• 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.
• 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.
• 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)