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Leading Off:

President-by-LD: We're in an Empire State of Mind today. Since Grand Moff Tarkin isn't available, we'll be doing the next best thing and taking a look at the New York state legislature. We've calculated the 2012 presidential and U.S. Senate results for both the state Senate and state Assembly, and you can find even more detailed calculations here.

Democrats have held the Assembly for decades and aren't in danger of losing it anytime soon. The party has a 100 to 40 majority in the chamber, with one independent and nine vacancies. Barack Obama carried 114 of the 150 seats: 10 Republicans and independent Fred Thiele come from Obama districts, while four Democrats were elected districts Mitt Romney won. Interestingly, Romney's best district, Brooklyn's AD-48 (where he won 76-24), is represented by a Democrat. However, Assemblyman Dov Hikind is extremely conservative and tends to make the news for all the wrong reasons. The median of the chamber is 62-37 Obama, about three points to the right of the state.

The Senate is far more complicated. On paper, Democrats have a 32 to 29 edge, with one vacancy for each party. However, in practice, Republicans run the show here, as they have for generations aside from a brief period between 2009 and 2010. Four rogue Democrats formed the Independent Democratic Conference and are partnering with the Republican minority. A fifth Democratic senator, Simcha Felder, outright caucuses with the GOP, while two other Democrats who've been indicted on corruption charges (it's New York, after all) currently are not welcome in any conference.

The map below, created by Stephen Wolf, visualizes all 63 Senate members as well as which presidential candidate won the district. The two vacant seats are assigned to the party that held them last. Dark blue represents Dems in Obama districts, while dark red is for Republicans in Romney districts. Light red is for Republicans in Obama districts, while yellow represents the IDC. Gray is for the two Democrats without a conference, while gold represents Felder.

Obama carried 55 of the 63 Senate seats, but Republicans knew what they were doing when they drew this map. The median district is 56-43 Obama, an enormous 16 points to the right of the state as a whole. The Republicans have also benefited from ticket-splitting. Twenty-one Republicans come from districts Obama carried, with Joseph Robach of SD-56 sitting in the bluest, at 60-38 Obama. By contrast, Felder is the only (nominal) Democrat to represent any of the eight Romney districts, with his SD-17 going for Mitt 58-41, the second-reddest in the whole state.

Of the IDC members, all four come from Obama districts. Only David Carlucci represents a competitive district, with Obama winning SD-38 54-45. The remaining three come from districts that went for Obama by at least 62 percent. Indeed, at 74 percent Obama, IDC leader Jeff Klein might be particularly vulnerable to a challenge from a mainstream Democrat. Neither of the two conference-less Democrats are in any danger of seeing their seats go red, either. Obama won John Sampson's district 89-11, and Malcolm Smith's 93-7.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was also on the ballot in 2012, winning 72-26 statewide. Gillibrand carried every single one of New York's 240 congressional, senate, and assembly districts, a very impressive feat even in a heavily Democratic state.

P.S. We also have a map of the Assembly that uses the same color scheme as the Senate map above (with one independent in green). Interestingly, most of Long Island's Assembly seats elect members from the same party as the one that carried them on the presidential level. By contrast, all of Nassau and Suffolk counties are represented by Republicans in the Senate. (Jeff Singer)

4Q Fundraising:

OH-Sen: Rob Portman (R-inc): $1.3 million raised, $4.4 million cash-on-hand (note: Portman is not up for re-election until 2016)

MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D-inc): $1.1 million raised (in 2013), $800,000 cash-on-hand (Republican challengers at the link)

NE-Gov: Pete Ricketts (R): $1.4 million raised (in last four months of 2013, with no self-funding), $931,000 cash-on-hand; Chuck Hassebrook (D): $525,000 raised

HI-01: Stanley Chang (D): $126,000 raised, $325,000 cash-on-hand

PA-09: Bill Shuster (R-inc): $550,000 raised (no word on how much was spent on love and touches)


IA-Sen: The pro-Democrat Senate Majority PAC is running its first TV ads in Iowa this cycle, with a spot defending Rep. Bruce Braley against the Koch brothers' Obamacare assault. The ad is on to something when the narrator says Braley "knows we can't go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and kick people off their coverage when they get sick." If you want to fight back against bogus attacks, this is where to focus your fire, because even Republicans say they support these provisions.

But overall, the spot lacks punch. The messaging needs to be a lot tighter and more emotionally compelling. Instead, it drifts to a bland statement about "job creation in Iowa" at the end. I'd redo this by featuring a sympathetic figure aided by the Affordable Care Act thanking Bruce Braley for making sure she has insurance and warning that Republicans want to take it all away—from her, and everyone else. The buy is for a reported $225,000, which Jennifer Jacobs notes is less than half what the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity has spent so far on the race.

OK-Sen-B: GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine, who would have been the favorite of the Club for Growth and their ilk had he run, has reportedly been telling supporters that he won't seek Sen. Tom Coburn's Senate seat in this fall's special election. Bridenstine hasn't publicly said anything on the record yet, though.


MD-Gov: Jesus, him too? Just a few days after Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger finally said no to an eleventh hour bid for governor, another Democratic congressman is cagily suggesting he might join the race. This time it's freshman Rep. John Delaney, who says that it's his "expectation" that he'll "continue to serve in Congress," which means he's not ruling out a gubernatorial run.

Delaney doesn't have a lot going for him other than his personal wealth and perhaps geography, as his 6th District stretches into Maryland's far western reaches. But as a first-term representative, his name recognition isn't high, and the locus of power in a Democratic primary won't be found in Hagerstown or Frederick. So would Delaney really want to risk throwing his newborn congressional career away for a difficult battle with well-financed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown? Well, this is politics, after all, and stranger things have happened.

MI-Gov: Here's that new DGA ad, backed by a reported $1 million buy, which features Democratic ex-Rep. Mark Schauer taking Gov. Rick Snyder to task on education cuts. The spot has very high production values and is narrated by Schauer, who stands in a school lab and mentions that his father was a science teacher. He then castigates Snyder for slashing money for education in order "to give tax breaks to businesses even if they send jobs overseas." The harsh, negative reaction to education cutbacks has damaged other Republican governors badly, especially Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, so this is probably a strong, poll-tested message for Schauer to kick things off with.

PA-Gov: When your campaign is coming up short on the fundraising front, I'm not sure that issuing a video press release is the best way to signal strength. Former state environmental department chief Katie McGinty trails the pack in the Democratic primary as far as money is concerned, so it makes sense that she'd want to generate a little buzz by releasing the "first ad" of the race. It's a pretty basic biographical spot, mentioning how McGinty's parents—cop dad, waitress mom—taught their 10 children the value of hard work. But the size of the buy is a mere $6,400—enough only to earn a few writeups, and perhaps tick off reporters for wasting their time.


AZ-01, 02: The House Majority PAC is re-upping their buy on behalf of two Arizona Democrats they've been airing ads for. In AZ-01, they're adding another $67,000 for their spot touting Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, on top of the $125,000 they've already spent. Meanwhile, they're putting in another $30,000 for their ad hammering Republican Martha McSally, Rep. Ron Barber's likely opponent in AZ-02; previously, they'd laid out $49,000 in that district.

FL-13: A new survey from the DCCC's in-house robopolling operation (first obtained by The Hill) shows Democrat Alex Sink leading Republican David Jolly 49-44 in the March 11 race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young. Unfortunately, no demographic breakdowns are provided for the one-day poll's sample, so there's not much else to be said about it.

However, we can take a look at the DCCC's 2012 track record, as we did for the other two firms that have released polls here, St. Pete Polls and McLaughlin & Associates. The D-Trip didn't release as many late polls, but they stacked up quite well, especially compared to the awful St. Pete and McLaughlin:

FL-22: DCCC: Frankel (D) 49-39; actual: Frankel (D) 55-45; error: 0

IL-08: DCCC: Duckworth (D) 52-42; actual: Duckworth (D) 55-45; error: 0

IL-10: DCCC: Schneider (D) 44-43; actual: Schneider (D) 51-49; error: +1 R

IL-13: DCCC: Gill (D) 43-37; actual: Davis (R) 46.6-46.2; error: +6.4 D

NE-02: DCCC: Terry (R) 48-44; actual: Terry (R) 51-49; error: +2 R

A small sample, but only one real miss and four that basically nailed the final margin. That's not too shabby. But don't get too comfortable. All of the surveys from last cycle were conducted closer to Election Day than the current one, and with both sides spending heavily here, a lot can change over the next six weeks, especially since we're dealing with a special election.

NJ-02: State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who had been considering a bid against GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo, has ultimately decided against running. Democrats, however, have a credible candidate who's been in the race for a few months, attorney Bill Hughes, Jr., the son of ex-Rep. Bill Hughes, Sr.

NJ-07: Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, who had been publicly considering a bid against GOP Rep. Leonard Lance since earlier this month, announced this week that she will indeed run this fall.

OK-05: Rep. Jim Lankford's House seat may have gone for Mitt Romney by a wide 59-41 margin, but by that measure, it's actually the bluest in Oklahoma. So while a bunch of Republicans have piled into the race since Lankford announced he'd run for Senate, several Democrats are looking at bids, too, and they're not of the Some Dude variety. They include state Sen. Al McAffrey, state Rep. Anastasia Pittman, former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, and state House Minority Leader Scott Inman. McAffrey says he's even met with the DCCC and has created an exploratory committee. A serious longshot, though, to be sure.

UT-04: Holding retiring Rep. Jim Matheson's seat will be next to impossible for Democrats this fall, but at least they have someone willing to try. Attorney Doug Owens says he's ready to run, and it so happens that his father, the late Rep. Wayne Owens, held a congressional seat in Utah on two separate occasions, giving it up both times to wage unsuccessful Senate bids. But the elder Owens last served over two decades ago, meaning little name recognition will redound to his son.

Grab Bag:

President-by-LD: Along with our publication of new legislative district results for New York above, we've made a few changes to how we present our data generally. For starters, we've republished all our data in spreadsheet form, for easier viewing, scrolling, and downloading. We've also highlighted our home-grown metric called Combined Average Performance, which you'll find right next to the presidential numbers on every summary chart. (Here's the North Carolina Senate, for example.) CAP simply averages Democratic and Republican performance in all statewide races for a given district.

In four chambers (the senates in Alaska, New York, and Washington, plus the Alaska House), some wayward Democrats caucus with Republicans. Those who do are now marked with a red "D" and an asterisk in our summary sheets, except for the members of New York's IDC, who are noted as such in purple. (The conference-less corruptocrat Dems in New York get a starred green "D.")

In addition, we've revamped our main resource page (i.e., the one you want to bookmark). At the top, you'll now find a summary table that, as you might imagine, offers links to our summary sheets. If you're looking for detailed calculations that include county breakdowns, you can click on each state's abbreviation in the summary table, or just scroll down, to find separate tables for every state.

Finally, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Johnny Longtorso, our special elections maestro. Johnny graciously updated the names of all the legislators in our summary charts (turnover is constant at this level), so everything is now up-to-date and will remain so.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:00:13 AM PST

  •  Looks like the GOP did us a favor (8+ / 0-)

    Michael Grimm's NY-11 congressional seat just got a bit more competitive and became a better pickup opportunity after he threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony and break him in half.

    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 Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:38:14 AM PST

  •  Too Bad Democratic Leadership Sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Even if we flipped the Senate, we still have horrible Senate leaders and an atrocious Assembly Speaker in Sheldon Silver.  I believe ousting Sheldon Silver would be a Democratic victory.

    Albany politicians on both sides are terrible. I like Assembly Majority Leader Morelle.  I would say he's the favorite to run for Louise Slaughter's seat when she retires. The only other I can think of is Deputy Gov. Duffy, but he's got problems of his own now.

    •  As much as I despise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zubalove, slothlax

      Cuomo for engineering the GOP control of the State Senate, I do realize that during the brief period of Democratic control, it was those same two corrupt Dems, Smith and Sampson, who were the caucus's leaders.  Perhaps if David Paterson (he was the Democratic leader before Smith) or Martin Connor (Paterson's predecessor as Democratic leader) were still running the show, Cuomo may not have bothered.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:10:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NY (0+ / 0-)

    Remember the dixiecrats--DINO racists?  Well, in NY, many people vote for the D label, but think more like mythical moderate Republicans--with bigotry.  Not all of NY is the upper West Side-- take a look at Staten Island--where the same demographic as much of the state feels comfortable voting Republican.  It's hard for many here to understand bigotry, that's why they're at this site.  Bigotry blinds and hatred rules, but is also somewhat embarrassing.  If a racist carries a D next to his/her name--a total win for such people.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:16:06 AM PST

  •  Great analysis as usual, but (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a bit bothered by that "It is New York, after all" line.  Political corruption happens everywhere, not just in Northeastern, urban, or "blue" states.  

    "Optimism is better than despair." --Jack Layton, the late Canadian MP, liberal, and Christian.

    by lungfish on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:55:15 AM PST

    •  Yeah but in the Tri State Area we perfected it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, el vasco, TomFromNJ

      Then again Louisiana, Florida and Illinois give us a run for our money but when you have rabbi's getting busted and kidney's being sold on the black market you know you hit a new high.  New York, New Jersey and Connecticut wrote the book on political corruption.  

      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 Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:15:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Those IDC folk really get me mad. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If not for them, we would have the Women's Equality Act

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:10:54 AM PST

    •  Jeff Klein sacrificed a Democratic majority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in order to feed his own personal ambition, and Diane Savino should be ashamed for going along with him -- boyfriend or not.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:13:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lived in his district (0+ / 0-)

        for many years, and it's very carefully crafted to encompass the most conservative parts of one of the most Democrat-leaning counties in the country.  (The county Republican Party HQ is smack in the middle of his territory.)  He knew he'd have the support of his constituents.  He's still a D, so they're still comfortable with him, but they're not comfortable with the (mostly black and/or Latino) county Dem leadership, and Jeffrey Klein isn't one of Them at all.  The county Dem leadership has been tarred with the corruption brush, and Klein has worked his hindquarters off to distance himself from it.  So, Democrat but not a corrupt one, and kind of conservative?  Yeah, they're going to vote for him.

        "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

        by northbronx on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:19:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  New York is weird in a variety of ways (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, slothlax

    When you look at District 60 in Buffalo, Obama won 58% of the vote, but so did the Republican Mark Grisanti.

    Almost every progressive I knew in the heart of the city voted for Grisanti, while labor and the poorer areas voted for Antoine Thompson. The burbs are largely Republican but most people fall into the first category.

    While Thompson was breaking his promises to progressives and aligning himself with Anti-Gay Marriage people, Grisanti broke open his left flank by openly supporting gay marriage and promising support for the arts (which were gutted by one of Thompson's coalitions). Thompson was seen by progressives as losing his left social flank while also sacrificing his principles to fall into Democratic Party ranks on issues that hurt progressives.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:33:57 AM PST

  •  Portman picking right up where Voinovich left off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't do anything to call attention to yourself and appear reasonable when the camera is pointed at you  (like finally admitting that his adult gay son might just be entitled to some basic human dignity like everyone else). Behind the scenes, stroke the rich donors, filibuster everything, and collect a paycheck.

    Whatta living.

    Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
    Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

    by Turbonerd on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:49:18 AM PST

  •  Big reason campaign finance ref doesn't happen (0+ / 0-)
  •  just a suggestion ny (0+ / 0-)

    defeat all republicans and conservatives.

  •  Say what you will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    About the political situation in New York, but the Republicans in the New York Senate have shown a remarkable ability to cling to power against all odds.  We should try to learn from them, especially in terms of how to win in states that lean inherently against us.

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