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Leading Off:

NC-07, NY-04: Two House Democrats from two very different districts announced their retirements on Wednesday: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04) and Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC-07). Republicans targeted McIntyre in redistricting two years ago, turning a 52-47 John McCain district into one that McCain carried by a whopping 58-42 spread. But thanks to his conservative profile and exceptional political skills, McIntyre managed to hang on by just 654 votes in what was the closest House race of 2012, even as Mitt Romney matched McCain's performance with a 59-40 win of his own in the 7th.

McIntyre was preparing for a rematch with the guy who'd nearly defeated him, state Sen. David Rouzer, though recently, another Republican, New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, had also started expressing interest in a bid. (After Wednesday's news broke, White confirmed he'd run.) Regardless of his opponent, McIntyre would have faced an incredibly difficult re-election effort, especially since Democratic turnout typically drops in midterm years.

McIntyre's fundraising in the most recent quarter was a bit soft, and there's a good chance he was staring at polls that showed he couldn't pull off another death-defying win. And given the district's demographics, this seat—the third-reddest held by a Democrat—is almost certain to flip to Republicans this fall.

McCarthy's seat, though, is likely to stay in Democratic hands. McCarthy first won office in 1996 by beating a Republican incumbent on the strength of her gun safety advocacy: Her husband was murdered and her son badly wounded in an infamous mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. McCarthy had handily won re-election in recent years, though she survived a bit of a scare during the GOP wave of 2010.

Last year, though, she announced that she had lung cancer, which she described as "treatable," so her decision to call it quits did not come as a major surprise. (Indeed, she cited health issues in her announcement.) And even though the 4th District actually became a bit redder after redistricting (thanks to a federal court, not vindictive political opponents), Obama still carried it by a 56-43 spread. That puts it at the outer edge of what Republicans are capable of winning, giving Democrats a strong chance to hold it.

The biggest Democratic name who could potentially succeed McCarthy is Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who considered but ultimately declined a bid against GOP Rep. Peter King in NY-02 last cycle. Roll Call also mentions two possible Republican options: state Sen. Jack Martins and Hempstead Councilman Anthony Santino. (And if Martins were to run, that could open up a third pickup opportunity for Democrats on Long Island, since his 7th District seat went for Obama 54-45.)

McIntyre's retirement is ultimately the bigger deal, since his departure will make it harder for Democrats to retake the House. (If there's a silver lining for progressives, it's that there'll be one fewer ideological outlier in the Democratic caucus.) But Democrats will also probably find themselves expending resources to hold McCarthy's seat that they otherwise might have saved had the incumbent chosen to seek re-election, though these kinds of retirements are part of the expected ebb and flow for both parties every cycle.

As always, we'll be following all future developments in both seats closely, so stay tuned to Daily Kos Elections.

4Q Fundraising:

LA-Sen: Mary Landrieu (D-inc): $1.4 million raised, $6.4 million cash-on-hand

KS-Gov: Paul Davis (D): $1 million raised (in last four months), $771,000 cash-on-hand

ID-02: Mike Simpson (R-inc): $430,000 raised

MT-AL: John Lewis (D): $200,000 raised, $330,000 cash-on-hand


NH-Sen: The Senate Majority PAC is spending $160,000 to air a new ad attacking Scott Brown as a carpetbagging tool of Wall Street who is "shopping for a Senate seat in New Hampshire." The spot also repeatedly refers to him as the "senator from Massachusetts." (Amusingly, it's titled "#Bqhatevwr.") Presumably SMP is trying to dissuade Brown from a bid in the Granite State—or they expect him to run and want to tarnish him early.

NJ-Sen: State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., who lost a bid for Senate in 2006, says he won't challenge Democratic Sen. Cory Booker this fall. Former FBI agent Robert Turkavage says he's considering a bid, though, and two other Republicans—Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and state Sen. Michael Doherty—are also both reportedly looking at the race.

TX-Sen: A pro-John Cornyn super PAC called Texans for a Conservative Majority is airing a new TV ad slamming Cornyn's GOP primary opponent, Rep. Steve Stockman, as an ethical miscreant. There's no word on the size of the buy, though, and in Texas, you'd better spend plenty if you want anyone to see your advertisements.


MI-Gov: Democratic ex-Rep. Mark Schauer will participate in Michigan's public funding system for the state's Aug. 5 primary, meaning he can collect up to $1 million in matching funds but will be limited to spending $2 million through primary day. Schauer hasn't yet said whether he'll also accept public funds for the general election, though if he does, he isn't likely to face a similar spending cap there. That's because such caps are waived if an opponent self-funds over $340,000, and wealthy Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will probably do so. (He spent $6 million of his own money in 2010.)

PA-Gov: Hahah!


CA-04: Too bad: Just a day after his name first surfaced as a possible candidate to take on GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, veteran TV newsman Walt Gray says a bid for office is "not something that I can see doing".

CA-35/31: San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt announced earlier this week that he won't seek a third term, and while ordinarily this isn't the sort of race we'd cover at Daily Kos Elections, Ovitt's decision may have congressional implications. That's because Democratic Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod has been mentioned as a possible successor, even though she's only in her first term in the House. But unnamed sources claim she "isn't interested in another term in Congress," and for several years she's maintained a campaign account for the 2014 supervisor's race which has over $900,000 sitting in it.

If Negrete McLeod does go for the supervisor seat, that might inspire ex-Rep. Joe Baca, the fellow Democrat she defeated in 2012, to switch back to the 35th District. Baca initially sought a rematch against Negrete McLeod this cycle but later decided to run in the 31st, where several other Democrats are also hoping to unseat GOP Rep. Gary Miller. Baca's fundraising's been poor, though, and the establishment has spurned his comeback attempt, so an open (and safely blue) 35th might be more tempting. However, it would also be appealing to other Democrats in the area, too.

IA-03: Emily Cahn takes a stroll through the field of potential candidates for Iowa's open 3rd District and finds both sides lacking. Republicans fret that the most prominent candidate to express interest so far, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, is a weak fundraiser, and other options have their own flaws. Democrats, meanwhile, may not find anyone stronger than ex-state Sen. Staci Appel, who was already running before Rep. Tom Latham announced his retirement. One alternative is state Sen. Matt McCoy, but he was indicted for attempted extortion in 2007, though a jury ultimately found him not guilty.

PA-06: One more Democratic name is now in the mix for Pennsylvania's suddenly open 6th District: Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards, who says she is "seriously considering" a bid. The DCCC confirms that they've spoken to Richards, but I wouldn't read too much into it, since the committee says they've also talked to "several other people," including businessman Mike Parrish, who's already declared. More importantly, Richards says that EMILY's List has approached her as well, though at least one other pro-choice woman is looking at a bid, state Sen. Judy Schwank.

Other Races:

Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso recaps Tuesday night's action:

Iowa HD-25: Republican Stan Gustafson defeated Democrat Pam Deichmann 70-30 to hold this seat for the Republicans.

Massachusetts House, 9th Norfolk: This was an easy Republican hold: Shawn Dooley pulled in 61 percent of the vote, while independent Chris Timson came in second with 21 percent. Democrat Ed McCormick brought up the rear with 18 percent.

Virginia SD-06: It's déjà vu all over again, with another Virginia election headed to a likely recount. Democrat Lynwood Lewis led Republican Wayne Coleman by 22 votes on election night, with all precincts reporting, but it dropped to 10 by Wednesday evening follow a partial recanvass.

Virginia HD-11: This ended up being a landslide: Democrat Sam Rasoul crushed Republican Octavia Johnson by a 70-30 margin.

All but one of the 56 precincts in Virginia's 6th Senate District—an all-important hold for Democrats—have completed their recanvass. Only Tangier Island precinct in Accomack County, a heavily Republican precinct, remains. (It voted for Coleman by 166 to 7.) The boat carrying voting equipment and printouts has been stuck because of ice! We also know of two remaining provisional ballots, also in Accomack.

Lewis's edge is well within the half-a-percent margin that would allow Coleman to seek a recount at state expense. However, a recount is unlikely to change matters much, since all of the jurisdictions within the district use electronic voting machines. During the December recount of the attorney general's race, the five counties with territory in this district combined to add 11 votes to Republican Mark Obenshain's total and 10 votes to Democrat Mark Herring's—and only parts of some of these counties are even contained in SD-06.

In any event, the state elections board will meet on Friday to certify the election results, at which point the trailing candidate can request a recount. (David Nir & Taniel)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:00:12 AM PST

  •  PA-06 - Schwank stronger than Richards? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For open PA-06 seat, would state Sen Judy Schwank be a stronger general election candidate than Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards?  

    Schwank hails from the part of the district where Dems don't typically do well.  If she could improve the Dem vote margin in that part of the PA-06 District and add to it the predictably stronger Dem margins in the Montgomery County portion of the District, she could be the stronger general election candidate of the two.  

    •  Kind of doubt it. (0+ / 0-)

      Judy Schwank wins because of the Democratic base in Reading, which isn't even in PA-06. It might be better to pick Richards who represents a larger portion of the district as commissioner.

      In the end they are both serviceable candidates. Keep in mind that Richard is 20 years younger. I do, however, like the inclination to nominate a woman here. Students for a New American Politics!

      by redrelic17 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:40:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McIntyre Is Only The Third Reddest Seat.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    ....held by a Dem?  Who's the second?

    •  Since we all know Utah is #1 I'm guessing it's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      either in WV or GA? I'm too lazy to look :)

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:45:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Less money wasted on holding red seats means (5+ / 0-)

      more money can be spent competing for more competitive seats.  The McIntyre and Matheson losses can be more than made up in the 6 or so seats that are far more competitive now that the incumbents retired or died.  The Dems barely held onto these two in a presidential election year and spent considerable sums in doing so.  Given a choice I'd much rather cut those all but guaranteed 2 losses and compete in these other 6 districts VA-10, PA-6, NJ-3, IA-3, FL-13, AR-2.  They're far easier to win, far easier to hold in the future and will get us a far better Democrat.  Plus since most of these were really not on the Dems radar prior to the incumbents vacating the spot, that means all the other juicy targets for Dems still exist.

      The Dems should be competing in CA-10, CA-21, CA-25, CA-31, CA-39, CA-49, CO-5, CO-6, FL-2, FL-7, FL-10, FL-15, FL-16, FL-25, FL-27, IA-4, IL-6, IL-13, IL-14, IL-16, IN-2, KS-3, KY-6, MI-1, MI-2, MI-3, MI-4, MI-6, MI-7, MI-8, MI-10, MI-11, MN-2, MN-3, MT-1, NE-2, NJ-2, NJ-4, NJ-5, NJ-7, NJ-11, NM-2, NY-2, NY-11, NY-19, NY-22, NY-23, NV-3, NV-2, OH-1, OH-7, OH-10, OH-14, OH-15, OH-16, PA-7, PA-8, PA-11, PA-12, PA-15, PA-16, VA-1, VA-2, VA-4, VA-5, WA-3, WA-8, WI-3, WI-6, WI-7, WI-8  

      All these seats are either slightly D or R+7 or less with the exception of KY-6 which is an R+9 but was barely won by Barr in a state where Obamacare is taking off.  McIntyre's seat is R+12 and Matheson's was R+16.

      -In Michigan, the Dems should be competing for EVERY seat.  Michigan has a very unpopular Gov running for re-election and they were the worst of the gerrymanderers.  Not one of their seats is stronger than an R+7.  They spread themselves out too thin.  
      -Same in OH.  Outside of Boehner's R+15, every other seat is in the single digits R+9 or less.  Kasich is not very popular and he's up for re-election in 2014.  
      -Same in PA.  Of the 13 GOP held seats 10 of them are R+9 or less.  Corbett is dead man walking in the Gov race and turnout will likely be depressed as a result.  Dems have a real opportunity to flip a good number of these seats.  
      -Florida has about 13 GOP held seats that are R+10 or less and they fucking hate their governor Scott who is also up for re-election in 2014.  Plus demographics are turning against them badly.  
      -Then there's NJ. The GOP's strongest seat is R+7.  Despite Christie winning resoundingly in 2013, he had NO coattails whatsoever.  Now with this bridge scandal swirling around, it's a good opportunity to strike it while it's hot.  Make it about the GOP and the Dems can have a real shot at picking a few of these seats off as well.  
      -In NY, NY-27 is an R+8.  Everything else is considerably less like R+1, R+2 and even D+1.  There is no reason outside of the fact that this is an expensive market, why the Dems shouldn't be competing in EVERY SINGLE DISTRICT.  
      -WI has 5 GOP held seats and outside of Stalinbrenner who is safe in his R+13 seat EVERY SINGLE OTHER SEAT is R+5 or less.  Gov Walker is up for re-election and he's a very divisive figure who has sparked up a considerable amount of grassroots anger.  Outside of WI-5 every single seat is winnable, even Ryans.    

      ALL these seats represent far better targets for the Dems to spend their money and resources on than the R+12 and R+16 seats where we had Blue Dog Dems who only voted with us half the time and provided cover for the GOP on many issues.  That's over 80 districts total which the Dems should be focusing on rather than wasting resources and money winning and holding blood red districts.  For one, these races are more competitive, second they will be easier holds once the Dems win them and it's much more likely the Dems will get BETTER Dems from these districts. We only need to win 20 or so to flip the House.  Because of 2010 and the shitty tea bagging governors that were elected then, the Dems have a unique opportunity to cash in on the hatred and anger in several states.  That in turn can be used to wash out some GOP reps down ticket from the Governor's races in those states.  Of course Dems have to turn out, but in those states Dems are a bit more enthusiasm to turn out, certainly more than in 2010.  

      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 Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:17:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe with less strong words (0+ / 0-)

        also we can se if R+7 and R+6 are too difficult or not... But this is where the long term realingment is driving the things.

        It is so obvious to me.

        •  The R+6 and R+7 are good targets in 2016 (0+ / 0-)

          Now that Christie is tainted and will likely fizzle out if he runs for president in 2016, that leaves the GOP bench with Bubkis.  If the Dems have Hillary or even better Warren at the top, the GOP is toast.  That will have a serious effect down ballot as well.  

          2014 will likely simply be a Dem hold year.  If Dems can hold the Senate in 2014 and maybe pick up a few seats in the House they'll be in great shape in 2016.  If Dems flip the House then all the better.  In 2016 Dems will have a real opportunity to finally break the GOP by winning at the presidential level in resounding fashion, by winning a bunch of what will be very competitive seats in the Senate and have 60+ Dems and by flipping the House with enough cushion to make up for the remaining Blue Dog, New Dems who occasionally vote with the GOP.  The Blue Dog coalition is all but gone.  The New Dem coalition is dwindling as well, Third Way is a joke and everyone is distancing themselves from them.  That means 2017 Dems will have a real opportunity to make real progressive changes in this country.  

          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 Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:46:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  For your list. (0+ / 0-)

        It should be CO-03 not CO-05.  CO-03 is R+5.  CO-05 is something like R+15 and has Colorado Springs in it.

        If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules

        by CO Democrat on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:54:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tip for designers ... (7+ / 2-)

    iStockPhoto, while inexpensive and often a great solution for design needs, isn't without its problems. It's was started in Canada before being purchased by Getty, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that a lot of photographers on the site are Canadian. And since it's so cheap and ubiquitous, the photos from there are likely to show up in a low of places and are very easily searched.

  •  Ethical Miscreant? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, slothlax, Square Knot

    Is that somebody who's ethical despite being a miscreant?  

    I would argue that somebody who is miscreant when it comes to ethics is an "ethics miscreant".  Or more damningly: "an unethical miscreant".

  •  McIntyre (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The good thing about people like McIntyre and Matheson retiring is that it frees up resources to better play offense in more easily winnable districts.

    Now if only Steve Israel was willing to target all of those districts.......[Thinking of his and DWS's protection of Pete King and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen]

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