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Category Archive for ‘CA-50’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'CA-50' Category


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House roundup: DCCC launches new radio ads, recruitment buzz picks-up in LA and FL

A new round of DCCC targets

This week, the DCCC launched radio ads against six Republican incumbents, attacking them for opposing the stimulus. As I explained in May when the NRCC ran ads against entrenched Blue Dogs, it makes more sense for a national committee to spend its money this early trying to soften incumbents who are not obvious targets - which is what Democrats are now doing.

3 of the 6 are representatives no one doubts would be endangered if they faced a strong recruit - but Democrats are having trouble landing a candidate. In AK-AL, Alaska Democrats don’t have enough of a bench to guarantee another challenger to Rep. Don Young. MI-11 is a blue-trending district but Democrats are having clear difficulties finding someone willing to challenge Rep. Thad McCotter. The same goes in Charlie Dent’s PA-15. Why run ads in these districts if there are no candidates yet? The DCCC might be wanting to reassure potential challengers that they can count on the backing of the national party.

A fourth target is Rep. Brian Bilbray, against whom Democrats already have two candidates, but CA-50 remains a difficult district for them so it makes sense for them to try and go after Bilbray early. The fifth target is Rep. Peter King in NY-03, which belongs to yet another category: It is relatively doubtful that the district will be that contested if King runs for re-election, but the DCCC might be showing their determination to challenge him in order to get him to vacate his seat. (Of course, that would please House Democrats but it would be bad news for the DSCC, as it would probably mean that King is running for Senate.)

Targeting Florida

The sixth district targeted in this wave of ads is FL-16, which means that the DCCC looks more serious about the possibility of challenging Rep. Tom Rooney than I expected. Not only is FL-16 a red-leaning district John McCain won by 5%, but Rooney was considered a top-tier GOP recruit last year even before Rep. Tim Mahoney’s campaign exploded under the weight of harassment scandals. Yet, under the laudable belief that testing a freshman can always yields surprises, the DCCC looks set to make a push for the seat.

On the other hand, the DCCC just lost one of the candidates it was courting for this race. Via Swing State Project, state Senator Dave Aronberg just announced that he would run for Attorney General - a seat that is open because of Bill McCollum’s gubernatorial run. This might be good news for those looking to bolster Democratic control in Tallahassee but not those who are hoping to get Rooney ousted. Another potential challenger could be St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft.

Elsewhere in Florida, there is some southern Florida buzz in FL-25, held by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. In 2008, Democrats ultimately proved unsuccessful in dislodging any of Miami’s Republican incumbents. Might a solution be recruiting the Miami Mayor himself, Manny Diaz? In office since 2001, Mayor Diaz is term-limited out of a job this fall and The City Debate reports that he is considering a congressional run. One problem: Diaz is currently an independent. Though he is a former Democrat who attended this year’s Jefferson, that could cause some problems if he faces a primary. 2008 nominee and Dade County Democratic Chairman Joe Garcia is said to be mulling a rematch.

LA-03: A challenger to Melancon?

Earlier in this post, I noted that the DCCC’s attempt to scare Rep. King out of a re-election race could end up damaging the DSCC. The same situation is occurring in Louisiana - on the Republican side. Ever since he was elected in 2004, Democrat Charlie Melancon has not faced a competitive race and the NRCC is looking to change that by recruiting state Rep. Nickie Monica. She He would be a strong contender by the very fact that this is a staunchly conservative district (McCain received 62%).

But this news could have repercussions on the Senate race as well: The DSCC is trying to convince Melancon to challenge Senator David Vitter. If Melancon’s re-election prospects look strong, it makes him less likely to run for Senate since he would be giving up a safe position for a difficult statewide run; if a credible challenger suddenly emerges, however, Melancon would have to choose between two competitive races - making him more likely to go after Vitter.

No open seat in MD-06

Back in February, the DCCC ran a radio ad against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. That was viewed as a surprise since Bartlett, who has served in the House since 1992, is too entrenched to envision Democrats mounting any sort of challenge against him. The most likely explanation was that the DCCC wanted to scare Bartlett, who just turned 83, into retirement but even that wasn’t convincing: An open race here isn’t anything for the DCCC to pine after as MD-06 is staunchly conservative (Bush won by 25% and 31%, McCain by 18%). In any case, it looks like we won’t get to find out whether the DCCC had any trump card prepared if the seat opened up as Bartlett just announced that he would run for re-election.

Note that MD-06 is the state’s only seat (out of 8) held by a Republican. One reason for that is that, in the last round of redistricting, state Democrats packed as many Republican precincts as possible in the 1st and 6th districts - the only ones in which McCain cracked 40%, let alone won. If anything, the upcoming redistricting will make MD-06 even more conservative: Democrats somehow managed to pick-up MD-01 last fall so they might try to shore up their strength in that district - which could mean even more packing in the first district (if that’s possible)!


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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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Four Democrats jump in second-tier House races

Over the past few days, four new Democrats candidates jumped in second-tier House races: Joe Segall in AL-03, Cindy Trigg in NV-02, Paula Flowers in TN-03 and Francine Busby in CA-50. A quick assessment of each Democrat.

Alabama: Josh Segall seeks a rematch

In 2008, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers faced an unexpectedly competitive challenge in the hands of 29-year old Joshua Segall, a recent graduate of Brown University and of the Alabama University School of Law. The race attracted some early attention, but no one paid much attention to it until Election Night, where Rogers barely survived; he beat Segall 53% to 47%.

Now, Segall has announced that he will seek a rematch in 2010. His candidacy statement describes him as a “fiscal conservative who will work to create and attract 21st century jobs to east Alabama so that hardworking people can get ahead.” (On social issues, Segall is relatively liberal except on gay rights: He even opposes federal anti-discrimination laws, not to even mention civil unions.) While Segall is not assured of having the Democratic field to himself, his candidacy is good news for the DCCC as it immediately gets AL-03 on the 2010 radar screen: The results of the 2008 race are enough to label this a race to watch.

Yet, there is reason to think Rogers might not have as much to worry as last year: Much of his 2008 vulnerability came from the year’s pro-Democratic fundamentals, which was strongly felt in Alabama (Dems won two hard-fought open seats), and from the boost in African-American turnout, which should not be as marked in 2010. Furthermore, Democrats will not be able to count on an element of surprise: In 2008, Rogers did not feel threatened and did not defend himself as much as he should have. He now has time to see Segall coming.

California: Busby is back for the third time

One of eight California Republicans to find himself representing Obama-voting territory, Bill Bilbray is sure be targeted by Democrats next year - and he has now drawn his second challenger: Francine Busby, an educator who has already faced San Diego’s voters in two different years, announced that she would seek a rematch. (Attorney Tracy Emblem is already running for the Democratic nomination.)

In 2004, Busby lost to Rep. Cunningham by 21%. In 2005, she was Democratic nominee in the special election triggered by Cunningham’s resignation. While CA-50 is a historically Republican district, Busby looked to have a shot at winning, which would have provoked a mini-political earthquake; she ended up losing 49% to 45% in the special election and then again 53% to 43% in the regularly scheduled November election.

Since her two losses in 2004 and 2006, however, California’s landscape has changed: Historically Republican areas have swung to the Democratic column and Obama won the district by a relatively decisive margin, 51% to 47%. Worst still, Bilbray was held to 50% of the vote last fall against an under-funded challenger - a poor showing that undoubtedly suggests that he is vulnerable. Thus, conditions are more favorable to a Busby victory than they were in 2004 and in 2006.

On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine a candidate being taken seriously enough after two failed bids. And it’s not like Busby can explain his 2006 loss away: That was a high-profile race in 2006 under good circumstances - an already depressed Republican electorate, an unpopular Bush White House, and a special election. Can she convince donors and the Democratic establishment that she can win in 2010? If not, the DCCC could continue to recruit for a stronger candidate.

NV-02: Meet Cindy Trigg

Douglas County School Board President Cindy Trigg, who was first elected to her current post in 2004, announced today that she would taken on Republican Rep. Dean Heller next year. “If I run, I’m going to talk to Republicans and independents about issues their party hasn’t solved for them,” she said. (Perhaps it would also be a good idea for her to talk to Democratic voters since she would, after all, be a Democratic representative.)

Her entry in the race is worth being noted, but it is certainly not enough to make NV-02 a competitive race. For one, Trigg is not a top-tier candidate. Second, Heller is in a good position to win re-election: Despite John McCain’s collapse in the district, Heller had little trouble holding on to his district - just as he easily won the open seat in 2006. His comfortable victories in two very pro-Democratic cycles suggest that Heller is a strong and popular enough politician that he is favored to win his seat in 2010. And while there is talk that Heller might not run for re-election to jump in a statewide race instead, that could attract Democrats other than Trigg in the race.

Tennessee: Can Democrats contest Wamp’s seat?

8 House Republicans have announced that they will not seek re-election in 2010, but none of their seats are in competitive territory - Zach Wamp’s TN-03 less than others. John McCain triumphed 62% to 37% last fall (an improvement over George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 performances), which means that it will be very difficult for the DCCC to be competitive in this open race. They will need a a very good political environment and a strong candidate.

They might have just gotten the latter: former state Insurance Commissioner Paula Flower will seek the Democratic nomination. Her past experience as a statewide official and her years as an executive could help her win over this staunchly conservative district - and her candidacy is definitely good news for the DCCC in that it guarantees that TN-03 will at the very least be on the radar map as a race to watch. Yet, there is no question that Flower will face tough odds. Her main hope is for the Republican nominee to be bruised from a contentious primary: A number of Republicans are already gearing for a run (Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, state Senator Bo Watson and state Rep. Gerald McCormick) and Tennesee’s primary is scheduled for August 2010, a relatively late date that will leave little time for the nominee to turn around for the general election.


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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: Final house cleaning

This is not the time for grand narratives about the state of the House battle: I offered one in my preceding rating updates on Saturday, but some final house-cleaning was in order: Too many once-competitive but now-safe Democratic seats had been left in the list, and I also moved two new GOP-held seats to the lean Democratic column (though another one moved back to the toss-up category).

We will soon know the breakdown of the 111th Congress. Surprises surely await us, but there is no question Democrats will be very disappointed if they net less than 20 seats. Who could have predicted just six weeks ago that only losing a net 20 seats would be a great moral victory for Republicans?

  • Safe Democratic: 211 (+4)
  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 231 (+1)
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 246 (+1)
  • Toss-ups: 26
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Republican: 163 (-1)
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 149 (-1)
  • Safe Republican: 124 (-2)

AZ-05, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Democrat Harry Mitchell won a late-breaking race in 2006, and Republicans immediately put him on their target list. But the environment is simply too toxic for the GOP for Mitchell to be seriously endangered. Taking no risks, the DCCC has invested more than $1.3 million in the district, while Republican nominee David Schweikert has gotten no national help; the Club for Growth, which had endorsed him, has barely spent any money on his behalf.

CA-50, likely Republican to lean Republican: Republicans are increasingly nervous about some of the districts they hold in California, as they fear that Barack Obama’s coattails combined with weak Republican turnout could boost Democratic candidates in CA-03, CA-26, CA-46 and CA-50. The DCCC has invested in none of these districts, but an upset cannot be ruled out in any. CA-50 looks the most promising for Democrats; Rep. Bilbray barely prevailed in a high-profile special election back in 2006.

ID-01, toss-up to lean Democratic: That such a conservative district could find itself in the lean take-over column is entirely due to Rep. Bill Sali, who is despised but much of his state’s GOP establishment - as well as by many voters. Sali is a controversial provocateur who gained national headlines recently by heckling his opponent’s chief of staff while he was delivering a television interview. The latest polls show Democratic nominee Walt Minnick has a slight lead. But this is Idaho, so no Republican incumbent will ever be a clear underdog and the race remains highly competitive.

IN-08, likely Democratic to safe Democratic: The Bloody Eight is known for tight races, but freshman Rep. Ellsworth (who crushed an incumbent Republican by 22% in 2006) has little to fear against Republican nominee Greg Goode. Ellsworth was expected to at least have to swim counter-current in a presidential year, but Barack Obama’s stunning gains in the Hoosier State give Ellsworth cover.

MN-03, lean Democratic to toss-up: Barack Obama managed to avoid a racialization of the presidential campaign, but this House race has been marked by repeated controversies over the GOP’s treatment of Aswhin Madia’s ethnicity - first in statements by Republican officials about Erik Paulsen “fitting the demographics of the district” and then in a polemic over whether the GOP darkened Madia’s skin color in a campaign commercial. While such controversies can certainly hurt Republicans, minority candidates rarely benefit when racial cues are injected in a race. Both parties have invested huge resources in the district, and the SEIU has also been helping Madia. SUSA’s two latest polls have shown Paulsen erase a deficit and move into an edge, however, and the district has a slight Republican lean which Madia will have to overcome.

NE-02, lean Republican to toss-up: GOP Rep. Lee Terry did not take the threat represented by Jim Esch seriously enough for far too long, while Esch has been campaigning for years now (he lost to Terry by 10% in 2006). Both parties have invested more than $500,000 in the district, but Esch will be able to rely on Barack Obama’s organization in a district whose stand-alone electoral vote Obama is trying to win. Terry has been distributing mailers targeting “Terry-Obama” voters, a remarkable admission that Democrats are making gains in Omaha.

NH-02, likely Democratic to safe Democratic: Republican nominee Jennifer Horn has had little money to spend against Rep. Hodes, and state Republicans have focused whatever fire power they have at protecting Sen. Sununu and unseating Rep. Shea-Porter. Rep. Hodes will be a Republican target in cycles to come, but it looks like he will coast to re-election today.

NM-02, toss-up to lean Democratic: This is a conservative district, but Barack Obama’s gains in the state will hep Harry Teague (in this district) and Martin Heinrich (in NM-01). But a dominant dynamic in this district has been money: Both nominees are wealthy, but Teague has donated far more to his campaign and has benefited from a high $1,5 million the DCCC has poured in the race. By contrast, not only has the NRCC failed to invest a dime in the district, but Ed Tinsley himself has stopped airing advertisments, meaning that the GOP’s camp has gone dark in the district.

OH-18, likely Democratic to safe Democratic: Who would have thought two years ago that Republicans would barely attempt to contest one of the most Republican seats represented by a Democrat? Zach Space won this race in 2006 in bizarre conditions, as Rep. Ney was indicted and retired in the last stretch before the election. Republican nominee would already not have had the stature of a serious contender in a neutral environment - let alone in one that favors Democrats.

PA-08, likely Democratic to safe Democratic: Rep. Patrick Murphy won one of the tightest states in the country in 2008, and Republicans were vowing to contest the race. Retired Marines lieutenant Colonel Tom Manion might have made this a competitive race in another year, but with no help from the RNCC, he is unlikely to topple a Democrat incumbent in a district that voted for Al Gore and John Kerry.

And also, two new seats are added to the ratings: CA-45 and MI-08. Neither was talked about until this past week, and neither Rep. Bono Mack nor Rep. Rogers are likely to lose their seats. But given that Republicans are very worried about their prospects in California and in Michigan, a (truly stunning) upset cannot be ruled out. And while there are a lot of incumbents that are unlikely to lose in my ratings currently, we will see some highly unexpected results tomorrow (who thought IA-02 or NH-01 could fall in 2006).

Full ratings here.


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Poll watch: Trackings tighten but Obama remains in command; Hagan, Collins and M. Udall lead

The latest tracking polls suggest the presidential race might be tightening. Though the trend lines are not uniform, Obama’s biggest lead is 7% whereas last Saturday three trackings had him at 9%, 10% and 12%. In fact, compared to last week four of five trackings have McCain in a significantly stronger position, while the margin is the same in the fifth. That said, it also looks like all the trackings are converging to a similar 6-7% range, with most of the six polls released today going in opposite directions but towards that margin:

  • Research 2000 had shown a double-digit lead for Obama (between 10% and 13%) since September 13th; today’s poll showed a lead of “only” 7%, 50% to 43%. Given the stability of the past three weeks, this was certainly a noticeable drop, especially because it is due to two consecutive nights of tighter polling (+6% on Wednesday night and +7% on Thursday night). On the other hand, IBD/TIPP had been showing a tighter race than the other trackings, but Obama has now opened up a 7% lead.
  • A third tracking poll (Diego Hotline) also shows a 7% lead, down from 10% yesterday but similar to the last pre-debate poll. Two other trackings have slightly smaller margins, but no uniform trends: Obama’s lead in Zogby goes from 5% to 4% while his edge in Rasmussen goes from 4% to 5%.
  • That leaves us with the silliness that has become Gallup’s tracking poll. Gallup’s reputation should make its tracking poll the most important of the bunch, but the firm’s decision to release three different daily measures is making this impossible to follow: Obama’s lead today is 2% (likely voters, traditional model), 4% (likely voters, expanded model and down from 6% yesterday) and 8% (registered voters, up from 7% yesterday). Gallup thus ensures it cannot be wrong by offering a variety of margins and a trend towards both men - but how are we to know just what model Gallup thinks reflects the situation on the ground, what model Gallup’s interviews are suggesting should be the closest to the truth?

Taken together, these polls should give the McCain campaign some reason to hope, as Obama’s lead appears to now be hovering in the mid-to-high single digits, a far more manageable gap than the double-digit advantage Obama was posting last week. It should also serve as a big relief for Republicans, as the post-debate snap polls favored Obama and suggested that the Democrat’s lead would grow rather than shrink.

That said, a 5% to 7% lead in the second half of October is far more significant than a similar lead in the summer. Bush only led by more than 5% in three polls in the entire month of October 2004. Furthermore, it will take a few more days to see whether the national tightening (if there is indeed a tightening) will be spread homogeneously across the country or if it will primarily affect certain regions or demographics. Yesterday, we saw a few post-debate state polls that had Obama in a commanding position (CO, NV and MO). Today’s state polls were taken before the debate, but they have good news for Obama:

  • Despite most recent polls showing Obama in the lead in Virginia, McCain leads in Real Virginia. It is unclear how many electoral votes the McCain campaign expects to gain from Real Virginia, nor by how much the GOP’s polls show McCain leading Real Virginia.
  • Obama leads 46% to 44% in a Research 2000 poll of North Carolina. A month ago, McCain led by 17%, but that survey looked like an outlier. The poll was taken on the 14th and 15th, so right before the debate.
  • Obama leads 53% to 38% in a Research 2000 poll of Maine. He leads 58% to 35% in the first district and 52% to 41% in the second district, so there is little danger of McCain snatching away an electoral vote.
  • Obama leads 47% to 43% in a poll of Florida conducted by a Democratic firm, Hamilton Campaigns, before the debate. One big problem in the poll’s internals is that Obama leads by 18% among Hispanics. Republicans are very strong among Florida Hispanics because of the high number of Cubans, and most other polls show McCain with a narrow edge among that constituency. Obama leads in the crucial Tampa region.

Meanwhile, in down-the-ballot polls:

  • Susan Collins leads 53% to 40% in a Research 2000 poll of Maine Senate race. 32% of Democrats cross-over to vote for Collins. She led by 19% in mid-September.
  • Mark Begich leads 48% to 46% in a Research 2000 poll of Alaska’s Senate race. A month ago, he led by 6%.
  • Ethan Berkowitz leads 50% to 44% in a Research 2000 poll of AK-AL. A month ago, he led by 14%.
  • In MN-06, an internal poll for the Bachmann campaign has her leading 44% to 33%. The poll was taken on the 12th and 13th. A DCCC poll taken last week had Bachmann leading by 4%.
  • In VA-02, Rep. Drake leads 47% to 42% in an internal poll for her Democratic challenger.
  • In CA-50, an internal poll for the Bilbray campaign has him leading 48% to 35%; an internal poll for the Leibham campaign has Bilbray leading 44% to 42%.

Senate: No surprises whatsoever among these four surveys: The Alaska race is entirely dependent on the outcome of Stevens’ trial (the jury should start to deliberate on Tuesday) while Hagan retains a slight edge. As for Maine, it is not looking good for Allen - just as we have known for months. It might make sense for the DSCC to invest in the race given how cheap the state’s media markets are, but the money could be put to better use with a bigger DSCC investment in Kentucky or Georgia.

House: Bachmann’s race is one many people are now interested in, and it confirms what we already know: Bachmann is slightly favored, but she is vulnerable. Depending on how much the DCCC invests, this race could certainly emerge as a hotspot, though Tinklenberg’s newly-raised half-a-million will certainly come in handy. In AK-AL, Berkowitz retains a lead but Young remains within striking distance, something other polls have also found. It is very much possible that a not guilty verdict for Stevens could also prove a boost for Young.


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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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  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

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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 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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