Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/functions.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::register_scripts() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 51

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Options::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2Header::get_header_width() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/header.php on line 8

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::filter_post_comments() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458
2009 June Archive at Campaign Diaries
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::output_header_css() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
Monthly Archive for June, 2009


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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It’s over in Minnesota!

In a press conference that concluded just minutes ago, former Senator Norm Coleman conceded the Minnesota Senate race, adding that he had called Al Franken to congratulate him on his victory. The ending of an eight-month saga, today also marks the final chapter of the GOP’s disastrous 2008 cycle: With Minnesota, Democrats picked-up a total of eight seats in last fall’s elections.

Today’s decision by the state Supreme Court essentially meant that the game was over for Coleman but he still had a small opening to delay matters. He wisely concluded that the odds of provoking an anti-GOP backlash among Minnesota voters were far greater than the odds he could be any more successful in federal courts.

Coleman’s decision saves Governor Tim Pawlenty from a painful dilemma. Had Coleman appealed and had Pawlenty signed the document, it could have put the Governor at odds with the Republican base - always a tricky situation for a presidential hopeful.

It also leaves the door open for Coleman to pursue a gubernatorial run in 2010. It remains to be seen whether Coleman pushed his contest far enough to durably alienate the public, but it’s clear is that he could not afford to prolong the legal battle any longer if he has any intention of running in 2010. (He sidestepped the asked about it at a press conference earlier today.)

And just like that, Democrats get an additional and reliable Senate vote. (Don’t forget that Ted Kennedy’s refusal to resign despite his year-long absence has been costing Democrats a vote since the spring of 2008; as such, Franken will only get them to 59.) Given that Franken’s victory has looked certain for months, it’s easy to forget that Democrats were pessimistic in the first few weeks after the recount; or that Franken never led before December 20th, 6 weeks after votes were cast; or that Franken didn’t look like he would able to keep up with Coleman back in the spring of 2008, when fellow Democrats were attacking him over past writings.

But at the end of the day, Franken rode the Democratic wave and successfully completed his transition from comic to serious politician - but not before setting up one last show for us to enjoy. However frustrating the past eight months have been, they also offered moments of pure theater, starting with the canvassing board’s week-long deliberation over challenged ballots - porn for political junkies, I called it.

Update: Among the deluge of coverage heralding Democrats for reaching 60 Senate votes just in time for health care reform and the Sotomayor hearings, credit to The Atlantic’s Josh Green for being one of the rare commentators to point out that Democrats only effectively control 58 seats - 59 if Byrd returns to Washington. That means they still need Republican votes to break cloture votes but they can no longer blame the GOP for obstructionism.


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Minnesota Supreme Court rules in Franken’s favor

In a unanimous ruling that might finally bring closure to the Minnesota Senate race, the state Supreme Court ruled in Al Franken’s favor. “Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota,” wrote the majority made up of 5 judges who heard the case.

A decisive victory for the Democrat

To win his case, Coleman had the burden of proving that the lower court had erred to such an extent that the Supreme Court should not defer to that three-judge panel. In today’s ruling, the judges made it clear that the Republican had not done so. He has “not shown that the trial court’s findings of fact are clearly erroneous or that the court committed an error of law or abused its discretion.” The Court also explicitly rejected Coleman’s contention that the disparate standards used between counties violated equal protection rights.

So is it over? 8 months after votes were cast, nearly three months after a lower court declared Franken the victor and a month after the Supreme Court heard the case, are we finally done with this saga? Will Al Franken finally get to join Congress, giving Democrats a key additional vote as we head to high-profiles debates on health care reform, cap-and-trade and a Supreme Court nomination?

If it was clear from the June 1st hearings that the judges were not buying the GOP’s arguments, it was not a given that they would all agree to dismiss Coleman’s complain. After all, the lower court’s decision was also unanimous, so a total of 8 state judges have now sided with the Democrat and none with the Republican.

This unanimity puts a lot of pressure on Coleman to drop his case and heightens the risks of a backlash against Republicans if they pursue matters at a time public opinion has already turned against them; it also makes it very unlikely that federal courts would agree to intervene if Coleman decided to appeal.

Also making federal intervention improbable is the fact that the conservative Supreme Court will not want to establish the existence of strong due process rights - the type that would be required to find that Minnesota is violating federal law. In 2000, the conservative Justices were careful to insist that Bush vs. Gore applies only in present circumstances, and that irrelevance as precedent would be endangered if they stepped in the Minnesota dispute.

Smallest of openings for Coleman

However, none of this means that Franken will waltz into the Senate and the judges denied the Democrat a full victory. Instead of making the ruling effective immediately, judges ruled that Coleman had 10 days to ask for a rehearing, giving the GOP a slight opening. The ball is now in Coleman’s court: Will he choose to continue his contest? Will he appeal?

If Coleman concedes, Franken could be sworn in in a matter of days. But if he appeals, all eyes will turn towards Governor Tim Pawlenty: Will he sign the election certificate? Judges stopped short of giving Franken all he wanted: While the Court ruled that he was “entitled to receive the certificate of election,” it did not require it. So what will the Governor do?

Pawlenty recently addressed the issue in carefully worded comments that led media outlets to reports that he was preparing to distance himself from Coleman. “I’m going to do whatever the court says,” he said. “When the court decides that issue, as soon as I’m directed or required to sign that certificate, I will. I am not going to hold it up or delay it in any fashion.” Since the Court did not order the Governor to sign the certificate, Pawlenty still has room to argue that he has been directed or required to do so if an appeal has been registered.

If Pawlenty attempts to delay signing the certificate, we’re facing a whole array of questions: Will Senate Democrats finally force the issue and attempt to seat Franken? will Senate Republican attempt to block such a move? will federal courts agree to hear the case? how long would it take for them to come back with a decision?

In other good news for Democrats hoping to get all of their Senators able to cast votes, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd has checked out of the hospital and is returning to Washington.


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Supreme Court prepares to strike down campaign spending restrictions

Forget congressional retirements and congressional recruitment. The prospect that campaign finance rules will be dramatically weakened this fall should be just as important in determining the shape of cycles to come.

Yesterday, on the last day of its term, the Supreme Court took the rare move of announcing it would not resolve one of its cases, Citizens United v. FEC, instead ordering to be reargued on September 9th to address whether “the Court [should] overrule either or both Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and a part of McConnell v. FEC, which addresses the facial validity of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.”

It looked likely that conservatives would prevail in this case, but the Court’s order is more chilling to advocates of campaign finance reform than most rulings that could have come out yesterday: It signals that a majority of Justices are preparing to strike down long-established precedents that authorize the regulation of electoral spending by corporations.

A move that has been a long time coming

Back during the 2008 Democratic primaries, a conservative for-profit group called Citizens United attempted to broadcast a documentary attacking Hillary Clinton paying a cable TV consortium $1.2 million to set the movie as a free “video on demand,” allowing any interested households to view it at no cost. The FEC intervened, based on the McCain-Feingold law’s prohibition on corporate-funded “electioneering communications” in a period of 30 to 60 days before the general election. Citizens United sued, seeking remedies ranging from a ruling that on-demand TV is exempt from McCain-Feingold to a decision that would strike down restrictions on corporate spending.

In the past, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld such restrictions. In 1990, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce found that, unlike when it comes to non-profits or individuals, the government has an interest in leveling the playing field when it comes to corporate spending. “The corrosive and distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the corporate form and that have little or no correlation to the public’s support for the corporation’s political ideas,” the Court wrote. In 2003, in a 5-4 majority made up with Justice O’Connor, the Court upheld McCain-Feingold’s prohibition on “corporate electioneering communications.”

But in more recent years, the Court has taken a different direction. Last June, a 5-4 majority overturned the “millionaire’s amendment” which increased contribution limits for candidates facing an opponent who is spending huge amounts of his own money. More relevant is Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, a 2007 case that addressed the same question as Citizens United: Are the limits on corporate spending in a short window of time before the election constitutional? A 5-4 ruling dealt a major blow to the McCain-Feingold Act but stopped short of overturning Austin or McConnell: The majority instructed that the limits could only apply to ads that are “susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.”

But the 5-vote majority in FEC v. Right to Life was divided: While the controlling opinion of Roberts and Alito used some strong language against campaign finance, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas wrote a concurring opinion urging the court to go further and strike down McConnell altogether.

Well, it looks like they are about to get what they wanted. The Court’s order for the case to be reargued in the context is a crystal-clear clear sign that they are preparing to overrule not one by two Supreme Court precedents in one fell swoop.

As I wrote above, Kennedy, who typically controls the center of the Court, has been one of the most vocal Justices against the constitutionality of campaign finance. He dissented in Austin, he dissented in McConnell, he was part of the majority in Davis and he urged his conservative colleagues to go further in Wisconsin Right to Life. There is no doubt how he will answer the question the Court just posed, nor is there any doubt about Scalia and Thomas’s opinion.

As for Roberts and Alito, they could easily have found a way to rule in favor of Citizens United without threatening the principle of restrictions on corporate spending, but they have already declined to do so. (As to why the Court would not have overruled Austin at once, the consensus seems to be that the conservative majority was unwilling to take such a significant step without the constitutional issue being addressed more explicitly; an additional hearing should make their decision more legitimate.)

As such, it would be a huge surprise if the Court decides not to overturn Austin come the fall and if 2009 ends with restrictions on corporate spending still in place.

What does any of this mean for upcoming elections?

Starting in 2010, corporations will probably be allowed to spend unlimited funds to support or attack candidates - and without any timing restriction. That will dramatically change fundraising benchmarks, campaign finance rules and the shape of elections big and small. Here’s the opening paragraph of Rick Hasen’s take on the Supreme Court’s move:

If Republicans were wondering how their 2012 presidential candidate is going to compete against President Obama’s $600 million fundraising juggernaut, the Supreme Court seems poised to provide an answer: unlimited corporate spending supporting the Republican candidate, or attacking Obama.

Indeed, this development should favor Republicans. They typically get more business support and as such will be better equipped to take advantage of the prospect of unlimited corporate spending. But let’s not overstate the partisan significance of what the Supreme Court is months away from doing. Democrats will be at a disadvantage, but they won’t be left out to dry either.

For one, restrictions on labor spending should also fall; but the maximum amounts union can spend is probably inferior to that corporations are prepared to invest. More significantly, the ability for corporations to spend unlimited amounts should solidify incumbents regardless of party, as they tend to receive the most institutional money. And it’s not like Democrats - especially when they control Washington - don’t also enjoy high levels of corporate support.

In the system as is currently designed, corporations play a major role in the life of both parties (just look at where members of any congressional committees get their money from). Overturning Austin will grant corporations even greater influence on elections - and thus on politicians’ actions. Increasingly dependent on corporate support, our representatives will be in the pockets of special interests to a greater extent than they are now.

Combined with last year’s ruling striking down the millionaire’s amendment, this is all part of a trend to toss out any governmental attempt to level the playing field when one side is grossly outspending the other - and god knows that we are talking about minimal steps here anyway. It seems difficult to argue that wealthy politicians or candidates benefiting from heavy institutional support are that restricted in making use of their financial dominance - just look at New York City’s mayoral race.

Further reading

Election Law Blog is the place to start for more analysis on all of this. For those of you interested in the Supreme Court, I highly recommend this analysis by Tom Goldstein, who describes John Roberts method of issuing minimalist rulings so that he can later use them to overturn long-standing precedents: “It is reinforcing its own legitimacy with opinions that later can be cited to demonstrate that it is not rapidly or radically changing the law... Absent an unfortunate turn of health, between now and the summer of 2017 there is no realistic prospect that the Court will turn back to the left. Over the course of that eight years, it is possible to take enough measured steps to the right to walk a marathon.  Again, no need to rush.


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Illinois: Cheryle Jackson takes step towards Senate bid, GOP’s gubernatorial field gets crowded

Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is close to getting company in the Illinois Senate race. I’m not talking about Chris Kennedy, Lisa Madigan, Mark Kirk or even Roland Burris; rather, the second politician to take an official step towards a bid is Cheryle R. Jackson, the head of the Chicago Urban League.

Today, Jackson announced that she will form an exploratory committee by the end of the week. While that does not guarantee that she’ll end up joining the race, it is a clear sign of intent that guarantees Jackson will now be part of any discussion of this Senate contest.

Provided that Madigan does not enter the race - her candidacy is looking more plausible than was expected - the Democratic primary will be wide open and Jackson would be a strong candidate. She might have no campaign experience, but her resume (her years at top executive positions at NPR, Amtrak and the Urban League) should make a highly credible candidate - not to mention a good fundraiser.

Now that Rep. Danny Davis is positioning himself to run for Cook County Board President rather than for Senator, Jackson could very well emerge as the only African-American in a position to win any of the 2010 Senate races. Since this election concerns the seat currently held by Roland Burris, that would also make Jackson the only hope for the Senate to still have a black Senator come January 2011 (not that one is a particularly impressive number to begin with).

That might not guarantee Jackson the nomination, but such considerations should help her bid. Indeed, Giannoulias and Kennedy are expected to get substantial establishment support so for other candidates (but Madigan) to immerse themselves will likely require them to run an insurgent campaign. As such, potentially being the only African-American and the only woman in the race could help Jackson.

On the other hand, it remains to be seen whether this is the campaign strategy Jackson should adopt. While Schakowsky’s left-leaning and union-friendly politics would have ensured her labor endorsements and made her the liberal base’s candidate, Jackson’s business background (she sits on the board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce) could make it more difficult for her to take such a route - though her years heading the Chicago Urban League make her a prominent civil rights leader.

Perhaps most problematically, Jackson could be weighed down by her years serving in the Rod Blagojevich’s administration; she was deputy chief of staff of communications until October 2006, a time at ethical troubles had already started for Blagojevich. We’ll have to see how much voters are willing to overlook Blago connections, and whether Jackson’s rivals would even be willing to bring this up.

Meanwhile, Republicans keep jumping in the Governor’s race

In my latest “weekly update,” you might have noticed that the Republican primary for the gubernatorial race is getting crowded. There are now four Republicans running: state Senator Bill Bradly, state Senator Matt Murphy, consultant Dan Proft and DuPage Co. Board chairman Bob Schillerstrom. State Senator Kirk Dillard also recently expressed his interest.

What is going on? How can a race that Democrats are heavily favored to win - whether Pat Quinn coasts to the nomination or whether Lisa Madigan jumps in - attract so many Republicans? And could this result in a GOP takeover of Springfield?

For one, all three of the state Senators listed in the above list are not up for re-election until 2012. As such, they do not have to give up anything to run for Governor next year, so a statewide candidacy could be a good way for them to increase their profile without risking their career, thus preparing themselves for future contests.

If the eventual nominee has some fundraising success and emerges as a strong presence, it’s certainly not impossible that the GOP might mount a competitive race - especially if the Blagojevich scandal continues to float on state politics (after all, the former Governor might face a trial in 2010, putting the story back in the news) - though let’s not get ahead of ourselves: Illinois remains a staunchly Democratic state, especially now that we have entered the Obama era.

Furthermore, this abundance of candidates might signal that state Republicans don’t believe it’s likely that Mark Kirk will jump in. The moderate representative, last seen voting in favor of the Waxman-Markey Act, is generally described as the GOP’s best hope of winning a statewide race; he remains publicly undecided about his 2010 plans, having ruled out none of his three options - running for the House, for Senate and for Governor. Given that any of these Republicans would be underdogs against Kirk, would they not wait for him to clarify his intentions if they thought it plausible that he might run for Governor?

I was going to add that the fact that no Republicans has jumped in the Senate race signals that Kirk is seriously considering that race, but I quickly realized that is not necessarily the case. If these state Senators mount a federal campaign, they won’t be able to use their current campaign funds and they won’t be able to transfer eventual leftover contributions to their statewide run back to their state account. That would surely defeat some of the purpose of mounting these long shot campaigns. (As we discussed before, Madigan has her own version of this dilemma.)


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Primary watch: Newsom’s generational challenge, Crist as the “Republican Barney Frank”

Newsom weighed down by age and geography

California’s gubernatorial race was shook up last week, as the Democratic primary now looks headed towards a two-way race between Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown. The first poll not to include Antonio Villaraigosa was just conducted by J Moore Methods, giving us a first look at the field. (The survey was in the field from June 20th to June 23rd, which means that most interviews were conducted before the mayor’s exit; yet the survey tested two-way race.)

Brown leads Newsom by a solid 46% to 26%. Earlier polls also found the Attorney General holding sizable leads against the San Fransisco Mayor, so this result is not a surprise and Newsom is certainly not down enough not to have a good shot at clinching the nomination. Yet, the results suggest that age and geography will play a major role in this primary, in a way that makes Brown the clear front-runner.

Newsom holds a 37% to 26% lead among voters under 39; Brown is up 49-28 among voters who are between 40 and 59; and he crushes his rival 54-20 among voters older than 60. As such, there is already a clear age gap in how voters are thinking about these candidates. Newsom can portray himself as a fresh face all he wants, but that’s not the type of argument that’s likely to endear him to older voters.

Why this matters: Callbuzz notes that the primary electorate’s average age is far higher than that of the general population - most probably over 50. That means that, as long as Brown keeps a sizable advantage among voters who remember him from his eight years in the Governor’s Mansion, it will be very tough for Newsom to get in contention - even if we’re talking about a two-way race.

There’s also a clear geographical split. In the Bay Area, where both men stem from, Newsom has a narrow 41% to 37% lead but the rest of the state belongs to Brown, who is after all a statewide officer: He is ahead by a massive 52% to 16% in Southern California and 52% to 26% in Northern California. In other words, Newsom’s current appeal is almost entirely concentrated in his geographical base.

While this means that Newsom has a lot of room to grow in areas of the state in which he is not that well known, it also provides a clear challenge for the mayor: Given how popular Brown is in the Bay Area, it’s going to be tough for Newsom to get the type of margins he’ll need in his hometown to offset his disadvantage elsewhere in the state.

“The Republican Barney Frank”

Based on polls, there is still no evidence that Marco Rubio can threaten Charlie Crist’s hold on the GOP’s Senate nomination. Yet, it is looking increasingly likely that the conservative contender will have what it takes to force the Governor in an uncomfortable and divisive primary that would distract him away from the general election.

Last month, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush’s sons rallied to Rubio’s side, signaling that the primary will be high-profile enough that it will attract attention no matter how competitive the race really is. Since then, Rubio has even scored the support of a sitting U.S. Senator: Jim DeMint might not provide that much help, since he does not represent the Sunshine State, but he helps Rubio make his bid look legitimate and credible.

Now, it looks like the former state Speaker could land the most important endorsement of all. New Club for Growth David Keating is signaling his interest in the Florida Senate race. “We are very concerned about the two major tax increases Charlie Crist recently signed and believe there’s no excuse for his active support of the Obama big-government ’stimulus’ spending bill,” he said.

If the group follows suit and does get involve in the race, Rubio would not only reap the financial benefits but he would also be in a great position message-wise: Since the Club would likely run hard-hitting ads against Crist, Rubio would be able to downplay his own negativity and wash his hands of the attacks since they’ll be aired by an independent group.

It might seem obvious that the Club for Growth would back Rubio, but that is certainly not a given. The group does not get involved in Senate primaries that frequently. Given that Crist looks such a formidable candidate, Club leaders might very well decide that Florida’s primary is not worth divesting funds too - not to mention antagonizing the Republican establishment even more than they already have.

That said, there is no doubt that the conservative intelligentsia would love nothing more than to block Crist’s path to the Senate. Politico points to a new Wall Street Journal editorial that calls Crist the “Republican Barney Frank” (expect that nickname to make its way in next year’s anti-Crist ads):

He continues to perpetuate the myth that Florida property owners can have billions of dollars of subsidized insurance at little expense or risk. It’s this kind of something-for-nothing economics that gave us the debacle of Fannie Mae. With that philosophy, Mr. Crist would feel right at home in Washington.

Update: I’m not sure how I did not think about that, but Panos raises the excellent point that “Republican Barney Frank” might very well refer to something else than fiscal policy. Given how insistent (and increasingly high-profile) the rumors have been, it’s hard to believe The Journal wasn’t at least aware of how this nickname could be interpreted. So is this a sign that conservatives will dare go there, albeit in coded terms? Or is this just a coincidence? What do you guys think?


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Reforming the primary system

Every four years, parties attempt to reform their presidential primaries. Not only is little done, but changes that are implemented often result in making things worse. In 2008, the DNC’s attempts to include more states in the early line-up backfired when Michigan and Florida followed suit, plunging Democrats in months of acrimonious invectives.

Yet, the dysfunctions that occurred during the primary between Obama and Clinton were so high-profile that we can hope the problems with the process will be taken more seriously. Both Democrats and Republicans launched their latest efforts in recent weeks, as the DNC and RNC have formed commissions tasked with reviewing the system.

A long list of factors will come under accusation, some of which I do not see as particularly problematic but many of which should be reformed urgently: The past cycle did show that the system is in dire need of being cleaned up.

1. The early states

The subject that typically dominates these discussions is the excessively prominent role of Iowa and New Hampshire. Sure, neither parties’ primaries was overdetermined by these two states last year. NH helped McCain, but his wins in later states cannot just be described as his enjoying a post-Granite State bounce; IA boosted Obama, but it set such high expectations for his NH showing that Clinton emerged triumphant out of a 2% win. If anything, these two states did what they claim they’re good at - give the underdogs a chance they would not have if bigger states voted at once.

Whatever happened in 2008, the 2004 cycle is reason enough to reduce the early states’ influence: John Kerry’s surprise victory among the small pool of Iowa caucus-goers was enough for him to secure the entire nomination. And even in 2008 Iowa and New Hampshire showed us why the time really has come to reduce their influence:

  1. State officials blackmailed the national parties for months, threatening to move their contest dates up if other states got too close to them. In fact, it long looked that voting might start in 2007; it’s only in early November that New Hampshire’s Secretary of State fixed his primary in early January - a date that was in itself scandalous as it forced campaigning to heat up absurdly early.
  2. Such indecision is far more difficult for smaller candidates to handle, as it takes a lot of funds to be able to plan for dozens of alternate scenarios in advance.
  3. These two states are not very representative of the country. The parties’ attempt to remedy that by including Nevada and South Carolina in the early line-up was only half-successful, as the Silver State’s contests were mostly ignored by the media. Journalists were not interested in traveling out West, and Clinton and Romney’s victories in that state’s caucuses gave them no discernible momentum.
  4. These four early states forced candidates to sign a ridiculous pledge promising not to campaign in Michigan and Florida unless they want to experience the wrath of early state voters. Any system in which a voter in Des Moines might find it objectionable that a candidate is visiting Detroit or Tampa has lost it.

What should be done, of course, is an entirely different question. Having small states start-up the process allows smaller candidates to hope to make a stance (Huckabee or Edwards would have had even less hope of winning the nominations had voting started in California or in a dozen states at once) so a balance should be struck.

But that’s easier said than done: both parties have faced the fact that they have little authority as Iowa and New Hampshire will always be able to vault ahead of whatever calendar is put in place and there is no guarantee that candidates would refrain from campaigning. Another topic on which parties have more control, then, is the front-loading of the calendar.

2. The front-loaded calendar

There are two separate issues to be considered here: One is that voting is starting too early, the other is that too many states are voting on top of each other. Both concerns should be addressed. As 2008 showed, Super Tuesday has become a candidacy-killer for candidates who are not very well funded. And if it does not manage to crown a clear victor, as was the case in the Clinton-Obama contest, there are so few states left that the contest can drag on with no possible resolution.

What is the solution? The primaries’ start date can be pushed back to early March, but how can that be enforced to avoid yet another ‘rogue states’ scenario? One scenario that has been floated is the idea of four regional blocs that would vote successively with one month intervals; another would have states vote in groups based on their size - though I’m not sure why California and Texas voters should be punished for living in large states.

3. Superdelegates

After they became a point of contention in last year’s Democratic primaries, many are now suggesting that superdelegates should be done away with. That would be fine by me, but I think this issue has been overblown. Throughout the spring of 2008, Obama supporters raised the specter that superdelegates would usurp popular will by rallying around Clinton, but there was never any sign that such a thing could happen. Superdelegates were party representatives or elected officials that were in too sensible a position to do anything that controversial - not to mention that the majority of outstanding superdelegates were leaning towards Obama.

In short: Remove the possibility that superdelegates might one day counter the wishes of ordinary delegates is obviously a good idea, but to spin this as the most urgent reform strikes me as a misreading of the 2008 primaries.

4. Delegate allocation

Here’s a problem I think both parties should urgently address. On the Democratic side, the system’s excessive proportionality made it difficult for either candidate to gain an edge in the delegate hunt. Also, the rules were so incomprehensible as to be undemocratic: Voters should be able to understand the system by which they are electing their president. And no one should be required to understand the district-by-district distribution system by which different thresholds had to be met depending the number of delegates allocated to the district - not to mention the importance of the difference between odd and even-delegate districts.

On the Republican side, the rules were too different from state to state. In John McCain’s bastions (New York, New Jersey, Arizona) delegates were attributed on a winner-take-all basis while Mitt Romney’s strongholds (starting with Massachusetts) allocated them proportionally. I understand that states should have a say in voting procedures, but national parties should impose enough uniformity to ensure a fair process.

5. Making caucuses more democratic

This is not a new concern, of course (I blasted Iowa’s electoral process was undemocratic back in December 2007) but the 2008 cycle made the problem far more acute. Beyond the usual concerns about peer pressure, public voting and vote trading, Nevada and Texas’s caucuses were unspeakably chaotic. Doors were locked, voting lasted so long that participants had to leave to go back to work, voters were counted outdoors with flashlights, and, in the case of Texas, the results were not even announced for weeks!

Improving procedures to guarantee honesty, transparency should not be too much to ask; addressing concerns that some people simply cannot free themselves from work or family obligations to spend hours at a caucus is also an important issue to which a solution has to be found.

While most of this is likely to be mentioned in the coming years, we shouldn’t expect much to change. There is a long way to go before either party committee achieves any consensus as to what should be done - let alone before they manage to impose it on reluctant state parties. And don’t forget that the reforms the GOP will implement in the years ahead will be more important because Democrats will not host a competitive primary until 2016.


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Weekly update, 23rd edition: It’s all about gubernatorial races

Never has there been so much imbalance between a week’s senatorial and gubernatorial news. On the former front, Vermont Senator Pat Leahy confirmed that he would run for re-election while Rep. Jim Gerlach declared that he will not challenge Pat Toomey for Pennsylvania’s Republican nomination. Both are major announcements that come as disappointments for the NRSC: Not only did their small hope of contesting Vermont’s Senate race go up in smoke but it increasingly looks like the winner of the Sestak-Specter primary will be heavily favored to win the general election.

Yet, these developments pale in comparison to those that unfolded in the Governor’s races. For one, the Mark Sanford saga grabbed our attention, dramatically shook up South Carolina politics, took care of one 2012 contender and provoked an interesting discussion on hypocrisy and forced a change at the head of the RGA: It will now be Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour who will oversee the GOP’s 2010 efforts, which should fit his national ambitions quite well.

Elsewhere, politicians rumored as candidates announced they would not be running left and right. In Michigan, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land surprisingly announced she would not seek the Republican nomination, arguably giving a crucial geographical edge to Rep. Peter Hoekstra. In Arizona and Pennsylvania, Democrats lost Jim Pederson and Don Cunningham, two credible contenders, but the party has many more options to go through.

And then there’s California, where Antonio Villaraigosa and Loretta Sanchez exited the Democratic race, leaving Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom in what looks like it might stay a two-way primary. Of course, it’s not too surprising that they’d want nothing to do with Sacramento; being elected California Governor seems as sure a way to end a political career as having an affair in Argentina.

A number of politicians also announced their gubernatorial candidacies. In two states, state legislators disrupted higher-profile party members’ hope of a clean run to the Democratic nomination. In Michigan, state Rep. Alma Wheeler jumped in the race, complicating matters a bit for Lieutenant Governor John Cherry; in  Maine, state Rep. Dawn Hill announced a run just a week after former Attorney General Steven Rowe.

And this leaves us with the curious case of Illinois. The GOP didn’t look in much shape to contest Rod Blagojevich’s former seat but candidates just keep piling on: Three Republicans announced their candidacies this week alone, bringing the total of declared contenders to four - including two state Senators, Mike Murphy and Bill Brady. Another state Senator also voiced his interest.

As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the “retirement watch” and recruitment pages. Written in red are those politicians who announced their definite plans rather than simply expressed interest or stroke speculation.

First, updates to Retirement Watch:

Will retire No one
Will not retire Senator Pat Leahy (Dem, Vermont)
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Dem, CA-47)

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

AZ-Sen, Dem former party chair Jim Pederson will not run
NH-Sen, GOP businessman Fred Tausch added to list
PA-Sen, GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach will not run

Third, updates to gubernatorial recruitment:

AZ-Gov, Dem former party chair Jim Pederson will not run
CA-Gov, Dem Rep. Loretta Sanchez will not run
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will not run
IL-Gov, GOP state Senator Kirk Dillard added to list
state Senator Matt Murphy announced run
consultant Dan Proft announced run
DuPage Co. Board chairman Bob Schillerstrom announced run
ME-Gov, Dem State Rep. Dawn Hill announced run
MI-Gov, Dem state Rep. Alma Wheeler announced run
MI-Gov, GOP Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land will not run
OR-Gov, Dem former Governor Barbara Roberts added to list
PA-Gov, Dem Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham will not run
TX-Gov, Dem state Senator Leticia Van de Putte will not run

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House passes climate change bill

After months of arduous negotiations, the House approved the Waxman-Markey bill, Congress’s first attempt to address global warming by curbing greenhouse gases and establishing a cap-and-trade system. The 219-212 vote will be remembered as one of the big triumphs Obama’s first year and as one of the more impressive feats of a beaming Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker. With dozens of conservative Democrats making it clear they would never support cap-and-trade legislation, it often looked like this reform couldn’t pass.

However ground-shifting this development, it is also important to point out that the legislation was considerably watered down in recent weeks. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson single-handedly forced the bill’s sponsors to dramatically scale back the bill. Benchmarks were lowered enough that many backers are now worried this cannot meaningfully address the climate crisis; some contend that the legislation’s most consequential provisions will be the sweet deals reserved for industrial groups and a number of environmental groups opposed final passage.

None of this prevented Republicans from painting this bill as the end of America as we know it. Predictably, Michelle Bachmann went the furthest. “We get to choose,” she said on the floor of the House. “We choose liberty, or we choose tyranny — it’s one of the two.” Also noteworthy are Geoff Davis’s warning that this represents the “economic colonization of the heartland” by coastal states and Devin Nunes’s denunciation of the “the twisted desires of radical environmentalists.”

Many, though far from all, vulnerable Democrats opposed the bill

Republicans have signaled that this vote will be a key component of their 2010 campaign, which makes it particularly interesting to browse through the roll call to see how this might after the midterms. 44 Democrats opposed the bill. Some of them did so from the left (at least Dennis Kucinich, Peter Stark and Peter DeFazio; “apparently, the planet is not melting; it is just getting better for polluters,” commented Kucinich), but most did it from the right.

Many are Blue Dogs who are unlikely to face credible challengers and are thus motivated by genuinely ideological reasons (Gene Taylor, Brad Ellsworth, John Salazar, Earl Pomeroy, Jim Costa, Joe Donnelly, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Mike McIntyre). And then there are those junior Democrats who have a big target on their back:

Jason Altmire, Michael Arcuri, John Barrow, Bobby Bright, Chris Carney, Travis Childers, Kathy Dahlkemper, Parker Griffith, Larry Kissell, Eric Massa, Charlie Melancon, Walt Minnick, Glenn Nye

On the other hand, many who supported the bill might have been expected to do otherwise. Among Blue Dogs who often side with conservatives but did not, let’s cite Allen Boyd, Heath Shuler and Ben Chandler. And then there is a substantial list of vulnerable Democrats who ended up voting yes (including more than half of those who are in toss-ups in my ratings):

Frank Kratovil, Tom Perriello, Betsy Markey, Paul Kanjorski, Mark Schauer, Suzanne Kosmas, Henry Teague, Steve Driehaus, John Adler

This is a long enough list (and it is made up of vulnerable enough Democrats) that it defy the others’ contention that supporting the measure would doom their 2010 prospects; Kratovil is undeniably the most surprising. (For those interested in Senate primaries, Carolyn Maloney and Joe Sestak both voted ‘aye.’)

Keep in mind that Democratic leaders know what votes they need and they’ll allow some of their vulnerable members to break party lines if it can help them. As such, it is no coincidence that the bill ended up with 219 votes - just one above the majority. Had more veteran Democrats voted ‘no’ or had less Republicans crossed-over, you can be sure that Pelosi and Clyburn would have instructed a junior lawmaker like Massa to vote “yes.”

Some vulnerable Republicans supported it

8 Republicans supported the bill; interestingly, 3 of them are from New Jersey. The first 5 on the list could face competitive races next year:

Mark Kirk, Dave Reichert, Mike Castle, Leonard Lance, Mary Bono Mack, Chris Smith, Frank LoBiondo, Mike Castle and John McHugh.

It’s technically true to say that these Republicans made all the difference (the bill goes down 220-211 if we invert their vote) but, as I explained above, that would be a flawed analysis as the Democratic leadership was probably ready to uncover some additional affirmative votes had the need arisen. But that should not take away from those Republicans’ votes, as they greatly facilitated the opposition’s life while helping give some vulnerable Democrats cover. The votes of Kirk and Castle are perhaps most interesting, since both are considering running for Senate.

What is next

Conservatives sound convinced that cap-and-trade will not pass the Senate and thus don’t seem that upset about this vote. Such confidence might be derived from Senator Jim Inhofe’s pronouncement that the Senate is “absolutely certain” to “kill” the legislation. Inhofe estimates that no more than 34 Senators would be willing to vote against a Republican filibuster. (Of course, this is the same interview in which Inhofe insists that “the vast majority of the scientific community has now said Inhofe’s right” that global warming is “a hoax.”)

Yes, it will be tough to get climate change legislation approved in the upper chamber: This is the sort of issue on which the Senate’s arcane composition is most toxic to the prospects of reform. Democrats from the inner states are less likely to support cap-and-trade than Democrats from coastal states, so the fact that small Mountain states and Midwestern states are overrepresented while California is screwed over will be a major obstacle to the bill’s passage - not to mention the need to cross a 3/5th threshold.

At the end of the day, however, dozens of initially skeptical representatives got on board. Why would the same thing not happen in the Senate? If Rep. Peterson managed to single-handedly plunge environmentalists in a state of profound depression, there is no reason to believe that the Senate’s conservative Democrats won’t be able to extract enough concessions to support a bill. Would Senators like Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow really stand on the way of a bill as considerably watered down as the one that passed the House?

Earlier this year, a coalition of 33 Senators, including 8 Democrats (Byrd, Bayh, Casey, Landrieu, Levin, Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Pryor), wrote a joint letter urging cap-and-trade not be included in reconciliation instructions, which would have allowed the Senate to pass a bill with only 50 votes. These 8 Democrats’ goal was not necessarily to block the legislation; it was also remaining relevant and thus obtaining concessions.

The relevant question probably isn’t whether a version of today’s legislation will pass the Senate but how watered down it will be - and how it will be handled in the conference committee.

Update: Politico identifies four Democrats who voted no or were not present in the chamber even though they had told the leadership they would vote support the bill, thus attracting the leadership’s anger - Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (who reportedly sprinted out of the chamber after casting his vote), Rep.  Alcee Hastings (who was present), Rep. Jim Costa and Rep. Solomon Ortiz. Party leaders were also counting on Rep. Eric Massa’s support.


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More gubernatorial withdrawals

Loretta Sanchez and Rick Lazio are not the only ones to come public about their gubernatorial plans this week. Other politicians who were mentioned as potential gubernatorial contenders announced in recent days that they would not run in 2010, in some cases provoking quite a reshuffling of their contest.

Pederson will not mount second statewide run in Arizona

We were introduced to Jim Pederson back in 2006, when he took on Republican Senator John Kyl. Despite spending significant amounts of his own money, the chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party did not manage to ever make the race that competitive; he lost by a respectable 10%. Pederson was now considering challenging seeking the Governor’s office but the road to victory has gotten considerably tougher for Democrats ever since Janet Napolitano resigned to head to Washington, leaving the governorship in the hands of Republican Jan Brewer.

There is no doubt that Brewer will be vulnerable come 2010, but the prospect of taking on yet another incumbent must have been less appealing to Pederson than that of seeking an open seat. On Wednesday, he announced that he would not run for Governor. His comments, which cited other priorities that would prevent him from focusing on a campaign, should also be taken to mean that Pederson will not challenge John McCain. He was not considered a likely candidate in that race, but his candidacy was plausible.

Yet, while no Democrat looks interested in the Senate race, Pederson’s decision will not pose a major problem for the party’s gubernatorial prospects. Attorney General Terry Goddard has said he “intends to run.” Goddard, who lost two gubernatorial bids in 1990 and 1994, has managed to erase the stint of those defeats by convincingly winning two statewide races in 2002 and 2006.

It looks like the main reason Goddard has yet to declare his candidacy is that Arizona law requires state officials to resign from their current office if they intend to seek another one. (Republicans have already been complaining that Goddard has made it clear enough he will run that he should have to resign, forcing the Attorney General to engage in terminological contortions to justify himself.) State Rep. David Bradley has also expressed interest.

A big surprise in Michigan

For the second time of the cycle, a politician everyone expected would seek the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination has decided to take a pass. In April, early front-runner L. Books Patterson pulled out; this week, it was Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s turn. Land was believed to be eying the Governor’s Mansion ever since she won her first statewide office in 2002 - after all, the timing was perfect: With Governor Jennifer Granholm and Land scheduled to be term-limited out of their position at the same time, Land would have an open seat race waiting for her just as she’d have to look for another job.

Based on an EPIC-MRA survey released in May, Land’s withdrawal could be a blow to the GOP’s prospects. Of the 3 Republicans tested in the poll, Land performed strongest in the general election, capturing a 1% lead over the probable Democratic nominee. On the other hand, we shouldn’t read too much into those results: Land performed only 2% better than Attorney General Mike Cox and 5% better than Rep. Peter Hoekstra.

In fact, the main reason Democrats could come to celebrate Land’s decision is that it should prove a boost to Hoekstra, arguably the GOP’s weakest general election contender. Land might have endorsed Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, but her exit leaves a critical geographical unbalance. While Bouchard and Cox come from the Detroit suburbs, Hoekstra and Land’s base is in Western Michigan. The congressman can now hope to build decisive enough margins in his base region to clinch the nomination in a three-way race.

That’s if it remains a three-way race, of course. While many Republicans have been looking to get out of the contest, others are still considering jumping in, including state Sen. Tom George, Rep. Candice Miller and Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon.

The field gets thinner in two other states

In a lower-profile decision, Texas state Senator Leticia Van De Putte released a statement on Tuesday indicating that she would not seek the Governor’s Mansion. With the GOP heading towards a dramatic clash between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, some Democrats have been hoping they’ll get a shot at an upset if the more conservative Perry survives a nasty fight. Yet, the party is still looking for a candidate. With Van De Putte’s decision, former Ambassador Thomas Schieffer remains the only Democratic contender. While Schieffer should prove a strong fundraiser, his shady Democratic credentials and his connections to George W. Bush are understandably holding party activists back from cheering him on.

In Pennsylvania, finally, the gubernatorial race remains wide open as no one has much of an idea what either party’s field will look like. One Democrat who was considered a likely candidate clarified things a bit today: Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham said he would not seek the Governor’s Mansion. Democrats who are still in line to take Ed Rendell’s place include Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Auditor General Jack Wagner. The highest-profile decision belongs to a Republican, however: Rep. Jim Gerlach will make up his mind in the weeks ahead.


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Good poll results for Republicans in FL, for Democrats in OR and for Sestak in PA

Good results for Florida Republicans

Rasmussen’s first visit to the Sunshine State finds good results for Republicans in both major statewide contests:

  • In the Governor’s race, Bill McCollum tops Alex Sink 42% to 34%. McCollum’s favorability rating (53-26) is also stronger than Sink’s (50-32).
  • In the Senate race, Charlie Crist dominates both of his potential Democratic opponents: He tops Rep. Kendrick Meek 46% to 28% and Corrine Brown 50% to 29%; Rubio does not appear to have been tasted. Both Democrats have mediocre-to-bad favorability ratings: 36-38 for Brown, 37-36 for Meek. Crist’s rating is much stronger, but so is his name recognition: 57 have a favorable view of him, versus 36%.

I believe this is the first poll to find McCollum clearly ahead. But these results’ most surprising feature is that there is no name recognition differential between the two politicians. Earlier polls released by Quinnipiac and Mason Dixon showed that voters were much more familiar with McCollum than they were with Sink. That does suggest that Sink has more room to grow than this poll leaves her.

There is no question that Crist is the overwhelming favorite but Democrats shouldn’t lose all hope as long as the Governor is around or below the 50% mark. In fact, I believe this 18% margin is the closest Meek has ever gotten to Crist. He could at least make the race look more competitive once he increases his name recognition and if he improves his favorability rating: As much as Crist’s stature, Meek’s biggest problem is that many who know him don’t like him. But remember that, as long as Brown does not jump in the race, Meek will have time to improve his image while Crist is distracted by Rubio’s attacks.

Too much is unclear in Oregon’s Governor’s race

Once a swing state, Oregon took a decisively leftward turn in 2008, and that is allowing Democrats to breath easier about next year’s open gubernatorial race, which they have to defend. A new Research 2000 survey confirms that they have the early edge in this contest, but there is still a long way to go:

  • The biggest Democratic names - Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. John Kitzhaber and former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury - have very good favorability ratings (+25, +17 and +18, respectively). On the Republican side, former Senator Gordon Smith stands at a poor 39-48, while Rep. Greg Walden’s positive rating (+11%) could make him an attractive contender.
  • In head-to-head match-ups, Kitzhaber leads Smith 46% to 37% and Walden 44% to 38%. DeFazio is ahead 47% to 37% and 45% to 38%. Bradbury doesn’t look as good - 42%-38% and 40%-39% - but his name recognition is also lower. Two lower-profile politicians - Democrat Steve Novick and Republican state Senator Jason Atkinson - trail by larger margins.

Complicating matters is that it is still very unclear what the field will look like - on either side. Of the seven candidates listed by Research 2000, Bradbury is the only one who is already in the race. DeFazio, Kitzhaber and Walden have all expressed an interest, while Smith is considered unlikely to jump in now that he has a lucrative job at a lobbying firm (see Porter, Ron). Nor does Smith look like a particularly attractive candidate, as his poor head-to-head numbers and his negative favorability rating indicate he has not recovered from his failed 2008 re-election bid.

Depending on who ends up running, then, the race could be more or less competitive. On the Republican side, it certainly looks like Walden would be a highly credible candidate - especially if DeFazio and Kitzhaber do not run - but the GOP might not have another candidate to turn to. Gordon Smith’s match-up numbers and his favorability rating suggest he has not recovered from his failed 2008 re-election bid; and however credible a candidate like Jason Atkinson might be, he probably lacks the stature to overcome Oregon’s blue lean.

Specter’s plunge

A new Franklin & Marshall poll of Pennsylvania finds quite a plunge in Arlen Specter’s numbers compared to their previous March survey, which was conducted before the Senator switched parties:

  • Specter’s approval rating has dropped from 52% to 34%; his re-elect from 40% to 28%.
  • This is largely fueled by Republicans deserting Specter - his approval rating drops from 49% to 18% - but the least we can say is that Democrats have not warned to their newest Senator. Not only has Specter’s approval rating among Dems dropped from 57% to 46% but his re-elect marker has barely increased, going from 41% to 43%.
  • In a primary match-up with Joe Sestak, Specter leads 33% to 13%, with 48% undecided.

These numbers are remarkable: Approximately the same share of Democrats wanted to see Specter re-elected when he was still a Republican than they do now that he is a Democrat! In other words, they did not see the Senator as their enemy when he was part of the opposition and they do not see him as a friend now that he has joined their camp. That dynamic might have allowed Specter to win crossover support in his past general elections, but it now suggests that it could be difficult for him to survive the Democratic primary. Sure, it’s surprising to see such a large proportion of undecided voters - other pollsters have pushed respondents more - but keep in mind that a 30-year incumbent can’t have that much room to grow.


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New York: Lazio “fully intends” to run, Q-pac finds competitive Senate primary

As utter chaos continues to rein in Albany - over the past two days, state Senators have defied David Paterson’s calling special sessions by gaveling in and gaveling out within 5 minutes - Republicans are trying to position themselves as reformers to take advantage of the situation.

In an op-ed published yesterday in The New York Times, Rudy Giuliani called for a constitutional convention to reform institutions. “I am hoping, in essence, that the trauma of what is being displayed now in Albany will lead to a populist base of support that will overcome the special interests,” he wrote. But Giuliani also did his best for his move not to be interpreted as a candidacy - a concern another Republican does not share.

Yesterday, former Rep. Rick Lazio voiced his own idea for reform by proposing that New York adopts a unicameral legislature. Today, he dispatched his political allies to tell the media that he is committed to running, as Newsday and The Associated Press are now reporting. “He fully intends to,” said Lazio’s spokesperson tonight.

And so Paterson has his first, albeit yet undeclared, challenger.

In normal circumstances, Lazio’s candidacy could be a tough sell. He has been out of politics ever since his decade-old 12% defeat in the hands of Hillary Clinton and his intervening career as a bank executive could become a handicap in the context of the financial crisis. Sure, he was a rising GOP star in the 1990s and his departure from Congress in 2000 this has allowed him to escape from the Bush years fully untarnished but New York has been so brutal for Republicans over the past decade it’d be tough to see him succeed in a comeback.

But these are not normal circumstances, and there is little need to discuss Lazio’s strengths and weaknesses: The election will to a great extent be decided by the identity of the Democratic nominee. If David Paterson makes it to the general election, Lazio would be the favorite (an early May poll found Lazio leading 40% to 37%, which is a solid result given how long it has been since he has been in the public eye); but if Democrats nominate Andrew Cuomo, any Republican would have trouble overcoming the state’s blue lean.

While it did not test Lazio’s candidacy, a Quinnipiac poll released yesterday found the usual dismal numbers for and the usual strong results for Cuomo. Yet, the Governor’s numbers experienced a small uptick: We’re only talking about a 28% approval rating and a 28% favorability rating, but those are improvements over his May numbers. He trails 57% to 30% against Cuomo (that’s better than the 45% deficit he faced in May) and 52% to 34% against Giuliani. Cuomo leads Giuliani 51% to 39%.

Quinnipiac tests Maloney for the first time, finds competitive primary

The more interesting half of that Quinnipiac survey concerns the Senate race: The poll shows Senator Kirsten Gillibrand narrowly trailing Carolyn Maloney in the Democratic primary, 27% to 23%. Jonathan Tasini receives 4%. Gillibrand and Maloney have approximately the same level of name recognition and comparable favorability ratings.

Gillibrand’s results are nothing to be ashamed of - her approval rating, for instance, stands at a solid 35% t0 10% - so her problem is not that she is unpopular but that she remains vastly unknown. That means that she has a lot of room to grow; it also means that Maloney cant try to define Gillibrand before the Senator has had a chance to make a lasting impression (depending on her resources and how much she amps the volume of her attacks).

In the general election, both Democrats crush potential Republican candidate Peter King by the same margin: 44% to 28% for Gillibrand, 42% to 24% for Maloney. Based on the general election results, The Albany Project attempts a bizarre spin. “While Maloney is strong in New York City and shaky elsewhere, Gillibrand is strong in most categories,” they write, scolding Maloney for only leading King by 2% in the suburbs while minimizing Gillibrand’s need “to improve in the suburbs.” This makes little sense, so let’s have a reality check.

The two candidates have approximately the same lead in New York City; since their statewide lead is identical, it is simply not possible for Gillibrand’s results to be meaningfully better in the rest of the state. And indeed: In the suburbs, Maloney is much stronger (she leads by 2% while Gillibrand trails by 17%); upstate, Gillibrand performs much better (+22% compared to +7% for Maloney). In short: Both candidates perform relatively well in one non-city section and relatively poorly in another.

I am harping on this because New York’s geographical split is sure to be an argument we will hear a lot over the next year. Yes, someone like Gillibrand might not have awoken as much hostility had she been from the city; yes, NYC could be overrepresented if Maloney wins. But let’s not misread poll numbers to make up a case that Maloney is a geographically divisive candidate. When you take into account the fact that the suburbs in which Maloney leads are traditionally Republican (Giuliani leads Cuomo by 5% in the gubernatorial section), this poll simply does not suggest that Maloney’s geographical reach is weaker than Gillibrand’s.

Right now, the bottom line is that few voters seem to have any idea who they are dealing with and both Democrats will have ample time to introduce themselves to voters. As the incumbent - not to mention a strong fundraiser - Gillibrand should be in a stronger position to control her image but Maloney will improve her own name recognition in parallel. Whether she can keep up with the Senator will have to be seen.


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Loretta Sanchez will not run for California Governor, so who is left?

Antonio Villaraigosa’s withdrawal from California’s gubernatorial race left an opening in the Democratic primary. With the field now in the hands of two white men from Northern California (Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown), an Hispanic politician, a woman or a Southern Californian would have a good shot of finding a natural constituency and clinching the nomination.

One politician accumulated all three of these attributes: Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who had long since expressed her interest in a statewide race, was ideally positioned to take advantage of Villaraigosa’s exit. With Diane Feinstein no longer showing much sign that she is interested, she was all but sure to be the only woman in the race - a sizable advantage that can bring with it crucial endorsements.

She also would have been better positioned than San Fransisco’s Newsom to appeal to Los Angeles and its surroundings, which she represents. (On the other hand, this geographical argument has its limits: Sure, Brown is more closely attached to Northern California since he was born in San Fransisco and was Mayor of Oakland from 1998 to 2006, but he has also served a total of 15 years in a statewide capacity - certainly long enough to introduce himself to voters across California.)

Yet, Sanchez made it clear yesterday that she would not run for Governor, noting that she already had “the best job in the world.”

And so I am back making the same observation as on Tuesday. Not so long ago, we thought that the Democratic primary would be very crowded; now, four of the likeliest of contenders have dropped out or are close to doing so (Villaraigosa, Garamendi, Sanchez, Feinstein). That leaves few names other than Newsom and Brown, but there are a few figures we should keep track of: Controller John Chiang, Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell (all men).

O’Connell is known to be considering the race, and he can tout his local electoral history from SoCal (he served as Assemblyman for 12 years and as state Senator for 8) and point to his 2006 re-election case, during which he won every single county. On the other hand, Superintendent of Public Instruction is a non-partisan position, so is his connection to Democratic voters already strong enough for him to attempt such a high-profile run?

Lockyer has served long enough statewide - he was Attorney General from 1999 to 2007 and has served as Treasurer since - that he could immediately be a credible candidate. Furthermore, he has a massive amount of cash in the bank ($10 million) that could be used in a gubernatorial race if he chose to jump in. On the other hand, is his name not too associated with the state’s budgetary woes? As for Chiang, I am able to find even less buzz than for O’Connell and Lockyer.

If either of these three were to jump in, it wouldn’t shake up the race - Newsom and Brown, who have been raising money for months and have strong name recognition, would remain the front-runners - but it could complicate matters a bit. Newsom could have a better shot at eking out a plurality victory, but he would also have a harder time portraying the primary as a generational challenge. O’Connell (and his ability to focus on education) and Lockyer (and his millions) could also become significant forces in the primary.

Loretta Sanchez’s decision also has consequences at the House level. The NRCC has been heavily touting Assemblyman Van Tran, though I’ve never quite understood why: Sanchez represents a Democratic district and she has not underperformed in recent cycles, so I was only left to assume that the GOP was hoping that the seat would be open or that they were hoping to scare Sanchez into choosing another office.

Now that we know Sanchez will seek re-election, the GOP’s door looks to be closing. Sure, it might be worth keeping an eye on her race with Tran - especially if the environment becomes as toxic for Democrats as it was for Republicans last year - but the incumbent is heavily favored to win another term.



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  • All good things must come to an end

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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What remains on the table

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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