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


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NRCC tries to showcase map expansion efforts

In case you were wondering what is the one thing the NRCC would like to see congealed as conventional wisdom, its attempt to get minuscule ad buys in 3 districts held by veteran Democrats covered as a major strategic move should give you the answer: Republicans want to show they are serious about expanding the playing field so that the prospect of a red wave is treated seriously, which would in turn allow them to have an easier time recruiting and fundraising in marginal districts.

Who are the three Democrats the NRCC chose for this somewhat artificial demonstration? Rep. Vic Snyder (AR-02), Rep. John Spratt (SC-05) and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL). All three have served in the House for a long time (respectively 12, 16 and 26 years); all three represent districts that twice voted for George W. Bush and then for John McCain; none of them has faced a competitive challenge in recent cycles.

The spots attack these 3 Democrats for voting for health-care reform, so they could be a preview of what the NRCC has in store for its 2010 advertisement. (Here’s the one aimed at Snyder.) But the people the NRCC is aiming at are not swing voters but political observers like you and me - people who in seeing these ads might themselves: “Wow, the NRCC must be really serious about targeting just about any Democrat if they’re willing to spend money on Pomeroy despite the fact that he faces no top-tier opposition.” (Of course, Spratt and Snyder do face tougher challenges, the former from state Senator Mike Mulvaney and the latter from former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin.)

The bottom-line: Given that the NRCC’s fundraising troubles haven’t been resolved this cycle - far from it - they are in no position to buy actually air time for now. As such, there’s little use for them to waste money at this point on districts like Tom Perriello or Steve Driehaus’s (no one disputes that these Democrats are highly vulnerable next year, so there’s nothing to prove) whereas symbolic buys that will at least showcase their determination to expand the map could have more value.

One more veteran Democrat targeted, this time in Iowa

Republicans are sure optimistic enough that they continuing to try to throw all they’ve got at the wall and see what sticks. Their latest target in the ranks of entrenched Democratic incumbents is Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA-03), who the GOP has long considered weak; at 75, Boswell has spent decades in politics (though only 12 years in the House) and he could be vulnerable if the electorate is an anti-incumbent mood. This week, two prominent Republicans made it clear they will run in 2010: former Iowa State University wrestling coach Jim Gibbons and second-term state Senator Brad Zaun; both would make strong challengers.

That said, the GOP faces a number of major obstacles to making this race competitive. For one, IA-03 is not a conservative district (Barack Obama won a 10% victory, and the district was split roughly equally in 2000 and 2004); much of the GOP’s tune has been that the Democratic brand is growing so unpopular that incumbents sitting in red districts will be submerged, but Boswell does not enter in that group.

Second, and here again unlike other veteran Democrats who are being targeted, Boswell did face a competitive race recently: He beat state Senator Jeff Lamberti in what was one of 2006’s hottest races. While he was surely helped by the national environment, that doesn’t erase the fact that this forced him to remember how to campaign, stay in touch with the base and keep a ground infrastructure that should serve him next year. In short, the GOP cannot count on the element of surprise in this district. 

Finally, desmoinesdem points out that the stakes might not be particularly high in this race: In 2011, Iowa will lose a district and the independent redistricting commission is widely expected to remedy the situation by roughly combining this district and Republican Rep. Latham’s IA-04. It’s unlikely that Boswell would then choose to seek re-election, which means that Latham will be favored to win the new IA-03 in 2012 no matter who wins this year.

Believe it or not, but the GOP also targets freshmen

Meanwhile, one junior Democrat who is in serious danger next year is Rep. Frank Kratovil. In 2008, Kratovil won a tiny victory in a district McCain won by 18%, mostly because of dramatic divisions among Republicans. State Senator Andy Harris is now back for a rematch, and he can count not only on a more favorable environment but also on the fact that the deep wounds of last year’s primary will be forgotten by November 2010. To make sure people take his bid seriously rather than dismiss him as a poor candidate who might again ruin the GOP’s chances, released an internal poll today: It shows him leading Kratovil 52% to 39%. Sure, partisan surveys should always be taken with a big grain of salt, but that sure is a big margin.


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Three House districts, three decisions

Andy Dillon will not run in MI-11

The DCCC paid little attention to MI-11 in 2006 and 2008; both times, Republican Rep. Thad McCotter won narrow victories against low-profile and under-funded challengers. Democrats do not want to commit the same mistake yet again, and they have made McCotter into one of their top targets. For instance, MI-11 was one of the 12 districts the DCCC recently targeted in its wave of stimulus-related robocalls.

Democrats first need to recruit a strong challenger, and first on the list was state House Speaker Andy Dillon. Yet, in a major blow for the DCCC, Dillon announced yesterday that he would not challenge McCotter. This suggests that the term-limited Dillon is leaning towards the other race for which he is mentioned and run for Governor. (The race will be open, and a large number of Democrats are considering a run, including Lieutenant Governor John Cherry.)

After two cycles in which no prominent Democrat dared to challenge him, McCotter has dodged yet another bullet. Will the DCCC be more successful in the months ahead? A local blog lists other potential Democratic candidates, including state Senator Glenn Anderson and state Representative Mark Corriveau. If neither of them runs, McCotter could coast to re-election.

Democrats draw credible recruit in red-leaning FL-12

Six Republican House members have announced they will not seek re-election in 2010, but all their districts are in red territory. To contest any of them will be difficult for the DCCC, but the past two cycles showed that anything can happen if a credible candidate is recruited. Democrats are hoping they just managed to do that in FL-12, a conservative district left open by Adam Putnam’s run for statewide office: Lori Edwards, Polk County’s Supervisor of Elections, has just announced she will seek the district’s Democratic nomination.

FL-12 is a conservative district George W. Bush won by 16% in 2004; but John McCain only carried by 1% last fall, a big swing that suggests that a Democratic candidate could pick-up the seat if the environment are right and the Democratic candidate appeals to voters. Edwards has won re-election in red-leaning Polk County since 2000, and she served as a state representative for much of the 1990s. That gives her some name recognition, a solid base in the district, and enough credibility to attract the DCCC’s attention. National Democrats will now wait for her fundraising report; if she can raise a good amount, FL-12 could find itself rising in the DCCC’s target list.

MD-01: Andy Harris is back

He had hinted that he was looking at the race, and he has now made it official: state Senator Andy Harris is seeking a rematch against Democrat Frank Kratovil, who beat him in MD-01’s open seat race last year. MD-01 is one of the most conservative district’s represented by a Democrat, and Kratovil is high on the list of the NRCC’s targets. Harris’s candidacy gives the GOP a credible candidate to rally around, and there is no doubt that Kratovil should guard himself.

On the other hand, Harris is surely not the strongest candidate Republicans could field for a very simple reason: He is largely responsible for the fact that MD-01 is now in Democratic hands! Last year, Harris defeated Rep. Wayne Gilchrest in the Republican primary, blasting the incumbent as too moderate for the district. The GOP’s divisions were fueled by Gilchrest’s decision to endorse Kratovil, who ended up beating Harris by less than 3,000 votes.

Sure, the district’s Republican voters will have had to two years to overcome their division, and the environment will not be as toxic for the GOP as it was in 2008. For Harris to jump back in the race could reopen the wounds of the 2008 primary, allowing Democrats to once again portray Harris as too conservative for the district and hope to rally moderates around Kratovil - not to mention the fact that rematches are rarely that successful. If anything, the Democrat should have an easier time winning in a non-presidential year given how red the district is.


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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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House Republicans recruit in GA-12, MD-01

To reconquer a majority in the House, Republicans will have to put in play the red-leaning districts that have fallen in Democratic hands. That will require the GOP to conduct some excellent recruitment for the next few months: They cannot afford to let Democratic incumbents in districts like AL-02, ID-01, MD-01 or VA-02 get entrenched - not to mention all the seats Republicans lost in 2006.

Yesterday, we learned that state Senator Andy Harris is interested in a rematch against now- Rep. Frank Kratovil in MD-01. Harris himself revealed that he is set to meet with NRCC officials to discuss a possible 2010 run.

MD-01 was one of the most improbable sites for a Democratic pick-ups. It is a very conservative district in which John McCain crushed Barack Obama by 18%; in 2004, Bush had triumphed by 26%! Yet, Republican divisions allowed Democrats to score an upset.

The seat was in the hands of Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, a moderate Republican whose centrist positioning so annoyed conservatives that they funded Harris’s primary challenge last year; Harris knocked off Gilchrest in the February 13th primary, giving the DCCC hope it could contest the seat. Gilchrest’s decision to endorse the Democratic nominee boosted his chances, and Kratovil ended up beating Harris by less than 3,000 votes.

In other words, Harris’s decision to run in 2008 is the principal reason MD-01 is now in Democratic hands, and he is thus probably not the best candidate Republicans can run in 2010. For him to jump back in the race could reopen the wounds of the 2008 primary, allowing Democrats to portray Harris as too conservative for the district.

That said, there is no question that Kratovil will remain one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents because the moderate Republicans that supported him in 2008 might desert him in 2010. For one, the national environment is unlikely to be as toxic for the GOP as it was over the past two cycles, meaning that independent voters could stop behaving like partisan Democrats; that is probably all Republicans need in districts like MD-01.

Second, will moderate Republicans want to punish Harris in 2010 as much as they did in 2008? If the state Senator runs, Gilchrest could once again attempt to rally support against him; but he will certainly have less of a voice now that he is no longer a congressmen.

In brief: Harris is not the strongest challenger the GOP could file given what happened in 2008, but he would remain a credible challenger.

GA-12 meanwhile, is another district Republicans need to contest. Sure, it does not tilt red (Bush narrowly prevailed here in 2004, but Obama beat McCain by 9%), but it was specifically designed by the state legislature to be competitive. This was demonstrated by the 2006 election, in which Rep. John Barrow barely survived a strong Republican challenge.

Yet, the GOP barely contested the seat in 2008, allowing Barrow to cruise to a 32% victory. That could have been a fatal error for Republicans, as that kind of easy victory is sometimes all an endangered incumbent needs to entrench himself durably in a district.

We will soon know how solid Barrow’s position now is, as Republicans have found a candidate to run against Barrow: retired Army Lt. Col. Wayne Mosley, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and who has enough wealth to self-fund his candidacy. He has already indicated that he intends to spend half-a-million dollars of his own money. (Republicans were hoping that Mosley would run in the 2008 cycle, but he ended up frustrating the GOP’s efforts - leading to Barrow’s easy victory.)

At the very least, Mosley’s entrance in the race puts GA-12 on the radar screen of 2010. An important question will be African-American turnout: Higher participation rates in 2008 helped Obama soar to a 9% victory in this Bush district. Will black voters come out in equally high numbers in a non-presidential year?


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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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Dems pick up MD-01, fail in WA-08

Two House races were called last night: one became the Democrats’ 24th House pick-up - bringing their net gain to 20 - while the other was a crucial GOP save.

In MD-01, Democratic nominee Frank Kratovil had a healthy lead by Wednesday morning, but thousands of absentee ballots forced caution. But Kratovil increased his edge as absentees were counted, and the AP called the race for the county prosecutor. While the result is not unexpected given what we have known over the past few months, it represents a major upset that would have been nearly unthinkable at the beginning of 2008.

Republican nominee Andy Harris defeated incumbent Rep. Gilchrest in the February primary, and that contest left deep wounds within the party - leading Gilchrest to endorse Kratovil. While Harris got some help from the Club from Growth (more than $400,000 in the general election period), the NRCC was unable to budget funds for the district while the DCCC poured in almost $2 million! Kratovil’s narrow victory is directly related to this discrepancy.

Kratovil thus joins the ranks of newly elected Democrats that won their seat in a heavily conservative district (Bush received 62% of the vote in MD-01 in 2004). Walt Minnick (ID-01), Betsy Markey (CO-04) and Bobby Bright (AL-02) were also elected in staunchly Republican districts, though three Democratic incumbents who were in a similar position lost on Tuesday night (Reps. Boyda, Cazayoux, Lampson). It goes without saying that all of these newly-elected Democrats will be at the top of the Republicans’ 2010 target list - especially those, like Minnick and perhaps Markey, whose victory is as much due to their opponent’s unpopularity as to their own appeal.

Kratovil’s election also confirms that the 2008 cycle was disastrous for the conservative Club for Growth. Their main Republican target - Alaska Rep. Don Young - beat their candidate in the Republican primary and now appears to be heading back to Congress. Andy Harris, whose victory against Gilchrest they bankrolled, just lost the general election in a heavily Republican district. In MI-07, Rep. Walberg (who had defeated an incumbent Republican in 2006 thanks to the Club’s support and for whom the Club spent a lot of money over the past month) lost his seat. Defeated Rep. Bill Sali of Idaho was also a major Club endorsee.

On the other hand, Democrats got disappointing news in WA-08, where Rep. Dave Reichert beat Democratic nominee Darcy Burner for the second cycle in a row. The margin looks to be just as close as it was two years ago (about 3%). Along with Rep. Kirk of Illinois, Reichert is thus one of the only Republican incumbents left in Dem-trending territory - and they both beat back spiritied challenges from opponents they had already faced in 2006.

Both parties had heavily invested in this district, as it was one of the only races in which the NRCC had spent more than $1 million. Indeed, this is the type of district that is the most dangerous for Republicans to lose: While places like MD-01 and ID-01 are conservative enough that Republicans will always be able to mount a spirited challenge, seats like WA-08 are likely to be lost for good once they fall out of the GOP’s hands. Beating a Democratic incumbent in a district that went overwhelmingly for Obama is far more difficult than beating one in red Alabama.

Reichert’s victory is yet another sign that the Democratic wave was not as strong as many expected, and that it left many Republicans incumbents standing - particularly those, like Reichert and Kirk, who had seen the threat coming and were able to rely on a strong personal brand. (Shays was able to survive thanks to that in 2006, but not this year). The loss of WA-08 is also disappointing to progressives as Darcy Burner had become somewhat of a netroots heroine and had a liberal profile. (Progressives did get some strong victories this cycle, however, particularly Jeff Merkley’s victory in Oregon and Tom Perriello’s apparent victory in VA-05.)

That leaves us with a number of uncalled districts, with CA-04 and OH-15 looking like the most unpredictable at the moment. In Senate races, we should not wait for any dramatic news from either Alaska and Minnesota until the ballots are certified in mid-to-late November. Until then, Coleman’s advantage keeps dwindling and now stands at 221 votes. (It was more than 700 on Wednesday morning.)


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Absentees, provisionals, recounts and runoffs: Update on the 10 remaining congressional seats

Three days have passed since Election Day, but there are still a number of undecided races, pending recounts and uncounted provisional, early and absentee ballots. Here’s a rundown of these contests and where they stand, starting with the presidential election:

  • North Carolina: The Tar Heel state was called for Obama yesterday, completing a stunning Democratic sweep in a state that voted for George W. Bush by 13% in 2004. Democrats also picked up a Senate seat (Hagan defeated Dole by 9%), kept the governorship and the lieutenant governor. (Correction: Democrats did not expand their majority in the state legislature, as a reader points out.)
  • Missouri: McCain is holding on to a 6,000 vote lead, a large enough margin that several media outlets (including MSNBC) have called the state for the Arizona Senator. That would mean 2008 one of the only elections in the past century that the Show Me State has not sided with the winner.
  • Nebraska’s 2nd district: Obama did not win Montana or North Dakota, but it looks like he might still grab one of Nebraska’s electoral votes. McCain still leads by a few hundred votes in this Omaha-based district, but there are still more than 15,000 early and provisional votes to be counted. The Omaha World Herald thinks those should be enough for Obama to grab the lead.

Omaha’s totals are further further evidence that voters held back from voting Democratic all the way down the ballot even as they cast a ballot for Obama, as Omaha’s vulnerable Republican Rep. Terry survived with 52% of the vote. In other words, the Democrat’s presidential candidate outperformed a local Democrat in a conservative area!

At the Senate level, three races remain undecided now that Oregon has gone Democratic:

  • Georgia: Saxby Chambliss has barely missed the 50% threshold, and though there are still a few thousand ballots left to be counted it is difficult to see them going in the Republican’s direction by a big enough margin for him to cross the threshold. This would mean that the race is going to a runoff, about which we will surely have more to say in the weeks ahead. Both candidates have already started campaigning, as Jim Martin is already up with an ad appealing to Obama’s popularity (yes, this is Georgia) and as Chambliss is scheduling McCain (and perhaps Palin!) to stump with him. Both campaigns have the same preoccupation: Keep their supporters energized.
  • Minnesota: There are no provisional, early or absentee ballots left to be counted in this race, but the Coleman-Franken gap kept shrinking yesterday. Why? As counties go back to verify their totals and tabulations, they discover mistakes and typos and correct them. As a result, Franken’s deficit is now down to 239 vote. Whatever the margin by certification, there is no doubt that the race will head to a recount… which would not be held until December. The recount would be conducted by hand, and election officials would try to determine the intent of the voter on ballots that the machine has not recognized. That could mean as much as 6,000 voters being added to the total, making the outcome wildly unpredictable.
  • Alaska: This race could keep us occupied for weeks - months even. Ted Stevens’s advantage stands at 3,257 votes with tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted (estimates put the number of remaining votes between 50,000 and 74,000). However, these ballots will not be counted for about 10 days (taking us back to the absurd GOP House primary in late August which took weeks to be resolved). If Stevens wins, there are signs that he will be kicked out of the Senate - perhaps as early as in the late November/December session. That could mean that Alaska is forced to hold a special election sometime in the spring. Given that Begich couldn’t put Stevens away, could he win against another Republican - Palin or Parnell, for instance?

If Democrats somehow win all three of these races, they could still get to 60 Senate seats - but Republicans have a slight edge in each for now. As for the House:

  • AK-AL: The race is unlikely to be called until the tens of thousands of remaining ballots are counted, but Republican Rep. Don Young probably has too large a lead to lose his seat. His victory would be the biggest upset of the 2008 cycle - and a remarkable survival for an incumbent that was first expected to lose the primary, then the general election.
  • CA-04: In a conservative race Democrats were feeling increasingly optimistic about, Charlie Brown could be headed to his second heart-breakingly close race in a row. Republican McClintock has been increasing his lead since Wednesday morning and is now ahead by 709 votes. But there is still an estimated 48,000 uncounted votes that should be processed in the days and weeks ahead, so this is still anyone’s game.
  • CA-44: This is a race that was on no one’s radar screen, and I do mean no one. Yet, Republican Rep. Calvert is leading 51% to 49% (or 4,000 votes) with tens of thousands of absentee ballots left to be counted. Calvert has a clear edge heading into extra innings, but we should still keep an eye on the race.
  • MD-01: Things are looking good for Democratic candidate Frank Kratovil in this conservative open seat. He has more than doubled his lead since Wednesday morning and is now on top by 2,003 votes. There are a significant number of ballots left to be counted, but Andy Harris would have to win 59% of them to save the seat for Republicans.
  • OH-15: A massive counting glitch by the AP led them to overstate Republican candidate Stivers’s lead by 12,000 vote for much of Tuesday night and Wednesday, but that has now been fixed: Only 136 votes separate Stivers from Mary Jo Kilroy (who already lost a close race in 2006), with thousands of provisional ballots left to be counted, especially in Kilroy-friendly Franklin County. Two years ago, Kilroy cut her opponent’s advantage by half after provisional ballots were counted, gaining about 1,500 votes. That is giving Democrats hope she can replicate those gains this year and give her party a third Ohio pick-up.
  • VA-05: Tom Perriello’s lead jumped from 31 votes to more than 800 yesterday, and has now settled at 751. Perriello has a clear advantage and has declared victory, but some counties are still reviewing their results and an undetermined number of absentee ballots remain to be counted. So advantage to Democrats here, but this could be headed to a recount.
  • WA-08: Ballots have to postmarked by Tuesday, November 4th to be valid, and only about 70% of all estimated votes have been counted. We should not get a final result in this race until next week. But Rep. Dave Reichert looks to be relatively well positioned as he is slightly increasing his lead the more votes are being reported, especially in King County, the Democratic part of the district. Reichert now leads by a relatively comfortable 5,000 votes.

As of now, Democrats stand at 19 net pick-ups (255 seats), and are not at risk of losing any more seat of their own. That means that the possible range is from +19 to +26 - though the final number is likely to be far closer to lower number as a Democratic pick-up is looking improbable in AK-AL and CA-44. On the other hand, Democrats are looking very well positioned in MD-01 and VA-05.


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And we go on

Call it post-Election withdrawal. There is something unsettling about the first few days after an election, when political junkies realize that the simplest acts of their daily routine have become meaningless. There is no tracking poll by Research 2000 to wake up to, nor any reason to refresh Gallup.com at 1pm. Wednesday afternoons will not bring us the latest CNN/Time delivery, nor will Monday evenings be the occasion of a Rasmussen extravaganza. We will have no new campaign ad to dissect for months, nor will we excitedly react to the DCCC’s latest Tuesday night expenditures. And looming on the horizon are no debates, infomercials, town halls and Election Nights.

Thankfully, there still are a dozen uncalled congressional races - including some looming recounts and a few runoffs. This will certainly not provide the same level of excitement as we lived over the past month, but hopefully enough to satisfy some of our thirst for electoral drama.

Here is a run-through of the 4 remaining Senate races (Democrats have picked-up 5 already, while incumbents have survived in KY, LA and MS):

  • Alaska: This is simply incredible. Just 8 days after being convicted on 7 felony charges, Ted Stevens is not only alive - but he is ahead! With nearly all precincts reporting, he leads 48% to 46,5%, a difference of about 3,500 votes. However, 40,000 absentee ballots have to be counted, which is obviously a significant number that could change a lot in the race. In typical Alaska fashion (remember the Young-Parnell primary?), counting those absentee ballots is not likely to start for a few days and could take a few weeks.
  • Georgia: Chambliss looked set to pass 50% throughout the night, but as African-American neighborhoods reported less his percentage dwindled down and as thousands of previously unreported early votes were accounted for. The totals now have Chambliss ahead at 49.8%, with Jim Martin at 47%. The Atlanta Journal Constitution and the AP have called a runoff, which would take place on December 2nd and surely become a heated multi-million battle.
  • Minnesota: As many had predicted, the Coleman-Franken dogfight has turned into the tightest Senate race in the country - perhaps even the tightest congressional contest. Coleman and Franken traded leads throughout the night - every few minutes, even, around 4am as the last precincts were reporting. Now, Coleman - who has declared victory - is holding on by the tiniest of margins (less than 500 votes) with some provisional ballots evidently still being counted and some counties adjusting their totals. The race appears set to go to a recount, which might not be resolved until December! For now, the advantage goes to Coleman.
  • Oregon: Republican Senator Gordon Smith is holding on to a 9,000 vote lead with 77% of estimated votes counted. However, only about half of Multnomah County (Portland)’s estimates votes have been counted, and Merkley is likely to gain tens of thousands more votes there than his opponent. Given where the outstanding votes are slated to come from, Merkley is still favored to come out ahead (Blue Oregon is following the results with great detail).

At the House level, Democrats have already picked-up a net 19 seats and all of their seats have been called, so the 8 remaining races are all on Republican turf:

  • AK-AL: Truly stunning. Republican Rep. Don Young is leading 52% to 44% though with 40,000 absentee left to count the AP is holding off a call. Young seemed to be the most vulnerable of all Republican incumbents, but Alaska once again proved to be a tough state for Democrats to win in. If Young pulls it off - and it looks like he will - this will go down as the biggest upsets of the 2008 cycle.
  • CA-04: Two years after losing a close race to Rep. Doolittle, Democrat Charlie Brown is trailing by just 400 votes against Republican candidate McClintock. There are many absentee ballots left to be counted, however, and we will probably not know the result for a while.
  • LA-04 and LA-07: In these two districts, the election yesterday was only a primary. The general election will be held in early December. The former is a toss-up, the latter leans Republican.
  • MD-01: With all precincts reporting, Democratic candidate Kratovil has a 915 vote lead in this conservative open seat. There are about 32,000 absentee ballots to be counted, so this could go either way.
  • OH-15: Mary Joe Kilroy is in the same situation she was in two years ago. She was expected to beat GOP Rep. Pryce, trailed by 3,000 on Election Night and cut that led by half after provisional ballots were counted. Now, Kilroy was expected to beat GOP candidate Stivers but she fell so far behind on Election Night that the AP and CNN called the race for her opponent. The race was later uncalled. It’s unclear what is going on at the moment. CNN has Stivers leading by 12,000 while other outlets have a 321 vote margin… If the race is tight, it will likely not be decided for more than a week as there are many provisional and absentee ballots that will have to be counted.
  • VA-05: Tom Perriello led through the night against Republican Rep. Goode in what would have been the biggest Democratic upset of the night but the margin tightened today - Goode even took a 400 vote lead for a few hours. In the latest reporting, Perriello is back on top by 81 votes (!). There are still provisional ballots to be counted, and this is sure to go to a recount.
  • WA-08: Only 41% of the district is reporting, making it difficult to know what is going on between Rep. Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner. Reichert has a 1,500 lead now, but this has a long way to go.

All gubernatorial races have been called - yes, even the Greoire-Rossi match-up! Neither Prop 8 nor Prop 4 have officially been called by the AP or by CNN as millions of absentee votes might still remain, but there is no question that the road looks tough for gay rights advocates.

At the presidential level, Missouri has been called for McCain by some outlets but not others, while Obama maintains a narrow lead in North Carolina which has also not been called. Also up in the air is NE-02’s electoral votes, as we await further counting.


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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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Poll watch: Obama dominates VA, Shadegg stays on top, Reichert and Porter tremble

How would we keep ourselves entertained without Zogby’s theatrics? Seemingly designed to give partisans of both sides heart failures, Zogby’s tracking poll jumped by 4% in one day - the type of bounciness that a tracking poll’s rolling samples are supposed to avoid. I doubt that any of the other tracking polls have ever found that big a one-day jump. But most comical are Zogby’s attempt to dramatize each of his releases, as the smallest trend is treated as a game-changing shift.

Just three days ago, when Obama suddenly grabbed a 12% lead, Zogby celebrated the coming “Reagan-style landslide.” By this morning, Zogby had moved to a gloomy assessment of Obama’s chances and offered a truly incomprehensible insight: “I have alluded before to this strange, magnetic pull that brings Obama down to 48% or 49%, a danger zone for him.” I am not sure what that means. A more interesting “magnetic pull” is McCain’s inability to break out of the low 40s, including in Zogby’s polls. In seven new national polls, McCain’s total ranges from 40% to 45%. The day McCain manages to inch above 45%, we can think about whether the race is tightening.

At the state level, the situation remains stable, with Obama maintaining his edge in what have now become his “base” states (he jumps to a 15% edge in New Hampshire, leads by double-digit in two surveys of Iowa) and looking good in the large number of red states, any one of which would get him over the top: He leads by 9% in Virginia, by 4% in Ohio while Missouri is locked in dead heat. Even Arizona no longer looks like a lock for McCain, with two (Democratic) polls showing the race within the margin of error, and McCain’s leads in Georgia and West Virginia are far narrower than was expected. The only bright spot of McCain’s day is a Wisconsin poll released by Rasmussen showing the Republican nominee “only” trailing by 7%… Enough said.

  • Obama gains 1% in Hotline (50% to 42%) and Gallup (52% to 43%, though he loses 2% in the traditional model, 50% to 45%). The race remains stable in Rasmussen (52% to 44%) and IBD/TIPP (47% to 43%). McCain gains 1% in Research 2000 (51% to 40%), 2% in ABC/Washington Post (52% to 45%) and 4% (!) in Zogby (49% to 44%). Obama’s leads are thus: 4%, 5%, 7%, 8%, 8%, 9%, 11%.
  • Obama leads 52% to 43% in a PPP poll of Virginia. Obama led by 8% three weeks ago. Obama now leads independents by 9% and enjoys the same level of party loyalty. Obama leads 61% to 24% among new voters.
  • Obama leads 51% to 44% in a Rasmussen poll of Wisconsin. He led by 10% two weeks ago.
  • Obama leads 54% to 39% in a University of New Hampshire poll of New Hampshire. Obama only led by 1% earlier this month. 45% of voters now describe themselves as “firm Obama supporters,” versus 32% of McCain supporters. This poll was conducted from the 18th to the 22nd.
  • Missouri: Two polls find a one-point race, well within the margin of error. McCain is ahead 46% to 45% in a Mason Dixon poll. Obama leads 48% to 47% in a Research 2000 poll (McCain led by 1% in the latter two weeks ago).
  • Arizona: McCain leads 44% to 40% in a poll conducted by Democratic pollsters Myers Research & Grove Insight. Obama leads by 1% among those who have already voted - 34% of the sample. Another poll conducted by Zimmerman & Associates finds McCain leading 45% to 43% only.

Meanwhile, in down-the-ballot polls:

  • Jeanne Shaheen leads 49% to 36% in a UNH poll of the New Hampshire Senate race. She led by 4% in September.
  • In NH-01, Democratic Rep. Shea-Porter grabs a 44% to 39% lead in a UNH poll. She trailed by 3% a month ago. No surprises in NH-02, where Democrat Rep. Hodes dominates.
  • In NV-03, Democratic challenger Titus leads Rep. Porter 47% to 45% in a Research 2000 poll. Among early voters, Titus leads by 11% and Obama leads by 19%.
  • In WA-08, Reichert and Burner are tied at 46% in a Research 2000 poll. Reichert led by 8% two weeks ago. SUSA and two Democratic internal polls recently found the same trendline in Burner’s favor.
  • In KY-02, a DCCC poll has Democratic candidate David Boswell leading 47% to 41%.
  • In IA-04, GOP Rep. Latham leads Democratic candidate Becky Greenwald 47% to 42% in a Research 2000 poll.
  • In FL-21, GOP Rep. Diaz Balart leads Raul Martinez 45% to 44% in a Research 2000 poll. Martinez leads 55% to 42% among early voters.
  • In MD-01, GOP candidate Andy Harris has a narrow 44% to 40% lead in a Research 2000 poll.
  • In FL-13, GOP Rep. Buchanan leads Christine Jennings 45% to 34% in a Research 2000 poll. He led by 12% last month. Among early voters, it is Jennings who has a narrow 3% lead.
  • In AZ-03, GOP Rep. Shadegg leads 50% to 40% in a Research 2000 poll, an improvement over his 9% lead two weeks ago.

A wave of independent House polls bring good news to both parties. Despite the million and a half the DCCC has poured against Shadegg, the Arizona Republican stays at the critical 50% mark; in FL-13, Rep. Buchanan confirms that he is well positioned to survive the blue wave; and in NV-03, Rep. Porter has see worse numbers than this one. That said, Dona Titus remains in a great position to pick-up that latter district, and the one-way spending should only continue to drown Porter.

The news is good for Democrats in NH-01, where Rep. Shea-Porter continues to improve her position, and WA-08, where Darcy Burner has erased the lead Rep. Reichert had opened up over the past month in the second independent poll released this week. Furthermore, Democratic candidates look strong in a large number of second-to-fourth tier contests (FL-21, MD-01, IA-04) and can hope for a few upsets victories on Election Day.


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Congress: NRCC spends money (!), Stevens trial enters final stage

Spending: After weeks of holding back on TV advertisements because of its meager budget, the NRCC finally unloaded over the past two days, buying more than $4 million worth of ads in a total of 20 districts. And some of these buys are quite large - perhaps unexpectedly so.

Over the past two days, the NRCC spent more than $400,000 in two red district (MN-03 and WA-08), $300,000 or more in CO-04, MI-07, NH-01 and PA-11, more than $200,000 in MO-09, NY-26, NY-29, OH-02 and OH-15, more than $100,000 in LA-06, MO-06, NJ-03, NJ-07, OH-01, PA-03 and WI-08 and less than $100,000 in AL-02 and AL-05. (Alabama media markets are inexpensive, so the NRCC’s spending those two districts is substantial.)

To this list should also be added districts in which the NRCC bought ad time at the end of last week, so that they will not have to invest more money to stay on air for a few more days. Those include: FL-21, ID-01, VA-02. Furthermore, Politico reports that the NRCC has just made expenditures it has not yet reported (and will likely do so by tonight) in three more districts, KY-02, IN-03 and NE-02 - three very conservative districts, the latter two of which were not expected to be competitive as of a month ago.

This spending offers a fascinating window into the GOP’s view of which blue seats are competitive and which red states are salvageable or deserve defending. Some omissions of vulnerable red seats continue to be glaring, particularly FL-24, NM-01, NC-08, NV-03, OH-16. That the NRCC is spending so much money helping Rep. Walberg in MI-07 while investing nothing in Rep. Knollenberg’s MI-09 is telling of the latter’s vulnerabilities. However, there are some surprises in the list.

The first is MN-03, the heated open seat in which the GOP has just poured in a huge amount of money: a week ago, the NRCC was reported to be moving out of the district and allocating that budget to MN-06 (Bachmann’s seat) instead. Clearly, the NRCC has since then decided that the district is still winnable. Similarly, Reps. Musgrave and Kuhl in CO-04 and NY-29 look to be trailing, so it is curious that the NRCC has decided to invest some of its limited expenditures into saving them. The calculation is surely that it is always easier to pull incumbents through rather than salvage open seats or help challengers.

Meanwhile, the DCCC posted far less expenditures yesterday than it usually does on Tuesday, including a strange omission of a number of seats in which it has been on air for weeks (the New Mexico, Ohio and New Jersey open seats, for instance). That suggests that there are still DCCC expenditures to come today, which will up the Democrats’ total (they have, after all, a lot of money to spend), but a few investments are very noteworthy.

The ease with which the DCCC invests amounts which appear prodigious when spent by the NRCC tells us all we need to know about the parties’ financial disparity. The DCCC just poured in a stunning $566K in IL-10. This is an extensive district to spend in because of the Chicago media market, certainly, but it is certainly a large buy - especially considering that Rep. Kirk appears to be gaining in recent polls. The committee spend more than $400,000 in NC-08, bringing its total investment in that district to nearly $2 million (the NRCC has spent nothing). The new spending is more than $300,000 in AZ-01, AZ-03, CO-04, MD-01 and almost reaches $200,000 in AL-02 (as I said, that is a lot of money to spend in an Alabama media market).

Given that nearly everyone has long expected AZ-01 to be among the easiest pick-ups for Democrats, it is somewhat bizarre that the DCCC is pouring that much money in the district, but that is their only defensive-looking move (if that can be said about a red district). Apart from that, the overall picture is as remarkable as last week: The NRCC is building a firewall in second-to-third tier seats while the DCCC is spending heavily on seats it should not even be thinking about: more than $700,000 of Democratic money spent in one day in AZ-03 and MD-01?! Who would have thought that would be possible just four weeks ago?

Alaska: Ted Stevens’s trial enters its final stage today, as the case will be handed to the jury which will start its deliberations. The always-useful Anchorage Daily News provides an overview of yesterday’s closing arguments - and through them a recap of what has happened in the trial over the past month. While Stevens’s defense made some important gains over the past month - in particular getting the judge to throw out some evidence - the trial’s last few days were not kind to the Alaska Senator. The government’s chief attorney got Stevens to lose his temper at times during his cross-examination, and she ridiculed his claim that a chair that had been in his house for seven years was a “loan” rather than “a gift.”

As soon as the jury returns, we shall have a much better idea of the dynamics of the race, as it is looking more likely every day that the trial’s verdict will also decide Stevens’ electoral fate. A new just-released Ivan Moore poll confirms that Stevens has closed the gap and that the race is now a dead heat; an acquittal would be likely to boost Stevens on top, while a guilty verdict would make it difficult for him to pull through. But what happens if the jury only partially acquits Stevens? He is, after all, being tried on seven different charges, so a guilty verdict might not be as damning as the prosecution would want it to be.



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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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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 'EDT/-4.0/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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