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Railroad bridge over the Mississippi at Burlington, IA.
Railroad bridge over the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa
There are no shortage of political pundits and reporters fixated on Iowa these days.

Alas, almost all of them are obsessed with the good folks of the Hawkeye State for all the wrong reasons. They care about which ambitious Republican has booked a speech at some county GOP shindig, or if the forthcoming Clinton grandchild is really going to be named Dubuque. Okay, I made that last one up. But, still, you get the point.

The political media's obsession with all things presidential has completely left unsung the fact that one could make a very compelling argument that no state in the Union is more worth watching this November than Iowa. Sure, it doesn't have one of the sexier Senate races like Mitch McConnell-Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky or Mark Pryor-Tom Cotton in Arkansas. And it doesn't have the universally villainous GOP governors on the chopping block like Rick Scott in Florida or (my personal favorite right-wing caricature) Paul LePage in Maine. And, perhaps, its U.S. House races might go under the radar because the pundit class has already projected a GOP majority six months in advance.

All that said, it can be argued that there are well over a dozen races that will merit attention come November in Iowa. From the top of the ballot all the way down to the state legislative level, Iowa matters. If nothing else, the races are incredibly interesting. Head below the fold to see why.

The two statewide elections are largely off the radar screen right now, largely because neither at present are considered tossups (currently, we here at Daily Kos Elections rate the gubernatorial race as likely Republican, while we have the open Senate race as leans Democratic).

But both contests have reasons why they could become steadily more intriguing as we move into the summer months. In the gubernatorial race, where veteran Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is seeking his sixth (non-consecutive) term in office, a wave of recent scandals have exacted a toll on his political fortunes. Perhaps the most damning evidence of that toll came this week, when a PPP poll conducted on behalf of Progress Iowa showed Branstad, once staked to a 20-plus point lead over Democratic challenger Jack Hatch, holding a lead of just 43-38 over the Democrat. Lest the unskewing crowd think this is all PPP lib'rul hype, it is worth noting that Suffolk University had Branstad leading by an only marginally more impressive 42-32 margin.

Ethical lapses are not exactly unprecedented for Branstad—even before the recent series of scandals, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named him among the "worst governors in America."

On the Senate side, the intrigue lies in the fact that the identity of the Republican nominee is up in the air. Our own polling database shows that no one has managed to break free from the pack. Sadly, it appears Sam Clovis, the dude that is by far the most entertaining cat in the field, is a bit too far gone to make the cut. But, hey, we can hope for a late surge.

If you need more of a reason to love Iowa 2014 beyond those potential sleeper statewide races, check this out: Iowa is one of just three states (Montana and New Hampshire are the others) to have every House seat in the state listed as competitive in our Daily Kos Elections House ratings. One of the four, the open seat to replace retiring GOP Rep. Tom Latham in IA-03, is listed as a true tossup. It is a seat where the Democrats have a serious candidate (Staci Appel) and the GOP has a half-dozen candidates vying for the nomination. If that side of the ledger gets bloody, or nominates the whackiest of the bunch, Democrats could start salivating.

The other three House battles are in varying shades of competitiveness. In IA-04, the territory is pretty damned red, but incumbent Rep. Steve King is ... well ... Steve King. King's opponent, Jim Mowrer, is an Iraq vet and has shown some pretty solid chops thus far, including thumping King on the fundraising front. Meanwhile, the open seat in IA-01 being vacated by Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley has a huge field vying for the gig on the blue side (and, thus far, a fairly underwhelming roster on the GOP side). Lastly, in IA-02, fourth-term Rep. Dave Loebsack will likely face a rematch against Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who held Loebsack to just 51 percent of the vote in 2010.

Iowa also boasts something that is becoming progressively more rare in the modern political climate: two competitive battles for control of the state legislature. Perhaps because of the nonpartisan nature of the state's redistricting process, both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate are within a handful of seats of flipping partisan control.

For the Democrats, they face a great challenge in retaining control of the state Senate, which is the sole barrier to complete GOP domination of the state government. They hold a 26-24 majority at present, but there are roughly a half dozen legitimately competitive races. Among the most interesting may well be in southern Iowa's SD-41, centered around Ottumwa. It is hard to find someone in-state as capable of eye-gouging commentary as Steve King, but incumbent GOP Sen. Mark Chelgren comes pretty close. The difference between Chelgren and King? Chelgren represents a district carried by President Obama (53-45).

On the other side of the capitol in Des Moines, the GOP that is looking to hang onto a modest majority. The Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage in the state House, but there are more than a dozen GOP-held seats that were carried by President Obama in 2012. That said, most of those districts were awfully close to 50/50, and therefore, control of the chamber could literally come down to a handful of votes.

Sure, there are individual races that have more political sex appeal. But, top to bottom, it is hard to think of another state that has virtually zero "yawn factor." Iowa is not always synonymous with excitement, but you would be awfully hard pressed to find a better state to follow on Election Night.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this and all the great background (14+ / 0-)

    you provide.  This really helps decide where we can put time and money for GOTV efforts.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:53:03 PM PDT

  •  One other race that will be competitive (21+ / 0-)

    is the open state Secretary of State office which handles how elections are run in what was a highly contested state in 2012, 2004, and 2000. The incumbent Republican Matt Schultz is running for IA-03, and Republicans are running former SoS Paul Pate (won a single term in 1994) while Democrats are running Brad Anderson, a consultant and former gubernatorial aide.

    As for the other statewide offices, longtime Democratic attorney general Tom Miller is safe as always and will win in a rout. Appointed Republican auditor Mary Mosiman should hopefully be vulnerable to Democratic challenger and former Des Moines school board president Jon Neiderbach. Incumbent Dem treasurer Michael Fitzgerald doesn't appear to have a challenger, while incumbent Republican agriculture commissioner Bill Northey should probably win a third term.

    It would be awesome to see Branstad's fortunes tumble to the point where he basically becomes Ernie Fletcher and drags their whole ticket down. We just barely lost the state house in 2012 and are definitely a decent position to win it back.

    •  I thought the Election Junkies (7+ / 0-)

      Line would mean the focus would be the SOS race.  Brad's running hard against voter ID but more on the notion of using the office to boost voter turnout.  This is exactly the type of push back we need.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:14:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tom Miller (4+ / 0-)

      Wow.  I met Tom Miller back in about 1982, when he had already been IA Attorney General for years.  I was born and raised in Davenport, but moved out of state for college and then East.  I had no idea Miller was still in office.  What a career he has had!

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:35:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  State Auditor (0+ / 0-)

      The appointed Republican incumbent is being attacked by her Democratic challenger by missing some corruption in the auditing work of the agency where occurred the scandals that affected to T Branstad.

      It is a line that can work well. If T Branstad is damaged, M Mosiman appointed by him and missing corruption linked to him can also be damaged.

      While I was not too optimistic about the race, it is possible that we see a better than expected result.

  •  this alone merits support! (13+ / 0-)
    The other three House battles are in varying shades of competitiveness. In IA-04, the territory is pretty damned red, but incumbent Rep. Steve King is ... well ... Steve King. King's opponent, Jim Mowrer, is an Iraq vet and has shown some pretty solid chops thus far, including thumping King on the fundraising front.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:02:12 PM PDT

  •  It truly is an exciting year for us in Iowa. (17+ / 0-)

    Everybody, feel free to toss some change to any of these races, but Stacy Appel would both flip a seat from red to blue, and be the first woman from Iowa to serve in a federal elected office.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:08:49 PM PDT

  •  Nobody likes LePage (14+ / 0-)

    Mike Michaud is up enough that people are hoping Sheena Bellows can continue to out fundraise and out campaign Susan Collins.

    Living in Maine with 12% below the poverty line, not just below 200% of poverty, below the poverty line, some of the more important issues are the ACA and Medicaid, EBT, and the fact that tax cuts for the wealthy have done nothing to create jobs in the state.

    The state has a lot of elderly, a lot of problems with social security, crime, employment, drugs, not enough doctors and social services.

    What we are hoping for is somebody paying attention to how climate change is affecting two of our major industries fishing and forestry. The waters off of Maine are now too warm for lobsters and we are about to go from having a glut of them to none at all. The same is true with fish stocks.

    In our forests the White Pine is dying off and business interests are pushing highway development, tar sands pipelines, oil refineries, casinos and other things not particularly conducive to a healthy habitat for critters.

    We need the Democrats to step up and get elected.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:13:44 PM PDT

    •  What does the Governor's race (4+ / 0-)

      have to do with Susan Collins vs. Shenna Bellows? Living in Maine, you are very much aware of the fact that the electorate in your state routinely votes for politicians it considers to be moderate Republicans at the same time it votes for Democratic presidential candidates by plenty. So why on Earth would a gubernatorial candidate change that one bit?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:12:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not any more because of Le Page (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, Ahianne, camlbacker

        If you lived in Maine you would realize how across the board the outrage is on every possible front. The man is a walking disaster for the Republican party and besides that "moderate Republican" is an oxymoron.

        You can't look at  Warren, Maine, home of the Tea Party which voted in the last election for Marriage equality and Marijuana as a state in which the progressive Democrats haven't made inroads.

        If you go down the list of LePage headlines issued by Maine newspapers on a daily basis since his election and can find a positive one, or even one that doesn't initiate several days worth of lame ass excuses or explanations
        I will be surprised.

        LePage has single handedly turned the word "Republican" into a slur in this state.

        If you want to really cast aspersions on someone or what they said, all you need to do is mutter the word under your breath and they immediately hang their head, turn several shades of red, ending up with an apoplectic purple or blue and beg to leave the room.  

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who is connecting Le Page (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rktect, ProudNewEnglander

          with Collins? Absent one iota of contravening polling data, I continue to consider the US Senate race Safe-R, because of attitudes toward Collins in particular, not the Republican Party or Le Page, among Mainers.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:57:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You live in New York I live in Maine (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne, camlbacker, killjoy, pademocrat

            Take it as one iota of contravening polling data that Susan Collins is not attracting the same degree of funding as she might have before Le Page.

            What attitudes toward Collins are you referring to? She has a really obnoxious speaking voice that disparages the word drone.

            She's not exactly young and pretty or vibrant enough to appeal to young people, She's on the wrong side of issues that most Mainers who are predominantly poor and elderly care about.

            Susan Collins isn't really campaigning whereas Sheena Bellows is out there attending some event somewhere every day.

            Sheena came and spoke at my Knox County and State Committee meetings and was interesting and informative, on the right aide of the issues and very personable.

            Sheena Bellows is both getting more funding from grass roots sources and attracting more support because she is interesting and vibrant.

            I think it couldn't hurt you to contact her campaign and find out what's going on in Maine before writing the Senate seat off as safe R.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:59:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ummm... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              207wickedgood, MichaelNY

              First of all, it's laughable to say that Michaud is currently winning by a comfortable amount. Not only does polling data support only a narrow lead, but I'm also legitimately afraid that the race in the first district, most of which has never voted for Michaud, is not going as it needs to. In comfortably retired areas, such as Brunswick, and "Yankee" York County, the most reliable areas for voter turnout, some of LePage's financial policies are popular and he extremism has been forgotten by many. Additionally, Michaud's biggest enemy, the Cutler vote in Portland, is not going away easily judging by the door-to-door campaigning I've been part of.

              Second, your state of denial over Collins' extreme level of popularity are strange. While I don't doubt that Bellows will win Camden, I would say it's 50/50 whether she win Rockland, at which point a Dem is fighting for 45% statewide. While I don't think she's a bad candidate and I'm looking forward to eating dinner with her tomorrow, it would take an implosion of Renzi or Abramoff proportions for Collins to go down this year.

              ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

              by GoUBears on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:03:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Its not just Camden that likes Bellows (0+ / 0-)

                The First District loves Mike Michaud. I'm not sure you are aware that Warren Maine, (Route 90 home of the Teaparty) voted for Marriage Equality and Marijuana in the last election

                As for Brunswick, we no longer have comfortably retired areas along our coasts after the floodplain insurance maps came out requiring all the Category V coastal property owners in York and Cumberland Counties to pay $2.10 per $100 in property value for flood insurance following the IPCC Report 5 which predicts sea level rise may reach 2 feet by 2135. The mapping is now extended to Lincoln and Knox Counties where Maines coastal Islands, the Saint George Peninsula, Thomaston, Rockland, Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, the Rocky Coast of Maine are now looking at loosing their fishing industry and wharfage. Talk to Joan Welsh of Rockport about that one.

                Why don't you come down to the Stella Maris House in Rockland where the Knox County Dem's meet and hear what they have to say county wide. I don't think even Warren would vote for Collins over Bellows after LePage.

                The undercurrents of change here in Maine because of LePage but including a growing rage that will take down Collins and other Republicans with him are perhaps below your notice.  

                Maybe you think the 12% of Maine that is barely hanging on to life will ignore LePages cuts to the safety nets that sustain them.

                In Mikes District 2 also there are people not too happy about LePage going all the way back to this comment.

                The Republican governor, who says he made the crude remark to 'wake people up,' suggests that he may run for Congress rather than re-election.

                By Steve Mistler Staff Writer

                AUGUSTA —Gov. Paul LePage said Friday that he's sorry if anyone was offended by his crude sexual remark a day earlier about a Democratic leader in the state Senate.

                Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, 2nd District, left, last week launched an exploratory committee for a gubernatorial run, sparking interest by Republican Gov. Paul LePage in a potential run for Michaud's congressional seat. Related headlines

                LePage's remark about loggers 'crossed the line'

                The Republican governor, in impromptu comments to reporters outside his office, also said he is considering abandoning his re-election bid in 2014 and running instead for Congress.

                In his statement to reporters, LePage apologized in particular to Maine loggers, some of whom were outraged by statements he made Thursday about Sen. Troy Jackson, a logger from Allagash who is the Senate's assistant majority leader.

                "It was never my intent to ever, ever suggest that the loggers of the state of Maine are in the same league as Troy Jackson," LePage said. "I owe that apology."

                Jackson came under fire from LePage on Thursday after he said that Democrats would not accept the governor's latest state budget proposal, and that they probably had enough votes to override his threatened veto of the $6.3 billion, two-year budget that lawmakers passed last week.

                When a reporter from WMTW-TV asked LePage about Jackson's statement, the governor said Jackson "has no brains" and "he has a black heart."

                He also said, "Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he's the first one to give it to the people of Maine without providing Vaseline."

                Later in the interview, LePage said, "People like Troy Jackson, they ought to go back in the woods and cut trees and let somebody with a brain come down here and do some work."

                The governor's comments made news around the nation, on television, in newspapers and on social media, prompting defenders to describe him as a plainspoken man who "tells it like it is" while critics blasted him for crossing the lines of decency and civility.

                When a reporter asked him Friday about a general apology to Maine people for what many considered a vulgar comment, LePage paused and said: "You know what's vulgar? A senator saying we don't care what the governor does. We have the votes to override him. I find that enormously vulgar. I find that despicable."

                LePage then said he apologizes if anyone was offended by his statement.

                "It was not meant to offend anybody," he said. "But I will say this. It was intended to wake the people of Maine up."

                He then referred to the state's tax burden and how it would be affected by the budget.

                The governor's remark about a congressional run echoes a rumor that circulated at the State House this week. His interest has been sparked by last week's announcement by Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud that he's considering running for governor in 2014.

                LePage said he may run for Michaud's seat in the 2nd Congressional District.

                Michaud launched an exploratory committee last week for a gubernatorial run. He has been soliciting donations ever since.

                "I'm considering running for Mike Michaud's seat, if you want to know the truth, because it can't be any worse in Washington than it is here," LePage said Friday. "Everything's on the table. Retirement, Social Security, running for Congress, maybe going back to Marden's to stock shelves. Who knows? I don't take myself as seriously as all you do."

                Brent Littlefield, LePage's political adviser, said Wednesday that he was "1,000 percent unaware" of the governor's interest in the 2nd Congressional District seat.

                Littlefield has been working on LePage's re-election bid. He has been LePage's adviser since his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and remains involved in Maine People Before Politics, a political group that backs the governor. He has also run congressional campaigns in other states.

                That comment offended Republicans who preiviously had supported LePage and put a damper on fundraising for all Republicans in the state.
                In a prepared statement Friday, Snowe called LePage's remarks about Jackson "regrettable and inappropriate." She said the governor's apology "was in everyone's best interests" so the Legislature can continue its work.

                Lucas Caron, a spokesman for Snowe, said he didn't know whether Snowe and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan, would attend and co-host the fundraiser.

                Collins was forced to disavow him
                Collins "thinks it's appropriate that the governor has apologized," said her spokesman, Kevin Kelley, in an email Friday. He said Collins will co-host the fundraiser.

                Poliquin did not return a message left on his cellphone Friday.

                People are more than pissed off about his refusing fully Federally paid for ACA Medicaid. That isn't just healthcare but also transportation to healthcare; Penquis heating oil through HEAP and electricity through LiHEAP, EBT, the insulation and housing repair programs that get them through tough winters.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:41:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'd love to believe that Collins is in trouble (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AussieforObama2ndterm, MichaelNY

              I just haven't seen any polling to suggest that she is.

              •  She isn't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                •  Only the Republicans in Maine think that n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                  by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:58:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, i am not in Maine (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rktect, MichaelNY

                    and not Republican (though, admittedly, not hyperpartisan Democrat too). But - i am sure.

                    •  Why do you think Le Page being reelected is OK? (0+ / 0-)

                      Especially if you aren't identifying as Republican. Why wouldn't you be hyperpartisan Democrat? Aren't the issues clearly enough defined for you to see a difference?

                      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                      by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:44:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am absolutely against LePage (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rktect, MichaelNY

                        and hope he will NOT be reelected. Both Michaud and Cutler are acceptable to me. I spoke about Collins - the only real threat to her may come (in conceivable future) in Republican primary only and that will not be case this year. She easily beat much more well-known and stronger Democrats before.

                        [Offtopic] I am at least somewhat "reasonably fiscal conservative" and, at the same time -  moderate social liberal (like Melissa Bean or Charles Mathias, for example). All in all that makes me something like "very independent Democrat" or, may be, a "Democratic-leaning Indie" (a sort of cross between two, for sure...). Both definitions could apply to me. But no - i am not hyperpartisan, and don't want to be one.... Prefer to make decisions on "case by case" basis.[/Offtopic]

                        •  LePage and Collins are in the same party (0+ / 0-)

                          Republicans deny science and climate change, don't want to spend money on humans who eventually just get sick and die when corporations as persons are designed to last forever and get richer and richer enabling them to be good campaign contributors.

                          Both LePage and Collins make their priorities tax breaks for the rich and spending on Defense and National Security as well as Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs before Economic Development, Education, Alternative Energy and the Environment, Healthcare and Senior Issues, Transportation and Veterans issues.

                          They oppose taking 100% funding for Affordable healthcare Medicaid from the Federal government, gun control, admitting there is such a thing as climate change and thus doing something to save Maine's forests and Fisheries from its affects, raising the minimum wage, education, aid to cities and towns, essentially everything that would be good for Mainers  simply because that's their party platform.

                          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                          by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:16:50 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Nevertheless there is big difference (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rktect, MichaelNY

                            between them: Collins is the most moderate Republican Senator now (and i know that good Republicans do exist), while LePage - very very conservative. Theoretically i could rather easily vote for her, but NEVER - for him...

                          •  Moderate Republican is an oxymoron (0+ / 0-)

                            In order to be a Republican at all, let alone run for office as one, let alone have your campaign for the US Senate funded as one you have to be willing to screw people.

                            To be a Republican politician you have to be willing to screw people that are elderly and choosing between being, homeless, heating their home in winter, having food to eat, or medications, out of their social security and unemployment insurance, then go after their Medicaid and affordable health care.

                            To be a Republican politician you have to be willing to allow the NRA to have carte blanch with deregulated firearms regardless of how many adults and children die of that policy.

                            To be a Republican politician you have to be willing to  undercut the President of the United States and obstruct him in every way possible whether its a foreign policy or a domestic one, even when its something you were for before you found out its something he supports so then you have to be against it.

                            To be a Republican politician you have to deny evolution, science, climate change, species extinctions, the damage energy companies are doing to the environment and it helps to be a total asshole like congressman Grimm from Staten Island.

                            If you have any illusion that Susan Collins is a moderate look at her voting record, she votes with her party only 60 % of the time but those are the votes of gun control, and other key partyline votes.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:29:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  60% suits me fine these days (0+ / 0-)

                            She is not Jacob Javits or Charles Mathias (no one is in these polarized days), but acceptable... And i still want to see relatively moderate North-East Republicans as something alive and really existing, not a "thing of the past"...

                          •  Wouldn't you prefer people who vote sensibly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            rather than against the interests of their constituents as Susan Collins does 60% of the time.

                            That her voting suits you tells me you are a Republican I'm sure you have some way of rationalizing not wanting other people to have a decent quality of life, you will have to explain that to me some time.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:19:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, you may consider myself anyone (0+ / 0-)

                            that suits you. I already said to you that i am at least somewhat fiscal conservative (balanced budget, generally as low taxes as possible and so on), so some fiscal conservative votes are plus, not minus to me. And that i am not hyperpartisan and choose candidates to support on case by case basis, not by party label. In very progressive districts (like Bay Area) i tend to support progressives (but - rational), in conservative - reasonable pragmatic conservatives. That's what most important to me.

                          •  If you want a balanced budget with low taxes (0+ / 0-)

                            where does the balance (revenues v expenditures) come from?

                            Fiscal Conservative is a buzzword. Examine it a little with your common sense. Where are conservatives pragmatic in across the board opposing everything that could be considered an investment in America except for the subsidies and welfare for the rich?

                            Welfare for the rich is based on the idea that if we enrich corporations and corporate executives that will encourage "the makers" to make profits which will then "trickle down" to "the takers" for whom deadbeat wellfare rancher Bundy provides us the Republican perspective.

                            Fiscally conservative Republicans see their entitlement to wealth trickling down to the urban poor who are lazy and shiftless Negros sitting on their front porch doing nothing when they would be better off as Slaves picking cotton !!! and are jealous of the free lunches provided by EBT so Wallmart doesn't have to pay them a living wage.

                            Are Fiscally conservative Republicans who think that way not out of their cotton picking minds?

                            Fiscally conservative Republicans, while not wanting corporations taxed, allow companies like Wallmart to pay their employees, many of them elderly, so little they are forced to work hard all day and still have to go on EBT for food stamps and public assistance to survive.

                            Meanwhile we have a $700 Billion dollar annual Defense budget but no enemies since Obama has gotten us out of the wars decision making President Cheney with the assistance of a figurehead President Bush caused us to get involved in with lies about WMD's to make money for his old company Halliburton.

                            By contrast you must realize that Obama has reduced the Bush deficit and created millions of jobs and a recovery despite Republican opposition using things like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and invest in alternative energy not to mention providing the jobs to build the  infrastructure; hospitals and roads to get to them and to train the staff for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to achieve savings in healthcare costs by balancing that budget.

                            The ACA works by spreading the costs out over more people so that people with existing conditions don't get denied coverage and end up at an emergency room trying to get their stage three cancer treated or getting hit with a lifetime cap and cutting out the middlemen an limiting profits to 20% everyone benefits, the insurance companies get more customers many of them young and healthy who wouldn't otherwise sign up.

                            The difference between trickle down and build up should be obvious.

                            Millions of people who never had coverage now have it at an affordable cost. Doctors and Hospitals find the paperwork and administrative costs greatly reduced.

                            In states where Republican governors haven't turned down the free Federal funding for the Medicaid expansion millions of people are getting that coverage.

                            Now you also claim to split your vote. You must realize that not maximizing the power of progressives simply makes it easier to obstruct their efforts at investing in America.

                            Progressives by definition are investing in progress, creating jobs, rebuilding rotting infrastructure, providing preventative healthcare that reduces the costs of therapeutic healthcare in much the same way as putting oil in the engine of your car, while not maximally austere in the short term, saves you the cost of a new engine in the long term.

                            Not spending money on mediating Climate Change or denying that its real for the last fifty years will within the next twenty years cause massive destruction to more than 100 East and Gulf Coast cities with populations of over 100,000 which are so low lying that they can't be protected by sea walls and jetties.

                            Spending $700 Billion a year on Defense is "fiscally conservative" how?

                            Suppose we had spent that money mediating climate change and had saved those cities instead of having either to relocate them or watch them sink beneath the waves in this century. How can you get that budget to balance?

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:02:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is an election site (0+ / 0-)

                            Not political. And there are rule for this site: no political discussion, except some special threads. Right now i have no desire to discuss politics, even less so because the end of such discussions is always predetermined: everyone remains with the views he/she had before discussion started, and no one is convinced by anyone on anything.

                            I will finish this discussion with yesterday poll (yes, from Rasmussen, but still): Collins - 60%, Bellows - 24%

                            And the fact that Collins in Maine has more support from Democrats and Indies (a categories i include myself in) - in 50-60% approval range, then among "genuine" Republicans - 40+%. So, you may list me as one of these 50-60%)))

                            In fact i would prefer a slightly more liberal Republican, like former congressman Tupper, but Republicans doesn't run such people now))). So, people like Collins or Murkowski remain the best from what they offer. And i am categorically against one-party dominance in politics. So, in South or Mountain West i am always (in 99% of all cases at least) for Democratic candidates, while in New England - frequently consider moderate (only them, not Ayotte-type) Republicans, that still exist there.

                          •  This is a Partisan Democratic Blog (0+ / 0-)

                            It cares about elections but not to the extent it is not political. Now that said it allows Democrats can have a big tent, there can be Liberal and Conservative Democrats, Progressive Democrats, but when we talk about elections what we are interested in is how to increase the chances of Democrats winning. When we speak of Democrats winning we don't mean Democrats In Name Only. (DINO's)

                            From the FAQ: Daily Kos will be what Daily Kos is, and that oftentimes evolves. I know everyone wants their clearly defined rules, but nothing is that simple.

                            This site is CERTAINLY NOT for all Democrats. Joe Lieberman learned that. Blanche Lincoln is about to learn it.

                            This site is about more and better Democrats, not necessarily in that order.

                            I'm a little disappointed that you didn't respond to the issues I raised, but that seems to be typical of the thinking of fiscally conservative "independents" who desire government to be is ineffective as possible and thus seek to balance the distribution of representation.

                            The Reason for desiring a deregulated, small ineffective fiscally conservative government with lots of tax breaks for the wealthy is purely and simply greed and that's it.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:03:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are entitled to your opinion (0+ / 0-)

                            I am to mine. As long as site moderators don't explicitly state "No one, but very partisan Democrats, who never even consider other candidates, may post here" - i am free to express my views. There are even avoved Republicans on this site, and they surely are not interested neither in "more" Democrats, nor in "better" one.

                            Let's end on this. I will not answer more.

                          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                            There are Republicans on the site. Not many, less than fifty out of perhaps a million regular posters would be my best guess, but you are welcome to express your opinions. You should expect a somewhat partisan response.

                            Indeed the reason I have tried to draw out of you your views in more detail than just a "fiscal conservative" label is that I'm interested to know what appeals to you as a sometimes "independent progressive" about a weakened Federal Government that you as a "fiscal conservative" want to invest in to the tune of $700 Billion dollars a year

                            Why spend that much every year for the "Patriotic Defense" of a government you, like Grover Nordquist, want to make smaller and weaken to the point where you can "drown it in a bathtub" ?

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:01:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As i said (0+ / 0-)

                            - i never talk politics on this site. And never post on main site - only on DKE - exactly because i don't want to become involved in pure political discussions. I described my views and logic as it pertains to selection of candidates i root for - that's all what important to DKE and elections...

                            Bye and good luck!

                          •  Speaking just of elections (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm curious how you think candidates are selected, funded and helped to win, (the part of elections most people think of as political; ie, GOTV) as opposed to that political process in your apolitical selection process???

                            Is there some apolitical process of selection you would care to describe for me in return for my telling you how our elections work at the Democratic State Committee level?

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:45:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I will try to give my principles first.. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            First principle: District decides all! So, in general, i am for progressive candidates in strongly Democratic (D+6 or higher) districts, for "reasonable moderates" in swingy ones (D+5 to R+5) and for "pragmatic conservatives" in conservative one (R+6 or lower). so, for example, i am absolutely for Jerry Nadler in his deep blue NY-10, and was absolutely for Mike McIntyre in his red NC-07

                            Second one: The "ideal" (by my standards) Democratic candidate - most liberal from those who can win the district. But if the district is very conservative (like Al-02 or MS-04) - run solid conservative (i.e. Bobby Bright- or Gene Taylor- type of candidates). Few ot them will win, but some - may, especially in good year, and they will still be less conservative then their Republican opponents. For Republican candidates - vice versa: "the most conservative candidate who can win", but (for example - in number of North-East districts) that may mean very moderate or even somewhat liberal on some matters candidates (Tisei- or Roraback-like for example)

                            Third: I am a big believer in "big tent" and diversity - not only interparty, but intraparty as well. So, ideallly (for me) Democratic party would be (obviously) more progressive of two, but with active more conservative wing, reflrcting views of Southern and other more conservative Democrats. Republican - vice versa: generally conservative, but with healthy moderate wing, reflecting positions of many North-Eastern (and not only them) Republicans.

                            Fourth: One party dominance is always bad! (coorruption, loss of effective management, and so on). So, as i already said - i am always (almost) for Democratic candidates in Republican-dominated South or Mountain West, but frequently look positive on Republican candidates in Democratic-dominated areas like Pacific states or North-East (by coincidence - these are areas with relatively most moderate Republicans)

                            Well, these are the main ones. In addition - all together that increases unpredictablility of elections. I hate to think of situation, where 435 "Pelosi-clones" on Democratic part would run against 435 "Boehner-clones" on Republican.

                            And, in addition - i am very strongly "anti tea-party" - too many idiots there.

                            In short - that's main ideas and factors i consider. May be - forgot something, but hardly anything very substantial...

                            What i see in reality suggest to me that ideology and money play too big role in real selection process, which is usually "too activist dominated" (especially if caucuses or conventions are used instead of primaries). That, IMHO, frequently leads to "too ideological" candidates on both sides (admittedly - in the last years more on Republican one)

                          •  I appreciate your principles (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Perhaps District decides all if gerrymandering doesn't create new districts with no candidate who cares enough to run, so before all else what we like to do is stress that if you want to get things done you should vote straight party line. Other wise you get a good candidate but no support structure for them.

                            We like to get people who vote straight party line, because they care about issues, to consider volunteering to phonebank, canvass, GOTV. After people get to know you from having you come to their door to talk to them when elections role around you might be perfect to run as that district candidate.

                            Republican Gerrymandering tends to work by creating districts in which Republicans have a shot at more districts rather than having all their eggs in one basket as would normally be the case with upper middle class, white suburbs.

                            Ideal Democratic candidates aren't normally those who pundits think might win, they are candidates the State Committee pushes up to the DSCC for funding because they are right on the issues, young, energetic, motivated and willing to go before al the county executive committees with volunteers for phonebanking, canvassing, and visibilities. Forget the early polls, we pay for the polls they tell us what we want to hear.

                            Big tent is fine but by that we mean groups of people not corporate persons as per Citizens United, lobbyists, politicians in the house of cards sense, lawyers or other opportunists. We want representatives of we the people.

                            We don't want to include conservatives, DINO's, people whom if elected as Democrats would caucus with Republicans; that's counterproductive. Fifty state strategy's sound good to people running for speaker, but blue dog caucuses are nightmares. Personally I'm for purging all the infidels and burning all the heretics.

                            If I'm voting as a Democrat I want Democrats to get elected.

                            Democratic party dominance is a hell of a lot better than Republican party dominance. Therefore one party dominance is not bad at all if its Democratic. The way we handle the corrupt incumbents at the State and National level can be a beautiful thing to watch. You should come check it out at one of our conventions some time.

                            I'll take Pelosi clones over Bohner clones any day.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:56:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I respect your principles in turn (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but, obviously, disagree with substantial number of them. It's understandable, because i, generally, strive to be as "nonpartisan" as possible with my principles, while you are, obviously, not. So, for example, i was biig Blue Dogs lover, and don't especially care about ideological purity,. You - vice versa.

                            But - thanks! For info and discussion.

                          •  As a progressive for a higher minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

                            you have to agree that the solution is clear. Get rid of all the obstructionist Republicans and all this important legislation that is getting ignored will finally begin to pass.

                            Its really that simple. If you want a better America get rid of the Republicans. I challenge you to give me a single example where that isn't the case.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:20:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A lot (0+ / 0-)

                            Javits, Case, Brooke, Hatfield and Mathias helped to pass a lot of progressive legislation. And Civil Rights laws were passed only with Republican help. One of the main amendments against Vietnam War is called Cooper amendment after former Kentucky senator John Sherman Cooper. One of the main fighters for environment protection laws - former Vermont Senator Robert Stafford (again - Republican). Well, 30 years ago with my views i would almost surely be Republican myself (espeially in North-East)....

                            I am categorically against one party dominance. It begins with "noble purposes" and ends with the rivers of blood as it was in Russia after 1917, France after revolution of 1789, and in many other cases. It leads to dictatorship, communist or fascist. So i am categorically AGAINST "getting rid of Republicans" just as i am against "getting rid of Democrats". And against ANY "revolutionary changes".  In fact - i stand for European-style multi-party parlamentary system, where all voices are heard and coalitions and compromise reign supreme.. I am firm believer in compromises (politics is "an art of compromise" after all), and absolutely no in "i am a boss - you are a fool, you are a boss -i am a fool" style of actions

                            And, have you forgot that i am a fiscal conservative? Until somebody counts how much "minimal wage increase"will cost, and shows me where the money for it will come from (and no, not "tax the rich" rhetoric, i heard enough of that) - i will remain at least somewhat sceptical about that idea. I am ready to be convinced, but i want to see numbers first.

                          •  You are be living in a time warp, 30 years ago (0+ / 0-)

                            Javits, Case, Brooke, Hatfield and Mathias??? How about this current crop of Republican govenors, People like LePage that are just out to ruin government any way they can.

                            as it was in Russia after 1917, France after revolution of 1789
                            Maybe 30 years of time warp isn't really enough to get to where your head is at. Try addressing LePage, Scott Walker, Jan Brewer in Arizona, completely disrespecting our commander in chief and with him all the men and women who serve in the armed forces as well of the nation that has voted for him and returned him to office.

                            What is there that you like about Rick Scott in Florida and across the board voter suppression? Is Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and whatever BP says goes, your ideal? How about Mike Pence in Indiana or Rick Snyder in Michigan. Do you feel that elected officials should be replaced by the governor's managers?

                            Are you still solidly behind Chris Christie in New Jersey??? Does John Kaisich in Ohio do it for you or Rick Perry in Texas? What planet are you living on?

                            Do you not understand that the Republican Governors association is attempting one party dominance with gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter ID, fewer days to vote, fewer polling places, no transportation to polling places from urban areas, no rest room facilities for places where there is a seven hour wait to vote.

                            Those attempts to steal back the government from the Democrats people voted for because they represent most peoples views but not those of the 1% are being overturned across the boards by the courts because they are simply outrageous.

                            When you say

                            I am categorically against one party dominance.
                            what you are really saying is that if the majority of people agree on a policy, that its the right thing to do, then you would like to obstruct that; prevent their being represented by their elected officials so that 1% of Americans can continue to make ridiculous profits off of deregulation and subsidies.

                            As for your being a fiscal conservative you still haven't answered my question about why we should spend $700 Billion a year on "Defence" when we don't have any enemies who have an air force or a navy or armies with tanks and artillery, or submarines.

                            Why isn't it a better policy to bring the money home and use it to repair crumbling infrastructure and create jobs, build more healthcare infrastructure to service all the new people with healthcare coverage and create jobs, use it to provide education so people can have better jobs, use it fort a minimum wage so people can get out of poverty.

                            You don't have any answer for any of that do you...

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:45:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I will end our discussion here (0+ / 0-)

                            And, being 57, i really prefer politics of 1960-1970 to present one. It was much more cooperative and much less polarized. In fact i follow it now only because an old habit (about 40 years). Probably - i wouldn't get interested in it at all if it was like present one 40 years ago.

                            Let's end on this, let's continue to have views we hold (and respect them), and not allow a useful discussion to go a way of petty quarrell


                          •  Small addition (0+ / 0-)

                            I said many times during our discussion that i have no desire to discuss POLITICS, only ELECTIONS - candidates and their chances. You want to talk politics. Fine, but not with me and (as far as i know rules) - mostly not on DKE, but on main DailyKos site (where i NEVER write, because it's useless - everyone remains commited to his/her views even after acrimonious discussion). That's all i have to say.

                          •  Does RagMod stand for Raging Moderate? (0+ / 0-)

                            You self describe as a fiscal conservative and a moderate social liberal. I'd say its time for you to make a choice and to see through the lie that making choices on a case by case basis is an effective way to get things done. Indeed the people you cite as your models have been notable for their obstruction as well as their failures.

                            Your mention of fiscal conservatism sounds like you support austerity which deeply hurts the people a moderate social liberal would want to help. The people you should want to raise the minimum wage for, provide a safety net for, properly educate, provide social security and healthcare for, provide school lunches for children and gun control don't need austerity.

                            Austerity doesn't provide money to fight Climate Change which is going to kill us all and destroy our cities. It doesn't provide money for repairing roads and bridges, creating jobs, switching over to alternative energy and mass transit.

                            When Democratic leaders in Congress want to rein in Wall Street, they have to go through Bean. And when bank lobbyists want to stop them, they go to Bean as well.
                            That doesn't sound to me like Bean is much help to the Democrats
                            Why hasn't the overwhelmingly Democratic House -- and the House Financial Services Committee led by Barney Frank -- been able to pass a more aggressive financial regulatory reform package? As HuffPost has reported, a significant obstacle to progressive reform is that Bean and 15 other New Dems on the committee have effective veto power.
                            Do you as a financial conservative disagree that bankers need regulation and not bailouts?
                            For this, the most passionate backers of financial reform call Bean a bank lobbyists' stooge and "Wall Street's favorite Democrat."
                            Mathias campaigned to reelect Nixon in 1972 because as a Republican he simply couldn't believe Watergate  had happened just as initially he had been fooled into going along with Nixon's incursions into Vietnam and Laos even after coming out against the war.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:43:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  If you live in Maine and see that polling data (0+ / 0-)

                reported instead of writing off the seat as safe R would that influence whether or not you bothered to turn out and how you voted?

                Is Collins in trouble?
                December 5, 2013Congress, Election, Federal Politics, Maine Politics, Videos   
                By Ethan Strimling   

                Political analysts Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling stopped in on the MORNING REPORT to discuss the new competition Senator Susan Collins will be facing for her senate seat. Director of the Maine Equal Rights Center Erick Bennett will run against her in a primary.

                Does he have a chance of beating her? Or could his run give an advantage to Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows?

                Strimling and Harriman also discussed the DHHS move away from downtown Portland. Is the move smart and is the LePage administration to blame?

                DSCC Comes Out In Support Of Susan Collins Challenger Shenna Bellows
                The Huffington Post  | by  Samantha Lachman
                Posted: 03/25/2014 3:50 pm EDT Updated: 03/25/2014 5:59 pm EDT

                The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Tuesday that it will back Shenna Bellows, a former executive director of Maine's American Civil Liberties Union, in her race against Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

                Prior to the DSCC endorsement, political observers questioned why the organization appeared reluctant to endorse Bellows. In a statement, DSCC Chairman Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) praised her progressive record.

                “Shenna Bellows has spent her career fighting for the people of Maine and is the type of leader we need in the U.S. Senate," Bennet said. "Shenna is an energetic leader who has fought for women's rights, civil rights, individual freedoms, environmental protections, and an economy that works for everyone. She has the values and vision to always do what's best for Mainers.”

                Collins is lauded as one of the Republican Party's more moderate senators and has high favorability ratings in the state. But Bellows has highlighted her own background in civil liberties as one aspect of her candidacy that voters may find appealing. She led Maine's ACLU chapter for more than eight years, working on voting rights and marriage equality campaigns.

                Bellows beat Collins in fundraising in the final quarter of 2013, attributing her haul to grassroots support.

                She traveled to Washington, D.C., to rally with reproductive rights groups Tuesday as the Supreme Court justices heard arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases.

                Bellows has called her bid against Collins -- the only Republican senator up for reelection in a state won by President Barack Obama in 2012 -- a "David and Goliath" race.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:05:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Influence whether they vote (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't think polls usually influence whether people vote or don't. I do know that when Carter conceded the 1980 election while voting was still going on, many Democratic voters on the West Coast went home instead of voting, and that hurt downballot, but if he had waited, they would have voted for him, in spite of the opinion polls.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:30:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Mike Michauds Momentum is growing (0+ / 0-)

                Mike is closing in on more votes than both opponents combined.

                New Poll: Michaud's Momentum Grows
                Tuesday - Mar. 11, 2014

                LePage Holds Steady, Cutler's Support Dips

                AUGUSTA, Maine - A new poll released today shows Congressman Mike Michaud’s continued momentum in the race for governor. The poll, from Normington, Petts & Associates, finds Michaud with 39 percent of the vote, a four percent lead over Governor Lepage. The poll surveyed 800 Mainers from March 3-6, 2014. Michaud has led in every poll since announcing his candidacy last August.

                “The latest poll echoes what we’re hearing on the ground: Mike Michaud is the best candidate for governor and the only one who can beat Paul LePage in November,” said Ben Grant, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “Since entering the race, Michaud’s support has steadily grown, as voters become more familiar with his values, plans and experience. Voters are seeing up close that he is the only candidate with innovative ideas and the right kind of experience to lead Maine.”

                As Michaud’s momentum grows, Paul LePage has stalled at 35 percent and Eliot Cutler continues a slow decline, dipping to 16 percent. When it comes to winning in November, the poll found that 69 percent of voters not supporting LePage believe Michaud is the only candidate to beat him. The poll also reveals Michaud is the frontrunner when it comes to leadership, values and experience: 41 percent believe Michaud has the right experience to be governor, compared to 33 percent for LePage and 11 percent for Cutler. When it comes to understanding the problems of the middle class, 43 percent favored Michaud, compared to 31 percent for LePage and 10 percent for Cutler.

                “The latest round of polling comes on the heels of important shifts in each of the candidates’ campaigns. Cutler’s dip falls in line with the loss of a key aide, a series of lost endorsements and low fundraising numbers, forcing Cutler to bankroll his campaign with his own checkbook,” continued Grant. “LePage is feeling the heat this legislative session as he continues to push failed policy ideas that hurt Maine’s middle class and job creation. While it’s good for his base, it’s bad for the economy. What we’re hearing from voters is that they want a leader who understands their struggles, has the experience and forward-thinking plans to create positive change - and they have that in Mike Michaud.”

                As the race for Maine’s governor ramps up, the Maine Democratic Party has launched an aggressive grassroots campaign to build on Democratic momentum. This includes a targeted field program, strategic communications and fundraising efforts all built on a cutting-edge data program, all of which will turn out the vote for Democrats in November.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:52:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "You live in New York I live in Maine' (0+ / 0-)

              I guess that proves that Collins isn't popular. And when she wins with 60% of the vote or more, will you bow down to my superior knowledge?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:21:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Im not big on people demanding we bow to them (0+ / 0-)

                but I do know that how people vote is to some degree influenced by how people in the media talk about elections.

                When people in the media, pundits and pollsters, write Senate Seats off as safe R they are disparaging all the efforts of people doing phone banking, canvassing, blogging, writing letters to the editor to prevent that.

                Collins isn't popular in the more populous coastal areas and Mike Michaud is very popular there and in his own district.

                Michaud is currently winning by a comfortable amount and if I'm laughing when I tell you that its with joy.

                I'm reasonably well plugged in to what is going on here, I meet with other Dem's from the state and county level monthly, presently we are just setting up headquarters for the 2014 election.

                We don't expect it to be a low turnout because of the issues with LePage opting out of taking the Federal 100% funding for the ACA Medicaid portion.

                This is among the things that make the 12% of poor Mainers who would otherwise be covered somewhat angry.

                Taken along with all the other financial disasters Republicans have caused; reducing taxes of the wealthy, then not paying the bills incurred by bad deficit creating policies Le Page is dead in the water and so is Cutler.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:55:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have some local knowledge (0+ / 0-)

                  So I'm not that annoyed at you, but I find all the arguments that opinion polls showing that Collins has majority support among Democrats are wrong and that "because you're in Maine, you don't know" very annoying, and I do challenge you to eat crow when Collins wins with over 60% of the vote. I don't want that to happen, but I'll be surprised if it doesn't and shocked if she wins with only 58% of the vote.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:24:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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

          Is another Republican I won't mind to see go, however, I wouldn't be "upset" if won ;).  But the good news for Democrats is that the chances of Gov. LePage winning re-election are shrinking.

          Moderate Republican, PA-5

          by PSUCentrePA on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:25:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why wouldn't you be upset if won? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            Have some pity on those of us who have to live in a state administered by a Republican, its not the sort of thing you would want to wish on anyone you didn't hate intensely.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:06:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I do hope the stash looses in November. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, operculum, Patango, Stude Dude

    He has been an embarrassment to the state.  I do wonder if Iowa had a bigger media presence the scandals would have more teeth to them.

  •  Agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, RunawayRose, Stude Dude

    With fair lines, a swing state like Iowa is extremely interesting.  If Branstad's popularity falls perhaps Iowans could be a good story for Democrats on Election Day.

    The crucial thing for Democrats and their allies is to turn out in the off-year election.  2010 won't be undone by the 2014 election, but it could be compounded if the blue base doesn't turn out.  

  •  One reason Iowa is so interesting (8+ / 0-)

    is that unlike a lot of places, Iowa's urban areas aren't terribly Democratic, but its rural areas aren't all that Republican and in fact President Obama carried much of the rural territory in the eastern half of the state.  Combine that with a nonpartisan redistricting process and that's a recipe for a lot of competitive districts.

    I mean, a nonpartisan redistricting process in, say, Texas probably wouldn't create a whole lot of competitive seats because of the way votes are distributed, but in Iowa it does.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:53:16 PM PDT

  •  "worst governors in America." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Patango, Stude Dude

    Why do people keep electing these guys? South Dakota does the same thing. sigh

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:01:41 PM PDT

    •  Because we don't do strategic (5+ / 0-)

      We almost only do tactical. The party and the various affiliates continue to draw with a fine brush. Nobody does broad brush work. Steve King is a joke but no one is out there forcing all Republicans to defend or repudiate his positions. Republicans use the Kings and Gomerts to appear moderate and the party and the media play along.

      We have neglected instilling the basic skepticism needed for voters to evaluate. We have neglected the unifying contempt that would drive our turnout especially in off year elections. There are no moderate Republicans left their base has seen to that. That the term remains in common usage shows how badly we have neglected the broad brush and shapes the perceptions of not only the elites but the voters we hope to enlist.

  •  When I was growing-up in Sioux City, Iowa (8+ / 0-)

    as a young boy / man in the 70's and 80's, I would faithfully read Donald Kaul's Over The Coffee column in the Des Moines Register.  Man, could that guy write! Kaul had a keen sense of the political landscape in Iowa and was particularly adept at describing political ineptitude in an entertaining yet biting way (much like Molly Ivins).

    Anyway, back then -several decades ago- Kaul used to refer to Terry Branstad as Terry "Governor for Life" Branstad.  After several consecutive terms way back then it felt true... that he had been in office foreever.  If Branstad is re-elected in 2014, it will seem literally true to me!  I'm now in my mid 50's and Branstad is still in office.  Amazing.

    •  when I was living in Sioux City (0+ / 0-)

      in the late 60s early 70s Iowas was a liberal state with a liberal governor Huse. Huse was a liberal Democrat who was planing to run for president in 1972, then his daughter was mysteriously murdered.

      •  Carol Hughes died of cancer (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, MichaelNY, Woody, Stude Dude

        This was after Hughes had already decided not to seek re-election to the Senate in 1974.  

        His decision not to run for President came in 1971 when he realized that, as a pacifist who saw the horrors of war in Sicily when almost his entire unit was destroyed, he could not uphold the Presidential Oath of Office if he were required to wage war.  

        There was another political figure whose story matches the detail you mention.  Can't remember who it was, but it wasn't Hughes.  This is all fresh in mind because I just finished reading Hughes' memoir, The Man From Ida Grove.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:47:39 PM PDT

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      •  Do you mean Hughes? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Stude Dude

        Harold Hughes? He resigned his 3rd term as governor a bit early and was elected US senator in '68. He briefly tried to get the nomination for President in '72, before removing himself from contention, but I have never heard about his daughter being "mysteriously murdered".

    •  Terry is still 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Stude Dude

      too. But back in the early days, he was at least rational, as opposed to now, when he is just as rabid, doctrinaire, and crooked as anybody in the GWB wrecking crew. We can hope that Terry will continue extending the rope that he needs to hang himself; he is doing a terrific Boss Hogg act right now, shooting himself in the foot on a weekly basis. But I fear that it's a long time till November, and the memory span of Iowa's electorate isn't superior to that of voters anywhere else.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:36:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the other side of the state (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, nu2u, Stude Dude

      The Register gave one the sense that Davenport didn't really exist, but my parents subscribed anyway, probably out of habit since they were from small towns in other parts of the state where the Des Moines papers were the only game in town.  For me, it was all about Frank Miller's cartoons.  Mike Duffy wasn't bad, but he was never quite as deft or touching as Miller.  

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:52:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes! Frank Miller's political cartoons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        were great also.  Very talented.  I believe Miller won several awards for his work.  

        Also, really enjoyed the Registers's "Big Peach" sports section.  Ron Maly wrote a column that was very informative.

        Now that I think of it, maybe the DMR reached its peak somewhere in the 80's ??

  •  before the Chrsitin right took over (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, Stude Dude

    the republican party in Iowa in the mid 90s, the republican party in Iowa was moderate.

  •  I saw the photo (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    R30A, Patango, Calamity Jean, Woody, Stude Dude

    and was hoping that somehow, rail funding would tie in to this.  Sort of as a tie-in to yesterday's diary with the photo of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.  

    Most people do not realize that Iowa has one of the most extensive highway systems in the nation.  Its rail network also used to be that way — at one time, the five largest transcontinental routes went through the state and one could travel from Davenport to Chicago (180 miles) in 2 hours, 20 minutes.  There are only 3 still functional rail lines all the way across the state, and they are in serious need of upgrade.  They cannot be used for passenger service in their present condition.  Amtrak is working to restore passenger rail service between Davenport and Chicago, but the project requires tremendous capital upgrades and the roll-out has been pushed back.

    Most of the Mississippi River rail bridges in Iowa were constructed in the late 1800s, as swing bridges where the railroad was too low for towboats to pass.  Anytime a towboat has to pass, the bridge must swing open and stop rail traffic.  That's fine for a freight-based system — freight doesn't mind if the road is bumpy or if the train goes 20mph all the way with frequent stops.  But that will never fly for passenger rail.  Iowa is a state that could be so well-served by high-speed rail, but this would require a huge public investment.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:01:36 PM PDT

    •  My first thought was: I've been there! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, Big River Bandido

      Each of the last two years, I have done a new years trip which took me across that bridge. Saw a number of generally solitary bald eagles fishing in a small open patch of the mississippi there this January, (I suppose it was one of the only places they could reach the river). Spending a good part of next week wandering across the country on my quest to finish the Amtrak system.

      (To bring this on topic, The last time I crossed this bridge, I was in the dining car where the day before I had lunch with Don Kopp R-SD, father of Mike Kopp, R-CO. The other two people at the table were quite liberal. Was an interesting lunch to say the least)

      Ethnically Bostonian lifelong New Yorker

      by R30A on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:51:54 PM PDT

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    •  Branstad refused Obama stimulas funds (4+ / 0-)

      to upgrade Amtrak here Big River Bandido , and yet there will be dems who vote him back into office , it would have benefited the economy here in Iowa City , not only jobs from the investment side , but the tourism side also

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:00:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Branstad and the Legislature (4+ / 0-)

        By blocking the upgrading of the line for service to Iowa City, the Repubs sabotaged the next steps: six passenger trains a day Chicago-Des Moines, then four a day to Omaha, and a second frequency on to Denver.

        The Iowa Repubs did as much damage to the plans for better train service in the Midwest as the Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio did.

  •  Battle for Iowa's Soul (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Stude Dude

    Growing up in the Iowa of the 50's-70's there was a Quaker ethic of rationality that made it a great place to grow and learn about the world. Enter the 90's (And Rush Limbaugh-style media from WHO) and Iowa's political discourse became as polluted as it's now pigshit-stuffed waterways.
    Jack Hatch has been an environmental advocate since he organized the first Earth Day at Drake University in the very early '70's. His fight against Branstad's ruinous environmental policies have been derailed by dems and repubs because like New Jersey, we have a republican governor able to sabotage anyone threatening the gravy train. Big Ag, Big Insurance, Big Predatory Banking (cough, cough Wells Fargo, cough) and big Cement aka construction interests have influenced Iowa pols enough to frustrate any significant change to an already critical problem that affects our neighbors all the way to the Gulf of Meh-he-ko.
    Iowans who are in a bacon-wrapped hell until someone like Jack is elected to Hatch a new course of action.
    Iowa CCI (Citizens for Community Improvement) is absolutely the best place to go for information on the debacle which is Branstad.
    (disclaimer: NOT a member of Hatch for Gov campaign) So there.

  •  My home state, and I'm afraid I don't buy it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Woody, Stude Dude

    This is a creative diary, but when it comes down to it, I think the election in Iowa ends up uninteresting because there's likely to be little or no change in power at any level.

    Branstad still is expected to win, and Braley is still favored......and I expect both to win.

    Steve King likely is polling better than he's fundraising, sadly so since we had a real opportunity in 2012 but Vilsack and allies didn't go hard negative throughout which is what I wanted to see from the start.  Maybe there just wasn't enough money and self-defining was still a necessity, but still beating King requires sufficiently exposing what he really is.  That Vilsack tracked with Obama instead of outperforming him is damning, given how much weaker a Republican King should've been with swing voters compared to Romney plus the turnout model was maxed in our favor by OFA.  I dejectedly expect King to again win comfortably this November.

    The eastern Iowa seats should be uneventful absent an unhappy wave, with our party holding both.

    IA-03 is the real action, the one most likely to see real change, but even then I expect no better than a tossup unless the GOP completely implodes there and has a disastrous nominee.

    And I understand smart and knowledgeable people expect the state legislative chambers to stay as-is for control, with Democrats retaining the state Senate and the GOP retaining the House.

    I think what looks like a lot of action on the surface ends up being a cloud of dust for a yard or two come election night.

    46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:46:26 PM PDT

    •  Here Are My Thoughts.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A month or two ago, I might've been in total agreement. But there has been some movement. Braley's poll numbers are not swell. I don't know if that dumbass dustup about the Grassley thing is to blame or not, but he's not secure. And Branstad's numbers have gone to hell. Even the new GOP polling outfit (Cheney's group) had him barely up, and way under 50.

      Now, if you ask me to put cash on the table, I bet the incumbent party in both. But I think both will be a sweat.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

      by Steve Singiser on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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