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Category Archive for ‘CA-03’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'CA-03' Category


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The electoral consequences of changes in districts’ racial composition

One often used measure of a district’s vulnerability to takeover is its presidential vote, but the 2008 cycle has made matters confusing. What should we do with districts whose 2008 movement far exceeds the national movement?

For instance: Should national parties trying to decide how much attention to devote to IN-9 look to 2004 (an 18% Bush victory) or 2008 (a 1% Obama district) as most reflective of the district’s partisan leanings?  That question can be translated in another way: Should we hold Obama’s over-average gain in that particular district as a fleeting consequence of ephemeral circumstances (for instance an unbalance in campaign spending) or as the reflection of a more fundamental demographic and partisan transformation?

This morning, Swing State Project published a fascinating analysis of congressional districts’ racial composition changes between 2000 and 2008 that helps answer that question. The post has lot of important demographic tidbits. First, clear evidence of the gentrification of urban districts, especially in New York: four of the ten districts with the biggest white gain (in terms of percentage) are in NYC. Second, confirmation that African-Americans are increasingly moving into the suburbs, especially in Georgia: the two districts that have seen the largest African-American growth are in the Atlanta suburbs.

There are a lot of ways in which to read this data, but the point of my post is to point out the electoral consequences: Some of these districts with big demographic changes are also on the list of those that swung to Obama by big margins. That means that their political movement is a long-term transformation - one that is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, very seriously endangering Republicans and solidifying Democrats who occupy these seats.

All of these questions are particularly important for the DCCC to ponder in California, where 9 districts (8 of them represented by a Republican) swung from Bush to Obama - all in large movements ranging from 15% to 20%. And 3 of these 9 are on the list of 25 districts in which the share of the white population decreased the most!

  • One is represented by a Democrat: Jerry McNerny’s CA-11. It was 64% white in 2000, when it voted for Bush by 8%; it is now 51% white, and voted for Obama by 10%.
  • Two are represented by Republicans: McKeon’s CA-25 and Lungren’s CA-03. The former was 57% white in 2000, when it voted for Bush by 14%; it’s now 44% white, and it voted for Obama by 1%. The latter was 74% white in 2000, when it voted for Bush by 14%; it’s now 63% white, and it narrowly went for Obama.

When deciding which California seats are worth targeting, the DCCC should look very closely at CA-25 and CA-03, as they can now point to a concrete demographic reason that these districts so dramatically swung to Obama in 2008. By contrast, the NRCC might reconsider the high priority it’s put on CA-11: The district’s quite dramatic demographic evolution over the past 8 years makes the GOP pointing to Bush’s victories inadequate. McNerny looks less vulnerable.

Similar conclusions can be drawn in other districts, starting with Dem-held districts where incumbents can breath easier:

  • NV-03 (Titus): 69% white to 59% white; 1% Gore to 12% Obama
  • VA-11 (Connolly): 69% white to 57% white; 7% Bush to 15% Obama
  • CA-10 (vacant): 65% white to 55% white; 12% Gore to 32% Obama

Note that VA-11 is a very interesting case, as no one would point to the 2000 or 2004 results to argue that Connolly should be considered vulnerable. Northern Virginia’s blue drift has been accepted by most as a long-term phenomenon, and Obama’s 15% victory is recognized as a better indicator of Connolly’s (lack of) vulnerability. Also: I am only including CA-10 because a special election is coming up, and this gives us a useful indicator as to whether the GOP has a chance of defeating Lieutenant Governor Garamendi.

Then, we have GOP-held seats about which Republicans have reason to start worrying:

  • FL-12 (Putnam): 72% white to 63% white; 10% Bush to 1% McCain
  • TX-24 (Marchand): 64% white to 52% white; 36% Bush to 11% McCain
  • TX-10 (McCaul): 66% white to 55% white; 33% Bush to 11% McCain
  • FL-15 (Posey): 78% white to 69% white; 8% Bush to 3% McCain
  • NJ-07 (Lance): 79% to 70% white; 1% Bush to 3% Obama

Pay particular attention to FL-12, which will host an open seat race in 2010 since Putnam is running for statewide office. Based on the district’s giving Bush two large victories - not only 10% in 2000, but 16% in 2004 - the district is described as hostile to Democrats despite the 2008 election’s near tie. However, the fact that the partisan evolution coincidences with quite a stark demographic change suggests that we should pay more attention to last year’s results when deciding whether Democrats have a chance at picking-up the seat.

TX-24 and TX-10 still remain too conservative to be top-tier opportunities for the DCCC, though Democrats are mounting a spirited challenge to McCaul. Yet, it is clear that the demographic evolution is so rapidly threatening GOP dominance over these regions that it is probably only a matter of time before Democrats grow truly competitive.

That gets us to one final observation: The demographic problem the GOP faces in these districts is only the preview of a broader challenge they’ll face nationally as the share of the white population decreases in the United States as a whole. This will be a problem for Republicans at the presidential level and at the House level; it’s not like other districts will get whiter in a way to benefit Republicans because the GOP is losing its grip on the district I listed above. Republicans have to urgently find a way to update their electoral coalition; that they’ve alienated Hispanic voters in recent years certainly won’t help.


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Q2 fundraising reports, part 1: Reps signal higher ambition, hint at retirement

Money has a lot of influence on campaign results, not to mention on politicians’ behavior once they are elected, as the health care debate is only confirming: that the member of the Senate’s HELP committee who has received the least amount of money from the health sector is the loudest advocate for a single-payer system is no coincidence. From this blog’s electoral focus, however, too much is read into most candidates’ financial situation. Not every half-a-million difference will matter come 2010; pretending it does only makes contributions more consequential by extending their significance beyond spending inequality.

As such, let’s concentrate on: 1. what these reports reveal about the 2010 plans of those incumbents who have not yet made their plans clear? will they seek higher office, run for re-election or retire. 2. the districts in which the challenger is uncommonly strong and has managed to out raise an incumbent (or has come close to outraising him), such a rare sign of financial strength that it necessarily puts these districts on our midterm map. Here are thus the newsworthy tidbits out of the fundraising reports of House members (more on statewide races later).

You can peruse through Swing State Project’s very useful fundraising chart and through the candidates’ full disclosure statements - with donor lists, names and amounts donated.

Sign of ambition: Melancon and Sestak hint at Senate run

Of all House members running for re-election, only one raised more than $600,000 - and he raised much more: Joe Sestak’s fundraising haul for the second-quarter alone is a staggering $1 million, which brings his total cash on hand (CoH) to $4 million - far above his fellow representatives. This should remove all doubts we might still have that Sestak has bigger things in mind than a re-election race. This type of money can only mean that the sophomore is committed to challenging Senator Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary.

Another representatives who is reporting unusually high sums is Charlie Melancon, whose name you’ll recognize as another prospective Senate candidate. While the $400,000 he raised this quarter alone are impressive, the $1,2 million he has stocked up in the bank suggest he might be thinking about a statewide run more seriously than conventional wisdom suggests. The same is true for Carolyn Maloney, whose $574K second quarter funds and $1,6 million on hand are among the highest of any House member.

Note that we shouldn’t generalize this too much. Reps. Ron Klein, Heath Shuler, Allen Boyd, Gabrielle Giffords and Jon Jim Matheson all have more than $1 million in CoH but none is supposed to harbor statewide ambitions this cycle. Boyd and Shuler ruled out Senate bid, Klein endorsed Meek’s candidacy and Matheson is sitting in such conservative territory that he could find himself vulnerable with a moment’s notice. (If anything, this suggests that Klein was very seriously considering the Senate race until Charlie Crist got in.) That leaves Giffords, who is sometimes mentioned as a senatorial candidate; no one thinks it likely, but could she jump in?

Inversely, Rep. Mike McIntyre and Rep. Bob Etheridge, North Carolina Democrats who are mentioned as potential Senate candidates, have second quarter hauls under $200,000. That’s not surprising since neither is expected to face a competitive re-election race, but it does suggest neither is covertly planning a Senate run.

Outraised incumbents: 3 in Q1, 7 in Q2

While I am weary of dismissing a challenger because he had a lousy fundraising quarter, a challenger outraising an incumbent is undoubtedly a sign of electoral strength - one that is so rare that it will get the attention of the national party and attract funds from the NRCC and DCCC. This occurred in 7 districts:

  • 4 where GOP-held districts: CA-03 (Ami Bera over Rep. Dan Lungren), CA-45 (Stephen Pougnet over Rep. Mary Bono Mack), DE-AL (Joe Carney outraised Rep. Mike Castle 2:1) and FL-10 (Charlie Justice over Bill Young).
  • 3 where Dem-held districts: CA-47 (Van Tran over Rep. Loretta Sanchez), NY-19 (Greg Ball over Rep. Hall) and PA-12 (Bill Russell over Rep. Jack Murtha)

Particularly noteworthy are Stephen Pougnet and Van Tran’s hauls. As far as I can tell, neither is benefiting from obvious corporate ties and neither is on the list because their opponent didn’t spend much time fundraising. Neither CA-45 nor CA-47 is generally considered a top-tier race, and this suggests the NRCC and DCCC will take closer attention to their candidacies than they might have had Pougnet and Tran come up shorter.

Let’s also note four challengers who almost outraised their opponents. In TX-10, Jack McDonald outraised GOP Rep. Mike McCaul 3:1 in the first quarter; while the two are now at parity, McDonald raised more than $300,000, making him one of the best funded challengers in the country. Also: Frank Guinta, Cory Gardner and Maureen Reed stayed in contact with Reps. Carol Shea-Porter, Betsy Markey and Michelle Bachmann, respectively.

Retirement watch: Castle and Young don’t seem committed to running

For many cycles, we have been looking at Mike Castle and Bill Young’s fundraising hauls to see whether they are finally leaning towards retiring; and while both politicians typically bring in small hauls, prompting speculation that they’re heading out, they have yet to do so. But this cycle is different since both men are facing top-tier opposition. As such, it’s much harder to dismiss Young’s $50,155 and Castle’s $125,000 - only 11% of which was raised through individual contributions.

Castle’s haul is particularly noteworthy since the Delaware congressman is also considering a Senate race. If he was really leaning towards seeking Joe Biden’s former seat, would his team not be spending a bit more time fundraising? Delaware might be a small state, but Castle does face the prospect of a clash with Attorney General Beau Biden. Or is Castle certain that the vice-president’s son will pass on the race, as is sometimes speculated?


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NRCC might not have shot at CA-32 but it is organizing elsewhere

Last night, Judy Chu won the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace Hilda Solis in California’s 32nd District. The vie-chairwoman of the state’s Board of Equalization edged out state senator Gil Cedillo by 9%. There were few ideological differences, with the contest largely focusing on the candidates’ experiences and racial background. (The race took a turn to the brutal last week when Cedillo launched an unjustifiably nasty attack against a third candidate, a 26-year old political novice who was threatening to cut into the state Senator’s hold on the Hispanic vote.)

Just as Mike Quigley in IL-05 earlier this year, Chu is now the overwhelming favorite to win the general election, which will take place on July 14th. CA-32 gave Barack Obama 68% of the vote and there will be no surprise in two months.

But many other House races are just starting to heat up and we haven’t been the only ones keeping track: Nearly a month after I published my analysis of 62 vulnerable GOP-held House seats, the NRCC finally unveiled the first 10 members of its Patriot Program, which regroups the most vulnerable Republican incumbents. (This is the equivalent of the DCCC’s Frontline Program, which Democrats created long ago and which worked very well in the 2008 cycle.)

In exchange with receiving special care and being helped with additional money and fundraisers, incumbents on the Patriot Program will be accountable to NRCC officials. They will have to meet fundraising guidelines, show that they are taking their re-election races seriously and demonstrate that they have a solid team in place. In short, the NRCC wants to avoid situations that arose in the final weeks of the 2006 and 2008 cycles, when the committee had to make tough choices because of some incumbents’ unpreparedness. This time, the NRCC is warning, raise funds early and show your serious or you won’t get any help down the line.

(Of course, the NRCC can always break its word in the fall of 2010, if it realizes that a few thousands spent helping an incumbent who has flunked out of the Patriot Program could save the GOP a seat. On the other hand, it’s not like the committee can afford to do that too often if it wants this program to be credible in future cycles.)

Given the circumstances of the program’s creation, incumbents who are added early are not necessarily those who are the most vulnerable. They can also be representatives who have not faced a competitive race for many cycles and whose campaign and fundraising skills might need some dusting off by the NRCC. A look at the list confirms this:

Incumbent Obama’s score Rating Notes
Judy Biggert (IL-13) 54% N/A Held to 10% win in ‘08
Brian Bilbray (CA-50) 51% Likely R Unexpectedly narrow ‘08 victory
Ken Calvert (CA-44) 50% Likely R Unexpectedly narrow ‘08 victory
Anh Cao (LA-02) 74% Toss-up Freshman
Thad McCotter (MI-11) 54% Lean R Hostile territory, no opponent
Dan Lungren (CA-03) 49% Lean R Unexpectedly narrow ‘08 victory
Leonard Lance (NJ-07) 51% Lean R Freshman
Chris Lee (NY-26) 46% Likely R Freshman
Erik Paulsen (MN-03) 52% Lean R Freshman
Dave Reichert (WA-08) 57% Toss-up Narrow victories in ‘06 and ‘08

While these do not represent the most vulnerable Republican seats, I am only (slightly) surprised by the inclusion of Chris Lee, who represents a red-leaning district and scored a solid victory in a very hostile environment last year. Even though Judy Biggert was not included in my House ratings, the GOP understandably wants to make sure she entrenches herself better after she was held to 54% by an underfunded and little-noticed challenger.

Interestingly, only 2 of the 6 races I identified as toss-ups are included on the list. This is not because the NRCC does not fear losing DE-AL, IL-10 and PA-06 but because the incumbents in each of these races are mulling leaving their seats for a Senate or gubernatorial run. Since the whole point of this program is to set strict fundraising goals and clear benchmarks, it makes no sense for Castle, Kirk and Gerlach to sign up before making up their minds. If they choose to stay in the House, there is virtually no doubt that they will be integrated in the program.

Of course, the NRCC is not just thinking about defense and it just got some recruitment news out of a Dem-held seat, WI-08: This is a swing district that gave Bush 55% in 2004 and Obama 54% in 2008. Rep. Steve Kagen is undoubtedly vulnerable, but the GOP will not get far if it does not recruit a top challenger. Until this week, the only candidate was Mike Savard, a member of the Door County Board of Supervisors; he will now face primary competition from a Republican who has a similar profile: Brown County Supervisor Andy Williams who was only elected in 2007 and who identified taxes as the focus of his campaign.

At the very least, this will allow Republican voters to try to figure out whether one of these two candidates has what it takes to unseat Kagen - but at first glance the Democrat still looks like he is in a good position as neither Savard nor Williams have the same stature as his opponent in the 2006 and 2008 races, former Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly John Gard.


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In House races, plenty of movement on the Democratic side

The latest strong House recruit might have been a Republican, but there is arguably more action on the Democratic side.

That is particularly in California, where the DCCC will try to put in play 8 GOP-held district that were somewhat unexpectedly won by Obama last fall. Most of these districts have gone unnoticed over the past cycles, and the big question in each is whether Democrats can recruit a strong challenger. Over the past week, two Democrats who were expected to jump in the race run confirmed their candidacy in CA-44 and CA-45 and an interesting name is being floated in CA-03.

In CA-45, Rep. Mary Bono has drawn the strongest opponent of her 12-year career: Two months after filing a candidacy statement, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet officially declared himself a candidate. While Palm Springs is a relatively small part of the district, it is certainly good base from which to proceed (Mary Bono’s husband, which held the seat before her, served as Palm Spring Mayors before being elected) and CA-45 is undoubtedly a district to follow in the next year.

In his candidacy statement, Pougnet downplayed his party affiliation when declaring his run. “I’m not a partisan politician. I won’t play political games,” he said, blasting Bono as “a partisan politician who is out of touch with her constituents.” Don’t forget that the reason we are even talking of CA-45 is that Obama won the district by 5% last fall, so Pougnet’s prospects depend on his riding the region’s blue drift rather than shunning his party label.

While such districts turned blue last year because independents massively turned to the Democratic party, that was not just a short-term evolution: The GOP’s registration numbers dropped, which means that the party has lost many voters in the long-term. On the other hand, Bono has a moderate reputation - especially on social issues - and Pougnet will have to put that into question if he wants to question

In CA-44, Democrat Bill Hedrick confirmed that he will seek a rematch against Rep. Ken Calvert in an e-mail to supporters. “The November 2010 election is only 16 months away – and while it seems like a long way off, I need to begin raising money now in order to wage an aggressive, focused, and targeted campaign against Mr. Calvert,” he wrote.

In 2008, no one paid much attention to the race, and the DCCC provided no help to Hedrick, the Corona-Norco school board president. Yet, the Democrat came out of nowhere to almost score the biggest upset of the night - but he ended up falling 2% short. In 2010, Hedrick can hope to receive more national help - especially CA-44 is now a blue district. On the other hand, the DCCC does not look committed to helping Hedrick just yet and Democrats will no longer enjoy the element of surprise.

A sign that Democrats are not committed to backing candidates who came unexpectedly close in 2008 is coming from CA-03: Physician Bill Durston came within 6% of Rep. Lungren last fall, and he has already announced that he will run again next year. But Democrats is looking for other contenders. Some California activists have urged Lieutenant Governor Garamendi to run in this district rather than in CA-10, and we now get news that former Treasurer Phil Angelides “is taking a serious look” at challenging Lungren. Angelides took a beating against Schwarzenegger in California’s recall election 2006 gubernatorial election - but he would undoubtedly be a top-tier contender and a recruiting coup for the DCCC.

IL-10: Bond puts pressure on Kirk

Mark Kirk still has to make up his mind, but he will now have to think about his 2010 plans knowing that he has already drawn a strong challenger: state Senator Michael Bond announced that he would run, which ensures that Democrats will contest this district whether or not Kirk seeks re-election. (State Senator Susan Garrett and the party’s nominee in 2006 and in 2008, Dan Seals also look interested in running, but both of them look more interested in running for an open seat than in the prospect of challenging Kirk.)

This is why I rated the district a toss-up in my recent House ratings: Kirk would start with a slight upper-hand if he runs for re-election, but  the district is so blue that he will never be safe. There is certainly an argument to be made that a more experienced Democrat would have fared better than Seals, and a new nominee would have a stronger shot at unseating Kirk - even if the environment isn’t as toxic in 2010 as it was over the past two cycles.

Bond’s move raises an important question: Will the prospect of a third straight competitive race weigh on Kirk’s mind as he decides whether he will run for Senate or for Governor? The DCCC sure hopes so, the DSCC not so much.

TN-09: Cohen looks safer than expected

Two weeks ago, I made a big deal out of five-term Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton challenging Rep. Steve Cohen in TN-09’s Democratic primary. The only white congressman to represent a black-majority district, Cohen looked to be obviously vulnerable. Yet, it looks like he is far more entrenched than we have come to believe.

A poll conducted for WMC-TV shows the incumbent would crush Herenton 65% to 14% - a stunning demonstration of strength. Some of it is surely due to the fact that Herenton looks to have overtstayed his welcome (he only received 42% in his most recent re-election race), but it is time not to consider Cohen as so vulnerable that any African-American politician is in a position to beat him. After all, much was made of Cohen’s 2008 primary against Nikki Tinker, though he ended up winning 79% to 19%.


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Meet the “Undaunted Dozen”

Earlier this month, the DCCC launched radio ads targeting 28 House Republicans who had opposed the stimulus bill. Now, Democrats are ready to mount the next round of their offensive: Having come up with a list of just 12 representatives, they are blanketing their constituents with robocalls.

Here is the version that is airing in Thad McCotter’s MI-11:

Did you know Congressman Thad McCotter voted against President Obama’s economic recovery plan, endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?  McCotter’s empty rhetoric can’t hide that he voted to raise the AMT tax on 22 million middle class Americans and against the largest tax cut in history.

Interestingly, the messages reverse the traditional political attacks and highlight Republicans’ failure to match conservative orthodoxy. How often do Democrats get to blast the GOP for voting against the Chamber of Commerce’s recommendations? And how often do Republicans find themselves criticized for voting “against the largest tax cut in history?”

The DCCC’s goal is to persuade voters that their Republican representatives are so determined to obstruct economy recovery that they are willing to oppose a plan that is supported by their traditional ally and that matches their traditional demands.

The 12 Republicans who are targeted make a very interesting list, as their political circumstances are vastly different. (Five of these names were not on the DCCC’s original list of 28 targets: Judy Biggert, Charlie Dent, Jim Gerlach, Michael Castle, Adam Putnam).

District Status 2008 pres. 2004 pres.
Biggert (IL-13) 54% Obama 55% Bush
Calvert (CA-44) narrow 08 victory 50% Obama 59% Bush
Castle (DE-AL) possibly retiring 62% Obama 53% Kerry
Dent (PA-15) 56% Obama 50-50
Gerlach (PA-06) narrow 08 victory, possibly retiring 58% Obama 52% Kerry
Kirk (IL-10) competitive ‘08 victory 61% Obama 53% Kerry
Luetkemeyer (MO-09) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory N/A 59% Bush
Lungren (CA-03) narrow ‘08 victory 49-49 58% Bush
McCotter (MI-11) 53% Obama 53% Bush
Putnam (FL-12) retiring 50% McCain 58% Bush
Reichert (WA-08) narrow ‘08 victory 57% Obama 51% Kerry
Sessions (TX-32) 53% McCain 60% Bush

The most interesting of the DCCC’s inclusions is undoubtedly FL-12’s Adam Putnam. The Republican lawmaker has already announced that he will not seek re-election to the House in 2010; he will run instead for Agriculture Commissioner, a statewide position. So why is the DCCC going after him?

The first reason is that FL-12 will be an open seat, and the DCCC is hoping to be able to contest it even if the district tilts Republican. Democrats are hoping that going after Putnam’s vote can, by extension, weaken the GOP brand and thus make their nominee’s job easier in 2010.

The second reason is that Putnam is an ambitious lawmaker who is transparently eying the 2014 gubernatorial race - and many think he might try to aim even higher. Democrats would thus love to take Putnam out now, when he is still running for down-the-ballot races. The race for Agriculture Commissioner might be very low-profile, but it is worth keeping an eye on it.

Three other fascinating choices are IL-13’s Judy Biggert, CA-44’s Ken Calvert and CA-03’s Dan Lungren. All three represent districts that George W. Bush won easily in 2004; yet, all three are now finding themselves sitting in swing districts that have shown their willingness to vote Democratic. And the reason that these three Republicans were chosen is that they all received unexpectedly low results last November in races that no one was paying attention to: Biggert got 53%, Calvert 52% and Lungren 50%. To DCCC strategists, that means that these incumbents lack the type of personal appeal that could protect them from their district’s blue drift.

Adding to this story’s many layers is Mitt Romney’s decision to donate $1000 to every single one of these Republicans’ re-election campaign (except Putnam’s, since he is not running for the House in ‘10). Calling these incumbents the “Undaunted Dozen,” Romney praised them for standing “for fiscal responsibility” and saying “no to spending abuse.” “We are committed to helping these courageous Republicans defend their position and fend off political attacks,” added Romney’s statement.

Romney’s move is obviously far more relevant to the GOP’s 2012 race than to the 2010 midterms. (Sorry Jaxx, but many Republicans are acting like the presidential race is already on!) I explained last week that Charlie Crist’s decision to support the stimulus could be an issue for him down the road, as an important test in the 2012 primary will which candidate stood up the most to Obama.

Romney no longer holds an elected office, so he cannot make a great show of rejecting some of the stimulus funds like Bobby Jindal or Mark Sanford. This is his way of ensuring that his name stays in the news and that people remember him as an opponent of Obama’s policies. After all, Romney was criticized by many in 2007-2008 for being a phony conservative; he now wants to avoid a similar fate in 2012.


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California’s blue drift endangers GOP incumbents

California has been gerrymandered into highly partisan districts, meant to protect incumbents from both parties. But the results of the 2008 election show that a number of supposedly safe Republican incumbents could become top Democratic targets as their once staunchly red districts colored themselves blue last fall.

One example of this blue drift is CA-11, a district represented by Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerny ever since he unseated Republican Rep. Richard Pombo in 2006. The GOP insisted that McNerny’s victory was merely due to controversies surrounding Pombo and that all they needed to do in 2008 was field a credible challenger.

When Dean Andal announced he would challenge McNerny, he immediately became one of the NRCC’s most touted recruits. As a former state representative, Andal had a long political history, extensive fundraising connections and the ability to write himself a check. The district’s Republican lean - George W. Bush won by 9% in 2004 and registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats - would take care of the rest.

Yet, as the months went by, the buzz surrounding Andal’s campaign died down. By the fall of 2008, no one was really paying attention to CA-11. And on November 4th, a mini-earthquake shook the district: Barack Obama had prevailed by 9%, a remarkable turn-around of 18% compared to Kerry’s performance in 2004! That is a much higher turn-around than the national average (10%) and to the California average (14%).

Unsurprisingly, McNerny benefited from this changing environment; he defeated Andal 55% to 45%. And earlier this week, Andal announced he would not seek a rematch in 2010 after briefly flirting with the possibility of a repeat candidacy.

Andal’s exit is good news for the GOP. Going into the 2008 cycle, the NRCC thought that they needed his type of conservative candidate to mobilize CA-11’s Republican voters. But last November’s results showed that someone with Andal’s profile no longer fits the district. There is no more red tilt on which the NRCC can rely, and what the GOP needs is a non-generic candidate who can seduce decreasingly conservative voters to dump an incumbent.

Other districts are as affected by California’s changing politics. Swing State Project has put together a useful database of presidential results broken down by congressional districts, and it is startling to see that Obama won a large number of supposedly conservative districts with supposedly safe Republican incumbents:

District 2008 pres. 2004 pres. Swing 04 to 08
GOP incumbent ‘08 House vote
CA-03 49-49 58-41 Bush 17% Lungren 50-44
CA-24 51-48 Obama 56-43 Bush 16% Gallegly 58-42
CA-25 50-48 Obama 59-40 Bush 21% McKeon 58-42
CA-26 51-47 Obama 55-44 Bush 15% Dreier 53-40
CA-44 50-49 Obama 59-40 Bush 20% Calvert 52-48
CA-45 52-47 Obama 56-43 Bush 18% Bono Mack 57-43
CA-48 49-49 58-40 McCain 18% Campbell 56-40
CA-50 51-47 Obama 55-44 Bush 15% Bilbray 50-45

There are also a few districts won by McCain where the results were tight enough to warrant paying closer attention. This is especially the case of CA-19 (McCain by 6%), CA-46 (McCain by 2%) and CA-49 (McCain by 8%, but a 19% turnaround).

The DCCC is sure to look into contesting all of these districts. Based on the Republican incumbents’ 2008 results, CA-03, CA-44 and CA-50 are particularly worth keeping an eye on. In CA-44, Bill Hendrick came out of nowhere to come within 4% of Rep. Calvert; he is now considering seeking a rematch. The DCCC is said to be lukewarm about that prospect, but the committee might want to remember Larry Kissell’s success last cycle in NC-08.

Sure, the national environment cannot possibly be as bad for the GOP in 2010 as it was in 2008, and Barack Obama’s absence from the ballot should allow California Republicans to regain some footing. Yet, given that the districts were all drawn to protect Republican incumbents, for the DCCC to contest just a handful of them would be a huge victory.


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Rating changes, House edition: When will the map stop expanding?

House Republicans finally got some great news this week as Tim Mahoney’s scandals in FL-16 pushes the first Democratic seat in the likely take-over category. Yet, it is House Democrats who continue to improve their standing, putting an increasing number of seats in play in what is shaping up as a repeat of the 2006 campaign. Of this week’s 19 rating changes, 17 favor Democrats, and 8 new GOP-held districts are added to the ratings.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that Democrats will pick up more than a couple of the third-tier races that are now appearing on our radar screen. But capturing just one of the four California districts that have just been added to these ratings (CA-03, CA-26, CA-46 and CA-50) would already be an upset of epic proportions that would signal that Democrats are enjoying a huge wave that could put 2006 to shame; picking-up none would in no way endanger their prospects of scoring great gains. There are already 36 GOP-held seats that are rated likely take-over, lean take-over or toss-up.

The DCCC’s financial advantage should ensure that few stones are left unturned. The committee just secured a $15 million loan (days after the NRCC took out an $8 million line of credit) ensuring that Democrats will have money to invest in races that just two weeks ago were viewed as long-shots and at the very least test the vulnerability of Republican incumbents.

  • Safe Democratic: 198 seats (=)
  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 212 seats (+2)
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 241 seats (+3)
  • Toss-ups: 25 seats (-2)
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Republican: 168 seats
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 157 seats (+1)
  • Safe Republican: 132 seats (-8)

Full ratings available here.

AZ-08, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Republicans had high hope for state Senate President Tim Bee, but Rep. Giffords looks too strong for the GOP to defeat in this Democratic year - not to mention that Giffords has been one of the strongest fundraisers among endangered Democrats. Now, the DCCC has canceled the rest of its TV reservations after spending more than $300,000 helping Giffords, a sure sign that national Democrats feel confident about Giffords’ prospects. The NRCC cannot come to Bee’s help, meaning that the two candidates are now on their own - and Giffords had far more cash on hand at the end of September than her opponent.

CA-03, off the map to likely Republican: In what is a rematch of the 2006 race, GOP Rep. Dan Lungren has not been very worried about this re-election race (he only raised $190,000 in the third quarter) but Democrat Bill Durston no longer appears like the long-shot he was just two weeks ago. An internal Durston poll showed him within 3% of the incumbent; Lungren replied with two internal polls showing him with big leads - but under 50%.

CA-11, toss-up to lean Democratic: When Rep. McNerney picked up the seat in 2006, the GOP was determined to make sure he served one term in what is a Republican district. But former state Rep. Dean Andal has not proved as strong a candidate as Republicans were hoping he would be. While he ends up in a competitive position financially as of the end of September, McNerney outspent him 8:1 in the second quarter, which allowed him to solidify his position - especially when you add the almost $1 million of television ads NARPAC is spending on McNerney’s behalf. Meanwhile, a recent SUSA poll gave McNerney an 11% edge.

CA-26, off the map to likely Republican: Rep. David Dreier has been in office for 28 years in a GOP-leaning district. Should that not be enough to guarantee his re-election? Perhaps in another year, but Dreier is one of many Republicans who should be very careful in the coming weeks. Russ Warner is a credible enough candidate that he could be in a position of making the race unexpectedly competitive if there is a strong blue wave.

CA-46, off the map to likely Republican: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was nowhere on our radar screen, but Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook appears to have a chance at scoring a big upset. While we have gotten no hard numbers from the race, a Capitol Weekly article reveals that Republican internals have the race within the margin of error! Cook’s third quarter fundraising was good, but she ended September with only $30,284. She will need the DCCC’s help to make this any more competitive.

CA-50, off the map to likely Republican: While conservative, this district is not as overwhelmingly Republican than some of the others Democrats are now eying (Bush got 55% of the vote in 2004). Rep. Brian Bilbray got elected in a highly competitive special election in 2006 after the DCCC spent millions on his behalf. Now, there is some buzz forming around Democratic candidate Nick Leibham, who recently released a poll showing Bilbray leading by only 2%. Bilbray quickly responded with an internal survey that had him leading 48% to 35%, a more comfortable margin but another sign that Bilbray isn’t as safe as we thought. The race remains a difficult one for Democrats, but Leibham outraised Bilbray in the third quarter and he could pull off an upset if the DCCC joins in the fun.

FL-16, toss-up to likely Republican: Rep. Tim Mahoney was elected to replace Mike Foley two years ago - and now he himself is embroiled in a massive sex scandal that includes charges of pay-off and harassment. Pelosi has called for an investigation, Republicans are having a field day and Mahoney’s re-election prospects have fallen so low that even the NRCC moved out of the district: they don’t even see the need to spend any money to ensure the seat falls in their lap. A recent GOP poll had Tom Rooney leading by more than 20%, confirming that this race is over.

FL-24, toss-up to lean Democratic: While this week’s internal DCCC poll showing Suzanne Kosmas leading by 23% seems very much inflated, Rep. Tom Feeney is certainly slipping because of how central ethical concerns have become to this race. Feeney himself aired an ad apologizing for his involvement with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. While he might have had to do so to earn voters’ good will, his move ensured that Abramoff was at the forefront of voters’ minds. The DCCC has spent more than $600,000 on tough ads that bring up the Abramoff scandal; in the most recent spot, a woman asks “How effective could my Representative be if he’s being investigated by the FBI?”

IN-03, off the map to lean Republican: This is an extremely Republican district (Bush got 68% of the vote in 2004), and that is precisely why it was so surprising that Rep. Souder was held to 54% of the vote in 2006 against a massively underfunded Democratic opponent. This year, Souder is facing Mike Montagano, perhaps not a top-tier candidate but certainly a credible one. And contrary to the 2006 candidate, Montagano will be funded: The DCCC has decided to invest in the race, in what is perhaps the biggest surprise of the past week. The committee has already bought $150,000 worth of advertisement and more is on the way. A recent internal poll for Montagano had Souder leading by 5%, though the trendline favored the Democrat: Souder retains an edge, but the race has suddenly become very competitive.

KY-02, toss-up to lean Republican: This seat was the most chaotic of the cycle until NY-13 came around, and Democrats were excited that they had an excellent chance in this conservative a district. Polls taken throughout the spring and the summer suggested that state Senator Boswell had a slight lead. Yet, this is one the rare districts that have moved towards the GOP over the past few weeks. (SUSA has GOP candidate state Senator Guthrie gaining for the second month in a row to jump to a 9% lead, and the Boswell campaign’s internal numbers have the Democrat’s lead falling from 7% to 1%, with a lot of undecideds. This is an open seat in a conservative area, making it likely that undecideds would break towards Guthrie.) One possible explanation for Guthrie gains’ is that the DCCC’s involvement here has backfired: the committee’s attack ads were blasted as untrustworthy by the local media, putting Boswell on the defensive.

LA-06, lean Republican to toss-up: Rep. Cazayoux became one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents when fellow Democrat Michael Jackson announced he would mount an independent bid. In this Republican a district, a Democrat needs to mobilize the African-Amerian vote, and Jackson’s candidacy threatens to divide a key constituency. Yet, Democrats have released two internal polls over the past few months showing Cazayoux crushing GOP candidate Bill Cassidy, with Jackson in single digits. I have trouble believing that two Democratic candidates could receive 30% more than the Republican nominee in a district that gave Bush 59% of the vote in 2004, but the GOP has not released an internal poll of their own. I might not (yet) moving LA-06 to lean Democratic, but it is clear that Cassidy does not have the edge I thought he would.

MD-01, lean Republican to toss-up: The GOP primary between Andy Harris and Rep. Gilchrest appears to have left deep wounds that has given Democratic nominee Frank M. Kratovil a chance at a major upset in a very conservative district. Democratic internal polls are showing the race is a dead heat, and the GOP is not moving to contradict that. At the end of September, the DCCC decided to invest in the district - and they have already spent more than $900,000! Meanwhile, Harris is being helped by Club for Growth, which has spent more than $300,000 on his behalf. Demorats picking-up MD-01 would be the sign of a big blue wave.

MN-03, toss-up to lean Democratic: The battle between Ashwin Madia and Erik Paulsen was shaping up to be highly competitive, but an open seat in a swing district is prime pick-up territory for Democrats in a year whose fundamentals favor them - particularly after the past month. Complicating Paulsen’s task further is that the NRCC canceled a lot of the money it was going to spend on his behalf to invest it in neighboring MN-06 instead; on the other hand, the DCCC has already spent more than $1.2 million dollars! Without national help, Paulsen will be swamped by Democratic attacks.

M0-09, lean Republican to toss-up: This is one of those few districts the NRCC has invested in. That is both a sign that the party is worried about losing this conservative-leaning district and a sign that they think it is salvagable, putting the race right in the toss-up category. But the DCCC is making sure to significantly outspend the NRCC ($400,000 to $100,000). A further problem for Republicans: their nominee Blaine Luetkemeyer finished September with a stunningly low $43,000. That means that Luetkemeyer absolutely needs the national help he is getting just to stay financially viable.

NC-10, off the map to likely Republican: Rep. McHenry has been mentioned as a potentially vulnerable Republican incumbent for months, but in a district that Bush won with 67% of the vote in 2004, a GOP candidate is allowed the benefit of the doubt. Yet, Democrats believe their candidate Daniel Johnson has a chance at offsetting the district’s Republican balance. Given how much progress Democrats appear to have made in the state, that is certainly possible. Johnson has been added to the Red to Blue program, and he will need DCCC spending to make this really competitive.

NY-20, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Rep. Gillbrand has proved one of the strongest Democratic fundraisers, while Republican candidate Sandy Treadwell has been unable to get much traction - and is unlikely to do so without the NRCC’s help (which will not come). The district might be leaning Republican, but Gillbrand is strongly positioned to win re-election.

OR-05, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Once one of the Republicans’ top pick-up opportunities, the district is rapidly drifting towards Democrats. Republican candidate Mike Erickson has been involved in a series of (abortion and ethics-related) scandals that have prevented him from gaining any traction and truly endangering state Senator Kirk Schrader, the Democratic nominee. The DCCC isn’t even spending any money on the district, a testament to how comfortable Democrats are feeling about the race. A recent SUSA poll had Schrader leading by 13%.

SC-01, off the map to likely Republican: This is a heavy Republican district (it gave 61% of its vote to Bush in 2004) and Rep. Brown was certainly not supposed to face a competitive race. He was unopposed in 2004 and got 60% of the vote two years later. But Democrats are running a very wealthy candidate, Linda Ketner, who is spending a lot of her own money (she outspent Brown 3:1 in the third quarter). In a Democratic year, that at least gives her a fighting chance.

SC-02, off the map to likely Republican: This race is even more of a long-shot than SC-01 because Democratic candidate Rob Miller does not have the financial advantage enjoyed by Linda Ketner, but Rep. Joe Wilson should nonetheless be careful. This is a district where an increased share in black turnout could have a big impact, as a quarter of the district’s residents is African-American.

Full ratings available here.

And I will conclude with a word about MN-06. I had already moved the seat from likely Republican to lean Republican last week, and it is too early to move it to the toss-up column. But Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s  McCarthyesque rant on MSNBC yesterday immediately ensured that this seat becomes one of the hottest races of the final two weeks (it is worth also watching Katrina Vanden Heuvel’s reaction):

The DCCC has yet to invest in the race but sources tell me they are likely to do so. And Bachmann’s opponent Ed Tinklenberg has raised at least (a jaw-dropping) $175,000 since yesterday evening!

Update: The Tinklenberg campaign announced it raised an incredible $438,000 in the 24 hours after Bachmann’s appearance on MSNBC.



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  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

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    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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