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Category Archive for ‘ID-01’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'ID-01' Category


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Switching parties isn’t a joyful ride after all

As French Immigration Minister Eric Besson and now-Republican Rep. Parker Griffith can attest to, it’s never fun playing the role of the traitor. Your former friends detest you, your new allies disdain what they see as crass opportunism and resent your jumping over them without putting in the time to display any commitment to their movement, and no one can trust someone who has displayed a complete lack of loyalty. That Griffith reportedly downloaded voter information from the state Democratic Party’s files on the eve of his secret switch only heightens the perfidious nature of his move.

Back in the spring, Arlen Specter discovered it would not be easy to pull off his own transition but he was protected by the White House, which reigned in much of the Democratic attacks that would otherwise have reigned in on the senator; Specter could not avoid a credible primary challenge from Joe Sestak, but in recent months he has been working overtime to portray himself as a zealous liberal, so we shall see what comes out of this race in the first four months of 2010.

Griffith, on the other hand, can hardly expect effective protection: The GOP has no national leader who can convince local Republicans to accept him in their midst. As such, Griffith has faced a deluge of attacks from all quarters ever since he announced he would join the Republican caucus - not just by Democrats and conservative activists, but also by mainstream GOP officials! - so much so that it’s doubtful he improved his re-election chances.

It all started with an all-out Democratic declaration of war, which Griffith must have been expecting. Yet, his finances will find themselves deflated once Griffith returns the DCCC and fellow Democratic lawmakers’ contributions, as he has already agreed to do; he will also have to find himself an entirely new campaign and legislative team, since his consultants and staff are quitting en masse; and his former allies will spare him nothing, whether unearthing old quotes in which he professes his allegiance to Democrats to pointing out that Griffith donated substantial amounts to Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004.

Conservative attacks were also to be expected. “We will not fix the GOP’s problems if we keep allowing people who are not one of us to suddenly switch the letter next to their name and magically become one of us,” wrote Red State. Yet, Griffith is certainly not in Specter’s position - i.e. someone whose lifetime voting record is often diametrically antithetical to his new party. In fact, the speed with which the right signaled it was not willing to accept the Alabaman was surprising given how uniformly conservative his 2009 voting record has been. The Club for Growth, for instance, was reduced to pointing to the amendments to the budget bill as Griffith’s main offense; the only high-profile vote they highlighted was Griffith’s support for the cash-for-clunker bill, which 59 Republicans supported.

Griffith was surely hoping to at least receive a more positive reception from the Republican establishment and from independent outlets, but even that hasn’t been the case: state Treasurer Kay Ivey, who is certainly not known as a movement conservative, wasted no time before blasting Griffith’s move and The Huntsville Times published a brutal editorial denouncing Griffith’s move as sure to harm the district. (Speaking of establishment support: I wonder if Griffith managed to extract a commitment that the NRCC will help him survive the primary. While it would be logical for him to have done so, officials are probably not looking to antagonize conservative activists who are already angry at the national committees’ often heavy-handed involvement in local matters.)

Given these near-unanimously critical reactions, should we be surprised that Griffith’s re-election prospects look just as endangered as they were last week? For one, there is now no doubt that he will face a very tough GOP primary: Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks, who had been preparing for months to run a top-tier campaign, has made it clear he will stick to the race. The party’s 2008 nominee Wayne Parker is also considering jumping in. (Note that Griffith cannot hope to clinch a plurality victory as his rivals divide the anti-incumbent vote because Alabama has a two-round primary system, which will force him to get 50% to move on to the general election.)

Second, Democrats might still have a shot at contesting the general election. District voters have never voted for a Republican congressman, so the Democratic nominee can certainly hope to appeal to the electorate’s loyalty to overcome the fact that McCain received 61% of the vote in 2008 (after all, Griffith managed to win an open seat that year, and he certainly was not helped by the top-of-the-ticket coattails considering Obama only got 38%). The most intriguing possibility is that Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is currently running for Governor, downgrade his ambitions to the House race; he pointedly refused to rule out the possibility. Another possibility is Public Service Commissioner Susan Parker, who also held the statewide office of Auditor, but local blog Political Parlor deems her entry unlikely because she would have to give up her current office.

Note that from the perspective of the GOP leadership it could not matter less whether Griffith survives the primary: Whoever moves on to the general election, the Republican nominee will not have to face a Democratic incumbent. While Sparks or Parker could make the general election competitive, there is no doubt that the GOP is now clearly favored to hold AL-05 in the 112th Congress.

But from Griffith’s perspective, it obviously matters a great deal. As such, his fate over the past few days will not help Republicans convince other Democrats to cross over. Within a day of the Alabaman’s announcement, the two freshmen representatives who represent the most hostile districts announced they were sticking with Democrats: Rep. Bobby Bright (AL-02) reportedly said as much to DCCC officials, while Rep. Walt Minnick (ID-01) released a statement. Of course, they might very well change their minds in the months ahead, but I would not hold my breath - especially for Minnick: Releasing a statement (as opposed to than privately informing party officials, as Bright did) is the type of incriminating commitment he would not want out there if he was secretly mulling a switch.

Yet, an unexpected Democrat emerged as the most open to becoming a Republican: Rep. Chris Carney, a sophomore who represents a district (PA-10) Bush won by 20% and McCain by 9%. When Politico reported that prominent Republicans were reaching out to Carney and that he had received a phone call from no other than John McCain, the congressman’s office responded: “No further comment at this time.” The next day, however, Carney put a statement announcing that, “I appreciate the Republican Party’s outreach, but I have no plans to change parties.”

There has been a fair amount of skepticism that Carney might ever have seriously considering switching parties. While he is a Blue Dog, he has never tried to position himself as one of the more conservative House Democrats: He voted for the health-care bill, for the stimulus, for the financial regulation bill. In a district with a substantial conservative electorate, how could he possibly have survived a Republican primary with such a record?

Rather, Carney might have been signaling he was considering switching parties to draw attention to the fact that Republicans were courting him - something he is sure to bring up in his general election campaign next fall. In fact, Carney wasted no time touting his independence in light of these latest developments: “I am flattered by the overtures of Sen. McCain and other Republican Party officials and consider their outreach a sure sign that I have worked in a truly bipartisan manner,” he said in the same statement that announced he would stay a Democrat. “I always put my district above political party and have maintained an independent voice.” Given Carney’s voting record, how did the GOP leadership not see this was coming?


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NRCC receives good news in PA-11, in CO-03 and perhaps in NY-24

You sure can’t accuse Republicans of not being confident heading into 2010. As has been obvious for months, the GOP’s optimist outlook about the likelihood of a red wave is helping the NRCC score recruitment coups - and the past few days have brought the party a number of new candidates.

The most important development is undoubtedly Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta’s reported decision to seek a rematch against Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania’s 11th district.

Well-known as a hardline conservative on immigration issues, Barletta challenged Kanjorski last year in what was one of the GOP’s top-pick opportunities of the cycle. As a longtime incumbent representing a blue-leaning district, Kanjorski should never have been in trouble in the first place. But his hold on the district weakened, partly because of ethical controversies and Barletta led in polls throughout the campaign. On Election Night, Pennsylvania was submerged by Barack Obama’s coattails and Kanjorski narrowly survived, winning 52% to 48% in a district that gave Obama 57%.

In 2010, Kanjorski will not benefit from that high a turnout level among his base and there is no reason to think his already low standing with voters will have improved. Barletta’s candidacy thus makes him one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents yet again. Complicating matters is that Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien is running against him in the Democratic primary, which could either push Kanjorski towards retirement or force him to work hard enough to reach out to his base that it could help him in the general election.

On the other hand, Barletta will face major problems of his own, mostly that his reputation is undoubtedly far worse today than it was in early 2008: The DCCC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads last year, hitting Barletta hard on issues like Social Security. That’s the kind of attack that leaves a durable trace, which explains why candidates who’ve lost a highly competitive often fail if they try again, no matter how favorable the political environment (Diane Farrell in 2006, Darcy Burner and Linda Stender in 2008).

Might this be Salazar’s first competitive race since 2004?

Despite winning a red-leaning open seat in 2004, Salazar did not face much trouble winning re-election over the past two cycles. That might change next year, as the GOP has recruited a candidate and is rumored to be working on another.

State Rep. Scott Tipton announced that he would take on the incumbent. The twist: Tipton challenged Salazar in 2006, and lost by a decisive 25%. But that loss came before Tipton won a seat in the state House, which should give him more campaign experience, more institutional support and more credibility with donors and voters. Furthermore, the 2006 environment was about as bad as it could get for Republicans in Colorado. Governor Bill Ritter’s re-election race next year will bear no resemblance to his 16% triumph the open Governor’s race four years ago.

As always, I am not saying that a red wave will submerge safe-seeming incumbents like Salazar (quite the contrary, I’ve argued that predictions of Democratic doom are way overblown), only that Republicans are positioning themselves in such a way that they’ll be able to take advantage if the environment is toxic for Democrats. And they’ll be all the better positioned if they manage to convince state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry to challenge Salazar: Penry just dropped his gubernatorial race, and his district falls in Salazar’s, which has driven up speculation that he could delight the NRCC and get in.

In NY-24, another Republican who looks set on a rematch

If PA-11 was expected to be a close race last year, absolutely no one was paying attention to NY-24: Yet, Election Night brought a stunning nail-bitter that ended in Rep. Michael Arcuri holding on to his seat by a small 4%. His 2008 rival Richard Hanna is now signaling that he’s preparing for a rematch: While he hadn’t made it clear that he was looking at 2010, he issued a press release denouncing Arcuri’s vote in favor of the health care bill.

The reason Republicans would be delighted to have Hanna get back in: He can self-fund his campaign, as he did last year. Since it’s unlikely the NRCC would commit money to this race from the get-go, the GOP needs a wealthy recruit again in 2010. Yet, Hanna shouldn’t expect a repeat of 2008: Arcuri will not be taken by surprise, nor will the DCCC. They will be sure to poll the race this time, and pour in money if they notice the incumbent is in trouble.

ID-01: One Republican in, one Republican out

As long as the GOP manages to get its act together, it should be favored to pick-up ID-01, a heavily conservative district that gave Bush 69% of the vote and McCain 62%. For now, much of the attention has concentrated on Vaughn Ward, a veteran who has never before sought public office but who has attracted the support of figures like Sarah Palin.

Democrats ran many Iraq veterans in the 2006-2008 cycle, and it did not prove a particularly successful experiment - for instance in IL-06. It is always a risk to nominate a political novice, as one can never be sure how he’ll hold up on the trail. Yet, Ward caught a break yesterday when state House Majority Leader Ken Roberts announced that he would drop out of the race. Within 24 hours, another party contender emerged: state Rep. Raul Labrador announced his candidacy.

But none of this matters as much as the man everyone is watching: former Rep. Bill Sali, whose extreme politics and personal antics so antagonized Republican leaders and voters that he lost re-election last year. Numerous reports this week indicate that Sali is actively considering running again in 2010. He would probably need a crowded GOP field to prevail, as I have trouble seeing him reach 50% of the primary vote; his candidacy would also lead to an interesting split within conservative groups, since Palin has already sided with Ward while Sali is a Club for Growth protegee.

One recruitment failure in PA-17

Rep. Tim Holden might represent a red-leaning district but he hasn’t had much trouble winning re-election in recent cycles. This week, speculation started risingthat state Senator David Argall would give local Republicans their first reason to cheer in years, but it did not take long for Argall to deny those rumors, saying he was 99% certain that he would not challenge Holden (not that he would not risk losing his legislative seat if he did). That leaves PA-17 out of reach for the NRCC’s ambitions.


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The DCCC and NRCC’s priority lists

In an interview with the National Journal’s Congress Daily (via SSP), the DCCC’s executive director and the NRCC’s political director listed what they saw as their party’s 5-6 top pickup opportunities, each adding a number of promising second tier races.

Of course, these lists correspond to nothing tangible. Neither men promised to pour in money in these districts, nor did they commit to treating these races as competitive come the summer of 2010, nor did they suggest that other contests were not worth their time. And yet, it is certainly worth taking a look at their responses, as they provide us an early outline of where the 2010 midterms will be fought.

Target DCCC rating CD rating
DE-AL: Mike Castle Tier 1 Toss-up
FL-10: Bill Young Tier 1 Lean retention
LA-02: Ann Cao Tier 1 Toss-up
MI-11: Thad McCotter Tier 1 Lean retention
PA-06: Jim Gerlach Tier 1 Toss-up
MN-06: Michelle Bachmann Tier 2 Lean retention
OH-02: Jean Schmidt Tier 2 Likely retention
TX-10: Michael McCaul Tier 2 Likely retention

And the NRCC’s target list:

Target NRCC rating CD rating
ID-01: Walt Minnick Tier 1 Toss-up
MD-01: Frank Kratovil Tier 1 Toss-up
NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter Tier 1 Lean retention
OH-01: Steve Driehaus Tier 1 Lean retention
VA-02: Glenn Nye Tier 1 Lean retention
VA-05: Tom Perriello Tier 1 Toss-up
AL-02: Bobby Bright Tier 2 Toss-up
AL-05: Parker Griffith Tier 2 Lean retention
CO-04: Betsy Markey Tier 2 Toss-up
FL-08: Alan Grayson Tier 2 Lean retention
FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas Tier 2 Lean retention
MS-01: Travis Childers Tier 2 Lean retention
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy Tier 2 Lean retention

The first thing we can’t help but notice is that the NRCC’s list is longer, with 7 “tier 2″ races compared to 4 for the DCCC. That might be a trivial point, but it also speaks to a simple fact: After two cycles in which they picked up most low-hanging fruits, Democrats now have far more obviously vulnerable seats to defend than Republicans. (In my ratings, 27 Dem-held seats are categorized as “toss-up” or “lean retention,” compared to 18 GOP-held seats.)

The second striking fact is that the DCCC’s list, albeit shorter, contains more surprises than the NRCC’s. Democrats are really that optimistic about OH-02 and TX-10? Sure, Schmidt is strikingly unpopular and McCaul has drawn a very well-funded opponent, but they also hold conservative districts and decisively won competitive races in the tough 2008 environment. Sure, neither is safe, but it’s certainly a stretch to list them in the top 8 pickup opportunities.

It’s not even like the DCCC has an interest in hyping its commitment to unseating McCaul: They’ve already landed a top contender, so they don’t need to attract another one. Recruitment needs might account for the inclusion of another district, however: I am not surprised that MI-11 is on the list but I don’t think it is correct to put it this high since Democrats are experiencing a dreadful time landing a challenger to the obviously vulnerable McCotter.

By contrast, no district on the GOP’s list is a surprise inclusion. Republicans don’t have to think creatively but go after any Democrat who recently picked-up a swing district: All 12 of these districts are occupied by first or second-term Democrats - so all have been lost by the GOP in the past two cycles. That tells you all you need to know about how differently the two parties’ different approaches to the midterms.

The only district that might be worth discussing individually is MS-01: In such a conservative district, there is no doubt that Childers is vulnerable but the Democrat won his first re-election race with enough brio that it remained to be seen whether Republicans would go all-out against him in 2010. His inclusion could thus be the one newsworthy item of this list, as it takes care of any suspicion we might have had that the NRCC would give Childers a pass.

The explanation of this differential in surprises might very well be the same as the one for the list’s different lengths - Democrats have less obvious targets, so the DCCC gets to think more creatively. But that does not account for the fact that their list is missing many seats that I would say are better targets than MI-11, OH-02 and TX-10. In fact, 3 of the 6 GOP-held seats that I listed as toss-ups in my ratings are not on this list: AK-AL, IL-10 and WA-08! Also missing are any of the 8 ripe California district (some of which, like CA-03, are more promising than others), FL-25 or MN-03.

The NRCC’s list also contains a few omissions. First, while it is heavy on races from Florida, Virginia and Ohio races, the absence of any district from Pennsylvania (and, to a lesser extent, New Mexico and New York) is striking considering the long list of vulnerable seats in the Keystone State: PA-03, PA-04, PA-10 and PA-11 will all be 2010 battlegrounds.

Second, the NRCC’s most glaring omission is ID-01, a heavily red seat that looks to be the GOP’s best shot at a pick-up. This week, Republicans landed a top recruit: state House majority leader Ken Roberts announced he challenge Minnick. This is enough to put the incumbent in a very difficult position: The district is conservative enough that, as long as Republicans nominate a credible candidate who isn’t weighed down by scandal, they will be favored to pick-up the seat. (As far as I can tell, Roberts is the first high-profile challenger to jump in the race, though others like Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are also considering doing so.)

Update: As Cristinuity points out in the comments, ID-01 is included - so no need to read anything into that omission. That only reinforces the basic situation: Minnick is in trouble,  even more so now that Roberts is in.


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NRCC works to ensure vulnerable Blue Dogs are not once again left unchallenged

Two days ago, the NRCC celebrated two recruitment successes against traditionally safe Democrats. Puzzled by the GOP’s excitement in at least one of these districts, I warned that Republicans should be careful not to be distracted: Given all the red territory Democrats conquered in 2006 and in 2008, they are many seats they should be a higher priority to them and their limited funds than CA-47.

The NRCC has also been working to expand the map in other districts that have not been competitive in recent cycles - but this time, their strategy is more logical as they are not losing sight of Democrats who should be their primary targets.

A few days ago, the committee launched a new wave of ads; unlike earlier mass offensives that attacked dozens of Democrats, this one targets a far narrower group of only 5 Democrats:

  • Marion Berry (AR-01): He represents an increasingly Republican district that voted for Al Gore in 2000 but gave John McCain a 21% victory last fall.
  • Charlie Melancon (LA-04): Melancon has faced no trouble winning re-election over the past two cycles despite representing a district that gave McCain 61%.
  • Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL): First elected in 1992, he has faced no trouble winning re-election since he survived a tough race in 2004. Interestingly, the district swung leftward last year: Bush received 63%, McCain received 53%.
  • Zach Space (OH-18): This district is not overwhelmingly conservative but it nonetheless leans red (Bush received 57%, McCain 43%). Interestingly, Space is the only Democrat to have been targeted by a NRCC-sponsored TV ad so far this cycle. But something changed
  • John Tanner (TN-08): A conservative Democrat, Tanner has easily won re-election since 1988; yet, his district has become increasingly Republican. In 2000, Al Gore won by 3%; last year, McCain prevailed by 13%.

As you are no doubt noticing, this is not the list of the GOP’s top takeover opportunities. Except for Space, these incumbents are well entrenched and not obviously vulnerable, while districts like AL-02, ID-01, MD-01 are not on this list. Does this mean that the NRCC is wasting its money? Certainly not.

At this early point of the cycle, the NRCC is not interested in spending too much money softening up Walt Minnick or Bobby Bright because those incumbents will be endangered in 2010 no matter what happens in 2009; they barely won last year, they represent conservative strongholds and they are certain to draw top-tier opposition. (In Idaho, for instance, Treasurer Ron Crane has been traveling to Washington in preparation for a challenge to Rep. Minnick.)

Yet, the 5 incumbents on this list are not certain to receive a credible challenge - even though the demographics of their districts makes them obvious targets. Indeed, what do these 5 Democrats have in common? Two things:

  1. They all won their 2006 and their 2008 races with ease and faced minimal opposition.
  2. They all represents districts won by George W. Bush in 2004 and for John McCain in 2008. (Interestingly, two of them went for Al Gore in 2000.)
  3. They are all part of the Blue Dog Coalition.

In short: The GOP has an interest in softening them early because it is the only way to ensure that at least some of them end up on the list of endangered incumbents in the summer and fall of 2010.

Many Blue Dog Democrats are so entrenched that nothing Republicans can do will hurt their poll numbers; but how can the NRCC know whether any of them might not be immune to their district’s rightward drift without going after them to test their strength and to signal to potential Republican candidates that they will have the national party’s attention?

The question the GOP wants answered is: Which (if any) of these Blue Dog Democrats have not solidified their conservative credentials enough that the district’s conservative voters could be turned against them? Accordingly, the new radio ads attack them for supporting congressional Democrats’ economic agenda; they questioned their Blue Dog credentials. (Listen to the ad against Melancon here.)

It is possible all 5 of these Democrats will prove too solid for the GOP to spend much time on them; but the fact of the matter is that the NRCC needs to target such districts if it wants to climb back to a majority.

Consider this a preview of the full ratings of the 68 Dem-held vulnerable House seats, which I will (finally) post on Monday.


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Lincoln Davis stays in House, Bill Sali wants to return

Two days ago, House Republicans got some encouraging recruitment news. Now, it’s the DCCC’s turn to get good news in two important races: ID-01 and TN-04.

Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis was expected to run for Tennessee’s gubernatorial race in 2010, but his recent appointment to the Appropriations Committee made him think over his decision. Yesterday, Davis (one of the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus, and one of only 11 Democrats to vote against Obama’s stimulus bill) announced he would not run for Governor and would seek re-election to the House.

” As a new member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will have a significant opportunity to practice fiscal responsibility of our nation’s finances,” he wrote in a statement. “This recent appointment is an opportunity for the district I represent that I could not easily turn away from.”

Tennessee’s current Governor is a Democrat, but he is term-limited out of office. Davis was considered one of the front-runners for his party’s nomination, so his move shuffles the primary field. A number of state legislators are mentioned as potential candidates, but eyes are now on former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who could become the front-runner if he chooses to run.

Davis’s decision also has a major impact at the House level. TN-04 is a conservative district that is becoming increasingly Republican: Bush won 50% of the vote in 2000, 58% in 2004, and McCain performed even better, receiving 64%! In other words, TN-04 has changed considerably in the six years since Davis’s first election, in 2002. Thus, an open seat in TN-04 would have been a huge Democratic headache and a major pick-up opportunity for Republicans. Davis’s decision to run for re-election is thus great news for the DCCC, which will not have to worry about the seat over the next two years.


Idaho’s Walt Minnick is arguably the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent. He seats on a heavily Republican district that gave Bush 68% in 2004 and McCain 62% in 2008, and he was able to pick-up the seat thanks to his Republican opponent, then-Rep. Bill Sali.

To the consternation of Idaho’s GOP establishment, Sali won the crowded Republican primary in 2006 with only 26% of the vote. He survived the general election that year, but the disdain many Republican officials felt for him combined with Sali’s extreme conservatism put him in a tough spot in 2008; the last straw was Sali’s heckling his opponent’s chief of staff while the latter was delivering a television interview. Even then, Walt Minnick only won by 2% - a testament to just how conservative ID-01 is.

In 2010, Republicans will be favored to defeat Minnick with a less controversial candidate… unless they get stuck with Sali for yet another cycle!

Democrats were surely not daring hope that they could be that lucky, but the former representative filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC this week. In other words: he is considering seeking a rematch in 2010. If Sali gets his party’s nomination, Minnick will surely breath a huge sigh of relief.

This is not to say that a Sali candidacy would guarantee that he will move on to the general election: A number of prominent Republicans (for instance Attorney General Lawrence Wasden or former state Controller Keith Johnson) are mulling a run, and any of them would represent a huge threat to Minnick. But Sali could hope that the primary is crowded and that his name recognition guarantees him enough of a base to win the primary with a small plurality - just as in 2006.


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Stimulus politics

Last night, the stimulus bill passed the House of Representatives 244-188. As everyone has heard by now, not a single Republican voted in favor of the bill - a surprising development given the Obama Administration’s efforts to get at least some GOP votes.

This opens up a number of fascinating questions about the path Republicans are taking in the early days of the Obama era. Today’s Republican House caucus is more conservative than it was four years ago, and that is bound to have consequences on the direction the GOP takes now that it finds itself locked out of power.

Yesterday’s vote is certainly a risky one for the GOP. The Republicans’ choice to entirely stand up to Obama at a time the new President enjoys high approval ratings and at a time voters want the government to take action to fix the economy could end up hurting the GOP brand further. (This is especially the case since Democrats had conceded a frustratingly large number of GOP demands before the bill’s passage; that will now help Democrats portray Republicans as obstructionist).

At the very least, the House GOP’s refusal to entertain this stimulus bill could strengthen some ideological differences between the two parties, making it far clearer than than usual that Democrats favor spending, infrastructure and governmental intervention while Republicans oppose such moves - even in the midst of an economic crisis like this one.

Of course, this is exactly the ideological clarification House conservatives want to bring about. But to the extent that the country now seems to be siding with the liberal argument and getting over the conservative “government is the problem” principles of the Reagan Revolution, the contrast is likely to hurt Republicans (at least in the short term).

Finally, yesterday’s vote could prove particularly problematic for vulnerable Republicans elected from economically distraught areas like Michigan or Ohio. Those who face a competitive 2010 race will have to explain their vote against the stimulus at a time their constituents are suffering more than most from the economic crisis. One name that comes to mind is Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), who is shaping up to be one of the Democrats’ top targets of the 2010 cycle.

All of this said, it is of course entirely impossible to determine what electoral consequences the stimulus debate will have before we know how the economy will evolve over the next few years.

While no Republican voted for the bill, 11 Democrats voted against it. They are: Reps. Allen Boyd (FL-02), Bobby Bright (AL-02), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Brad Ellsworth (IN-08), Parker Griffith (AL-05), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Frank Kratovil (MD-01), Walt Minnick (ID-01), Collin Peterson (MN), Heath Shuler (NC-11), Gene Taylor (MS-04).

This list represents the who’s who of conservative Democrats. 10 of these representatives belong to the Blue Dog Coalition, with Kanjorski the only one who does not have such a right-wing profile - making his presence on the list somewhat unexpected. Yes, Kanjorski faced a very competitive race in 2008 (his survival was a surprise), but that had not prevented him from being one of the main champions of the original bailout bill. That did not prevent him from winning re-election a few weeks later.

Another interesting fact about this list is that 7 of these representatives were first elected in the 2006 and 2008 cycles, picking up GOP-held seats (only three defeated a Republican incumbent). All are considered to be highly endangered in the 2010 cycle, starting with Minnick and Kratovil, and that might explain their reluctance to take a politically risky vote when the Democratic leadership can get to a majority without their support.

On the other hand, there are a number of names on this list who are unlikely to face much of a race in 2010 (Allen Boyd, Jim Cooper, Collin Peterson, Gene Taylor), so there is nothing to attribute their vote to but their ideological leanings.


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Guilty of dismal fundraising, NRCC spent whatever money it had well

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole briefly flirted with another stint as NRCC Chairman but decided not to oppose the candidacy of Texas Rep. Pete Sessions. The GOP’s campaign committee will thus start the 2010 battle with new leadership, eager to recover after two disastrous cycles that saw Democrats pick up more than 50 seats.

To mark the end of Cole’s rule, it seems appropriate to take a look back at the past two years - recruitment, fundraising, expenditures - and pinpoint a few areas Sessions will have to improve.

What is particularly depressing for the GOP is that its recruitment was not that terrible. For one, the NRCC had managed to recruit a number of top challengers to freshmen incumbents: Jim Sullivan in CT-02, Dean Adler in CA-11 or Tom Bee in AZ-08 were all highly touted early in the cycle. Lou Barletta in PA-11, Melissa Hart in PA-04, Mike Sodrel in IN-09, Anne Northup in KY-03 and Jeb Bradley in NH-01 were also huge threats. The NRCC similarly fielded unexpectedly strong contenders in many GOP-held open seats (Darren White in NM-01, for instance).

Needless to say, all the candidates on this list lost on November 4th; some of them had even completely disappeared from our radar screen - quite a stunning development given their early high-profile. Given the pro-Democratic political environment, however, non-incumbent Republicans had practically no hope of victory - and we all treated them as such.

The NRCC’s huge problem, of course, was its dismal fundraising performance that left the committee in an extremely precarious financial position. This forced the NRCC to pull the plug on some of its top challengers and then make even more painful decisions as to which incumbents it should abandon. It will not be easy for Sessions to do a better job: It is extremely unlikely that Republicans will regain control of the House in 2010, which means that lobbyists and donors are likely to keep filling Democratic coffers. This should guarantee that the DCCC enjoys yet another cycle of financial dominance.

Within this context of budgetary restrictions, it is worth taking a look at the NRCC’s fall expenditures to test whether Cole’s team made the right set of choices with whatever little money they had in hand.

The snubbed districts: First of all, here is the list of high-profile districts in which the NRCC invested nothing: AZ-03, CT-04, CA-04, IL-10, IN-09, KY-03, MD-01, MI-09, NC-08, NM-01, NM-02, OH-16, OR-05, PA-04. It is worth adding CO-04 to the list, as the NRCC pulled the plug on Rep. Musgrave two weeks before the election.

Some of these reflect very good calls on the NRCC’s part, particularly in AZ-03. Democrats made a lot of noise about that race, and the DCCC poured in about $2 million; yet, the NRCC did not take the bait and Rep. Shadegg prevailed by double-digits. Similarly, the NRCC was right to estimate that Reps. Knollenberg, Hayes and Musgrave as well as open seat candidates in NM-01, NM-02 and OH-16 were in particularly bad shape. Democrats picked-up all of these seats, and none of them were close. Finally, good for the NRCC to not delude itself into thinking that it could defeat Democratic incumbents in KY-03, IN-09 and PA-04.

However, the GOP’s refusal to fund McClintock in CA-04 and Harris in MD-01 was most definitely a mistake. Harris lost by 1% and McClintock’s race is still undecided. Both districts are heavily conservative, so there was no possible blow back for national Republicans getting involved (unlike, say, in CT-04).

Defensible investments: As for the races they did fund, the NRCC’s decisions are a mix between golden investments and wasted money. While the GOP lost AL-02, AL-05, FL-08, FL-25, ID-01, MI-07, NH-01, NJ-03, NY-29, OH-01, PA-03, PA-11, VA-02 and WI-08, for instance, it seems hard to argue with the NRCC’s determination to defend these seats, all of which ended up being relatively close. The NRCC should however be faulted for not having invested more in some of them (ID-01 and VA-02, in particular). In some of these districts, the GOP invested significant sums (more than $1 million each in MI-07 and OH-01, for instance) but the DCCC simply had enough money to always outspend its counterpart.

Similarly, the NRCC’s decision to heavily defend KY-02, MN-03, MO-09, NE-02, NJ-07 and WY-AL were an important factor in huge Election Day saves - and the committee’s investments in KS-02, LA-06 and TX-22 (more than $1 million in the latter) helped Republican challengers scored pick-ups. (The NRCC should have been a bit more aggressive in Kansas, even though Lynn Jenkins did end up winning.)

Mistakes: All in all, there were few obvious mistakes in the GOP’s investments - except the largely unnecessary $600,000 spent in MO-06, the decision to go after Rep. Murtha with half-a-million dollars at the last minute and the committee’s determination to help Rep. Porter in NV-03. Another small mistake was CO-04: Even though they did end up abandoning Rep. Musgrave, they first spent nearly $900,000 on a seat that leaned towards a Democratic pick-up early in the fall - but perhaps not enough to justify an NRCC snub in a what is still a conservative district.

The NRCC is guilty of a number of other miscalls, but it is hard to blame them given that the DCCC also miscalculated in the same same districts. Perhaps the biggest such mistake occurred in NY-24, where Democratic incumbent Arcuri won an extremely tight race in a district absolutely no one was paying attention to.

The second biggest mistake was FL-21, a GOP-held district everyone thought was highly competitive and in which the NRCC spent more than $1.5 million. Rep. Diaz-Balart ended up winning by 16% - but the DCCC had invested considerable sums as well, as both parties believed that Diaz-Balart was endangered. Similarly, the GOP spent more than $300,000 defending IN-03 and more than $600,000 in NY-26. Neither race was tight on Election Night; yet, the DCCC wasted much more money on those two districts so the mistake here belongs to Democrats.

Finally, the NRCC rushed into VA-05 much too late, spending more $140,000 at the last minute to save Rep. Goode (the race has not been called yet, but it appears that Goode will go down by a few hundred votes); few people saw Perriello has a big threat to Goode - and the DCCC’s expenditures suggest they had not either. Provided he remains in the lead, that makes Perriello’s into this cycle’s Shea-Porter and Loebsack.


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Rating changes, House edition: Final house cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full ratings here.


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Poll watch: Dems still far from 60, and is NV in the same tier as CO and VA?

The presidential race remained remarkably stable. If the tracking polls showed McCain gaining slightly yesterday, they have Obama regaining some breathing room today; he is at 50% or above in 6 of the 9 national polls. McCain is once again stuck in the low 40s, with a margin ranging from 41% to 46%. Sure, the New York Times and Fox News national polls came out with differing results, but at least there is no mystery behind the discrepancy: the partisan breakdown has narrowed in the Fox poll.

McCain got one of his most promising polling results in days today as Mason Dixon found him trailing by only 4% in Pennsylvania - the tightest the state has been since a mid-September poll. We should not dismiss this poll, even though surveys taken over the same period show a larger advantage for Obama. Mason Dixon has been consistently releasing results that are better than average for McCain. The Republican nominee led in Virginia when other surveys found him trailing, and trailed only narrowly when other surveys found a large gap; the same was true in Florida and now Pennsylvania. The consistency of these narrower results suggests that it is due to Mason Dixon’s methodology and turnout models, which means that we should not throw these out as outliers: There is a turnout model out there employed by a respected pollster like Mason Dixon that yields results that are better for Republicans, and we won’t know until Tuesday whose assumptions were flawed.

All of this said, there is no discussion to be had that Obama retains an extremely strong position in the electoral college. For one, he remains ahead in the Big Three sates: 3 polls of Pennsylvania show him in the lead (though Mason Dixon has a 4% race), and he is also ahead in Colorado and Virginia. While two polls of Virginia show him with narrower leads than we have seen of late, both surveys were taken over the same period as the CNN and SUSA polls that had him leading by 9% - so these new polls are not picking any new tightening.

To make matters worse for McCain, we might now be getting a third competitive red state where an Obama pick-up appears increasingly likely: Nevada. After posting two double-digit leads earlier this week, Obama leads outside of the margin of error in two new surveys (Suffolk and CNN/Time). This is a very important development: Even if McCain were to save Virginia and Colorado, Obama would become president by winning Nevada alone; if McCain can somehow snatch Pennsylvania, an (not at all improbable) Obama sweep of Virginia, Colorado and Nevada would offset the loss of the Keystone State.

As if this was not enough, Ohio and North Carolina are slowly moving in Obama’s column as the Democrat is accumulating good results in both. Today, he leads in all five polls from these two states, and four of them have him ahead outside of the MoE. Given that a huge number of North Carolina voters have already voted, it is starting to get late for McCain to turn the tide. And while Obama is showing no sign of trembling in blue states (he has huge leads in Wisconsin and Minnesota), McCain is now locked in highly competitive races in a number of staunchly red states - including his home state of Arizona, South Dakota and Montana.

  • Obama leads 52% to 41% in a New York Times/CBS News poll, a very small tightening from Obama’s 13% lead last week. 51% say Obama is ready to be president, and McCain’s favorability has collapsed to 41% (!). So has voters’ estimate of whether Palin is able to deal the job (only 35% say so). Obama leads among men and women, and has a 17% advantage among independents.
  • Obama leads 47% to 44% in a Fox News national poll conducted over the past two days. Obama led by 9% last week, so the race has substantially tightened. The partisan ID has tightened from a 6% gap to a 2% gap (though this does not seem to be an arbitrary imposition like Zogby’s).
  • Tracking polls: Obama gains 2% in Zogby (50% to 43%) and in Rasmussen (51% to 46%). He gains 1% in IBD/TIPP (48% to 44%). The race is stable in Washington Post/ABC (52% to 44%), Gallup (51% to 44%, though Obama gains 2% in the LVT model, 50% to 45%). Obama loses 1% in Hotline (48% to 42%) and in Research 2000 (50% to 45%). Obama’s leads are thus: 4%, 5%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 7%, 8%.
  • Pennsylvania: Obama leads 47% to 43% in a Mason Dixon poll conducted Sunday and Monday. Obama leads 54% to 41% in Morning Call’s tracking, the highest percentage Obama has ever received in this poll. Obama leads 55% to 43% in a CNN/Time poll conducted Thursday through Tuesday (Obama leads by 15% among registered voters!).
  • Colorado: Obama leads 51% to 45% in a Marist poll (52% to 43% among registered voters) conducted Sunday and Monday; his lead comes entirely among the 44% of registered voters who say they have already voted. Obama leads by 23% among independents and has strongest party loyalty (leading me to question why he is only ahead by 6%). Obama leads 48% to 44% in a National Journal poll of registered voters with a small sample and a large MoE conducted Thursday through Monday; Obama leads by 22% among independents.
  • Virginia: Obama leads 51% to 47% in a Marist poll (by 6% among registered voters) conducted Sunday and Monday; McCain takes a 12% lead among independents. Obama leads 48% to 44% in a National Journal poll of registered voters with a small sample and a large MoE conducted Thursday through Monday. Both polls were taken over the same period as SUSA, Rasmussen and CNN poll showing larger Obama leads.
  • Nevada: Obama leads 50% to 45% in a RGJ/Research 2000 poll (he led by 7% earlier in October); McCain leads by 3% in crucial Washoe County, though the RGJ points out that (unreleased) private polls for both parties have Obama leading that county. Obama leads 52% to 45% in a CNN/Time poll conducted Thursday through Tuesday, an improvement over his 5% lead last week (he leads by 11% among registered voters!).
  • Ohio: Obama leads 48% to 41% in a National Journal poll of registered voters with a small sample and a large MoE conducted Thursday through Monday; Obama’s lead is outside of the MoE. Obama leads 51% to 47% in a CNN/Time poll conducted Thursday through Tuesday (Obama leads by 10% among registered voters!).
  • Florida: Obama leads 45% to 44% in a National Journal poll of registered voters with a small sample and a large MoE conducted Thursday through Monday.
  • North Carolina: Obama leads 50% to 48% in a Rasmussen poll taken yesterday (McCain led by 2% on Sunday). Obama leads 47% to 43% in a National Journal poll of registered voters with a small sample and a large MoE conducted Thursday through Monday. Obama leads 52% to 46% in a CNN/Time poll conducted Thursday through Tuesday (Obama led by 4% last week, he is ahead by 3% among registered voters).
  • Indiana: McCain leads 49% to 46% in a Rasmussen poll taken yesterday (he led by 7% three weeks ago). Obama leads 46% to 45% in a Selzer & Co poll conducted Sunday through Tuesday; he is ahead 2:1 among early voters and gets “only” 82% of African-Americans (remember Tuesday’s polling memo released by the McCain campaign?). The candidates are tied at 47% in a Research 2000 poll taken from Friday through Tuesday.
  • Wisconsin: Obama takes a giant 55% to 39% lead in a SUSA poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday, up from 8%. Obama leads by 28% among early voters.
  • Iowa: Obama leads 55% to 40% in a SUSA poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • South Dakota: McCain only leads 45% to 40% in an internal poll for Democratic Senator Johnson’s campaign.
  • Montana: McCain leads 50% to 46% in a Rasmussen poll. He led by four weeks ago.
  • Safe(r) states: McCain leads 61% to 36% in a SUSA poll of Alabama. McCain leads 58% to 37% in a SUSA poll of Kansas. Obama leads 56% to 39% in a SUSA poll of Massachusetts. Obama leads 55% to 33% in a Field poll of California. Obama leads 54% to 38% in a Research 2000 poll of New Jersey. McCain leads 53% to 42% in a NBC News poll and 52% to 44% in a SUSA poll of South Carolina (but only by 6% among registered voters). McCain leads 55% to 43% in a Rasmussen poll of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, in down the ballot polls:

  • Louisiana: Two polls have differing results. An internal poll for the Kennedy campaign has Mary Landrieu up 45% to 44%, while a Loyola University poll has Landrieu ahead 49% to 34%; the latter poll does not seem very reliable, however, as it only shows McCain leading by 3% and implying an oversampling of Democrats.
  • Mitch McConnell leads 51% to 44% in a Rasmussen poll of Kentucky’s Senate race. (McConnell led by the same margin last month.) A Lunsford internal has McConnell leading 47% to 45%, however.
  • Norm Coleman leads 42% to 36% in a Mason Dixon poll of Minnesota. Barkley is now at 12%, and he is hurting Franken: He draws 17% of Democrats and only 4% of Republicans - a hugely consequential disparity.
  • Safer seats: Tom Udall leads 56% to 41% in a Rasmussen poll of New Mexico. GOP Senator Pat Roberts leads 60% to 33% in a new SUSA poll of Kansas. Democratic Senator Lautenberg leads 56% to 39% in a Research 2000 poll of New Jersey. Sen. Cornyn leads 45% to 36% in a University of Texas poll, with 5% going to Libertarian candidate Adams-Schick. GOP candidate Jim Risch leads 45% to 33% in a Harstad poll of Idaho.
  • In MO-06, perhaps the most disappointing House race for Democrats, GOP Rep. Graves leads 54% to 36% in a SUSA poll. He led by 11% last month.
  • In KY-02, GOP candidate Brett Guthrie leads 53% to 43% in a new SUSA poll. Guthrie led by 9% last month but trailed over the summer.
  • In OR-05, Democratic candidate Kurt Schrader leads 55% to 33% in a SUSA poll.
  • In NY-26, Republican candidate Chris Lee has a large 48% to 34% lead against Alice Kryzan in a SUSA poll. He led by 11% last month.
  • In ID-01, Democratic challenger leads 48% to 41% in a Harstad poll, though the poll has a large MoE of 6%.
  • In PA-12, Rep. Murtha only leads 46% to 44% in a GOP poll conducted by Dane & Associates.
  • In Massachusetts’s question 1 to repeal the state income tax, the “no” is far ahead, 64% to 29% in a SUSA poll.

Democrats have their share of very good news in these wave of surveys - especially the two North Carolina polls showing a Hagan lead and the NV-02 survey confirming that Rep. Heller is in real danger - Republicans got uncommly positive numbers over the past 24 hours. In the Senate, Republicans appear to be solidifying their hold on the four Senate seats that are not yet leaning Democratic - KY, MN, MS and also GA because a runoff should help Chambliss. McConnell has not slipped further after his race fell into a competitive race in early October, and Coleman has improved his situation over the past three weeks.

Minnesota should be particularly worrisome to Democrats because Franken’s slippage is due to the fact that Barkley is starting to draw disproportionately from Franken’s base. If that is confirmed by other polls, it is hard to see Franken pull this off. This is a reminder that, however much progress Democrats have made over the past few weeks, the path to 60 still requires picking-up two out of these 4 seats - and that remains a tall order.

The latest House polls should also be a reminder that Democrats will certainly not win everything on Tuesday, and that a fair number of Republicans appear to be making progress in this hostile environment. The latest poll of MO-06 has to be crushing to Democrats as former Kansas City Mayor Barnes was once one of their top recruits. And while the DCCC is still investing in NY-26, the polls have not been very promising ever since Kryzan won the Democratic nomination.


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NRCC’s new expenditures boost defense, play some offense

As expected, the NRCC posted most of their expenditures after the first round of spending I documented yesterday morning, and their decisions on where to spend money over the final week offers us a wealth of information on which districts Republicans thinks are still winnable, which they are resigned to losing, and which they are feeling some confidence in. Meanwhile, new expenditures posted by the DCCC confirm Democratic determination to expand the map.

First, Democrats are not giving up and Republicans are not feeling overconfident in two of the most endangered Dem-held seats: TX-22 and PA-11. Both are rated lean take-over in my latest ratings, but both parties are heavily investing. The NRCC poured more than $700,000 against Rep. Nick Lampson in Texas (bringing its total to more than $1 million) and more than $270,000 against Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania. Both districts have appeared to be gone for months now, so it is somewhat puzzling that the DCCC has not abandoned these incumbents; it just spent $600,000 in Texas (for a total of $1 million) and more than $200,000 in Pennsylvania (for a total of $2.3 million).

The NRCC played offense in a few more districts, spending more than $300,000 in KS-02 and LA-06 and around $100,000 in AL-05 and WI-08. The rest was devoted to defense: $506,000 was just spent in WA-08 (bringing the total above $1 million), more than $400,000 in FL-25 and MI-07 (bringing the total in the latter to $1.5 million), more than $300,000 on in FL-08, NJ-07, OH-15, more than $200,000 in NY-29, MN-03 and OH-02, and more than $100,000 in AL-02, ID-01, NJ-03, PA-03 and VA-02. (Note that the NRCC had already reported six figure buys yesterday in WY-AL, NE-02, IN-03, MO-06 and MO-09).

A few notes about these districts: This is the NRCC’s first ad buy in FL-08, a seat that I recently moved to the lean take-over category - albeit the race remains highly competitive. The DCCC just released its first ad for the race yesterday, meaning that both committees are moving in Orlando for a last-minute push. Furthermore, it is fascinating to see which highly endangered open seats the NRCC is contesting and which it is not: OH-15, NJ-07 and NJ-03 at one point looked like they would be easily Democratic pick-ups, but the GOP candidates have proved resilient and the NRCC is providing some help; open seats candidates in OH-16 or NM-01 have been completely abandoned. As for Erik Paulsen, he can thank Michelle Bachmann for her anti-Americanism rant, as that led the NRCC to move resources out of MN-06 and into MN-03.

In fact, even more interesting than the seats in which the NRCC is spending are the seats in which they are not: Given the NRCC’s budgetary constraints, they cannot afford to spend on seats in which there isn’t a very clear and accessible path to victory. As had already been reported but not yet confirmed, the NRCC is spending no new money in CO-04, all but abandoning Rep. Musgrave; there also appear to be no new ads in NV-03 and NH-01, which is more of a surprise. The NRCC’s new buy in KY-02 is two thirds smaller than it was the previous week, which is probably more of a sign of confidence than of despair. And the NRCC has still spent no money whatsoever in a number of highly competitive seats: AZ-03, IL-10, IL-11, FL-24, MD-01, NC-08 or NM-01, for instance. (The DCCC has spent more than $1 million in each of these districts.)

Meanwhile, the DCCC’s latest spree lavishes resources on two top contenders - Darcy Burner gets more than half-a-million in WA-08 and Kathy Dahlkemper gets almost $400,000 (for a total of more than $2 million) in PA-03. But as noticeable are the DCCC’s expenditures in long-shot districts in which they only started investing last week: $350,000 goes to VA-02, almost $300,000 to VA-05, to WV-02 and to WY-AL. Smaller sums go to playing defense in OR-05 and PA-10.

Not all publicity is good publicity, however. A day after Elizabeth Dole provoked the type of firestorm that is very likely to backfire with her ad “accusing” Kay Hagan of atheism, Minnesota’s GOP is facing similar bad press over allegations that they darkened the skin of Democratic candidate and Indian-American Ashwin Madia (MN-03). Such charges are unlikely to cause much movement if they remain topics of discussion on blogs, but at least one TV station devoted a segment to this in their local news (watch video here), getting independent experts to confirm that images of Madia were in fact darkened. Paulsen’s campaign got in trouble earlier this fall for insisting that Madia did not “fit the demographics” of the district, in what serves as a reminder that the presidential race could have gotten far uglier. [Update: Politico's Reid Wilson is far more skeptical of Democratic complaints than that TV station.]

In MN-06, finally, the DCCC’s second ad hitting Michelle Bachmann once again makes no mention of the anti-Americanism controversy - nor does it need to, since the comments have already gotten wide play in the district. What Democrats now need to do is convince voters that Bachmann is extremist on substantive issues as well, and for the second ad in a row the DCCC is focusing on one issue: regulation.

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q740nXMu0ZI"]

In the other district in which an incumbent’s recent words have gravely endangered his reelection prospects, the NRCC has released a very hard hitting ad against Rep. Jack Murtha (PA-12), playing footage of his declaring that Western Pennsylvania is “racist” and “redneck” to make the case that Murtha does not “respect us:”

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSmUQdZG2D4"]

Murtha and Bachmann’s races both appear to have turned into highly competitive seats over the past two weeks. Will they balance themselves out on Election Day? Given his seniority and the fact that he is a very entrenched incumbent, Murtha is far more likely to survive than his opponent - though he certainly is not helping himself.


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DCCC goes on one of its last spending sprees

With a week remaining before Election Day, all campaigns and national committees are budgeting their final advertising push and buying media time to last them through November 4th. The DCCC has poured in nearly $15 million in almost 40 districts already this week. More investments are likely to come today and tomorrow, first because the DCCC has left out a number of districts in which it regularly invests and because it appears that the NRCC has yet to make its last round of expenditures. But the DCCC’s $14 million latest spending spree gives us a good idea of which seats Democrats are the most committed to. (Most of the following numbers come from SSP’s always very handy House expenditure tracker.)

In three districts did the DCCC go for broke; all are currently held by the GOP: In IL-10, the DCCC just poured in an impressive $929,279, bringing its total investment in the district to more than $2 million. (This is partly explained by the fact that IL-10 is in the expensive Chicago market). In NV-03, the DCCC bought more than $750,000 of air time against Rep. Porter, bringing its total to more than $2.3 million. And in IL-11, $600,000 worth of advertisement (and a total that surpasses $2 million) should help Debbie Halvorson win this open seat.

Another group of seats - here again predominantly GOP-held - saw massive investments of more than $500,000. Those include the once-safe AZ-03, NC-08, NH-01, NM-01, OH-15 (the total surpasses $2 million in each of these five districts), MN-06 (the DCCC has now spent more than $1 million in two weeks on Bachmann’s seat) and the conservative NM-02 (for a total of $1.5 million). This makes New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter the most protected Democratic incumbent, and confirms the remarkable development by which the DCCC has poured more effort in AZ-03 than in many seats that were more obviously competitive.

Also notable are the DCCC’s expenditures that top $400,000. Here again the list is made up of Republican seats: MD-01, MN-03 and OH-01 (total spending in each now tops $2 million), MI-07 and MI-09 (total spending in each tops $1 million), CA-04 and NY-26. Between $200,000 and $400,000, we have AZ-01 (an open seat that is considered an easy Democratic pick-up but where the DCCC has now spent more than $2 million), CO-04, KY-02, MO-09, FL-24 (all now more than $1 million total), FL-21, FL-25, NE-02, OH-02, NY-29, FL-08, IN-03 and IN-09. Rounding up six-figure expenditures are AK-AL, CA-11, CT-04, LA-06, NJ-03 and NJ-07 (all more than $1 million total), AL-05, ID-01, KS-02.

A few observations about this spending spree. First, the DCCC did not expand the map this week. The only new seat they invested in yesterday is FL-08, a district that has looked highly competitive for weeks and that I just moved to the lean take-over category this past week-end. Also noteworthy is NE-02, where the DCCC’s media buy this week is eight times higher than it was last week. However, there are a number of districts we have been talking about lately in which the DCCC is not playing despite the massive loan it took last week; those include California’s seats, IA-04, FL-13, FL-18 or even SC-01 where the DCCC has not followed up on a small investment it made last week. Furthermore, the national committee appears to have given up on MO-06, which was once considered a top opportunity but in which the DCCC has not bought air time for two weeks now.

Second, Democrats seem to be very comfortable about playing defense. They have largely pulled out of AZ-05, AZ-08 or MS-01, all districts that the GOP had high hopes of contesting; they have not had to spend a dime in places like KS-03 or NY-20, seats Republicans had vowed to contest. And they do not seem to feel particular energy in many of the blue seats in which they are investing. However, we do know that the DCCC is starting to air this ad in PA-12 on behalf of Murtha, though they have yet to report that expenditure.

The NRCC, meanwhile, posted a few expenditures over the past two days though a lot more should come tonight. Noteworthy investments include $375,000 spent in WY-AL, more than $250,000 in NE-02 and MO-09, more than $100,000 in MO-06, IN-03. What do all these districts have in common? They are extremely heavily Republican (Bush won IN-03 with 68% of the vote, for instance, and let us not even talk about WY-AL) and Republican candidates are in such a bad state that the NRCC is forced to spend its money in such districts.

(There is something to be said against the NRCC’s decision making, and we might talk about this more in the coming week: Swing seats like NM-01 or OH-16 will likely be lost for a decade or more if Democrats pick them up, yet the NRCC is not spending a dime there. Conservative seats like WY-AL or IN-03 would be likely to fall back into GOP hands in the coming cycle or two, but the NRCC is spending all of its resources in such places.)

Let’s take a closer look at Southern Florida, where the battles in FL-21 and in FL-25 have become truly vicious. Both seats are in the same Miami media market, and they are represented by the (Republican) Diaz-Balart brothers. So Democrats have decided to save money - and just air an ad targeting both Diaz-Balarts:

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpMgxd3aiWo"]

The GOP’s response in FL-25 is also fascinating because it bears such a close resemblance to what is going on in the presidential race. Democratic candidate Joe Garcia is blasted for being in favor of “redistribution of the wealth,” underscoring how much Republicans are banking on Joe the Plumber at this point:

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTm91xZQhl0"]


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House ratings, House edition: 17 GOP-held seats now rated lean Democratic

Another week, another round of Democratic gains. Of the 11 races whose ratings I am changing here, 10 are moving in the Democrats’ direction, and three new GOP-held seats are entering the lean takeover category for the first time (FL-08, MI-09 and NC-08). That brings the total of Republican districts in which Democrats are currently favored to seventeen, with 21 more GOP-held seats rated as toss-ups.

Needless to say, the GOP hasn’t flirted with such dismal lows for decades.

The one race in which Republican prospects have improved is Rep. Jack “Western Pennsylvania is racist” Murtha’s PA-12. That means that this is the second week in a row in which the one Republican gain is caused by self-inflicted Democratic wounds. Murtha’s statements aren’t as much of a game-changer as the Mahoney scandal, but they are in a sense more worrisome for Democrats since they have made what was previously a safe seat into a competitive contest.

Yet, the developments in PA-12 serve as a reminder of just how unlucky the GOP has been in most other Democratic-held seats. In December 2006, Republicans seemed assured that they would regain a number of the seats they had just lost, and their predictions sounded accurate: how could Democrats possibly TX-22, PA-10 or OH-18? They were also facing very difficult races in places like IN-09 and KY-03. Now, the GOP is on the run in most of these districts: We have gotten to the point at which a double digit lead for Reps. Hill and Yarmuth does not seem surprising, no one has talked about OH-18 for months, and even ultra-conservative TX-22 no longer looks like a slam dunk or Republicans.

One last thing to keep in mind is that there is a crucial difference between Senate and House ratings. Senate seats that are rated as “likely retention” will not switch over unless something huge happens; the rating is meant to indicate that a surprise is within the realm of the possible. We can predict, however, that there will be a few House seats that are rated as “likely retention” that will switch over. We simply do not have enough polling data and indications from the ground to figure out which GOP incumbents in that list are truly endangered: some will win by huge margins, others will fall.

  • Safe Democratic: 207
  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 226
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 245
  • Toss-ups: 26
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Republican: 164
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 153
  • Safe Republican: 127

Full ratings available here.

Arizona’s 1st district, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: No one gives Republican candidate Sydney Hay much of a chance to beat former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in this open seat, but the DCCC is taking no chances. It has already poured $1.7 million in the district, including a $338,000 buy this week. The DCCC’s continuous spending suggests that their internal numbers aren’t showing the easy pick-up that has come to be expected, but those $1.7 million spent labeling Hay a “corporate lobbyist” should close any door the Republican might have had.

Florida’s 8th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: It looks like Rep. Keller will be the victim of the Democrats’ gains in the Sunshine State, and Obama’s ground game risks overpowering the GOP machine in this Orlando-based district. In fact, Democrats just gained an edge in voter registration in the district, reversing the GOP’s 14,000 voter advantage just two years ago. Add that to Keller’s own weakness (he only received 55% of the vote against a weak opponent in the primary), and you get an explosive combination. The DCCC just released a poll showing its candidate Allen Grayson leading by 11%, even though they have curiously still not spent a dime in the district. Keller quickly replied with a survey of his own showing him leading 47% to 43%, but you know things are bad for an incumbent when he feels compelled to release such weak numbers.

Iowa’s 4th district, off-the-map to likely Republican: Rep. Latham is sitting in one of the least Republican districts held by his party, and that’s not a good district to hold in a heavily Democratic year. Becky Greenwald is now in a position to score one of the year’s biggest upsets, just as her party shockingly picked-up IA-02 out of nowhere two years ago. A just-released Research 2000 poll shows Latham leading by only 5%, and Barack Obama’s strength in Iowa could further boost down-the-ballot Democratic totals in the state.

Idaho’s 1st district, lean Republican to toss-up: That GOP Rep. Bill Sali is endangered in a district Bush won with 69% of the vote in 2004 is entirely due the incumbent’s personality and extremism. Sali is despised by much of Idaho’s Republican establishment, and he is best known for incidents such as these, in which he disturbed his opponent’s chief of staff’s interview with a local journalist with heckling and… bunny ears. Democratic internal polls have shown a competitive race for months, and a recent SUSA poll has Democratic candidate Walt Minnick leading by 6%. A sure sign that this race is highly competitive: The NRCC is pouring significant amount of money to defend Sali. Who would have thought the GOP’s meager fundraising would have to be spent defending a seat in Idaho?

Illinois’s 11th district, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Debbie Halvorson was once one of the Democrats’ biggest recruits, while Republicans did not even have a candidate well into 2008. But eventual GOP nominee Martin Ozinga proved surprisingly resilient in a district Democrats were expected to pick up easily. Not anymore. The Democrats’ surge over the past month has erased the GOP’s hopes of pulling off come-back victories in districts like this, and the DCCC’s money (more than $1 million) is helping Halvorson close the deal. Independent polls and private Democratic surveys find Halvorson pulling ahead.

Michigan’s 9th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: Joe Knollenberg is a well-established incumbent who would be very difficult to beat in a neutral environment, but the Democratic wave is now threatening to submerge him. Not only did the incumbent receive a terrible blow when McCain abruptly pulled out of Michigan, undercutting Knollenberg’s hopes of relying on the GOP’s presidential ground game to turn out his own base, but the NRCC has canceled all of the $600,000 it had planned on spending on his behalf. By contrast, the DCCC has already spent $1,6 million on behalf of Democratic candidate Gary Peters and the Obama campaign is still organizing in the state. A just-released DCCC poll has Peters ahead by 10%; that might be overstating his lead, but the NRCC’s decision to pull out of the race confirms that even the GOP thinks the race is drifting away.

Minnesota’s 6th district, lean Republican to toss-up: It is too early to tell whether Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Americanism rant on MSNBC will prove to be her macaca moment, but it has seriously endangered her reelection chances. Two polls released over the past week showed Bachmann trailing within the margin of error, a remarkable turn of events in a race that until two weeks ago was considered to be relatively safe.And you can’t accuse Bachmann of backing down easily.  After standing her ground in the immediate aftermath of her comments, Bachmann is now airing an in which she asks voters to understand that “I may not always get my words right, but I know that my heart is right.” Far from apologizing, Bachmann repeats her argument that liberalism stands in opposition to American values. “We could embrace government as the answer to our problems,” she says. “Or we can choose freedom and liberty:”

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3_VRUHStOg"]

New Jersey’s 5th district, off the map to likely Republican: Not that Rep. Garrett is sitting in an overwhelmingly Republican district (Bush got 57% of the vote in 2004, but only 52% in 2000), but he was not expected to face that competitive a challenge this year. Yet, Democratic gains have been the strongest in the Northeast, and that has put this seat on the Democrats’ radar screen. Garrett’s opponent is progressive candidate and netroots favorite Rabbi Dennis Shulman, a credible enough contender to benefit if voters are looking to reject Garrett. A just-released Research 2000 poll has a 7% race, and Garrett is feeling nervous enough about his chances to have released one of the most vicious ads we have seen this year, juxtaposing his opponent to Ahmadinejad.

North Carolina’s 8th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: What a difference two years make. In 2006, Democrat Larry Kissell was pleading for the DCCC to invest some resources in his race against Rep. Robin Hayes. The DCCC left him in the cold, and Kissell lost by about 300 votes. This year, the DCCC is not committing the same mistake: they have already poured in $1.7 million, while the NRCC has invested nothing. Kissell is also benefiting from Democratic gains in North Carolina. And the expected boost in African-American turnout (as testified by the early voting numbers) should make a huge difference in this district, which has a substantial African-American population. As if this was not enough, both an internal DCCC poll and a SUSA survey showed Kissell with a large lead over Hayes over the past month.

Pennsylvania’s 12th district, off-the-map to lean Democratic: Rep. Murtha’s comments describing Western Pennsylvania as a “racist” area transformed this race overnight from a safe Democratic district to a competitive race, and Murtha’s subsequent attempts to explain himself did not help the situation. In a neutral environment, that might be enough to allow Republican candidate Russell to upset an entrenched incumbent like Murtha, but the Democrat could be saved by the political environment. Another factor that will hinder Russell’s hopes is that the NRCC has no money to come to his aid (unlike, say, in MN-06 where the DCCC quickly committed $1 million to attacking Bachmann after her MSNBC comments).

Washington’s 8th district, lean Republican to toss-up: Rematches tend to be the most brutal races, and the second match-up between Rep. Reichert and Darcy Burner is no exception. The latest salvos include both camps questioning their opponent’s college degree, with the conservative Seattle Times taking care of the (now discredited) hit job on the Democrat. That said, Burner has significantly improved her poll numbers over the past two weeks; after two Democratic surveys found her ahead, SUSA and Research 2000 both confirmed that she had erased Reichert’s lead.

In a sure sign that both sides are taking this race very seriously, both national committees are pouring resources in the district, and this is one of the seats where the NRCC has spent the most for now (more than $500,000). That is both an indication that the NRCC thinks Reichert is highly endangered and that they think his seat is salvageable; in short, it is a toss-up.

Full ratings available here.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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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