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Here at Daily Kos Elections, we're going to start regularly updating our race ratings each week from now through election day. Our first big batch of moves involves changes to 12 races, 10 of which are in the GOP's favor. You can find links to our permanent ratings charts in the Elections sidebar or blogroll, or just click here: Senate | Gubernatorial | House.

Gubernatorial:

MO-Gov (Likely D to Lean D): Dem Gov. Jay Nixon has done everything right and is probably in as strong a position as he could hope to be as he seeks re-election in this red state. But when Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a true train-wreck of a candidate, decided against a gubernatorial run, that opened the doors for wealthy businessman Dave Spence, a blank slate who's been spending freely. A spate of recent polls have shown Nixon hovering around or below 50%; while the incumbent still has the edge, Spence has the ability to make this race a lot closer than Kinder likely would have.

House:

AR-04 (Likely R to Safe R): One of Democrats' biggest recruitment fails all cycle was in AR-04, though to be fair, Rep. Mike Ross's unexpected retirement put Team Blue behind the eight-ball (and screwed us in redistricting, to boot). But excuses aside, Sen. Gene Jeffress is still running a campaign out of the '70s... the 1870s, that is. Jeffress did, remarkably, finally enter the 20th century with the launch of his campaign website—in August. But while he might finally have an online presence, what he doesn't have is any chance. It's impossible to see the DCCC wanting to spend here, especially since Republicans have accorded near rock-star status to their nominee, Iraq and Afghanistan vet Tom Cotton. Also, this.

CT-05 (Lean D to Tossup): After an extremely expensive and bruising primary, Democrats probably wound up putting their best foot forward in the form of ex-state Rep. Elizabeth Esty, though it's hard to say how strong of a candidate she is, since State House Speaker Chris Donovan had a wide lead in the polls before his campaign was brought low by a fundraising scandal. Republicans also waged a high-priced and messy battle, but—in a rare move for the GOP—they wound up nominating the candidate who is unquestionably their strongest choice, state Sen. Andrew Roraback. Roraback's moderate profile will definitely aid him in this district, Connecticut's least-blue, though his fundraising has been a fraction of Esty's. Nevertheless, this one looks like it'll be a serious fight until the end.

FL-02 (Lean R to Likely R): Democratic recruiters figured state Rep. Leonard Bembry would fit nicely into the mold of Allen Boyd, the Dem who held this conservative-leaning seat until Republican Steve Southerland beat him in 2010's red wave. But Bembry never raised much money and he lost the primary to the even-more-underfunded state Sen. Al Lawson, who rode name rec from a nearly successful primary challenge last cycle to victory. National Democrats don't seem like they're going to spend on this race, making it very unlikely to flip.

MA-06 (Lean D to Tossup): If Massachusetts Democrats had been smarter, they'd have given Rep. John Tierney a safer seat in redistricting, because he could use the help. Instead, measured by Obama's 2008 performance, MA-06 is actually the reddest CD in the Bay State. And unfairly or not, Tierney is still heavily weighed down by a tax evasion scandal that sent his wife to jail, for helping her brothers dodge taxes in connection with their offshore gambling business. Tierney has long denied any knowledge of this sordid affair, and no one has any evidence to the contrary, but local media seem determined to tar Tierney with this mess anyway—as, of course, do Republicans. And they've also managed to recruit their best possible candidate, "moderate" former state Sen. Richard Tisei. Tisei's raised a ton of money (indeed, he pulled in more than Tierney last quarter), and his moderate credentials are burnished by the fact that he's gay and uses that fact to distance himself from the national GOP. This race looks like it will be very tight indeed.

NC-09 (Likely R to Safe R): When GOP Rep. Sue Myrick retired, creating an open seat here, we slotted this race as Likely R just on the off chance that lightning struck for Democrats. Team Blue didn't fare too badly in recruiting Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts, but the GOP wound up with wealthy ex-state Sen. Robert Pittenger, who has already spent $2 million on his bid (most of that for winning his party's nomination). And since Republicans gerrymandered this district just as perfectly as they did the rest of the state, there's no reason to think this race might be competitive.

NJ-03 (Likely R to Lean R): Shelley Adler, the widow of former one-term Rep. John Adler, is looking to defeat the man who beat her late husband in 2010, Republican freshman Rep. Jon Runyan. We wanted to take a wait-and-see approach when we issued our first set of ratings: Adler outraised Runyan in the first quarter, but was it low-hanging fruit? Well, she went and outraised the incumbent again in the second quarter, so Adler evidently has some chops. The GOP shored up this seat a bit in redistricting, and Runyan definitely has the edge, but this looks like a real race.

NJ-05 (Likely R to Safe R): Democrats failed to land their top recruits here, Rep. Steve Rothman and legendary New York Giants hall-of-famer Harry Carson. We had some hopes that the guy Carson endorsed, Marine vet Jason Castle, might show a bit of spark, but unfortunately, he lost the primary to Teaneck councilman Adam Gussen, who apparently hasn't even filed an FEC report. Next.

NY-23 (Lean R to Likely R): We may have gotten a little too excited about Democratic prospects in the redrawn 23rd District, especially after it was revised to include the liberal college town of Ithaca. But there've been no signs that either party really thinks this seat is up for grabs (the NRCC just made TV ad reservations in four upstate New York districts, but not this one). Dems wound up with a potentially interesting candidate in the form of Tompkins County legislator Nate Shinagawa, but he's raised relatively little money and had to spend most of it on winning the primary, while GOP freshman Tom Reed has a fair chunk of change ($800K-plus) in the bank.

SC-07 (Likely R to Safe R): South Carolina's open, brand-new 7th District was always going to be a longshot for Democrats, but (believe it or not) it's actually the second-bluest (or perhaps "least red") seat in the state. So state Rep. Ted Vick looked like he might give Dems some kind of a chance here, but his candidacy imploded shortly before the primary when he was arrested for drunk driving with both an unlicensed firearm and a female college student in his car. Hopes then turned to young attorney Preston Brittain, who had actually been outraising Vick, but the nomination went to Gloria Tinubu, a former state legislator... from Georgia, who twice ran for mayor of Atlanta on the Green Party ticket. Suffice it to say, she's about as bad a fit for this district as possible.

WA-01 (Tossup to Lean D): Initially, dramatic redistricting plus an open seat made this look like potential trouble for the Dems. They had a huge pileup of hopefuls while the Republicans quickly coalesced behind one candidate with unique appeal in the rural parts of the district: Snohomish County Councilor and dairy farmer John Koster. The state's top-two primary, though, is often a good barometer of how November will go, and the Aug. 7 vote showed the Dems in strong position. The very conservative Koster turned out to have almost no appeal in the suburbs of King County, getting only 44% of the vote district-wide, while all the race's Dems combined for 53%, results not too different from what we saw in the theoretically much-safer WA-06 and WA-10. The Dems also nominated their most imposing candidate, Suzan DelBene, who performed solidly against Dave Reichert in WA-08 in 2010 and who can self-fund as needed. (David Jarman)

WV-03 (Safe D to Likely D): After sitting on his ass for the first part of the year, Republican state Rep. Rick Snuffer finally appeared to get his campaign off the ground in the second quarter with an unspectacular but unignorable $200K haul. And while lists are cheap, the NRCC did go to the trouble of slotting him into their top-tier "Young Guns" programs. An unanswered poll from veteran Dem Rep. Nick Rahall showed the incumbent leading by 30 points, but given West Virginia's rapid reddening, we're putting this race on the board out of an abundance of caution.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Agree with all the ratings changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Just a note, WV has Delegates, not Representatives.

    19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    politicohen.com
    Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

    by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:28:55 PM PDT

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Though you often see WV delegates referred to as "representatives."

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:35:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

        It's really weird (I mean my state has Assemblymembers, that's even worse!)

        I think we should just use MS and MH (similar to MP in the UK, MK is Israel, etc.)

        19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

        by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:09:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are yours also called Representatives? (0+ / 0-)

          Because the person who represents me in the State Assembly is referred to as Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison), but he can also be called a Assemblyman.

          Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

          by fearlessfred14 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:59:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, ours are referred to as (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            Assemblymembers.

            19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

            by jncca on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 02:30:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  NJ-03 did lose a few GOP base areas. (5+ / 0-)

    Little Egg Harbor and Long Beach Island.  It lost Dem base Cherry Hill (next door to where I spent the majority of my life), but gained Bordentown and Burlington.  Brick Township is why it got 0.5% less Democratic.  And Adler is going to try to play there.  Her Ocean County HQ is in Brick.  And Democrats managed to get a majority on the council last year (albeit thanks to a tax revolt against the Republicans), so it isn't impossible for them.

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:31:34 PM PDT

  •  Ack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Most of the changes, to my eye, are toward Republicans. Not fun.

  •  Geh, not the best news in the world, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, equern, Vatexia, MichaelNY

    but I can't disagree. Massachusetts 6th is particularly troubling with a strong candidate like Tisei in the race. I think a lot of these races moving to Safe R is an example of the DCCC triaging its efforts, which also doesn't bode well this early on.

    "Let's put the jam on the lower shelf so the little people can reach it." - Ralph Yarborough

    by Zutroy on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:38:12 PM PDT

  •  NC-07 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmojo, Woody, MichaelNY

    I think McIntyre is doing very well in NC-07, both campaigns' internal polls showed him leading.

    I was worried about this one at first, but I think it's at least Lean D.  Everyone in the district knows McIntyre's a conservative, even the Republicans.  So Rouzer's attempts to paint him as a liberal aren't really working.

    VA-03 (current residence) NC-07 (home)

    by psychicpanda on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:53:41 PM PDT

  •  Come now, come now: (5+ / 0-)

    I actually really enjoyed listening to Jeffress on the stump. Not only is his particularly Arkansan accent very pleasing, but the whole piece was actually a rather eloquent defense of Obamacare coming in Arkansas. He quoted the sort of racist white person all southern Democrats come across so often, and he called it out for what it is and even had the cajones to say that most of the opposition to Obama and the program comes from racism. It was a lightly attended event, but a good little discussion, even tying it into Christianity.

    Cotton is probably favored. But mark my words Jeffress isn't going to lose big. There's still a good deal of institutional support that counts for a lot. And he's a pretty respected and popular senator in a blue dog area of the district Obama did very poorly in. I think it'll probably be a 55-45 race, significantly closer than the Presidential race.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:02:24 PM PDT

    •  Yea, his heart was in the right place, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      but you never use that word. Ever. It's a shame because I agree with you, I think that video otherwise showcases a pretty eloquent defense of the ACA.

      •  I disagree, really. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        He did the right thing in quoting the woman completely and not doing some sort of half-assed bullshit with saying "the n-word" or just saying "she made a racist comment." He showed it for what it was in all it's nastiness. That's a good thing. That's what made what he said so poignant, and it would silence most anti-ACA people.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:14:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't disagree more strongly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          It's both bad PR (a guaranteed hit from the Republicans) and flat-out wrong. I'll defer to Tim Wise on this one Even attributing it to someone else can be assaultive when it's actually uttered out loud. That's just the reality of how that word reverberates and as someone who won't deal with the consequences of how we use racial slurs, Jeffress should probably just keep his mouth closed.

          •  I'm not uninformed on this issue you know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            But I'm still going to disagree with you. It was the most potent part of what Jeffress said, the actual quote of the woman, and it's a very poignant bit of nastiness that insulates him from being charged as just playing the race card, which is how it would have gone had he just vaguely said, "I met a racist woman, who opposed Obamacare because she was racist."

            I've studied plenty of structural racism, Derrida on the meaning of language, implications, and the like. I'm very sensitive to issues of race and language and if you followed my frequent critiques of common bits of media racism and racism in Republican language, you would know this. On this particular occasion though, I firmly feel you are being too knee-jerk and narrow-minded and I don't like that. Is there a use for using these slurs to critique the very system they stand for? I think there is a legitimate argument that yes, there is, especially if we wish to have a serious and grown up discussion about the realities of racism in the deep south where I have lived all my life.

            Please don't imply I'm an idiot or the like on this issue, alright?

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:15:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I did not imply that you were (0+ / 0-)

              and there's really no need to get so defensive. I just strongly disagreed with you about how this word should be used out loud. Where did I mention, or even hint at, anything about you personally?

              •  It did feel that way (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                In strongly disagreeing you made that implication. But it's alright. Oversensitivity I guess.

                "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                by ArkDem14 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:49:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Tim Wise is very eloquent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArkDem14

            And I greatly respect what he has to say.

            I think we have to look at Jeffress' intentions, though, which we agree are abundantly clear.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:32:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Tom Cotton (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, MichaelNY

      is not a war hero, at least from what my dad says. I can't find whatever his source was (maybe local tv or newspaper), but he lives in the 4th district.

      He said that Tom Cotton is not a war hero, he never fought a battle and wasn't even in Iraq for very long. I wish I could find where he heard that from, I should ask him next time we speak.

      Anyway, Jeffress is well respected in the 4th, this race will be close. I don't agree wit hthe Safe R assessment just because of his fundraising and old-school style. That is the kind of campaigning the 4th districts likes. Obama will get probably 35% in this district, I think Jeffress can easily outperform Obama by 15 in such a blue-dog district that has been voting for Dems for a a century.

    •  yep, look how well his shoestring campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14

      did in the primary and runoff.

      Romney. Ryan. Wrong.

      by James Allen on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:23:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Safe R" doesn't necessarily mean blowout (5+ / 0-)

      It just means "no path to victory for the Democrat." The DCCC doesn't even list AR-04 as an emerging race, and Jeffress has no money. I just don't know how you can win that way.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:36:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well recall this is a rural district (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        And Jeffress has been doing retail campaigning for months. I don't think he will win, but it will not surprise me a whole lot it if he does.

        As James Allen mentioned, look at how Jeffress ended up dominating the primary over a much better funded, more "modern" campaign. Much of this district is securely Democratic territory too; we're talking like 130 years without a history of electing Republicans on a local level. Mike Ross would have been a heavy favorite had he not screwed the state party over. I happen to know for a fact that the Democratic establishment there is really pissed off at him, as they made AR-04 slightly more Republican because he promised to stay on board.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:20:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ouch - not a lot of good news there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equern, MichaelNY

    All told a slight shift toward R. Here's hoping we get a bump from the zeigeist or the top of the ticket or ... ?

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:02:49 PM PDT

  •  Americans hate Congress more than ever (0+ / 0-)

    and yet almost all of those Republican Congressman are getting reelected.  Democrats should have cast a wider net like they did in 2006 and 2008.  It's so frustrating that the national Democratic party seems willing to make the Republican gains of 2010 permanent.

    •  what did our party do wrong exactly? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

      by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:10:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For one thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tiger in BlueDenver

        We didn't recruit as well as we could have.  FL-02 and SC-07 should've been competitive.  Even if we had put up Blue Dog candidates, these were seats we had to take if we wanted to take back the House.  And we shouldn't be defending seats in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  

        VA-03 (current residence) NC-07 (home)

        by psychicpanda on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:33:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we did recruit well (5+ / 0-)

          Bembry and Vick  (pre scandal) were excellent recruits.
          In CT, the GOP picked their best candidate.  We can't control that.
          In MA, our incumbent has a scandal and the GOP has a good candidate.  Neither are the DCCC's fault.

          There are certainly places we could have recruited better (starting with the open Central Valley seat), but the races you cite aren't an example of that.

          19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

          by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:47:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  not aggressively campaigning for House elections (0+ / 0-)

        Like they are for President and Senate, and like they did for the House in 2006 and 2008.  The national party needs to be giving more support to Dem candidates in races like NJ-5 and NY-23, support such as staff and field offices.  In 2006 and 2008 the Democrats put about 60 seats on the table and it paid off.  They seem to be casting a much narrower net this year.

        •  NJ-5 and NY-23 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          will only be competitive in waves.  We can't establish a wave.  
          How many incumbents in seats of +3 or greater for their party lost between 1996 and 2004 (all pretty neutral years).

          I don't know the answer, but it's almost certainly below five.

          19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

          by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:49:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  New CNN poll (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer, askew, Tiger in BlueDenver

    "According to the poll, 49% of likely voters say they're backing Obama, with 47% supporting Romney. The two point margin is within the survey's sampling error, meaning the race is a statistical tie.

    Among the larger pool of registered voters, some of whom will stay at home on Election Day, the survey indicates the president holds a 52%-43% lead. That number is little changed from CNN's previous poll, conducted in early August, before Romney named House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate."

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

    I can't believe that this many Obama voters are simply going to stay home.  Where is the evidence for a seven point LV versus RV share?

    www.stephanhuller.blogspot.com

    •  I really dislike the phrase "statistical tie" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, MichaelNY

      Because it gives the impression that any results within the margin or error are equivalent to a tied result.  The margin of error represents a 95% confidence interval, meaning there's a 95% chance that the results fall with in that range, assuming the sample was conducted in perfectly random fashion.  In other words, it's just as likely that Obama is leading by 4 points as it is that he is tied with Romney.  Of course, no sample is ever truly random, meaning the poll could be skewed or have greater error.

      30, (new) MA-7, Unenrolled

      Truman: "The buck stops here!"
      Romney: "The buck stops somewhere in the next county..."

      by Marcus Graly on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:44:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CT-05 Esty Will win (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, MichaelNY, Tiger in BlueDenver

    If progressives work to support her.

    I've been supporting her for a long time, and I know her well enough to be confident that her voting record in congress will be pretty close to Chris Murphy.

    Yes, she is to the right of Chris Donovan, and there is bad blood left over from the primary, and some even from her term in the legislature.  

    OTOH,  she is as socially liberal as you can get;  she does support repeal of the Bush tax-cuts for the rich.  She does support stimulus spending on infrastructure and training programs.

    Donovan tried to paint her as a Blue-Dog in the primary, but campaign rhetoric aside, she is a good-progressive choice, running against someone who would support the Ryan Budget with few questions asked.

    Let's work for this one.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:24:52 PM PDT

    •  I worry that Esty may be another Melissa Bean, (0+ / 0-)

      someone beholden more to financial interests to the people.  Some of her attacks on Donovan have given me pause.

      •  well, then you can try primarying her in 2014 (4+ / 0-)

        But for now, she's the Democrat and she's who we should all be supporting.

        19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

        by jncca on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:24:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know Melissa Bean (0+ / 0-)

        I can tell you that Esty will always be for the people.  Of course we need a (well regulated) financial sector for the economy to prosper, and what you think is good regulation, she might think is over-regulation and disappoint you.  On balance, I think you will agree with her enough to be happy supporting her in 2014.

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:46:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  She's close to a Blue Dog (4+ / 0-)

      That doesn't mean we shouldn't support her, but let's not spin each other either.

      •  Since I know her personally (0+ / 0-)

        I am confident that you will be happy with her voting record come 2014.

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:42:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since I don't know (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, jncca, HoosierD42

          you personally, I'm not willing to take your word to the bank. And what you're saying also flies in the face of her actual record.

          Having said that, I'll be happy to have you proven right.

          •  I don't expect you to believe me (0+ / 0-)

            But I do think that the stuff about her record has been overblown.

            She had 1 term in the state legislature, in the middle of the financial crisis, and had some disagreements about exactly how much more to tax the rich (She was for increased taxes, contrary to some of what was said during the campaign);  She thought that some cuts were necessary for fiscal responsibility that others did not.  Some of these were cuts that would really hurt, but some would not - - some of what has been reported as "cutting education" was stopping subsidies of well endowed private universities;  She thought that it was the wrong time to impose a sick leave plan that covered all employers down to 5 lives.  (She supports sick leave for >50 lives).

            No, she was not the most progressive candidate in the race, but she is a progressive.

            Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

            by Actuary4Change on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:38:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  you're right- let's not spin each other. (0+ / 0-)

        esty is a very lucky woman-

        let's be honest. if the scandal had broken before the nominating convention and not after, a stronger candidate than esty would surely have jumped into the race. the whole mess came to light shortly after the convention- by then, donovan, esty, and roberti were the only choices, w/ no opportunity for a write in candidate.

        people who supported chris are devasted by what was done to him by nassi and braddock. i don't think devasted is a strong enough word. words fail me.

        again, i will vote for esty, and i will not work against her.

        i think you guys can tell i'm not happy w/ esty. i might have already mentioned that here once or twice.

        "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

        by thankgodforairamerica on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:20:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ot- have you seen the movie... (0+ / 0-)

        jeff who lives at home? all day yesterday i was thinking about that movie and wondering if you've seen it.

        "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

        by thankgodforairamerica on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:33:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are We Still Pretending MN-08 Is Lean R? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca, CF of Aus
    •  If by "we" you mean "you" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Tiger in BlueDenver

      And if by "pretending" you mean "thinking," then yes. Otherwise, what a lovely way to share your derision of those who disagree with you!

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:38:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, he doesn't think it's lean R (0+ / 0-)

        Hail to the king, baby.

        by KingofSpades on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:42:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Geez Man, Lighten Up..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Tiger in BlueDenver

        I guess I would appreciate some context why you think such a tough seat for Republicans is Lean R.  It strikes me as one of the toughest holds in the country for Republicans.

        •  Alright (4+ / 0-)

          I shall lighten up. As James points out, Nolan's fundraising has been awful—which is magnified by the fact that he had the backing of the entire Democratic establishment, including Gov. Dayton, Sens. Franken and Klobuchar, and Walter Mondale. He has all of $88K on hand while Cravaack has almost a million, and there's only a little over a couple of months until election day.

          And I don't think the comparisons with AL-02 (63-36 McCain) and ID-01 (62-36) are apt, given that MN-08 went for Obama by just 53-45. What's more, Obama won MN by 10 while Kerry won it only by 4, yet they performed almost identically in the 8th, which did not materially get altered in redistricting. That suggests to me that this is not a part of Minnesota particularly receptive to the president, and it suggests to me that he's likely to do worse this time.

          So I view this is a swing district with a weak challenger and a pretty well-funded incumbent. What's more, if the NRCC is defending the likes of Buerkle, they certainly aren't going to let Cravaack swing in the wind. I can see the case for Tossup, and we used Rothenberg-style ratings, I might call it "Tilt R." But we have to make a choice, and I think Cravaack has the advantage.

          Political Director, Daily Kos

          by David Nir on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:40:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Daunting Fund-raising Gap For Sure..... (3+ / 0-)

            I wonder if the locals can shed light on whether Cravaack is even on the airwaves yet and taking advantage of his warchest.  If not, I think the money advantage loses some significance.

            And while your points are certainly taken on the demographic shifts in MN-08, I think the 2008 returns were skewed by the fact that McCain dominated the airwaves with unanswered ads in both the Minneapolis and Duluth media markets that serve most of MN-08.  The counties 50 miles east of MN-08 in western Wisconsin are not demographically dissimilar in any tangible way to those of MN-08, yet they saw dramatic improvement for Obama and happened to be in media markets where Obama monopolized as McCain pulled out of Wisconsin two months early.  A comparison that I think might be fitting is Ohio, where Obama also won in 2008, but by less than the national average even though if the 2012 election were held today Obama would likely perform better than the national average in Ohio largely as a function of who the opposition is.  Obama is not the perfect kind of Democrat for either Ohio or MN-08, but Romney is a worse fit than McCain was.  Time will tell but my sense of the situation is that Obama improves upon his 2008 margins in MN-08 if the fundamentals of this election stay the same.

            I could well be wrong here, but Cravaack hasn't generated any positive headlines I can think of in Minnesota and the lacks the sort of Scott Brown-ish personal charisma he'll need to win over blue-collars in the numbers he did in 2010.  The numbers Cravaack pulled in on the Iron Range precincts against Oberstar were as much as 15 points better than anything I've ever seen before from a Republican.  While it's possible he could maintain that advantage, having to rely upon 41% of the two-party vote in St. Louis County to eke out a one-point victory in MN-08 is a very thin reed on which to build a long-term career.

    •  by the numbers it should be Lean R. (0+ / 0-)

      Romney. Ryan. Wrong.

      by James Allen on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:43:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Although not stated very diplomatically (4+ / 0-)

      I'm in Mark's corner with regard to the rating.  Lean R is being VERY generous to Cravaack.  I know we haven't seen any polling of the general election yet and Nolan is a bit tapped out financially from the primary, but I have a hard time believing that you're going to have a large number of Obama-Cravaack voters in this race, and Obama will almost certainly beat Romney here by 5+ unless he's losing Minnesota outright.  

      In general, I think these ratings that DKE has assumes that the Republicans win the national house vote by about 4-5%, and I'm not seeing that in hardly any generic ballot polling this year.  Is there a factor for the national house ballot numbers within DKE's ratings formula?  Because I'm seeing quite a few seats like IL-10, IL-11, NH-2, NV-4, etc where Obama will not only win but most likely win big.  Is there any rationale to think that people like Bill Foster or Annie Kuster are going to run 10-15% behind the president?  

      •  Generic ballot polling aside (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, MichaelNY

        I'm having a hard time fathoming why MN-8 should be considered lean-GOP.  Cravaack's voting record is very far to the right of the district, and Nolan seems to be probably the strongest of the candidates nominated.  (At least from what I read here, only Tarryl Clark seemed likely to be a possible clear underdog if nominated, and even she might not have been.)

        This race should be a priority for the D-Trip, which should help to fill Nolan's coffers, and I don't see Cravaack being helped much by national or other state races.  So I think this is a tossup at worst for us, pending new polling or other clear indicators.

        36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 04:08:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  With Nolan Likely Getting Some Love...... (4+ / 0-)

        .....out of his GOP-leaning home base of Crow Wing County, I really have a hard time seeing how he loses.  Cravaack's strong number on the Iron Range (as in losing it by 20 points rather than the usual 40) was unprecedented and almost certainly more of an anti-Oberstar vote than a pro-Cravaack vote.  Generic D in MN-08 always wins.....which strikes me as the reason the DCCC twisted nobody's arms to get into this race.  They're confident that the Democratic primary winner, whoever it was, would beat Cravaack.  I can't for the life of me see how this race constitutes a Lean R designation.

  •  Definitely worried about Tierney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    I think "tossup" is appropriate at this point. The southernmost part of the district that includes some closer-in Boston 'burbs (Salem, Lynn) will have to turnout big for us, if I understand the district correctly.

  •  Agree with these race ratings... although AR-04 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    is a strange one, wouldn't surprise me if as said by ArkDem14 and others that he outperforms Obama by 10.

    Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

    by CF of Aus on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:18:32 PM PDT

    •  As I mentioned above (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, CF of Aus, MichaelNY

      I don't disagree. But it reminds me a bit of the old NY-29 in 2010, after Eric Massa resigned. Tom Reed "only" beat Matthew Zeller by a 56-44 margin, but we moved the race to Safe R because there just didn't seem to be any way for Zeller to win. If the major party committees are ignoring you, it IS possible to stage an upset, but that becomesalmost impossible in a non-wave year in a district that favors the other party, especially one like this.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:45:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fully agree, I don't think the result is in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        Question, but I think his quirky campaign might actually work better against Cotton than his more cashed up primary opponent would have done.

        But yes all that matters is the result, and this one is Safe GOP as Cotton is too strong.

        Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

        by CF of Aus on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 05:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tisei (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, sapelcovits, MichaelNY

    Besides being gay, what makes him different from the Republican Party? Judging from his website, absolutely nothing.

    I really hope the voters aren't fooled by him.

  •  Wisconsin State Legislature update (3+ / 0-)

    In regards to the Wisconsin State Assembly races, WI-AD-63 may be in play: Incumbent Republican Robin "ALEC" Vos has a "family values" problem: his estranged wife apparently committed voter fraud by voting in a Wisconsin election while a resident of Idaho! The Democrat running against Vos is Kelly Albrecht, by the way. I'm rating WI-AD-63 Likely Republican at this point, as this may be a sleeper race. Don't be surprised if Robin Vos ends up being featured in supermarket tabloids, though.

    In regards to the Wisconsin State Senate races, the Democrat that appears to be running the strongest campaign in a Republican-held district doesn't have a shot of winning barring a Cash in the Freezer-type scenario, and that's in WI-SD-20, where Tanya Lohr is running against incumbent Republican Glenn "The Slob" Grothman. WI-SD-20 is Safe Republican, despite Grothman apparently not taking his re-election campaign seriously at all and drawing a top-tier challenger (Lohr is the Washington County, Wisconsin Democratic Party chairwoman).

    Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

    by DownstateDemocrat on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 03:58:35 PM PDT

    •  AD-63 is very, very red and exurban (0+ / 0-)

      It's essentially a Ring of Fire district, and being a "constitutional conservative" probably insulates Vos from any sort of "distractions" like this. If his wife is estranged, he should be able to insulate himself from any charges of vote fraud. In short, no way does Vos lose short of a criminal conviction, and he'd be automatically removed in that case anyways.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:53:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DKE has a good rating chart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Of course I have some little difference but I think you take the right way. No-one of the races have a strange rating, and you give a prundent point with a decent number of Toss-Up.

    Your rating is well balanced and not biassed. Between our differences, we have very close number of differences where I have better rating and where I have worse rating.

    If you get interested, our biggest differences are for GA-12 and IL-13, where I have better numbers than for a Leans Republican, and CO-07 because of the GOP internal poll.

  •  State of House races, in general (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CF of Aus, JohnnyBoston

    Dave, et al.:

    I have no dispute with the very well-explained ratings changes you lay out.

    But I do have a question: Are they relevant only to these particular races, or do you perceive movement in favor of the Republicans in a global fashion? Because the thing that I really have to wonder about is whether you think the Republicans are actually likely to gain seats in the House, overall, rather than lose quite a few (at least 10-15, I would think). Or is it possible that the dynamics of a bunch of specific races will militate against a general anger against the House, and specifically the Republican Caucus and Leadership, that keeps showing up in opinion polls. To paraphrase some posters, could the voters absolutely hate Congress and especially the Republicans in Congress with a white-hot passion and yet vote for the Republican candidate in sufficient numbers to make this a lousy election for Democrats?

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:56:54 AM PDT

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