. In the end, we will pad our numbers in the Senate...I think.

        •  Negative But Nonetheless The Most Likely Outcome.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          If Obama wins in 2012, hard to see how the 2014 Senate map will be anything other than a bloodbath.  As the PPACA starts to take effect, there's almost certain to be early bureaucratic snarls that will be a cinch to demagogue in places like West Virginia and Arkansas.  

          If Obama loses, however, with the GOP moving forward on the Paul Ryan agenda, the Dems will most likely run the table and pick up the seats out of our reach even in 2008 like Kentucky and Georgia.

          In the era of middle-class decline we've been mired in for many years now and which shows no signs of letting up, I think we have to expect almost every midterm election is gonna be a wave election against the incumbent party.

          •  BUT WHY do you think this will be the case? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo

            Your entire argument seems to rest on the idea that it depends on whether Obama loses (with a small assist from the supposed bureaucratic problems of the ACA). Your reverse argument makes some sense, but not the first, unless you have clear proof that Obama winning will involve almost certainly involve particular legislative changes or certain turn of events. So far, you have no such proof.

            Like I said above, I understand the historical precedent, but it's not a law of physics or something. I haven't studied the specifics of each election cycle, but looking at who is up, I see some pretty encouraging things. We have five races, those in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana, we we have likely to definite problems. But other than that, our races are in reasonably blue to deep blue states, like Oregon or Rhode Island, or states that are quickly turning in our direction, like Colorado or North Carolina, or in states where our incumbents are becoming solid to already being rock solid, like in Minnesota and Virginia. Some of these characteristics apply to multiple states. Again, none of this is to say that we are definitely in the clear, but they need candidates and a platform, and other things beyond, "Hey, it's 2014, so..."

            •  The PPACA Starts Out With a 39% Approval Rating... (0+ / 0-)

              There's always the possibility it will go the direction of the auto bailout and be seen as a clear success in a couple of years, but the fact that several of the key items are already being rolled back (the CLASS program) and the administration is having no luck so far in its promise to muscle down premium growth by insurance companies, there are already plenty of things for the opposition to exploit.  

              We're all just speculating at this point as it's hard to know how these things play out, but if there any bumpy points at all in the implementation of the PPACA, the opposition will be ready to pounce.  Given its unpopularity coming out of the starting gate, there's zero margin for error in a policy that strikes me as, at best, a work in progress prone to some embarrassing snafus.  Perhaps if the economy is buoyant enough, this won't even be an issue, but then again the economy is never really gonna improve for most of Rockefeller and Pryor's constituents in a way that Obama's party will be rewarded for it.

              I'm not gonna speculate further on 2014 given the infinite number of variables that could complicate the current calculus, but I don't think it's going out on a limb to make the macro prediction that if Obama is re-elected in 2012 it portends an incredibly defensive political climate for Democrats in 2014, conceivably as bad as 2010.

              •  But that's a separate issue. (0+ / 0-)

                Problems with the implementation of the PPACA could make it worse, but it might have no effect. It seems like you are lumping all potential issues with that legislation into one category and, based on its initial overall negative ratings, saying it's going to be an albatross for us.

                And no, it's not at all unreasonable to speculate. (As Peggy Noonan once said, isn't it "irresponsible" not to?) My point is simply that you haven't really given us much of a reason to think we are screwed. We face challenges, sure, but most of our incumbents are in good to great positions, and the ones who aren't have reasonably clear paths to victory, or at least we do as a party. We also have some reasonable to narrower pick up opportunities. And all of this before we even have an idea of how big of potential margin of victory, assuming there is one this year, ends up being.

          •  Not convinced about PPACA (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, SaoMagnifico, sacman701

            If it's not unpopular enough to sink Obama's second term, why would it suddenly rear its head as an election issue in 2014? I realize that's when it takes effect, but if anything I imagine that would only help.

            If the economy keeps humming along, we'll be fine. Kentucky and Maine should be on the table.

          •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inkpen, HoosierD42

            I direct you to my comment above, what were you saying in February 2005 about the 2006 midterms?  The math looked brutal for us, and as it turned out only one Republican even retired...oh, and we didn't pick up that seat anyway.

            What is "hard to see" about 2014 is everything.

            Your projections in your comment really are naked conjecture, especially the stuff about the health care law.

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

            by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:34:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Negative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo, jncca

          AK (Begich)
          LA (Landrieu)
          AR (Pryor)
          SD (Johnson)
          NC (Hagan)

          With a Democrat in the white house, in an off year election, there's an better than 50-50 chance all those seats we'll be lost.  There's a good chance Johnson won't run again.  Pryor could bail and run for Governor.  Jindal would take out Landrieu.  Historically, it's tough to win a second term for senate anyway.  And Begich is the most endangered.

          Plus, there will likely be few opportunities to win Republican seats than this year.

          The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

          by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:17:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can we cut back on the negativity? (6+ / 0-)

            Seriously, why are Democrats always so pessimistic, the election is almost three years away -- we have no idea what the political climate will be like then and we still have two whole years of legislative possibilities after the 2012 election before then.

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

            by okiedem on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:20:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why is Hagan on that list? (6+ / 0-)

            North Carolina is rapidly blueing, she's got positive approval ratings, and she absolutely spanked an incumbent last time in a much more difficult state climate than she will probably see in 2014. She could be vulnerable, but there's no reason to lump her in with the rest of them.

          •  They would have to win all or most of those (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inkpen

            Depending on how we do this year.

            And there's no reason to think they definitely will. Mary Landrieu has held on in tough cycles before. Pryor ran unopposed last time. Even if Johnson retires, Herseth-Sandlin would be a strong candidate. I wouldn't rule out picking up Georgia, Kentucky, or Maine either.

            We don't know nearly enough about the environment two years from now to make conclusions. If it's a good Dem environment, we'll do fine. If it's a Republican year, we're screwed. But that's not saying much at all.

            •  okay (0+ / 0-)

              Mary Landrieu would've lost in a neutral year; her 4 point victory can be chalked up entirely to the Dem wave.

              Pryor won't be unopposed; Griffin is going to challenge him (ask GradyDem).

              Agree on South Dakota, probably only Tilt R if open.

              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 Mar 01, 2012 at 12:06:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Landrieu won by almost seven points in 2008. (0+ / 0-)

                Given the margin that Obama lost Louisiana by, that's not all that bad, particularly since Kennedy wasn't a Some Dude candidate.

                •  if you changed the (0+ / 0-)

                  generic congressional ballot to a neutral year, that equals a loss.

                  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 Mar 01, 2012 at 02:18:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  She won in 02 though (0+ / 0-)

                Which was a Republican year. That was the tough cycle I was referring to. And she only has more of an incumbency advantage now.

                •  Louisiana's shifted far rightward since then (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 Mar 01, 2012 at 09:17:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not worried about Pryor, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tietack, itskevin, flhiii88, stevenaxelrod

      Rockefeller, Harkin, Franken, Levin, Merkley, the Udalls, Shaheen, or Warner, except in the case of retirements, and even then I'm not terribly worried about Iowa or Michigan.  These states, with the exception of SD and LA, either have very popular incumbents or are Democratic-leaning states.

      Well, Harkin may not be all that popular, but he's made a career out of destroying the careers of Republican challengers.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:31:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Moore-Capito runs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IllinoyedR

        Rockefeller will probably retire and then we're really screwed. And I have no idea why you're so confident about Shaheen.

        (-7.62, -6.31), Blood type "O", Democratic-socialist, social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

        by Setsuna Mudo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:05:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The only states that I am legitimately worried (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, JBraden, flhiii88

        about are Louisiana and Alaska, and possibly Montana if Baucus runs and is still horribly unpopular. But even in those states, I am not willing to freak out until polling is consistently terrible. As far as I can tell, there's been no recent polling in either of those states. We might gave to persuade Schweitzer to run instead of Bauchus, but don't we also have some reasonably good candidates if we can't?

        I have no idea if Johnson will hang around in South Dakota, but unless it's another 2010, we shouldn't have that much of a problem winning. Let's remember that S.H.S. lost by only a few points. Our biggest challenge if Johnson retires is probably finding a candidate, but then, we have S.H.S.

        Also, and I can't emphasize this enough, if we can take out either McConnell or Graham in 2014, we can probably the Senate fairly easily if we do decently this year. We'd need to do very, very badly and then do badly again to lose it.

    •  Let's burn that bridge when we come to it (7+ / 0-)

      If we're lucky enough to hold the Senate this year and we get Obama reelected, we're going to celebrate and get a lot of great things done for the country.  2014 will then be a 6 year itch election.  It could mean curtains for us again.  But we'll worry about it when we come to it.  For now, we need to keep our minds and focus on 2012.  

      Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

      by SoCalLiberal on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:56:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good news: 6th year itch not as strong after 2nd (10+ / 0-)

        year landslide (see minimal change elections of 1998 and 1986 which occurred in the backdrop of big losses for the President's party in 1994 and 1982). So I'm not so worried about that -- especially because the recovery will likely be in full swing by 2014 and, if Obama wins in 2012, Democrats will get credit.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

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

        by okiedem on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:00:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It came back in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pademocrat

          Of course, Dubya was fairly unpopular by then.  

          Right now, we need to worry about 2012.  That's the most important election.  If we lose this year, we'll have a counterwave but it won't do the country much good.  

          Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

          by SoCalLiberal on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:13:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  he also didn't have a 1994 or 2010. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike, JBraden, jncca

            2002 was a good year for Republicans.  Because of that, his second midterm was awful.

            I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

            by James Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:19:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well that's my point though, 2002 was good for (4+ / 0-)

            Republicans and therefore they had a lot of ground to lose in 2006 and the country hadn't alternated power for many many years -- and thus 2006 was much worse for the President's party than was 1998 or 1986. That being said, I definitely agree with your sentiment that worrying about 2014 is silly in the face of a very important election in 2012.

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

            by okiedem on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:21:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

          Dems retook the senate in '86.  They retook congress in '06.

          '58, '66 and '74 were wipeout elections for the party in the white house.

          Only with Clinton and Obama were the second year the wipeouts.

          The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

          by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:20:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Although 1986 was a good year for the Dems in (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pademocrat, jncca

            the Senate, it was basically a wash in the House (which is a  better indication of where the country is at since it's not subject to the vagaries of which seats happen to be up for election that cycle). You could argue that Dems face a similar uphill climb in 2014 -- and you'd be right -- but that doesn't change the fact that we won't necessarily also have to deal with the 6th year itch due to our losses in 2010.

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

            by okiedem on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:29:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In the House, you're right (0+ / 0-)

              Unless the Democrats take back control.  But it wouldn't be surprising if they lost the same amount of seats they lost in the senate as in '10.

              The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

              by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:34:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You could probably pin much of the action (0+ / 0-)

            in 1966 on a swing back from the absurdly good results for Democrats in 1964 and 1974 as a reaction to Watergate.

      •  Again, why is this so likely? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone

        Not to pick on you or Mark27, but so many here treat this precedent as a guarantee. It makes no sense to do so.

  •  New Jersey Qpoll: same sex marriage (9+ / 0-)

    New Jersey voters support gay marriage 57-37 but were split 48-47 on whether Christie was correct to veto. (Can I meet the people who support gay marriage but think he was right to veto and have a hit of whatever they're smoking?)

    http://www.nj.com/...

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

    by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:21:03 AM PST

  •  OH-gay marriage: holy smokes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, pademocrat, Setsuna Mudo

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    That was unexpected! They passed on doing something similar in Oregon, which passed the ban by a smaller margin than Ohio in 2004 and presumably would have shifted more for civil rights by then. Kind of weird to think that the Ohio people saw favorable poll numbers but the Oregon people didn't. I just hope they know what they're doing...

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

    by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:24:12 AM PST

    •  Hopeless this year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      I wonder what the hell they're doing?

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:30:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Difficult, but not at all hopeless (4+ / 0-)

        The surge on this is incredible. They are trying to get it passed and make Ohio more progressive, that is all.  There are a lot of competing issues flying around and how they will play out is anyone's guess. But the hardcore anti-equality voters are already going to turn out so it's not like this is going to create a batch of new people coming to vote against it. We already have energizing issues on our side, including the repeal of voter suppression and perhaps right-to-work-for-less. A lot of people feel the time is now. And it went from zero to a hundred in something like two weeks.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:48:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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

          I'm more worried about this from a national perspective. I just don't want a loss to take the wind out of our sails. I really think the results of gay marriage votes in Maine, Maryland, and Washington will have ripple waves elsewhere, as undecided legislators in places like Illinois and Rhode Island might freak out about supporting equality if they see voters rejecting it.

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

          by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:52:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously, do you really think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Caped Composer

            that in the push for gay marriage, a single defeat will "take the wind out of our sails" and that there will be no defeats along the way? It's this attitude — "don't try because we might lose" — that moves right-wing ideas faster than progressive ones. They never, ever worry about whether one of their insane ideas is rejected. They just get up and try again. We wring our hands and cower in the corner.

            Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

            by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:27:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The only thing that I worry about (0+ / 0-)

      in a state like Ohio is that it's not a big issue for anyone but those who have had an opinion on this for years and that those who are for a ban are more pumped up about than those who are against it. I'd love to be wrong about this, but I worry that I am not.

      •  I think you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Those who are AGAINST it have been pumped up for years; those who are FOR it were playing a sort of defeated defense. Now they are absolutely on fire. This has blindsided everyone how it blew up. Even the established LGBT groups who said they were looking at a longer time frame were taken off guard. It's a grassroots thing that grew from three people to thousands almost overnight.

        The issue I think us frightened little mice don't look at is that the hard, moral-values right pretty much 100% votes all the time. There is not a new voter pool here. They're already going to be out on Personhood if they get it on the ballot. Issues like this appeal to groups — especially younger voters — who can be very disengaged. (as will Personhood). I think it's only going to help.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:54:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd love to be wrong. Where's the proof (0+ / 0-)

          that many of those outside the gay community feel as strongly as those inside of it about this issue? There's a big difference supporting it and having it be a near and dear issue for someone.

    •  This is exceedingly dumb (0+ / 0-)

      As noted in the article:

      "Equality Ohio notes that some 32 percent of residents back marriage equality, but many support civil unions."

      Freedom to Marry should focus on states like Minnesota, New Hampshire, Washington, Maine and Maryland where they actually have a chance to win and the pro-equality side is going to be short on financial resources.

  •  NY-SD-43 (4+ / 0-)

    Local Republicans getting all butthurt about St. Sen. Roy McDonald (R)'s vote for gay marriage last summer: http://www.nytimes.com/...

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

    by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:29:41 AM PST

  •  PA-Leg (12+ / 0-)

    PA Supremes, by a 4-3 ruling, ordered Republican Speaker of the House Sam Smith to hold special elections for the six State House vacancies simultaneous with the April 24 primary, and PoliticsPA handicaps the races, 5 of 6 of which should go D.

    •  Who are the 3 judges (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      R30A

      Who dissented?  Good lord

      "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 07:34:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

          I guess those seats should stay vacant forever.  Thank goodness the speaker gets to choose when to hold elections, with apparently no requirement to do it in XX number of days.

          "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 07:46:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's what the statute said (0+ / 0-)
            Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either house of the General Assembly on the same day as the filing of a preliminary reapportionment plan by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission or during the period between such filing and the date that a final plan attains the force of law, the presiding officer of the house shall have the authority, notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, to delay the issuance of a writ of election until ten days after the date the final plan attains the force of law.

            25 P.S. § 2778a.

            PA. CONST. art II, § 2, however: “Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either House, the presiding officer thereof shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.”
            •  I guess the word occur (0+ / 0-)

              To me it seems the vacancy was in existence prior to the filing by the LRC.  But i guess it's intentionally vague.  i figure if possible the GOP would have left these seats vacant until November.

              "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 08:10:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

                The vacancies didn't occur until the new year, when the House members resigned to take their new offices, which was in the covered period.  So statutorily, Smith was correct to invoke the provision, but it gets trumped by the Constitution.

                Also, the Court makes clear that the new maps don't take effect until the 2014 primaries, should there be another vacancy in the interim. See p6.

                •  What is the covered period start date (0+ / 0-)

                  When it said

                  Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either house of the General Assembly on the same day as the filing of a preliminary reapportionment plan by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission or during the period between such filing and the date that a final plan attains the force of law,
                  Is the date Jan 1 or is the date the date the LRC proposed their first maps.  it sounds like the latter in the wording, but it seems like you're saying its Jan 1.

                  "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 09:06:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Oh my God. This was completely unexpected. (14+ / 0-)

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    Rest in peace, 43 is too young to die. :(

    Sh*t politicians say: “Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement. " -Pete Hoekstra

    by KingofSpades on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:32:15 AM PST

  •  Bob Kerrey on choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    The anti-choice NRLC's screed should be instructive here, I only link to it because it is largely factual.

  •  breaking news. Breitbart is dead (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, Inkan1969

    wow. that was not expected.  

    I will follow the rule about not speaking ill of the dead.

    •  Really? How? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

      by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:45:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My dislike for him professionally put aside, (5+ / 0-)

      I can't help but feel terrible for his family. If I recall correctly, he's got young kids, and while they will be able to move on, they will never truly get over it. My dad died in 1986, when I was little over a year old, before my little sister was even born, and even after all these years, it's a big weight on my family. I wouldn't wish that grief on my worst enemy.

      •  Right, I feel badly for his family (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera

        And while it makes no sense to paint someone with the color of one brush stroke, it is only fair to state that many of his public actions were unworthy of any human being.

        It would be heartless to wipe away the rest of his identity, which was obviously loved and treasured by his family and friends.

        But let's not be hypocrites, either. It is fair to separate a man from his actions. Not to wish "ill" upon someone is a decent and worthwhile attribute. To despise their actions and deplore their behavior is also fair and appropriate when they have been cruel and abusive.

        To Andrew Brietbart: I hope that wherever you are, or wherever your spirit resides, you can comprehend that your words and actions in this life had consequences -- there were negative ramifications from those actions that impacted millions of people.

        May you be washed with the light of love and caring, and may you now intercede on behalf of those whom you hurt. This would be my hope for any of us, really, myself included.

        Now THAT's the president I voted for!

        by RevJoe on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:05:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I read the Politico story (0+ / 0-)

    on Kucinich beyond the misleading headline, and his spokesperson said "Absolutely not" about his running in Washington State. He also suggested that putting out the idea was tantamount to helping t defeat Dennis, which it is. His lack of focus on his district is Kucinich's biggest liability.

    The spokesperson, Andy Juniewicz, actually said, "“The suggestion that it’s any possibility is absurd and whoever is trying to pass that along is trying to undermine his chances.”

    He is correct.

    BTW the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using the same "late payment" thing against our Senator Sherrod Brown. They have already plowed millions into Ohio to try to soften him up for the most offensive and unqualified senate candidate I have ever seen, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel. So far, it hasn't worked.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

    by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:45:59 AM PST

    •  Actually the combiend quote is (0+ / 0-)
      “Even though I’m the campaign spokesman, I can’t speak for him on that," Juniewicz told POLITICO. “The suggestion that it’s any possibility is absurd and whoever is trying to pass that along is trying to undermine his chances.”
      It's an oddity of a quote, can;'t deny it but the suggestion is absurd.  Evasive meet confusing.

      I tried finding the word "absolutely" in the politico article and it's not there.  I'm not sure where you get the "absolutely not" quote you cite in your first Senate.

      "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 07:43:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  how in the world is (0+ / 0-)

      Josh Mandel the most offensive and unqualified senate candidate you've ever seen?

      he's light years more qualified than Christine O'Donnell, and much less offensive than Alan Keyes.

      You're letting your hatred of Mandel blind you.

      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 Mar 01, 2012 at 12:11:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  RI-01 (3+ / 0-)

    so I was looking through old emails trying to remember what had given me the impression that the establishment was standing by Cicilline. Here's one such e-mail, from October 6:

    Dear [my name],

    Please join me on October 9th for Congressman David Cicilline's First Annual Family Barbeque at Twelve Acres in Smithfield. It will be an afternoon of family, friends and food as well as a great opportunity for us to show our support for David.

    David knows these are difficult times for Rhode Islanders. He's demonstrated his committment to helping middle class families and small businesses, particularly Rhode Island's manufacturers.  As our Congressman, he is a strong advocate for our state - calling for infrastructure investments in our roads, rail, schools and water systems, fighting against efforts to dismantle essential clean air and water initiatives, and protecting our seniors from cuts to their Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    I hope you can join me on October 9th to show your support for David.

    Sincerely,

    Jack Reed

    Reed was the only one to frame it as support for Cicilline, but everyone and their mom was at the barbeque: Sen. Reed, Sen. Whitehouse, Rep. Langevin, all of the statewide officials sans Chafee, and a smattering of state legislators, including both my State Rep. and State Sen. as well as Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and House Majority Leader Nick Mattiello.

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

    by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:47:18 AM PST

  •  RE: Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

    Does Kucinich even have a connection to Washington State? I hope voters don't reward him if he decides to run for that seat.

    My guess is he'll retire if he loses the primary.

    •  I think you are right (0+ / 0-)

      And that his spokesman said he would NOT run in Washington State, despite Politico's misleading headline.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:28:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The 7th seal has broken... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    Dave's Redistricting Application isn't working (on a bunch of computers)!

    Heh, in all seriousness, I hope it's fixed soon! :p

    18. R. IL-10. Justin Amash-ite. “Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom.”- F.A. Hayek

    by IllinoyedR on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:11:12 AM PST

  •  Next up for Snowe (0+ / 0-)

    It was interesting to me that I wasn't the only one who heard echoes of Eliot Cutler and Americans Elect in what Snow said in her GBCC statement.  But am I crazy to think that she might be on the short list for Hillary's job, and that's why she left?

  •  Thompson fell out of the clown car... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000

    ...and still has his make-up on.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:14:16 AM PST

  •  Kerrey is NOT the Democrats' candidate! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify

    Bob Kerrey will run against the Democratic Party and he will take up the mantle of Joe Lieberman if he gets elected. From there he will attack Social Security, demand other austerity measures and choke the economy's recovery from this depression.

    Chuck Hassebrook may not be the toast of the The Village cocktail circuit but he is a principled and dedicated man. Kerrey hasn't even lived in the state for years.

    Support a grassroots, fighting Dem, not a Lieberman clone! Support Chuck Hassebrook!
    www.chuckfornebraska.com/

    I'm an American Liberal. Blogging in between family, work and activism time.

    by AlphaLiberal on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 07:23:37 AM PST

  •  Another zombie republican (0+ / 0-)

    Shit.

    I thought we were all through with Bob Kerry.
    For that matter, I had thought little Ricky "man-on-dog" Santorum was gone for good too.  Let's hope Bill "I-know-a-live-person-when-I-see-one-even-if-they're-in-a-vegetative-state" Frist is down for the count.

  •  What's with the Bob Kerrey hate? (9+ / 0-)

    Do you guys want to win a Senate seat with a relatively socially liberal Democrat or not?

    Sh*t politicians say: “Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement. " -Pete Hoekstra

    by KingofSpades on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:15:36 AM PST

    •  this is in reply to some of the comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      Sh*t politicians say: “Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement. " -Pete Hoekstra

      by KingofSpades on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:15:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  These look like trolls to me (4+ / 0-)

        The Kerrey-hate is coming from users I don't recognize at all.

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

        by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:55:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well it is the mornign digest (0+ / 0-)

          So its main pagers seeing something.  they're not really that bad, and perhaps view things from a more "passion for the cause" viewpoint than we do.

          "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 Mar 01, 2012 at 09:08:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So that means we have to silence our opinions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tommy Allen

      of the guy?

      And since you asked the question, other than being a backstabbing, union breaking, "entitlement" bashing, private social security account loving war criminal, nothing.

      The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

      by Paleo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:04:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He wanted to raise the FICA cap, not cut benefits (0+ / 0-)

        Sh*t politicians say: “Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement. " -Pete Hoekstra

        by KingofSpades on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 02:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bob Kerrey on Iraq: (0+ / 0-)

      "American liberals need to face these truths … [A] unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory."

      http://thinkprogress.org/...

      But there's no punishment for failure on this blog, is there?  It's OK if you're a Democrat.  No matter that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead.

      A new year, a time for many changes. Some we will like, some we won't.

      by Tommy Allen on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:27:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grow up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca, KingofSpades

        or explain why you believe Jon Bruning would/will be better.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 11:26:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's okay if no progressive can win (0+ / 0-)

        I can understand where you are coming from, but we've got to do the best we can in this heavily Republican seat. We can't have Better Democrats everywhere, and in places like Nebraska we've simply got to hold our nose. Just like with Jim Matheson.

        Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

        by fearlessfred14 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 01:48:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bob Kerrey (7+ / 0-)

    I made this last night.  In it, he says hi to Mr. Heineman.

    Bob Kerrey trollface (captioned)

  •  Hamish Patterson For Malibu City Council 2012! (0+ / 0-)

    My friend is from Malibu, and enlightened me on the Hamish Patterson Campaign for City Council.  I just want to show you guys the great video ad he created and put on youtube.

    Swingnut since 2009, 21, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-14 (college) Join r/elections on reddit!

    by Daman09 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:41:51 AM PST

  •  Comment from Shirley Sherrod on Andrew Breitbart (4+ / 0-)

    courtesy of a Ministry of Truth Diary
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "The news of Mr. Breitbart's death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart's family as they cope through this very difficult time."
    Commentary from Ministry of Truth:
    I'd strongly suggest that anyone who wants to maintain the moral high-ground do the same. We only really lose when we become that which we so strongly oppose.

       My condolences to the Breitbart family in their hour of loss.

    If Shirley can show such class, if Ministry of Truth can recognize and extol such grace, we can too.

    "I hope; therefore, I can live."
    For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

    by tietack on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 12:02:18 PM PST

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