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Category Archive for ‘DE-Sen’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'DE-Sen' Category


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Poll watch: Democrats are strong in IL, have a shot in SD; Castle and Burr dominate

I wouldn’t go as far as to describe this week’s polling round-up as generally good for Democrats; after all, numerous of their House incumbents look vulnerable, Rob Portman retains a small lead in Ohio, Castle dominates, Richard Burr is up by double-digits and Pete Domenici is closer to Diane Denish than New Mexico Democrats would like. Yet, there is plenty for the party to point to as evidence that they are managing to stay afloat and that the GOP still has a lot of work to do to ensure they’ll benefit from as big a red wave as they’re hoping to. In particular, Research 2000’s Illinois poll and Quinnipiac’s Ohio survey find Democrats Alexi Giannoulias, Pat Quinn and Ted Strickland in stronger positions than conventional wisdom dictates; Democrats look like they have an unexpectedly credible shot at South Dakota’s governorship; and Rep. Harry Teague is in a far more competitive position than you would expect given that he is often described as one of November’s surest Democratic losers (2 polls have him within the MoE against former Rep. Steve Pearce).

House

New Mexico: It’s rare enough to have one House survey a week that PPP’s decision to test all three of New Mexico’s House races was a one of the week’s treats. The results are encouraging for both parties, though the most poll’s most surprising finding will delight the NRCC: Rep. Ben Lujan, who represents a district Obama won by 23% and who I had never heard described as competitive, leads his two Republican challengers by decidedly underwhelming margins: 42% to 36% against Tom Mullins, 40% to 32% against Adam Kokesh. That’s not to say he will lose, nor that the race will be competitive come the fall, but it does speak to the probability that a number of Democratic districts that are now on no one’s radar screen should find themselves vulnerable in the campaign’s final stretch (see what happened to the GOP in 2006). Interestingly, Rep. Martin Heinrich, a more obvious target since he is a freshman, leads Jon Barela by a somewhat more solid 45% to 36%.

But the more interesting race is happening NM-02, which is not only the state’s most conservative seat (it went for Bush by 17%) but former Rep. Steve Pearce is running for his old seat after running for Governor in 2008. This has led many to think Rep. Teague is one of the fall’s surest losers, which makes Pearce’s 43% to 41% lead seem like it should be a relief for Democrats as it certainly shows Teague is far from a sure loser. (In particular, consider that the traditional rules about how a challenger topping an incumbent in an early poll is clearly favored does not apply here since Pearce is probably better-known than the incumbent.) On the other hand, the poll should not be spun as bad news for the GOP: The bottom-line is that NM-02 is one of the party’s top pick-up opportunities indeed. In fact, Pearce released an internal poll last week showing himself leading 48% to 44%.

SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin remains on top of her Republican opponents in a new Rasmussen poll, but Secretary of State Chris Nelson is within striking distance since he holds the incumbent Democrat under 50% and within single-digit: She leads 45% to 38%. Herseth-Sandlin is far stronger against Kristi Noem (49% to 34%) and against state Rep Blake Curd (51% to 33%), which certainly suggests she is in a far stronger position than many of her fellow Democrats. As the poll’s gubernatorial numbers also speak to (see below), South Dakotans don’t look committed to ushering in GOP rule.

Senate

Ohio: Democrats might be losing ground in Senate races left and right, but they remain in striking distance of picking-up Ohio’s open seat according to Quinnipiac’s new poll. Republican Rob Portman is up within the margin of error (40-37) against Democrat Lee Fisher and he leads 40-35 against Jennifer Brunner. These margins are similar to those Quinnipiac found back in November, though it should be said that both Democratic candidates spent much of 2009 crushing Portman by double-digits - an advantage that was erased as the electorate soured on the the party in the latter half of the year. Despite their prominent stature, all three candidates have low name recognition so the next few months could be crucial - starting with the run-up to the Democratic primary.

Florida: Rasmussen found more evidence of Charlie Crist’s collapse this week by showing Marco Rubio crushing him 54% to 36% - an unthinkable result just a few months ago that is now already coming to be expected; the pollster also confirms that Crist’s decline is due to his rising unpopularity among the electorate-at-large and not just among Republicans, since his once impressive approval rating is now down to 52-45. In the general election, both men lead Kendrick Meek by large margins: Crist is up 48-32, Rubio is up 51-31. But is it time to start testing 3-way match-ups with Crist as an independent?

Delaware: For once, Rasmussen and Research 2000 have similar results! The former shows Republican Rep. Mike Castle in control 53% to 32% (though the margin has shrunk by 7% since January) while the latter has him leading 53% to 35%. That does little to change the race’s “likely Republican” rating (especially when we consider Castle’s formidable 65/30 and 65/32 favorability ratings) but given the two candidates’ chances of stature the trendline also confirms it is too early for Democrats to give up.

North Carolina: Rasmussen released the most favorable poll Richard Burr is gotten in quite a while - far more favorable, in fact, than the survey PPP released last week. Not only does the Republican senator have large leads, but he also reaches 50%: He’s up 50-34 against Elaine Marshall and 51-29 against Cal Cunningham. Of course, Democrats long ago realized defeating Burr is a top proposition in this environment, but these numbers are nonetheless ugly for the party. On the other hand, an Elon University poll finds that only 24% of North Carolinians think Burr deserves re-election, versus 51% who think he should be replaced.

Pennsylvania: Franklin & Marshall sends some very ugly numbers Democrats’ way, though the bizarrely high number of undecided makes it hard to do much else than point to the wide disparity between the match-ups among registered voters and among likely voters. In the former group, Arlen Specter leads Pat Toomey 33% to 29% while Joe Sestak is only 3% behind (25-22); in the latter group, Toomey crushes both Democrats - 44-34 against Specter, 38-20 against Sestak. Could there be clearer signs of the turnout gap that’s threatening to submerge Democrats this fall?

Governor

Illinois/Ohio: I mentioned Quinnipiac and Research 2000’s polls finding Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and Ted Strickland in the lead in an earlier post, but the results are counter-intuitive enough that they bear repeating. In Ohio, Quinnipiac shows Strickand leading John Kasich 44% to 39%, which is obviously an underwhelming margin but is nonetheless an improvement over the 40-40 tie Quinnipiac found in November and is a far more encouraging result for Democrat than the large deficits Rasmussen has found in recent months; Strickland had almost started to look like a lost cause, but these numbers from a respected pollster suggest Ohio is definitely still winnable for Democrats.

In Illinois, Research 2000 has Governor Pat Quinn leading state Senator Kirk Dillard and state Senator Bill Brady 46-35 and 47-32. He might remain under 50%, but remember that in early February Quinn looked so damaged that he seemed to be marching towards a primary defeat. Yet, this is now the second post-primary poll to find him in command of the general election (the first was released last week), especially if his opponent is the more conservative Bill Brady - as still looks likely since Dillard has failed to overtake Brady after weeks of provisional ballot.

South Dakota: Would you have expected the week’s polling surprise to be that Democrats have a strong shot at picking up the governorship of this conservative state? Yea, me neither - especially considering that this finding comes out of a Rasmussen poll. Matched-up against three Republicans, state Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepreim holds his own: While he trails Lieutenant Governor Dennis Daugaard 41% to 32%, he is ahead against two other Republicans: 37% to 29% against state Senator Gordon Howie and 34% to 31% against state Senator Dave Knudson. That is of course nothing huge, but it certainly suggest that South Dakota voters aren’t desperate to jump in the GOP’s bandwagon.

New Mexico: It helps to have a famous name! While Pete Domenici Jr. has never been in the public spotlight before, he shares the first and last name of his father, former Senator Pete Domenici, which explains how his name recognition is so much higher in a new PPP poll than that of his fellow Republican candidates. The general election match-ups show that the contest is winnable by the GOP but that Democratic Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish is the front-runner: She leads Domenici Jr. 45-40, state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones 47-33 and DA Susana Martinez 46-42. One important factor in this campaign is whether Denish can free herself from Bill Richardson’s shadow: The outgoing governor has a catastrophic approval rating (28% to 63%).

Nevada: Earlier this week, I highlighted a POS poll that showed Governor Jim Gibbons improving his position in the GOP primary, which he was long expected not to have a chance at winning. Now, a Mason-Dixon poll confirms that Gibbons is increasingly competitive against Brian Sandoval: He trails 37% to 30%, whereas he was behind by 17% in Mason-Dixon’s prior poll. Given Gibbons’s worst-in-the-country approval rating of 17%, whether he can find a way to survive the primary will obviously go a long way towards determining the general election: While Sandoval crushes Rory Reid 51% to 29%, the Democrat tops Gibbons 42% to 38%. (The fact that Gibbons is within 4% of Reid says a lot about the latter’s weakness.)

Massachussetts: Despite a weak approval rating (35-54), Deval Patrick manages to stay on top of Suffolk’s general election match-ups because many voters who are discontent with him are choosing to support Democrat-turned-independent Tom Cahill, who enjoys a 31/16 favorability rating. Patrick tops Republican Charlie Baker 33% to 25%, with Cahill receiving 23% and 3% going to Green Party candidate Stein; if the Republican nominee is Christy Mihos, which at the moment seems unlikely given baker’s 47-17 primary lead, Patrick leads Cahill 34% to 26%, with 19% for Mihos. The main reason Democrats can hope that Cahill will actually maintain his level of support and help Patrick survive (whereas Daggett collapsed in New Jersey) is that Cahill is the state Treasurer and is better-known than either Republican candidates.

Wisconsin: Rasmussen’s latest numbers are similar to its previous ones: Republican Scott Walker would dominate Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 49% to 40%, whereas the Democrat would be more competitive if he were to face former Rep. Mark Neumann (44% to 42%). While that’s nothing for Barrett to be ashamed of, the poll also suggests that Barrett is not starting out as the formidable contender Democrats were hoping for. On the other hand, Wisconsin is a state in which we have seen very few non-Rasmussen polls (only a November PPP survey that had Barrett stronger comes to mind), so it would be nice to have more polling firms test this race as well as Feingold’s vulnerability.

Georgia: Former Governor Barnes manages to stay competitive in Rasmussen’s latest poll, but the match-ups are not as favorable than the pollster found last month: Barnes now trails the three most prominent Republican candidates (45-37 against State Insurance Commissioner Oxendine, 43-37 against Rep. Deal, 45-36 against SoS Handel) while tying state Sen. Johnson at 37%. Barnes would have been better-served by a more favorable environment, but he remains in a competitive position.

Rhode Island: Brown University’s poll finds a wide-open race with an early edge for Republican-turned-independent Linc Chaffee. If the Democratic nominee is Frank Caprio, The former Senator leads 34% with 38%, with 12% to the Republican Robitaille; if the Democratic nominee is Patrick Lynch, Chaffee leads by a wider 33% to 18%, with 14% for the Republican.


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Rare good news for Senate Dems: Coons enters in DE, Tomphson inches away in WI

Attorney General Beau Biden’s decision not to run for Senate left Delaware Democrats in a bind, with John Carney and Ted Kaufman soon adding to the party’s fear they would let Mike Castle coast to the Senate. Democrats immediately moved to plan D, New Castle County Chris Coons, and this time they were successful: Coons jumped in the Senate race yesterday.

I do not need to tell you Rep. Mike Castle is a formidable candidate. The presumptive Republican nominee was undeniably favored to pick-up this seat before Coons entered the race, and he remains the clear front-runner with Coons running. Since 1980, Castle has won 13 double-digit statewide victories, and the likeliest scenario for his match-up with Coons is that the number rises to 14. The most recent poll, released by Rasmussen, does show Castle crushing his opponent 56% to 27%.

The more interesting question is whether Coons has the potential to make the race competitive, and the answer is assuredly yes. For one, Coons is no random candidate: Since 2004, he has represented two-thirds of the state voters since New Castle is by far the state’s largest county.

Second, this is one Senate seat national Democrats are highly unlikely to give up, not only because Delaware is small enough that contesting it does not require that much money but also because this is Joe Biden’s former seat and the vice-president has already personally invested himself in keeping it in Democratic hands.

He asked Kaufman to reconsider, he urged Coons to run and for the past week he has been working zealously to convince the press that Castle is not a shoo-in. Not only did he insist yesterday that Coons would surprise us, but he reportedly personally lobbied electoral analyst Charlie Cook to change his rating from “Safe Republican” to a more competitive column! (Compare this to national Democrats relative indifference towards recruiting Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and ensuring she is competitive.)

While Castle has never trembled in his three-decade career, when is the last time Democrats seriously sought to damage him? When is the last time he faced a barrage of attack ads? This is not to say his numbers will collapse as soon as the DSCC buys air time, but it is certainly worth keeping an eye on how Castle is impacted when Democrats finally try to appeal to Delaware voters’ typical partisan allegiance.

Third, the contrast between a 69-year old and a 47-year old could play to Coons’s favor, especially if the Democrat can appeal to voters’ desire to bring new faces to the elite. Coons could also run against Castle’s longtime tenure in Washington while touting his local office to prevent some of independent voters’ exodus towards the GOP. Relatedly, the Republican has been rumored to have health problems that were making him consider leaving politics altogether. Massachusetts showed what happens when a candidate lets herself be outworked; does Castle have what it takes to campaign full-time for months? If he chose to ran, the answer is presumably that he can invest himself enough to protect his lead, but this remains a question worth asking.

In short: Delaware’s seat clearly leans Republican, but it is not as far gone as North Dakota’s. At the very least, Democrats will do what it takes to put Coons in the position of scoring an upset.

Democrats got more good news on the recruitment front from Wisconsin: former Governor Tommy Thompson has signed up as an adviser to Peak Ridge Capital Group venture capital fund, which certainly suggests he is not seriously considering running for Senate this year.

This of course does not make it impossible for Thompson to jump in sometime in the spring, but why would he be looking for new positions if he was entertaining the notion of an electoral comeback? In particular, why would he choose an activity that would open him to obvious Democratic attacks, since voters don’t think warmly of venture capital funds right now.

Interestingly, this same scenario (our leaning a Republican is leaning against running when he signs up for another job) has played out repeatedly this cycle, most notably for Rudy Giuliani but also for Jon Porter and Gordon Smith. All three of these Republicans later confirmed they would pass on 2010. Needless to say, it would be a huge break for Senate Democrats if Thompson chooses not to challenge Russ Feingold.


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Poll watch: Rubio edges ahead for the first time, Castle and McCollum grab decisive leads

For the first time, Marco Rubio leads Charlie Crist in Florida’s Republican primary - and it’s not even a Rasmussen poll! He has a 47% to 44% over the Governor in Quinnipiac’s latest poll of the race.

The surprise isn’t necessarily that Rubio has edged ahead (while Crist looked truly formidable when he jumped in the Senate race in May, the primary always looked like it could get very tricky) but that he has done so effortlessly. In June, Crist had a 54% to 23% lead, which he maintained in August; by October, his margin was cut by half (50-35) and Rubio gained another 20% since the fall. There are still 9 months to go before the election, Rubio has yet to air any ad or deploy the heavy artillery but Crist has already collapsed! What will it be once the former Speaker has spent his money introducing himself to all voters? After all, 42% of Republican respondents say they do not know him well, versus only 6% who say the same of Crist.

This is not simply due to conservatives turning against Crist, far from it. Like so many of his colleagues, the Governor has seen his approval rating melt during the economic crisis. Back in June, it stood at 62-28; now, at 50-38. What this means is that Democrats might be better off facing Charlie Crist in the general election - something I frankly never thought I would say.

For now, both Republicans have a commanding lead over Rep. Kendrick Meek: Crist is up 48% to 36%, Rubio is up 44% to 35%. But this does not mean Democrats should give up on this race. For one, 72% of respondents say they know little about Meek, which makes his name recognition far weaker than either of his opponents’. As importantly, what might these numbers look like after Crist and Rubio have spent their millions (both are very prolific fundraisers) blasting each other throughout the summer? (The primary won’t be held before August 24th.) Their favorability rating should be far lower, while Meek is also a well-financed candidate who might have been able to use that time to air unchallenged positive ads.

Meanwhile, in other Senate polls…

Delaware: No Beau Biden, no Ted Kaufmann, no Matt Denn, no John Carney - the highest-profile candidate Democrats can hope for at this point is Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons. Always eager to crush Democrats’ spirits, Rasmussen wasted no time before coming out with a poll pitting Coons to Rep. Mike Castle and the results are rather brutal for the defending party: Castle leads by a massive 56% to 27%! Research 2000’s October survey had Castle up 51% to 39% over Coons, which is 17% more optimistic for Democrats, so we’ll say what other surveys have to say, but there’s no question that Republicans have now become very likely to pick-up this seat. Most stunning is the 31% of Democrats who say they are voting for Castle; sure, that means Coons has some room to grow, but if these respondents are willing to support the Republican outright rather than say they are undecided, it says much more about the congressman’s popularity than Coons’s lack of name recognition.

Nevada: No surprises in Research 2000’s latest Nevada poll: Harry Reid is still in a terrible position. Weighed down by a 34-55 favorability rating, he trails his opponents by brutal margins: 52-41 against Danny Tarkanian and 51-42 against Sue Lowden. Research 2000 tested potential replacements and found that Nevada Democrats cannot hope to pull a Dodd: Rep. Berkley trails 46-40 and 45-40 and Secretary of State Rose Miller is down 44-36 and 43-37. That such well-known Democrats are polling this weakly against such low-profile Republicans suggests NV is very determined to vote Republican in November. One candidate who manages small leads is Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, but he just announced he wouldn’t seek statewide office - not that Democrats had much reason to rest their hopes on him, since he is over 70!

New York: The third poll to test Harold Ford Jr.’s primary prospects is also the one to found him closest: Research 2000 shows Kirsten Gillibrand leading 41% to 27%, with 3% for Jonathan Tasini. Ford is surprisingly well-known among New York Democrats (his favorability rating is 40-13), while Gillibrand has more than avoided David Paterson’s fate (her rating is 46-26). Whatever Ford’s baggage, there is no denying that he still has plenty of room to grow and this will be a real race if he jumps in but that has more to do with Gillibrand’s vulnerability than anything else - remember that she’s been in trouble in primary polls no matter who she’s been matched-up against, and she did trail repeatedly against Carolyn Maloney over the summer.

Meanwhile, in other gubernatorial polls…

Florida: If Alex Sink and Bill McCollum were within the margin of error throughout 2009, how long could that have lasted in the current environment? While the conventional wisdom has been that McCollum comes with electability issues, the bottom line is that we are talking about an open seat race between two credible candidates in a swing states, a situation which in 2010 is bound to favor the GOP. Indeed, the new Quinnipiac poll finds McCollum grabbing a decisive 51% to 41% lead, up from the 4% edge he held in October; at this point, it goes beyond name recognition, though Sink should at least be able to somewhat get closer once she reduces the notoriety gap. One good news for Sink in the poll: 22% of Democrats say they are undecided, but only 11% of Republicans.

Illinois: Attacked from all corners and seeing his primary fortunes sink, Governor Pat Quinn is also in a bad position in the general election according to a new PPP poll. He trails former AG Jim Ryan 42% to 35% and trails former state party chair Andy McKenna 42% to 36%; Dan Hynes, however, leads both Republicans (40-35 against Ryan, 38-36 against McKenna). This is quite a decisive

Arizona: This has been one of Democrats’ top opportunities of the cycle because of Governor Jan Brewer’s unpopularity, but a new Rasmussen poll shows that the GOP is in a position to nominate someone who can perform much better: Treasurer Dean Martin has a 31% to 29% edge over Brewer, with John Munger at 7% and Vernon Parker at 5% (Parker has dropped out). The swap would be helpful to Republicans: Not only does Brewer have a dismal approval rating (37-60) but she trails Democratic front-runner Goddard 43% to 41% whereas Martin leads 44% to 35%. That’s a turnaround from Rasmussen’s last 2009 poll, in which Goddard had a lead against Martin. The shifting landscape is affecting Democratic candidates everywhere.

Ohio: The University of Cincinnati found yet more confirmation that the once mighty Ted Strickland is facing a very tough re-election race: he trails former Rep. John Kasich 51% to 45%. Interestingly, his rating is positive - 50% to 45% - so voters looking for a change are not necessarily doing so because they disapprove of the governor’s performance. This is further supported by the survey asking who respondents blame for the economic crisis. 24% say Bush, 23% say Wall Street and 19% say Congress; only 13% say Obama and 3% say Strickland. Yet, it’s Democrats who are preparing to lose a lot of seats.

Utah: Last week, a Deseret News poll found Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon was holding Governor Herbert under 50%, but Mason Dixon shows Herbert in a stronger position, crushing Corroon 55% to 30%. While Coroon is popular (his approval rating is 47-17), Herbert is showing no sign of vulnerability, with 62% of respondents approving of his job.

New York: No miracle for David Paterson in Research 2000. His favorability rating stands at 34-54 (and yes, that’s just among Democrats) while Andrew Cuomo’s is a formidable 71-15. The trial heat results would be stunning if we hadn’t already seen it dozens of times: Cuomo crushes Paterson 63% to 19%. I’m still at a loss as to how the governor hopes to win the Democratic nod.

Republican Internal polls

NH-Sen: Conservatives have failed to derail Mark Kirk’s candidacy, but we have gotten no look at the primary situation in New Hampshire, where Kelly Ayotte’s situation has seemed a bit more precarious than Kirk’s. (Of course, Democrats would love nothing more than to see the A.G. crash out.) Ayotte sought to remedy the situation by releasing an internal poll that has her dominating the GOP field: Ayotte has 43%, Ovide Lamontagne 11%, Bill Binnie 5% and Jim Bender 3%. Last spring, Lamontagne’s allies claimed he remained well-known among state Republicans so a 32% margin is disappointing but there is a very long way to go until the September primary; given the name recognition gap, Lamontagne has room to grow - not to mention that this is an internal poll.

PA-15: Rep. Charlie Dent is one of the few Republican incumbents who are considered vulnerable at this point, which must not be an enjoyable position. The congressman’s camp sought to counter that perception by releasing an internal poll showing him with a dominant lead over Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. Conducted by The Tarrance Group, the survey has him leading by a massive 56% to 27%. Take the results with a big grain of salt (it’s an internal, and the polling memo doesn’t even include exact wording questions) but the numbers are obviously tough for Democrats; it would be nice to see a public survey from this district.


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Just brutal: Beau Biden passes on Senate run

[Updated below with Kaufman and Carney statements] It was one of the cycle’s biggest shoes left to drop, and it is an unspeakably brutal development for Democrats: In an e-mail he just sent to his contact list, Attorney General Beau Biden announced he will not run for Senate in 2010. His decision all but hands Delaware’s Senate seat to Republicans.

For those keeping count, this means there are now four Democratic Senate races that we would be hard-pressed to not label at least lean takeover: Delaware, North Dakota, Nevada and Arkansas.

Democrats could have easily avoided this situation. When Joe Biden resigned his Senate seat to become vice-president, Governor Ruth Ann Minner was tasked with appointing a successor. Outgoing Lieutenant Governor John Carney lobbied for the job; had he been chosen, he would have been sure to run for a full term in 2010, and the aging Rep. Mike Castle would have been highly unlikely to seek a promotion. Instead, Minner chose a placeholder who had made clear he would not run in 2010 (Biden staffer Ted Kaufman) in order to keep the seat warm for Beau Biden, who could not be directly appointed both because he first had to complete a tour of active duty in Iraq and because the nepotism would have been too transparent.

This ugly maneuver is now backfiring on Democrats. For the sake of the Bidens’ ambitions, the seat was left open (thus enticing Castle to run) but the Attorney General didn’t hold his end of the bargain. He was surely frightened by Castle’s strong poll numbers and by Martha Coakley’s loss in typically-solidly blue Massachusetts. Thankfully for Democrats, Biden was the party’s last major politician from whom a Senate decision was expected: the field has already been set in MO, NC, OH, LA, KY, NH and CT. But in Delaware, Biden leaves his party in a terrible situation.

Mike Castle has held statewide office since 1980: He was Lieutenant Governor from 1981 to 1985, Governor from 1985 to 1993 and he has been Delaware’s sole representative since that date. He has won each and every one of his 9 House races by double-digits; in 6 of them he prevailed by more than 30%. Since he has already represented the entirety of Delaware in Congress (a strange peculiarity of those states that have fewer representatives than Senators), he is running as a quasi-incumbent - and a popular one at that. Needless to say, Democrats need a formidable candidate of their own to stop Castle - a candidate they will be hard-pressed to find now that Biden has ruled out the race.

All eyes will be on Carney, the very same man who lobbied for the Senate seat last year; but the former Lieutenant Governor is now running for the House seat left open by Castle. Carney is all-but-certain to win that race, so now that he has found a way to prolong his political career after the tough 2008 he endured, why would he embark himself on an uphill race Democrats pushed him away from in the first place? Another name that is floated is Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons, who would not have to give up his position to run since he was just sworn in a second term.

Finally, Democrats could try to convince Kaufman to run for a full term. Since he would run as an incumbent, Kaufman could at least hope voters would consider him - something other Democrats cannot be sure of. The problem is that Kaufman was chosen precisely because he was trusted to get no ambitions of his own besides keeping the seat for Beau Biden. He will 71 by November, the same age as Castle. Democrats have a deep bench in Delaware, so even if none of these options work out they are still likely to field some elected official or another; but the Republican sure is favored to win the seat.

Back in October, Research 2000 polled alternatives to Biden. While the Attorney General was within the MoE (46-45), Castle led Carney 49% to 41%, Coons 51% to 39% and Kaufman 51% to 37%. Those numbers certainly don’t guarantee Castle would be sure of winning the seat; Carney in particular keeps him under 50% and within single-digits. But they are daunting enough to make Carney or Kaufman unlikely to take the plunge, not to mention that the environment has deteriorated further for Democrats since October.

The fact that Biden took so long to make up his mind make it that much harder for his party to mount a competitive race at this point: While Castle has been stockpiling money and preparing for the Senate race, no Democrat but Carney have been preparing themselves for a federal race and there is little time left for a low-profile candidate to emerge, introduce himself and hope to compete with the Republican.

The main silver-lining for Democrats: Losing this seat would only be a 4-year setback. The 2010 race is meant to determine who will fill the remainder of the term for which Joe Biden was elected in 2008, so the winner will be up for re-election in 2014. Yet, Democrats who are hoping Castle will retire by then are perhaps being too optimistic. Yes, Castle has long been considering retiring from the House - in fact, he was almost going to leave politics this year - and he will be 74 by the fall of 74. Yet, if that might be an advanced age by House standards, it is certainly not strange to have septuagenarian senators.

Update: Ted Kaufman has already announced he will not run for a full term come November, so one of the few options Democrats had has already been ruled out.

Update, part 2: A few hours after current Lieutenant Governor Denn announced he would run for federal office, former Lieutenant Governor John Carney also made it clear he would not switch from the House to the Senate race in a statement he released. That might be tough for Democrats to hear, but then again how could they pressure Carney to sacrifice his shot at a safe Senate seat given that just last year they were willing to see his career end just so they could keep the Senate seat warm for Beau Biden? All of this leaves us with Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons, who acknowledged this afternoon that he was “considering” the race. So is Castle-Coons Democrats’ best hope?


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Weekly 2010 update: And so ends Democrats’ hellish week

What has probably been Democrats’ most hellish week since George W. Bush won re-election is coming to a close, but the party won’t be able to easily turn the page. Scott Brown’s upset in Massachusetts will make itself felt in every Senate roll call for the next 3 years; health-care reform, which just 7 days ago looked certain to pass is still tinkering on the verge of collapse with little sign that Democratic leaders are willing to do what it takes to revive it; and the Supreme Court dealt a near-fatal blow to decades of campaign finance reform.

Heading into Tuesday, national Democrats were worried that a Scott Brown victory might unleash Democratic retirements but the party has for now succeeded at convincing its incumbents not to jump ship. In fact, one Democrat who the NRCC was hoping would call it quits is no longer a potential retiree: As West Virginia’s filing deadline is fast approaching (January 30th), Rep. Allan Mollohan filed for re-election so WV-01 will not host an open seat race. That doesn’t mean Democrats can count on keeping the seat (the GOP has a number of strong recruits lined up against Mollohan), but it is obviously a big relief for the DCCC. (Another Democratic incumbent who ruled out retirement this week is Arkansas’s Mike Beebe, who is a rare governor likely to coast to re-election.)

Democrats’ other fear is that the Brown shocker impacts recruitment in other races, and in no state are the stakes more obvious than in Delaware: While conventional wisdom has long been that Beau Biden would run for his father’s seat, it’s been just as obvious that he’s been having cold feet and Coakley’s defeat must be weighing heavily on his mind. Today, Joe Biden confirmed that his son was not sure to run in an interview with The News Journal. An early version of the newspaper’s story mistakenly quoted the vice-president as saying he does not think Beau Biden will run, which unleashed a wave of panic among Democrats this afternoon; but the release of the interview’s transcript, backed up by an audio recording, leaves no doubt that Biden was talking about Senator Ted Kaufman when he said “I know he doesn’t want to [run]” rather than about Beau, as the paper initially claimed.

As such, the story is far less damning for Democrats than it at first looked, but the vice-president’s comments should still worry the party. “Talk Ted into running, if Beau doesn’t,” Biden said in the interview’s corrected version, acknowledging that the odds his son chooses not to run are high enough that he is actively trying to figure out a Plan B. That’s quite a turnaround from the days Beau Biden’s Senate ambitions were so transparent the governor appointed a placeholder to allow him to run in 2010. If Biden might not run, why is he taking this long to make up his mind, thus endangering the possibility another candidate will have time to emerge, raise money and introduce himself?

The week’s most important electoral story I did not get to cover is former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman’s announcement that he would not run for Governor, but I will keep that for a longer post so let us move on to New Mexico, where Republicans have a new candidate: Pete Domenici Jr., the son of former Senator Domenici, has never ran for office before but his last name (and the political connections that go with it) could make him a strong contender in the primary. While this could also help him in the general election, I have trouble seeing him as a step-up for the GOP: The two Republicans who are already running (state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and DA Susana Martinez) are at least as credible as Domenici. This development does nothing to change the fact that Lieut. Gov. Diane Denish remains favored to win the governorship.

In Colorado, Andrew Romanoff announced this week that he would not switch to the Governor’s race, as he had been rumored to be considering after Bill Ritter’s retirement. This has two major consequences. First, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper becomes the heavy favorite to win the party’s nomination. Second, Romanoff is sticking to challenging Senator Michael Bennet in the Senate primary, which I don’t see as a problem for Democrats: Whether Bennet can be successful on the trail remains a question so it’s better he be tested in the primary than the general election - not to mention that given the electorate’s anti-incumbent mood, Democrats could be well-served dumping their weakest incumbents. Romanoff’s bid has not gained much traction for now, but the primary is in August, leaving the race plenty of time to heat up.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats’ underwhelming gubernatorial field shrank by one this week: Democratic businessman Tom Knox announced he was dropping out. Knox had the potential to make a mark: In his run for Philadelphia Mayor, he spent $12 million of his money and came in second to the eventual winner. Reports indicate that Knox left the race after an agreement with Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, who is trying to ensure that he is in a financially dominant position. On the other hand, Knox’s exit leaves Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel as the only candidate from the Philadelphia region (Onorato and Auditor Jack Wagner are both from the Pittsburgh area).

In Kansas, Democrats’ desperate efforts to find a statewide candidate is now focusing on a new name: state Senator Tom Holland, who is openly discussing the possibility he might run for Governor. “If I made a decision to run, it will definitely be to win,” Holland said, but he himself must know just how unlikely it is for him to beat Sam Brownback. At this point, Democrats’ priority isn’t to win the Governor’s or Senate race but simply to ensure the party is enough of a presence not to endanger down-ballot candidates.

As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the “retirement watch” and recruitment pages. First, updates to Retirement Watch:

Will retire No one
Will not retire Governor Mike Beebe (Arkansas)
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D, WV-01)
Added to retirement watch Rep. John Boozman (AR-03)
Rep. Mike Pence (IN-06)

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

AR-Sen, GOP Rep. John Boozman added to list
AZ-Sen, GOP former Rep. Jay Hayworth will run
IN-Sen, GOP surgeon Tom Haney announced run
LA-Sen, GOP Secretary of State Jay Dardenne ruled out run
NY-Sen, GOP Port Authority Commissioner Bruce Blakeman announced run

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

AZ-Gov, GOP Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker dropped out
CO-Gov, Dem former Speaker Andrew Romanoff will not run
KS-Gov, Dem state Sen. Tom Holland added
MI-Gov, Dem state Sen. Hansen Clarke dropped out
MD-Gov, GOP state Delegate Patrick McDonough dropped out
MN-Gov, GOP former Auditor Pat Anderson dropped out
former Senator Norm Coleman ruled out run
NM-Gov, GOP Pete Domenici Jr. announced run
PA-Gov, Dem businessmen Tom Knox dropped out

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Senate polls find GOP in strong position in Arkansas, Delaware

Whenever a Republican manages to receive the support of 20% of those who approve of Barack Obama’s performance, Democrats have reason to worry. And that’s exactly what they’re facing in the Delaware Senate race, where the latest PPP poll finds that Mike Caste really is as formidable a Republican candidate as the GOP could have hoped for. Pitted against Beau Biden - the only match-up with which Democrats have a chance of staying competitive - Castle leads 45% to 39%.

Back in March, Castle was up by 8%, so this is not an example of Democratic fortunes collapsing as 2009 has gone by. Biden isn’t helped by the decline of Obama’s approval rating (from 63% to 53%), though in the spring Castle was already enjoying strong support among independents and a solid crossover support. Now, he leads 52-23 among independents and 79-10 among Republicans; Biden only manages a 65-20 advantage among Democrats. While both candidates enjoy a positive favorability rating, Castle is very popular (55-28) whereas voters are ambivalent towards the vice-president’s son (43-35).

The good news for Biden (if he intends to run, of course) is that the internals suggest this is as low as it can get for him: It’s hard to see him receiving any less than 65% of Democrats and 23% of independents. In fact, convincing the remaining undecided Democrats should be enough for him to close the gap in a state with a wide partisan unbalance. Yet, that might not be easy since a plurality of Democratic voters say Castle is ideologically “about right.” The DSCC will spend most the next year airing anything that might make the congressman look right-wing (starting with his votes against most of Obama’s legislative priorities), but Delawareans have been living with this man since 1980; they won’t easily be convinced that he is not the person they seem to think he is.

If Democrats are at a risk of losing Delaware’s Senate seat, the situation is far more urgent in Arkansas. Two new polls were released today, and both of them confirm that Blanche Lincoln is one of the most endangered incumbents in the country.

First, Rasmussen found catastrophic results for the senator. Weighed down by a 43-52 favorability rating and by Obama’s 34-65 approval rating, she trails all four of her potential Republican rivals: 46-39 against Kim Hendren, 47-41 against Gilbert Baker, 44-40 against Curtis Coleman and 43-40 against Tom Cox. In short, most voters who do not have a favorable opinion of Lincoln are eager to vote for her challenger - no matter who he is; for a two-term incumbent to trail someone as low-profile as Cox suggests voters are desperate to get rid of her.

Research 2000 has Lincoln in a stronger position - not in terms of her favorability rating, which is again negative (41-50) but certainly in terms of direct match-ups: She leads all four trial heats, some of them by decisive margins. She’s up 42-41 on Baker, 44-39 against Coleman, 45-31 against Cox and 46-30 against Hendren.

The disparity between Rasmussen and Research 2000 is stark, but Democrats don’t have that much comfort to glean from the latter. For one, the big leads she pulls against Cox and Hendren are primarily due to the fact that, in these match-ups, there are far more undecided Republicans and undecided independents than they are undecided Democrats. Second, a 1% lead against Baker is nothing to boast about given that the name recognition differential. Third, trendlines are worrisome for Lincoln, who led Baker by 7% in Research 2000’s September poll.

Interestingly, Research 2000 tested a potential Democratic primary between Lincoln and Lieutenant Governor Brian Halter: Lincoln leads 42% to 27%, a showing that’s more than weak given that the advantage of incumbency is far more dominant in a primary context. This not only indicates Halter might have a path to the nomination, but it’s also a sign of general election trouble for Lincoln: 32% of her party have an unfavorable view of her, so she certainly cannot rely on heavy Democratic turnout next year.

(In the general election, Halter trails Baker 42% to 34% and Coleman 40% to 35%; he leads Hendren 36% to 31% and Cox 36% to 32%. The disparity between Lincoln and Halter’s results is significant, but it can partly be explained by the fact that far more Democrats than Republicans are undecided in the first two match-ups.)

Rasmussen’s poll also confirms I was right to categorize Arkansas as one of only 5 states that are hosting uncompetitive gubernatorial races: Democratic Mike Beebe is a rare governor whose approval rating remains strong in the current economic conditions, 70% to 28%.

Utah’s Bob Bennett highly unpopular, but hard to see how Democrats take advantage

A new poll finds another senator who is highly unpopular: Utah Senator Bob Bennett. Deseret News finds that only 27% of respondents think Bennett deserves a fourth term, while a massive 58% desire someone new. That’s a dismal showing, and in most states it would be reason for the opposing party to celebrate - but this is Utah we’re talking about: Much of the dissatisfaction over Bennett is coming from his own party’s right. (I wrote a post about why Bennett is finding himself in trouble last month.)

In an atypical poll question, respondents were asked who they would want as senator among a list of 7 candidates - 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat (Sam Granato, who is the state Liquor Control Commission Chairman). Only 31% chose Bennett, underscoring just how low a base of support the senator has; 14% went with Granato; 17% divided themselves between the 5 remaining Republicans: Cherilyn Eagar, Tim Bridgewater, Fred Lampropoulos, Mike Lee and James Russell Williams. (I wish they had tested Jason Chaffetz, who might have been a more familiar name to respondents.)

Remember that the first step of the nominating process is a state convention. If the senator is receiving the support of only 31% of the electorate at large, he should seriously be worrying about where he might end up when his fate will be in the hands of party activists, a group that is far more conservative.


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Dems succeed in Wisconsin maneuver, left hoping they pull off Delaware’s too

Last month, Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton dropped out of Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race just hours after The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported the White House was pushing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to run. Democrats who did not think Lawton was their best candidate were satisfied, but they had just taken a big risk by pushing their one candidate out of the race: What if Barrett chose not to run after all? Democrats would be left with no prominent politician to court, given that Rep. Ron Kind also ruled out a run.

This situation is reminiscent of the one that’s playing out in North Carolina, where national Democrats spent months snubbing Secretary of State Elaine Marshall while trying to convince Bob Etheridge and Cal Cunningham to jump in. Now that these two politicians have decided the race isn’t for them, Marshall looks like the front-runner; but imagine if she had followed Lawton’s lead and dropped out? Then the DSCC would be facing a real recruitment hole.

Thankfully for Democrats, Barrett did not leave them hanging: He announced yesterday that he would run for Governor, giving his party a top-tier candidate for what should be a tough seat to defend.

Barrett comes to the race with many assets (even beyond the glowing coverage he received when he tried to help a woman outside a state fair, only to find himself attacked so brutally that he ended up in the hospital for days). For one, he is well-known: He was a U.S. representative for 10 years and has been mayor of the state’s largest city since 2004. Second, he is experienced when it comes to high-stakes campaigns: Besides his House races and his first mayoral victory against an incumbent, he ran for Governor in 2002, losing a tight primary against Jim Doyle.

Perhaps most importantly, he is not directly connected to Jim Doyle’s unpopular administration. While incumbent governors everywhere are seeing their numbers collapse under the weight of the economic crisis (that’s especially the case in the Midwest, as we can see from with Culver and Strickland), Wisconsin Democrats have the chance to field a candidate who can run as an outsider next year, and they made the most of it. Barrett hasn’t even served in state government since 1992, when he left the state Senate to join Congress.

Wisconsin is too much of a swing state for either Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker or former Rep. Mark Neumann not to have a good shot at winning the general election, especially if the GOP enjoys strong political winds in the Midwest; but the state also signaled over and over again all decade that it ultimately preferred siding with Democrats, however narrowly. That gives Barrett a slight edge going forward.

Democrats can only hope to be be so successful in their Delaware maneuvers. Governor Ruth Ann Minner appointed a caretaker to Joe Biden’s Senate seat to keep it warm for Beau Biden, but the party has been increasingly anxious in recent months that the Attorney General might choose not to risk a loss to the one Republican who can possibly win a statewide race in the state.

Conventional wisdom remains that Biden will jump in, but he has been as non-committal as can be. (I mean by that he hasn’t been behaving like Andrew Cuomo, who denies any interest in a gubernatorial run while hiring top-notch campaign staff, acting in ways that strongly suggest he’s positioning himself for a competitive race, even trying to put his mark on the party’s entire state ticket, as The New York Times reported this morning.) The state party’s annual fundraiser, held last week, did not yield any more answers.

Perhaps the best solution to curing Biden of any cold feet he might be experiencing is to convince him he would be favored to win - and what better way to do that than to show him encouraging poll results?

Consider that Castle has held a lead in every single poll released up to today. Sure, they’ve been only four, but that’s four too many for a politician who is still young and has little reason not to play it safe. This is all the more significant considering one of those 4 polls - an April survey conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research - had Castle up by 21% (55-34). That survey always looked like an outlier (Castle’s lead wasn’t larger than 8% in the other polls) but it must have weighed on Biden’s mind.

But today brought the very first poll with Biden in the lead - and its a Susquehanna Polling and Research poll! Biden leads 45% to 40% - a 27% turnaround since April. This means that Susquehanna is once again out-of-step with every other pollster who’s tested the race, but that matters little since this is exactly the type of story Democrats are hoping to see right now: The poll is already getting a lot of play, so it might very well influence Biden if the Attorney General hasn’t made up his mind yet.

(Susquehanna attributes this polling turnaround to Castle’s vote against health-care reform, which might have convinced moderates who’ve been loyal to the congressman that he might not be as centrist as they thought; I am somewhat skeptical of this, since I doubt Castle’s vote has be covered so extensively in the absence of an opponent to attack him over it as to significantly move numbers. And if we agree that Susquehanna’s April poll was an outlier, there isn’t any reason to spend much time explaining the trendline.)


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Polls find Daggett at his highest level yet and Lincoln in her best shape of the year

NJ: Voters turn against Christie, Daggett reaches 18%

3 polls bring further confirmation of the two trendlines that have recently emerged in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race. First, Chris Christie’s lead has evaporated; second, his favorability rating has collapsed.

  • The New York Times’s first poll of the race gives Jon Corzine’s his biggest lead since January - albeit only a 40% to 37% advantage, with Daggett at 14%. Most stunning is that Christie’s striking unpopularity: 19% to 37%, a worse differential than Corzine’s 30-46!
  • SUSA finds Christie with 40%, Corzine with 39% and Daggett at his highest level in any poll: 18%. Last week, Christie was up by 3%.
  • Rasmussen has Christie up by a larger margin, 45% to 41%. That’s an uptick from his 3% lead 10 days ago, but it remains within the MoE. Also, Rasmussen has Daggett at a relatively low 9%. Christie’s favorability rating stands at 46-51.

With many pollsters (like PPP) finding that most of Daggett’s supporters are not committed to sticking with him, it’s too early to say where Daggett will end up on November 3rd: close to (even above) 20%, double-digits or single-digits? If the latter, it remains tough to envision a Corzine victory: As these three polls confirm, the governor is still unable to break out of the low 40s, so he needs Daggett to receive a high enough level of support that 41-42% become enough to clinch victory.

On the other hand, the polls that have Daggett at their highest level are not those in which the governor has his better result. Even if there is evidence the independent’s candidacy has helped Corzine’s comeback, he is also drawing a fair amount of support from would-be Corzine voters. As such, the Daggett vote’s unpredictability makes this entire contest a question mark: Who are these large number of Daggett voters who have yet to make up their mind for sure?

DE: Castle and Biden tie, Carney favored to pick-up House seat

Delaware’s Senate seat has been treated as Beau Biden’s legacy ever since his father resigned. Yet, the expectation that he’ll run has fallen enough that Biden’s merely confirming that he’s considering a run is being celebrated as good news in Democratic quarters. (”I’m gonna, first things first, make sure I focus on my family, focus on my job,” he said. “Look, am I considering it? Absolutely. Absolutely.”) That’s a clear sign of how much the Senate landscape has changed over the past few months.

A new Research 2000 poll of Delaware confirms that Democrats would be in trouble if Biden ended up passing on the race: While the Attorney General holds Rep. Mike Castle within the MoE (46% to 45% for the Republican), Castle leads other Democrats more decisively - 49% to 41% against former LG John Carney, 51% to 37% against appointed Senator Ted Kaufman, 51% to 39% against county executive Chris Coons. In all match-ups, he attracts a large share of Democrats (between 21% and 25%) and triumphs among independents.

Castle and Biden are both very popular (their favorability rating is 64% and 65%, respectively) while the other Democrats in the poll are far less-known - even Carney, whose favorability rating is 41-29, with 40% without an opinion. That does suggest that other Democrats could conceivably be as competitive as Biden, though at least two of those tested here would probably be unbelievable: Kaufman had promised he would not run for a full term and Carney is running for the House.

While some have suggested Carney could switch races, why would he do so when he is so heavily favored to win Castle’s House seat? Research 2000 also tested House match-ups between Carney and two Republicans mentioned as potential candidates: former state Senator Charlie Copeland and state Rep. Greg Lavelle. Carney wins 44-21 and 45-18, respectively. Sure, neither Republican has any name recognition, but more than 10% of the sample is made up of undecided Democrats. It’s hard to envision Republicans defending this seat without a top-tier contender to field.

AR: Lincoln reaches 50% in DSCC poll

It hasn’t been easy to get a sense of Blanche Lincoln’s vulnerability, with public polls finding varying different results - Rasmussen found her trailing four rivals, for instance, while Research 2000 suggested Arkansas were not looking to throw her out and PPP came in somewhere in the middle. Adding to the confusion, the DSCC just leaked the results of an early October poll that have the sunnier results yet for the centrist Senator: Against state Senator Gilbert Baker, Lincoln leads 50% to 37%; against state Senator Kim Hendren, she leads 51% to 37%.

Not only are those the largest leads Lincoln has enjoyed in recent months, this also marks the first survey in which she stays at or above 50% - the vulnerability threshold for incumbents. Obviously, public polls will have to find similar results before Lincoln leaves the group of most endangered senators - as we I noted above, none of the 3 recent public surveys have her in such good form.

Note that Lincoln’s camp can point to a recent event that should help her re-election prospects - her promotion to chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee following Teddy Kennedy’s death - and as such justify that the DSCC results are better than those of earlier polls. But Rasmussen’s poll was also taken after Kennedy’s death, and I find it unlikely Lincoln’s chairmanship is already common knowledge in the state.

FL: What we have come to expect in Governor’s race

Make of a Chamber of Commerce poll what you like, but their gubernatorial results correspond to what we saw from other polls: Bill McCollum leads 42% to 35% against Alex Sink. (Quinnipiac, Rasmussen and Mason Dixon recently found him leading between 4% and 8%; the Chamber’s early August poll had McCollum up 9%.) With neither candidate facing a competitive primary at the moment, the race is unlikely to heat up any time soon and poll results shouldn’t fluctuate too much over the next few months.

As importantly, the poll found Charlie Crist’s approval rating stands at a solid 62% - far better news for the governor than this week’s Insider Advantage survey, which had only 47% of Floridians approving of his performance. If that was the first sign of Crist’s vulnerability, this is a confirmation of why he’d be so favored to win the general election. On the other hand, his rating did decline from its August level (67%).


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GOP expands Senate map: Mike Castle will run for Delaware’s Senate seat

It was the biggest question mark left in the 2010 cycle and it was resolved in the GOP’s favor: Delaware Rep. Mike Castle will run for Senate.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this development: Castle’s candidacy single-handedly transforms what would otherwise have been a safe Democratic hold into a highly competitive contest that for now should be described towards a Republican takeover. In short, Castle’s decision makes Joe Biden’s former seat the cycle’s most vulnerable, with all eyes now turning towards Beau Biden.

After two cycles in which they were unable to mount any offense, the NRSC can look forward to an ever-increasing list of seats it has a strong shot of picking-up: We already had Nevada, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania. We can now add Delaware, which gets the GOP to a total of 7 top-tier opportunities.

Sure, in some of these states the GOP is competitive despite - rather than because - its recruitment: No top-tier contender has arisen in NV, AR, CO and even PA. But IL and DE’s inclusions on the list has everything to do about recruitment: No one but Castle could have made the latter state competitive in 2010, and conventional wisdom held that the NRSC was wasting its time trying to recruit the state’s longtime representative. At 70, Castle was believed more likely to leave politics altogether rather than to seek higher office; but Senate Republicans managed to convinced him to run, adding him to a roster of top recruits.

(If Castle’s decision is a harbinger of the NRSC’s success in recruiting other politicians who are not expected to jump in Senate races but still might, the coming months could still bring more bad news for Democrats: In North Dakota, New York and even Hawaii, current or former Republican governors could be threatening challengers to Democratic incumbents.)

In Delaware, the nightmare scenario for Democrats is obviously that Attorney General Beau Biden chooses not to run. While Biden has been considered a certain candidate all year, recent reports have suggested he might not want to jump if he has to face the one state politician who could defeat him.

Let’s not forget that the only reason Democrats are now in such trouble is that the state’s governor appointed a placeholder last year for Biden to be able to run in 2010. That transparently nepotistic move is now about to backfire on Democrats even more so than Blagojevich’s decision to appoint Roland Burris:Had Ruth appointed someone like John Carney to the senate, it’s highly unlikely Castle would have chosen to run since he would have had to challenge an incumbent. All of this makes it quite frustrating to think Biden might not even run.

If Biden does pass on the race, Castle would immediately become the clear front-runner. The state is Democratic enough and Castle is old enough that another Democrat could mount a competitive campaign, but it would be just as likely that Castle becomes the Mark Warner of the 2010 cycle - a Senate candidate who is as sure of picking-up a seat as the safest of incumbents.

Let’s not forget that Castle is in many ways in the position an incumbent: He has represented the entire state in one position or another for now 28 years. He served as Lieutenant Governor from 1981 to 1985 and as Governor from 1985 to 1992. That year,  he was elected to the state’s at-large House seat and he has easily secured nine congressional terms.

Castle would be a formidable contender whoever he faces, then. Even if Biden runs, Democrat cannot expect the race to be classified as anything more favorable than a toss-up - at least at the beginning. Three recent polls have shown Castle leading Biden, one of them by the bizarrely large margin of 21%!

All of this said, there are a number of reasons to think Biden would keep things competitive. For one, Delaware clearly leans blue - and Biden’s last name would make it easy for him to connect his fate to that of the White House; if Obama is so unpopular that he is a weight for Democrats in a state like Delaware, we’re looking for a dismal Democratic year anyway. Second, the partisan stakes of a Senate race are higher than those of a gubernatorial or House contest; as such, Democrats might have an easier time damaging Castle based on his party affiliation than they have had over the past 28 years.

And third is Castle’s age, his energy (he was clearly considering leaving politics altogether next year) and the time that has gone by since he last had to run a competitive campaign - arguably not since 1992. Will he have what it takes to face Biden, and how will the stark difference between his 70 years and the Attorney General’s youth play out on the trail?

A major consolation for Democrats: Castle’s House seat is top pick-up opportunity

Castle was expected not to seek re-election even if he passed on the Senate race, but today’s confirmation that Delaware’s at-large seat will be open for the first time since 1992 is sure to delight House Democrats. Indeed, this is now the third clearly blue-leaning district that the DCCC will have a shot at reclaiming next year - the other two being IL-10 and PA-06. And Democrats are far more certain to capture DE-AL than either of those other two: Not only did the district vote for Obama by 25%, but former Lieutenant Governor John Carney is already running for the Democratic nomination.

When you add LA-02, where Republican Rep. Anh Cao is all but certain to lose his re-election race, that means that four GOP-held districts are now leaning towards a Democratic takeover. This firewall will be extremely useful for the DCCC to hold down Republican gains. This is all the more striking when we consider that Democrats have held the number of vulnerable open seat they have to defend to a surprisingly low level - one that makes it impossible for the NRCC to envision more than 3-4 easy pick-ups.

In short, the Senate and House landscapes are increasingly divergent, with the conditions of major GOP gains in the former far better established than in the latter.


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Senate polls find GOP in stronger position in NH than KY

As we enter October, the Senate landscape looks different than what it was early in 2009. Some of Democrats’ top pick-up opportunities (for instance New Hampshire) now look like trickier operations while Kentucky and Pennsylvania have become big question marks for the defending parties, with two now polls finding closer contests than what conventional wisdom dictates.

NH: Two polls have Ayotte ahead in fluid race

Once upon a time, the Granite State looked like the most vulnerable Senate seat in the country - and it is still listed as such in my four-months old Senate rankings. But there is no doubt that the GOP at the very least got itself in the running when it convinced Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to enter the race. According to two new polls, Ayotte even holds a 7% lead against presumptive Democratic nominee Paul Hodes - a far cry from the race’s outlook back in the spring.

First comes the WMUR/Granite State poll, which has Ayotte ahead of Hodes 40% to 33%; the Democrat does lead Republicans Ovide Lamontagne and Sean Mahoney 37% to 38%. Second, an American Research Group survey has Ayotte leading by a comparable 41% to 34%.

Both surveys suggest that the state’s political situation is very fluid. ARG finds 49% of independents are undecided; WMUR says that only 6% say they have definitely decide who they will support - a figure that is unrealistically low (many voters are firm partisans) but still illustrates that voters don’t have a firm opinion about either candidate.

That said, the bottom line is that more voters are now choosing the Republican when asked to choose between two candidates they are not entirely familiar with. There is plenty of time for Democrats to turn that around, but it does suggest the environment is more propicitious for the GOP than it was from 2006 onwards. After all, Sununu led in barely any survey in 2008; just this past June, he trailed Hodes by 6% in an ARG survey. As such, Ayotte’s leads are a reassuring sight for the NRSC, which was not so long ago worried it would have to give up this seat.

KY: Conway outperforms Mongiardo, ties Grayson

In what I believe is the first poll to find a clear electability difference between Kentucky’s two Democratic candidates, Rasmussen shows Attorney General Jack Conway in a highly competitive position while Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo struggles. Conway ties GOP frontrunner Tray Greyson at 40% and he leads Rand Paul 42% to 38%; Mongiardo, on the other hand, trails both Republicans outside of the margin of error: 44% to 37% against Grayson, 43% to 38% against Paul.

While Mongiardo has suffered through a rough patch of news lately - audio surfaced of his insulting Governor Steve Beshear, who is paradoxically his Senate campaign’s main endorser - but I doubt that alone can explain the fact that the Lieutenant Governor is the only one of those four candidates with a clearly negative favorability rating: 41/43, as opposed to 49/27 for Conway, 53/20 for Grayson and 51/23 for Paul. We also cannot explain Mongiardo’s unpopularity with his belonging to the executive since Beshear is quite popular (59% to 41%).

Add to Beshear’s strong approval rating the fact that Obama is more popular than we could expect from a state McCain won decisively (47/53) and Conway’s ability to keep the race tied, and Kentucky looks like a very credible opportunity for the DSCC in 2010. It will obviously not be easy, but given that the landscape is getting tougher for Democrats in many states, this is a welcome break.

One other major theme of this poll is Rand Paul’s electability: It will be easy for Paul’s (vocal) supporters to argue that nominating their champion is not a kamikaze operation on the GOP’s part if polls continue to find Paul leading the sitting Lieutenant Governor. Other pollsters have found the Republican primary more competitive than the NRSC would like, so if on top of that polls find no wide electability gap between Grayson and Paul the latter’s prospects could still improve.

PA: Specter’s primary lead shrinks, fall behind in general election

Ever since he switched parties, polls have not been kind to Senator Arlen Specter. The latest survey to find him in trouble in both the April primary and the November general election is Quinnipiac, which has the incumbent’s favorability rating in negative territory: 42/46 - not terrible numbers, but nothing to boast of either, especially considering that those who know Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak overwhelmingly like them.

In the Democratic primary, Specter leads Sestak 44% to 25%. That might seem like a huge lead, but it represents a significant 11% tightening since Quinnipiac’s July survey. Furthermore, the name recognition differential between the two - 88% of respondents have an opinion of Specter, only 29% for Sestak - makes the situation highly worrisome for the incumbent: If he is well below 50% before Sestak even starts introducing himself while reminding voters of his ties to Bush, McCain and conservatism, what will his numbers look like in April?

In the general election, presumptive Republican nominee Pat Toomey has a slight lead over both Democrats: 43% to 42% against Specter, 38% to 35% against Sestak. Here again, the numbers conceal part of the story: That Sestak polls roughly as well as the far better known incumbent is as clear a sign as we have gotten that Specter should not be considered the stronger general election contender - quite the contrary. With Barack Obama’s approval rating at a decent 49% to 42%, Democrats remain favored to win a generic partisan battle in this state, which suggests they’d be better off running Sestak than an unpopular incumbent.

DE: Why Caste’s decision is so eagerly awaited

When the year started, we were looking forward to a half-dozen truly major midterm decisions. Rep. Mike Castle is now one of the only politicians left who have yet to make up their mind but whose decision alone will determine whether a race is competitive. A new Rasmussen poll confirms why that is: While Beau Biden is so popular that it’s hard to see him running in much trouble against anyone but the state’s congressman, Castle leads Biden 47% to 42%.

And thus we go on waiting for this waiting game to end so we can determine whether Delaware will be one of the GOP’s top takeover opportunities or an uneventful Democratic hold.

As for gubernatorial polls, it looks like tomorrow morning could bring earth-shattering news in New Jersey’s contest. Stay tuned!


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Republicans getting in, getting out

Reading the Castle tealeaves

Of all potential Senate candidates, Delaware Rep. Mike Castle could have the most consequential decision to make. If he stays out of the race, Democrats will be all but certain to keep Joe Biden’s former seat; if he jumps in, the race will be hotly contested with a slight edge to Republicans. (This cycle, the only other politician I can think of who had this much responsibility resting on her shoulders was Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.)

At his age, how motivated could Castle be at the thought of a tough Senate race? Yet, how can he say no when countless prominent Republicans - including friends like John McCain - are showering him with attention, insisting that they would love to have him over at the upper chamber and pointing out that the GOP has fallen in a huge hole it cannot recover from without Castle’s assistance. (It’s interesting that the NRSC’s other best recruit, Charlie Crist, is also someone who would position himself at the left of the Republican conference.)

This week, Castle provided a clue as to his decision: He told the Republican leadership he was not interested in becoming ranking Republican on the Education and Labor Committee - a position that will open up through a game of musical chair once Rep. John McHugh leaves the Armed Forces Committee.

Combine this episode with Castle’s recent statement that he is less likely to seek re-election than the two alternatives (retire, run for Senate), and the DCCC can be relatively confident that Delaware’s House seat will be open. Sure, Castle said that we should not take his declining the position as a sign that he has decided not to run for another term. Yet, if he was really considering that option, the opportunity to become ranking Republican on this committee should have led him to sit down and make up his mind so as not to waste the offer.

In some ways, it could seem strange that Castle is choosing between running for Senate and retiring altogether rather than first deciding whether he wants to continue his career and then figuring out which office to seek. On the other hand, it makes sense that a former two-term Governor is tired enough of being one among 435 that he feels the time has come for him to leave the House. If anything, the realization that a politician with a smaller resume could become the state’s new Senator might increase his disinterest in staying in the lower chamber.

Schweich endorses Blunt

While Castle makes up his mind, another Republican just ruled out a Senate run in Missouri: A month after he signaled his interest by blasting fellow GOPer Roy Blunt as “unelectable,” former Ambassador Tom Schweich announced he was ready to endorse the congressman in the name of party unity.

Whether you think this development helps or hurts Republicans will depend on your opinion on Blunt’s electability. Yet, it’s not even clear whether Schweich’s exit improves Blunt’s hold on the GOP nomination since former Treasurer Sarah Steelman is also considering jumping in the race.

If Steelman unexpectedly does not run, Blunt will become the presumptive GOP nominee, sparing him the prospect of a ferocious, divisive and nasty showdown in a late primary. That would be a huge relief for the congressman and a boost to Republican prospects. If Steelman does run, however, there are two ways Schweich’s decision could play out:

  1. Since Blunt is the Republican front-runner, Schweich and her might have competed over the same pool of voters (those who are skeptical of Blunt’s service in the House, his insider status). As such, his exit could help Steelman federate anti-establishment forces and conservative activists.
  2. Alternatively, Schweich’s candidacy could have made it easier for Steelman to win: As a protege of former Senator John Danforth, he himself represents the Republican establishment - and its moderate wing at that. By taking votes on Blunt’s left, he could have made it easier for Steelman to clinch victory on the strength of conservative voters.

I find the latter scenario somewhat more convincing. “Another white guy in a suit” was Steelman’s February attack on Blunt; she could have used a similar populist tone against Schweich.


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Impressive numbers for Republicans in new Senate polls

In recent days, there has been some debate in the comments section about the 2010 Senate landscape: Are Democrats still likely to net seats, or are Republicans now poised for gains? While I am weary of supporting the latter argument, I do think that the GOP’s Senate prospects have significantly brightened and that the possibility of Republicans picking-up seats no longer looks far-fetched.

Since the beginning of the year, the GOP’s has improved its positions in a number of races on its defense list - none more so than Kansas (though that was outside of any Republican’s control). And while Nevada has largely fallen off the radar screen, it is starting to look like the NRSC will be able to put a number of Democratic seats in play. A detailed post is in order - as well as updated Senate rankings - but for now, look no further than 4 new polls from 3 states for evidence that Democrats have reason to worry.

Stop the presses: A New Hampshire poll has Sununu in the lead!

The University of New Hampshire has released a new “Granite Poll” - a reputed state survey. Its last poll before the 2008 election had Jeanne Shaheen leading then-Senator John Sununu by 6% - she won by 7% - but the new survey finds reason for Republicans to smile: If he decides to run in the 2010 Senate race, Sununu would start in the lead against Democratic Paul Hodes, 46% to 41%.

This is quite a finding: In the past cycle, more than 50 polls were released of the New Hampshire Senate race; only two had then-Senator John Sununu ahead. (The first was released in December 2007, the second in September 2008; both were clearly outliers that were immediately contradicted by the same pollster’s subsequent poll.) And only three had him at 46% or higher - the level of support he receives in this UNH survey.

Sure, Hodes is no Shaheen - but Sununu is also no longer an incumbent and an ARG poll conducted in late March found Hodes ahead by 6%. In short, these new numbers are undoubtedly encouraging for him, especially when combined with his good favorability rating (47/36). On the other hand, Hodes is also liked by voters who know him (34/22) but he has far lesser name recognition; that also means he has more room to grow.

In short, Sununu has obvious flaws - but it would be a huge relief for the GOP to recruit him: He would keep the race in play and it’s not like Republicans have many other candidates to field. (Interestingly, UNH also tested a match-up between retiring Senator Gregg and Hodes; the incumbent crushes Hodes 52% to 36%.)

Delaware: Castle crushes Biden

Susquehanna Polling and Research has released a poll showing Republican Rep. Mike Castle crushing Beau Biden by a stunning 21%, 55% to 34%; he gets 36% of Democrats and holds Biden at 28% among independents.

An important note of caution: Susquehanna is a Republican firm that has released dubious surveys in the past - and that should certainly lead us to take the magnitude of Castle’s lead with a grain of salt. Yet, the basic result is consistent with what Public Policy Polling found earlier this spring: If he runs for Senate, Castle would start with the lead against Attorney General Beau Biden. (PPP had him ahead by 8%.)

The bad news for the GOP is that they have no one to turn to if Castle declines a run; the bad news for Democrats is that Castle has said it is more likely he runs for Senate than for re-election and there is now no doubt that he would be a formidable opponent for the DSCC.

In a way, it’s strange that we are even doubting that he would be a strong contender. He has served as Governor from 1985 to 1993 and he has been the state’s sole representative since then. On the other hand, it’s worth wondering whether these numbers are partly derived from Biden’s weakness as well; sure, he has built himself a political career of his own but are voters uncomfortable with the blatant nepotism of outgoing Governor Ruth appointing a placeholder for no other reason than to keep the seat available for Biden in 2010?

Pennsylvania: Ridge leads Specter, Specter leads Sestak

Two new surveys were released today confirming what I have been saying for the past week: The odds that the GOP wins the Pennsylvania Senate seat have gone up significantly since Arlen Specter’s party switch. The NRSC can now hope to run a very electable candidate like former Governor Tom Ridge, who leads Specter in both polls:

  • POS also tested the primaries: Ridge crushes Toomey 60% to 23% and Specter crushes Sestak 57% to 20%.

An important note of caution: Both surveys were released by Republican firms. (In fact, the former was commissioned by a RNC committeeman, the latter by a “pro-business” PAC.) Yet, Quinnipiac’s new poll also found Specter vulnerable (he was up by 3% against Ridge) and also found Ridge very popular among Republicans. The main difference between these surveys and Quinnipiac’s is the Specter-Toomey match-up (Q-Pac had the incumbent leading by 20%).

As for the numbers in the Democratic primary, Sestak has very low name recognition in that POS poll: only 18% of voters statewide have an opinion of him, versus 90% for Specter. That is partly responsible for keeping Sestak’s numbers down; on the other hand, it is certainly a mark of strength for Specter to cross the 50% threshold.

We shall know more when Research 2000 released its poll on Thursday. It will hopefully test Joe Sestak in the general election so we can see how much of Ridge’s leads are due to his strength and how much with the fact that Democratic-leaning voters are not interested in supporting Specter. For now, the one-sentence lesson out of these Pennsylvania polls is that Ridge would be a very strong candidate for the GOP and Specter a disaster for Democrats.



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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 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
  • All good things must come to an end

  • 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 remains on the table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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