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Image of House shutdown vote
Image of House shutdown vote

Wednesday night's votes in the Senate and House that ended the two-and-half-week-old government shutdown provoked lots of sighs of relief. However, it also exposed quite the large fissure within the Republican Party; in case you were wondering where the boundary line between GOP establishment and full-blown tea party is, the shutdown vote is possibly the clearest demonstration yet. (It also exposed no Democratic fissures whatsoever. Not a single Democratic member—Joe Manchin in the Senate, Jim Matheson or Mike McIntyre in the House, or anyone else—broke ranks on this one.)

If you’re sitting there thinking "Ah, who cares; haters gonna hate," assuming that all of the Republican "no" votes are located in super-gerrymandered districts and safely out-of-reach from vengeful Democrats or even agitated independents or GOP moderates, guess again. There were a number of Senators voting "no" from states that Barack Obama won in 2012, and also a number of House members facing tough general elections next year voted "no." Remember, these are people who voted not just to perpetuate an overwhelmingly-unpopular government shutdown, but who also voted unequivocally for the nation to default on its debt repayments: perhaps an asset in a primary in a dark-red district, but undoubtedly a liability in a general election in a swing state.

In the Senate, there were 18 "no" votes, mostly from the usual right-wing suspects (Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn, David Vitter), but also from some more establishment-flavored types worried about real or potential primary challenges from the right next year (Mike Enzi, Pat Roberts, John Cornyn).  However, look at these five guys from blue states:

Ron Johnson (Wisconsin: 52.8% Obama in ’12) (up in 2016)
Dean Heller (Nevada: 52.4% Obama) (up in 2014 2018)
Chuck Grassley (Iowa: 52.0% Obama) (up in 2016)
Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania: 52.0% Obama) (up in 2016)
Marco Rubio (Florida: 49.9% Obama) (up in 2016)
Maybe these Senators are thinking that they won't be up for three years and the shutdown will be a distant memory by that point. But three of them are freshmen who'll be up for their first re-election while running into a buzzsaw, in the form of a presidential year with, in all likelihood, Hillary Clinton coattails. Toomey has made some occasional feints to the center, as with his gun legislation co-sponsored with Manchin, but as former president of the Club for Growth, he apparently couldn't resist the opportunity for fiscal hard-lining, and with that may have erased any centrist goodwill he previously accrued. Meanwhile, the more heedless Johnson has already racked-up one of the Senate's most conservative records and is just behaving in character. The question for Johnson in 2016 may not be whether he gets re-elected but whether he manages to lose by a narrower margin than Rick Santorum's epic 2006 loss.

One other consideration is the aspiring Senators, who are currently in the House and looking for a promotion. Among them, there was a split: Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Steve Daines of Montana (who hasn't declared his candidacy, but is widely expected to do so soon) were "yes" votes. However, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and the Georgia trio (Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston) were all "no" votes. Notice a correlation between how they voted? Capito, Cotton, and Daines are expected to have either no primary challenger, or only trivial ones. Cassidy, on the other hand, already has one tea party opponent and may get more, while obviously the Georgia trio all have to face each other. The "yes" votes only fear Democrats, while the "no" votes have to fear Republican base voters, which should tell you a lot about the optics of the shutdown inside and outside of the GOP primary bubble.

We’ll talk more about the House over the flip…

The total number of "no" votes among House Republicans was 144, compared with 87 "yes" votes (and one absence). If you're counting, that makes at least the fourth major violation of the Hastert rule (an unwritten rule allowing only bills with a support of the majority of the Republican caucus to appear on the floor).

In general, the vote was a pretty clear split between the establishment and far-right wings of the House GOP. If you want to see this in graphic form, look at the graphic from GovTrack at the top of the story; the array of dots represents the members of the House arranged from left to right in terms of ideology, and, as you'll notice, the "yes" votes come mostly from the half of the GOP caucus that's further to the left. Another way to look at it, graphically, comes from the VoteView blog of poli sci professor Keith Poole, creator of the DW-Nominate vote aggregation system. Again, you can see how most of the Republicans who voted "yes" pile up at the left end of the GOP caucus, while the "no" votes are mostly to the right of the caucus's cutline.

Image of House shutdown vote
Image of House shutdown vote
An important consideration—especially when thoughts inevitably turn to the 2014 election, and what implications the shutdown vote may have—is also the lean of the districts represented by the Republican votes. There are 17 districts where Obama got the most votes in 2012, but which are represented by Republicans in the House. Of these districts, only one member voted "no"—and bear in mind there are some very conservative members (Gary Miller, Mike Coffman) in a few of these districts, but the instinct for self-preservation seems to kick in even with them.

The one outlier is Jeff Denham, who represents CA-10, centered in Modesto and which gave Obama 50.6% of the 2012 vote. Denham already has a credible Democratic challenger in the form of Michael Eggman, so it's not as if Denham feels he can coast in 2014 either. Beyond Denham, the next six most competitive districts (based on presidential numbers) with "no" votes are VA-04 (Randy Forbes), NY-23 (Tom Reed), OH-10 (Mike Turner), MI-07 (Tim Walberg), NJ-05 (Scott Garrett), and WI-07 (Sean Duffy), all of which clocked in around 48% Obama last year.

Maybe, out of perverse curiosity, you're wondering who the "yes" votes in the most solidly Republican districts were, eager to see who's at risk in a primary, not a general election. Those members would be Ed Whitfield in KY-01, Steve Womack in AR-03, Adrian Smith in NE-03, the retiring Spencer Bachus in AL-06 … and most endangered of all, Hal Rogers in KY-05 (23% Obama, in the deepest corner of Appalachia), who also happens to be Appropriations Committee chair and a man whose pork will only get pried out of his cold dead hand.

If you're wondering about the most competitive districts not in terms of presidential numbers but rather who had the closest races in 2012, we've got that too. And the "no" voter who fared the worst is none other than Michele Bachmann, who had the third closest race of 2012 in MN-06, although she doesn't really count because she’s read the writing on the wall and has already retired. (The two even-closer victims, Rodney Davis in IL-13 and Dan Benishek in MI-01, both voted "yes.") Bachmann is followed by Jackie Walorski in IN-02, Chris Collins in NY-27, Keith Rothfus in PA-12, and Tom Reed in NY-23 (who, if you look two paragraphs above, gets a double-whammy, in that he also had the third least-red district in 2012).

Another way of breaking down the votes is by what region the Republican votes came from. The ranks of the "no" voters are swelled by southerners, though it's worth noting that the majority of the most conservative members of the House GOP caucus are already from the south while its most moderate members tend to be from the northeast. (For more insight on the unique southern-ness of the tea party mentality—a descendant of traditions going back to Andrew Jackson and, more ominously, John Calhoun—Michael Lind has written a number of interesting articles at Salon about this.)

West: 19
Midwest: 24
Northeast: 18
South: 26
West: 20
Midwest: 35
Northeast: 8
South: 81
Even slicing and dicing by region doesn't tell the whole story, though; for instance, when you say "south," that covers a wide variety of subregions and demographics. Many of the "yes" votes in the south come from its most urbane parts, such as Virginia and Florida, which tend to be more affluent and diverse and function somewhat as extensions of the northeast, while the "no" votes are more rural and downscale. (There are, of course, lots of exceptions: all four members from Arkansas voted "yes," while the members from Atlanta's upscale suburbs, even the ones not running for Senate, all voted "no.") Similarly, when talking about the Midwest, there's a big difference between the votes in Chicago's suburbs versus those in rural Missouri.

If you look at the disparities between those locations, you'll notice that much of it tends to be about class. Along those lines, Richard Florida just published a fantastic look at the relationship between the debt limit deniers and the demographics of their districts, in Atlantic Cities. This piece relied on the 79 signers of the Meadows letter (a declaration of principles that established what Ryan Lizza called "the suicide caucus"), rather than Wednesday night's vote, although the overlap between the signatories and Wednesday's "no" votes is pretty thorough. He finds a reasonably strong correlation between the tea party members in Congress, and lower wages (-.30), lower incomes (-.33), and lower percentages of college graduates (-.36). Their districts have lower percentages of immigrants and LGBT populations, lower urbanization, and more uninsured persons. In terms of occupation, these tend to be the parts of the country with the fewest "creative class" members. As Florida puts it:

The Tea Party represents the lagging sectors of the economy, and, increasingly, the politics of those left behind by America's transition to a new, knowledge-oriented economic future.
In other words, these are the parts of the country that are on the losing end of the changes in the nation's economy. Think back to the Democracy Corps focus groups that were discussed several weeks ago, where tea partiers were revealed as rife with fear over the country's increasing diversity and evolution toward a more knowledge-based economy, which they sensed as stripping away what remains of their accustomed privileges and pushing them toward the margins. That same worldview has also been thoroughly studied and described by political scientist Theda Skocpol; her recent interview with Salon, worth a read in full, elaborates further.  

The representatives in these districts are, in fact, taking their cues from their constituents. They're hoping to stand athwart history and yell "stop," even if means the extreme step of imploding the entire country's economy in order to protect the lives they think they once had and their own dwindling slice of the pie.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Dean Heller (31+ / 0-)

    Dean Heller is not up for re-election until 2018. He was a part of the 2012 election cycle.

    He replaced John Ensign after Ensign's resignation, but Ensign would have been part of the 2012 cycle anyway.

  •  I listened to the roll call in the Senate that (7+ / 0-)

    night, and it was Johnson and Grassely that stunned me.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Ryan, Rubio, Cruz...maybe 2016 prez candidates? (20+ / 0-)

    All voted TO allow our great nation to default!- based on nonsense.
    I wouldn't trust them with a grocery list, much less our nation's economy!

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:16:56 AM PDT

  •  Extraordinary (23+ / 0-)

    This is one of the best analytical pieces that I have read. It is important for all of us to understand the differences, when from our perspective it all looks the same. Very well done!

    •  Excellent analysis! -- Opportunities for 2014 (9+ / 0-)

      I second that. David, your excellent analysis answers fully the questions I’ve been asking myself.

      Most importantly, your geographic and statistical breakdown charts election vulnerabilities.

      Any chance you have a updated news on the Democratic ad campaign against Republican incumbents? I would be most curious in an analysis that highlights where there are opportunities that should be seized immediately.

      Republican incumbents should be made to personally "own" the heinous shutdown and reckless risk to debt default -- as well as the $ 24 billion in economic damage done.

      Seems to me the best time to remind voters and "glue" Republican politicians to their responsibility is NOW. After all, now is when voter anger and disgust is strongest.

      And voters will remember in 2014.
      If we strongly remind them now.

      •  Thank You, David Jarman (4+ / 0-)

        This is an excellent piece of analysis.

        If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

        by cultjake on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:40:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Opportunities? Only if we solve the problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, MichaelNY

        described by Chris Hayes in "Can Dems leverage passion in off-year elections?":

        There are two fundamentally different electorates in the US: one that comes out to elect a president and one that votes when the president is not on the ballot.
        He further explains that in elections it is the nature of the electorate that turns out for a particular election, not "the will of the people" that determines outcome. Until "our electorate" learns that off years can actually determine more in their daily lives than big hoopla presidential years we are going to have this pendulum swinging in which done/undone, done/undone continues.

        Consider, because the 2010 "off year" determined a number of governorships, composition of state legislatures and thus the Congressional district map for a decade many who voted for "change" in 2008 now see restrictions of women's health, basic rights to organize and even vote. Anybody sitting out in 2010 is truly whining if they complain about "gerrymandering" in their states or any of the other down sides.

        Every election is important. Every vote does count (except those thrown away in "protest" to forlorn hope third candidates). Voting is indeed use it or lose it as people in quite a few states are finding now.

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

        by pelagicray on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:33:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better link to the video: (0+ / 0-)

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

          by pelagicray on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:35:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Telling people they are "whining" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          because their state party (Ohio) tried to ram an anti-choice, anti-gay extremist down their throats in 2010 is not going to be productive.  And now the DCCC is fawning all over this same person who helped us lose the governorship in 2010.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:05:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Repeat—don't show up for an election and you get (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            what the TP/GOP that does show up give you. In my state a bunch of similar whiners did not like a lackluster, "conservadem" named Deeds and "abstained" or otherwise threw away their vote. So, to protest that candidate they didn't much like we got the mad "Cooch" as AG so he could bully the state medical board into approving exceptional abortion and women's health clinic regulations along with suits to preserve "sodomy" laws, persecute climate scientists and more. Worse, we got a whole bunch of down ticket TP types booting out damn good Democrats who supported probably most of the things those brilliant asshat "abstainers" supported.

            Brilliant strategy, just fucking brilliant, that you seem to support. Such people need to face what they cause and I don't give a damn about their poor little hearts. As far as I am concerned they are deserters during a real battle for this nation.

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

            by pelagicray on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:22:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mike Turner is probably invulnerable (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, janinsanfran, emops

        We lost overwhelming in 2012 with an outstanding candidate who raised money, campaigned tirelessly, and was probably the very best recruit we could expect in this district. There were redistricting factors — he got new territory he'd never run in before, much of it was her home area — that should have been in our favor. But the result was lopsided. There's probably no getting  a better candidate than Sharen Neuhardt. Turner winning more than 60% of the vote and Sharen not even breaking 40% was so disappointing.

        Turner, like the now-retired LaTourette in Oh-14, is inexplicably bulletproof. He manages to have a moderate image with a hardcore conservative voting record. Plus Montgomery County (Dayton), the core of the district, although very urban, has turnout issues. It is one of the hardest places in Ohio to get Democrats to vote.

        Our swing district — our only one — is Oh-14 where LaTourette's inexplicable popularity caused the mapmakers to no be so diligent in protecting GOP advantage. LaTourette unexpectedly retired after the maps were in place. His successor David Joyce voted yes. He's extremely vulnerable.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:03:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the kind words. Which ad campaign were you thinking of? Was it the Americans United for Change campaign in 10 districts? A number of orgs (like the NEA) also ran shutdown ads, but that was probably the most pervasive one. I think the campaign must be over by now, not just because the shutdown is over but because it's terribly expensive to run TV spots, especially for more than a week.

        If you were wondering what sort of an impact it had, 5 of the recipients voted yes and 5 voted no: Hanna (NY-22), Latham (IA-03), Benishek (MI-01), Barletta (PA-11), and Davis (IL-13) voted yes, while Denham (CA-10), Walberg (MI-07), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Johnson (OH-06), and Barr (KY-06). That sounds fairly impressive, but the sample they chose was already pretty evenly split between establishmentarians and tea partiers, and I would have expected those 10 Reps. to split the way they did, even without the pressure of an ad campaign. (I probably would have expected Denham to be a 'yes' and Benishek to be a 'no,' but you can never predict that kind of thing perfectly.)

        Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

        by David Jarman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:25:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This goes to show (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, NoMoreLies, MichaelNY

      how irrational the thinking of some of these people is. Because if the economy imploded, these people would suffer the most.

      The only thing that doesn't make sense is that people with the lowest wages and income are the MOST insured. That seems counterintuitive.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:57:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Texas Is Pitching Obamacare (11+ / 0-)

    Front page at Think Progress.

  •  Perhaps we should steal a trick from the former (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, a2nite

    Soviet Union.  Voting for government default is ipso facto evidence for a degree of insanity which disqualifies for public office and means forceful incarceration.  Take those 18 Senators and 144 Representatives off the floor in handcuffs and see what wonderful things our legislature could achieve...

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:21:10 AM PDT

  •  Path to majority in House (14+ / 0-)

    becoming clearer and clearer.

    Gary Miller
    Mike Coffman
    Jeff Denham
    Randy Forbes
    Tom Reed
    Mike Turner
    Tim Wahlberg
    Scott Garrett
    Sean Duffy
    Rodney Davis
    Dan Benishek
    Jackie Walorski
    Chris Collins
    Keith Rothfus

    Should all be targeted ASAP.  That's 14 seats right there.  Dems only need 20.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:23:29 AM PDT

    •  Mike Turner... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, wishingwell, Amber6541

      I wish I could be hopeful about getting rid of this guy but he remains popular because he is a lying SOB and folks think he's "moderate".  He has gone to bat for Wright-Patterson AFB so he gets credit for that, although the base is a huge area employer and likely not going to shutter anytime soon.
      Many good Democrats have gone after him but with little or no funding from the national party, he outspent them by thousands, plus of course the perks of incumbency help him.

      Think what you are doing today. -Fred Rogers

      by JanL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:45:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People might think differently (0+ / 0-)

        if they know that he voted for shutdown and default.  He only won with 59.5%  in 2012 against a nobody.  I'd imagine if he got a credible opponent who ran a strong campaign and had some money backing them up, that 59.5% winning % would drop like a lead balloon.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:23:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry but he didn't run against a "nobody" (4+ / 0-)

          Sharen Neuhardt is as strong and credible a candidate as could possibly be recruited in this district. Any other candidate would have lost by the same. There is no one stronger is this district.

          And "only 59.5%"? It was a 60-37 shellacking. He won in a landslide.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:11:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Mike Turner can't be beaten (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, JanL

        Last year's result proved that. The only way to get rid of him is if he retires like LaTourette. As JanL said, he gets mucho mileage out of his support for Wright-Patterson, the lead issue in any campaign here, and pretends to be a "moderate" as long as you don't look at his voting record (much like LaTourette).

        Last year's race featured a very strong candidate in Sharen Neuhardtm who did raise significant money and did get help from national organizations (we can always quibble about how much more the national party should have helped but remember, they have hundreds of races).

        There probably isn't a better candidate in the district than Neuhardt, we can't really expect the national party to pour enough money in this district to reach parity, especially since the results were much more lopsided than the money disparity would indicate — it's not like Sharen had NO money. But she only got 37% of the vote.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:09:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Florida - at least 3 more very good opportunities (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, a2nite, Lawrence, MrLiberal

      The 13th district is slightly Dem-leaning and will be an open seat with Young retiring.

      Steve Southerland (FL-02) is probably Tossup at worst at this point.  He has a top-tier opponent in Gwen Graham and is getting outraised.  Southerland also voted for the default/shutdown.

      Dan Webster (FL-10) is also vulnerable so long as we get a decent recruit as we did in 2012 when we came close to beating him.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:08:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Add in a few more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If the Dem grassroots could find credible candidates and mount a solid grassroots campaign against Mario Diaz Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that's two more seats that could flip.  They're already Dem friendly seats.  

        Oh also Vern Buchanan just because the fucker is so goddamn corrupt and his area is trending blue too.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:26:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Southerland is definitely ripe for picking ... (0+ / 0-)

          Interestingly, Webster, Buchanan, Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen all voted with the Democrats to end the shutdown and avoid default - likely because they know they're vulnerable.

          We also have a good shot at picking off the seat of retiring (and now gravely ill) Bill Young. Sadly, my Congressman, Rich Nugent, is probably safe.

          I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

          by ObamOcala on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:39:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He has a strong challenger (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I would even make a push for DeSantis, Mica and Posey.  All three voted for shutdown and default.  All three won with less than 60% in 2012 against weak unknown candidates.  All three could be vulnerable in light of their votes if they had strong challengers as well.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:49:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I really wish the FL Dems ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChadmanFL, Gygaxian

              ... and the national party would get their act together. I think with credible and well-funded challengers, even Nugent and Yoho could be beaten. Yes, both won with over 60% of the vote, and their districts have plenty of tea party sympathizers in them. But neither has had a strong Democratic challenger. The guy who ran against Nugent as a Democrat last time was a "perpetual candidate" - one of those local nutjobs who runs for whatever's available, from city councilman to president. He had no platform to speak of, held no campaign events, and could muster no financial backing. And he still got 32% of the vote.

              I refuse to believe that in all of FL-11, which includes the entire city of Ocala, there are no capable candidates. You can't have any hope of winning a race if you won't even contest it!

              I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

              by ObamOcala on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:12:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm in DeSantis's district (0+ / 0-)

              It's a very hard district to crack.  Though we did have a reasonable showing here in 2012 despite running against a nobody who raised almost no money   I'd love to see Suzanne Kosmas run for the seat.  It would be a longshot, but worth a try.  Her landslide loss in 2010 had more to do with the national environment for Dems than running a poor campaign.  Though she seems uninterested in a comeback.

              Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

              by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:34:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Definitely not easy districts (0+ / 0-)

                But considering Mica, Posey and DeSantis all voted to shutdown the gov't and default I'd say they were at least worthy of a look.  Add in the fact that the FL GOP will have Rick Snott at the top of the ticket and the time may be ripe to crack that nut.  58% against underwhelming and underfunded opposition is not what I'd call a strong showing.  I'm not sure how Obama did in those districts or what the registration breakdown is but the fact that they didn't crack 60% tells me they're somewhat weak.

                This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:04:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Mica I just don't consider beatable (0+ / 0-)

                  He was my Congressman until 2002.  He's a smart guy, excellent campaigner, excellent with constituent services and is good at pretending to be a moderate.  In fact a few times I called his office when he was my Rep he personally talked policy with me.  I've never had that happen with any other officeholder.  I can't stand his politics, but if there's anyone who can beat back a challenge even in a tough year it's Mica.  

                  I do think DeSantis can be beaten given the right circumstances.  He's a bagger through and through.

                  Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

                  by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:13:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  See my comment below on Coffman. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Chris Gibson, NY-19 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christopher Walker
      •  Gibson voted Yes to reopen the govt. (0+ / 0-)

        but I think ALL GOP reps in NY should get strong challengers whether they voted yes or no to reopen the govt.  Same goes for NJ.  That's 14 seats right there that should be strongly challenged.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Problem is with Coffman... (0+ / 0-)

      he had this amazing birther gaffe and ludicrous apology tour, and it WORKED.  Even against a credible Democratic candidate with presidential turnout.

      If 2012 couldn't take Coffman out........

    •  Duffy needs a stronger challenger. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I liked Pat Kreitlow and his politics. But many in the area who actually favored his politics found it difficult to vote for him because he has quite a reputation for arrogance. That was a major factor in 2012, especially in rural and small-town areas. We need a candidate who attracts rather than repels. Koch and company also invested a lot of advertising...

    •  Let's see how our GCB lead holds over the year (0+ / 0-)

      In October of 2011, our GCB was R+3-8.  That flipped briefly to D+5ish, before getting into a long slog.  The final GCB numbers for 2012 were all showing a Republican advantage, but curiously the October numbers in 2012 " were pretty much on the money.  

      The generic ballot has been kind to Democrats all year, with the exception of the normal summer doldrums, but they aren't wave material yet.  Still, Democrats were "only" up 5pts or so at this point in the 2006 election cycle, so we have yet to see if there's enough momentum to carry us forward in 2014.  

      Still, Republicans are resting a little too hard on historical precedent's laurels to really consider the implications of these shenanigans.  The country is getting more and more polarized, and the Democratic base is getting a pretty large infusion of new voters thanks to these silly shutdowns.

  •  Johnson is toast (13+ / 0-)

    Can we get Russ Feingold to try again?

    Turns on Russ signal, shines on nearest cloud

    Anyway, it appears the best way to weaken the Tea Party would be economic programs aimed at the lower middle class, reinvigorating the industrial base.

    That sounds like a solidly progressive, liberal, pro-union thing to be about.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:28:25 AM PDT

  •  If we focus on the elections, we will win. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, Heart of the Rockies

    If we go off on a tangent, we won't. Hopefully we will be more like '06 than '10.

    Congress is broken and Americans are broke.

    by kitebro on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:30:01 AM PDT

  •  David, this diary is remarkable (12+ / 0-)

    in its depth, clarity and analytical precision. For progressives who follow politics, it is very instructive. Thank you.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:32:26 AM PDT

  •  Virginia Foxx (18+ / 0-)

    She voted no. However it may come back to haunt her. Even hard core conservatives in North Carolina have been shocked by what out Governor and Legislature have done. We are hearing rumblings of getting rid of the right wingers and this time in spite of gerrymandering Virginia Foxx is vulnerable. Even my right wing brother can't stand her. Of course I have been secretly working on him and he is starting to move slightly towards center. He is disabled and worried about his Social Security and Medicare. A lot of conservative seniors are starting to worry and we need to target these groups aggressively to let them know how vulnerable they are to the wingnuts. This senior is doing her part to help but I need other seniors to join me.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:35:51 AM PDT

  •  What happened to tipjar? (5+ / 0-)

    Need big tipjar for articles as good as this!

  •  So Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (0+ / 0-)

    voted yes right?

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:39:52 AM PDT

  •  I made a map yesterday of the vote (9+ / 0-)

    Coding the map

    Dark Red = No votes, assuming those as Tea Party by default
    Red = Republicans voting Yes
    Blue = Democrats voting Yes

    The result:

  •  So, the people voting Tea Party... (5+ / 0-)

    are those least likely to derive any benefit from their existence. It makes the billionaire Koch brothers creation seem all the more perverse.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:45:38 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the exceptional analysis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, rubyr, greenbird, kpardue

    Your diary represents why DKos is among the best site in the world for political analysis.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:51:32 AM PDT

  •  What about Andy Harris, the sole (5+ / 0-)

    Republican representing blue Maryland?   He's another one of the GOP physicians who don't want people to have healthcare (except for himself, of course.  He famously demanded to know in the first meeting when he was elected, why his government healthcare would take so long to kick in).

    I looked on his website, and he said he voted against the deal because a balanced budget amendment wasn't part of it, and we have to run our country like a household budget and not spend more than we take in.  

    But do you think this vote will affect his future electoral prospects?  His district was, to my knowledge, created especially to give him some safety.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:56:09 AM PDT

    •  Harris was foolishly given a safe district (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SottoVoce, kpardue, MichaelNY

      Which was completely pointless.  An 8-0 Dem map could have been passed in Maryland but Dems got weak and played it safe for a 7-1 map.  They probably made his seat too republican to win even in a Dem wave year.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:11:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  when my son was in college in Bmore (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kpardue, ChadmanFL, a2nite

        as a political science student, Harris was just beginning to move up in the political world.  He broke into politics fighting against "partial birth abortion."  My son worked on his first campaign as part of some class requirements, and found him a decent family man, straightforward, committed, albeit conservative.  But not nuts.  He is very amused now to see that Andy has gone "the full teabag."

        Ugh.  Who would have guessed that Maryland Dems were giving away a district to someone who would work to shut down the whole government?

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:18:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  At the very least they could have played it safe (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SottoVoce, a2nite, MichaelNY

          And given him a swing district that Dems could win in a decent year.  Packing as many republicans into that district was completely unnecessary.

          Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

          by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:27:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  On the other hand (4+ / 0-)

    I'm inclined not to care too much or read too much into votes that don't matter. Once this was going too pass, the political calculation changes from "What am I willing to risk to stop this?" to "Which vote will play better to my voters?"

    What really counts is the Republican who were willing to defy their party and support the clean CR before it was a foregone conclusion. Oh wait, there weren't any.

    On the gripping hand, none of the Senators who voted against cloture on this bill insisted on the 30 hours of post-cloture debate they were entitled to.

    The No votes at this point were symbolic. Unlike signing a discharge petition earlier in the week would have been.

    The Empire never ended.

    by thejeff on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary! What a learning tool. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, kpardue, a2nite, MichaelNY

    Thank you so much.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:03:10 AM PDT

  •  Gut feeling is Grassley retires (4+ / 0-)

    Had that feeling for awhile now.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:04:49 AM PDT

  •  i gotta ... i gotta ... (0+ / 0-)

    wake up.

    let me start over.

    i'm not ENTITLED to what i bought. i BOUGHT it.
    if i bought more than one, mine's MINE and the others are GIFTS.
    if i also get given one, it's MY GIFT.

    this is where certain good gifts get to go... critically endangered.

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:08:46 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps a bit ironic ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sestak could have gone after Toomey as a radical Club-for-Growth anti-Medicare (in a huge retiree State) right winger, but didn't because, I think, he didn't want to alienate the right leaning independents.  Maybe this will give him or the next Dem candidate to run against Toomey the guts to attack the guy on something that not only matters, but is true.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:09:10 AM PDT

  •  Mike Coffman in suburban Denver (6+ / 0-)

    has a strong challenger, Andrew Romanoff, who was formerly Democratic Speaker of the CO House.  Coffman voted yes.  Supports your thesis.

    •  Same with David Joyce in Oh-14 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Zack from the SFV

      Very swingy district. Strong Democratic challenger. Left unprotected because it was held at the time of redistricting by the inexplicably popular Steve LaTourette who suddenly retired shortly before last year's election.

      Joyce voted yes. He'd probably have been tarred and feathered had he voted no. This one is our potential winner in Ohio. So the DCCC has of course chosen to focus on Oh-06, where the probably invulnerable Bill Johnson voted no. Thanks DCCC. You ALWAYS do the wrong thing, which is why my donations go to individual candidates.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:20:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw LaTourette on TV (0+ / 0-)

        and he appeared quite reasonable.  Where is Ohio-14 located.

        I quit giving to the DCCC years ago just for the reason you cite.

        •  If you ever want to know where a House district is (0+ / 0-)

          just do a Wikipedia search.

          What's your beef with the DCCC, Heart?

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 11:51:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do know how to use (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Google for that purpose, but though anastasia p would respond immediately, and she didn't.

            My beef is similar to hers.  They often support candidates that I don't believe warrant it, and neglect others that do.  Of course, some of it is lost in overhead, too.

            I'd much prefer researching and giving to candidates I chose.  Generally ones I have met in person.

            •  That's a very legitimate point of view (0+ / 0-)

              I also contribute directly to candidates, rather than to the DCCC. However, I give the DCCC credit for being pretty effective, most of the time, in doing the job they set out to do: recruiting candidates who seem most likely to win and supporting incumbent Democrats and challengers in open seats or to Republican incumbents that they believe to be strong.

              Not everyone knows that Wikipedia has an article on every Congressional district, with a map. If you didn't, now you do.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:24:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  To add (0+ / 0-)

              Anastasia claims the DCCC "always" does the wrong thing, which is probably a hyperbolic expression of irritation, but if taken literally, is ridiculous and nonsensical, because even she would probably concede that they sometimes support the winning candidate in an election, including some Democrats she likes. What you're saying uses the word "often," so it's a more measured point of view. The word I'd use is "sometimes," keeping in mind that the DCCC is inherently a non-purist organization. And I'm glad it is, because especially in these times, when the Republicans are so extremist, the ideological and voting difference between a Democrat and a Republican in the House is vast, and much greater than the difference between two Democrats or two Republicans.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:29:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  OT: "Hillary Clinton coattails"? (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me the expression needs an update. I like "train" but it seems too regal and feeds RW "Queen" fantasies.  

    •  "Apron strings"? (0+ / 0-)


    •  What it really needs is to be abandoned (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Zack from the SFV

      There are so many if-comes there. IF Hillary is even running. IF she is really so "inevitable," like she was in 2008. IF her approvals don't plunge once she announced. IF she doesn't prove to be a much weaker candidate than the inexplicably gaga-eyed band of her supporters here think. IF her actually running  doesn't remind us how moderate and centrist and cautious a candidate she really would be at a time we need someone a LOT bolder.

      I don't think Hillary will run and I don't see her as having coattails if she does. There are just as many — if not more — Democrats who are "meh" about her. And Republicans hate her with the white hot passion of a million suns. Expect to hear Rush Limbaugh revive his theories about how she murdered Vince Foster. And expect me not to care after Hillary sat next to the man who financed those attacks in order to launch a lie-based attack on Barack Obama. Sorry, Hillary, no forgiveness ever.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:25:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regional Splits are most intetesting (5+ / 0-)

    I ran these numbers yesterday.  Hope they contribute to the discussion.

    Once the deal to reopen the government was done in the Senate, and Speaker Boehner had made clear that the House leadership would be voting the Senate bill through the House, it was much easier for House members to vote for the “winning side”. That said, most Republicans still did not, and it is a very interesting pattern which MCs voted to keep the government closed and to not raise the debt ceiling.

    By the numbers:

    All Democrats in the House voted to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling.

    87 Republicans voted to open the government, 144 voted against.

    Of those 144 who voted against, 87 (over 60%) were from the South (the 11 states of the CSA plus Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma).

    Only 24 Republicans in those same Southern states voted in favor of opening the government.

    Of those 24, 13 came from the highly populous and “purple” states of Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

    The FULL Republican Delegations of the states of Arizona (4), Utah (3), Georgia (9), South Carolina (6), Tennessee (7), Missouri (6), and Texas (24!) voted to keep the government shut down.

    Oddball fact: All 4 Representatives from Arkansas, all Republicans, voted to reopen the government. In the six states surrounding Arkansas, the GOP reps voted 46 to 3 to keep it closed.

    The Democratic Party: Keeping Their Powder Dry Since 1968.

    by punkdavid on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:30:13 AM PDT

  •  Matt Kibbe on C-Span this a.m. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, NoMoreLies, MichaelNY

    I am just howling! These assholes better not ever get into my face or anyone else's about cutting back expenses! They just sneeringly, gleefully cost our economy $24 billion!

    Plus, Kibbe and those like him are just plain out-and-out LIARS. Their "concern" is just a feint.

    On the upside, my congressman, Lou Barletta, voted to end the fiasco.

  •  It is the singular achievement of Richard Nixon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to have created the Tea Party demographic, which ought to be ours.  

    Nixon's Southern Strategy was not just for the South but for the country. It is a very modern scheme, tailored for the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960's and beyond--much more modern than our tired old caricatures of the GOP as the Monopoly man, which quite frankly would look at home in a 1930's edition of the daily Worker (and if you think I'm a troll, check my long history here and then say you're sorry).  

    Until we grasp the supreme sense of showmanship in the GOP's appeal, until we figure out how to counter it with something more effective than graphs and brilliantly evocative phrases such as "1%," we will continue to lose the very people who should love us.

    •  Nixon's strategy isn't working with the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, MichaelNY, MrLiberal

      Millennial Generation.  In fact, it's backfiring.

      And since the Millennial Generation will be the most powerful voting bloc by 2020....

      I do understand the point that you are making about framing, though.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can someone please show that first graphic (0+ / 0-)

    to Michele Bachmann, to shut her up.

    Saying the country was "saved by the GOP."

    EVERY democrat voted for the bill.

    Less than half of the GOP did.

    What a loon.

    I'm not an atheist. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:53:01 AM PDT

  •  Re: Coffman and Gardner in Colorado... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    especially Gardner, the money earmarked for Colorado flood relief that ravaged Gardner's district had to have made a huge difference in these 2 buttheads' votes in favor of ending the shutdown.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:58:03 AM PDT

  •  That HR diagram at the top says it all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dems as solid, Repubs as fractured and disintegrating.

  •  Andy Barr KY-6 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Voted for default & won a narrow race over blue dog Ben Chandler with a 3rd party getting a lot of protest votes.
    I think he's very beatable.

  •  I can't believe old man Grassley is going to run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Zack from the SFV

    again in 2016.  Then again, he seems to get crazier and crazier with age.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:13:08 AM PDT

  •  Is that graphic of the house floor accurate? (0+ / 0-)

    As to the actual position of the person's seat?

    If not, then nevermind.

    But if so, I would find it very striking that the Republicans who voted for this physically sit closer to the Democrats on the floor. Whether this is a correlation or has some causation - either would be interesting. Are some Republicans so rabidly right-wing they sit as far away as possible from their Democratic colleagues?

    Freedom isn't free. That's why we pay taxes.

    by walk2live on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:13:31 AM PDT

  •  “conservative” (0+ / 0-)

    Is it still reasonable to buy into these extremists referring to themselves as “conservative”? I suggest that in text we write (as opposed to the names of organizations and quotations), we avoid using that term when referring to extreme right-wing reactionaries. Most of the Republicans who voted “yes” on this bill are conservatives, but most of those who voted no are at best CINO, but in reality are extreme right-wingers, and should be referred to as such.

    The sentence that triggered this reflection was “Meanwhile, the more heedless Johnson has already racked-up [sic] one of the Senate's most conservative records and is just behaving in character”. I would suggest rephrasing it and similar statements as something like “Meanwhile, the more heedless Johnson has already racked up one of the Senate's most extreme right-wing records and is just behaving in character”.

    Maybe it's just me, but conservatives conserve, maintain the status quo, are uncomfortable with change except in small increments, and dislike controversy. The Tea Party faction has nothing to do with being conservative, but they use that word as a shield for their extreme radicalism.

  •  Chuck Grassley is perhaps the least surprisng vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Jarman, isentrope

    No one else has a keaner sense of survival or a more ambidextrous view of political ideology.  Given recent Republican civil wars in Iowa he has worked hard to protect his right flank.  Though he also not afraid to say vote against the first Gulf War in this Dukakis state.  He almost made a fatal mistake in his balancing act by negotiating with Obama over a health care compromise.  But quickly pulled out and ranted about killing "grandma" as soon as he smelled the political winds shifting.

    Right now he thinks the danger comes from a primary, not a general election defeat.  Which is why he could badly use some general election heat for a change.  That is the only way he'll switch back to moderate mode.

    The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

    by Taget on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:26:21 AM PDT

  •  CA-10: Not a good choice for Denham (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That vote will be used against him and it already was a headline in one of the newspapers in the district. I can see Brown potentially winning this district by more than Obama 2012 numbers, since Brown has unusual strength in the Central Valley (he only lost this district by 5 in 2010).

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

    by DrPhillips on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:31:31 PM PDT

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