Wednesday, March 26, 2008

House Overview, Pt. 2

I can't sleep, so here we go with part two, on the 33 open seat races.

The first group of open seat races is the Non-competitive ones, where one party is not seriously contesting the seat.

CA-52 (R+9, Hunter): The June 3rd GOP Primary will determine if Duncan Hunter, Jr., Santee City Councilman and minister Brian Jones, San Diego County Ed Board Prez Bob Watkins will be the next congressman from this GOP stronghold.

CO-2 (D+8, Udall): The August 12th primary will choose between former State Senate Prez Joan Fitz-Gerald (used to be a big DLCCer), openly gay former State Ed Board Chair Jared Polis., and State Conservation Trust Director Will Shafroth.

CO-6 (R+10, Tancredo): The August 12th GOP Primary will clear up a cluttered, and star-studded, GOP primary. The major contenders are Secretary of State Mike Coffman and Senatorial son Wil Armstrong.

ME-1 (D+6, Allen): Wow, is this a packed and uber-talented field. Seriously, take a look for yourself.

MD-4 (D+30, Wynn): Blogger favorite and Al Wynn slayer Donna Edwards will serve in the next Congress.

MS-3 (R+13, Pickering): Next Tuesday is primary day here, with a run-off between Club for Growth-endorsed State Sen. Charlie Ross, the favorite over Rankin County GOP Chair Gregg Harper.

NM-3 (D+6, Udall): This is a crowded primary field, but I'd guess it will come down to Don Wiviott (the Jim Pedersen of NM), and Ben Lujan, SPRCC chair and son of the House speaker.

NY-21 (D+9, McNulty): This primary is too crowded to make any intelligent judgments. I guess we'll find out in September who will represent this district in the next Congress.

OH-7 (R+6, Hobson): State Senate Majority Whip Steve Austria will represent my grandparents in the next Congress.

PA-5 (R+10, Peterson): Baptist Minister Keith Richardson and his bad-ass URL look to be leading this primary race, but we'll find out when that other Pennsylvania primary happens.

Note: With Al Wynn's announcement that he will retire in June, sparking a special election and giving Donna Edwards a head start on the incoming freshman class, MD-4 moves from this list to the special elections list. I would say Wynn is being a class act with this move, but he's really just lessening his waiting period before he can lobby.

The Funniest Part of Gravel Becoming a Libertarian...

...apparently FDR would have done the same.

House Overview, Pt. 1

Here I sit in Chile, and yet every now and again my compulsion to follow every detail of the 2008 House campaigns reasserts itself and I spend a couple of hours online reading about AL-2 and OR-5, etc. Since I've been home all day with a cold, I figure now is as good a time as any to ignore my homework and my duties to the other blog and to start a comprehensive series on how the House races are going. In part one, I intend to cover the remaining special elections of the cycle. Part II will focus on some of the 33 open seats.

Special Elections

I see no reason to reinvent the wheel, so here's CQ's take on each of these races, with my comments after each race summary:

California’s 12th District (April 8 first-round vote, possible June 3 runoff)

This safely Democratic district, which includes a part of San Francisco and a part of San Mateo County south of the city, was long represented by Democrat Tom Lantos. The 14th-term incumbent died of cancer on Feb. 11, six weeks after he said he would not seek re-election this year because of his health.

The leading candidate to succeed Lantos is Democratic state Sen. Jackie Speier, a well-known veteran of local politics. She will be joined by four lesser-known candidates — one Democrat, two Republicans and one Green Party contender — in the April 8 election in which all candidates, regardless of party, will run on a single ballot.

A candidate would be regarded as the outright winner should she or he receive a majority of all votes cast in the April 8 contest. Should that not occur, the top vote-getters from each party would compete in a second vote held on June 3 to determine Lantos’ successor.

Prohibitive Favorite: Former State Senator Jackie Speier (D)

Louisiana’s 1st District (March 8 first-round primary; April 5 Republican primary runoff; May 3 general election)

Republicans Steve Scalise, a state senator, and Tim Burns, a state representative, topped the field in the four-candidate Republican primary on March 8, but neither received the necessary majority vote. As a result, they are competing in a runoff election that will be held on April 5.

The winner will be heavily favored in a May 3 general election against Gilda Reed, a psychologist who easily won outright in the less well-attended Democratic primary, also held March 8. The voters in the 1st District, which takes in part of New Orleans and areas on the north and south shores of Lake Pontchartrain, have strong conservative tendencies that give the Republican Party a big edge. The 1st District seat was vacated in January by Republican Bobby Jindal when he was sworn in as governor, an office he won last October.

Prohibitive Favorite: State Senator Steve Scalise (R)

Louisiana’s 6th District (March 8 first-round primary; April 5primary runoff for both major parties; May 3 general election)

This Baton Rouge-based district, which 11-term Republican Rep. Richard H. Baker vacated in February to accept a private-sector position, is the most politically competitive of the quartet listed here. Both parties will need runoffs on April 5 to determine their nominees for the May 3 general election.

The Democratic candidates are state Reps. Don Cazayoux and Michael Jackson, who were the top vote-getters in a five-candidate primary on March 8. The Republican runoff pits former state Rep. Woody Jenkins, whose 49.9 percent in the four-candidate Republican primary left him fewer than 100 votes shy of avoiding a runoff, and Laurinda Calongne, a consulting company owner who finished second with 25 percent.

Jenkins is the best-known of these candidates outside their home turf, owing to his narrow loss to Democrat Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana’s 1996 race for the U.S. Senate. Jenkins protested his loss, claiming voting irregularities, but the Senate determined there were insufficient grounds to overturn the result.

Louisiana’s 6th is a conservative-leaning district where Jindal won 56 percent of the vote in the governor’s election last October. But it has an ample black population, and the partisan disparity in the March 8 primary — about 47,600 voters participated in the Democratic contest and 29,900 voters cast a ballot in the Republican primary — could be a sign that the Democrats could score an upset in this district.

This is an R+7 district. Tough, but still within the realm of the possible in a special election setting. Don Cazayoux (the surnames are the best part of Louisiana politics) filed on 3/16 with more total raised ($565,325 to $291,351) and more CoH ($110,770 to only $18,721) than Woody Jenkins, who for all of his name ID, is a frequent loser. Cook calls the race a tossup, while CQ gives it a slight GOP lean. A win would be seen as an upset, and together with IL-14, would start to build a narrative that we are winning in some fairly red territory.

Mississippi’s 1st District (April 22 first-round vote, possible May 13 runoff)

Republican Roger Wicker resigned as this strongly Republican district’s representative last New Year’s Eve to accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat from which Republican Trent Lott had resigned two weeks earlier for personal reasons.

Four Republicans, two Democrats and one Green Party are running in a single-ballot first-round election on April 22. If no candidate wins a majority of all votes, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will compete in a May 13 runoff.

Because of complicated timing, two of the candidates will receive a boost for the special election. That is because the regularly scheduled primary was held on Tuesday, and it produced runoff elections in both parties that will be held April 1 — three weeks before the special election. Glenn L. McCullough Jr., a former mayor of Tupelo, and Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, will compete in the Republican runoff, while Travis W. Childers, a county chancery clerk, and Steve Holland, a state representative, will vie in the Democratic runoff.

The Republicans are expected to retain control — in the spring special election and in the November general election — of a northern Mississippi district in which President Bush took 62 percent of the vote in 2004.

A win here is obviously very unlikely (it's an R+10). We'll see in a few weeks who the final candidates are, and if there's even a Democrat left in the race.



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Is What´s Great About Politics1

He gets interviews like this and isn´t bashful about quoting his sources liberally:

¨Politics1 had an interesting chat over the weekend with a well-placed source who has been serving as a senior McCain advisor during the primary campaign. For reasons that will be clear, you'll see why he didn't want to be named. The topic: possible GOP Vice Presidential runningmates. "My advice is to pick a safe choice, someone who won't do any political damage," he said, "but I don't think that is entirely where it's heading. Everytime I look at the names, I think the choice is going to be [Florida Governor] Charlie Crist. I mean, just look at the other guys [being mentioned] and they're just so underwhelming that it leads back to Charlie by elimination. Mitt Romney isn't going to happen. Huckabee may end up in the Cabinet, but won't be the runningmate. [Minnesota Governor Tim] Pawlenty has a great story, coming from blue collar roots, but he couldn't deliver Minnesota Republicans, so how is Pawlenty going to do anything for McCain in the general? [South Carolina Governor] Mark Sanford would probably be my first choice, as he's a very safe pick. But Sanford doesn't add anything that McCain doesn't already have." What about former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman, who served as President Bush's Budget Director? "Give me a fucking break: Portman has a zero percent chance of being on the ticket. He'd be a terrible choice." What about the rumors that McCain wants Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) as his runningmate? "Absolutely true. Joe Lieberman would be McCain's top choice if he could pick the person he really wants as a runningmate. It would be a bold pick, the kind of choice that would have the potential to remake modern American politics into something new. It would guarantee McCain a landslide win in November -- and, mark my words, McCain won't have the guts to do it. He'd really like to pick Lieberman, but in the end he'll cave to those who want a more traditional choice. That's why I say it falls back to Charlie Crist as the runningmate." Why Crist more than one of the other names? "Crist's endorsement, when Romney was flying up McCain's ass in the polls, and possibly had passed him in Florida in that last weekend, was the single turning point that made McCain the nominee. But for Charlie Crist, McCain would not be our nominee." What about the rumors that Crist is gay or too much of a centrist? "Who cares what he stands for because he delivered for McCain in the primary. Charlie would put Florida safely in the Republican column in November. As to the gay rumors, that's just a lot of insider stuff. Most Americans -- and most Floridians -- have never heard the rumors and really don't want to hear the rumors. Charlie says he isn't gay, nobody has proven otherwise, and the public will accept him at his word ... I have no idea if he is or isn't, but the public just doesn't want to hear this stuff."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Obama Won March

March has served as a microcosm of the entire campaign. Clinton won in large primary states ,including a sizable win in Ohio, while Obama carried the caucuses and netted more total victories (Clinton: OH, TX-P, RI; Obama: TX-C, VT, WY, MS). In terms of pledged delegates, Obama won, barely, by a count of 206-204. Also, according to DemConWatch, he's netted 16 superdelegates in March compared to only 4 for Clinton.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why SurveyUSA is Cool

They recently released general election match-ups (among RVs, not LVs, but that's typical this early) in EACH STATE for both Obama and Clinton.

To the numbers!

Obama vs. McCain

DEM BASE (163)
D.C. (3)
Vermont (3) Obama 63% McCain 29%, +34
Hawaii (4) Obama 61% McCain 31%, +30
Illinois (21) Obama 60% McCain 31%, +29
Connecticut (7) Obama 55% McCain 34%, +21
Rhode Island (4) Obama 53% McCain 38%, +15
Maine (4) Obama 53% McCain 39%, +14
New York (31) Obama 52% McCain 38%, +14
Washington (11) Obama 52% McCain 38% +14
Maryland (10) Obama 53% McCain 40%, +13
California (55) Obama 51% McCain 40%, +11
Wisconsin (10) Obama 51% McCain 40%, +11

Ohio (20) Obama 50% McCain 40%, +10
Colorado (9) Obama 50% McCain 41%, +9
Delware (3) Obama 50% McCain 41%, +9
Iowa (7) Obama 50% McCain 41%, +9
Oregon (7) Obama 49% McCain 41%, +8
Massachusetts (12) Obama 49% McCain 42%, +7
Minnesota (10) Obama 49% McCain 42%, +7
New Mexico (5) Obama 50% McCain 43%, +7

Nevada (5) Obama 46% McCain 41%, +5
North Dakota (3) Obama 46% McCain 42%, +4
New Hampshire (4) Obama 46% McCain 44%, +2
Michigan (17) Obama 46% McCain 45%, +1
Virginia (13) Obama 47% McCain 47%, Even/D
New Jersey (15) McCain 43% Obama 43%, Even/R
Texas (34) McCain 47% Obama 46%, -1
Florida (27) McCain 47% Obama 45%, -2
North Carolina (15) McCain 47% Obama 45%, -2
Nebraska (5) McCain 45% Obama 42%, -3
South Carolina (8) McCain 48% Obama 45%, -3
South Dakota (3) McCain 47% Obama 43%, -4
Alaska (3) McCain 48% Obama 43%, -5
Pennsylvania (21) McCain 47% Obama 42%, -5

Missouri (11) McCain 48% Obama 42%, -6
Montana (3) McCain 47% Obama 39%, -8
Indiana (11) McCain 50% Obama 41%, -9
Kansas (6) McCain 50% Obama 41%, -9

Utah (5) McCain 50% Obama 39%, -11
Arizona (10) McCain 51% Obama 39%, -12
Georgia (15) McCain 54% Obama 41%, -13
Idaho (4) McCain 52% Obama 39%, -13
Mississippi (6) McCain 54% Obama 41%, -13
Alabama (9) McCain 54% Obama 40%, -14
Louisiana (9) McCain 54% Obama 39%, -15
Tennesse (11) McCain 54% Obama 38%, -16
West Virginia (5) McCain 53% Obama 35%, -18
Wyoming (3) McCain 54% Obama 34%, -19
Arkansas (6) McCain 53% Obama 33%, -20
Kentucky (8) McCain 54% Obama 33%, -21
Oklahoma (7) McCain 57% Obama 34%, -23

Clinton vs. McCain

D.C (3)
New York (31) Clinton 55% McCain 33%, +22
Massachusetts (12) Clinton 55% McCain 37%, +18
Rhode Island (4) Clinton 54% McCain 37%, +17
Arkansas (6) Clinton 51% McCain 40%, +11
Illinois (21) Clinton 48% McCain 37%, +11

California (55) Clinton 50% McCain 40%, +10
Connecticut (7) Clinton 50% McCain 40%, +10
Ohio (20) Clinton 50% McCain 40%, +10
Vermont (3) Clinton 49% McCain 39%, +10
Florida (27) Clinton 51% McCain 42%, +9
Maryland (10) Clinton 49% McCain 40%, +9
Maine (4) Clinton 48% McCain 42%, +6

Delaware (3) Clinton 46% McCain 41%, +5
New Jersey (15) Clinton 47% McCain 42%, +5
West Virginia (5) Clinton 47% McCain 42%, +5
Hawaii (4) Clinton 43% McCain 39%, +4
Minnesota (10) Clinton 47% McCain 43%, +4
Wisconsin (10) Clinton 48% McCain 44%, +4
Pennsylvania (21) Clinton 47% McCain 46%, +1
New Mexico (5) Clinton 47% McCain 47%, Even/D
Michigan (17) McCain 44% Clinton 44%, Even/R
Tennessee (11) McCain 46% Clinton 46%, Even/R
Washington (11) McCain 46%, Clinton 44%, -2
Missouri (11) McCain 48% Clinton 44%, -4
Iowa (7) McCain 46% Clinton 41%, -5
Oregon (7) McCain 48% Clinton 43%, -15

Colorado (9) McCain 48% Clinton 42%, -6
South Carolina (8) McCain 48% Clinton 42%, -6
Texas (34) McCain 49% Clinton 42%, -7
Nevada (5) McCain 49% Clinton 41%, -8
New Hampshire (4) McCain 49% Clinton 41%, -8
North Carolina (15) McCain 49% Clinton 41%, -8
Oklahoma (7) McCain 50% Clinton 42%, -8
Kansas (6) McCain 51% Clinton 42%, -9
Kentucky (8) McCain 50% Clinton 41%, -9
Mississippi (6) McCain 51% Clinton 42%, -9
Alabama (9) McCain 51% Clinton 41%, -10
Louisiana (9) McCain 51% Clinton 41%, -10
Virginia (13) McCain 50% Clinton 40%, -15

South Dakota (3) McCain 52% Clinton 40%, -12
Arizona (10) McCain 54% Clinton 39%, -15
Indiana (11) McCain 53% Clinton 36%, -17
North Dakota (3) McCain 54% Clinton 35%, -19
Montana (3) McCain 53% Clinton 33%, -20
Georgia (15) McCain 56% Clinton 35%, -21
Alaska (3) McCain 56% Clinton 34%, -22
Nebraska (5) McCain 57% Clinton 30%, -27
Wyoming (3) McCain 61% Clinton 28%, -33
Idaho (4) McCain 63% Clinton 27%, -36
Utah (5) McCain 65% Clinton 27%, -38

Friday, March 7, 2008

Should We Do Wyo. and/or Miss. Picks?

I'll leave that up to you guys. If anybody doesn't think Obama is going to win both races, let me know and I'll take picks. Otherwise, we'll hold off until Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


CNNs exits show a tight race in Ohio. Depending on the question you use to come up with an aggregate, it's somewhere between a tie and a 4-point Clinton lead.

CBS exits show the same thing.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Let's just go Texas and Ohio Dems. Everything else looks settled. These are a little bigger than most picks, so I'll make them 30 points each (that's about what they would have been on Super Tuesday). As a reminder, the picks are for the popular vote, not the delegate allocation. In Texas, that just means the winner of the primary.