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Our Ask Me Anything feature continues to roll along, and this week, it's my turn. Since 2011, I've been Daily Kos's political director, which makes me responsible for the site's elections coverage, candidate endorsements, race ratings (this cycle's coming very soon!), and, when our budget allows, polling.

On a day-to-day basis, I run the section of the site known as Daily Kos Elections, which you can find linked just below Flag Guy in the banner up above. Every weekday, I put together something called the Live Digest (here's Friday's), which is essentially a liveblog of all the day's horserace news: who's in, who's out, what do the latest polls say, who's endorsing whom, which Republicans made us laugh, which Democrats made us want to hold our heads in our hands, and much, much more.

In the evening, I reorganize the Live Digest into the Morning Digest, which gets published on Daily Kos the following morning, at 8 AM ET on Elections and 8:30 AM on the main page. (Here's Friday's, meaning it's a wrapup mostly of news from Thursday.) The Morning Digest also goes out as an email newsletter to over 10,000 people at 8 AM each; you can sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Daily Kos Elections is by no means a one-man band, though—far from it. Several other folks are very involved with the site's day-to-day operations, including David Jarman, Steve Singiser, jeffmd, James L, and Arjun Jaikumar. Our comment boards are also home to a thriving sub-community of elections nerds, many of whom migrated over from the Swing State Project, the site I ran in my spare time before Markos hired me. Plenty of folks have also joined in since SSP transformed into DKE, so we welcome any and all horserace junkies!

Speaking of the gang, several of us will be participating in an elections Q&A panel at Netroots Nation a week from tomorrow, so if you'll be attending the conference, please drop by to ask us about your favorite races. Or you can do so here!

P.S. You can also find Daily Kos Elections on Twitter as @DKElections.

2:11 PM PT: Okay, folks! This has been a lot of fun, but I'm gonna sign off for now. I'll stick my head back in later in case any stragglers show up. Have a great weekend!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is there one single western Missouri (7+ / 0-)

    politician I should get behind? Cuz I'm not seeing a lot of options. Thanks and I'll listen for the answer off the air.....

  •  Is it chronological? (8+ / 0-)

    I assume the way the digest runs is just in order of when you guys find out about things - so IA can come before OH one day, and after another.  But I'd love to be corrected and told that you actually have some secret, baseball scorecard-like schema which determines which items go where in the list.

    #2 - Do you have a sense how many local (state or lower) publications the DKE team subscribes to and reviews regularly? I mean, I imagine some things come by submissions, but some things are part of a regular Twitter feed or otherwise. It's incredible coverage, and I have no clue how many sources are routinely reviewed as part of it!

    •  The Live Digest (4+ / 0-)

      Is kinda chronological, though I usually sit here with a pile of links and decide which I want to hit first, based on how interesting they are to me. So some news item from early in the morning may drift until late afternoon if it's not especially compelling. The Morning Digest is sorted into category (senate, governor, and so on), and then alphabetically by state. So Alabama and Alaska tend to win the day.

      There's also the "Leading Off" item in the Morning Digest, which is chef's choice.

      #2 is a great question. I really don't know! There are a handful of publications we rely on frequently, then a much broader universe (you might call it the "long tail") of other sources we rely on. We're pretty agnostic, though, and if we're hunting a story down, we are apt to grab whatever Google News link looks most helpful.

      Mostly, though, we follow a carefully cultivated feed on Twitter. But even there, you have people linking both to their own publications' work and that of others'. So you never know what you're gonna get until you click!

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:42:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tech q: diary hotlist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, MRA NY, nomandates

    I hotlist stuff to read later sometimes, but I need more encouragement to actually read it. The backlog is too long! Could the link to one's own hotlist be put in a place that's easier to get to/more prominent? Maybe next to the "stream" link in the right column... I guess I could just bookmark it, but, y'know, lazy.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:51:40 PM PDT

    •  This q's a bit outside my scope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, elfling, nomandates

      But you could try submitting a suggestion to the HelpDesk.

      One thing I am loving these days, though, is Amazon's Send to Kindle browser button. It allows me to send long articles to my Kindle, which means I have them available at a time I know I want to read something longer. Otherwise, they usually either sit in a tab or bookmark, unread. But when I grab my Kindle (or phone), I'm often in the mood for just those sorts of pieces.

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:57:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh, well, by "read later," (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, nomandates

        sometimes for me that means weeks later!

        I also like seeing all recent diaries old-school blog style. Got that link from ek hornbeck or somebody; doesn't appear as a clickable link on the site anywhere I've seen.

        I can understand why y'all have it as just the titles with mouseover intro text, given that the dK4 idea is to promote a longer period of "freshness" for posts and to not let things scroll off into oblivion too quickly. But if I'm looking for that dead tree newspaper-stytle experience of running across things in which I might be interested that I didn't expect, it's nice to see full posts. (Also, titles and intro text can be inadequate or even misleading...)

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:05:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's one of those problems where (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, nomandates

      there are never enough places to put everything and create clarity. If we put hotlist there, where would we put the favorite authors link? Etc.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:58:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What is your favorite weird election story (5+ / 0-)

    of strange, demented, and unexpected happenings?

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:59:06 PM PDT

    •  Hands down (21+ / 0-)

      The 2008 race for NY-13, based on Staten Island in NYC. It started off with GOP Rep. Vito Fossella getting busted for drunk driving in Virginia, which led to revelations that he had a secret second family. Fossella then announced he wouldn't run for re-election, leaving the GOP to scramble for a replacement candidate.

      With just months to go, they picked a guy named Frank Powers. It turns out that he had a son, also named Frank Powers, and Frank Powers, Jr. also wanted to run for the same seat, on the Libertarian line. It set up the delicious prospect of a father-vs.-son, Frank Powers vs. Frank Powers race.

      Then the elder Frank Powers died not long before election day.

      So of course he had to be replaced, and the local GOP had fallen into utter war with itself. Part of the district was based in Brooklyn as well, and the two factions seemed to despise each other. They ultimately settled on one of the most unpopular men ever to hold office in the region, former Assemblyman Bob Straniere. A commenter on the Staten Island Advance once memorably describe Straniere as "wearing a rat on his head." Not inaccurate.

      I'm leaving all sorts of good bits out, but in the end, to cap it all off, Democrat Michael McMahon destroyed Straniere, picking up the seat for Team Blue. We'd wind up giving it back in the 2010 wave, but I've never seen a race quite like this one.

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That. is. so. awesome. :-) n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot, Zack from the SFV

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:06:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh I forgot to mention (4+ / 0-)

          The Libertarians sadly did not nominate Frank Powers junior, who appeared to be a total waster.  I had forgotten that he claimed he would seek the Anarchist Party line instead! (James L swears this is true, but no such party exists.)

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

          by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:18:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wouldn't it be wrong (7+ / 0-)

            for the Anarchist Party to actually file the paperwork?

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:22:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Moreover... (0+ / 0-)

              Anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron, since anarchism has traditionally meant non-authoritarian socialism, and is definitely anti-capitalist. An-archo means without ruler or without authority.

              Libertarianism, as well, in Europe has always meant libertarian socialism (anarchism).

              In the US, the right wing has tried to adopt these terms, and some are so ignorant they think the right wing invented the usage, but the terms anarchism and libertarian date back to the mid 1800s in Europe, and are still used around the world today to indicate anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian forms of socialism.

              Libertarian is the opposite of authoritarian.

              And anarchists are not against organization in the slightest degree, rather, they prefer an egalitarian,  horizontal form of social organization, rather than vertical, hierarchical forms that are top down in governance, with elites calling the shots. Worker owned co-ops which are democratically organized using consensus or other forms of direct democracy is an example of a horizontal form of community self-management.

              The reason right wing usage of the terms is self-contradictory is because capitalism is by nature vertical and hierarchical in social structure, and is rife with authority and rulership over workers by the owner class who control the means of production. So, this isn't truly anarchic or liberating in any sense, except for those few who mange to become the owner class.

              Just a brief history about the terms for anyone interested.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:22:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  See this response to elfling (0+ / 0-)

            in case you missed it.


            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:25:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, David Nir, nomandates, skibum59

      NY-13 tag from Swing State Project, c. 2008, if you want to dig deep through our archives. For a solid several months, each day's news in that district was somehow weirder than the previous day's news. It's the only race I've ever seen that seemed less "What It Takes" and more "Confederacy of Dunces."

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:20:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  1. Which 2014 race (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, MRA NY, nomandates

    is most interesting to you right now?
    2. If not Hillary in 2016, who? (I asked this in Markos' thread, too.) Why?

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:59:56 PM PDT

  •  Do you have a list of local news sites/blogs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, angry marmot, nomandates

    or twitter accounts you check regularly for election news?

    President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

    by askew on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:03:00 PM PDT

    •  Yes! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot, nomandates, askew

      We follow a pretty carefully honed list on Twitter, but I'm not sure how to link to that publicly. If I provide this link, that will just show you who you are following. Is there a way to provide your own list of followers to someone else?

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:09:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    • died not too long ago (0+ / 0-)

      as a directory of liberal state politics blogs. Any replacements out there?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:12:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As much as we (8+ / 0-)

      like to talk trash about the Beltway press corps (the Roll Calls, National Journals, Politicos, The Hills, and WaPo Fixes of the world) and their false-equivalence-filled conventional wisdom, we rely on them pretty heavily. Not the Ron Fourniers and Chris Cillizzas and other doofuses keeping alive the flame of High Broderism, but the actual grunt reporters who work the hallways. If someone is running or not running for something, releasing a new ad, or leaking a fundraising report -- at least if it's at the congressional level and not the state level -- the first person they're likely to tell is one of the worker-bees at these publications, and they're always the first to let the rest of us know.

      Statehouse reporters for major metro dailies are another good source, esp. for gubernatorial and state legislative stuff (and Pew's Stateline does a great job of condensing hundreds of those reporters' work into one place), but most of the time, when we find out something new, it's from the Beltway.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, you guys really don't include Cillizzas (0+ / 0-)

        Bless you all!  That guy is terrible....  I remember it was early 2009, back before we knew 2010 would be a shit year for Dems.  Here is Cillizza stating how favored the GOP were in OH-Sen because their nominee as the big long resume while he said our candidates are unknown and tier 2.  Yeah, statewide elected officials are tier 2 candidates for other statewide offices....  He turned out right, but not for the reasons he said.

  •  any insight on bow the mid terms look now (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, MRA NY, nomandates, askew

    What do you think are odds to keep the senate and pick up the house? Do you think we have much chance to pick up mn district 6 with Bachmann out?

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:03:31 PM PDT

    •  I'd call Dems (8+ / 0-)

      The slight favorite to hold the Senate now. The GOP has a lot of good pickup opportunities, and we're very probably spotting them two seats (SD & WV), so that means they just need four more. But that means they'd need to basically run the table (and not fuck up Georgia) to get to 51, so I say Dems still have the edge.

      The House I think we have no shot at barring a big wave.

      MN-06 is also hopeless without Bachmann. It's just too conservative a district in an ordinary D vs. R race. However, the GOP may nominate someone equally crazy, so maybe we could see a Bachmann redux somewhere down the line. Right now, though, it looks like Tom Emmer is the frontrunner for the nod, and while he's very conservative and an absolute jerk, I don't think he's "special" in the same way Bachmann is, sadly.

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:12:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of the DKE commentators (5+ / 0-)

    Which commentator/child is your favorite?

    SSP alumni, 28, Male, Democrat, TX-22 ('10); TX-14 ('12)

    by trowaman on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:06:06 PM PDT

  •  Are you sad that Bachmann isn't running in MN-06? (4+ / 0-)

    Sure, she's insane... but she was/is entertaining as all get out and it was a district for a potential D pick-up when it was her and Graves.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:11:17 PM PDT

  •  I missed my chance last week but I"ll try anyway (0+ / 0-)

    with my technical question

    I can't embed any videos anymore except those with the prefix, can't do iframes or scr. This is annoying. To embed videos from youtube I have to select 'use old method' or something like that. I use the most up to date version of Chrome, I switched from IE to be able to embed videos but I can't anymore, is DKos becoming a dinosaur?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:19:20 PM PDT

  •  How do we get better candidate recruitment? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marynyc, elfling, Pandora, meralda, gabjoh

    Let me preface my question by saying how much I love DKE. I've been mainly lurking on  DKE/SSP since summer of 2010 and I've been very impressed with the  comprehensive coverage and the encyclopedic knowledge of the regular commenters. Whenever there's breaking political news, I always check the comments to get some of the most sensible discussion of the electoral implications. Thank you so much for creating this fantastic community.

    Anyway... here's my (admittedly long) question- It seems like right now, we  rely on our party leadership (and possibly some funders) to recruit good Democratic candidates. Usually, the grassroots efforts I've encountered trying to recruit a candidate involve a petition or a facebook group. What more do you think ordinary progressives could be doing to recruit good candidates?

    I think it would be useful to set up online platforms where supporters can declare how many hours per week they'll be willing to volunteer or how much money they'd be willing to give if the candidate entered the race. If it's a tough district,  supporters could list the reasons why the candidate could actually win. They could offer personal stories for why it's so important to have them in office. Have you encountered any outstanding grassroots recruitment efforts? Did they use any of the strategies I outlined above?

    In my opinion, candidate quality can make a huge difference.  If we can build on successful efforts, and come up with more innovative recruitment techniques, we can be more competitive across the country.

    •  I don't have an answer to you, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, meralda, Zack from the SFV

      but I really think this is a great question - I am not myself as avidly political as most Kossaks, and in particular the DKE community, and one of the things I find that makes me want to walk away is that the party candidates often seem so much crappier to me than the dude who doesn't really have a chance (hi, Bill DeBlasio!). I often wonder if there is a way to close the gap between the Great Nobody and the Meh Somebody in terms of elections.  I wonder if your platform idea could be a tool for promoting candidates to party leadership's attention and engagement? I think you probably need that for almost anyone to have a fighting chance, but the grassroots proffer could help.  (I know the elections folks may tell me that you have to be Somebody anyway, most of the time, to be electable, and that there are other electability variables here I'm not accounting for.)

    •  Thank you! (15+ / 0-)

      And your question is an excellent one—a seminal one, even. What I think needs to happen (or at least, to happen more) is that progressives need to start small, very small. Generally speaking, I think progressive activists who want to enter politics should not be thinking Congress, or even state legislature, but further down the food chain.

      Start with your town or city council, water board, school board, and the like. Learn how to run a small grassroots campaign, build connections, develop a network of supporters, raise money and so forth. Then, when an opportunity comes along, move up and seize it.

      So I think we need to focus on getting people to run for these humbler offices, so that we have a bench ready when there are openings for the legislature and ultimately Congress.

      And I don't think this can just be done with volunteers alone. I'd love to see some billionaire devote a bunch of money toward an organization which only focuses on the far downballot, in the weeds races.

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:28:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  [new] comments on DKE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    Following the lead of eXtina, I'd like to ask a technical question.

    As many DKE members know, there's a bug in the coding system left over from the new comments switch last year that has still not been fixed. To quickly re-cap for members who are not aware, on the specific page, all comments appear as "new" on the front page no matter how many of them you've previously been able to read. Such that, for instance, if there are 88 comments, all 88 will show up as "new" on the front DKE page (not in the diary itself, thankfully).

    David, is any progress being made on this at all or has the coding team simply given up?

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:22:45 PM PDT

    •  I know this is a major frustration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, wwmiv, Zack from the SFV

      And I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this. However, elfling has also been active in this thread, so hopefully she will pop in!

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:29:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As this is a technical question, I can speak to it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, lordpet8, RiveroftheWest

      The old style of [new] comment decoration required writing to the database every time a page loaded, something that is widely frowned on when optimizing application performance, as writing on read happens much, much more frequently than writing just when some new content is generated (comment posted, diary posted, etc).  I posted a graph of our database server load at the time, and there was a huge drop the moment we altered the code to remove the old style [new] decorations.  Sometimes what seems like a simple features can have seemingly outsized engineering repercussions associated with it.

      We've run through technical solutions to this problem, and while there are some possible hacks that could work for a time, the right way to do this is to build an in-memory store on the server side for all the comments each user has read.  This requires a substantial amount of work, as well as entire new parts of our physical infrastructure.  The amount of work and developer time that we'd need to get this to work without taking a heavy toll on the database make it not a good investment of resources in the older perl system we are in the process of replacing.  

      The good news is that we still intend to bring the feature back.  We are currently rebuilding the story page, along with comments, and will build this feature into the page.  We have spent a lot of effort and care on the design and development of comments, and think the new comments will be a vast improvement.  The final roll out of this feature is still a little while out, as releasing the diary page must wait for release of a new diary authoring tool as well (so preview matches published stories).  

      •  I'm not sure any of this is really answering the (0+ / 0-)

        question I had.

        Specifically, if in the process of moving from the old version of [new] to the new version of [new] created alot of problems, then why did this particular problem impact only this page:

        The problem is that on this particular page only (using today's live digest, so you can see for yourself the way this operates) the number of comments that are shown as new is always the total number of comments in that thread (but only on the preview at the outset, not within the diary itself).

        I understand that you're trying to move to another new system altogether, but why is that at all relevant to the particular problem I'm talking about?

        And I have the distinct feeling that either this is because it isn't relevant, or it is because the replies that are constantly given on this issue are written in such technical jargon as to be completely indecipherable to all of us who don't understand it at all.

        If this was happening system/site wide I would understand the relevance of the response, but the simple fact of the matter is that this is only happening on one very highly trafficked subsite so it would seem to me not to be a system wide thing, but a particularized problem that may or may not be easy to fix.

        Additionally, the lack of a functioning new feature on this subsite alone has contributed to what I see as a substantial decline in the commenting amount on these diaries (DKE) and these diaries alone. Overall, the new [new] feature works just fine from my vantage point especially in diary, except for this one huge problem.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:01:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the details (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Nir, skibum59, CF of Aus

          Sorry, I never know quite how detailed to get in these explanations of the internals of dk.  I'll do my best to refrain from technical jargon, though, to be sure, we're deep in the nuts and bolts here, so forgive me if I resort to it some.

          To clear up your first question- the count of new comments you highlighted in your screen shot comes from the same data-store as the [new] decoration, so we are indeed talking about the same issue here.

          So, here's the details.  We moved the recording of which comments you had read from the database server to the user's browser.  We use a feature similar to cookies called Local Storage.  It is a bit of text storage in the browser available to just the domain that wrote it.  There is a well founded privacy concern of the browser manufactures over keeping information one website wrote inaccessible to other websites.  To the browser, for the sake of this feature, is different than, and the Local Storage created on one can't be read from the other.

          That said, the exact same content from is available at with the same domain as the original, so the counts will be the same if you move from to a story.  

          As for why waiting for the new story page is relavant to the particular problem you experiencing, my answer is a long winded way of trying to explain the issue not a technical limitation, its a resources limitation.  We are a tech department of five people- with responsibilities that include moderation, quality assurance, database administration, system operations, as well as development, so have to be very wise about where we spend our time.  We have chosen not to do new development on the old system, instead replacing the pages as we go.  The full featured [new] decoration and new comment count will return when the new page rolls out.  

      •  I think the question (0+ / 0-)

        Is about something different - not the [new] flag on comments, but the new comment count on each post when you navigate to This behavior works as intended on the front page of Daily Kos. Example:

        But for some reason, it does not work on DKE. No matter what, the new comment count never resets. It will always be "13 comments / 13 new" or "108 comments / 108 new" — no matter what.

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

        by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:26:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wisconsin-2014 (5+ / 0-)

    Living in Milwaukee over the last 2 years has been extremely depressing.  Any inside info on who the Dems think will run against Walker?  Party chair Tate said that potential candidates don't want to be known so early because Walker will blast them early- is this a bluff?  Really want some hope that Walker is not invincible.  Thanks.

    •  Hoo boy (6+ / 0-)

      A rough question, I'm afraid. It seems like just about every high-profile Democrat doesn't want to talk on Walker, in the wake of the recall. I'm not buying the notion that people want to wait until later lest Walker "blast" them—that sounds like spin from a party chair who is in a tough spot without a lot of good cards to play.

      I wish I could offer hope, I really do. But I think one additional "problem" for Wisconsin is that Democrats have so many other juicy targets (PA, MI, FL, and more) that it's hard to see WI getting a lot of love next year.

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      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:37:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you think are the odds that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the recall may have distorted Walker's electoral strength?  It seems to me there were a lot of people who voted for Walker in the recall simply because they were convinced that the recall itself was a bad decision.

        •  I definitely agree (0+ / 0-)

          With your last sentence. Indeed, PPP's polling consistently showed that something like 10% of the electorate was simply uncomfortable with the idea of a recall, even if they personally didn't like Walker. And I think one of the biggest mistakes recall proponents made was their failure to engage in any messaging that explained why they thought a recall was necessary. The whole thing got treated as just another election, which was a bad idea.

          But good luck convincing any top-tier Democratic politician in WI that Walker's strength is overblown due to the recall results. Part of the problem is that even if that's true on a sheer percentage points basis, Walker is a national hero to the right (and the Koch Bros., etc.) and will be able to raise insane sums no matter what.

          And you wouldn't have to just convince a candidate. You'd also have to convince Democratic donors that "this time is different." Very hard to do.

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          by David Nir on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 08:42:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How many , in total , insults have been flung (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRA NY, BadKitties

    on DKos in the past week ?

    Is the help desk broken ?

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

    by indycam on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:27:24 PM PDT

  •  Very important one: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, trowaman

    Your bias toward babka, where did it come from? :)

  •  Which of the DKE memes or inside jokes (6+ / 0-)

    is your favorite?

    I think mine is easily when okiedem had the post about Dennis Kucinich and Lord of the Rings comparing him to a Hobbit.

  •  Question about conflicting narrative (0+ / 0-)

    1. The GOP managed to keep control of the House in 2012 despite losing the House 2-party vote by gerrymandering after the 2010 Census.

    2. Many R house members are in such deep-red seats that they fear a primary challenge more than a general election loss, and thus have to vote even more licke jackasses.

    Overall, I don't see how both these statements can simultaneously be true.  In order to gain seats through gerrymandering, you have to spread your majorities thinner.  Which would theoretically make their nominated candidates more vulnerable in a general, not less.

    Is it because Democratic votes were packed even tighter into urban districts?  Or is it simply that the rightward jerking of the R primary electorate is independant of the effect on the general election?

    First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

    by Cream Puff on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:41:08 PM PDT

    •  What you say here (5+ / 0-)

      Needs to be unpacked a bit:

      In order to gain seats through gerrymandering, you have to spread your majorities thinner.  Which would theoretically make their nominated candidates more vulnerable in a general, not less.
      This is true, but GOP mapmakers (and Dem mapmakers, too) have gotten very, very clever. They have a very good sense of just how thin to spread their voters. Sometimes they go too far, yielding what people refer to as a "dummymander"—this happened in PA late last decade, and could potentially happen in VA later this decade.

      But usually that doesn't happen. And we're also dealing with a large number of seats, so there are still plenty of Republicans in dark red seats who are invulernable in a general election. That means the only way for Republicans to move up in those areas is either wait or issue a challenge in a primary.

      (And also, thanks to clever gerrymandering, the average House district is slightly more Republican, going by presidential vote, this decade than it was last decade.)

      And yes, Democrats face a tougher time because our voters tend to be wedged so tightly. A good illustration of this is the fact that Romney's best district in 2012 was TX-13, which he won 80-22. By contrast, there were almost 30 districts which went for Obama by an even greater margin.

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      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another babka question/issue (0+ / 0-)

    So, I've been participating in your various babka-winning election contests going back to SSP for years, and I think it's pretty safe to say, going by my past performance, that I'm never going to come close to winning one.  Don't you think I should at some point be declared an honarary winner for lifetime (lack of) achievement, and be sent a delicious pastry?

    Also, off DKE topic, do you have a favorite English Premier Leage at all/have a favorite English soccer team?  I've always found it an interesting question to ask people -- but please don't give the wrong answer :)

  •  what was the first election (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, Zack from the SFV

    that got you interested in politics? or the first election that you voted/got involved with?

    “Herbert Hoover once ran on the slogan, “Two cars in every garage”. Apparently, the Republican candidate this year is running on the slogan, “Two families in every garage”.” ~Harry Truman 1948

    by lordpet8 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:58:38 PM PDT

    •  Man, that is a good question (7+ / 0-)

      When I was 7 years old, I remember my mom taking me to see Gerry Ferraro speak at a nearby synagogue during the 84 presidential election. MANY years later, I looked up the event and it turns out it was right before election day. You know you're screwed when you're the Democrat and your campaigning in New York just before votes are cast!

      That same election, being quite young, I went to before before finding out the results. The next day, I could not BELIEVE that Mondale had won only one state. It seemed so unfair! But I guess maybe that gave me the political bug.

      Also, my dad used to take me voting with him and would let me pull the levers, in those old fashioned TARDIS-style machines (which they are, believe it or not, reintroducting this year). I loved that.

      My first campaign was when I was 17, Eliot Spitzer's first run for AG in 1994. I was too young to circulate petitions (you have to be a registered voter), so they had me review petitions for errors back at the office. Spitzer came in 4th in a 4-way Democratic primary with 19%... which we considered a good result!

      But as for following politics fanatically the way I do now, that really all started in 2002, with the rise of the liberal blogosphere. I found a little site called Daily Kos, where the proprietor (some dude named "Kos") loved to track elections at a really granular level, and I found that I loved it, too. I just really liked being able to know (or at least, have a sense) of what was going to happen to this country, because, as we all know, elections have consequences.

      Daily Kos inspired me to start the Swing State Project, and in a fitting "coming full circle" way, SSP eventually became DKE, and so here we are today!

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How did you and Mary meet? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, MRA NY
  •  Dear Mr Nir (0+ / 0-)

    Assuming that Blue Dog Mike Michaud runs for the Maine Gubernatorial election next year, are there any prominent moderate Democrats in the area who could potentially replace him?

  •  Strongest house candidates so far (0+ / 0-)

    Who in your opinion are the strongest Democratic candidates for the House?

    27, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:24:54 PM PDT

    •  I assume you mean non-incumbents? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stephen Wolf, SaoMagnifico

      Probably Gwen Graham (FL-02), Andrew Romanoff (CO-06), and Ann Callis (IL-13) of the declared candidates. I'll be curious to see if Sean Eldridge (NY-19) offers more than just personal wealth.

      How about you?

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      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:05:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, non-incumbents (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Nir

        I agree that all of those candidate are top recruits. I also think that Michael Eggman in CA-10 is a good recruit, as I think the seat is winnable with a candidate that has connections to agriculture in the Central Valley.

        27, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

        by DrPhillips on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:21:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed on Eggman (0+ / 0-)

          I think I mentioned him upthread as well. I expect to meet him at Netroots Nation next week—a convenient hop for him, since the 10th is just one district over from San Jose (CA-19, Zoe Lofgren).

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          by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:37:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Rush Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    From an electoral standpoint, in your opinion are we better off with him on or off the air, or is there no perceptible difference either way?

    •  When Rush Limbaugh (7+ / 0-)

      Called Sandra Fluke a "slut," well, I wouldn't wish that treatment on anyone. But I think we never had anything go as crazily viral as my colleague Kaili Joy Gray's posts on the matter, and she also raised a ton of money for Planned Parenthood as a result. So I think Limbaugh can be solid gold for us, and he also hurts the GOP whenever he's their public face.

      More than that, though, if Rush Limbaugh didn't exist, some other whackjob conservative radio host would take his place. He's the most famous of the breed, but he's far, far from the only one. (Indeed, he was instrumental in popularizing the genre.) Maybe no one will ever achieve the same level of fame he has, given that it's just harder to stand out in this fragmented media world of ours. But we'll always have crazy assholes like him, so we might as well make the most of it.

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

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:10:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What chance do you give Dems at a house pickup (0+ / 0-)

    In the Midterms? I think it's near impossible. The GOP still has its core supporters that would vote for a child rapist with an R beside his name, and Obama is doing a great job alienating the youth vote.

  •  If you had to pick... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What would be the toughest "loss" in your opinion, on you personally.

    I know everyone always has wins and losses during and election, and some sting more than others. What would you say would be the hardest you've dealt with, and similarly, what was the best win?

    21, Male, NC-02 home, SC-04 School. Majoring in Piano Pedagogy. Not your typical DKE junkie!

    by aggou on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:54:46 PM PDT

    •  Well (4+ / 0-)

      The toughest for me personally was the day I came home from having my wisdom teeth out to, in agony and half out of it thanks to the sedative, seeing that Eliot Spitzer had gotten busted for soliciting prostitutes. I worked on two of his campaigns and also worked for the AG's office when he was AG (my first job out of college), so that was a terribly rough downfall. Though his first (and only) year as governor was pretty darn miserable, too.

      In 2010, I hated seeing Patrick Murphy lose probably above all else. He was someone whom the netroots had supported, with whom we had a good relationship, and who had been a real leader on repealing DADT. It sucked to see him go down. But he's a great guy and he will be back some day.

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      by David Nir on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 08:48:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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