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Leading Off:

OH-Gov: I keep having a hard time buying Quinnipiac's Ohio polling, for the same reason I've struggled with their Colorado numbers. John Kasich, the Buckeye State's Republican governor, sports a solid 51-36 job approval rating in Quinnipiac's newest survey, pretty much the same as it's been for a solid year now. But in a head-to-head matchup with his little-known Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Kasich holds a small 43-38 lead, a couple of points tighter than his 44-37 edge in November.

So what gives? Why would 8 percent of the electorate say they like the job Kasich is doing but refuse to say they'll vote for him? Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has also seen a similar phenomenon in Quinnipiac's data, but Kasich's spread is even more extreme. Now, the opposite situation would certainly make sense: An incumbent might earn a better horserace share than his job approval score, particularly if his opponent is widely disliked. (Call it the lesser of two evils—someone has to win.)

The only other firm that's publicly polled this race is PPP, and they have shown Kasich with similarly soft head-to-heads. However, PPP has also shown Kasich with mediocre-to-lousy approvals, so that at least is internally consistent. But what we have with Quinnipiac doesn't really add up, and I'm baffled as to why.


AK-Sen: Interesting. We all know that Americans for Prosperity gets its money straight from the Koch brothers, but if you're not familiar with where the Kochs get their money from, a key part of it comes from operating—what else?—oil refineries. So when AFP abruptly cancelled $100,000 worth of attack ads aimed at Sen. Mark Begich, Democrats immediately speculated that the group was trying to avoid negative publicity because Koch Industries had just announced the closure of a major refinery in Fairbanks. AFP, of course, is refusing to explain itself, so there's no way to know for sure why they did what they did, but live by the billionaire oligarch, die by the billionaire oligarch.

AR-Sen, -Gov: Republican pollster Impact Management Group has new numbers on both Arkansas' Senate and governor's races, though it's not clear on whose behalf they polled (if anyone's). IMG finds GOP Rep. Tom Cotton leading Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor 46-42, while the fight for the open gubernatorial contest is tied at 42 apiece between Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson, both former congressmen.

KY-Sen: There's a new round of ads in the Republican primary in the Kentucky Senate race, though all pretty boilerplate-ish and not likely to break through the clutter (Matt Bevin needs more talking dogs). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is out with a 30-second spot backing their turtle in the race, talking about how Mitch McConnell is fighting Obamacare. Meanwhile, the Bevin campaign is out with two 15-second spots comparing-and-contrasting with McConnell, one on guns and one on earmarks. The CoC only says its buy is "significant," while the Bevin buy is a smallish $30,000. (David Jarman)

MI-Sen: Well, Americans for Prosperity has definitely ratcheted things up in their nationwide anti-Obamacare crusade. In a new spot aimed at Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, a Michigan resident named Julie Boonstra says she was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago but then received a letter telling her that her "insurance was canceled because of Obamacare." Now, says Boonstra, "The out-of-pocket costs are so high it's unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die."

Boonstra was able to get alternative health coverage, according to press reports, but if her previous insurance was as generous as she makes it sound, then it seems unlikely that her policy was cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act. (The ACA only bans plans that fall below standards of minimum coverage.) Of course, insurers have always (and still can) cancel plans as they see fit, for reasons having nothing to do with Obamacare. The difference now, though, is that they're forbidden from denying new coverage to Americans on account of any pre-existing conditions.

Of course, whether Peters can respond effectively is a different question, especially since Boonstra did face a potential gap in coverage thanks to the ACA's botched rollout. Whether it's accurate or not, this is not an easy ad to answer.

NH-Sen: Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown remains mysterious as ever about whether or not he will seek the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in his new home state. Brown just renewed his contract with Fox News, which seems to point against a run. However, Brown remains unpredictable enough that anything can happen. (Jeff Singer)

MS-Sen: Buried in this Politico article about Sen. Thad Cochran's GOP primary fight against Tea Party insurgent state Sen. Chris McDaniel is the news that national Democrats are still trying to recruit former Rep. Travis Childers. Childers expressed some interest in running back in November but has been very quiet since then. Any Democrat faces long odds here, but a McDaniel primary victory has the potential to make things much more interesting. Childers will need to make up his mind soon: The filing deadline is March 1. (Jeff Singer)

OK-Sen-B: Republican T.W. Shannon, who recently stepped down as state House speaker in order to run for Senate, has released the first ad of the race. It's a minute-long introductory spot, backed by what the campaign says is a $150,000 buy. A narrator touts Shannon as a "sixth-generation Oklahoman" and repeatedly mentions his faith (the ad was filmed in a church). The rest of the commercial features Shannon talking to the camera about his conservative values—nothing especially memorable, but pretty standard fare for a first ad.


NV-Gov: Pretty much the only Democrat who might have made Nevada's gubernatorial race interesting, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, is saying no to a bid. Even though Democrats have a decent bench in Nevada—and a growing edge electorally—no one's shown any interest in stepping up to take on popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. With less than a month to go until the state's filing deadline, Sandoval might wind up facing a true Some Dude, a rather remarkable turn of events in a state that's gone blue in the last two presidential elections.

PA-Gov: Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is out with his first ad for his re-election campaign, and it's pretty painful. (It's also backed by a reported $109,000 cable-only buy, which is not a whole lot for a big state like Pennsylvania.) The 60-second spot features Corbett talking to fake audiences about his way of doing things, starting off with him saying, "I decided I was gonna run state government just as you would wanna run state government." That's a pretty presumptuous "you" in that sentence, and that kind of framing certainly didn't work for Christine O'Donnell.

For the entire rest of the (long, long) ad, Corbett talks only about how he's cut spending, and while ordinarily that might be a winning message, Corbett's biggest weakness is the cuts he made to education funding. (The ad is, however, mostly airing on Fox News.) Also, does anything really think it would be pleasant to have Corbett talk your ear off about how he reduced the size of the state's vehicle fleet, as he does to some poor guy in a hardware store? At the end of the ad, Corbett says that Pennsylvanians "sent him to Harrisburg not to make friends, but to make a difference." He's probably not going to make too many friends with this ad, either.


CA-15: A day of awkwardness ended up with a grown-up version of Everybody-Gets-a-Trophy Day. After state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (who has an almost-unimpeded path to succeed George Miller in CA-11) spent Tuesday saying he didn't recall endorsing fellow state Sen. Ellen Corbett in her below-the-radar primary against freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell, it turned out that, in fact, he had. Corbett's campaign produced a copy of DeSaulnier's endorsement card, and in the face of that evidence, DeSaulnier offered a dual endorsement to both candidates. (David Jarman)

LA-06: After teasing the public for months in what looked more like a bid for attention than one for office, 86-year-old ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards now claims he's actually going to run for Congress. It's not quite clear that Edwards understands modern campaign finance law, though, since he claimed, "I'm just figuring out all the legalities and how to set up a super PAC, and then I'm going." Candidates, of course, cannot "set up" their own super PACs, since by law, super PACs aren't permitted to coordinate with campaigns. (It's the tiny, un-policeable fig leaf of propriety that the Supreme Court dressed up its Citizens United decision in.) Then again, familiarity with the law was never Edwards' strong suit to begin with.

As for actually winning, well... sure, Edwards always had a reputation has a popular scoundrel. But he hasn't served in office since 1996, after which he served an eight-year prison sentence for corruption. Louisiana's 6th District is open, but it's also extremely conservative (Mitt Romney carried it 66-32). And yeah, Edwards is old, even by congressional standards. If by some chance he were successful, though, Edwards might set a record for the longest absence before returning to the House: He stepped down after seven years of service during his first gubernatorial bid, back in 1972. If anyone could do it, though, it'd be ol' Edwin.

P.S. Edwards' wife is denying that her husband said he's going to run, so who knows.

MI-11: Accidental GOP Rep. Kerry Bentivolio faces a very tough primary fight against foreclosure kingpin David Trott, but he just got a potentially useful endorsement from the Tea Party Express. Bentivolio's going to need all the help he can get: As of the end of 2013, Trott holds a massive $711,000 to $129,000 cash-on-hand edge. (Jeff Singer)

MN-07: Republican pollster Tarrance Group, on behalf of the NRCC, is out with a poll of the race in the 7th, and, as you'd expect, the memo might as well just say "RETIRE NOW COLLIN PETERSON" in 72-point type. With the UT-04 and NC-07 retirements, Peterson is in the third-reddest district left with an incumbent Dem, and while he's survived previous GOP waves with little damage, the GOP has found a better-than-usual contender here this year, state Sen. Torrey Westrom.

While the poll doesn't find Peterson in immediate peril—he leads the initial ballot 46-39 and has 58/23 approvals—it does show he'll need to work harder than usual, and the NRCC is naturally hoping that'll weigh on him as he decides whether to run again (though Peterson has a long-established practice of acting publicly reluctant up until the moment he files for re-election—which, of course, is a pattern up only until that year when it no longer happens). To that end, they point out that the GOP leads the generic ballot in the district 47-36 and that Westrom leads after the heroic-sounding informed ballot passage is read. (David Jarman)

NJ-12: Rush Holt's retirement opens up a rare commodity, a safe Democratic seat with a genuinely open Democratic primary in New Jersey. While state Sen. Linda Greenstein jumped in almost immediately, lots of other Dems are sizing up the race. One whom we mentioned Tuesday confirmed her interest on Wednesday: state Sen. Shirley Turner. Turner, an African-American who has represented the Trenton portion of the 12th since 1998, was one of only six Senate Dems to vote against same-sex marriage.

Paula Covello, the Mercer County clerk, is one more name to add to the "confirmed to be mulling the race" pile, along with Mercer Co. Executive Brian Hughes and state Assemblymen Upendra Chivukula and Reed Gusciora (all of whom we mentioned on Tuesday). PolitickerNJ also has a few more names for the lesser Great Mentioner heap: Assemblyman Jerry Green and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr.

But here's a clue that Greenstein may have the inside track here. Two of the other names that everybody mentioned on Tuesday, Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Dan Benson, are saying they're more interested in moving up to succeed Greenstein in the Senate. (David Jarman)

NV-04: Cresent Hardy, a Republican assemblyman running against freshman Rep. Steven Horsford, declared in a new interview that he considers the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw discrimination in hiring based on sexual orientation, a "segregation law" because "it puts one class of a person over another." That should go over very well in this majority-minority district. You might wonder if Hardy is being pulled to the right by his primary opponent, conservative activist Niger Innis, but if you read what he says, there's every reason to think Hardy actually believes this crap.

NY-21: New York Republicans have gotten exactly what they didn't want: a third attempt at a congressional bid from businessman Matt Doheny. Doheny twice lost to retiring Rep. Bill Owens, who successfully painted him as a job-destroying vulture capitalist. And last cycle, Doheny also had to deal with photos showing him making out with a woman who wasn't his wife. In addition, Doheny admitted in his latest campaign announcement that he "had to leave the North Country for a time to continue my career"—which probably means he was back on Wall Street.

The problem for upstate GOPers is that they've all rallied around former George W. Bush White House aide Elise Stefanik, whom they believe lacks Doheny's baggage. But an uncontradicted Doheny internal showed him crushing Stefanik 49-13, undoubtedly thanks to residual name recognition. The NRCC and the rest of the establishment may go all-out to stop Doheny from winning the Republican nomination again, but if they do, that's a lot of effort directed toward an internal fight, rather than against Democrats—and that's seldom what you want to find yourself doing.

WA-04: A fourth credible Republican has gotten in the quickly-developing field to replace Doc Hastings in this dark-red district after his retirement last week: Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck. And here's some tidying-up on the Great Mentioner front: State Rep. Charles Ross is one more potentially interested name, while state Reps. Matt Manweller and David Taylor are out of contention. So too is Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley, who's backing state Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

DSCC/NRSC: Once again, the DSCC has outraised the NRSC, pulling in $6.4 million in January versus $4.6 million for their Republican counterparts. Democrats also have $15 million on hand, compared to $10 million for the GOP.

Nebraska: On Tuesday, the first of Nebraska's two filing deadlines passed. The state requires all current office holders running in the May 13 primary (either for reelection or for another office) to file on Feb 18, while the deadline for everyone else is March 3. The state has a list of who has filed here.

The state will host two crowded Republican primaries for governor and senate. In the gubernatorial race, the candidates are Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Sen. Tom Carlson, state Auditor Mike Foley, and state Sen. Beau McCoy. Two other Republicans, former Congressional aide Bryan Slone and former Ameritrade COO and 2006 Senate nominee Pete Ricketts, have also said they are running. The only Democrat to file or declare his intentions is former University of Nebraska Board of Regents chair Chuck Hassebrook. Daily Kos Elections rates the general election as Likely Republican.

In the senate contest, the three candidates who have filed are businessman Clifton Johnson, former Treasurer Shane Osborn, and bank president Sid Dinsdale. Attorney Bart McLeay and Midland University President Ben Sasse are also running, but have not yet filed. The only Democrat to file so far is Some Dude Larry Marvin, though lawyer Dave Domina has declared his candidacy. Daily Kos Elections rates the general as Safe Republican.  

Two other statewide posts are also open. In the race for Attorney General two Republicans, attorney Doug Peterson and state Sen. Pete Pirsch, are running. In the Auditor's contest, Republican state Sen. Charlie Janssen and Democratic state Sen. Amanda McGill are in. The Republican incumbents for Secretary of State and Treasurer are so far unopposed.

All three of Nebraska's House members are running for reelection. Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith look like they'll win renomination without much trouble, and are safe in the general election. In NE-03 Smith's primary opponent, former Colonel Tom Brewer, has been getting some local attention. Still, it remains to be seen if he can put together the kind of campaign he'd need to oust Smith in this very conservative rural district.

In the Omaha-based NE-02, Republican Rep. Lee Terry looks like he's in more danger. Three Democrats are running, with state Sen. Brad Ashford (a former Republican) being the clear frontrunner. Terry had a close call in 2012 and made news for insensitive comments during the shutdown. Terry's district went for Romney 53-46, giving him some room for error. Daily Kos Elections rates the general as Likely Republican. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In 2006, Tim Pawlenty Had a 58% Approval Rating... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Aquarius40, Amber6541, James Allen, R30A

    ....and won 47-46 in the general election.  The same year, Lincoln Chafee had a 62% approval rating in RI and lost 53-47.  Obviously that was a wave year so those figures make a little more sense than Kasich's, but it's not unprecedented for an incumbent to badly underperform his or her approval ratings.

  •  Kasich is trouble in 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    HRC would beat him but no one else would. Maybe the GOP will go full crazy and torpedo him though.

    2016 can't come fast enough because 2014 is gonna be a disaster. The Senate is gone and the only thing saving us from massive House losses is the fact we lost 73 seats in 2010. There simply aren't that many left to lose.

    •  If you think Kasich is running in 2016... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Jorge Harris

      I'll have some of what you're smoking.

    •  The Senate is gone? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, R30A, Odysseus

      Why so pessimistic?

      I know the Democrats are defending many more seats, but the Republicans have been a pile of puke lately.

      I say that as a non-partisan, non-Democrat, non-progressive, proudly conservative independent voter.

      There are some clear negatives for Democrats:

      The economy remains a disaster, and there is a "forgotten" core of formerly productive people who may have given up all hope of ever working a decent jobs again.

      The verdict on Obamacare remains unclear, but, come election day, the hiccups of the original rollout will be a few notches down on the priority list.

      And gee, Democrats still don't like to preach beyond the choir.

      But -- Republicans? Seriously?
      Maybe some gains on the basis of pure fatigue, but taking the Senate seems like a stretch.

      Democrats should be very worried if that happens, having set the precedent for weakening filibusters.  It just might suck more than ever before to be the minority party.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:25:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let the Republicans get rid of the legislative (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, Aquarius40

        filibuster if they want. Obama can still veto anything they pass, there's no way they'll have vetoproof majorities in both houses, and the map for Republicans is even more brutal in 2016 for Republicans in the Senate than 2014 is for the Democrats in 2014.

        •  I've considered 2016 to be a much better year (0+ / 0-)

          for Republicans than 2014, depending on the economy.

          Administration fatigue will be greater, and Republicans have the opportunity (if they have even the remotest interest) of time to put some stupidity behind them.

          2014 does offer the "benefit" of low turnout by some Democratic constituencies and that Senate imbalance. It wouldn't surprise me to see the GOP gain a little ground from that, but...I just don't see 2010 happening in 2014.  Remember -- we hadn't seen these whack-jobs at work in 2010.  It was enough that they weren't the party in power.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:56:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  In order for the Senate to be gone (6+ / 0-)

        the Dems would have to lose eight of these nine

        North Carolina
        South Dakota
        West Virginia

        While on the surface it seems the Dems are fucked because all of these are either red states or purplish the reality is quite different.  The fact is the Dems have a shot at winning 5-7 of these and with some slip ups by the GOP can win 8 of 9.  They have seasoned candidates and right now are even money in 7 of them despite getting hammered by the GOP money men the Koch Bros.  Hell even Tenant in WV doesn't look so bad once you consider her lower name recognition and consider the fact that it will go up.  

        But anyone who tells you that the Dems are gonna lose the Senate really doesn't have a firm grasp of the situation.  Either that or they're hoping to depress the Dems so the GOP CAN win.  But the reality is in order for the GOP to flip the Senate they have a tall mountain to climb and without a wave on their side it's highly unlikely to happen.  

        Same goes for the House.  The Dems lost 2 seats that are almost all but guaranteed to flip.  However, the GOP has lost 7 or more which are solid targets for the Dems and at least 1-2 are almost all but guaranteed to flip to D.  While it is a tough hill for the Dems to climb in 2014 the House will flip sooner or later.  In order for the Dems to do it in 2014 they will need a wave, but for someone to say they're gonna have massive House losses is someone who is either delusional or concern trolling.  There is NO indication whatsoever that a GOP wave is forming.  If anything all indications are that the GOP will lose a few seats.  

        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 Feb 20, 2014 at 06:56:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's easy to forget what drove 2010 (0+ / 0-)

          First off, even though the economy crashed in 2008, a lot of its direct impact on ordinary Americans didn't take place until after President Obama was elected.  It's not fair, but we've always had a tendency to blame whoever's in charge at the time when bad things happen.

          Second -- lots of people out of work and the administration not seeming to care.

          Remember that foolish stimulus plan?

          Not only did it badly spend an awful lot of money before the nature and extent of the problem was understood, but it happened very early. So...while Democrats were fussing over everything but jobs, their signature major legislation that WAS directed toward jobs slipped further and further into the past as unemployment numbers went higher and higher.

          Add a failure to preserve the middle-class tax cuts that George Bush passed, and the biggest factor of all:

          we had yet to become familiar with just how crazy these new Republicans were going to be.

          I'm not saying that 2014 couldn't be a disaster. Shit happens, but...I think it's more likely to be a quiet little down time for the GOP.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:11:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is becoming policy-ish (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stevenaxelrod, Odysseus

            but the stimulus did in fact save or create many jobs; the fact that it didn't keep the unemployment rate lower is because it was soaring higher more rapidly than anyone anticipated.

            And "the middle-class tax cuts that George Bush passed" have in fact been preserved (to the chagrin of many at this site), unless your idea of middle class is $400K--and even their tax cuts didn't expire until the end of 2012.

            38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

            by Mike in MD on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:15:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Two things: (0+ / 0-)

              I'm sure it saved a few jobs. Maybe even a few net jobs.  It's hard to spend a lot of money without somebody getting some work out of the deal.

              That's a different thing for being well designed for the problem at hand, and, whether you realize it or not, you are making my point:

              it was soaring higher more rapidly than anyone anticipated

              The administration was playing politics and rewarding constituencies at the expense of understanding the problem.

              As to the tax cuts, you must remember that the 2010 election took place, umm, in 2010.  Not only had they not been preserved prior to the election, but no bill had even been put on the table.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:40:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Bush tax cuts? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            What middle-class tax cuts are you talking about that were not preserved?

            •  In 2010. If you'll recall, the Bush tax cuts (0+ / 0-)

              were set to expire on January 1, 2011.

              Nothing had been done about that -- even begun on it, by election day.

              Talk, sure, but lots of people don't trust talk from politicians.

              The cuts were extended after the election.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:16:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac, stevenaxelrod

                But the reason nothing was done was because Republicans refused to extend the tax cut unless it was also extended for the rich. I think most the public understood this.

                •  Remember Speaker Pelosi? (0+ / 0-)

                  Democrats could have introduced a bill to extend the tax cuts.

                  So what if Republicans didn't go along?
                  With election day looming: "We tried to extend your tax cuts, but the Republicans don't really care how much it hurts your family.  They're willing to screw you so that a small number of people who don't really need the break won't be upset.

                  They didn't do it.
                  It hurt.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 01:01:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  "Americans are rhetorically conservative but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          operationally progressive", according to Lane Kenworthy, professor of political science and sociology at U.of Arizona.

          Remember the sign protesting Obamacare,"Keep your government hands off my Medicare". That is the essence of the confusion most Americans have about the role of government in their lives.

          Data from  the General Social Survey, an in-depth yearly survey of American attitudes on a range of issues, showed when asked, if people favored national health insurance, which would be financed by tax money to pay for most forms of healthcare, they said yes 50 to 65% of the time. That's pretty progressive folks!

          Framing is everything and Democrats need to devote most of their time to doing it right. Its obvious to me that Democrats have the hearts and minds of most voters but they don't know how to deal with the negative framing from Republicans.

          Kenworthy says we should expect a more progressive political outcome in the future. It may take its time but it will come. People will demand it.

          Right wingers are often disrespectful towards their voters, especially towards women and minorities.
          Its easy to say to voters that "they don't believe you are capable of making up your own mind about your  body".  Republicans can easily be framed as disrespectul bullies who believe they are above the rules. Christie, Walker and many others are perfect examples. Use them. It will stick in people's minds at the ballot box.

      •  Pessimism is our worst enemy (7+ / 0-)

        Worse than the Republicans. They swagger around like they've won even the most difficult races. We decide we're defeated years before an election. I've been saying this for a long time, but we need to stop. Defeatists discourage others and sap the energy and enthusiasm we need to win.

        And could we please let go of this 'Hillary is so dazzling she could slide into the White House even if nobody lifted a finger" crap? Because that could be another dangerous position IF she even runs. The attitude that she is a sure thing could sideline a lot of people who feel their work isn't needed. IF Hillary gets in, her approval will drop 30 points.

        But Kasich isn't going  to beat her — or any of a long list of Democrats who would be better than her Seriously? Have you even listened to this guy? He's only an attractive candidate if you know nothing about him. Remember how dazzling Rick Perry was supposed to be and how petrified we were of his candidacy — until he actually got into the race? Kasich is a bumbler with an entire O'Hare luggage carousel worth of baggage.

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

        by anastasia p on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:59:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Senate is gone? How so? (5+ / 0-)

      Concerned much?

      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 Feb 20, 2014 at 06:44:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think we keep the Senate in 2014 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, stevenaxelrod

      and add a great deal to it in 2016. Sure, a few Dems may lose this year, but with a 55-45 spread, we can afford a few losses. Plus, we may even pick up GA and KY.

      •  GA and KY? No way. (0+ / 0-)

        GA won't be afraid of Broun, and KY is not gonna turn out McConnell, not with mid-term turnout.

        Hey I hope you're right.

        All I know is for being 'dead,' the GOP looks pretty healthy for 2014, mostly because voters are idiots.

        And as for Kasich: I didn't say he was great shakes; I said among the clown car occupants his floppy shoes are the smallest.

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

      Mary Matalin said he needed Ritalin 'cause she thought he was ADHD and he does come off as Newt Gingrich on steriods.

      On paper, yeah, he would be trouble because he comes from a midwestern swing state etc. but I don't think that transfers to reality.

      It's the policy stupid

      by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:51:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bunk. (4+ / 0-)

      Personally, I'm baffled that a poll would find Kasich with a 51% approval rating. Ohio's economy has collapsed. Unemployment is rife, wages are down, and people are really struggling. You hear about it everywhere.

      In addition, he's launched attacks on voters, labor, women, and public education, raised taxes, spent like a drunken sailor fueled mostly by stealing from local governments and locating pots of one-time money, increased government secrecy and by putting his much vaunted JobsOhio (which has created no jobs) off limits to the state auditor, he's a Chris Christie/Scott Walker scandal waiting in the wings. He could struggle through 2014, but he won't make 2016.

      And the idea that he's so wonderful and powerful and attractive  that "only Hillary" (whose glossy poll numbers are pretty meaningless at this point) could beat him is ludicrous. if he were to even TRY to run nationally, all the skeletons in his closet would come tumbling out.

      And you know what would be most responsible for a "disaster" in 2014?  People like you who keep saying it even though there's nothing that indicates it will be so. "Massive" house losses? Unlikely. We'll gain. "Senate is gone"? How nice you have declared this to be set in stone this far before the election. When we decide we are defeated, we defeat ourselves.

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

      by anastasia p on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:55:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did I say 'massive'? If I did, I misspoke (0+ / 0-)

        I meant to say: we already lost massively once and there's no way it can happen again, on sheer numbers.  We might gain a few seats or lose a few; on balance a wash.

        I stand by my Senate predictions.

        Thoise nine states listed above?  We have little to zero shot in any of them, unless you think Georgians are gonna be scared by Paul Broun or that Kentucky is gonna turn out McConnell, in a mid-term election no less.

        Fantasy land.

  •  I am not shocked by the OH numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think Kasich, as a not-obviously-crazy Republican, has a wider circle of relative admirers than the circle that actually likes Republican policies.  The happy reading of the numbers is that Republicanism is finally so unpopular that even personally popular-enough Republicans are dragged down by the label.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:06:24 AM PST

    •  Kasich is "not obviously crazy" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Citizenpower

      because he works hard at being a cipher and doing things in secret. That would be harder in a presidential campaign. He uses the legislature as his fall guys and they are safe because of gerrymandering. And that shit is out there and starting to come out.  And Ohio's economy is in dire shape. Ted Strickland lost in 2010 primarily because the economy was recovering so slowly and Kasich has kicked it into reverse. And Ted did not have all of Kasich's other baggage.

      Kasich is fond of answering tough questions about his intentions with empty platitudes, like saying that right to work "isn't something I'm thinking about now." (meaning: once I'm reelected I will do it so fast your head will spin). He said the same about his attacks on women: he refusing to say what he would do only that he was "pro-life."

      I don't think Kasich is actually "popular" so much as that people don't know what he's up to and don't think much about him.

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

      by anastasia p on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:03:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that's broadly consistent with my theory. (0+ / 0-)

        If you espouse dumb things but you work hard not to be disliked, your reward is that people claim to like you but they'll prefer the other candidate when given a chance.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:05:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kasich Is A Union Man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Kasich is getting a lot of money, and, one would assume, will be getting a lot of help, from labor unions who think they can buy him off from supporting a right-to-work law. Also, Ed Fitzgerald has less personality than "generic Dem" and can't seem to say anything that isn't more processed than Velveeta. Oh well, at least they didn't pull Lee Fisher out of moth balls. Doesn't Sherrod Brown have any kids of electable age?

    •  Really? Could have fooled me. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jorge Harris

      Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

      by scurrvydog on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:34:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh my god. You cannot be serious! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Citizenpower, stevenaxelrod, Odysseus

      I guess you forgot the word "anti." Kasich is a confirmed anti-union man.

      What labor unions has Kasich gotten money and help from? Please name them.  While there are may be some individual union members who have forgotten SB 5, the unions themselves have not. Virtually Kasich's first major action in office was a full body attack on unions, which was repealed 60-40. It's hard to imagine any union at this point cutting its own throat by supporting any Republican let alone one who has blatantly attacked unions.

      It's also common knowledge that although Kasich won't talk about it and will indeed say he's not thinking about it now, right to work will be virtually the first thing that the GOP does after the election, whether Kasich gets reelected or not. I have heard from my sources in the legislature that they plan to slam it through the lame duck session, and the first thing we will be doing in 2015 is hitting the ground again with another repeal campaign. If I know this, all the unions know it too. Kasich is out to destroy them.

      FitzGerald's list of union endorsements is lengthy. Kasich's is nonexistent. i wish you would clue me into w]the alleged union donations he has gotten because I have not heard of them (although I have not studied his campaign finance reports in the depth I have studied treasurer Josh Mandel's)

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

      by anastasia p on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:15:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NW Ohio Building & Construction Trades (0+ / 0-)

        Not sure of their exact name. There are others as well. Story was in the Toledo Blade within the last 2-3 weeks. Endorsements are just words. Money talks. Fitzgerald is a meatless sandwich on toast.

    •  Calling a cop an idiot in public after he caught (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you speeding can't really endear you to the police union.

      Kasich is anything but a union man. What utter b.s.

      I am from Ohio , Fred, Kasich is just another sneaky variety of bully. I believe he is a put-up job from the ALEC with Koch Brothers money flowing into his campaign treasury.

      His Sec. of State , Joh Husted, is a thorn in the side of election integrity workers through-out Ohio. He protests loudly about voter fraud all the while promoting election fraud. Same old , same old.

  •  Regarding Boonstra's insurance: it's possible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Jorge Harris

    I don't know at all whether what she's saying is true, but it is possible.

    The ACA's definition of acceptable coverage encompasses more than the proportion of costs that will be covered and limits on out-of-pocket costs.

    For example, we didn't have reproductive coverage on our last policy because we are no longer able to have children.  No big deal to us, but not compliant.  Ditto for mental health care (actually a bigger deal for us, but lack of that would also make a plan non-compliant).

    So -- a fairly generous plan with low deductible and out-of-pocket costs but lacking particular coverages could fail to pass muster.

    Or -- the company could cancel the plan and blame Obamacare because, well, it can.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:19:25 AM PST

    •  A nurse at our clinic grumbled to me that their (5+ / 0-)

      low-tech office with stick-on notes all over the place was going to have to hire a couple of extra people because of Obamacare, and when I expressed delight in the idea of  job creation she went silent.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:32:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hard for me to imagine. (0+ / 0-)

        Not impossible, I guess, but one of the headaches for doctors' offices is dealing with insurance.  The new exchange plans aren't all the same, but they come from the same providers as before and are much more uniform in terms of coverage than they are different.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:51:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Exlpaination to Alaska pollout by Koch? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, stevenaxelrod
    Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is a privately held refining and chemical company with operations in Alaska, Minnesota and Texas.

    A press release from the Democratic Party complained that the wealthy Koch brothers, advocates of free market principles and owners of Flint Hills Resources, are willing to spend a fortune on political ads, while at the same time taking an action that harms Alaskans.

    “The Koch Brothers are closing the refinery and tossing Alaska aside while choosing to invest hundreds of millions in political attacks. It shows how little they care about Alaska and Alaskans,” Mike Wenstrup, Fairbanks resident and chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party, said in a press release.

    Either that or the cynic in me is afraid that they're pulling out because they know that Begich will help them in their time of govt need.  

    In the end I hope they do pull out.  Fuck the Koch Brothers.  We're talking about a paltry 80 jobs and only because the prior owners had a massive chemical spill that the Koch Brothers don't want to be responsible for cleaning up.  Free market motherfuckers.  You own it you bought it, warts and all.  You should have done your due diligence when you acquired the property.  But instead they want the gov't to look the other way.

    At various times in recent years, the company has blamed rising operating costs, the high cost of Alaska North Slope crude oil, a profit squeeze and long-term liability associated with the sulfolane spill as factors that threatened the viability of the refinery.

    "With the already extremely difficult refining market conditions, the added burden of excessive costs and uncertainties over future cleanup responsibilities make continued refining operations impossible,” Flint Hills Vice President Mike Brose said in a prepared statement.
    Of course you'll hear the usual bullshit about burdensome regulations.  Because it was the regulations that caused the chemical spill.  These fascist mother fucking Koch brothers have a very special place in hell reserved for them and the sooner they get there the better for all of us.  

    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 Feb 20, 2014 at 06:37:21 AM PST

  •  PA-Gov: Gov Corbett radio commercial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    GOP Gov Corbett is running a radio commercial on AM's KYW 1060 news radio, the preferred radio channel when the region has snow storms (too many of them this season) and for rush hour traffic reports.  It is getting a lot of rotation.  Have heard it over and over.  Seems reasonable.  Won't persuade me but I could see it helping him with low information voters.

  •  More on Ohio from Q-Polls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Jeremimi

    Obama's rating goes "from terrible to bad"--from 34 (three months ago) to 40.  That's still a tad lower than most national surveys (which seems to be a recurring feature of Q-Polls in swing states), but I don't think it was ever really at 34.

    Looking toward 2016, Hillary sweeps all comers by margins of at least 9 points.

    38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

    by Mike in MD on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:54:33 AM PST

  •  I don't have the actual numbers... (0+ / 0-) hand, but I'm positive that MD Gov. Bob Ehrlich was in positive territory in job performance when he lost reelection to Martin O'Malley in 2006.  Bob was always personally popular.

    In that case, of course, he had won in the 2002 wave versus a less than together Democratic party and candidate. By 2006, registration advantage won out.

    Why such a thing would happen in a registration neutral state, I can't fathom.

  •  OH-Gov: Dem Primary and 3-way Dance` (0+ / 0-)

    Another Dem filed in Ohio, A Larry Ealy.  No Idea.

    The More interesting thing is the Libertarian Qualified.  Charlie Earl, Former Republican. in the state Lege.  And, if he gets 5+, Not sure how Kasich can win.

    Libs have AG as well, appealing the rest of the statewide.  Some US Congress, Some State Rep (1 in a 2-way).  Constitution filed against Boehner.  Greens have a couple as well, No statewide unless they appeal Governor.

  •  CO Gov. Hickenlooper's polling numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... make sense to this Colorado Democrat. He is a loud & beloved proponent of the oil & gas industries. The current big judicial push of his administration is suing the cities of our state that voted as a community to ban fracking. He fought against the marijuana initiative.

    28% of Republicans APPROVE of the job Hick is doing, only 15% of them say they would give him their vote. He also doesn't have the approval or votes of the Independents, and they matter in Colorado elections.

    But hey, Hick don't care. Party in the mansion tonight to celebrate selling Highway 36, The Denver-Boulder Turnpike to an Australian management shell company. I hear it's distantly incorporated by Goldman Sachs? Fabulous. Hick's national lobbying career can't start soon enough for the safety of our state's natural & infrastructure resources.

    Stop side-eyeing us Colorado Democrats. If the national DNC wants us energized they need to allow us candidates that better match the goals of local initiatives and not the portfolios of their friends. Sitting out elections to save their money & not throwing every resource against challenged state level representatives is shameful.

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