• Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections is extraordinarily pleased to present the first phase of our next effort in number crunching: the 2012 presidential results according to state legislative districts. You're probably already familiar with our presidential results by congressional district, and if you've found that useful, you'll find our "pres-by-LD" data (as we call it) extremely valuable as well. We've started off with seven western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico—though we won't stop until we've completed calculations for all 99 state legislative chambers, so you'll want to bookmark our permalink for future reference.
On the congressional front, we're also rolling out even more goodies. For the states listed above, you can also find results by CD for every other statewide race on the ballot in 2012. Want to know how Rich Carmona performed in AZ-01? How Shelley Berkley did in NV-03? Hell, how the University of Colorado Regents race went down in CO-06? Yep, we've got all that, and again, we'll keep adding more as we roll out all the states we're still working on.
In the meantime, jeffmd (who, along with Darth Jeff, is responsible for assembling all this data), offers some thoughts below on the seven states where we've amassed pres-by-LD numbers so far. Perhaps the most notable overall trend is the disappearance of so-called "crossover" districts—seats won by one party's presidential candidate but represented by a legislator from the other party. This phenomenon became particularly pronounced on the congressional level in 2012, but in some states, it's even more striking on the legislative level.
• Arizona: Arizona uses the same legislative districts for the state Senate and state House, with the only difference being that each LD elects two members to the House. Obama carried 12 of the 30 LDs in the state; these 12 LDs send 12 Democrats to the Senate and 23 Democrats to the House (of 24 seats). One Democrat, Barbara McGuire, occupies a Romney-won LD in the Senate; other than McGuire, there is one "wrong" party legislator of each party, both in the two districts that send one Democrat and one Republican to the House.
• California: Given staggered terms, the radical re-numbering of districts, and term limits, no one is quite sure what the California Senate looks like: Half of the 40-member chamber represents pre-redistricting SDs, while the other 20 members represent post-redistricting SDs. (This leaves more than ten percent of Californians without a state senator.) The figures presented reflect all post-redistricting SDs, but only half have an elected senator.
Of the 20 post-redistricting SDs that did elect a senator, Obama won 15, and all with more than 54 percent and 13 with more than 57 percent. True to form, the two SDs (Cathleen Galgiani's SD-05 and Fran Pavley's SD-27) where Obama received between 54 and 57 percent featured the most competitive races. (The other 20 SDs are slightly friendlier to Republicans—Obama won 13 districts with more than 57 percent and another with 53 percent.) For those doing the math at home, that means for a supermajority, Democrats need to hold all SDs that Obama won with more than 57 percent and just one additional seat.
The story in the State Assembly, fortunately, is substantially more straightforward. Given that Obama won 47 of 80 ADs with more than 60 percent, it's unlikely that the Democratic majority will change any time soon. Obama won another 11 ADs with less than 60 percent, and Democrats hold eight of those 11. While there's a trio of Southern California Republicans sitting in Obama districts, no Democrats sit in Romney districts. Unexpected victor Steve Fox in AD-36 sits in the most Republican AD won by Obama, where he received 48.8 percent to Romney's 48.5.
• Colorado: Both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly exhibit perfect correlation with the presidential toplines: Obama won 20 of 35 Senate Districts, all of which are held by the 20 Democrats in the chamber, and 37 of 65 House Districts, all of which are also held by the 37 Democrats in the chamber. The House majority may be slightly more secure than the Senate majority, as only three Democratic-held House seats are less than 55 percent Obama, compared to seven Democratic-held Senate seats.
• Hawaii: The Hawaii Senate is notable for the fact that there is a sole Republican member (Sam Slom) of 25. Interestingly, Slom doesn't even represent Romney's best district in the state: Obama's worst SD was a 58 percent performance, but he received 65 percent in Slom's SD-09. Republicans fare slightly better in the Hawaii House, where they hold seven of 51 seats. Obama also won every HD in Hawaii, though he only won HD-47 on the North Shore of O'ahu with 52 percent to Romney's 46.
• Nevada: Democrats hold the narrowest of majorities in the Nevada Senate, with 11 seats of 21. The dividing line between appears to be 52 percent Obama, with Democrats holding all seats above that line and Republicans holding all seats below it. That leaves room for two Republicans in Obama SDs, both of whom faced competitive races in 2012; the path to an expanded Democratic majority likely runs through these two seats. Democrats hold a more comfortable 27 of 42 majority in the Nevada Assembly. As with the Senate, there is a clear dividing line between Republican-held ADs and Democratic-held ADs, but in this chamber, it sits at 48.5 percent Obama. One Democrat, Skip Daly, sits in a Romney-won AD, AD-31 near Reno.
• New Mexico: Democrats hold a slight majority in the 42-seat New Mexico Senate, where Obama carried 27 SDs and the median seat is 53 percent Obama. Three Republicans sit in SDs won by Obama, while one Democrat sits in an SD won by Romney. Democrats also hold a thin majority in the New Mexico House, with 38 seats of 70. Obama carried 45 HDs, but seven are held by Republicans (no Democrats hold Romney-won HDs). The House, in particular, has a high proportion of seats that were fairly competitive at the presidential level: 14 seats (or 20 percent of the chamber) had a margin between Obama and Romney that was less than 6 percent.
• CA-31: Eloise Reyes (D): $203K raised
• CA-52: Carl DeMaio (R): $480K raised, $470K cash-on-hand
• CO-06: Andrew Romanoff (D): $500K raised, $920K cash-on-hand
• FL-26: Rep. Joe Garcia (D): $440K raised, $800K cash-on-hand
• GA-12: Rick Allen (R): $140K raised, $113K cash-on-hand
• HI-Sen: Sen. Brian Schatz (D): $911K raised
• WV-02: Alex Mooney (R): $65K raised, $100K cash-on-hand
• CO-Sen: Just a day after landing their first candidate, Colorado Republicans now have a second Senate hopeful. Freshman state Sen. Owen Hill is entering the race, joining fellow state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, who has said he'll formally announce on Friday. Other potential contenders include state Rep. Amy Stephens and 2010 nominee Ken Buck.
• NJ-Sen: The Democratic primary for this October's special election is just five weeks away, so if anyone's going to make a move, well, they should have done so yesterday. Quinnipiac's latest survey finds the race almost unchanged from a month ago, with Newark Mayor Cory Booker still far out ahead at 52 percent, while Rep. Frank Pallone is a very distant second at 10, Rep. Rush Holt sits at 8, and State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is at just 3. I'd be really curious to know if Holt or Pallone's polling showed either of them with a legitimate path to victory, or if they just figured this oddball election offered them a free shot without giving up their seats, so what the hell, why not take it? It's certainly starting to feel like the latter.
Meanwhile, Booker's out with a second TV spot that's very similar to his first (he provides voiceover platitudes while statistics about his accomplishments appear on screen), but the more important point is that he's still the only candidate on the air.
• SD-Sen: State Sen. Larry Rhoden says he'll enter the GOP primary for Senate on Wednesday, a move which would finally give movement conservatives an alternative to ex-Gov. Mike Rounds, whom they've tarred with the dreaded "moderate" label. But Rhoden has little in the way of name recognition or money, so it would take a truly fearsome effort by the likes of the Club for Growth to power him to an upset over Rounds, the establishment choice. And so far, there's been no indication that outside groups have any interest in trying to thwart Rounds.
• HI-Gov: Though he avoided a primary with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa when she opted to run for the Senate instead, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will still face an intra-party challenge. State Sen. David Ige announced on Tuesday that he'd run against Abercrombie for the Democratic nomination next year, though it's not clear how much of a threat he represents. Ige is chair of the Senate's Ways and Means committee, but he doesn't seem to have been on anyone's radar as a potential gubernatorial candidate, and Abercrombie starts off with a considerable financial advantage.
• IA-Gov: State Rep. Tyler Olson just became the first Democrat to enter the race against Gov. Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in American history. Olson, who briefly ran the state Democratic Party earlier this year before stepping down (evidently in anticipation of this run) is only 37 years old and has served in the legislature for six years. Despite Branstad's popularity and strong leads in the polls, Olson is likely to face a competitive Democratic primary. Veteran state Sen. Jack Hatch hasn't formally announced a bid, but he's made it pretty clear he intends to run, and several other names are still considering as well.
• AL-01: Wells Griffith, a top aide to RNC chair Reince Priebus, just became the latest Republican to join the field in the special election that will be held after Rep. Jo Bonner resigns in August. Griffith sounds decently well-connected, though the frontrunner in this ultra-conservative district is still probably ex-state Sen. Bradley Byrne, who lost a primary for governor in 2010.
• CA-07: Emily Cahn reports that nameless Republican operatives say that Igor Birman, chief of staff to 4th District Rep. Tom McClintock, is "seriously considering" a bid for Congress in CA-07, currently represented by freshman Democrat Ami Bera. It's not clear if Birman actually hails from the 7th, but that kind of problem didn't stop his boss from carpetbagging all the way from Los Angeles to Sacramento to run in CA-04 back in 2008.
And it's doubtful the Club for Growth will care, since they're looking for an alternative to "liberal" ex-Rep. Doug Ose, whom they're threatening to nuke once again, just as they did when he ran against none other than McClintock five years ago. So far, though, the only declared candidate is failed 2012 Senate nominee Elizabeth Emken.
• FL-18: Back in March, St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery said he had a "growing interest" in running against freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy. Evidently, that growth fell off sharply, because on Tuesday, Mowery said he wouldn't make a bid for Congress after all, despite being wooed by the NRCC. The same also goes for businessman Gary Uber, another NRCC recruit who is saying no. We're still likely to see a crowded GOP primary, though, as ex-state Rep. Carl Domino (who could self-fund) recently entered the race, and several more candidates could still join.
• NC-12: PPP decided to take a look at the potential House special election that may take place in their home state in the near future, if the Senate confirms Rep. Mel Watt to head up Fannie Mae. The 12th District is solidly blue, so the only action will come in the primary, where state Sen. Malcolm Graham has a big early lead with 31 percent of the vote. The only other candidate in double digits is state Rep. Alma Adams at 22, while George Battle III and state Rep. Beverly Earle take 8, state Rep. Marcus Brandon earns 5, state Rep. Rodney Moore and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Chair Harold Cogdell are both at 3, and three more candidates score just 1 percent apiece.
• WV-02: State Delegate Meshea Poore just announced that she's entering the Democratic primary in the open 2nd District, where former state party chair Nick Casey already seems to be rallying establishment support. According to Darth Jeff, Poore represents the most pro-Obama state House district in the entire state, which may not offer the best launching pad in a conservative congressional district like WV-02.
• Congress: Here's another link you'll want to bookmark: Brookings and AEI have collaborated on a one-stop-shopping site for all manner of information on congresspeople, congressional elections, and congressional functioning. If there's something you need to know about the demographics of Congress (including conversation-starters like prior occupation, religion, and ethnic background), recent election data, committee membership, or party unity scores, it's likely to be found here. (David Jarman)
• Demographics: One of the most talked-about pieces of election wonkery this year has been Sean Trende's interesting multi-part series on the "case of the missing white voter" at Real Clear Politics—despite the fact that a) its long-term projections would require some pretty pie-in-the-sky evolutions to be sustainable (like getting the Dem share of the white vote down to 31% by the 2040s) and b) the conservatives who are the most enthusiastic adopters of the theory are ignoring his actual suggested policy paths forward (like more economic populism to re-ignite those ex-Perot voters) and assuming they can just keep doing what they're doing and still accrue its benefits. On Tuesday, though, we were treated to not one but two worthwhile responses-slash-quasi-rebuttals.
One is from the New Republic's Nate Cohn, who suggests that the Dems' declining share among white voters isn't paying dividends for the GOP where it matters most: in the Electoral College. The declines are concentrated along the Appalachian/Ozark arc, coming in states that have already been red for a long time, or in states (Arkansas, West Virginia) whose electoral vote value is a poor trade for the loss of Colorado and Virginia.
Declines in Florida's Panhandle, southwestern Pennsylvania, and southeast Ohio aren't enough to tip the balance in those states, and Democrats still win a majority of white voters in other swing states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Moreover, a lot of the "missing white voters," according to the Census, were voters in the 18-24 group, a fairly liberal cohort historically, and getting this cohort back into the electorate at the same time as the Republican-leaning Silent Generation starts to age out means that their return may not pay off for the GOP.
The other piece comes from Mr. Demographics-is-Destiny himself, Ruy Teixeira, with Alan Abramowitz. It's a little more narrowly focused on turnout which was down across the boards in 2012. (Remember that Census data from a few months ago showing that Hispanic turnout percentage fell even more from 2008 to 2012 than did white turnout?) Teixeira and Abramowitz propose that in a more high-interest election, minority turnout would go up, too, so Trende is leaving out one of many moving parts by adding the missing white voters back in to the mix in a "normal" election but not re-introducing the missing Hispanic voters. (David Jarman)
• WATN?: Politico's Alex Isenstadt offers a "Where Are They Now?" dream story, catching up with many of the Democrats who were swept out of the house in the 2010 GOP wave. I only wish he'd had the chance to write an even longer piece and talk to even more former congressmembers, since there are some interesting tidbits here. Perhaps the most unusual story belongs to former Ohio Rep. Steve Driehaus, who "grew a beard" (nothing dramatic, though) and moved his family to Swaziland to take a post with the Peace Corps helping to fight HIV and AIDS.