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Leading Off:

WV-Sen: Republican businessman John Raese appears to be determined to keep putting his foot further and further into his mouth until he's metabolizing his own shinbone. The three-time Senate loser, now attempting to avenge his 2010 savaging by Democratic then-Gov. Joe Manchin, caught flak over the weekend for making the reasonable point that anti-smoking laws are really just like forcing Jews to wear the Star of David in Nazi Germany. Now he's at it again, defending far-right rocker Ted Nugent over comments the Nuge made suggesting Republicans should "chop off [Democrats'] heads in November" and saying that if President Barack Obama is reelected, he intends to be either dead or in jail by next spring.

Raese went on to compare Nugent's comment to a football coach using a figure of speech, adding that investigating Nugent is a means of "controlling the people."

If West Virginia basketball coach "Bob Huggins came in and told you that we are in a vicious game against Penn State and we’re gonna go right on that court and we’re gonna kill 'em, would the FBI want to investigate Bob Huggins? I don’t think so. That’s called a figure of speech. Controlling the people -- remember that -- controlling the people. Ted Nugent is a patriot. Ted Nugent is somebody that is firm in this country and when you see scenarios that break down like that scenario, it’s a concern, isn’t it? It’s a concern."

Raese's antics raise the prospect that Manchin might even manage to get reelected this year without having to shoot a Democratic agenda item with a rifle in a campaign ad. (SaoMagnifico)


AZ-Sen: When you gonna give me some time polls, Carmona? Apparently, right now: after Public Policy Polling showed former Surgeon General Richard Carmona's once-narrow deficit to Republican Rep. Jeff Flake ballooning to double digits, the Democratic candidate is out with a poll from Anzalone Liszt showing him down to Flake by a mere 43-39 margin. While internal polls probably deserve a grain of salt in most cases, this means Carmona could very well still be in the game, especially if President Obama decides to go all-out in Arizona. (sapelcovits)

IN-Sen: State Treasurer Richard Mourdock pounds his Republican primary rival, longtime Sen. Richard Lugar, over the issue of Lugar's disputed residency in a new ad, which you can see below. The ad also manages to paint Lugar as a Washington insider, attack his personal friendliness with President Obama, and box the 36-year senator's ears for being, say it with me, insufficiently conservative.

Roll Call's Shira Toplitz doesn't have exact WOTSOTB, but she provides this tidbit that hints it's a big one:
The campaign plans a six-figure buy for the spot on broadcast stations in Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, South Bend and Evansville, as well as statewide cable.

MA-Sen: Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who won a special election in 2010 with extensive "tea party" backing, is perhaps only rivaled by ex-Maine Gov. Angus King among Senate candidates this cycle in how much he likes to tout his own independence. So Democrat Elizabeth Warren seems quite reasonably eager to seize on a recent fundraising appeal Brown sent to out-of-state potential donors, which I'll quote:

“This race is THE battleground for the United States Senate — the only sure hedge to a potential second term for President Obama,” Brown’s appeal says.

HuffPo reported that the fundraising letter appeared to have gone to an out of state list — meaning he likely is raising money from a national conservative audience by portraying his race as the last bulwark against creeping Obama tyranny.

Not exactly helpful for a man who has tried hard to portray himself as the real-life version of Jimmy Stewart's famous fictional Sen. Jefferson "Soapy" Smith. Warren is already fundraising off the appeal. Boy, isn't it nice when Republicans do Democrats' dirty work for them? (SaoMagnifico)

ME-Sen: Former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap was one of four candidates -- all of them Democrats -- to show up at a forum hosted by the Maine League of Young Voters ten days ago, and it's Dunlap who is now walking away with the group's endorsement. Click the link for what may be your last chance this cycle to read a Maine Senate story that doesn't mention the name "Angus King." (SaoMagnifico)

MO-Sen: Yesterday, I posted about how "businessman John Brunner" received the endorsement of the United States Chamber of Commerce in the Republican primary to take on Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.  The A.P. story I linked to (via KCTV) said the Chamber said it's "backing Brunner because his private-sector experience in cutting spending and balancing a budget could provide the greatest contrast with Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill."

The Hill, today, reports that:

For John Brunner, nothing has taken as prominent role in his Senate campaign in Missouri as his family business, Vi-Jon, which makes health and cosmetic products in St. Louis….

Unfortunately for Brunner, Vi-Jon has been downgraded by credit rating agency Moody's from B2 to B1, indicating that the company is now a higher credit risk, local blog PoliticMO reported. The agency said the company's low cash flow and smaller profit margins led to the downgrade.

Brunner serves on the board of Vi-Jon but has stepped down as chairman and as CEO of the company. The company also laid off 36 workers in October, the same month Brunner entered the race[.]

O.K., that doesn't look great for Brunner, but I don't think it's the sort of thing that swings a Senate race.  I'm mostly linking to it because of Brunner's response, which doesn't exactly suggest a seasoned pro or a budding political talent:
Brunner's campaign blamed the layoffs on President Obama's "job-killing policies that are destroying the private-sector economy."
I didn't want to fire people, but Obama "destroyed the private-sector economy"!  That kind of reply doesn't suggest great political competence for a neophyte like Brunner or for the campaign team he's put together--and that really might matter in a close Senate race. (Xenocrypt)

TX-Sen: Public Policy Polling is out with a new poll of the Texas Senate race, left open by Kay Bailey Hutchison's retirement. As you'd expect, this is a race where Democrats aren't competitive (between fielding third-tier candidates and the overall lean of the state), so the real question is what kind of a Republican are we going to be saddled with? It could be an establishment business-conservative (Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or ex-Dallas mayor Tom Leppert), or a tea-flavored fire-breather (ex-state Solicitor General Ted Cruz or, snicker, ex-ESPN analyst Craig James). Dewhurst is still in the driver's seat, but Cruz seems to close the gap with each successive poll as he gets better known. Dewhurst leads Cruz 38-26, with Leppert at 8 and James at 7.

That's closed from a 29-point Dewhurst lead back in their poll in September. Seems like, given the trajectory, if Cruz had more the gift of more time he could eventually draw even, but the primary's only a month away on May 29. Don't forget that Texas is a runoff state, though, so a second faceoff between Dewhurst and Cruz looks likely on July 31. (I suspect Dewhurst will get most of Leppert's votes and Cruz will get most of James's votes, but that's hard to game out at this point.)

As for November, each of the GOPers defeats either of the two Dems, Sean Hubbard and Paul Sadler. Dewhurst leads them in the 14-15 point range, Cruz and Leppert lead in the 10-11 point range, and James only leads in the 4-6 point range.

VA-Sen: Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-backed dark-money group, is up with a new ad targeting Democratic ex-Gov. Tim Kaine for "reckless spending" and tax increases. The ad, which you can watch below, features a voiceover that can only be described as "obnoxious" and uses a rather stale-seeming "playing card" visual theme. (SaoMagnifico)

The Washington Post reports Crossroads is dropping $275,000 on the ad -- a fair chunk of change -- which will air in the Richmond, Charlottesville, and Washington, D.C., media markets.


NH-Gov: Here's a poll from a very up-in-the-air race where we've been hungry for any new information, and also a poll with results that seem surprisingly good for the Democrats. The only thing keeping off the Elections front page is the fact that it's from the Univ. of New Hampshire, a pollster that we've long viewed with a jaundiced eye.

They aren't consistently biased in one direction (cough Rasmussen cough), but tend to have wide vacillations in sample compositions from poll to poll. Not only that, but the undecideds in this sample are super-high, with Ovide Lamontagne unknown to 54% of voters and the other candidates all with unknowns of 80% or higher!

At any rate, UNH finds the Democrats leading in all four potential configurations in the Governor's race, left open after the retirement of Dem incumbent John Lynch after four terms. The likeliest matchup, ex-state Sen. Maggie Hassan and 2010 Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne, winds up with a 34-29 Hassan edge. Hassan defeats ex-state Rep. Kevin Smith 29-24. Ex-state Sen. Jackie Cilley defeats Lamontagne 31-30, while Cilley beats Smith 30-23. I don't know if this is reaction to the crazy agenda of the Republican-held state House of Representatives, or the halo effect of outgoing Gov. Lynch, who's at a remarkable 72/17 approvals, some of which might be rubbing off on the Dems.

A second poll of New Hampshire, from Dartmouth College (you might remember this poll from last week for its presidential topline numbers; it's one of the very few polls we've seen lately with Mitt Romney in a narrow lead in a swing state), confirms Lynch's broad popularity (65/15 approval) and the legislature's unpopularity (22/36). They didn't do head-to-heads in the gubernatorial race, but just asked a weird blanket "who do you plan to vote for for governor?" to which undecided won a landslide victory with 78% (with Lamontagne next, at 12%).

We haven't seen any polling of the primaries, but on the Dem side, Hassan seems to be getting some traction in the invisible primary of lining up endorsements. She's lined up union endorsements from the Painters, Carpenters, Ironworkers, and UFCW unions, while Cilley doesn't appear to have any union backers yet.

SC-Gov: Here's some welcome news for Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who doesn't face re-election for another two years (but has nevertheless been battered over the years by damaging allegations - some which have turned out to be bull, but others which may yet bruise her). Winthrop University's latest poll of registered voters finds her approval rating at "nearly 38 percent," compared to 38.5 who disapprove - nothing to write home about, but an improvement from December, when only 35% approved of her performance. (Of course, as the pollster notes, much of this improvement came from Republicans, who will likely back her in 2014 anyway.)

In other good news for Haley, Winthrop also finds the state legislature's approval rating at a humiliating 34.2/41.1 split. While the legislature is Republican-controlled, Haley (like her predecessor, the philandering Mark Sanford) often clashes with them, so chances are that the legislature's loss is Haley's gain. (sapelcovits)

VA-Gov: It's not every day you see Daily Kos Elections link to celebrity gossip site TMZ, but it looks like they've got a political news scoop -- though someone might want to make sure it's not still April Fools' Day over there. According to the report, White House gate-crasher Tareq Salahi is now endeavoring to extend his 15 minutes of fame just a little while longer by filing papers to run for governor of Virginia next year -- as a Republican. They have a PDF of his filing document, too. This could be either fun or just painful to watch. (h/t ndrwmls10) (SaoMagnifico)

WI-Gov: The hits keep on coming for former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, whom public polls have consistently found trailing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the abbreviated race for the Democratic nomination in this recall election. Now Dave Catanese over at Politico reports he's obtained part of an internal strategy memo from the Falk campaign including primary poll numbers. Paul Maslin, the Madison pollster working on behalf of Falk, finds her trailing Barrett 32-40.

Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, who shot down entreaties for him to make his own gubernatorial bid just two weeks ago, says he's endorsing Barrett. The two men have long been close, so this endorsement comes as no surprise, but it does appear Barrett is consolidating much of the establishment support in this race.

Barrett also has a new campaign ad out (NWOTSOTB), which you can see below. It's essentially just a clip from one of Barrett's campaign speeches attacking Republican Gov. Scott Walker's "ideological war" on women with unflattering headlines about Walker overlaid.



AK-AL: State Rep. Sharon Cissna isn't on the legislative committees debating Alaska's oil tax or a proposed natural gas pipeline, and state law prohibits her from campaigning or fundraising while the state legislature is in session, so she doesn't have much to do while counting down the days until her expected Election Day meeting with veteran Republican Rep. Don Young. So what is Cissna doing to pass the time? According to the Anchorage Daily News, she's "reading up on transportation issues" -- a topic in which Cissna already has some interest. (SaoMagnifico)

CA-02, CA-15, CA-21, CA-44, CA-51, CA-52: And maybe others!  This might be a bit old, but the CA Labor Federation issued its primary endorsements.  Nothing too surprising, but they're backing Jared Huffman in CA-02 (over Stacey Lawson, Normon Solomon, and Susan Adams), incumbent Pete Stark in CA-15 (over Eric Swalwell), Blong Xiong in CA-21, incumbent Janice Hahn in CA-44 (over fellow incumbent Laura Richardson), Juan Vargas in CA-51 (over Denise Ducheny), and Scott Peters in CA-52 (over Lori Saldaña).  No endorsement in Sherman vs. Berman, though.  Click through for their full list of endorsements, including at the state legislative level.

A few brief thoughts: Vargas has gotten some flack from the left, but he also has a wide COH lead over Ducheny, a fellow State Senator.  Peters, a former San Diego City Council President and City Attorney candidate, has an even wider COH edge over Saldaña, a former State Assembly member.  

Meanwhile, Huffman is actually a bit behind Norman Solomon in COH, but in my opinion it's hard not to think of Huffman, the widely-endorsed state Assembly member, as something of a front-runner here over Solomon, a well-known activist and journalist.  I will add that Solomon has gotten endorsed by the California Federation of Teachers--except they also endorsed Huffman!  Huffman also got a "dual endorsement" from the Sierra Club, which Susan Adams.  Solomon, meanwhile, has endorsements from John Conyers, Raul Grijalva, Dolores Huerta, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.  And Sean Penn and Phil Donahue, but I'm not going to bother linking to those. (Xenocrypt)

FL-16: Another day, another shaky Republican poll. This time, it's embattled Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan, whose Public Opinion Strategies poll shows him leading Democratic State Rep. Keith Fitzgerald by an imposing 58-36 margin. In addition to the pollster's partisan origins, of course, the poll suffers from a rather rotund margin of error (4.9 points) and is over a month old. Still, unless Fitzgerald can produce his own poll showing him in a better position, he'll have to make more hay of Buchanan's ethical issues if he wants to gain traction in this John McCain-supporting district.

And that was fast... Democratic state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald was able to produce an internal poll rebutting the one put out by Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan earlier Wednesday. It's not hugely confidence-inspiring since it's a) stale (from February) and b) still shows him losing, but does show Buchanan under 50 and with underwater favorables (44/46). The poll from SEA Polling gives Buchanan a 49-38 lead over Fitzgerald on the toplines. (sapelcovits & David Jarman)

IL-13: Now this ought to cheese off a lot of downstate Republicans. A simple check of domain registration records indicates that Jerry Clarke, Tim Johnson's former chief of staff, must have had some advance inkling that Johnson was going to pull his retire-after-the-primary shenanigans. was registered on Feb. 10, well before the March 20 primary or Johnson's April 5 retirement announcement. (Johnson's replacement doesn't get picked by the voters, though, only by the county party chairs in the district, so I don't see how a website helps much; all it does is make transparent the fact that Johnson was trying to grease the skids to help his former acolyte get his job.)

MI-14: Could another upset be brewing? Labor unions just helped Mark Critz score a major come-from-behind victory against Jason Altmire in PA-12, and now they're coalescing behind Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in his primary against fellow Rep. Hansen Clarke. In addition to besting Clarke on the fundraising front, Peters has also run the gamut on basically every major labor union endorsement (click the link for specifics), and a Democratic consultant is predicting that 35 percent of voters in the primary will be union members. While the district's majority-black status augurs well for Clarke, the presence of two other black candidates in the primary (Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence and State Rep. Mary Waters) means he probably can't win on racially-polarized voting alone.

But wait, you might be thinking, why are unions passing over a progressive like Clarke? Maybe it's just quid pro quo: according to this Detroit Free Press profile of the race, Clarke was the only candidate to skip out on a recent labor event, declaring, "I'm not interested in making political appearances and stroking political egos." What he is interested in, apparently, is throwing away this race. (sapelcovits)

NC-03: Here's another story bringing together a couple of favorite DKE topics.  We've all been following the Campaign for Primary Accountability, the SuperPAC funded by a very small group of right-wing activists that nevertheless professes to be applying a neutral set of criteria in their funding of challengers to incumbents (And I basically believe them!  David asked a while back for the CPA's "Dungeons and Dragons"-style alignment, and I think they're "lawful neutral" as of now).  They've already helped Eric Wenstrup's win over incumbent Jean Schmidt and Matt Cartwright's win last night over Tim Holden, although they've funded some unsuccessful races as well.

Now they're going after someone new: Walter Jones.  Buried in this long, haven't-read-the-whole-thing McClatchy profile of NC house races (via the "News Tribune") is this:

And accusations that U.S. Rep. Walter Jones is not conservative enough has opened him up to a primary challenge from former New Bern Police Chief Frank Palombo, who has the support of tea partiers. Jones, a Farmville Republican, is also the latest target of the anti-incumbent super PAC, The Campaign for Primary Accountability, which plans to launch a six-figure opposition campaign against him for the primary.
My emphasis!  Palombo is later described as "tea party-backed".  Anyway, click here to see just how often Jones has voted against Eric Cantor on OpenCongress-spotlighted bills over the past few years.  And it's not all past apostasies--looking only at this Congress, OpenCongress says Jones has the single lowest party unity score of any Republican.  Lower than Ron Paul!  (74.5% vs. 71.7%)  This will definitely be a primary to watch. (Xenocrypt)

NH-01: As rallying cries go, it could be a lot catchier, but Democratic ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is going after Republican Rep. Frank Guinta, who ousted her in 2010, over his use of franked mail. A congressional privilege intended to lower the costs and ease the efficiency of official business, franking is the practice of sending mail without a stamp. Because it costs the taxpayer-funded United States Postal Service a chunk of change to transport envelopes and parcels from place to place, that essentially means the taxpayer picks up the bill for franked mail delivery. Anyway, despite criticizing Shea-Porter in 2010 for her use of franked mail, Guinta apparently now sends more franked mail than any other member of Congress. Shea-Porter and the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC are trying to make hay of it.

“It sure didn’t take long for Frank Guinta to embrace the ways of House GOP hypocrisy,” declared Andy Stone, the House Majority PAC’s communications director. “After criticizing his opponent for the practice, Guinta not only began doing the same thing, but despite calling it a ‘waste’ and ‘unnecessary,’ spent more taxpayer dollars than any other member of Congress in doing so.”
Guinta's response, predictably, is that the situations are totally different because Guinta is using his mail for constituent services, as if Shea-Porter were just sending franked postcards to all her friends. Anyway, it's difficult to see this catching on as a serious campaign issue, but if this is what the Shea-Porter campaign and House Majority PAC want to spend their ammo on, not much I can do to stop them. (SaoMagnifico)

NY-06: Back when state Board of Elections employee Jeffrey Gottlieb skedaddled out of the Democratic primary here, he designated attorney Stephen Green to run in his place. Gottlieb and Green, of course, were thought by many pundits to be deliberate spoilers pushed by the Queens Democratic Party to help its preferred candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, by splitting the Jewish vote in the Democratic primary. (Meng's main primary rival, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, is Jewish.)

Now, however, Green himself has quietly exited from the race. Nevertheless, fans of political intrigue will be relieved to know that there are still two sketchy candidates in the race: TV reporter Juan Sheng (who, like Meng, is Chinese-American) and Jewish-sounding doctor Robert Mittman (who, like any legitimate candidate with nothing to hide, is ignoring repeated calls from reporters). Both Sheng and Mittman, however, could still get the boot if their candidate petitions don't have enough valid signatures. (sapelcovits)

PA-17: An item from last night that got lost in the shuffle here at Daily Kos Elections, and good news for Democrats in this redrawn district. Rep. Tim Holden, who lost yesterday to attorney Matt Cartwright in the Democratic primary, endorsed Cartwright and asked his supporters to back him in the general election. Nice to see. (SaoMagnifico)

WA-01: We had originally reported that the King County Democratic Central Committee endorsed all of the Democrats in this open-seat race, then pulled its endorsement from activist Darcy Burner over the weekend. Now Publicola is reporting they have decided not to endorse anyone at all, pulling their support from businesswoman Suzan DelBene last night. It's unclear whether the other candidates in the race, including state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), businessman Darshan Rauniyar, and ex-state Rep. Laura Ruderman, ever actually received the King County Democrats' official endorsement, but at any rate, the party is now saying they'll wait and see until Democrats in the legislative districts within WA-01 make their decisions. Really weird fumble from the Democratic affiliate in Washington's most populous county. (SaoMagnifico)

DCCC: We didn't mention it yesterday, but in addition to those new Red-to-Blue races, the DCCC has added 12 new candidates (as well as NY-23, where there is no clear Democratic frontrunner) to its "Emerging Races" list:

Q. Byrum Hurst (AR-04), Blong Xiong (CA-21), Gloria Romero Roses (FL-26), Teresa Hensley (MO-04), Hayden Rodgers (NC-11), Mark Murphy (NY-11), Dan Lamb (NY-22), Joyce Healy-Abrams (OH-07), Sharen Neuhardt (OH-10), George Badey (PA-07), Larry Maggi (PA-18), Matt Varilek (SD-AL)
Whereas the "Emerging Candidates" list seems to be reserved for candidates the DCCC sees as having upside potential but probably worse-than-even odds of winning in November (ranging from slight underdogs, like Xiong and Murphy, to real long-shots, like Neuhardt and Maggi), the "Majority Makers" category is reserved for Democrats the DCCC expects will win and wants to free up excess campaign cash for use in more competitive districts. Four candidates were newly added to that list:
Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Dina Titus (NV-01), Joyce Beatty (OH-03)

Grab Bag:

FEC: Are we on the verge of one our greatest dreams finally realized? (OK, I guess we have some pretty lame dreams at Daily Kos Elections...) A bill by Jon Tester proposes that the Senate adopt the same basic technology as the House, and require standardized electronic filing and reporting of campaign finance forms. (Right now, filing is by hand, and reporting is whatever the candidates choose to tell the press.) It still has to survive the Senate as a whole, which may be easier said than done, but it just cleared the Rules Committee without any dissent.

NC-Init: PPP is out with another poll of North Carolina's marriage amendment, which goes before the voters in two weeks in the upcoming primary election. The amendment (which would prohibit any legal recognition of same-sex relationships) is still passing, but with each time they've polled it it's gotten closer and it's getting to the point where a last-minute shift can stop it (recall the last-minute shift against Mississippi's personhood amendment last year once people realized what they were voting on). This sample, it's 54% supporting, 40% opposing. On the other hand, 53% of respondents support either gay marriage or civil unions in the abstract, and when people are informed what the confusingly-worded amendment does, it drops to 38% support, 46% opposed. So, really, it seems mostly a matter of performing enough voter outreach to help confused voters understand what the amendment does.

NY-St.-Sen.: We've been following the saga of the New York State Senate for a while on DKE and SSP, and via, here's a new twist:  "GOP Councilman Eric Ulrich announced his candidacy for a State Senate against incumbent Joe Addabbo this morning, putting a new seat in play that previously lacked a strong challenger."  You might recall that Ulrich was a rumored candidate for NY-09, and was so feared that Taget titled a diary "New York Doomsday Redistricting: Life with Ulrich."  Of course, he didn't run, and everything worked out fine for the Democrats.  Sigh.  Anyway. continues,

The redistricting process made Mr. Addabbo’s district more friendly to a potential Republican challenger with the addition of the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, which helped propel GOP Congressman Bob Turner to his surprising victory in the special election to replace Democrat Anthony Weiner last fall. Mr. Ulrich, who is considered a rising star in New York City’s Republican party, is working with political consultant Bill O’Reilly, a veteran of Mr. Turner’s House campaign.
They also link to and embed Ulrich's announcement video, and I will do the same:
Question: Has anyone actually done a full analysis of the enacted NY Senate map?  I'd like to know exactly how this district has voted, and what the other swing/endangered-incumbent districts are. (Xenocrypt)

OR-AG: Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has announced he'll step down later this summer to take on his new appointment as President of Reed College.  That means that any appointment to fill out the remainder of his term will not likely have any impact on the race to fill the next whole term for AG, which will likely be decided on May 15th, the day of the Democratic primary, as no Republican filed in this race. (James Allen)

PA-HD-182: It's a bit in the weeds, but it looks like PA will have its first-ever openly-LGBT state legislator, as Brian Sims leads incumbent Babette Josephs by 233 votes, with 55/63 precincts in.  And, you might well ask, as asked,

Why the hold-up? Well, not all of the cartridges were turned in, said Rich Vito, computer operator for the City Commissioners. The count will resume tomorrow and should be complete by tomorrow afternoon.
Anyway, according to, there's an interesting breakdown so far.  7,090 votes have been cast so far, and Sims trails 1803/1916 in the Ward 8 part of the district--that's Rittenhouse Square and West Center City, and 23/30 precincts counted.  However, Sims leads 640/385 in the small part of the district in Ward 5, East Center City--which, as our own okiedem noticed, includes the city's "Gayborhood," and 9/10 precincts counted.  Sims also led 452/265 in the 5 precincts in Ward 30 (South of South), but trailed 196/355 in the 7 precincts in ward 36 (Grey's Ferry), while leading 570/507 in the 11 precincts in Ward 1 (Bella Vista and Passyunk).  And h/t to the trailing incumbent for her neighborhood map, as well as to the Committee of Seventy ward map.

Anyway, this is a big deal.  Not only has PA never had an openly-gay legislator, but Philadelphia is, by far, the largest city to have never had an openly-LGBT City Council member, as far as I know. (Xenocrypt)

TN State Leg.: Wow. If you thought Tennessee Democrats had hit rock bottom after 2010 (when two red-district Democratic congressmen chose to retire and the third got spanked), this article from the Tennessean might come as a rude surprise. Republicans are saying legislative redistricting will net them another 5 to 7 seats in the State House, giving them a comfortable supermajority. The Democrats don't dispute this; in fact, the best that House Democratic Caucus leader Mike Turner can say in response is, "For 140 years, people were satisfied with us. Maybe they’ll come back." Translation: "We're screwed." (sapelcovits)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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