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Leading Off:

House Race Ratings: In case you haven't seen them yet, Daily Kos Elections just published our inaugural House race ratings for the 2012 election cycle. Our complete chart is available at the link, where we've rated 107 races as potentially competitive (so far). While you're at it, you can also check out our Senate and gubernatorial race ratings as well. We'll be keeping all of these lists updated regularly throughout the election cycle, and every time we issue a change, we'll keep you posted in the Daily Digest, so stay tuned!


CT-Sen: Another strong get for Dem Rep. Chris Murphy: Connecticut's AFSCME Council 4, which represents some 34,000 workers in the state, just endorsed his bid for Senate.

FL-Sen: Man, the GOP is digging deep for an alternative to Rep. Cornelius Harvey McGillicuddy IV, the man who was supposed to be their savior in the first place. Politico reports that former Rep. Dave Weldon—a guy we haven't heard a peep from since he quietly announced his retirement over four years ago—is "seriously considering" a last-minute entry into the Florida GOP Senate race and will supposedly make up his mind in the coming week.

Weldon was an ultra-conservative member of the notorious class of 1994 (is there any other kind?), but he was only 53 when he decided to leave Congress and return to the practice of medicine (he's now 58). Still, he was never a spectacular fundraiser and after first winning office, he quickly became one of those guys who never really faced serious re-election fights, even though his seat (the old FL-15) had long been represented by Democrats until he won it. With the primary just three months away, it would take a lot of doing for him to beat Connie Mack, but the fact that some Republicans even want him to try at this late, late date is remarkable in and of itself.

Speaking of Mack, he was just busted for what actually looks like an egregious violation of franking rules. Franking is the privilege which allows members of Congress to send mailers to their constituents on the government dime—ostensibly to communicate about government activities but often shading over into campaign-ish turf. Usually complaints about franking abuse are kind of ticky-tack, but this one is a solid hit: Mack recently sent almost 60,000 pieces of mail to Florida residents who live outside of his district, which is directly prohibited by House rules. Mack is blaming his mail vendor, which for some reason is actually willing to serve as the fall guy here, seeing as they wrote a check for $18,000 to reimburse the federal government. (I guess they're expecting further work from Mack's Senate campaign.) Mack's chief primary rival, George LeMieux, is already making hay of this, but ultimately, this is just further proof that Connie really is the Jaws IV of Macks.

MA-Sen: A new survey from the MassINC Polling Group pegs the Bay State's Senate matchup at 43 for Democrat Elizabeth Warren and 41 for GOP Sen. Scott Brown. The spread isn't much changed from MassINC's last poll back in February, which had Warren up 46-43. The candidates favorability ratings have wobbled a bit, with Brown sliding from 50-29 to 46-33, but Warren saw both her positives and negatives dip, from 39-29 to 34-25. However, it looks like MassINC slightly changed their question wording, going from asking just "favorable" vs. "unfavorable" to a four-point scale that asks respondents whether their views are "very" or "somewhat" favorable/unfavorable, so the numbers may not be directly comparable.

NJ-Sen (PDF): It's evidently Senate polling day here at Daily Kos Elections—here's another survey (out of five Senate polls overall), this time of the New Jersey contest. Farleigh Dickinson University finds Dem Sen. Bob Menendez up 42-33 over Republican state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, but there's not much to see here: Back in March, it was 43-33 Menendez.

OH-Sen: Two new polls, one from Quinnipiac and one from PPP, both show the Ohio Senate race tightening, which makes sense, given that Republican Josh Mandel recently went on the air with a large buy backing a couple of positive bio spots. In Quinnipiac's polling, Mandel's favorables have gone from 16 to 30 since February. But Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown is also up with negative hits on Mandel (including a new one that just dropped on Thursday), so that also helps explain Mandel's negatives moving up from 12 to 18 over the same timespan.

Anyhow, in the head-to-heads, Brown still leads, 46-40; at the end of March, it was 46-36. PPP, meanwhile, has Brown up 45-37, tightened a bit from 47-36 in January. They, too, see Mandel's name rec increasing. Pollster Tom Jensen also offers a note of caution for Brown supporters, pointing out that there are more undecided Republicans than Democrats (19% to 14%).

And in non-polling news, what's been a regular theme with Josh Mandel has now turned into a running joke. Mandel simply won't answer anyone's questions about anything: On President Obama's American Jobs Act (a $447 billion stimulus bill), he would only say, "I'd have to read about it." Note: Obama first proposed this legislation last September.

TX-Sen: Here's a second poll in as many days from supporters of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst that's trying to swathe him in an air of inevitability: The Texas Conservatives Fund's survey (from Perception Insight) has Dewhurst at 57, with Ted Cruz far behind at 16 and Tom Leppert at 12. (The previous poll, which had Dewhurst at 51, was from the Conservative Republicans of Texas—really starting to sound like Life of Brian, I know.)

Dewhurst, as you know has to hit 50% to avoid a runoff, which he'd very much like to do lest all the anti-Dewhurst factions coalesce around Cruz in a second round. But I'm having a hard time believing these numbers, seeing as PPP had Dewhurst ahead just 38-26 (PDF) three weeks ago. What's more, PPP's also seen the gap consistently shrink over time, not grow. Of course, Dewhurst is on the air now and is better-funded than his opponents, but I'd really like to see another survey from a reliable source without any skin in the game.


OH-Gov: In its new Ohio poll, PPP also took an early look at the 2014 gubernatorial race (Ohio voters, 5/3-6, MoE: ±3.3%, no trendlines):

Ted Strickland (D): 47
John Kasich (R-inc): 40
Undecided: 12

Tim Ryan (D): 41
John Kasich (R-inc): 40
Undecided: 19

Richard Cordray (D): 42
John Kasich (R-inc): 42
Undecided: 16

Strickland, of course, is the former governor whom Kasich beat in 2010. Strickland ran a hell of a race, though, and in any other year, I'm convinced he would have won. Though he's now 70, he hasn't ruled out a rematch, and I would LOVE it if he ran again. But if he doesn't, it's interesting to see that Kasich pulls pretty much the exact same vote totals against two much lesser-known potential opponents: Rep. Tim Ryan and former state AG Richard Cordray, who is now chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Elizabeth Warren's brainchild). Obviously I hardly need to mention that 2014 is a long ways off, and a lot can change, yadda yadda, but I'd really like to see Democrats give Kasich a run for his money.

WI-Gov: Rasmussen: Tom Barrett (D): 45, Scott Walker (R-inc): 50


FL-18: Democrat Patrick Murphy is out with a new internal from FrederickPolls showing his race against tea party exemplar Allen West a dead heat, with both men tied at 45 apiece. The memo says that both candidates perform equally well among members of their own party but that Murphy has a 49-34 lead with independents—something he'll obviously need to hang on to (if not improve) if he's to push himself over the 50% mark. The poll also includes West's favorables, which stand at 42-41; Murphy's aren't provided because his name rec is undoubtedly low, but it's actually a positive sign that the race is so tight in spite of that. There're also Obama-Romney head-to-heads, which Romney leads 49-46, showing this survey, if anything, is a bit pessimistic, because Obama won the 18th by three points in 2008.

TX-06: Rep. Joe Barton is touting an internal poll of the GOP primary from Shaw & Company which shows him getting 62% of the vote, while "[t]he candidate with the next highest percentage of support came in at 10%." That presumably refers either to former Addison mayor Joe Chow (who's raised $160K) or security consultant Itamar Gelbman (who loaned his campaign $180K), though neither seems to have a realistic shot at unseating the incumbent.

Other Races:

NY-St. Sen: State Sen. James Alesi, one of four Republican state senators to vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York last year, will not run for re-election this fall. Alesi had lost support in some Republican quarters, and the Conservative Party had abandoned him, plus he was also looking at an expected primary challenge from Assemblyman Sean Hanna. It's not all about gay marriage, though: Alesi had also received a lot of negative press over a personal injury lawsuit he filed against a couple of homeowners in his district—after he had trespassed on their property and the owners nevertheless declined to press chargers. (He later withdrew the suit and apologized.) Democrats view this seat as a possible pickup opportunity, and Monroe County Legislature Minority Leader Ted O'Brien is set to announce his candidacy.

Grab Bag:

Gay Marriage: Daily Kos user dreaminonempty has an absolutely must-read diary in which he's aggregated a year's worth of Daily Kos/SEIU polling to perform an extended and deep analysis of our data on same-sex marriage. For those of you wondering what the electoral impact of Barack Obama's decision to come out for gay marriage might be, this post comes as close to an answer as possible—and the final conclusion is "there's no indication that the political effect of [the president]'s announcement favors one side or the other in the November elections." But I insist you read the whole thing, because you won't find a more sophisticated take on this question anywhere else. Here's just one of many important findings: "Black voters, while a little more conservative, are damn close to whites" in their views on gay marriage, badly deflating the notion that Obama risks losing black votes with this move.

NRCC: The NRCC likes to play a lot of games with its program for favored recruits (known as "Young Guns," no matter how old the candidate)—they constantly shift office-seekers between various tiers, generating free media hits with every minor tweak to their list. As a consequence, I've mostly ignored their machinations for some time, but today's an exception, because for the first time this cycle, they've added a group of hopefuls to their highest tier. All of these are pickup opportunities for the GOP except for CA-26, which we regard as a Republican-held open seat due to Elton Gallegly's retirement:

Jesse Kelly (AZ-08), Ricky Gill (CA-09), David Valadao (CA-21), Tony Strickland (CA-26), Jason Plummer (IL-12), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Andy Barr (KY-06), Richard Tisei (MA-06), Randy Altschuler (NY-01), Matt Doheny (NY-21), Keith Rothfus (PA-12), Mia Love (UT-04)
Ad Watch:

NE-Sen: Is Jon Bruning just providing himself with a bit of last-minute insurance ahead of Tuesday's GOP primary, or is he actually feeling some heat? His latest ad attacks both of his opponents: Don Stenberg over "accounting gimmicks" and Deb Fischer for supporting a "tax increase." A semi-sketchy single-day Fischer poll showed the race potentially up-for-grabs, but another recent independent poll had Bruning securely in first, so it's hard to say what the story is here.

OH-Sen: Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown's second ad, like his first, goes negative, attacking Republican Josh Mandel for skipping 13 straight meetings of the Ohio State Board of Deposit (which he chairs) and instead heading out of town for fundraisers. Mandel's absenteeism has long been the subject of many newspaper headlines, and it's all the more remarkable because he continues to miss meetings rather than put in an hour's worth of face-time to try to end the stories.

AZ-08: Two new ads from Democrats in the Arizona special election, and both use the same tool: Republican Jesse Kelly's own extremist words. The first is from Ron Barber's campaign (his first negative ad), mostly focusing on Kelly's stated desire to "eliminate" Medicare and Social Security. The second is a minute-long spot from the House Majority PAC (supported by a previously-announced $340K buy), which includes those remarks as well as several more outrageous statements on taxation. If you haven't seen these clips of Kelly for yourself yet, I encourage you to do so:

NY-01: I'd have figured 2010 nominee Randy Altschuler would have the GOP nomination well in hand, so I'm a little surprised to see him attacking his primary opponent, George Demos (who also ran last time), in this compare-and-contrast spot. After 15 seconds of positive fluff, Altschuler slams Demos for being a "liberal government lawyer" who only "rents an apartment" in Suffolk County "just to run for Congress." Demos's response was too amusing and biting not to include in full:
Demos pushed back at "Green Party activist" Altschuler's "caste-system condescension," saying, in part, "In the face of cratering support, Liberal Outsourcer Randy Altschuler rushed out a television ad attacking me for being... a renter. Apparently Altschuler thinks only people who own land should be allowed to run for office—an idea that our Founding Fathers rejected over two centuries ago....

"It may shock Randy that beyond the high walls of a gated mansion, tens of thousands of his new neighbors in Suffolk County rent, live in nursing homes, or have moved back in with family members because they lost their jobs due to his outsourcing. In fact, it was by shipping our jobs to foreign countries that Altschuler was able to amass enough rupees to buy his multimillion-dollar Head of the Harbor estate.

Independent Expenditures:

CA-30: Howard Berman's allies at the Committee to Elect an Effective Valley Congressman have re-upped their TV buy on his behalf, putting another $96K into Berman's primary against Dem Rep. Brad Sherman.

KY-04: It's small potatoes compared to what a 21 year-old college Republican can buy you, but a group calling itself the Americans For Growth, Opportunity and Prosperity has put another $26K into a direct mail effort on behalf of Republican Tom Massie, bringing their total investment in this race to $53K.

(James L)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Paul Babeu is dropping out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, sapelcovits, R30A

    per Catanese on twitter.

    (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

    by Setsuna Mudo on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:07:55 AM PDT

    •  "liberals have 5 to 15 years of tough road ahead" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      #1 I had heard this quote and they were saying that when the Supreme Court votes down Obamacare that this would be the case. I think that even IF it is voted down the nation now has the dialog started regarding helping EVERYONE with health care.

      #2 By chance Obama does not get re-elected, the United States now has moved considerably to the left on many issues that it would be difficult to pull the country hard right. It would be a shock to the system if tried and conservatives would pay for it in the end.

      #3  Hillary would have a fantastic shot a regaining lost ground in 2016 if this were to occur

  •  WI-Gov: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, KingofSpades

    As SaoMagnifico pointed out last night however I think the worst of it is that he doesn't seem to know what Divide & Conquer means

    (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

    by Setsuna Mudo on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:11:03 AM PDT

  •  Romney Bullying (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tk421, LordMike, Eileen B, eps62, askew

    Does anyone think that this is going to damage him even more personally?

    Pictures of him from back then that are being used in connection to this story make him look like a bully.

    22, Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (Taught; B.A. in Political Philosophy/Science), TX-17 (Lived); Left, right, back to the middle... Taste my skittles?

    by wwmiv on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:18:32 AM PDT

    •  Romney being kept on the defensive is good, (12+ / 0-)

      but I doubt this is going to have any lasting effect on how most people view him.

      I mean, and this is uninformed hand-waving on my part, I think that people don't really hold what happened in high school against a candidate, especially if he's running for office 50 years later.

      Unless it's Josh Mandel, since he's still in high school.

      •  It's more his response that is damaging... (10+ / 0-)

        Which is like, "Yeah, I beat up kids in high school... so what? I don't get what the big deal is."

        Three strong well worded statements from Romney would have ended this controversy right in its tracks, but his awful response has not only validated the issue, but elevated it.  The issue is legit now.  Romney was a bully, admits it, and has no regrets about it.  It's the latter that's the most damaging to his character.

        So, it's not about what happened 50 years ago, but how he's acting about it today that matters, and he's certainly validating the Romney stereotype of being cold, mean, callous, and uncaring.  It's a legitimate issue, and it's not going away for awhile.


        by LordMike on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:47:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He forgets the incident? (7+ / 0-)

          That's the part that appalls me.  Was Romney involved in so much really serious bullying that this one particular incident doesn't stand out in his mind?  

          We were all in HS and did inappropriate things.  I did not go to a forward thinking HS, but an incident of this level of seriousness never happened without serious consequences to to bully.  This is well beyond the pushing, shoving, name calling, shunning that is typical in most high schools (unfortunately).

          Romney continues to call this incident a "prank".  His only appropriate response (and way to make this go away) is something along the lines of this:  "I remember the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused this classmate.  Looking back at my life, my involvement in this incident is in fact one of  my greatest regrets."  

          Then the incident is over for him.  But to call it a prank demonstrates that he still doesn't get it and keeps it going.

          •  Yes, That's What Could Keep This Issue Alive..... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike, sapelcovits, itskevin, eps62

            It doesn't pass the smell test that Romney "doesn't remember" this incident.  It begs follow-up questions that will drag out this episode that would have been avoided if he just admitted he did it and apologized.  Frankly, if his memory is that lousy, why is he qualified to be President?  

        •  "Look, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacman701, jofr

          I feel just awful about that incident. I'm actually ashamed by it, and I wish I could take it back. Unfortunately, though, there are no do-overs in life, and so now I just try to live each day with integrity and respect for others.

          Frankly, I should have apologized to John personally years ago. If he were still alive, I would do so in a heartbeat."

      •  isn't going to help (10+ / 0-)

        The majority of voters don't like Romney and this just reinforces that he is an asshole.

        •  I think you're right on that score (0+ / 0-)

          but consciously, I doubt few voters will care at all about it as an "issue" itself.

        •  It hurts him, no question (8+ / 0-)

          The bullying itself isn't going to be a voting issue, but it reinforces all doubts about him as a person.

          Romney is in the middle of a death of a thousand cuts, and this is one of the bigger cuts.  Every cut matters, even if no one cut is necessary.

          Anything about your past that causes people to doubt your character hurts you.

          And yes, as others have said, his response is the biggest problem.  It would've been easy enough to say, "yes I did that, I was immature and had a bad attitude, I was wrong, and I'm sorry."  It would go away fast.  But "I don't remember" followed by a blanket apology for "hijinks" are just dodges.

          The timing is what amplifies the damage, that this has become "gay rights week" in the campaign, and Mitt's story puts him in the worst possible place of the discussion.

          What OFA and the DNC can do going forward is microtarget sympathetic voters with direct mail and other contacts about Romney's terrible record as Governor on anti-bullying and other gay rights policy matters.  That brings up his past without bringing up his past.

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

          by DCCyclone on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:54:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It doesnt look good for sure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Depends on how the media plays it though for how much damage it does.

    •  He's employing the Rove 2004 strategy. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera, dufffbeer, LordMike, eps62, askew

      Expect to hear nonsense about Obama being a bully as a kid.  

    •  A persistent character pattern (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, itskevin, eps62

      The Cranbrook haircut "incident" was just one memorable "prank" he pulled at the boarding school. Intentionally leading a vision-challenged teacher into a door was also this guy's idea of "good clean fun." Those two incidents would have been enough for most of us to be "uninvited" to a school with the waiting list that Cranbrook had and still has, that is (I strongly suspect) if your father isn't the sitting Governor.

      Combine those episodes of "youthful indiscretion" with the saga of poor Seamus, his management "style" at Bain and other financial outfits he's work with and I percieve a consistent pattern of entitled callousness.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:19:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, I don't think it will. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, James Allen, Audrid

      I mean he's still known for pulling pranks with his family, still.

      There are things people might do as a teenager that they would never dream of doing as an adult.

      20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

      by aggou on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:31:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and I'm sure we've all done things we don't want to be held to account for decades later.  It won't and probably shouldn't have a major impact.  Still, it was an egregious action.  

        Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

        by James Allen on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:43:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're being dishonest about what he did (6+ / 0-)

        That was a violent assault, not a prank, and not normal for teens.

        That would've been treated as intolerable violence when I was in high school in the 80s, a public school in middle-class central Iowa during the Reagan years when there was no sensitivity toward gays or peculiar attention toward bullying.

        It's not behavior that was normal for anyone when I was in high school.  We had a few kids who were "nonconformist" or "eccentric" or what have you dyed their hair and groomed it conspicuously or wore "weird" clothes or whatever else, and while there might have been whispers and giggles behind their backs, no one laid a hand on them.  (They actually weren't gay, any kids who later in life I learned were gay had stayed conventional in high school, since they were closeted.)

        There is a fair amount of reaction I've been reading online that amounts to arguing this is all "boys will be boys" stuff.

        No it's not.

        Here's an example:

        The passage that made me shake my head:

        The vast majority of high schoolers, as anyone who has attended high school can tell you, are pretty unbearable.  They can be mean, stupid, cliquish, insecure.  They blame everything on their parents, probe for signs of weakness, badmouth each other.  There is no such thing as a human being who did not make bad decisions in high school, whether it involved binge drinking or bullying a weaker kid.

        No, that wasn't my high school experience and observation.  And I speak as a guy who was bullied for my race.  But I was bullied by 2 guys in my class of over 400, in a school of 1300.  My high school experience otherwise wasn't at all that a majority of kids were unbearable.  Yes kids were immature and would say and do stupid things.  But they by and large were civil and got along and treated each other with respect, at least to each other's faces.  As far as the meat of the description in the blockquote, much of it applies to adults no less than to high school kids.

        All this is to say the excuses for Mitt are weak.

        Again, he could've made all this go away in a heartbeat by owning up sincerely and saying he was wrong and was sorry and learned long ago that was an unacceptable way to behave and treat people.  But he didn't do that.

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

        by DCCyclone on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, no way is it a "prank" (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sapelcovits, eps62, DCCyclone, NMLib, askew

          It's disappointing that aggou would use that term, even if it's one that Mitt is pushing himself.

          One of the other guys involved in the incident, who actually held down John's legs as Mitt cut off his hair, described them as a "pack of dogs." That's scary shit.

          Not a prank. An assault.

          This other guy is extremely remorseful about it. That Mitt isn't is a huge tell.

          •  That's just it, the guys talking... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NMLib, itskevin, askew

            ...participated in it.

            They're not claiming to have been bystanders and now just pointing fingers at Mitt, they're openly admitting their own guilt, and their own feelings of shame for having done it.  So what they're saying are statements against interest.

            aggou and a lot of conservatives are trying to whitewash this.  But there is no whitewashing it.

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

            by DCCyclone on Fri May 11, 2012 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Linn-Benton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audrid, supercereal


    Benton County, on the left, is home to Corvallis and Oregon State University.  It has among the lowest unemployment rates of counties in the state.  It's one of the strongest Democratic counties in the state nowadays, with Obama getting 64% of the vote, tying Hood River County for 2nd place as the strongest Obama county in Oregon.  Both are ancestrally more Republican, though.

    Inside Corvallis you'll find precincts that look a lot like Portland and South Eugene - deeply Democratic by enormous margins.  Outside of Corvallis the rural areas and small towns tend to lean Republican.  And while a precinct in North Albany went for Obama like 17-1 (literally only like 18 votes) that overall is one of the reddest parts of the county.  Corvallis has a house district to itself which is the 2nd most Democratic district in the state outside of Portland.  The rest of the county is split among other districts, if I recall, one coastal Democratic district based in Lincoln County (Lincoln and Benton were once one county, but Lincoln seceded when they felt the people inland were ignoring their needs), and one based in Polk County to the north, which leans Republican.  In congress, tis county had been split between the 4th and 5th districts, but in redistricting nearly all of the county was put in the 4th.

    Linn County, on the right, is one of the reddest in western Oregon.  Obama only got 43% of the vote here despite doing well in the biggest city of Albany and winning a few precincts in other cities too.  He even won the farthest northeastern precinct by a handful of votes.  In congress this is in the 4th district, and Peter DeFazio often wins it despite the strong Republican lean.

    Obama won much of Albany (no precinct by blowout numbers, but still), but in much of the rest of the county got slaughtered, even in some of the cities.  He did win some of the rural area between Albany and Corvallis, as the people there probably are associated strongly with the cities were he did relatively well.  Albany and its closest environs have their own state house seat which leans Republican by about R+5, and together with Corvallis' house seat they share a senate district which is currently D+6, D+7 after redistricting, and because of the ancestral Republican nature of the area is held by a Republican, Frank Morse.  The southwestern end of the county is in the 11th house district, which is based in Lane County in South Eugene and the peripheral areas of Springfield, and so leans Democratic fairly strongly despite the Linn territory.  The rest is in a largely rural district that stretches into Marion County.

    To give you an idea of how these counties are moving, Al Gore got 51% in Benton County, 38% in Linn.  John Kerry got 58% in Benton County, and 38% in Linn.  And as I've already told you, Obama got 64% in Benton, and 43% in Linn.  This indicates that Linn is hardly moving, while Benton is moving Democratic.

    Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

    by James Allen on Fri May 11, 2012 at 05:48:13 AM PDT

  •  I Think It Would Have Gone Away Immediately... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    R30A, LordMike, Odysseus, itskevin, eps62, askew

    If he hadn't tempered his apology by pretending to not remember the incident.  Claiming he doesn't remember it makes him look like the phony that he is.  If he'd just apologized, he'd be in the clear as the only people who would hold something he did in high school against him are people who wouldn't support him anyway.  

  •  Must be why he kicked off the campaign in Ohio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

    by conspiracy on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:07:47 AM PDT

  •  OR-AG: Rosenblum leads bigtime in SUSA poll (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tietack, supercereal

    52-27, story over at BlueOregon.

    Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

    by James Allen on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:32:24 AM PDT

  •  OR-AG: Rosenblum leading Holton 52-27 (SUSA) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    And I thought it was close, ref

    "I hope; therefore, I can live."
    For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

    by tietack on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:37:11 AM PDT

  •  how can I find out how my congresscritter voted on (0+ / 0-)


    House Republicans voted Wednesday night to bar the Justice Department from using any federal funds to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. They added the prohibitions to an appropriations measure. [...]
    Also Wednesday night, the House Armed Services Committee voted to bar gay and lesbian service members from getting married or holding “marriage-like” ceremonies at military facilities.

    "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

    by surfdog on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:41:42 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of the NRCC: Pete "Taliban" Sessions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    TX-32 had this to say:

    Bucking history and conventional wisdom, Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions — chief campaign strategist for House Republicans — predicted Wednesday that his party will build on its landslide of 2010 rather than lose seats.

     “The landscape in 2012 is exactly the same as it was in 2010,” said Sessions, recalling the unprecedented victories he helped engineer as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “The dominating issues are Obamacare, big government and spending, and the economy and jobs.”

     Democratic strategists scoffed at Sessions’ upbeat prediction. Less than two weeks ago, they noted, House Speaker John Boehner set a 1-in-3 chance that his party would lose its grip on the House.

    In turn, Democrats countered:
    "He should check in with John Boehner,” said Jesse Ferguson, national press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “When you’ve got 53 Republicans in jeopardy and your own speaker making a stunning admission that they could lose the House, you’re not poised to make gains.”
    But Pete is "giggling":
    "John and I have looked right at each other and giggled about it. … Good for him to help make my job even better,” Sessions said. “If I walk into a room and everybody just assumes that we’re going to win, it is difficult.”

    Now, just what is up with Pete?  Does he know something we don't, or is he bluffing?  Or are he and Boehner just "giggling buddies" who don't even have to speak to get the jokes?

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:42:17 AM PDT

    •  Ras jumps the 50% shark (0+ / 0-)

      Ras this morning has Romney up 7 and at 50%,  what the hell is being polled?  More worrisome to me is that Survey USA has Obama up only 4 in Oregon, a place he should be leading by a lot more.

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      Why do you have to call hm Taliban? Yes, his policies are repulsive, but that is just disrespectful.

      Furthermore, this subsite focuses on politics not policy.

      22, Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (Taught; B.A. in Political Philosophy/Science), TX-17 (Lived); Left, right, back to the middle... Taste my skittles?

      by wwmiv on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:45:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  politics v. policy distinction (0+ / 0-)

        The only reason I felt compelled to say that is bc of the Taliban reference (which necessarily references policy) not the content of the post which was fine by me.

        22, Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (Taught; B.A. in Political Philosophy/Science), TX-17 (Lived); Left, right, back to the middle... Taste my skittles?

        by wwmiv on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:53:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sessions kind of got himself labeled that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bfen, sulthernao, jncca, KingofSpades

        "Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban," Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. "And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban — I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."

        26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

        by DrPhillips on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:16:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, DrP (0+ / 0-)

          That was my deliberate reference and intent.  Pete deserves and imposed the moniker himself.

          Or, Pete "The Streak" Sessions, if you prefer, due to a college streaking "escapade" in which he was caught and reprimanded/fined/otherwise penalized.  I can dig out the reference some other time.

          It's NOT personal with me for Pete; it IS politics!

          Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:10:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  He's trying to raise money. (0+ / 0-)

      "We're going to have an even bigger majority after 2012!  Don't you want us in your pockets?!"

      27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:17:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TX-06 (0+ / 0-)

    Not sure what Smokey Joe is up to.

    62 percent in the primary against three unknown challengers, in an internal poll, isn't really something to brag about.  I don't know if Barton is actually worried and wants to hurt Chow's fundraising or what, but why bother releasing a poll of a primary when you're a 14-term incumbent?

    This just seems odd.

    27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:49:33 AM PDT

  •  I'd like a... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, itskevin, KingofSpades

    poll to confirm it, but I think ND-AL is probably just lean-R

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:51:48 AM PDT

  •  I don't agree with some of your house ratings (0+ / 0-)

    David, ignoring the top-line 2008 59-40 McCain margin, digging back into the past election results at the Congressional level shows that, aside from the 2010 disaster, this district has always had a D-lean to it at the Congressional level.

    In 2008 with Ortiz-27, Hinojosa-15, Doggett-25, and plugging in Obama's numbers in against Ron Paul-14 you have a tight 47-51 race.

    In 2006 with Ortiz-27, Hinojosa-15, Doggett-25, and Shane Sklar running in 14, the Dems had a 53-45 win.

    In 2004 with Ortiz-27, Hinojosa-15, Doggett-25, and plugging in Kerry's numbers in against Ron Paul-14, the Dems had a 52-45 win.

    The GOP base may dislike Obama, but Romney isn't going to bring them out to the polls. Farenthold may be about to skate through the primary (my god is his competition awful), but he is not beloved. A lot of the tea party types feel he betrayed them the moment he got to Washington. And the independents won't like his destructive straight party line, end medicare votes.

    This seat is going to flip D in the fall, Rose Meza Harrison is going to beat Blake in November.

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

    by DemSign on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:03:06 AM PDT

    •  that's misleading (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In most of the district you're counting results from entrenched Dem incumbents running against underfunded token GOP opponents. In the roughly 30% that was in Paul's district you're using presidential numbers, and presidential nominees almost always run well ahead of no-hoper House candidates.

      Farenthold is going to have enough money to run a serious campaign. He may be a relatively weak incumbent, but I don't see any indication that he's out of line with his R+13 district. Dems would need someone with the local popularity of Gene Taylor, Bobby Bright, Chet Edwards, or Jim Matheson to seriously contest this.

      SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:37:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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