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Leading Off:

Pres-by-CD: Daily Kos Elections is pleased to announce the preliminary completion of our project to calculate presidential results from the 2012 election for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. These results offer an essential tool for all House race analysts, and we provide a level of detail and transparency you won't find anywhere else. You'll want to bookmark our permalink with all of our data, and if you'd like to drill down further to scrutinize our calculations, you can find all of our spreadsheets here.

Perhaps the most notable statistic to emerge from this endeavor is just how few "crossover" districts there now are—that is to say, seats represented by a Democrat in the House but carried by Mitt Romney on the presidential level, and vice versa for Republicans sitting in seats won by Barack Obama. There are just nine of the former variety and 17 of the latter, for 26 crossover seats in total. Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics says that this is the smallest number since 1920, which underscores how polarized elections have become in recent years in the United States.

It's also worth noting that few states actually offer results by congressional district on their own, so we manually gathered tons of precinct-level data and crunched the numbers ourselves. Almost all of this hard work was undertaken by our own jeffmd. Special thanks are also due to data maven John M. and Daily Kos executive assistant Faith Gardner for their tireless assistance in collecting difficult-to-find election results. We welcome all input and hope you find our calculations valuable.

1Q Fundraising:

GA-Sen: Rep. Jack Kingston (R): $841K raised, $1.75 mil cash-on-hand

CA-07: Rep. Ami Bera (D): $290K raised, $320K cash-on-hand

CO-06: Rep. Mike Coffman (R): $510K raised


KY-Sen: PPP's second Kentucky poll of the cycle paints a very similar picture to their first: Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in weak shape for re-election. McConnell sports a 36-54 job approval rating, virtually unchanged from his 37-55 score in December. He's also slipped a bit against his most talked-about potential opponent, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whom he now leads by just a 45-41 margin, down from 47-40 at the end of last year. And notably, that's despite Grimes remaining mostly unknown and with her negatives inching up a bit, from 29-15 to 28-22.

PPP also pitted McConnell against ex-Rep. Ben Chandler, who narrowly lost re-election to the House last year. The results are similar to Grimes', with McConnell ahead 46-41. However, Chandler said shortly after his defeat that he wouldn't run for Senate next year, though I suppose minds can always change. But just as notably, McConnell only manages a 46-35 lead over Some Dude Ed Marksberry (the only declared candidate so far), showing that he can't crack 46 percent no matter whom he faces.

(By the way, if you're wondering about Ashley Judd, the actress's favorability numbers took a real hit over the past few months, dropping from 42-36 to 34-41 after continuous GOP attacks and criticism from some local Democrats. However, Chandler also earns negative favorables of 25-34, so I suspect Judd wouldn't have performed too differently had PPP tested her against McConnell. But since she's not going to run, it's all moot.)

Yet despite these very soft numbers, McConnell is still favored for re-election. That 46 mark is not a hard ceiling. Rather, we're still a long way off from Election Day, and if nothing else changes, there are a bunch of voters out there who will ultimately hold their noses and pull the lever for McConnell. That's just a reality in a red state, where undecideds are simply going to lean to the right. But of course, this is why they play the games. Things can change, and while it won't be easy, a relentless, high-energy campaign that makes the race all about McConnell could keep those undecided voters at home or even convince them to switch their allegiances.

It's a high-risk, high-reward play, though, particularly since McConnell's war chest is very intimidating. He just announced that he raised another $1.8 million in the first quarter of the year, bringing his cash-on-hand to a massive $8.6 million. But it's not like this is news, since McConnell was always going to be exceptionally well-funded. The question is whether Grimes wants to take this gamble. Given the head start McConnell has, I'd want to ante up sooner rather than later.

LA-Sen: Republican pollster Harper Polling finds Sen. Mary Landrieu leading GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, who just announced his campaign, by a 46-41 margin. That's quite a bit closer than the 50-40 edge PPP gave her in February. The mostly unknown state school board president Chas Roemer also trails Landrieu, 46-33, but as you can see, Landrieu pulls just 46 percent in either matchup.

Democrats would very much like it if Cassidy, the only declared Republican candidate, had to contend with some trouble on his right. Roemer, the son of former Gov. Buddy Roemer, sports a famous name but has never run for office before. And it's looking like the conservative who could cause Cassidy the most grief, ex-Rep. Jeff Landry, may prefer to stay on the sidelines. Landry just announced the creation of a new Super PAC, Restore Our Republic, designed to support anti-establishment Republicans running for the House. Politico makes it sound like Landry hasn't formally ruled out a Senate bid, but they say he "emphasized" that this new group's efforts are "a long-term project," so presumably that means he's less likely to jump into the race and throw up a roadblock for Cassidy.

MA-Sen: Despite the so-called "people's pledge" signed between Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch designed to deter third-party spending, outside groups have actually shelled out quite a bit on the special Senate primary in Massachusetts—$1.25 million, in fact. The pledge actually only deters certain types of expenditures, mostly related to mass-media advertising, so there are all sorts of ways around it. The biggest spender to date is the League of Conservation Voters, with $545,000, and they've put their money toward things like field work, bumper stickers, and plain old office supplies to help Markey.

Indeed, virtually all of the outside cash is coming in on Markey's behalf, including almost $200,000 from the environmentally focused NextGen Committee, and $368,000 from the SEIU. The largest sums for Lynch have come from the International Association of Firefighters, which has spent just $85,000 on miscellaneous items like rally signs.

WV-Sen: I don't think this is the Great Conservative Hope that the Club for Growth has been looking for. Former one-term state Delegate Pat McGeehan announced that he's joining the GOP primary for Senate, which would pit him against the seeming juggernaut candidacy of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.

True believers have been longing for a purer strain of wingnut, though, but meddlers like the CfG and the Senate Conservatives Fund have come up empty. However, McGeehan's electoral history is pretty weak (one win in the state House, followed by two losses for state Senate), so he probably isn't the answer to their prayers, though the CfG seems to be awkwardly reaching out to the new guy via Twitter.


MO-Gov: Well, this is supremely early. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who just won re-election in November, says he won't run for governor... in 2016. That helps clear the path to the eventual Democratic nomination for state AG Chris Koster, who also just secured a second term last fall. (Gov. Jay Nixon will be term-limited.) Zweifel says he's not ruling out a bid for another office, though, so that could mean a run for lieutenant governor or for Senate.

NY-Gov: Well, what else is he gonna do? New York state GOP chair Ed Cox has been busy spitballing names of possible gubernatorial contenders, in the hopes that someone—anyone—will step up for the suicide mission of running against Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year. On Cox's list are Rep. Chris Gibson, 2010 comptroller nominee Harry Wilson, and a trio of county executives: Marc Molinaro (Dutchess), Rob Astorino (Westchester), and Greg Edwards (Chautauqua). While I suspect neither is serious about making bids and that this is just a way to raise their profiles a bit among the chattering classes, both Molinaro and Gibson didn't rule out the possibility.


AZ-09: Former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter has filed paperwork to run against freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, joining 2012 candidate Wendy Rogers in the GOP field. Walter also had a brief NFL career, mostly as a third-string backup, with the Oakland Raiders.

GA-10, -11: Georgia Republicans are making moves regarding two red House seats left open by members of Congress who are looking for a promotion to the Senate. State Rep. Donna Sheldon announced her campaign in Paul Broun's 10th District, while state Sen. Bill Cowsert has said no. Meanwhile, in Phil Gingrey's 11th, Tricia Pridemore, an official in Gov. Nathan Deal's administration, has resigned her post, apparently with an eye to joining ex-Rep. Bob Barr in the primary.

NY-18: We missed this at the time, but still worth noting. Last month, ex-Rep. Nan Hayworth, who lost to Democrat Sean Maloney in November, said that she hasn't ruled out a comeback bid next year. Hayworth has reportedly been staying visible at local political events, and for what it's worth, Maloney seems convinced she's going to run again. She'd definitely make a formidable opponent, but Maloney's off to a strong fundraising start and won't be caught sleeping.

PA-13: This would be quite the comeback. Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who represented a prior version of the 13th District for a single term before getting famously turfed out in 1994, says she's "talking about" a bid for her old seat with supporters now that Allyson Schwartz is running for governor. MMM, as she's often called, was best known as the deciding vote on Bill Clinton's 1993 budget despite facing a tough re-election. Though Republicans successfully used that vote to bludgeon her, the Clinton budget paved the way for a return to balanced budgets and the boom years of the 1990s.

And perhaps Margolies-Mezvinsky's loyalty will end up getting rewarded in the end. She's reportedly "being encouraged" to run by Clinton, and notably, her son is married to Chelsea Clinton. If the Big Dog were to help out here, that could be a real game changer in the primary, as Keegan Gibson puts it. But it's also worth noting that Margolies-Mezvinsky is 70 years old, which is a bit late to be thinking about a return to the House.

SC-01: Elizabeth Colbert Busch is out with her first ad of the general election, backed by a reported $76,000 buy. The messaging is exactly what you'd expect for a Democrat running in a deep red district. Colbert Busch mentions her experience as a single mom raising three kids and stresses her independence, saying she "won't take any special interest pledges or follow any party line." She also adds that "the deficit is killing jobs." Republican Mark Sanford doesn't appear to be on the air yet.

Grab Bag:

AK GOP: Alaska has been notable for a particularly dysfunctional state-level GOP for some time, but that dysfunction may have hit a hilarious climax on Monday night, with party leaders calling an emergency meeting to sack their second state chair in three months. They fired Debra Holle Brown, previously the party's vice president, who had taken over after Russ Millette was fired in January. Both Brown and Millette were from the Paulist wing of the party, elected last year in a frenzy of anti-establishment fervor but who then proved to be incapable of the fundraising tasks required of the job.

Adding to the pathos of the whole spectacle: The meeting to fire Brown initially began in the snow-covered parking lot of the GOP's state headquarters building, seeing as how Brown had apparently "changed the locks on the building and left the state." (The executive committee finished is meeting at the offices of a sympathetic engineering firm.) (David Jarman)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:00:21 AM PDT

  •  Shameless Self Promotion (0+ / 0-)

    I did a facts/figures based on the great Pres-by-CD work done by DK Elections. I've posted here:

  •  The President's Budget Sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I did not vote for Obama to see him throw away the contract that Senior Citizens have with America.  This trick on the Senior Citizens and Middle Class makes him just another Tricky Dick.  That's what this CPI baloney is all about.  He tried to trick us and that is what is even worse than decreasing income on people who have based their retirement on these promises.  And he has no reason to do this.  What have Republican's done in return?  NOT A DAMN THING!  And they have no plans to.  This is called giving away the store!  Forget any more money from me for political reasons.  Obama thinks he just has a right to take it out of my Social Security without my approval.  It means nothing.  I am fighting mad!  I am still working way past 70 because the banks ate my 401K (the thieves have never been prosecuted) and now Obama wants to take my Social Security with no questions asked.  Obama sends me email almost every day.  Why didn't he use one of them to ask me what I think?  A picture of Obama and his family get me NOTHING!!!  Nobody will buy the pictures.  They are missing a backbone.

  •  Andrew Walter? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, if it were Jake Plummer then I might consider crossing over. . .

    Hope you fall on your burger and fries.

    by cardinal on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:39:31 AM PDT

  •  With the AK GOP in such disarray, (5+ / 0-)

    could it be that Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) is going to have a somewhat easier time of it than the red hue of Alaska would otherwise indicate?

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:40:56 AM PDT

    •  yes and no... (0+ / 0-)

      This is the Establishment Republicans (such as they are in Alaska which by the standards of a state like Alabama would be viewed as wierd) taking the keys to the car back from the Paulites. This is the difference between the Alaska Establishment Republicans driving the back roads vs. the Paulites driving off a cliff.

  •  Pretty much as I thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia, wishingwell

    Obama improved his performance in my district from 82% to nearly 83%. That's even better than my Chicago sister's district (IL-02) where he got 80.7%, but not quite as good as my other sister's district, Ca-12, where he got 84%.

    You can see that my family doesn't like to settle in red districts.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:44:19 AM PDT

  •  1920? That was a fluke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981

    Irish urban political machines sat on their hands that year to protest Wilson's failure to recognize the recently declared Irish Republic. Urban CDs that never before or since voted Republican did so that year. And even Al Smith lost his re-election campaign for governor of NY.

  •  I know whom the NY Republicans should run (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Republicans should nominate Andrew Cuomo for governor. He gets along much better with the NY Senate Republicans than he does with the NY Assembly Democrats. His fiscal policies aren't very progressive. And NY Republicans aren't like those of most of the country in terms of their pandering on social issues.

  •  Both Peter King and Michael Grimm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    represent districts carried by Barack Obama. How about a bit of targeting?

    •  Dems must defeat Gary Miller (CA-31) in 2014 (0+ / 0-)

      What a fiasco it was to let Republican Gary Miller win that district in 2012.

      2012 presidential results from that district:  Obama 57.2, Romney 40.6. There is no excuse for letting a Republican win that seat in the House.

      Got to oust Miller in 2014.

      Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:45:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You For the Effort (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981, pelagicray, MJB

    It would seem that if indeed there is a highly polarized electorate in the vast majority of districts, then perhaps what democrats need to do is to formulate a mixed strategy, rather than a one-size-fits-all that the right-wing media echo chamber can focus on to galvanize the dodo heads.  

    One such strategy is to identify and press those issues within each such CD that: 1) appeals to moderate republicans and conservative democrats that can nonetheless uphold progressive principles and politics to maximize democratic votes, 2) that most effectively divides  conservative voters from these more moderate voters, and 3) finds psychological overtones and rhetoric that demoralize, divide, or disinterest  conservative voters in a way that keeps a good percentage from showing up at the polls.  Even if Hillary decides not to run a broad "good will" tours and by her and other high profile celebrities could really be of help here.  Get Obama out of the White House more as well, but as often as possible. simply to raise his popularity and develop good will, while finding ways to further divide conservatives from moderates.

    We need better polling and discussion of how to identify such issues, how regional factors may influence this part of the electorate and how to appeal most effectively, as well as sell progressive ideas as solutions.

    One might suggest looking at issues that focus on the blowback from GOP efforts to shrink government on a more local level, so that they can drown it in the bathtub nationally, but where and people are feeling poorly represented and left out now that the fat cats have splashed so much water out of the tub.  

    We can effectively do this by emphasizing how constituencies are being poorly represented and start a clamor for ouster of GOP congress critters, particularly emphasizing out of state travel, fund raising, giving gifts to the national GOP at the expense of the locals.  Likewise, emphasizing elements of their extremist in a way to provoke the GOP to help us out on that.  Of late internal divisions within the GOP have led conservatives to be particularly good at in hounding moderates out of their party and enforcing a rigid ideology that has no place for anyone not being a member of the 1% or one of its rabid foot soldiers.

    Judicious choice of regional issues that exacerbate such division in the face of complex regional trends to pepper local chat lines, news clippings, etc would likely be a strategy for conservatives for whom there are only two answers to every 21st century question more tax breaks for the 1% and more assault rifles for all.

    A focus on regional impacts of global warming, particularly during the summer, when it will be hard for anyone not to pay attention will also play to moderate's sense of foreboding that there is no longer hope or answers in the GOP for problems that face us going forward with a GOP congress spell impending doom.  Heck, this might even begin to work in West Texas and much of Oklahoma if things continue as they are.  Water rights issues and issues that take food out of the mouths of locals for excessive dining on K Street and Wall Street will make good issues, if ways can be found to engage the muddled middle.

    Another is developing issues of importance to local voters that Fox News ignores in its efforts to indoctrinate the gullible with talking points.  Move marginal elements of the republican coalition across the board and probably a very large number of CD's come further into play.  This would make it even harder for the GOP, which has only a few harsh notes to play to keep their shrinking coalition together.

    Of course, this also means identifying those local issues that will also get more new young and minority voters to the polls in record numbers.

    Also look for video that aids in the process of showing conservatives in action when being out of touch, particular in ways that enrage and embarrass the local electorate.  The 47% video didn't do Mitt Romney much good and I suspect similar exposure, particularly to the GOP efforts to polish their conservative credentials with their own locals will serve usefully.

    Another aspect that should not be overlooked is the subtle consequence and residue of gerrymandering at the precinct level.  There may be precincts that have been grafted here and there at a whim to boost red numbers, but within them  there may be isolated pockets and issues that appeal to these pockets who may remember better times, when they were blue.  Going local here with respect to organization and consciousness raising will be valuable, as will developing statistics showing how these pockets have been disadvantaged now that they have gone from blue to red on paper.  Here especially, effective use of celebrity and organizing and voter registration drives could prove particularly useful.

    The time to start is now!  Organize.  Make our emergent strategy for 2014 cohesive and comprehensive.

    •  Yep, all politics is indeed local. Good catch on (0+ / 0-)
      the subtle consequence and residue of gerrymandering at the precinct level
      That is no small part in isolating or splintering the "urban vote" in even rural counties where the little town or small city is much more "librul" than the rest of the county.

      I'll never forget seeing the precinct map of the little Mississippi town of Picayune in which every rural jurisdiction took a little piece of the town, even by use of corridors hardly wider than a highway to blossom into a little bud in town. A lot of that was about wet/dry and such, but "librul" was the core—and there was damn little liberal about Picayune thirty-five or so years ago. One odd result was that a place on one side of the town's street could serve beer, on the other side it was sweet tea and no stronger because the county carried wet/dry to subdivision level.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:12:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lurking in Virginia is Star Scientific Inc. and a (0+ / 0-)

    growing scandal. In "New documents raise more questions about financing of McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding":

    Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has said his daughter and her husband paid for their own wedding. So a $15,000 check from a major campaign donor to pay for the food at the affair was a gift to the bride and groom and not to him and therefore did not have to be publicly disclosed under the law, the governor says.

    But documents obtained by The Washington Post show that McDonnell signed the catering contract, making him financially responsible for the 2011 event. The governor made handwritten notes to the caterer in the margins. In addition, the governor paid nearly $8,000 in deposits for the catering.

    The Richmond Times Dispatch explains in "McDonnell, Cuccinelli on defensive over Star Scientific" the Cuccinelli connection:
    And Cuccinelli’s ownership of more than $10,000 in Star Scientific stock has cast a shadow over the attorney general’s handling of a lingering lawsuit filed against the state by Williams’ company over a $700,000 tax assessment of a Mecklenburg County property.
    Anyone else out there remember the interesting role of the dietary supplement industry way back in the "Newt revolution"? Lots of money and a few candidates just furious those supplements and snake oil like sales tactics were so over regulated.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:21:51 AM PDT

  •  IL-02: Nobody even seemed to notice... (0+ / 0-)

    Robin Kelly officially won her seat to Congress last night, 70%-22%.

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