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Leading Off:

VA Redistricting: Well, it turns out you miss some stuff if you take off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Inauguration Day—particularly if someone is trying to take advantage of the double celebration to sneak things past you. That's what Virginia Republicans did on Monday, though, ramming through a new version of the state Senate map on a 20-19 party line vote with minimal debate. Virginia, like almost every other state, already conducted decennial redistricting in 2011 (following the release of new census data), but at the time, Democrats still held a majority in the Senate and lines nominally favorable to them were drawn. But the map wasn't very good, and Dems wound up losing control of the chamber that November, with the GOP able to cement power despite each party holding 20 seats because Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would break all ties in their favor (something he's done a record number of times).

Of course, why should that be enough for Virginia Republicans when they can have even more majority! Thus came Monday's re-redistricting effort, which passed without Bolling because Dem state Sen. Henry Marsh was in DC for Barack Obama's second inauguration. (I told you the whole Inauguration Day thing was deliberate.) It's not entirely clear exactly what havoc the proposed new lines will wreak, but you can be sure they will only help Republicans. In the main, they appear to pack African American voters into a sixth majority-minority district in the rural southern part of the state, which would make surrounding districts less competitive and thus more likely to favor the GOP.

But there is some good news here: It's no sure thing that this new map will see the light of day. Thanks to Virginia's toughest-in-the-nation single-term limit, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell can't seek re-election this fall, and is thus a lot more immune to classic forms of pressure than he might otherwise be. He also likely has his eye on the presidency, which is why he criticized his own party in the wake of the vote, saying "I certainly don't think that's a good way to do business." McDonnell hasn't said whether he'd veto the plan, but right now, his silence speaks volumes.

There are also legal angles to consider. In particular, Virginia Democrats are quite insistent that the state constitution forbids mid-decade redistricting and are promising to sue. First, though, the state House would have to pass the new legislation, though the body is firmly in GOP control and presumably that won't be a problem. But McDonnell would also have to sign it into law, and that, of course, remains an open question. Whatever happens, though, we'll be following all further developments of this power grab very closely.

P.S. Democratic strategist Kenton Ngo has worked up some actual maps based on the text of the legislation. (And that's another sign of underhandedness: only releasing a description of new lines, rather than proper maps.)

Senate:

AR-Sen: Wish I could see the rest of this paywalled story from NWA Online with the lede: "Lt. Gov. Mark Darr denied reports in the National Journal Friday that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate and will announce his candidacy in April." That's all that's publicly available, and it's referring to Josh Kraushaar's NJ story that we mentioned in the previous Digest, which was somewhat surprising since Darr had been quite public about his interest in a gubernatorial bid, not a Senate run. I guess we'll find out in April.

ME-Gov: PPP's new Maine poll has news that's both encouraging and depressing for Democrats hoping to get rid of the odious Paul LePage. First, the good news: LePage is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, with a miserable 39-55 job approval rating. The bad news, though, is pretty bad: If independent candidate Eliot Cutler, who allowed LePage to eke out a narrowly plurality win in 2010 thanks to his second-place finish, were to run again... the same thing would happen again. Here are the results of various three-way trial heats with LePage, Cutler, and various Democrats:

• LePage 34, Michaud 30, Cutler 26

• LePage 37, Pingree 31, Cutler 23

• LePage 36, Cutler 29, Baldacci 27

• LePage 37, Cutler 32, Mills 19

• LePage 37, Cutler 32, Strimling 15

The best Team Blue can do is second place, which is where Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree both wind up. Other options—ex-Gov. John Baldacci, Attorney General Janet Mills, and ex-state Sen. Ethan Strimling—fare worse, and I should point out that none of these would-be candidates are actually running at present. What's so teeth-gnashy about this is how badly LePage performs in one-on-one scenarios:

• 36-57 vs. Michaud

• 38-53 vs. Baldacci

• 40-53 vs. Pingree

• 41-49 vs. Cutler

Tom Jensen says that Democrats either have to pray Cutler doesn't run, or rally around him as they did with Angus King's Senate bid last year and put forward an exceptionally weak nominee who doesn't split enough of the vote to make a difference. But I can't say I like plan B very much: For one, it allows Cutler to play hostage-taking politics with the Democratic Party, and for another, Cutler is actually the weakest possible opponent for LePage, according to these numbers. He doesn't have King's pedigree and profile, and even if Dems nominate an utter Some Dude, the race would still look pretty much like a tossup.

I'm more hopeful that a Michaud candidacy could persuade Cutler to pursue Plan A: sit out and let Democrats wreck shop. Indeed, Michaud has exceptional statewide favorables at 58-23 and, as you can see, a head-to-head would be no contest. Unfortunately, Michaud hasn't given much indication he's interested, and I wonder if he'd have a slightly difficult time in a hypothetical primary, given his conservative views on some issues like abortion. Here's what PPP found in a kitchen-sink environment:

John Baldacci: 28
Chellie Pingree: 21
Mike Michaud: 19
Emily Cain: 6
Janet Mills: 4
Jeremy Fischer: 2
Ethan Strimling: 3
Steve Woods: 0
Other/undecided: 16

Obviously, a field like this would never take shape—certainly I can't imagine Pingree and Michaud running against one another. But I'm a little surprised to see Baldacci, who was never terribly popular, in the lead, even if only narrowly; his favorables are underwater at 40-46, but among Dems, he's at 62-24. Michaud definitely doesn't have any problems with his own party, though: He's at 75-10 with Democrats, so I'm guessing Baldacci, who served two terms, retains the edge thanks largely to familiarity.

In any event, hope is not a plan, and Democrats will have to find a way to deal with Cutler. Perhaps they can terrify him into imagining what another four years of LePage would look like. Hey, it's worth a shot.

MN-Sen: I'll happily take a boring poll when it comes to Al Franken's re-election prospects. That's what PPP's latest indicates, at least, continuing a long series of results from the firm that look good for the freshman Democrat. On the strength of a 52-41 statewide approval rating, here's how Franken stacks up against a variety of possible Republican opponents:

• 54-40 vs. Rep. Michele Bachmann

• 50-39 vs. Rep. Erik Paulsen

• 49-41 vs. Rep. John Kline

• 50-44 vs. ex-Sen. Norm Coleman

Of course, Coleman's already said he won't run, and Kline and Paulsen have both refused all entreaties (wisely so). A Bachmann race would be simply epic, but the notion might be too crazy even for her, which is really saying something. However, if she were to run, she'd already have the GOP nomination all but locked up, according to PPP's hypothetical "all in" primary scenario:

Michele Bachmann: 45
John Kline: 19
Chip Cravaack: 13
Erik Paulsen: 11
Laura Brod: 4
Rich Stanek: 2
Other/undecided: 6

I'm sure Franken would prefer to run against a Some Dude, but... pretty, pretty please? Anyhow, here's a little side-note on just how dire the fortunes of the Minnesota GOP have become: PPP's Republican sample is an unusually light 275 respondents, even though they managed to scarf up over 1,000 voters for their general election pool. I guess not many folks are too eager to identify as elephants in the North Star State these days. Certainly Al Franken has to be happy about that.

NJ-Sen: Uh, I don't really think Frank Lautenberg is helping his own cause here. New Jersey's senior senator managed to score some pretty good sympathy points in recent weeks after the state's Democratic establishment decided that Cory Booker's unsubtle efforts to get the 89-year-old Lautenberg to shimmy off the scene were just too much. But did Lautenberg really need to say this?

"I have four children, I love each one of them. I can't tell (you) that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK," Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.
Also:
"He's entitled to do it," Lautenberg said of a possible Booker candidacy. "He'll have to stand on his record and I'm sure he won't be a lone soldier out there drooling at the mouth and wanting this cushy job that we have here."
Uh, say what? I'm really not loving this unfolding battle one bit.

NM-Sen: Please don't do this to us, Mr. President. According to unnamed, unquoted sources, the Washington Post reports that Dem Sen. Tom Udall is being considered as a replacement for outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is stepping down in March. This would be an amazingly disastrous move, since GOP Gov. Susana Martinez would be able to appoint a Republican replacement, who would then be able to run as an incumbent in 2014, when Udall's otherwise safe seat is up for re-election.

But really, I just can't believe we have to keep having this conversation. This is a nation filled with millions of talented people, and we simply don't need to deplete our ranks in the Senate to ensure strong leadership of government agencies. And the last time Obama went to this well to fill the job at Interior—to tap Salazar, of course—we came less than two percent away from handing over his Senate post to radical tea partier Ken Buck for six years. Let's not even contemplate that again.

In any case, in response to the WaPo story, Udall issued a statement that doesn't seem to rule anything out:

"While I'm deeply flattered to be mentioned, my sights are set on fighting for New Mexico on the Appropriations Committee and earning re-election from the people of our state in 2014."
Sigh.

Gubernatorial:

IL-Gov: Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been rumored as a gubernatorial candidate for so long that I'm honestly not sure where her public statements had placed her any time recently. But a local reporter caught up with her at the presidential inauguration, where she swirled up this latest tea leaf:

"I think there's a lot of people who are considering what they want to do in the future and if they can be of greater service to the people of the state. I am among those people," she said.
Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Aaron Schock, who in the past had denied claims he might run for governor, is now trying to argue that if he were to run, it'd be on a platform of smacking sense into Republican primary voters:
"I think I can make the case to my primary voters that maybe we need to be thinking about who can actually win the general election," he said. "Because at the end of the day, being the nominee isn't worth anything if you can't win the general election."
That's awfully cute. Certainly worked for the people running against Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Christine O'Donnell, and Sharron Angle. What's amusing is that Schock, who's generally been an unapologetic conservative, thinks he can present himself as the moderate brand—and he's also apparently worried about someone else out-crazying him for the nomination? Fascinating.

So who is he afraid of? Apparently gazillionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who appears to be floating his own name for governor—and dumping on Schock's. Apparently, Rauner was once a big supporter of Schock's, at least as far as Congress was concerned, but now he says: "I do not think he's the right person or qualified to be governor—not even close."

The jockeying is already intense: A mystery group called the "Jobs & Progress Fund" has been running ads attacking Schock as tax raiser for his vote in favor of the fiscal cliff compromise earlier this month (one spot is here). The buys don't seem to be that big (one pair of stations reported some $34K in purchases), but Schock is fuming, demanding the ads be removed as false and not-so-subtly pointing a finger at Rauner. (Rauner denies any involvement.) It'd be quite something if Illinois Republicans managed to match their compatriots in so many other states and put their least electable foot forward after a bitter primary. Here's hoping.

PA-Gov: In sort of a throw-away line, The Hotline's Courtney McBride says that Dem Rep. Allyson Schwartz has "denied interest" in running for governor. But has Schwartz (or a surrogate) actually even said anything publicly? I don't recall any such remarks, but if you've seen something we've missed, please let us know.

House:

CA-03: Well, I guess they can keep trying. Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue says he's looking at a run against Dem Rep. John Garamendi, even though Garamendi just won re-election last year by a decent 54-46 margin. (Obama also carried the seat 54-43, which pretty much constitutes "out of reach" territory for the GOP.) Oh, and the woman Garamendi beat, Kim Vann, says she, too, is considering a rematch. I think a big part of the reason Garamendi's victory was less-than-dominant was because he represented less than a quarter of the redrawn 3rd heading into 2012, a problem he won't have in 2014, so I think Republican chances are likely to get worse here in the future, not better.

NJ-05: Well, he wouldn't be the only 1970s congressman to make a comeback this decade: Bergen County Democratic chair Lou Stellato says he's reached out to ex-Rep. Andrew Maguire, who represented New Jersey's old 7th Congressional District from 1975 to 1981 (until getting swept out in the Reagan wave), about a possible run against 5th CD GOP Rep. Scott Garrett. A spokesman for Stellato says he tried to recruit Maguire last year, but at the time, he was still living in Maryland. However, Maguire is moving back to Jersey and is reportedly "intrigued" by the idea of a return to office. Rick Nolan, get on the horn to Maguire stat!

SC-01: Teddy Turner (son of famous broadcasting mogul Ted) is the first Republican to hit the airwaves ahead of the March 19 special primary. His intro/bio-type spot (complete with references to the Soviet Union) is reportedly backed by a $60K buy.

Other Races:

Special Elections: There was one legislative special on Tuesday night. Here's Johnny:

Iowa HD-52: This is an open Dem seat in northern Iowa, consisting of Chickasaw, Floyd, and part of Cerro Gordo Counties. (It looks like it was about 55-56 percent Obama last year.) The previous incumbent had won 71-29 against independent Craig Clark in November. The candidates are attorney Todd Prichard for the Democrats, insurance company owner Dennis Litterer for the Republicans, and the aforementioned Craig Clark running again as an independent.

The results: a Democratic hold. Pritchard defeated Litterer 54-44, with Clark pulling in 2 percent.

Texas: The Forth Worth Star-Telegram goes long in this extended profile of Dem state Sen. Wendy Davis, a major thorn in the Texas GOP's side who seems poised for greater things yet to come. Davis survived a serious re-election fight in November and before that, succeeded in having new GOP-drawn Senate maps that specifically targeted her thrown out in court. Now the question is whether Davis will run statewide, and if so, for what? The linked article says Davis "has acknowledged an interest in moving up the political ladder," and Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa suggests governor, lieutenant governor, or U.S. Senate. But unfortunately, none of Davis's options seem particularly welcoming, seeing as Texas hasn't elected a Democrat statewide since 1994. However, she's only 49, so hopefully she can bide her time for now.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Former Sen. Ben Nelson, who was pretty much the most conservative Democrat in the Senate before retiring last year, is taking a job as head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group of chief insurance regulators from all 50 states. Nelson will essentially serve as the organization's public face and top lobbyist (prior to becoming governor of Nebraska in 1990, Nelson had been the state's insurance director). Unsurprisingly, he says his first order of business is to push back against new federal insurance regulations. Some things never change.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:00:10 AM PST

  •  Israel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Did the Likud/ Jewish Home coalition end up with 61 seats yesterday? When I went to bed, that was the preliminary count.

    •  60/60 (6+ / 0-)

      Remains to be seen what happens.  Probably a Likud/Lapid coalition, but I'd expect that Likud would have to throw the ultra-orthodox and far-right coalition partners out for that, and bring Labor in.  

      There's some talk about Lapid being selected by Peres as the PM, but there is no path for the center-left to get a majority - not only because the Arab parties have never been invited into a coalition, but because it would mean either taking on Likud as a junior partner (with more seats!) or bringing in the ultra-orthodox (which is impossible, given Lapid's main platform was to make the ultra-orthodox serve in the military).  

    •  From what I can see, it's a 60-60 tie. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      Likud and its allies (Shas, UTJ and The Jewish Home) won 60 seats between them, while the other 60 seats are split 8 ways.

      I'd give Netanyahu a better chance of forming a new government, simply because it's easier to hold a smaller coalition together. Added to this is the fact that his coalition (Likud-Shas-UTJ-TJH) has an obvious leader: him, and Likud, which won three times as many seats as any other party in the coalition. Who would lead a Yesh Atid/Labor/Hatunah/Meretz/etc/etc/etc coalition?

      Not to mention that the opposition parties are not exactly compatible: Yesh Atid, for instance, is generally a centrist/centre-right party, while Labor is centre-left.

      Not sure where he's getting his 61st seat, though....perhaps he'll move to have one of Kadima's survivors appointed Speaker of the Knesset, giving him a default 1-vote floor majority as the Speaker doesn't get an ordinary (only tie-breaking) vote. It wouldn't be without precedent, either in Israel or in other parliamentary democracies.

      But I'll bet he wishes he hadn't stuck his oar into American politics last year....that probably cost him at least one seat in the Knesset.

  •  redistricting in VA bad for GOP (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, pelagicray, LordMike, wdrath

    It would be a hell of an argument for democrats to argue you need a democratic governor to check runaway right wing in Va. Now if the democrats would just show up and vote!
    Same in states that play with the electoral college, I think it would doom republican governors in those states.

    •  It should, but Virginia has a near peculiar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, bear83, slothlax

      institution for that, the off-off year state election system shared only by New Jersey. All state offices in the state are populated during odd year elections following the national election years.

      This system helps insulate state office seekers from the passions and turnouts of the national elections and what I call "national voters" which are people that tend to track national politics to the neglect of local and just cannot seem to get the truth that "all politics is local." The system helps keep Virginia's state politics insular and parochial. Unless our "national voters" here in NOVA, Hampton and the majority African American counties in SE Virginia turn out next year full of vinegar these jackasses may get off without much penalty.

      As a resident of NOVA I can somewhat see that as Richmond is largely out of my mind except that I do track the politics there. Except for a few minor irritations (like no beer unless it is through a Virginia distributor and some I like they don't carry)  and some nice things like a few state parks and lovely countryside I can live my life in the highly diverse and cosmopolitan Washington Metro Area and sort of forget that crowd that worships the ole Confederacy and such downstate.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:58:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can somebody answer this question for me (0+ / 0-)

    Last night on yesterday's digest, I had a rant in talking about going to a national popular vote instead of going by EV's. If that does happened, what happends to the house and the congressional districts of each state, as well as the census when each state has to draw new representation for it delegation in Washington?

    Moderate Progressive, Born in Cairo, Raised in NY-9 (Clarke), Living in NJ-10 (Payne Jr).

    by BKGyptian89 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:06:08 AM PST

  •  What the heck is Lautenberg trying to prove? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, JBraden

    I mean, he's 89 years old. Why not retire?

    Plus if he were to die or become incapacitated (and I hope he does NOT) then Christie could appoint a Republican to fill out his term.

    •  Because he hated retiring last time. (4+ / 0-)

      From Steve Kornacki's must-read:

      In early 1999, as [Lautenberg] turned 75, he began looking with trepidation at the 2000 race. Whitman, wrapping up her second term as governor, was making noise about running. Polls showed her ahead. Kean, forever flirting with a comeback after leaving the governorship a decade earlier, was also in the mix, and also leading Lautenberg. There was also the matter of Lautenberg’s new nemesis, Robert Torricelli, a Democrat who’d been elected to the Senate in 1996.

      The Torch was an ambitious strategic thinker, and he knew where the money was. He raised a ton for his ’96 campaign, and his Senate colleagues saw a chance for him to do the same for them, so they made him the DSCC chairman for 2000. But he and Lautenberg didn’t get along, to put it mildly. Lautenberg was suspicious that Torricelli was too friendly with Whitman. At a gathering of Democratic senators in 1999, Lautenberg rose to address his concerns with Torricelli, who, according to a Roll Call report at the time, sought Lautenberg out after the session and said, “I’m going to cut your [genitals] off.”

      It was around this time that Lautenberg opted not to seek a fourth term in 2000. He brushed off talk that he was scared off by the prospect of running against Whitman or Kean, saying he’d been vulnerable in past races and that “Mr. Vulnerable always wins.” Almost as soon as he made the announcement, though, he began telling those close to him that he’d made a major mistake.

      By all accounts, the next two years of Lautenberg’s life were miserable. He missed the Senate daily, regretted giving up his seat (especially after Whitman declined to run), and seemed resigned to living out his life wondering what might have been. And then came one of those only-in-Jersey twists: The sudden implosion of Torricelli’s 2002 reelection campaign.

  •  FYI, the Virginia story was broken by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kleinburger, orphanpower, LordMike

    Not Larry Sabato, followed up minutes later by Blue Virginia.  The Daily Press and Washington Post had very little coverage, and what they did have was many hours after Not Larry Sabato, Blue Virginia, the AP's Bob Lewis, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  More broadly, it would be very helpful if the largest national progressive political blog, Daily Kos, would link to and support state-based progressive blogs when they have major scoops and are ALL OVER a story.  Thanks.

    •  And the real Larry Sabato hasn't said a word... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      ...about the whole affair.  Surprising.

      GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

      by LordMike on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:31:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the local news-last night (3+ / 0-)

      they interviewed a guy from UVa's The Center for Politics (not Sabato, a staffer) right after reporting the facts about what happened, but it was difficult to hear anything over my husband yelling a slew of expletives at the images of the Va St. Senate Republicans on TV.
      Really nasty business. Waiting until Henry Marsh, the civil rights lawyer and state senator, was away at the Inauguration so they could try to suddenly redistrict without his voice or vote against it.
      Nasty, shameless and despicable.

  •  VA redistricting reminds me of DeLay's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PassionateJus, bear83

    attempt to do that in Texas in 2005 or so, and how it brought him down and may well send him to jail (why's that taken so long btw?).

    And why have Dems been so slow in reacting to these tactics? Why aren't there court challenges, media campaigns, protests, rallies, etc.?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:47:39 AM PST

  •  We have to be vigilant (0+ / 0-)

    so shady re-districting doesn't happen too much.  

    I'm sorry this got through.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:55:43 AM PST

  •  You can read the NWA Online article here (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.pressdisplay.com/...

    Lt. Gov. Mark Darr denied reports in the National Journal Friday that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate and will announce his candidacy in April....

    ...But spokesman Sarah Beth Lowe said Darr remains undecided. “He’s definitely considering it and he said he’s planning on making a decision in early April,” she said. Later Friday, Darr released a statement through his spokesman that criticized the President Barack Obama’s administration, but it did not address whether he plans to run....

    ...“As Lieutenant Governor, I will give my undivided attention to my duties in the Arkansas Senate until the end of the 89th General Assembly.”...

    ...“I don’t feel like I have to determine a set time to run for something or not run for something,” Darr said....

    •  Another report (0+ / 0-)

      from KATV:

      ...When KATV reached out to the Lieutenant Governor Friday, he stopped just short of saying he's running for the Senate seat when he released the following statement.

      "Kim and I are honored to serve Arkansas.   It is no secret that I have a passion for Arkansas, its people, and continuing my public service to make Arkansas and America a better place for our children and grandchildren.

      "As Kim and I have prayerfully considered our future, we are continually troubled by Barack Obama's policies for America....

      ..."As Lieutenant Governor, I will give my undivided attention to my duties in the Arkansas Senate until the end of the 89th General Assembly."....

  •  It is my hope that the "Obama voters" or what I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, BKGyptian89

    call the "national voters" will this time carry on the change spirit into next year and turn out in force to sweep every office that statewide majority voting can sweep and within their districts. Last time they went AWOL.

    The result next year, and into the foreseeable future, should be that no Republican can win any office requiring a statewide vote and that every district office in "blue Virginia" will be blue. We should use this and other incidents caused by these unscrupulous TP/GOP members as a campaign turn out tool.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:28:09 AM PST

  •  Two quick hits (0+ / 0-)

    1. Re NM Senate:  The thought of Tom Udall being tapped for the cabinet saddens but doesn't surprise me.  If you will recall, in 2009 not only did President Obama pick Salazar as mentioned, but appointed two red-state governors (Napolitano of Arizona and Sebelius of Kansas), whose seats are now in conservative hands.   I would rather he show his bipartisanship by appointing Republican senators from states with Democratic governors.  

    2.  Re CA-03:  Don't be overconfident about this district.  Yes, John Garamendi is a strong campaigner and fund-raiser, but this is by nature a swing seat, especially in midterm elections.  Vic Fazio represented a very similar seat in the 1990s, and had to fight for re-election every time.  When he retired, it flipped to the Reeps for 14 years.  Assemblymember Logue is very much in the Republican wheelhouse these days, and should not be dismissed, despite his health issues.

  •  SC-01 - Ted Turner's son is a Republican? (0+ / 0-)
    SC-01: Teddy Turner (son of famous broadcasting mogul Ted) is the first Republican to hit the airwaves
    Hmmm - I would have expected him to be a Democrat.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:23:39 AM PST

  •  A few ideas: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath

    (1) In response to ME-Gov - Perhaps the Democrats could offer Cutler the Lieutenant Governor's job, in exchange for pulling out? A combination of this, plus the idea of another four years if LePage, may be enough to persuade Cutler to piss outside the (big) tent, rather than into it.

    (2) Re: MN-Sen - I wouldn't start singing hallelujahs just yet. For some reason, despite the well-publicised "death" of the MN GOP, Democrats seem to have a hard time pulling more than 54% of the vote there (indeed, Amy Klobuchar is the only Democrat to do so since Rudy Perpich thrashed Cal Ludeman in 1986). While I agree that Franken's winning a second term is quite likely, the NRSC is probably looking at this race (won by the narrowest of margins in a Democratic wave year) and trying to come up with ways to victory.

    (3) Re: NJ-Sen - Lautenberg really should read the writing on the wall and depart gracefully, given that the polls presently show him lagging Booker in the primary 42-20 and given that he got into the Senate in 1982 by picking on the age of his Republican opponent (then 72 years old - he'll be 90 on Election Day 2014, and you can bet that his GOP opponent will make a big deal of it). Lautenberg is a clear-cut example of how an otherwise pretty good politician can damage his party by struggling to stay in office long enough to die in it. I really think that Booker's got more energy to push key Democratic policy agendas.

    (4) Re: NM-Sen - I echo the idea. Please don't add more problems to your own party's load, President Obama. The Republican Party hardly needs more low-hanging fruit to be left out for them.

    (5) Re: IL-Gov - I take it that Quinn's not running for a second term? (looks up poll numbers) Ouch - if not, I can see why not. But Madigan needs to shit or get off the pot, and fairly soon.

    (6) Re: NJ-05 - It's R+4. That's not out of reach, but it does mean that the Democrat is running uphill this election and every election, and Rep. Maguire is going to be 75 on Election Day. While I hope that he can drum up some enthusiasm, it's not exactly the easiest target out there. (See the Cook PVI list, listed by CD PVI, for some examples of easier terrain.)

    (7) Re: TX (Wendy Davis) - A very impressive woman. I'd suggest a Congressional run, but apparently all 3 of the CDs that come into Tarrant County are ruby-red. Hmmm. Frankly, the Texas Democratic Party needs help, and lots of it - money, people and data to start building itself up again, practically from scratch. Then, and only then, will Democrats be competitive statewide there.

    Finally, (8) Re: Ben Nelson. We all already knew that he was a douchebag. It's why he retired - his "centrist" pandering was losing him Democratic support and not impressing the Nebraska electorate. This is news how?

    •  Re: Tarrant County (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Australian2, Christopher Walker

      The TX 33rd, which is a new district, covers a lot of Tarrant County and had a PVI of D+14 last year.  Marc Veasey won election last year.  So there's virtually no chance at all that Sen. Davis would challenge Rep. Veasey as both are team players.  I certainly feel that Sen. Davis and Rep. Veasey have bright futures ahead of them.  

      On a related note, my parents have lived in about a ten mile radius in Arlington, Texas (part of Tarrant County) for 30+ years and have had the following Congressmen:

      1) Dick Armey
      2) Martin Frost
      3) Joe Barton
      4) Marc Veasey

      That's quite a bit of variation in terms of the quality of representation in Congress which goes to show you both the demographic changes in Texas and the recent gerrymandering shenanigans.

      I definitely agree with you about the Texas Democratic Party needing help with money and infrastructure development.  So many times the money flows out of Texas into national coffers as opposed to being invested locally.  It's a vicious cycle as donors don't want to spend locally without some electoral wins, but those wins are extremely hard to come by without money and infrastructure support.

      If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.- THOMAS PAINE

      by Crazycab214 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maine doesn't have a lieutenant governor. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

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

      by sapelcovits on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:49:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOTP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, BKGyptian89

    can't win fairly, so of course they must cheat.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:43:57 AM PST

  •  Re: the VA GO gerrmandering power grab (0+ / 0-)

    You've indicated, as have others, that there are plenty of votes in the state's House to pass this measure. On the surface that may be true, in terms of the sheer number of Republicans. But the question that comes to my mind is this: are there enough Republicans in such safe House seats that they can vote however they want? It seems to me that, since there's already been some backlash, and this entire matter stinks to high heaven in terms of not only what was done but how absolutely unethically and immorally it was done, as well, that...there must be at least some Republicans in the House who might perceive themselves to be vulnerable by supporting this atrocity.

    My question to those more knowledgeable about Virginia politics than myself is: Would any of the state's  House Republicans put themselves in jeopardy of reelection by going along with this blatant misuse of power by Republicans in the Senate? If so, how many? Any guesses?
    (It would seem to me that it would be wise to put public pressure on as many House Republicans as possible.)

  •  Jane Fonda's step son (0+ / 0-)

    How does anyone who is linked to Jane Fonda think he will win a GOP primary for anything?

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:36:49 AM PST

  •  Any chance that this law would be subject... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to the voting rights act (the change in electoral allocation in VA that is)?

    GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

    by LordMike on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:47:19 PM PST

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