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It's the last Digest of the year!

9:54 AM PT: KY-Gov: The future of the Kentucky Democratic Party sure looks... unusual. Democrats control almost every statewide elected position and have a bumper crop of strong candidates, but because winning on the federal level is so difficult, just about everyone is looking to move up via the governor's mansion. That should create a titanic primary in 2015 when the seat is open, and now you can add one more name to the long list of possibles: state House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who—in some rather atypical phrasing—says he's "not necessarily" interested in running for governor. I guess that means he is potentially interested, though. For a comprehensive list of names on both sides, click through the link.

10:02 AM PT: LA-Sen: It's a pretty vague quote, but I can't imagine we've seen the last of a young true believer like Jeff Landry. The outgoing one-term GOP representative, who just lost a redistricting-induced runoff in December but is only 41 years old, says of his future: "I'll be available if an opportunity comes to promote conservative values." So I've got to believe that means he'll at least consider a challenge to Dem Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014—though of course that would mean getting through a Republican primary first. Given how much of a rogue  wingnut Landry is, Democrats would probably prefer to face him most of all, so if he gets in, I'd love to see Landrieu engage in some Claire McCaskill/Harry Reid-type ratfucking to help push Landry past the line.

10:07 AM PT: Maps: Here's a cool interactive, dot-based map of the 2010 U.S. Census, overlaid on to Google Maps, from cartographer Brandon Martin-Anderson. Every dot represents a person, so you can see very clearly just how dense the urban parts of the country are—and just how empty most of the rest of the nation is. Sort of like a pointillist painting, you'll need to zoom in way close to see individual dots, but the patterns are more interesting when you're zoomed out.

10:16 AM PT: ID-Sen: Hmm. GOP Sen. Mike Crapo says he won't contest drunken driving charges when he appears in court in Virginia in January, stemming from a recent arrest in Alexandria where his blood-alcohol level was well over the legal limit. But we still don't know what Crapo was doing when he got pulled over, seeing as all his colleagues had gone home for the Christmas holiday—and seeing as he'd always been known as a teetotaler, in accordance with Mormon doctrine. It sounds like he wants this to all get swept under the rug as quietly as possible, but I wonder if he'll have to allocute in some fashion when his case is heard.

11:14 AM PT: MA-Sen: On Friday afternoon, we saw the Democratic establishment—John Kerry, the DSCC, Vicki Kennedy—rally around Rep. Ed Markey at the party's standard-bearer to succeed Kerry in the Senate special election expected some time in the middle of 2013. Not long after, one of the top names still considering the race, Rep. Mike Capuano, offered a bristly response in a statement:

"It seems that the big names of our party are trying to choose our nominee for us. When I became Mayor of Somerville the establishment wasn't with me. When I became a Member of Congress the establishment wasn't with me. If I make this run it will be the same way—from the streets up, not from the elite down."
That's some big talk from Capuano, who is making an entirely process-based argument that has nothing to do with any ideological differences between himself and Markey. While I can't say I've conducted an exhaustive study, I suspect those sorts of complaints often fail to resonate loudly enough to make the difference in a primary (for example, see Andrew Romanoff's failed "it's my turn" run against Sen. Michael Bennet in the 2010 Colorado Democratic primary).

What's more, Capuano didn't perform well in the primary for the prior Senate special, taking just 28 percent of the vote in a four-way field, raising only $2.6 million in his losing effort. To put that monetary figure in perspective, Markey already has more than that in the bank right now. So if Capuano wants to run a campaign centered around resentment toward the establishment, it's not at all clear to me that he has the kind of track record to pull something like that off. Don't get me wrong: Markey could stumble, or prove unpopular on the campaign trail. But right now, if Capuano wants to get in, he'd have a lot going against him.

One other less well-known name is still weighing a bid, too: state Sen. Benjamin Downing, whose campaign issued a statement claiming that Markey's entrance wasn't going to affect his own decision making. Downing would have one potential advantage Capuano lacks: geography. Downing is from Pittsfield in the western part of the state, whereas almost all of the other would-be contenders hail from the more populous eastern half of Massachusetts. But that phrase—"more populous"—is key: There simply aren't a ton of votes where Downing hails from, and he'd likely need someone to split the Boston-area vote with Markey... someone, like, say, Capuano.

Anyhow, on a related note, there is one member of the establishment who isn't taking sides: Gov. Deval Patrick, who says simply: "I look forward to supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she may be."

12:07 PM PT (David Jarman): Ideology: Here's one of those topics where a picture really is worth a thousand words: it's a great graph from Voteview.org (the inscrutable keepers of the DW/Nominate archive), courtesy of the Guardian's Harry Enten that tracks the average DW/N score of the two parties over the many decades. There are charts for the Senate as well as the House, showing parallel movement, suggesting the polarization isn't just limited to the rigorously-gerrymandered House.

It shows just how one-sided the increasing polarization of Congress has been, as, since the early 70s, the Democrats' average score has stayed level (in the -0.35 range) even with the gradual loss of the southern white conservaDems... but the Republicans have gotten a little more conservative each cycle, moving up to at least a 0.5 (meaning they're significantly more conservative than the Democrats are liberal). There are probably a variety of explanations for this shift beginning in the early 70s -- the solidification of the bases after Nixon's "southern strategy," the very beginnings of the rise of the "religious right" -- but one important overlooked factor may be the first steps toward the development of a right-wing Beltway financial and intellectual infrastructure (in the wake of the Powell Memorandum), which was instrumental in instilling more conservative discipline within the Republican members of Congress.

12:19 PM PT: Polltopia: Okay, got something for ya: PPP has a "where should we poll" poll for their first 2013 survey. Choices: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia. I don't have strong feelings, but how about VA?

2:40 PM PT: Happy New Year, everyone! We're checking out for 2012. It's been an amazing year, but we'll catch you on the flipside!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 06:00:07 AM PST

  •  Empty Diary Joke (5+ / 0-)

    insert empty diary joke here

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 06:10:11 AM PST

  •  Is this a list of... (3+ / 0-)

    Oh wait a minute, it's technically not empty:

    It's the last Digest of the year!
    Damn it, David!

    Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

    by NMLib on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:22:32 AM PST

  •  LA-Sen Primary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, JGibson, MichaelNY

    There's no Republican primary. It's just the jungle primary with everyone running for the runoff election. I assume you mean that Landrieu should destroy any other credible Republicans in the jungle primary so that she can face Landry in the runoff election.

    The Pragmatic Progressive (IN-4); Economic Left/Right: -7.12; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.44

    by AndySonSon on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:10:54 AM PST

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      But if noone gets a majority, she'd most like to face him in the runoff. There's no reason why she can't ratfuck under these rules. :)

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:18:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I know (8+ / 0-)

      But it's not really relevant. The first round will act as a GOP primary because Landrieu is assured of making the runoff. I'm just not gonna delve into an explanation of the jungle primary every single time the race comes up.

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

      by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:29:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagreed (0+ / 0-)

        I think Mary's best chance to win is to win outright in a jungle primary.

        Black turnout is ABYSMAL in this state during runoff elections, although if anyone can get them to turnout it is the Landrieus.

        If she were in a runoff with Cassidy, I wouldn't feel great about it, although it's still winnable. A runoff with Fleming or, even better, with Landry would be much easier.

        21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

        by Stephen Schmitz on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:38:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  she should run against him in the primary (0+ / 0-)

      to elevate him and perhaps help her avoid a runoff.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:32:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I couldn't imagine a scenario in Louisiana... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      ...in which a second Democrat were to get enough votes to force a runoff between Landrieu and another Democrat. If, by some odd occurrence, that actually happened, the NRSC and the Louisiana GOP would NEVER be able to live that down!

      Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee is a BFD!

      by DownstateDemocrat on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:50:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you mean (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DownstateDemocrat, MichaelNY

        like what happened in CA31?

        does lightning strike twice?

        •  Basically a reverse of the CA-31 scenario (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Instead of two Republicans making the top two in a Democratic-leaning congressional district in California, two Democrats make the top two in a statewide race in Louisiana...I highly doubt that would happen, but it's not completely out of the question...It would require another Democrat get enough support to get into the top two, and several top-tier Republicans would have to split the GOP vote many ways in the blanket primary.

          Elizabeth Warren on the Senate Banking Committee is a BFD!

          by DownstateDemocrat on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:41:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would have to be more akin to (0+ / 0-)

            what almost happened in CA-08. The turnout differential simply favors Republicans too much. Republicans pulled a combined 52% in the CA-31 primary, but it's difficult to imagine a Republican getting 52% in that district in a hypothetical D vs. R general.

            Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

            by sapelcovits on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:09:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LA different than CA (0+ / 0-)

              In LA, if you win 50% +1, you win outright. In CA, you can win 99% of the vote in the jungle primary and still have to run in the general.

              Louisiana elections are more of a jungle election than a primary. A second election in LA is not guaranteed.

              21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

              by Stephen Schmitz on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:40:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Damn... (3+ / 0-)

    Comparing the number of people on the east coast to the number of people on the west coast is awesome. I always forget how, outside of the west coast, how deserted the western part of the US really is.

    Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

    by NMLib on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:19:06 AM PST

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Nir, NMLib, JBraden

      If you really think about it, there are three distinct "regions":

      1. The eastern section, extending from the Atlantic Ocean until Interstate 35, with population density gradually declining on average the further west you travel.

      2. At Interstate 35, the population density suddenly plummets and you are left with basically wide open spaces with a few intermittent population centers (El Paso, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Denver, Las Vegas, Boise, Tucson, Spokane, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City being the ones that stick out on the map, with the smattering of cities - the Missoula to especially, oddly, Kalispell corridor - in Western Montana also noticeable).

      3. And then the Western Seaboard which has four major population centers (SoCal, NorCal, Central Valley, and Portland to Seattle), but is generally sparse between these major groupings.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:30:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not regions (0+ / 0-)

        I'd rather go with "sections".

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:33:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting way of looking at it (0+ / 0-)

        Particularly #2 (I'm definitely not up on my interstate highway numbers, so I had to look that one up). Do you think the rough approximation with I-35 is meaningful, or is it just coincidence?

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

        by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:34:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Coincidence (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think there's anything particularly meaningful about it specifically, just that it happens to be very specifically where the population density suddenly "drops". It doesn't matter if you're passing the highway going west through Austin or through Minneapolis; the moment that you pass it the population density plummets.

          The only exception to this is Omaha, which quite definitely fits more naturally with the eastern section that the middle section. But even it is only a hop skip and jump past the 35 corridor.

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:40:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BeloitDem, wwmiv

            Do you know have a rough grid of the interstate system in your head? I mean, do you look at a map like this and say, "Oh yeah, that's roughly where I-35 is"? Or do you open up a tab with a highway map?

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

            by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:43:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              Given that I've lived for the last 10 years along the 35 corridor in Austin and then San Antonio, and the very high profile bridge collapse in the Twin Cities a few years ago, it's really up there in my mind. There's also the fact that it is the chief NAFTA trade route.

              I basically know the routes of it and Interstate 10. Beyond that I couldn't tell you anything about the interstate grid numbers other than the rules by which they get their numbers and the general layout (which I could probably draw you on a piece of paper... just, again, without labeling them).

              23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

              by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:52:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The road follows the people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          The disperation of the people was roughly similar back when the Interstate system was created.  I-35 is just the road that kinda marks where population grew to in the 1800s before people started going all the way to California rather than just going to the next open space.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:23:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, but that's almost beside the point. There's no reason why the road had to almost exactly match that path. It could have gone any number of other ways to other areas of people.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:34:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, it went where the people are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JohnnyBoston

              It's no coincidence at all.

              The 35 goes through Des Moines to directly connect the Twin Cities with Kansas City.  It would have never went anywhere else.

              Then Omaha is connected to the 35 via the 80.

              That's the point of the interstates.  You wouldn't need to population map posted today to know where the population centers are, just follow the Interstates.

              Likewise, I-15 goes from san Diego to Las vegas to Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls to Butte.

              The Interstates connect the dots north to south, and east to west efficiently.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 01:20:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen

                What I'm saying is that it wasn't pre-ordained that 35 would go from Minneapolis to Des Moines. It could have very well gone from Minneapolis to Omaha directly, as Omaha was larger at that time.

                As for other examples, Austin was a tiny city when the interstate was built in Texas. It could have easily gone to, for example, San Angelo and then to Dallas instead. Or 35 could have bypassed both Austin and San Antonio for Houston (completely erasing the need for I-45).

                You're looking at the populations with a modern lens. Besides, just because they have populations does not mean the only possible means of connection is the way the current highway system is set up. There are many other legitimate layouts to connect the major cities. I.E. it was pre-ordained that a single highway would so perfectly match the edge of population density.

                23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 01:38:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, you are ignoring 1950s (and before) (0+ / 0-)

                  The 35 runs from the Twin Cities to Dallas, via Kansas City.  You can ignore everything else, and just look at the map of that journey.  There is little population to the west of the 35, and lots of small and middling cities to the east.

                  The 35 doesn't go though Omaha because it makes no sense to.  The more minor I-29 goes through Omaha from Kansas City, on a similar journey up through Sioux City, Sioux Falls , Fargo and Grand Forks.

                  It would make no sense to make drivers from KC to divert all the way over to Omaha to get to the Twin Cities.  Instead you get to Omaha via the 80 from des Moines or via the 29 from KC.

                  The I-35 is all about Kansas City.  It's the great metropolis of the middle of the country.  The main north south center of the country freeway must run through it, and KC/Independance was the literal jumping off point for far west expansion.  The country east of KC is a dot-based map fundementally diferent than the area to the west.  The I-35 follows that "border" from the Twin Cities all the way through to San Antonio.  To curve to Houston or Corpus Christi would be to ignore the mission of the I-35, to be the freeway that hits the east-west border cities in the middle of the country.

                  Look at where it runs everywhere, including going through OK City instead of Tulsa.  It deliberately chooses the westernmost population dot that it can.

                  Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                  by tommypaine on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:05:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  .. (0+ / 0-)

                    I think you're missing my point, by I don't care about this anymore.

                    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                    by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:21:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Nevermind, I do care. (0+ / 0-)

                    Interstate 35 was not built until 1956, and was not completed until the middle of the 80s, so we can really ignore that far back.

                    You also contradict yourself in multiple places:

                    It would make no sense to make drivers from KC to divert all the way over to Omaha to get to the Twin Cities.
                    Whereas you also say:
                    It deliberately chooses the westernmost population dot that it can.
                    ignore the mission of the I-35, to be the freeway that hits the east-west border cities in the middle of the country.
                    You can't both have the chief goal to "hit the big cities" as well as "hit the cities that are westernmost" AND have to make sense for drivers for mileage.

                    If we're talking the need to connect Dallas, Kansas City, and the Twin Cities as the most important angle, the best and most obvious route would have been to go from Dallas to Tulsa, to Kansas City, and then up directly to the Twin Cities. OR if the west is the most important thing then to go from Dallas, to OKC, to Wichita Falls, to Omaha and then directly to the Twin Cities. But they, instead, combined the two options with a disjointed connection between Wichita Falls and Kansas City, adding much mileage to the route.

                    What I'm getting at is that the highway route was chosen out of many different possible alternative routes none of which was "pre-ordained" despite your post hoc ergo propter hoc rationalizations. There very well could have been many different alternative routes where one medium sized city a hundred miles off was chosen instead.

                    We actually see this in battles for new interstate highway designations today. Getting a big highway is very beneficial for a city. Look, for instance, at the possible routes that the new Interstate 69 in Texas, which could pass through any number of medium sized cities that are nearby each other. The population in principle, yes, is a precondition, but the specific populations chosen and linked together in very specific ways is not just about "well the population is there so it had to be that way". It so very well certainly did not have to be that way.

                    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                    by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:38:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  A quick geography lesson. (7+ / 0-)

        The line that you refer to as being approximately I-35 is actually the point where the land to west ceases to get ~10 inches or more of precipitation  per year. East of the line dry land farming is possible. To the west is prairie where irrigation is required to grow crops.

        The vast majority of the population west of there is along rivers such as: The Platte, Missouri, Arkansas, Columbia, Snake, Salt, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Rio Grande, Colorado, Provo, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc...

        The point map is extremely impressive from a technical point of view. He allocated the population in the blocks based on the borders of the US Census "Place" aka "CDPs" the population was based in.
          The map makes it very easy to see errors in the census where population within a large block is spread out when its actually quite concentrated or the population is assigned to totally the wrong block.

    •  Almost half the country (6+ / 0-)

      Is in the Eastern time zone, population-wise.

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

      by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:31:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yep, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NMLib, SaoMagnifico

      as I said in one of my last diaries, well over half of Oregon's population is in the Portland metro area.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:33:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Half of New Mexico is in the Albuquerque... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, ArkDem14

        Metro Area. I think the same is true of Colorado and Denver, and it's absolutely true of Nevada and Arizona (with Las Vegas and Phoenix respectively).

        Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

        by NMLib on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:39:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In Fairness (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NMLib, Adam B, davybaby

        Well over half of almost every state's population is in a single metropolitan area provided that they have a major metropolitan area.

        California, Texas, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Missouri are the only states that isn't true of (I think... might be missing one or two).

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:44:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  California (3+ / 0-)

          If LA/Orange County and the Inland Empire are considered one metropolitan area, then they are just under 50% of the state's population.

          For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37

          by Alibguy on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:48:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But they aren't (0+ / 0-)

            Although they may become consolidated into a single metropolitan area within the next five years. They currently satisfy the employment pattern requirements, but the development requirements have been just underneath what is necessary for consolidation the last few revision cycles.

            In order to become a single metro, they need to have corridors or urban growth which are at least five miles wide connecting them. Though the most recent revisions to the qualifications may make room for this to be fudged, because prior they did not take into consideration environmental blockage of urban growth (which can limit the width of development).

            When they are consolidated, it's likely they'll be considered separate metropolitan divisions a la Dallas and Fort Worth.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:56:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I was simply backing up NMLib's assertion (0+ / 0-)

          about the west coast.  Throwing out your qualification about "major metro area" I can think of a lot of other states which don't have such a high concentration of population in one metro area, just considering the size of those urban areas to their states: SC, AL, MS, IA, KS, NE, KY, TN...

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:53:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alabama (Birmingham 1.1 million) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen

            Kentucky (Louisville is 1.3 million) and Tennessee (Memphis and Nashville are both over 1 million) all have major metropolitan areas.

            Perhaps I should take back my comment, as Alabama and Kentucky, though with a single major metro, don't really fit into that.

            23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

            by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:03:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  NY finally certified! (9+ / 0-)

    After almost two months, they finally have certified their results and Democrats according to Dave Wasserman have a 1.3 million popular vote lead in the House races.

    https://docs.google.com/...

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37

    by Alibguy on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:25:45 AM PST

  •  65,899,557 for O, 60,931,959 for R (8+ / 0-)

    Semi final results for the nationwide popular vote for President. NY finally certified!

    https://docs.google.com/...

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37

    by Alibguy on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:28:07 AM PST

  •  Foreign elections to watch in 2013 (5+ / 0-)

    Foreign Policy has a list of eight international elections to watch.

    22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), new LA-01 (college)

    by Jeff Singer on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:29:24 AM PST

    •  I really do wish that the American left would (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inoljt, Taget

      take more of an interest in international elections and perhaps try to coordinate with those parties.  Obviously this would be rather contentious since the Democratic party is well to the right of a lot of the center-left and left of center parties elsewhere in the developed world, but in times like this (after a major election) it seems like there are plenty of liberal activists here with not much else to do so why not help in other parts of the world.  That and it just makes sense to care about the policy outcomes around the world if your party is invested in caring about the poor and disadvantaged since most of the poor live in other countries.

      NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

      by sawolf on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:46:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the American left doesn't even pay enough (15+ / 0-)

        attention to American politics.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:50:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Probably not a good idea. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Taget, MichaelNY, betelgeux

        People don't like it when foreigners get involved in their elections.

        http://mypolitikal.com/

        by Inoljt on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:48:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is they don't necessarily collate. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NMLib, James Allen, MichaelNY

        And the issues are different.

        One way to explain it is to look at how outsiders view our elections.  They will see the two parties and how they view say Iraq or Afghanistan or relations with the rest of the world and use that to gauge the United States.  When we rarely if ever vote based on foreign policy.  You can debate how much we even vote based on domestic economic policy.

        Or Israel where us outsiders like to pretend everything is about peace,war, and the Palestinians when there is a complex assortment of other issues and even ethno-linguistic considerations that swings elections.

        Above beyond that the spectrum is different.  The leftist parties in Europe are far to the left of the Democratic Party.  You can make a good case so are the centrist and conservative parties as well.  I look at say Nicholas Sarcozy and David Cameroon and I can only wish we had someone who held their views on universal healthcare and a host of other matters.  While I might want to change the skew of the current tax system I am not in favor of Francois Hollande's top rate of 75%.  A lot (though certainly not all) on the United States left would probably agree with me on that.

        I do think however both on the left and America in general we do ignore the political and policy debates of Europe, Asia, and elsewhere far too much.  What made America great is that we shameless pilfered and stole the best from the rest of the world.  Our founding fathers were not afraid to even look at Native American political structures (such as the Iroquois Confederation) for inspiration.  A far cry from the literal know-nothingism frequently seen on the right.

        The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

        by Taget on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:47:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think in Europe it's more complicated... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, Taget, MichaelNY, MetroGnome
          Above beyond that the spectrum is different.  The leftist parties in Europe are far to the left of the Democratic Party.  You can make a good case so are the centrist and conservative parties as well.  I look at say Nicholas Sarcozy and David Cameroon and I can only wish we had someone who held their views on universal healthcare and a host of other matters.  While I might want to change the skew of the current tax system I am not in favor of Francois Hollande's top rate of 75%.  A lot (though certainly not all) on the United States left would probably agree with me on that.
          They may be to our left on economic issues, but that doesn't necessarily apply to all issues, particularly immigration. Need we forget this gem from one of Switzerland's parties:

          Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

          by NMLib on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:05:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even on immigration there is a different debate. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NMLib, MichaelNY

            In the United States the issue is how do you normalize those who are already working and secure the borders and make everyone go through legal channels.  Us on the left here realize they are already tightly integrated into the economy and we cannot deport them even if we wanted to.  So the best thing to do to protect the wages of legal workers and protect the economy is to make them full citizens.  And try to penalize employers who are trying to pay sub-standard wages to undocumented aliens to encourage everyone to seek legal controlled channels.

            Republicans would prefer an expanded guest worker system where employers could sub-minimum wages legally.  And to throw everyone out who is not part of it.

            In Europe it's about invoking "asylum" where at it's most extreme anyone (often from the Middle East) could claim legal status by just saying their home country is rotten.  Leading to very rapid demographic changes which of course feeds the xenophobes.  Our views are not necessarily that of the left in Europe even if we're appalled by the open racism of the far right.   Of course few nations are at that extreme (and most were not even close) anymore thanks to reforms of their asylum system.. some of which were supported by left-wing parties.  But it is a different argument involving a different system that depending on the country would seem foreign and strange to us.

            Put us over there and we'd probably want to put in OUR system.  Despite the fact what we have now clearly does not even work in our own country.

            But I do take your point.  There are commonalities of interest.  And at the very least the arguments the left in the US and abroad face and return tend to be similar and there is room to work together on different issues.

            The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

            by Taget on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:59:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "stealing" is not quite stealing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Taget, MichaelNY

          when people from those countries often brought them here.  

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:47:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Foreign Policy is a GREAT magazine. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betelgeux

      If I had to pick only two general interest publications to get my news from it would be The Economist and Foreign Policy.

      The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

      by Taget on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:16:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  KY-?, Stumbo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, betelgeux

    Maybe Stumbo is interested in being Attorney General once again.  He's already lost one race for governor in 2007 when he ran as Lite Gov with Bruce Lunsford.

  •  A few more positive notes in New Jersey (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, MichaelNY, jncca, betelgeux

    that I overlooked.  They're all minor, but still interesting.

    Aside from winning back the Bergen Co. Board of Freeholders, Democrats also flipped the Cumberland County Board of Freeholders from 4-3 Republican to 5-2 Democratic in a blowout that defeated two Republican incumbents.  Democrats also got a seat on the Parsippany town council for the first time in 30 years in Republican Morris County (Parsippany being the biggest township there).  Democrats got real close to winning a seat on the Somerset County Board of Freeholders and the County Clerk there.

    Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

    by KingofSpades on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:49:03 AM PST

  •  I'm interested in Sapelcovits (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Taget, MichaelNY, betelgeux

    take on the recent Japanese elections.

    For instance Abe appears to have a somewhat more progressive, populist economic ideology and would be able to be more proactive than Noda. But on the other hand he's a real winger with respect to Article 9 of the Country's constitution, which is one of the most admirable and radical, humanist statements against war in any government in the world. And lately Abe has been playing up anti-China sentiments and seems ready to stir up more trouble. Not that China is innocent, what with their rampant demagoguery and attempts to create unity through nationalism partially derived from hatred of Japanese, and their double standards on property ownership.

    Japanese politics are impossible to follow. For instance Yukio Hatoyama, Taro Aso, Yasuo Fukuda, Shinzo Abe, Yoshihiko Noda and Naoto Kan have all been Prime Minister since just 2006 !

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:31:18 AM PST

    •  Japan is the new Italy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Taget, MichaelNY

      Of course, Italy went through so many leaders back in the day largely because of covert American intervention...

      •  This is nothing new for Japan though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Taget, MichaelNY

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:52:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also because it was just musical chairs (0+ / 0-)

        among the leaders of a more or less constant coalition of thoroughly corrupt parties in league with the Mafia, Camorra, N'drangheta, and other organized crime syndicates.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:57:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, OGGoldy

      I totally read that comment title the wrong way.

      You're interested in Sapelcovits's take, not Sapelcovits.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:35:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Out of the frying pan and into the fire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, ArkDem14

      Japan really has no good options now IMO. This election was basically the equivalent of 2010 for the DPJ, where they just lost everywhere. Given how violent the anti-Japanese protests got in China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute and how Japan and Korea are at odds over Takeshima/whatever the Korean name is, it really feels like Japan is just isolating itself more and more. For that matter I can't imagine the loss of business ties with China will be good for the economy.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:33:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For those of you collecting elections data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Taget, MichaelNY

    for your own spreadsheets, be careful if you're copying and pasting from David Wasserman's google doc.  While I'm sure the vast majority of the data is correct, I found a couple minuscule differences between his numbers and those reported by the related state Secretary of State's office, so just keep in mind his aren't 100% accurate (or the state SoS had errors...)

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

    by sawolf on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:32:59 AM PST

  •  MA-SEN (4+ / 0-)

    I really hope Capuano doesn't run. If he did I would vote for him. However, right now what the Democratic Party in Massachusetts needs to do right now IS CONSOLIDATE behind one candidate, and not let that candidate waste time in a primary.

    Moreover, it appears that the DSCC went ahead and endorsed Markey without consulting Capuano, which baffles me. That procedure wasn't handled right.

  •  Are there results available online (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, abgin, betelgeux

    For Ed Markey's first run in the old MA-07 in 1976? (Interested in primary more than general.)

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

    by David Nir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:59:58 AM PST

  •  Politopia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, MichaelNY, abgin

    Worth polling PA now, to find out how weak Tom Corbett is and whether Allyson Schwartz should take on that race as has been rumored.

  •  Gallup: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton are (8+ / 0-)

    most admired people of 2012.

    It's one of those rare open ended poll questions so a lot of names get mentioned.

    Donald Trump, who was apparently a finalist in the past, wasnt mentioned in this year's rankings.

    I wonder why.

    link.

  •  MN-8 (6+ / 0-)

    Looks like Nolan's successor of choice is Jeff Anderson. I don't expect Nolan to do more than about 3 terms.

     http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/...

  •  PA-HD-95 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, KingofSpades, David Nir

    Paging Longtorso!

    Eugene DePasquale has yet to vacate his state House seat and step into his new role as Auditor General, but York County Democrats have already selected their de facto nominee.

    Kevin Schreiber, 32, presently serves as the Director of the Economic Development Department in York’s Redevelopment Authority....

    The Democrats are getting a head start, having all but selected Schreiber before a special actually has been called.

    The Speaker of the House will detail the timeline for a special election soon after DePasquale officially vacates the office. Most expect that the election will take place in March.

    •  I forgot DePasquale was from York County (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't know there's a Dem seat there.  York County is pretty red, though not immensely so.

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:02:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Condolences to Rep. John Lewis (12+ / 0-)

    His wife of 44 years, Lillian Miles Lewis, has passed away.

    link.

  •  Hawaii (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden, MichaelNY, betelgeux

    I voted Hawaii in the PPP poll this week.  I am interested in seeing what the fallout of the Schatz appointment  to the Senate has been in Hawaii politics.  Chief amongst them has Abercrombie taken a hit for selecting Schatz rather than Hanabusa?

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:01:59 PM PST

  •  There are no primaries in LA (0+ / 0-)

    Election day is a "jungle primary" and if no candidate reaches 50%, it goes to a runoff in December. This seems to favor someone more moderate like Cassidy to face Landrieu.

    Barbara Buono for NJ Governor 2013, Terry McAuliffe for VA Governor 2013

    by interstate73 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:57:38 PM PST

  •  Mayor Capuano (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, JohnnyBoston

    When Capuano was Mayor of Somerville, one of his constituents was a Harvard Law student named Barack Obama.

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