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
2009 July 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 July, 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

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

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This past week’s polls give Republicans plenty to celebrate

On Monday, I mentioned two polls that gave Senate Democrats some heartburn - Simmons’s lead over Dodd and Boxer’s weak showing against Fiorina - but many other surveys were released in the days during which I put my blog on hold. Some of them have been circulating for more than a week, and many of you have surely seen them by now; but I thought I should at least mention it - so here’s the full rundown.

As you can see, Republicans have a lot to celebrate (especially when you add the CA and CT polls I mentioned above) while the only good news Democrats can point to is that they’re holding Vitter and Bloomberg under 50%.

Vitter leads by double-digit but under 50%: PPP’s Louisiana survey proposes one the first match-ups we’ve seen of Senator David Vitter and Rep. Charlie Melancon: The incumbent leads by a solid though not overwhelming 44% to 32%.His approval rating stands at a respectable 44-36 while his re-elect is weak (38-44). Vitter is nowhere near the top of the DSCC’s target list, but this poll will do nothing to dissuade those Democrats who think the D.C. Madam’s former client could be vulnerable to a strong challenge: Vitter is well under the 50% threshold. Now, the question is whether Melancon will actually jump in the race. His entry would delight the DSCC, its most probable consequence would be for Democrats to lose his House seat.

McDonnell’s surge: Forget Creigh Deeds’s post-primary bounce: A new SUSA poll suggests the Democrat will now be likely just to enter the general election period in a competitive position. Bob McDonnell led by 4% in June, but he now crushes Deeds 55% to 40%. Republicans also hold decisive leads in the LG and AG races. This surge is due to: McDonnell’s huge advantage among independents (60% to 35%) and to the sample’s composition. While Obama won Virginia’s actual November vote by 5%, 52% of respondents revealed they’d voted for McCain in November while 43% said they’d chosen Obama.

That discrepancy has sparked some debate: Is the poll using a flawed sample? Or is this survey revealing that the Democratic electorate is far less likely to turn out than the Republican base? While I do think the poll’s make-up is perhaps a bit too skewed, that’s certainly no reason to toss it out - especially when we have long known that the biggest risk Deeds faces is a fired-up conservative crowd coupled with disaffected African-Americans and liberals. Furthermore, other surveys have shown McDonnell climbing back since Deeds’s early June bounce; the numbers are certainly not as big as SUSA’s, but the trends coincidence.

GOP poll finds Hoeven crushing Dorgan: North Dakota Governor John Hoeven recently suggested he is still looking at the possibility of running for Senate, and the NRSC is clearly committed to recruiting him. Public Opinion Strategies has just released a GOP-sponsored poll that shows Hoeven crushing Senator Byron Dorgan 53% to 36%. While Dorgan is very popular (69-24), Hoeven is beloved (86-5). It’s hard to know what to make of this poll: A February poll released by Research 2000 had Dorgan leading by 22%!

Who to trust? My sense is that both surveys have unrealistically big margins, but until we get other pollsters to take a look at North Dakota I think Research 2000’s survey makes more sense. Small states - especially the Dakotas - like to keep their incumbents since seniority is their only hope for any influence on the Hill. (There’s also the fact that R2000 is an independent poll while POS is a Republican outlet.)

Patrick is more vulnerable than is commonly thought: A number of polls have shown that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is in trouble and this week’s a Boston Globe-UNH poll confirmed it: Not only is his favorability rating dismal (36% to 52%) but he struggles in all types of general election configurations: Against Republican businessmen Charles Baker and Christy Mihos, he trails 41% to 35% and 41% to 40%, respectively. If Treasurer Tom Cahill runs as an independent, Patrick at least avoids trailing: He ties Cahill at 30% in a match-up with Baker, who gets 20%, and at 31% in a match-up with Mihos, who gets 18%.

This poll demonstrates that Mihos and Baker’s general election competitiveness derives from Patrick’s unpopularity more than from voters’ sudden interest in voting for a Republican. As such, a 3-way race could be Patrick’s main hope for survival as Cahill and the GOP nominee could split the anti-incumbent vote. On the other hand, many Democrats who would not go as far as to vote for a Republican might be open to voting for an independent challenger, so Patrick stands to lose supporters if Cahill runs.

Bloomberg slips, somewhat: Given the obscene amount of money Mike Bloomberg is spending to win re-election, he must surely not have been expecting to see his numbers decline. Yet, that’s exactly what happened in Quinnipiac’s latest survey of New York’s mayoral race: Bloomberg has slipped to its lowest total since Quinnipiac started testing his match-ups with Democrat William Thompson. Sure, Bloomberg remains firmly in control - he leads 47% to 37% - but that compares to his 22% lead in June. In particular, Thompson is climbing among Democrats (he has a 45-42 lead) and African-Americans (56-30). So is this just an outlier or will other polls find a similar tightening?

No improvement for Corzine: Governor Jon Corzine might be going on the offensive in New Jersey, but his numbers remain as dismal as ever: He has trailed by double-digits in 9 of the 11 polls taken since June. The latest survey, released by PPP, confirms that Republicans are now heavily favored to pick-up this governorship: Chris Christie leads 50% to 36%. Despite the Democrat’s negative ads, Christie retains a strong favorability rating (42-32), especially compared to Corzine’s truly disastrous 33-56.


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While McHugh has yet to resign, parties prepare NY-23 special and blur ideological lines

Obama’s decision to tap Rep. McHugh as Secretary of the Army will force the GOP to defend its blue-trending district in a tough fall special election. Yet, Democrats have a very thin bench in the district and their top potential contender, state Senator Daniel Aubertine, has announced he does not want the Democratic nomination.

This came as somewhat of a surprise since Aubertine was believed to be preparing for a run. (In fact, Republicans had already launched an attack ad, tying Aubertine to Pelosi.) He would not have risked his current job had he jumped in, and he was virtually guaranteed the Democratic nomination. So what happened? My best guess is that Aubertine realized that the job was probably a short-term one: New York will lose one to two seats in the upcoming round of redistricting. As the delegation’s most junior representative, the victor of the NY-23 special election will more likely than not be sacrificed.

While Aubertine’s decision will delight Albany Democrats, who are holding on to the tiniest of majorities in the state Senate, it is a substantial blow to the DCCC’s prospects of winning the special election: Without the state Senator, the list of potential nominees is decidedly underwhelming. (A Democratic committee will select the nominee in mid-August.) A similar recruitment discrepancy did not prevent the party from scoring an upset in NY-20 but lighting does not always strike twice. Republicans now have to be considered favored to win the special election.

The beneficiary of the Democrats’ recruitment bumps is Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who has already been selected as the Republicans’ flag bearer. Scozzafava has a centrist profile - she voted in favor of gay marriage in the state Assembly and her husband is a labor leader - so much so that some local Democrats were hoping to convince her to switch parties and Scozzafava’s entourage openly acknowledged that they were considering running her as a Democrat.

Had Scozzafava faced off against Aubertine, ideological fault lines would have been blurred. While Scozzafava considered becoming a Democrat, Aubertine was close to joining the group of dissidents who were helping Republicans get a working majority of New York’s state Senate. Also, Scozzafava voted in favor of gay marriage in the state legislature while Aubertine opposed it. We now know that this match-up will not take place, but depending on whom Democrats nominate, it’s very much possible that Scozzafava could be the more liberal contender.

That makes her selection as the Republican candidate carry both great promise and great risk for the GOP.

On the one hand, Scozzafava is ideally placed to reach out to moderate voters, which her state party has failed to do over the past decade. For a New Yorker to be registered Republican is becoming almost as meaningless as for a Southern voter to be registered Democratic. Remember what happened in the NY-20 special election: While registered Republicans significantly outnumbered registered Democrats, many crossed over to vote for Murphy.

So can Scozzafava break that pattern and do in NY-23 what Jim Tedisco could not in NY-20 -  convince moderate Republicans to stay home? She has already succeeded in one step to achieve that goal: The Independent Party has endorsed Scozzafava, which means the Republican’s name will also appear on the ballot on that party’s line. (In the NY-20 special election, the IP had endorsed the Democrat.) This is a particularly disappointing blow for Democrats since IP officials had announced they would back Aubertine before the latter pulled his name from the running.

On the other hand, Scozzafava’s selection could easily blow up in the GOP’s face: Her moderate profile guarantees that she’ll face significant problems relying on her party’s conservative base. While this is a problem in any election, it’s an even bigger one in a low-turnout special election in which party activists and partisans tend to be the most reliable voters. How can Scozzafava excite these voters and ensure they turn out in high enough numbers that she can overcome the district’s blue drift?

Worse still for the GOP, the Conservative Party has already warned it will not almost certainly not endorse Scozzafava and look to run another candidate on its ballot line. The names that are circulating are certainly credible enough for this third contender to draw substantial support from partisan Republicans; if conservative anger against Scozzafava spreads (and support for gay marriage is certainly a no-no for many right-wing activists), businessman Doug Hoffman, for instance, could make it tough for Scozzafava to win the race, whoever the Democratic candidate.


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The ups and downs of NRCC recruitment

Yesterday, I highlighted some of the Democrats’ good House news - particularly their ability to avoid giving the GOP unnecessary openings. Within a few hours, yet another Democratic representative announced that he will not vacate his seat in 2010: Rep. Jim Matheson ruled out mounting a gubernatorial run, even though he is one of the only Democrats who could have taken advantage of the shuffle created by Governor Huntsman’s resignation. Matheson’s UT-02 is a red-leaning district that would have been very tough for Democrats to defend, so that sound you hear is yet another sigh of relief from the DCCC.

Yet, House Republicans are still as determined to go on the offensive next year: NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions just said that he was hoping to seriously contest 80 Dem-held districts come 2010! That’s an obviously unrealistic number, at this juncture ridiculously so, but at least Sessions is trying to change momentum after two disastrous cycles in which the GOP was stuck on the defensive. And Sessions went on to unveil its Young Guns program, the GOP’s equivalent of the DCCC’s Red to Blue. The initial list includes 13 challengers Republicans think are top-tier recruits:

Martha Roby (AL-02); Van Tran (CA-47); Cory Gardner (CO-04); Dennis Ross (FL-12); Charles Djou (HI-01); Vaughn Ward (ID-01); Adam Kinzinger (IL-11); Andy Harris (MD-01); Frank Guinta (NH-01); Jon Barela (NM-01); Steve Pearce (NM-02); Steve Chabot (OH-01); Steve Stivers (OH-15)

FL-12 is a GOP-held open seat, so that’s not an offensive opportunity. Of the 12 challengers on the list, some definitely should be on this list (AL-02, CO-04, ID-01, NH-01, NM-02, OH-01, OH-15); one seems to me to be weaker than other candidates the GOP could field (Andy Harris in MD-01); and a number continue to seem like wishful thinking (CA-47, HI-01 and NM-01 seem like too heavily Democratic to be worth the NRCC’s efforts). I am struck by OR-04’s absence: The NRCC spent so much time recruiting Sid Leiken that I’d expect him to now get more attention.

Meanwhile, the NRCC’s recruitment districts in other districts is having mixed results - as you can see from the round-up below.

NRCC misses its best shot at CT-04

CT-04 is not the most obvious of Republican targets - Obama prevailed by 20% last fall, helping dislodge Chris Shays - but the NRCC had been talking up Rep. Jim Himes’s vulnerability. That was perhaps because Himes is a freshman, perhaps because the district’s blue drift is bound to decrease and perhaps because the GOP was counting on recruiting a top challenger: State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, who has a moderate reputation and whose father represented the distrist from 1971 to 1987.

After weeks during which he flirted with a run - even traveling to Washington to meet with NRCC officials - McKinney has just announced he will not challenge Himes in 2010. That’s a huge blow to the GOP’s prospects in this already tough district. Other credible Republicans might run - state Senators Rob Kane, Dan Debicella and Rob Russo are mentioned - but none have the advantage of McKinney’s last name.

Childrers draws top-tier challenger

After winning a springtime special election with surprising ease last year, Travis Childers did not have to worry much about his first re-election race in November. But 2010 should be very different: State Senator Alan Nunnelee, who has served in the legislature since 1994, just filed a candidacy statement. His entry makes this race a top priority for the NRCC.

Nunnelee has has better name recognition than your average challenger; his role as Appropriations Committee Chairman should make it very easy for him to raise money; and his prominence gives him the best shot at avoiding the GOP a divisive primary (in 2008, Republican divisions helped Childers scored an upset). In a district that gave McCain 62% of the vote, can Childers survive a well-funded challenger who is able to unite the GOP? Remember: MS-01 is one of those Southern districts that swung to the GOP in 1994.

GOP can now search for strongest challenger in VA-05

No one doubts that Tom Perriello is a very vulnerable incumbent: The only true surprise winner of the 2008 cycle, Perriello benefited from a favorable environment and he will now have to run without the benefit of Obama’s coattails. But a crucial question surrounded the race: Would the GOP make the most of its opportunity by fielding its strongest possible candidate? Former Rep. Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated in 2008, was very interested in seeking a rematch and he was acting like a candidate.

Yet, he just announced that he would pass on the race, which is undoubtedly good news for the NRCC:  A longtime congressman, Goode is a well-known entity in the district so it would not have been easy for him to overcome voters’ decision to kick him out. Furthermore, his very conservative politics and his history of controversial statements are an increasingly bad fit for this blue-trending district. With Goode out of the picture, the NRCC can turn to fresher faces who can fashion themselves a more appropriate profile: State Sen. Robert Hurt and state Del. Rob Bell are potential contenders.

VA-11: Fimian is back

In 2008, Gerald Connolly’s victory in the VA-11 open race was slightly underwhelming: He came to the race with a far higher profile, had a much longer time to prepare his campaign and he benefited from Obama’s Northern Virginia coattails. The major explanation for why the race remained somewhat competitive was Republican Keith Fimian’s deep pockets. Through self-funding, this wealthy businessman was able to spend far more money than he would have had his fate rested in the NRCC’s hands.

That’s why Fimian’s announcement that he will seek a rematch meets the GOP’s only hope of contesting this district in 2010: While the district is now too Democratic for the NRCC to accept spending much money and for Republican donors to be convinced to invest, a self-funder can test Connolly’s vulnerability without needing much national attention.


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House Democrats get some good news

I remain far from able to return to politics, but I do miss daily writing; some posting should help me pass time and relieve stress at this point - so expect some write-ups over the next few days but forgive me if posts remains infrequent and irregular. On an unrelated note, you can subscribe to my RSS feed if you have yet to do so.

Over the past few months, the midterm picture has been rapidly deteriorating for Democrats. Yet, at the micro level, the House picture remains more than satisfying for the DCCC: Not only are they not giving the GOP unnecessary openings in vulnerable districts,  but they are also doing what they need to takeover the GOP’s most vulnerable seats. The past week brought more examples of this: Democrats are making the most of their opportunity in LA-02 and PA-15 and they avoided a tough open seat in NC-07.

In New Orleans, Cao lands first challenger

In my House ratings, the assessment most of you disagreed with concerned LA-02 - the heavily Democratic New Orleans-based district represented by Republican Rep. Joseph Cao. While many of you insisted the race should be “lean takeover,” I rated it as a toss-up, arguing it would be too bizarre to put it in any other category before a single Democratic challenger even emerges. Well, Cao now has a challenger: state Rep. Juan LaFonta just announced his candidacy.

Given that Obama won 74% of the district’s vote last fall, a generic (i.e. non-indicted) Democrat will be favored to pick-up the district. Even though LaFonta is unlikely to end up as the nominee (Democrats will probably select an African-American), his entrance guarantees that Cao will face a highly credible opponent - which leaves him as the clear underdog. LA-02 thus becomes the first “lean takeover” race of the 2010 cycle.

Another reason why LaFonta’s announcement is a clear setback for Cao is that the state legislator was considering running as an independent in order to bypass the Democratic nomination. Cao needs yet another perfect storm of extraordinary circumstances to survive until the 2010 redistricting and such 3-way general election could have been one of the needed ingredients.

PA-15: The 6th Kerry district will be contested

The DCCC has been talking to Bethleem Mayor John Callahan for years, but the Democrat has repeatedly refused to take on Rep. Charlie Dent - until this week, that is. After all but closing the door to a run earlier this year, Callahan changed his mind and announced his candidacy in Pennsylvania’s 15th District.

This is a huge victory for Democrats, as it ensures that they will contest all six districts that Kerry won in 2006 but that are still represented by a Republican: LA-02, DE-AL, IL-10, PA-06 and WA-08 were already sure to be host competitive races, leaving PA-15 as the only seat Democrats weren’t able to put on the map. Callahan’s candidacy changes that: Not only do Mayors usually make good candidates because they have a more direct connection to voters than other politicians, but Bethlehem is a sizable enough city (its population is above 70,000) that Callahan would have the benefit of a strong geographical base.

While Dent easily won re-election in tough climates in 2006 and 2008, he did not face much competition. We’ll have to see how he holds up under pressure before settling on an a new rating, but PA-15 is now far closer to a “toss-up” than to the “likely retention” it received in my latest House ratings.

McIntyre will not vacate his House seat

One of the most conservative House Democrats, Rep. Mike McIntyre represents a red-leaning district: McCain prevailed by 5% last fall, George W. Bush by 12% in 2004. An open seat would have been very difficult for his party to defend, which is why the DCCC is breathing a huge sigh of relief now that McIntyre announced he would not leave his House seat to run for Senate. With McIntyre in the race, Republicans are highly unlikely to bother fielding a credible nominee and NC-07 will probably not work its way on our 2010 radar screen.

As for the Senate race, I don’t think Democrats have much too lament. It is true that they have proven unable to find a top-tier challenger for Senator Richard Burr and that McIntyre had expressed his interest in the race. Yet, McIntyre’s politics would place him much closer to überconservatives Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln than to North Carolina’s Kay Hagan; in other words, Democrats certainly don’t need to go as far to the right as McIntyre to compete in this state.

Second, other high-profile Democrats remain to take on Burr - albeit their numbers are dwindling. In particular, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Rep. Bob Etheridge have yet to rule out the race. Both would make strong contenders. My sense is that Marshall would like to run but that she does not want to go through another grueling primary eight years after her disastrous 2002 bid (she came in third behind Erskine Bowles and Dan Blue). With Cooper, Shuler and McIntyre’s exit, might it not be easier for the DSCC to convince Marshall to run?

It’s at least worth paying attention to FL-16

Last, and probably least, Democrats might be able to put on the map a district we thought wouldn’t be a center of attention now that it’s back in Republican hands: The stage of sex scandals in both the 2006 and 2008 cycles, FL-16 leans red (McCain won a 5% victory). Touted as a formidable candidate as soon as he was recruited, Rooney only received a boost from the Mahoney scandal and he now looks favored to win a second term. Yet, it looks like Democrats will be able to test his vulnerability: St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft announced that he was “leaning towards” running. If he pulls the trigger, FL-16 could well be worth following.


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McConnell and Cornyn got what they wanted

Thank you for all your good wishes and thank you for being patient while I step back from blogging to take care of family matters. Things are on the right track but it remains too early for me to come back. Yet, I simply could not stay away from covering a truly major development in the Senate battle: Bunning is retiring.

July continues to bring good news for the NRSC: After Kelly Ayotte and Mark Kirk’s candidacy statements, Jim Bunning’s announcement that he will not seek re-election is music to the GOP’s ears.

With his unpopularity, gaffes and past close calls, the aging Republican was generally considered certain to lose if he ran for re-election - and that alone hardened the conventional wisdom that Bunning was sure to head out. Yet, the Senator repeated over and over that he was certain to run: he threatened to sue the NRSC when its chairman suggested otherwise and ripped into any prominent Republican who suggested that the Senator might retire.

Terrified at the prospect of Bunning’s candidacy, the Republican leadership openly signaled that they were looking to get rid of him. John Cornyn met with a potential primary challenger, Mitch McConnell put up obstacles to Bunning’s fundraising and heir apparent Secretary of State Trey Grayson formed an exploratory committee. Bunning was having an increasingly tough time fighting the Republican sharks who were circling him.

“When they recruit someone to run against you in a primary, it puts doubt in people’s minds that you are going to finish the race,” said Bunning in April. “Therefore, they’re waiting and waiting and waiting. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Well, they only had to wait three more months for Bunning to give up. “Over the past year, some of the leaders of the Republican Party in the Senate have done everything in their power to dry up my fundraising,” he said in a statement. “The simple fact is that I have not raised the funds necessary to run an effective campaign for the U.S. Senate. For this reason, I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2010.”

Based on the determination with which McConnell and Cornyn sabotaged Bunning’s campaign, you can be sure that they are now ecstatic. His retirement dramatically improves their odds of defending Kentucky’s Senate seat.

Sure, an open seat race is far from a sure victory for the GOP. Kentucky’s conservative drift gives the party a slight advantage but Grayson is sure to face a top-tier opponent. (Attorney General Jack Conway and Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo are already seeking the Democratic nomination, and both are sure to be highly competitive in the general election.) As such, Kentucky should host one of the most suspenseful of the cycle.

But that alone is a huge relief for the NRSC. As of this morning, Democrats were more likely than not to pick-up the seat; now, the race looks like a pure toss-up. This is yet another in a series of developments that should give the NRSC hope it might finally reverse its fortunes and hold down its midterm losses - perhaps even pick-up a few seats!

Indeed, the NRSC is smiling about other races as well. Last week, we saw that Specter was locked in a tie with Pat Toomey. Since then, 2 new Senate surveys find Democratic incumbents in trouble:

  • In CA, Rasmussen has Senator Barbara Boxer leading Carly Fiorina by an unimpressive 4% - 45% to 41%. At 50%, her approval rating is not that concerning but it is nothing to boast about either.
  • In CT, Quinnipiac finds that Dodd is unable to improve his numbers: 55% of respondents say that he is not honest and trustworthy, versus only 35% who say the contrary. He trails former Rep. Simmons 48% to 39% (he trailed 45-39 in May). He does lead state Senator Sam Caligirui 42% to 40% and he ties former Ambassador Tom Foley at 42%

Ever since we saw the first polls showing Dodd in trouble, there has been a tendency to assume that his numbers would improve in time - but that plainly does not appear to be the case. Connecticut voters mistrust Dodd’s ethics, and such a blow to one’s reputation is very tough for any well-known incumbent to overcome. With the Senator increasingly looking like the Democrats’ version of Bunning, will the Democratic leadership start pressuring him into retirement?

Overall, it is unlikely the GOP will be able to be highly competitive in all the races that hold some promise - PA, CA, IL, CT, CO, NV and AR. But with polls showing Democratic incumbents slipping in all of these states, it is looking increasingly certain that at least some of these races will be hotly contested.


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On hold

Dear readers: As you surely noticed, the blog’s pace slowed down since the week began - and I am now putting it on hold for a few days because of family matters that demand my attention.

I was thinking of doing this a couple of days ago, but writing kept me distracted so I kept the blog going. But I decided I shouldn’t be spending time thinking about politics right now.

If some major news breaks that can be covered with easy writing and little thinking, I might quickly jump in to give my take. Otherwise, you’re going to have to look elsewhere for the latest in Senate polling (Vitter is under 50%!), House recruitment (did the DCCC finally score in PA-15?) and health care reform (looks like conservative Dems are succeeding in delaying matters into to the fall…) over the next few days.


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Specter attacks and Toomey rises: Pennsylvania Senate race heats up

Specter dials up volume of attacks

The all-but-certain primary between Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak has been getting increasingly heated in recent weeks. The Senator has gone on the offensive, questioning Sestak’s Democratic credentials: Specter pointed out that he was not a Democrat but an independent until he ran for Congress in 2006. When Sestak responded that he affiliated with Democrats after he left military service (he was a Navy Vice Admiral), Specter unloaded:

Congressman Sestak is a flagrant hypocrite in challenging my being a real Democrat when he did not register as a Democrat until 2006 just in time to run for Congress… His lame excuse for avoiding party affiliation, because he was in the [military] service, is undercut by his documented disinterest in the political process.

I understand the point Specter is trying to make - being in the military does not prevent one from being affiliated with a party, so this cannot be the real reason - but he could have phrased it more elegantly. Calling military service a “lame excuse” is never the best electoral argument. It’s puzzling that Specter is focusing on comparing party loyalty - can he really win that fight? after all, it’s not like Sestak has been a Blue Dog since he was elected - rather than emphasizing matters he should want voters to think about - seniority, and by extension effectiveness and legislative influence.

Specter’s biggest asset remains the support of the Democratic establishment but there is some reason to doubt how effective that support will be. Sure, Rendell is continuing to urge Sestak to drop out but the dramatic drop in his popularity won’t allow him to be that effective a surrogate.

Perhaps more importantly, Roland Gibbs’s comments at yesterday’s press briefing make the White House sound less enthusiastic than it used to be. Much will surely depend on Specter’s behavior during the health care debate. Once opposed to a public option, the Senator cannot afford to restate that sentiment or threaten to hold up reform. His confrontational attitude during the Sotomayor hearings already raised eyebrows among liberals activists.

Q-Pac poll shows Toomey transformed into legitimate contender

Fortunately for Specter, a new Quinnipiac poll shows he retains a decisive advantage in the Democratic primary: 55% to 23%. That’s a stronger standing than in other recent surveys and Specter’s ability to stand well above 50% is a sign that his new party’s base is not rejecting him.

The usual caveat applies: 67% of Democrats have no opinion of Sestak and he is viewed very favorably by those who do (30-3). Poll numbers tend to be more fluid in a primary, so we’ll see what Sestak can do once he increases his name recognition. In this regard, the best news for Specter is that he has slightly extended his lead since May; that does signal that Democratic affection is not just due to the coverage he received in the weeks following his party switch.

Yet, Quinnipiac’s poll has plenty of worrisome nuggets for Specter in particular and Democrats in general, as it shows Toomey in a far stronger position than is commonly thought:

  • Matched-up against Toomey, Specter leads by a single percentage point - 45% to 44%, quite a drop from his 20% lead in early May and 9% lead in late May. Specter is showing other signs of weakness: He only leads Peg Luksik 47% to 40%, his re-elect stands at a worrisome 40% and his favorability rating has slipped to 45-44.
  • Toomey actually manages to lead against Sestak, 39% to 35%, though the Democrat leads 39% to 30% against Luksik.

One way to read these numbers: Specter, a five-term Senator, can only perform 5% better than a little-known two-term representative. This does nothing to dispel my belief that Specter would fare worse than Sestak in the general election. Not only would he face obvious attacks on his lack of principles, but he would also have trouble driving up turnout among constituencies he’ll need to do well in.

The poll’s internal numbers confirm that there are rays of light for Sestak. First, his match-up with Luksik pits two politicians voters know little about; that he leads her by a larger margin not only suggests that Specter is weak but that he is underperforming relatively to voters’ willingness to vote for a generic Democrat. Second, Sestak’s weak performance against Toomey is due in large part to low name recognition. He only gets 67% of Democrats, 23% of whom are undecided compared to just 16% of Republicans; that’s a far larger differential than in the Specter-Toomey match-up (there, 9% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans are undecided).

But the poll is obviously best news for Toomey, who is pulling off the transition from unelectable activist to legitimate contender. Democrats, who cannot simply hope they’ll be able to steamroll through the general election, face two clear threats. First, the political environment could be favorable enough to Republicans that Toomey’s profile will not matter. (Quinnipiac finds Rendell’s approval rating down to 39%, which will not help Pennsylvania Dems running in 2010.)

Second, Toomey now has the opportunity to remake himself into a moderate in a way he would not have been able to pull off had he faced Specter in the Republican primary. Instead of having to campaign as a staunch conservative through April, he can now spend 16 months courting the state’s left-leaning majority - yet another way that Specter’s party switch helped the GOP’s 2010 prospects.


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Trailing by 15%, Corzine airs new negative ad; but should he not focus attacks on economy?

Jon Corzine, who aired his first attack ad in early July, has now launched a second one. It uses footage we knew would make its way to a Democratic ad ever since Chris Christie testified about his practices as U.S. Attorney in front of a House Judiciary subcommittee investigating potential prosecutorial abuse.

The looming issue was whether Christie behaved appropriately in crafting deferred prosecution agreements, deals in which a corporation avoids prosecution in exchange for supervision. “You made them an offer they couldn’t refuse,” charged Rep. Steve Cohen; Christie took issue at this Godfather reference, accusing Cohen of making an ethnically insensitive comment. Shortly after, Christie left the hearing, arguing that he had pressing business to attend in New Jersey. Footage of his abrupt departure, which prompted Democratic lawmakers to protest, is now being used as an indictment on his ethics:

“When the time came for telling the truth, Christie got up and left,” the ad charges before launching into the same attacks detailed in Corzine’s first ad about no-bid contracts the Republican distributed while serving as U.S. Attorney.

While I understand Corzine’s motivation (Christie’s strong point is his corruption-fighting reputation, so questioning those credentials could undermine his entire campaign), it could also be misguided: Christie’s law-and-order background might help make him an acceptable alternative to Corzine, but that’s not why New Jersey voters are on the verge of electing their first Republican Governor in a decade - nor is it the issue most will be thinking about as they cast their vote.

Voters have been thinking about the economy, they are thinking about the economy, and they’ll be thinking about the economy come November. They have turned away from Corzine because of the financial crisis and the state’s budgetary woes: A new Monmouth poll shows respondents give Corzine a C- on his handling of controlling cuts, a D+ on property taxes and a D on cost of living - all of which amounts to a 37% approval rating.

In short: Voters now think that Corzine is driving their economic situation downward and that his leadership is hurting the state’s economic situation. They’re not going for Christie because of what he might do but first and foremost to get rid of a Governor they distrust.

As such, I’m not sure how disqualifying Christie’s ethics will help the Democrat’s prospects. Sure, voters might say, he’s not clean - but then who is? Democrats have to make a better case for why changing Governors is more risky than keeping the incumbent: Why might Christie plunge New Jersey in a worse economic situation than Corzine would?

There are two obvious arguments Corzine should deploy and hammer over the next few months - arguments without which no amount of attacks on ethics should be enough:

  1. Christie has no clear experience dealing with economic issues. Whatever the benefits of his law-and-order background in normal circumstances, they are not appropriate for these exceptional times.
  2. Christie’s lack of knowledge on economic matters would make it that much more likely he’ll resort to conservative dogma New Jersey voters don’t subscribe to. Back in May, Christie opened himself up to potentially very effective attacks when he praised Republican Governors who were rejecting stimulus funds (Palin, Sanford, Perry): “I think it makes sense,” he said.

Christie’s decision yesterday to tap Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his running-mate might have helped him portray himself as moderate on social issues (Guadagno is pro-choice, a fact that is receiving some coverage today) but it did nothing to close his experience gap. Will Corzine be able to exploit this?

Frankly, I’m not sure Corzine can pull off a comeback even if he mounts a brilliant campaign over the next few months. Three and a half months remain until Election Day and his numbers are not improving. As if the 37% approval rating he received in the Monmouth poll was not enough, a Strategic Vision poll found Christie leading by a staggering 15% (53% to 38%).

Not only does this tie the Republican’s biggest lead ever (a 49-34 advantage in a March Rasmussen survey), but it comes in the heels of double-digit Christie leads in recent Quinnipiac, Rasmussen and PPP polls. Furthermore, Christie has hit 53% in three of the four most recent polls (Rasmussen, Quinnipiac and now Strategic Vision). I’m not sure how an incumbent with no obvious opening to seize upon can recover from this sort of deficit in this short a time.


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New champions for the Birther movement: 3 lawmakers, Lou Dobbs and one angry woman

In the two weeks since my post on the Birther bill’s gaining new champions in the House, this ridiculous movement has gained even more cheerleaders. News stories now regularly allude to the issue and cable TV, unable to pass up on the opportunity to invite Allen Keyes or to score links from Drudge and Huffington, is discussing it at length.

At least one media personality has been converted: Lou Dobbs, the immigration-obsessed CNN host. Yesterday, he insisted that Obama had not produced a birth certificate (the truth: the president has submitted to the standard procedure of releasing an official copy) and went as far as to proclaim that he has “no idea what the reality is here,” says Dobbs. “You suppose he’s undoc — no, I wouldn’t use the word ‘undocumented,’ wouldn’t be right.”

We know how obsessed Dobbs is with immigration, but that last sentence (the conflation of all his paranoid fears) makes him look like his own caricature. “This isn’t one of those things that goes away quite as easily as I’d thought,” he concluded. Obviously not, Lou: if you harped about it enough in your primetime CNN show, you could make Caesar’s assassination a timely controversy.

All of this obviously has the potential of hurting conservative opposition to Obama. As the 1990s showed, obsessive hatred does not yield a party that many political benefits, quite the contrary - it can lead to unexpected defeats in seemingly unlosable elections (see the 1998 midterms). Democrats will have a field day attacking vulnerable Republicans who are on record as supporting the Birther movement as extremists (for instance Rep. John Campbell, a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503) and portray the GOP as beholden to its fringe.

But for many Republicans, the Birther movement could be a big political opportunity: It allows them to position themselves as moderates without having to substantially move to the center. Case in point, the much-discussed video of Delaware Rep. Mike Castle being interrogated by an angry woman screaming about Obama’s Kenyan birth and demanding that Castle help her take the country back. “If you’re referring to the president, then he is a citizen of the United States,” Castle answered. The crowd booed. “You can boo, but he is a citizen of the United States.” he continued.

Think about it for a minute: Just by uttering the banal fact that the U.S. president is a U.S. citizen, Castle sparked a wave of stories describing his confrontation with the GOP’s fringe - stories that make him look sane, moderate and willing to take on conservatives, just the type of coverage he needs to win in blue-leaning Delaware.

And he was able to achieve this feat without supporting the stimulus or offering any type of encouragement for health care reform.

Other Republicans are not interested in affirming the president’s citizenship, however. H.R. 1503, which makes a congressional issue out of the fears of the Birther movement, had already gained 7 backers by early July: Its main sponsor, Bill Posey, and 6 co-sponsors (Goodlatte, Blackburn, Campbell, Carter, Culberson, Neugebauer). Since then, three new conservative congressmen have added themselves to the list of co-sponsors: Dan Burton (IN-05), Kenny Marchant (TX-24) and Ted Poe (TX-02).

That means that 10 Republicans - 5 of them from Texas - are now sponsoring or co-sponsoring the Birther bill.

As you can see on the table below, none of the 3 new co-sponsors are vulnerable. If anything, Burton has far more to fear from a Republican primary than from the general election (he has already drawn several challengers in 2010) so this co-sponsorship could help him. But Marchant is not completely safe either. Not only did he score an unconvincing victory last fall, but his Dallas-suburbs district is rapidly trending blue: Gore lost by 36%, Kerry by 30% and Obama by 11%.

Name District First elected 2008 Prez vote 2008 score Bachmann bill?
Burton IN-05 1982 59% McCain
66% Yes
Marchant TX-24 2004 55% McCain 56% Yes
Poe TX-02 2004 60% McCain no Dem No

Interestingly, Burton and Marchandt’s addition to the list means that a majority half of the Birther bill’s sponsors are now also co-sponsors of Michele Bachmann’s paranoid foreign currency-banning constitutional amendment; the other 3 are Posey, Blackburn and Culberson. [Update, with tips to Chris Steller for correcting me: It's 5 out of 10, so half rather than an outright majority.] We are here talking about the congressmen who are closest to movement conservatives.

In particular, Burton became famous in the 1990s for channeling most of the Clinton conspiracy theories - starting with his conviction that Vince Foster had been murdered and that the first couple was involved. Burton went as far as calling the press in his backyard to reenact the crime by shooting into a melon.

As the chairman of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, Burton masterminded congressional investigations into Bill Clinton’s funding the 1996 campaign but Burton’s own ethical issues and strikingly vehement style made him a bigger lightning rod than the president. Burton attracted so much criticism that he was chided by Newt Gingrich himself (then Speaker, Gingrich called the Burton hearings “a circus”) and he had to apologize to the GOP.

As for Poe, he might not have partnered with Bachmann on the currency issue but he found other common ground. Just a week after signing on to the Birther bill, Posey signed on Bachmann’s new priority: Restricting the amount of information citizens are required to provide the U.S. census. (Despite the fact that Bachmann once called for a thorough expose of her fellow congressmen’s “un-American” activities, she is worried about the “ultimate protection of our sensitive personal information.”)


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Danny Davis will leave House, Frank LoBondio will not

New Jersey: Christie taps Guadagno, not LoBondio

Of the 6 districts won by John Kerry that are still represented by a Republican, two will be open (PA-06 and IL-10), one is all but certain to return to Democrats (LA-02), one will either be open or fiercely contested (DE-AL) and two will probably feature highly competitive races (WA-08 and PA-15). For the DCCC, this great set-up should help them offset losses of their own.

Yet, Democrats must be slightly disappointed today that they will not have a shot at an open seat in NJ-02 - the next GOP-held district in terms of Kerry’s 2004 score. (George W. Bush prevailed 50% to 49%, four years before Barack Obama triumphed by 9%).

Ever since Republican Frank LoBiondo easily picked-up the district in 1994, he has won re-election 7 times without ever facing a competitive challenge - never prevailing by under 20%! If Democrats failed to scare him in 2006 and in 2008, it’s unlikely they can endanger him in 2010. As such, their only shot was for LoBiondo not to run: An open seat race in this blue-leaning district would have been a nightmare for Republicans to defend.

It long looked very possible Democrats would get their wish since LoBiondo was considered a very plausible running-mate for Chris Christie in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race. (Today, Press for Atlantic City confirmed that LoBiondo was a top contender and had extensive conversations with Christie himself.) Had a Christie-LoBiondo won - given the polls, Corzine is more likely to lose than not - the congressman would have resigned, triggering a tight special election in the spring of 2010.

Yet, Christie announced today that his running-mate will be Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, a former assistant U.S. attorney. This takes care of the possibility that LoBiondo might resign - one less headache for the NRCC: NJ-02 all but disappears from the list of potentially competitive 2010 races.

A word about Christie’s choice in the context of the gubernatorial election: Lieutenant Governor selections matter even less than vice-presidential ones, but they tell us something about the type of campaign a candidate is preparing to run.

First, Guadagno’s prosecutorial profile is very similar to Christie’s: Republicans are planning to center their campaign on order and on corruption, and this development is meant to strengthen Christie’s promise to clean up Trenton. Given that Christie has no obvious expertise on the economy, could he come to regret not balancing his inexperience with his running mate?

Second, Guadagno looks like a safe pick meant to create no wave rather than to spark momentum; that’s especially the case when you compare this news to reports that Corzine is planning to tap the winner of The Apprentice’s 4th Season. The contrast tells us all we need to know about which candidate is so confident that he wants to take no risk and which candidate is so desperate that he’s willing to take gambles.

Illinois: Danny Davis leaves the House

While LoBiondo will stick in the House, Rep. Danny Davis will not. He announced today that he would run for Cook County Board President, a powerful body that has jurisdiction over more than 5,2 million inhabitants. This makes IL-07 the 17th open seat of the 2010 cycle, though only the 6th held by Democrats.

Republicans have absolutely no chance of picking-up this heavily African-American district that gave John Kerry 83% and Barack Obama 88%. Yet, Davis’s retirement could potentially affect the Democratic conference’s ideological make-up. Davis is a member of the Progressive Caucus but not all heavily Democratic districts end up in the hands of a left-leaning lawmaker. (Take CO-04, a 64% Obama district represented by a health care reform skeptic; or AL-07, a 72% Obama district represented by New Democrat Artur Davis.)

This development also has consequences on the Senate race: Last fall, Davis was one of the contenders for Obama’s Senate seat and he was believed to be considering running in 2010. His decision to run within Cook County obviously rules out a statewide bid; this makes Chicago Urban League head Cheryle R. Jackson the sole African-American candidate and it leaves the party’s left generally up for grabs.


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For now, Ayotte does not have much to fear in GOP primary

Much has been made of the fact that Kelly Ayotte might not have a clear path to the Republican nomination in New Hampshire Senate race. Since she has never ran for office, the theory goes, she will have to prove her conservative mettle and that might prove a problem: She has been re-appointed to her current office by Democratic Governor John Lynch and she has no clearly stated opinion on most issues of the day.

Perhaps most damning, she joined Lynch in advocating that New Hampshire communities apply for stimulus funds. “She doesn’t appear to be much of a fiscal conservative,” lamented The Washington Times last week, urging the NRSC to refrain from endorsing her against other Republicans. Many conservative activists, including that Washington Times article, compared Ayotte to Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins - not the best qualification for winning a Republican primary.

Last week, state party Chairman John H. Sununu (the father) tried to rescue Ayotte. “I think she’s much more conservative than the press has made her out to be. She’s pretty conservative on the social issues, and she’s extremely conservative on the fiscal issues,” he described. He added that her apparent support for the stimulus was due to the fact that, as the state’s lawyer, she had to “operate on the state’s agenda.” But he was less confident when asked about Ayotte’s position on abortion. “I believe” she opposes abortion rights, he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a formal statement on her part, but having known her over the years, that’s my perception.”

Add to all of this the fact that 2 Republicans - Fred Tausch and Ovide Lamontagne - are pressing ahead with Senate plans of their own and it looks like the stars might be aligned for a competitive GOP primary that could threaten the NRSC’s ability to defend Judd Gregg’s seat.

Indeed, Ayotte’s lack of a record and the absence of prior policy statements puts her in the ideal position of being able to position herself however she wants without facing the risk of contradicting prior statements. If she knows she does not have to worry about a Republican primary, she can spend the next year fashioning herself a centrist profile out of nothing. In a state that swung so decisively blue since 2004, that would greatly improve her odds of victory.

On the other hand, if she has to worry about a challenge from her right she’ll have to make herself a staunch conservative all the way to the state’s late primary, endangering her general election electability.

Lamontagne and Tausch should not make top-tier challengers

Thankfully for the NRSC, Ayotte does not have much to fear for now. For one, the NRSC’s triumphant tone when Ayotte announced her candidacy and Sununu’s comments clearly suggest that national establishment clearly wants her to be their standard bearer; that means the support of prominent party officials and a big fundraising boost.

Second, Sununu is right: There is no evidence whatsoever that Ayotte is a moderate and the fact that she take whatever position she wants will make her hard to pinpoint her as a moderate. Third, even if Ayotte was a centrist, there is no evidence that the conservative base is in any position to stop her: The NRSC’s success in imposing Kirk and Crist as the quasi-presumptive nominees in Florida and Illinois suggest that relatively moderate Republicans don’t face insurmountable obstacles.

Fourth, and most importantly, her opposition doesn’t look credible. Ovide Lamontagne is the party’s 1996 gubernatorial nominee. At the time, he was the chairman of the State Board of Education, but he has not been a prominent figure ever since: A Nexis search reveals that only 132 stories contained his name twice in the 10-year period between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2008. (And many of those stories referred to him in the context of discussing Jeanne Shaheen’s electoral history.)

As for Fred Tausch, well, The Concord Monitor just published a profile that should tell us all we need to know about his odds of defeating Ayotte. This very wealthy businessman is already spending vast amounts of his own fortune to win the seat - that never hurts - but I’m not sure what else he has going for him. While he looks to be very conservative, he donated to Barack Obama in the 2008 cycle - certainly a huge impediment to challenging Ayotte from the right.

Tausch also appears to be running away from the media - puzzling for someone who’ll have to dramatically raise his name recognition. And despite the fact that he’s been planning a run for months, he looks to have made little to no effort to contact the state’s network of Republican officials - something that he should have done within weeks of jumping in the public realm. From the Monitor profile:

Tausch has been reluctant to talk about much beyond his thoughts on government. He has not responded to multiple interview requests from the Monitor in recent weeks; his staffers didn’t even respond to requests to confirm information about him. Tausch reportedly also avoided talking to a reporter from Union Leader this month.

The Republican mayor of Nashua, Donnalee Lozeau, says simply: “I’ve never met him.” Merrimack’s state senator, Sheila Roberge, says she did meet Tausch about a month ago at a Republican get-together in Bedford, “but I don’t really know him . . . and I can’t think of who to direct you to.” Sen. Judd Gregg, the retiring Republican senior senator whose seat appears to be Tausch’s goal, says he has talked a little with Tausch about his issues – and, he adds, “I’ve read his fliers.”

In short, the current slate of Republican contenders does not look to be up to the challenge of defeating an establishment-backed and quasi-NRSC-endorsed candidate. The one politician who is prominent enough to perhaps do so is former Rep. Charlie Bass, who has yet to rule out a Senate run of his own. He has said he will do so by the end of the year, so he can afford to wait and see how Ayotte fares as a candidate.

The same goes in Illinois

Conservatives are no more likely to block Mark Kirk’s path in Illinois. Andy McKenna was muscled out last week and no other prominent Republican has even been mentioned as a potential challenger. (Rep. Peter Roskam had said he would consider running if Kirk did not, and we can probably now remove him from the list of prospective candidates.) One low-profile contender has emerged, however: Retired state judge Don Lowery, who lost a race for state appellate judge in 1988, is now running but he is highly unlikely to mount a credible threat.

Kirk’s opponents will need a well-known champion of conservative causes if they want to fire up the base. It’s of course ironic that, less than a month after Kirk was labeled a traitor by conservatives who vowed to end the political careers of all Republicans who voted for cap-and-trade, he is now looking well-positioned to win his party’s primary in his quest for a promotion.


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At least 62 House Dems have publicly opposed some key provision of health care bill

The White House looks to be ready to invest itself fully in the battle for health care reform, and not a moment too soon: Blue Dog Democrats are dialing up the volume of their opposition, making it increasingly obvious that the road to 218 votes will be just as arduous as it was for cap-and-trade.

Last week, 40 Blue Dogs signed a letter voicing hostility towards “Medicare-like public option.” Though Rep. Leonard Boswell and Rep. Mike Michaud also signed a contradictory letter demanding a public option with “some connection to an established provider network, like Medicare,” that left quite a large number of Democrats on the record as opposing one of the key provisions of the House’s bill. Since then, new pockets of opposition have emerged.

As the Ways and Means Committee and the Education and Labor Committee passed the health care bill this week, 6 Democrats voted ‘no’ - all doing so from the right. Three were Blue Dogs who had signed the letter referenced above: John Tanner (TN), Earl Pomeroy (ND) and Jason Altmire (PA). But three are not Blue Dogs: Ron Kind (WI), Jared Polis (CO) and Dina Titus (NV).

Obama received 64% in Polis’s district, 58% in Kind’s district and 55% in Titus’s district. Polis in particular represents a heavily Democratic district that he is in no danger of losing. And yet, he has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the House plan! This week, he wrote and circulated a letter asking the Democratic leadership to remove the surchage on the wealthy, arguing it will have a “direct negative impact” on the economy.

“Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery,” says the letter. “We are concerned that this will discourage entrepreneurial activity.” The letter was signed by 21 other Democrats - all serving their first term except for Paul Hodes, a sophomore who is running for Senate next year. Here’s the full list:

Jared Polis (CO) John Adler (NJ), John Boccieri (OH), Bobby Bright (AL), Gerry Connolly (VA), Steve Driehaus (OH), Parker Griffith (AL), Jim Himes (CT) Paul Hodes (NH), Frank Kratovil (MD), Ben Ray Lujan (NM), Dan Maffei (NY), Betsy Markey (CO), Eric Massa (NY), Michael McMahon (NY), Walt Minnick (ID), Glenn Nye (VA), Gary Peters (MI), Tom Perriello (VA), Mike Quigley (IL), Harry Teague (NM), Dina Titus (NV)

This does not mean that all these Democrats would vote against the final bill if it contains the surtax, but it’s not like Blue Dogs need that many allies to block complicate reform. In fact, they’re already threatening to block the process in the Energy and Commerce Committee, where things are starting to look very tricky for Chairman Henry Waxman.

Democrats hold a 36 to 23 majority on Energy and Commerce, but Rep. Mike Ross made it clear this week that he and 6 other Blue Dogs oppose the bill as it is currently written. As you can easily calculate, that would be enough to ensure the legislation’s defeat in the committee. (Blue Dogs already allied themselves with Republicans on Friday to pass an amendment Waxman opposed.)

These 7 Democrats are: Rep. Mike Ross (AR), Rep. John Barrow (GA), Rep. Bart Gordon (TN), Rep. Baron Hill (IN), Rep. Jim Matheson (CO), Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA), Rep. Zach Space (OH). All signed last week’s Blue Dog letter. (An eight Blue Dog on the committee, Rep. Jane Herman, has said she favors a robust public option.)

The Democratic leadership also has to deal with the demands of another group of Democrats, this one unrelated to economic concerns. In late June, 19 representatives signed a letter urging the leadership to drop abortion funding from the health care bill. “We cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan,” they warned.

Dan Boren (OK), Bobby Bright (AL), Travis Childers (MS), Jerry Costello (IL), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), Lincoln Davis (TN), Steve Driehaus (OH), Tim Holden (PA), Paul Kanjorski (PA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Mike McIntyre (NC), Charlie Melancon (La.), John Murtha (PA), Jim Oberstar (Minn.), Solomon Ortiz (TX), Collin Peterson (MN), Heath Shuler (NC), Bart Stupak (MI), and Gene Taylor (MS).

While this list has some overlap with names mentioned earlier in this post, some of these congressmen are economically to the left - for instance Kaptur. Sure, it’s hard to imagine senior lawmakers like Murtha and Oberstar derailing health care reform, but pro-life Democrats proved they meant business on Friday when they almost caused the defeat of a financial services bill. (As far as I can see none of them sit on Ways and Means or on Education and Labor, so they haven’t had to cast a vote yet.)

One good news for reform proponents is that the centrist New Democrat Coalition does not look ready to ally itself with the Blue Dogs - or at least that’s the way it looks after the committee votes. While Kind is a NDC member, so are Artur Davis, Bob Etheridge, Joe Sestak and Carolyn McCarthy - all of them voted yes.

Put together with last week’s Blue Dog letter, here’s what all of this means: Over the past 10 days, at least 61 62 Democratic representatives publicly opposed a key provision of the House bill or have outright voted against it in committees:

Adler, Altmire, Barrow, Berry, Sanford Bishop, Boccieri, Boren, Boswell, Boyd, Bright, Carney, Chandler, Childers, Connolly, Jim Cooper, Costa, Costello, Dahlkemper, Lincoln Davis, Driehaus, Giffords, Gordon, Griffith, Herseth Sandlin, Hill, Himes, Hodes, Holden, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kind, Kratovil, Lujan, Maffei, Markey, Marshall, Massa, Matheson, McIntyre, Melancon, Michaud, Patrick Murphy, Murtha, Nye, Oberstar, Ortiz, Peters, Peterson, Perriello, Polis, Pomeroy, Quigley, Mike Ross, Salazar, David Scott, Shuler, Space, Stupak, Tanner, Taylor, Teague, Titus. (Don’t forget that there are at least 3 signatures on last week’s letter that I was unable to decipher.)

At the end of the day, many of these congressmen are likely to support the bill, whatever it looks like when it comes to the floor. That’s especially the case for some of the signers of Polis’s letters. (Can you imagine Hodes or Quigley voting ‘no’ on the floor? What would that do to Hodes’s Senate campaign?) But they’re sure going to complicate the already arduous road towards that final vote and do their best to push the bill towards the right.

As for those who might really seek to derail the bill, the DNC and unions have launched ads to air in their districts to dial up pressure. Here’s the DNC’s spot:

The ad is airing in 15 media markets, so here’s my best guess to identify who the ads are targeting based on Politico noting that the spot is targeting members of Energy and Commerce: Savannah (John Barrow), Palm Springs (Mary Bono Mack), Seattle (Jay Inslee), Nashville (Bart Gordon), Bloomington (Peter Welch Baron Hill), Sacramento (Doris Matsui), Salt Lake City (Jim Matheson), New Orleans (Charlie Melancon), Pittsburgh (Michael Doyle), Charlotte (Sue Wilkins Myrick), Little Rock (Mike Ross), Columbus (Zach Space), Marquette (Bart Stupak), Grand Rapids (Fred Upton?) and Medford (Greg Walden).

Two things of note: 1. The Democratic establishment is trying to show that it will not shy away from going after centrists - not that the ad is hard-hitting. 2. The ad is running in GOP-held districts, revealing Democrats’ hope that Republicans like Bono Mack, Sue Wilkins Myrick and perhaps Fred Upton will cross over to compensate for Blue Dog defections, just like they did on the cap-and-trade vote.



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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 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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