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Leading Off:

WV-Sen: In an unsurprising move, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller declared on Friday that will not seek re-election in 2014, though he does intend to finish out his term. Rockefeller is 75 and would have been seeking his sixth term, in a state that's grown increasingly hostile to Democrats; West Virginia went for Mitt Romney 62-36 in the most recent election (making it Obama's fifth-worst state), and the president lost every single county.

But Rockefeller, too, had seemingly moved away from the political mainstream in his home state. Back in June, we took note of some extremely unusual remarks Rockefeller made on the Senate floor, castigating the coal industry for engaging in scare tactics over any attempts to regulate it. At the time, it seemed like a potential signal that Rocky was eyeing the exits—after all, you don't go after Big Coal when you're up against a very competitive race in a state where the demographics are racing away from you.

Whether that speech was a tell or not, GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's early entry into the contest back in November certainly raised the stakes for Rockefeller, given that she's unquestionably the strongest Republican candidate in the state. In response to Capito's move, Rockefeller sounded pretty unenthusiastic about saddling up for still one more race, so Friday's development was not unexpected.

The real question, of course, is what Democrats do next. Despite West Virginia's move to the right, there's still a strong Democratic bench. What's more, given Rockefeller's attacks on coal (as well as his lack of fire in the belly), this could be a rare situation where Dems might be better off with a replacement instead of the incumbent. No matter what, though, you can bet that DSCC chair Michael Bennet has been on the horn with potential recruits all weekend. Here's what some possible names are already saying in response to the news:

• Ex-Sen. Carte Goodwin, who, as an appointee, briefly served out the final months of the late Robert Byrd's term in 2010: Says he "was flattered to be listed."

• Rep. Nick Rahall, who only won re-election in WV-03 last year with 54 percent of the vote: Says the decision "has made it incumbent upon me to recalibrate all my decisions."

• Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis: Says she "will think this through very thoroughly."

• Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2011: Says she hasn't "ruled anything out."

• Ex-state party chair Mike Callaghan, who unsuccessfully ran against Capito in 2006: had said in November "I have an interest in running" should Rockefeller retire.

• State House Speaker Rick Thompson, who also unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2011: Says (via a campaign consultant) that "he's not interested in running."

• Ex-Gov. Bob Wise: Says he "appreciate[s] even being mentioned" but "want[s] to stay involved" with his non-profit efforts on education.

A few other names percolating include ex-Gov. Gaston Caperton, state Sen. Jeff Kessler, and state Treasurer John Perdue, the latter two of whom were both 2011 gubernatorial candidates. A longshot would be current Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, though thanks to a special election, he had to run back-to-back races in 2011 and 2012 and may be ready for a breather.

Meanwhile, GOP Rep. David McKinley, who had previously held the door open to a possible run despite Capito's entrance, says he's still not ruling anything out, while the Senate Conservatives Fund insists that they're "not going to stop looking for a conservative challenger in this race until the primary is over." Er, fellas, it's okay if you quit your scavenger hunt at the filing deadline. Oh, no, wait: write-in!

Undoubtedly we'll hear a lot more on this front in the coming weeks. And note that if Rahall were to jump in, that would create an open seat in his 3rd Congressional District, which would be an extremely tough hold for Democrats given how red it is (it went for Romney 65-33). Capito's House seat is, of course, also open, meaning we could see a lot of action in West Virginia this cycle—and we'll be there to cover it all.


AK-Sen: This is an amazing pile of crazy. It starts off here:

Alaska Tea Party favorite Joe Miller wore a bulletproof vest the night he beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to become the Republican Party's 2010 Senate nominee, his former private security guard told The Huffington Post.

"As we're finding out that he's winning, I'm in the bathroom putting a bulletproof vest on the guy," William Fulton said in one of several interviews this week. Describing Miller as "paranoid," Fulton said the underdog conservative was afraid he'd be targeted at election headquarters in Anchorage on that August night. "It was fucking ridiculous."

But it only gets better from there:
Fulton, as it turned out, was a federal informant at the same time he was providing security at events for the Miller campaign. Once members of an Alaska militia were arrested in a plot to kill law enforcement officials in March 2011, Fulton faded from view.
If you like reading about lunatic senatorial candidates, the militia movement, and guns guns guns, this piece is definitely for you.

MA-Sen: Two notable developments in MA-Sen on Friday: First up, the League of Conservation Voters, which proved to be a big force in Senate races this past cycle with some $14 million in outside spending, has just endorsed Rep. Ed Markey in the Democratic primary. They thus become one of the first big-name third party groups to rally around Markey, as much of the Democratic establishment already has.

Relatedly, state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who had been considering a bid, announced that he would not run in the expected special election. Downing lacked name recognition, but he was the only notable potential candidate from the western half of the state, which could have aided him if several Boston-based candidates split the vote. But no one other than Markey has yet taken the plunge, and it would have been an uphill bankshot (woohoo! mixed metaphors!) for Downing even in the best of circumstances. In any event, Markey partisans have to consider this good news, as the field remains clear.

P.S. Markey also nailed down two of Elizabeth Warren's top fundraisers, adding to what's already an area of strength for him.


AR-Gov: Here's a new potential Republican contender for governor: incoming state House Speaker Davy Carter, whose party just won control of the legislature for the first time since 1874. Carter, like many state legislators, held a second job (in this case, with a bank), but he just left that position. Perhaps it's because of the new duties he expects to shoulder as speaker, or perhaps it's because he wants to free himself of any troublesome entanglements should he decide to seek the governor's mansion. Carter was decidedly vague in a statement, saying only that he is "completely focused on the legislative session."

NJ-Gov: I never really thought this was a possibility, so this news is no surprise: Dem Rep. Bill Pascrell has pretty definitively ruled out a challenge to Gov. Chris Christie in this year's gubernatorial contest. Pascrell said he finds the notion "intriguing" but added that he's "not pursuing that position." Cagey language, but it's January and the election is in November, so there's really negative zero time for dicking around. And considering that Pascrell just had to wage a serious battle in last year's redistricting-induced member-vs.-member primary against Steve Rothman, I tend to doubt he's interested in another bruising race so soon.

OH-Gov: While her name had been batted around a little bit in classic Great Mentioner style, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton now confirms that she is "seriously considering" a run against GOP Gov. John Kasich in 2014, though she did not offer a timetable for making a decision. Sutton served three terms in the House before redistricting pushed her into a member-vs.-member race against Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, in a district designed to be as friendly to Renacci as possible.

Sutton lost, 52-48, but in so doing ran several points ahead of the top of the ticket (Romney carried the district 53-45). Considering Obama won Ohio overall 51-48, that's not a bad showing. Still, Sutton doesn't have any name recognition outside of her home turf—but then again, with ex-Gov. Ted Strickland taking a pass on a rematch, none of the other potential Democratic candidates are particularly well-known either.

PA-Gov: I never for a moment imagined that Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane would run for governor in 2014, and what's more, she even pledged she wouldn't during the campaign. Now she's reiterating that promise, though perhaps somewhere down the line, she could prove to be a very attractive candidate for Democrats, particularly since she was the highest vote-getter statewide in Pennsylvania last year.

Meanwhile, it looks like PPP leaked the GOP primary portion of its recent gubernatorial poll to PoliticsPA, which has the scoop. Gov. Tom Corbett has a surprisingly weak 54-31 approval rating among members of his own party, and only 45 percent say they'd like to see him as their nominee, versus 37 percent who say "someone else."

In a hypothetical matchup against Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, who has openly said he's thinking about going after the incumbent, Corbett prevails 55-11. That might seem pretty good, but Castor's name recognition is negligible—and he also lost the 2004 AG primary to Corbett by just five points. I think a Castor challenge would be very serious business for Corbett.

TX-Gov: Attorney General Greg Abbott's legal career has been less than stellar, but hey, it's not like Gov. Rick Perry is any kind of leading light, right? So it's no surprise that Abbott thinks he can do Perry's job—which is why he's reportedly been telling donors he will indeed run for governor. Abbott's been gearing up for this for a long time, raising scads of money in preparation for a bid: He already has $14.5 million on hand, compared to just $3.4 mil for Perry.

For his part, Perry says he won't announce whether he'll seek another term until after the legislative session ends in June, and the Republican primary isn't until March of 2014. A poll conducted last year for Burnt Orange Report found Perry leading Abbott just 42-35, and I suspect Perry wouldn't fare as well this time as he did when he handily fended off ex-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2010.

VA-Gov: Ah, I love it when a state's top law enforcement official advocates breaking the law:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee and a rising national figure on the right, told an Iowa-based radio show Wednesday night that opponents of a federal mandate for contraception coverage should be willing to "go to jail" to fight the law. [...]

Cuccinelli recounted an exchange with his own bishop in which he counseled the cleric to embrace civil disobedience: "My local bishop said, 'Well, you know I told a group I'm ready to go to jail.' And I said, 'Bishop, don't take this personally: You need to go to jail.'"

Virginia's Republican convention, when Cuccinelli expects to be coronated as his party's gubernatorial nominee, is May 17 & 18. Let's just hope GOP power-brokers don't decide he's too toxic to be their standard-bearer before then. Actually, given how epically disastrous their attempts to shove Todd Akin aside were, maybe we should be rooting for just that....

Other Races:

NYC Mayor: EMILY's List is making a rare foray into local politics, endorsing New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary for mayor. It also marks the group's first-ever involvement in an NYC mayoral race, though it's not yet clear what, if any, material support EMILY will offer to Quinn.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Political observers have long wondered what the Mack family would do if one of them left Congress. I'd seen rumormongers claim that ex-Rep. Mary Bono Mack "doesn't like serving in the House and will move to be with her husband in Florida as soon as she's out of office." I'd also seen rumormongers claim that ex-Rep. Connie Mack "doesn't like serving in the House and will move to be with his wife in California as soon as he's out of office." There never seemed to be any basis for either of these claims, but amusingly, both Macks' political careers are kaput, so will they wind up in the same state together? (Perhaps they'll split the difference: They also own a home in Colorado.) Who knows, but Mary Bono Mack is selling her place in Palm Springs, though she doesn't know where she'll wind up. However, she's quite certain about one thing: "I will never run for office again," she says in a new interview. Wonderful!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  WV cast of characters (5+ / 0-)

    can be sorted out with the questions who can get the most extraction industry dollars? Which potential candidate's politics are more in line with (and approved by) Joe Manchin?
    Natalie Tennant would like to be WV's first female governor and wasn't interested in WV-01 last year citing her young daughter.
    Jeff Kessler was barely noticed in the special primary for governor as was Perdue.
    Carte Goodwin is probably Rockefeller's choice.
    Interestingly the name not on the list is Anne Barth, Senator Byrd's former aide who lost to Capito in WV-02, but is better known throughout the state than some of the other names, except for Tennant.
    Most Progressives don't see much in the way of choices and are hoping for the entertainment value of a Capito vs. McKinley bloodbath primary.

    "Idiocracy. It's not a comedy, it's a prophecy."

    by wv voice of reason on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:41:12 AM PST

    •  My money is on Tennant (0+ / 0-)

      but Robin Davis could be interesting. She was just reelected to the court but its difficult to say how she would do in a 1 on 1 with a republican because of how the court elections are set up

      •  Mine as well (0+ / 0-)

        Can't hardly blame her for losing a primary to a sitting governor. And she has shown she can win statewide convincingly. I am in het corner tentatively. But that could all change pending polling results.

    •  Anne would be the best out of that roster. (6+ / 0-)

          Sadly, I don't see it happening but I hope I'm wrong. I don't think Anne could get the nod.  The filing deadline is a year away, but look for the monied interests to coagulate around Carte Goodwin. The Goodwin family is probably the most powerful familial unit in West "by God" Virginia. Stronger than the Manchins because they have a deeper bench (literally counting the federal judicial bench, Uncle JBGoodwin is a federal judge).
           I would expect the Goodwins to use the same playbook that Joe Manchin used when Bob Wise announced he wouldn't seek reelection in 2004 (due to a very public sexual indescretion). As soon as Wise left the press conference, the Manchins were lining up donors, supporters, you name it. The Goodwin family is similarly situated.
           It's a sad commentary on my state that we've sunk this low. Guns, abortion and the slow death of the unions have turned this state purple and trending red. West Virginia went for Humphrey in 68, Carter twice (one of six states to do so in the '80 Reagan landslide), Clinton twice and Dukakis. Now? Gawd.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:28:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't see the Club for Growth... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sacman701, jncca

      and other right-wing groups supporting David McKinley over Shelley Moore Capito.  Remember, McKinley was one of only four Republicans to vote against the Paul Ryan budget last year.  And that wasn't because he was of the Ron "it doesn't go far enough in fucking over poor people" Paul mentality.  He did it because he didn't like the cuts to Medicare!

      If there was somehow a way for the Club for Growth to actually support Capito in a primary, it'd be if McKinley jumped in.

      Um, anyone know what John Raese is up to these days?

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

      Goodwin the best candidate:

      Already served well as Senator

      Young, attractive, poised, very sharp, well connected Family which means the money will flow, Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller approved

      The guy has the makings of a Democratic star and that is why Manchin first selected him in the first place.  All the others have run and failed...Tennant for Governor in 2011 and Barth for Congress against Capito.

      I think the choice is clear for WV Dems.  I sincerely hope they don't go with Rep. Rahall and rather give former Senator Goodwin a chance to show his stuff.

  •  Rockefeller should resign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The governor could appoint someone who would be able to run as a sitting senator and have a better chance of holding the seat.

  •  Kerry for Senate balance of $1,305,581 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Per FEC records, as of 9/30/12 John Kerry for Senate campaign committee has a cash on hand balance of $1,350,581.  Before any of us are expected to dig deep to contribute to the Dem Senate Special Election nominee (presumably Markey), isn't it reasonable to expect that John Kerry should empty his campaign account and donate every penny to the DSCC and state Dem party to help in the special election?  Kerry's ego is driving this horrendously expensive special election on the heels of the recent national election.  He needs to show some leadership and donate his entire account balance to aid the Democrat who would succeed him.

  •  With any luck (5+ / 0-)

    Joe Miller will be back in 2014 for another round of getting his electoral ass handed to him. My hope is Palin comes out from under her rock too.

  •  It has been dismaying hearing the talking heads (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politicalceci, LordMike, wishingwell

    refer to Rockefeller as the last living Democrat in West Virginia.

    There’s tons of evidence that the planet is 4.5B years old rather than 4K years. True, none of the evidence is completely conclusive — but no evidence is ever completely conclusive, we never know anything for sure. Aaron Swartz

    by 4Freedom on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:15:56 AM PST

  •  Yes, news of either Mack running again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, bear83

    would be a miracle.

    As for the election news in Massachussetts, I can only wait and watch because taking Mr. Kerry out of his seat has produced a crap load of problems.

     This action reminds me of post-election 2008, when several good Dem Governors were taken out of their positions (Arizona, for example) and the states went into Republican hell.

    You'd think that someone would learn a lesson from that first act, right?

    And yes, I am especially worried about the fate of Dems in WV.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:19:26 AM PST

    •  Correction: either Macke never running again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would be a miracle.

      Early morning bleary eyes, 1

      Ceci, 0

      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

      by politicalceci on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:22:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. But if she hated politics for so long (6+ / 0-)

        why did she inflict herself on us all this time?

        And I just realized, her name is Mary Mack. Can the Monitor be far behind?

        When collective bargaining is outlawed, only outlaws will have collective bargaining.

        My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

        by pucklady on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:48:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes, I think it could have stemmed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from being the widowed wife of Sony Bono (who puzzled me greatly as to why he would be thought of as a politician). She was elected to his post after his ski accident.

          However, when Ms. Mack made her nuptials with her latest husband, a pattern started to emerge: being dreadful and odious herself, she matched the repulsive nature of her significant others.  In the case of former Reps. Mack and Mack, both made Congress a far more uglier place.

          Luckily both sets of constituents finally put their foot down and booted the both of them out.

          "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

          by politicalceci on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:59:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gonna miss Marcy Wheeler calling him "Jello Jay" (0+ / 0-)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:51:47 AM PST

  •  PA-GOV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, pademocrat

    One reminder: PA has no dollar limits on individual contributions to candidates; if some wealthy folks want to jump-start a Castor primary challenge, they can.

  •  I have talked to some PA Republicans who loathe (10+ / 0-)

    Corbett and they say they will not vote for him.  A lot of it has to do with this Sandusky and Penn State matter.  

    An old friend from college who is quite the strong Republican said....

    I know you will not believe me, But I think I would hold my nose and vote for his Democratic challenger if it comes down to it. I cannot stand Corbett. Mark my word, it is going to come out that he had enough evidence to arrest Sandusky 2 years prior to when his successor did so. I am thinking he did not want to offend Paterno who was  a big Republican in PA with clout and people listend to Joe  and also upset Penn State alum big donors.  I voted for Kane because she said she would investigate all of this. But don't tell my friends and coworkers that I voted for a Democrat.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:18:08 AM PST

  •  Another Joe Manchin isn't worth the effort. (0+ / 0-)

    We don't need another conservative on the energy committee blocking action on the most urgent crisis of our time. Is there anyone on the list who isn't a coal industry lackey?
    Coal has a lock on the political establishment, but that doesn't meant there aren't many WV voters who know better.

    •  If Democrats nominate an anti-coal politician (8+ / 0-)

      We will lose this seat handily, and be one seat closer to minority status in the senate.

      •  And on tough votes (0+ / 0-)

        when it comes down to a few Senators, Joe Manchin is on the other side. It's not worth the time or resources that could be spent elsewhere.

        •  It may not be worth your personal time/resources (8+ / 0-)

          But for the party as a whole, it is.

          •  No, it really isn't. (0+ / 0-)

            1) In the long run, nominating a conservative will only push the political climate in West Virginia farther right, and farther out of reach for the Democratic Party in future elections.

            2) You don't remember the first two years of Obama's Presidency? Conservative Democratic Senators blocked much of Obama's agenda. People got discouraged. Democrats stayed home in 2010. Democrats lost Congress. Did we not learn anything? These conservative Democrats don't help us pass a Democratic agenda on the big issues and ultimately they contribute to voter disgust with the Democratic party.

            •  As compared to enabling obstructors (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DCCyclone, itskevin

              And we got our caucus together enough to get the ACA passed.  I don't think the public gives a shit whether we're at 54, or 55 including Manchin, in terms of perceptions of the party.

              •  Huh (0+ / 0-)

                You don't think people noticed that the Senate quickly killed the public option? There was a lot of bellyaching online about that.
                Unions noticed that the Senate never considered the Employee Free Choice Act.
                Environmentalists noticed that cap and trade was never brought to a Senate vote.
                The LGBT community noticed that DADT repeal was never voted on until after the election in a lame duck session.

                Conservative Democrats in the caucus held back all of these issues. That's a big reason why the Democratic base stayed home in 2010. Reid blocked difficult votes to protect the conservative members of his caucus. A conservative in the Democratic caucus can do more damage than a Republican backbencher.

                •  How is that "more" damage? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DCCyclone, VClib

                  Between having a vote-we're-not-getting being a D versus an R?

                  •  Two scenarios. (0+ / 0-)

                    1) A republican votes against us and we get to beat up on how bad the republicans are.

                    2) A conservative Democrat votes against us and in the process gives ammunition to third parties who say Dems and Repubs are just the same, it spreads disgust with Democrats in general, and reduces voter enthusiasm which reduces turnout and fundraising. Conservatives inside the caucus weaken Democratic bills before they're voted on. Then Democratic leaders like Reid have to soft-peddle their message and not bring difficult bills to the floor to protect conservative Dems.
                    It hurts the Democratic Party and progressive issues much more than having one more Republican everyone can ignore or laugh at.

                    •  You need to realize... (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OGGoldy, itskevin, Woody, nextstep, jncca

                      ...that the lion's share of voters don't share your priorities.  Or mine.

                      "We get to beat up on Republicans" is emotional self-medication that doesn't win votes if we're not beating up Republicans on things voters care about.

                      Most voters, not just in WV but elsewhere, aren't anti-coal.  They're just not.  They're not anti-oil, either, even after the BP Gulf spill.

                      It doesn't help to beat up Republicans on those things.

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

                      by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:47:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  sigh (0+ / 0-)

                        But, it does help in WV to use a populist message and beat up on Republicans as the party of corporate special interest lackeys who won't stand up for the average working person. Sadly, we can't do that when conservative Democrats like Joe Manchin are showing that both parties are made up of corporate lackeys. Senators like him undermine the Democratic message and that makes it harder for all Democrats to get elected.

                  •  People knew Democrats had a Senate Majority. (0+ / 0-)

                    Voters couldn't understand why a Democratic Congress wouldn't pass the agenda they voted for in 2008. Part of that was the successful Republican filibuster. But, a big part of it was members of the Democratic caucus who blocked the Democratic agenda. Unfortunately, it wasn't just the conservative Democrats who got the blame for that. The entire Democratic Congress was blamed and that's how we got the 2010 Republican landslide. The entire party suffered for the actions of Senators like Lieberman and Manchin.

                    •  Gee, gosh ... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DCCyclone, VClib

                      ... he passed a massive stimulus bill, they passed the ACA ... problem is that the economy didn't recover and folks worried that we were spending too much.  Folks didn't hand the Congress over to the GOP to help pass Obama's agenda.

                      •  We lost 2010 because Democrats stayed home. (0+ / 0-)

                        Democrats stayed home because Congress didn't deliver on the promises of 2008. Congress didn't deliver because conservative Senate Democrats blocked much of Obama's agenda.

                        •  That's not what the data suggests. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DCCyclone, jncca, sapelcovits

                          For example, Sestak-Toomey numbers in Phila in 2010 were almost identical to those of Casey-Santorum in 2006.  What happened was we lost the suburbs in a big way -- swing voters swung the other way.

                          (I just re-posted it last week, so it's fresh in my memory.)

                          If you have contrary data, by all means share it.

                          •  There's plenty of data on this. (0+ / 0-)

                            You're going to spin this by isolating one race?

                            Young Voter Turnout Fell 60% from 2008 to 2010; Dems Won't Win in 2012 If the Trend Continues


                            What you're arguing is that the combined whining of the entire blogopshere and left punditry had zero impact on the electorate and represented the views of almost no one. Maybe that's true.

                          •  Young people didn't turn out. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            That's a different argument than the one you were making, and given that they did turn out in 2012 despite the President's not having accomplished any more of his agenda than he had by November 2010 ... well, you tell me what it means.

                          •  This is getting weak. (0+ / 0-)

                            I guess you're just ignoring the second link that isn't about young voters specifically because it doesn't reinforce your argument. And no, it's not different than the argument I made, because as the article pointed out, the young people who didn't turn out were mostly Democratic voters.

                            Many Democrats in Congress ran away from Obama in 2010 after blocking much of his agenda, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out why Obama supporters didn't show up to vote for Benedict Arnold Democrats.

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

                            They didn't show up for the better Democrats either -- Alan Grayson, Patrick Murphy, Tom Perriello, Joe Sestak, and Russ Feingold are among those who lost as well.

                            All that Nate's analysis confirms is that we had our biggest turnout gaps in the states where we invested the most in turnout in 2008. Duh.

                          •  That's my fucking point. (0+ / 0-)

                            First of all Feingold, distanced himself from Obama as much as anyone. It's no wonder he lost.

                            The entire Democratic Senate disappointed Obama supporters when they stalled most of what we asked for in 2008. The result is that ALL Democrats running in 2010 suffered. That's why conservative Democrats like Manchin hurt the ENTIRE PARTY. Get it?

                          •  No, I don't get it. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DCCyclone, sapelcovits, VClib

                            Because we wouldn't have accomplished what we did in 2009-10 without the bad Dems, and occasional Republicans (on stimulus), sucking it up and getting things passed.  Even if they weren't as good as we had hoped.

                            I think it's magical thinking to believe that voters really gave a shit that it was Joe Lieberman, and not an R, who denied the 60th vote for a public option.  Obama wasn't elected in 2008 with the expectation that we'd have 60 Ds anyway -- and we didn't until the Specter flip and Franken recount completion, for that matter.

                          •  jesuseffingchrist (0+ / 0-)

                            I think you're being pointlessly contradictory at this point but I'll give it one more go.

                            You want to focus on what did pass. It's what didn't pass that left much of the core Democratic base disappointed. That was obvious talking to any group of Democrats. It's silly to dispute that. Unions, environmentalists, LGBT, young people all saw top agenda items fail to get anywhere. They were given no reason to show up and vote for a Congress that didn't represent them and I've already linked sources showing that.

                            And you're right that they don't care which Senator is responsible for something not passing. All most people know is that they elected a Democratic Congress that didn't deliver. They don't know or care that it was the fault of a handful of conservative Senate Democrats. All they know is that they're disgusted, Congress failed them, they were given nothing to vote for in 2010 and they stayed home. Thus, the entire party suffered thanks to the Joe Manchins and Blanche Lincoln's of the Senate.

                          •  "Congress failed them." (0+ / 0-)

                            What you still fail to prove is your initial point: that it mattered that the votes-not-gotten were from conservative Dems rather than Republicans holding their seats.

                          •  Imagine this. (0+ / 0-)

                            Obama and Reid out campaigning for a bigger Democratic majority in Congress in 2010. They campaign for it because Senate Republicans blocked and filibustered too much of what the public voted for in '08.

                            But, Obama and Reid couldn't make that argument to the public. Why couldn't they? Because they both had to protect conservative Democratic Senators who didn't pass the priorities of the party's base. No one could credibly argue that a bigger Democratic majority would result in anything more getting passed because a 59 seat majority just passed very little. It mattered that those bad votes came from Democrats because it made it impossible for the party to pretend that Republicans are the problem. Therefore, Democratic voters had nothing to vote for except a Congress that was running away from Obama. What logical person would be motivated to volunteer or donate to a Congressional Democratic leadership that doesn't represent Democratic voters even when they have a large majority? All Democrats on the ballot took the blame and suffered for the actions of the conservatives.

                            Republicans took the strategy of turning out the base in 2010 and it worked out pretty damn well for them. Think about that before you dismiss it.

                          •  Our base turned out in 2010. (0+ / 0-)

                            Again: it was the less likely Dem voters -- new voters, young voters, etc -- who didn't show up.

                          •  Also not true. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't know why you're so invested in this fantasy view of 2010. I can't discuss this any more with you. This isn't an argument, you're just contradicting everything I write.

                            Fewer Voters From Union Households in 2010


                            Voters from union households are fresh off an election in which their turnout nationally was down significantly from previous years, and since they tend to favor Democratic candidates, that perhaps partly explains why Republican lawmakers in several states have singled out public-sector unions as a way to reduce budget deficits.

                            In November’s midterm elections, just 17 percent of voters nationwide were from a household that included at least one union member, down from 23 percent in the 2006 midterm elections, according to national exit polls.

                          •  Seriously (0+ / 0-)

                            Your argument that Democrats were voted out because people were worried about deficit spending is ridiculous. It's an argument in Washington that actual voters care very little about. It's also Republican spin they use to push their agenda of cutting social spending.
                            In contrast, the polling data on the Democratic enthusiasm gap in 2010 is mountainous. I find it bizarre that you're pretending it didn't exist.

                          •  Hear of the "Tea Party movement"? (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you believe it had anything to do with the 2010 election results or the enthusiasm gap?

                          •  The Tea Party is why Republicans showed up. (0+ / 0-)

                            That's a separate issue from why Democrats didn't.

                          •  Your point? (0+ / 0-)

                            Are you arguing that Democratic voters stayed home because Republican were motivated to show up? Because that makes no sense at all and I think you're just toying with me.

                          •  GOP showed up more than Dems. (0+ / 0-)

                            Dems stayed home because turnout is down in midterms.

                          •  So it was just a normal midterm election. (0+ / 0-)

                            There was no enthusiasm gap. There were no Dems disappointed in Congress, despite all polls showing otherwise, despite all the griping at DailyKos and everywhere else in left punditland, and despite all the annoyed union members, and environmentalists. None of that existed or had an impact. That's your argument. Bullshit.

                          •  Give me data. (0+ / 0-)

                            Pick a state which demonstrates that Dem base voters didn't turn out like 2006.

                          •  Already provided 3 links in this thread. (0+ / 0-)

                            Your turn to provide data to support your point.

                          •  Or are you suggesting (0+ / 0-)

                            that Democrats stayed home because they cared about the deficit? That's a new one to me so please, post the data on that one.

                          •  I'm sorry but your comments here are the weak ones (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            stevenaxelrod, sapelcovits, Adam B, VClib

                            Turnout dropped off from 2008 to 2010 because that's what happens in a midterm, always, and on top of that some of the 2008 turnout from a few groups was really some people who wouldn't vote otherwise who were excited just to vote for Obama...and he wasn't on the midterm ballot.

                            Yours is echo chamber thinking.  Thinking that everyone here shares with regard to legislating and governance.  But on elections you're just very wrong, most people simply aren't persuadable to your or my point of view.  What you see as "corporate special interest lackeys" are what most West Virginia voters call "my employer who signs my paychecks so I can feed my children."

                            It's critical in elections to understand that a lot of people just aren't with us.  That includes people who aren't with the Republicans, either.  Our point of view on many things is not a majority.

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

                            by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:18:33 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So the enthusiasm gap in 2010 didn't exist? (0+ / 0-)

                            This is a bold attempt at revisionist history. No Democrats were disappointed? No one at DailyKos for sure. Labor wasn't upset that EFCA got nowhere? Environmentalists weren't disappointed that cap-and-trade didn't even come to a vote in the Senate? LGBT voters weren't disappointed that there wasn't more movement on repealing DADT? You want to pretend none of that happened and that there was no special reason at all for the 2010 Republican landslide? Come on.

                            You're right that most people aren't persuadable. That's why you deliver for your base and turn them out to vote. Congress did not deliver on the top agenda items of core Democratic constituencies thanks to half a dozen conservative Senate Democrats blocking those agenda items. The resulting enthusiasm gap and low Democratic turn out resulted in the 2010 landslide. Ergo those conservative Democrats hurt the entire party.

                          •  The base showed up (0+ / 0-)

                            The evidence shows that it's the more moderate Democrats, and the non-ideological Democrats, who didn't show up.  Liberals who care about the same things as you  and me showed up and voted.  Other Democrats did not, largely because they were disaffected by the economy and also it's a lot harder to get motivated when one's own party has one-party rule, as Democrats did.

                            That you keep citing DailyKos proves my point about an echo chamber mentality.  DailyKos is a wonderful place, I love it, but it's representative of nothing in the electorate.

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

                            by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:19:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  many WV voters (5+ / 0-)

      There may be many anti-coal voters in WV, but there aren't enough to win a statewide election.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:51:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A majority in WV oppose mountaintop removal. (0+ / 0-)

        And voters there are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes it.

        I assume no candidate is going to run against coal, but that doesn't mean it has to be an industry stooge like Manchin.

        •  That's not true or it would've happened (0+ / 0-)

          Poll results on questions like these are often misleading.

          If this was a winning issue, Democrats in the state would be running and winning on it already.  If they're not, it's because they know better.

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

          by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:20:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lol (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure I can explain in this space how coal country politics work. The short version is that the coal industry and its allies buy off enough politicians, press and local leaders that the public are presented with no other options on election day. We already know that Republicans won't stand up for the people so all they have to do is throw enough money into Democratic primary races to make sure that it's always a choice between coal dee and coal dum.

    •  Howard Dean didn't think so (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, OGGoldy, stevenaxelrod

      as a key to his 50 state strategy was to nominate an appropriate candidate everywhere. Nominating an anti-coal pol in WV is like nominating an anti-auto candidate in Michigan or an anti-Wall Street candidate in NY. It is called electoral suicide. Rockefeller is the most anti-coal officeholder that WV has had in decades, and that is a major reason he is on his way out.

  •  I've long advocated (0+ / 0-)

    For West Virginia to be reunited with Virginia.
    150 years after the Civil War, isn't it time for reconciliation?

    Plus it would dilute the influence of ... well ... West Virginians in Congress.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

    by kmiddle on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:29:16 AM PST

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