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Category Archive for ‘MN-Gov’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'MN-Gov' Category


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

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Gubernatorial rating changes: Arkansas is now the sole safe governorship for Democrats

We are down to only one safe Democratic governorship anywhere in the country.

With New York moving to the “likely Democratic” column due to a series of developments (Rick Lazio’s withdrawal, polls showing a single-digit race, questions about Attorney General-fatigue) and with Governor Lynch looking increasingly shaky in New Hampshire’s until-recently safe governorship, Democrats don’t have much left to hang onto. And they should be grateful key governorships like Missouri, Washington and North Carolina are not in play this year.

And yet, despite the large number of contests that have moved towards the GOP in recent months, Democratic odds continue to brighten in the country’s biggest prize: California. Despite Jerry Brown’s many gaffes (I still find it hard to believe he let himself be baited into attacking Bill Clinton) and Meg Whitman’s record spending, the Democrat looked like he was finally opening up a lead in recent weeks - and that was before Whitman’s former housekeeper shook-up the race with her accusatory press conference. Whitman has been on the defensive ever since, even offering to take a polygraph test before retracting herself. I am leaving the race in the toss-up section for now, but it’s certainly tilting Democratic - something I would certainly not had said two weeks ago.

And Democrats got good news from a far more unlikelier place this week: the Midwest! While the entire region looked all but lost for Democratic candidates, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn have suddenly rebounded in a series of polls (3 Ohio polls showing a 1%-race within 24 hours whereas we hadn’t since that type of margin since June, and 2 Illinois surveys showing a toss-up); they both remain “lean Republican” for now, but whereas two weeks ago both states were close to moving further towards the GOP they are now very much in play. Also in the Midwest, there is now enough evidence that Minnesota looks good for Democrats that I am moving the race out of the toss-up column.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the other big “toss-up” prize is going the other direction. Rick Scott’s millions look to be having the same effect in the general election as they did in the GOP primary, as he has erased the consistent advantage Alex Sink enjoyed since late August. This is a race Democrats should really focus on - both because of Florida’s size and because the contest remains very much winnable given Scott’s obvious vulnerabilities. In other good news for the GOP, Georgia and New Mexico move to “lean Republican” while Iowa and Oklahoma move to “likely Republican.”

Safe GOP Likely GOP Lean GOP Toss-up Lean Dem Likely Dem Safe Dem
Dem-held Kansas
Wyoming
Iowa
Michigan
Oklahoma
Tennessee
Illinois
NM
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Maine
Maryland
Oregon
Massachusetts Colorado
NH
New York
Arkansas
GOP-held Idaho
Nebraska
SD
Utah
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Nevada
SC
Georgia
Texas
California
Florida
Vermont
Connecticut
Hawaii
Minnesota
Rhode Island

Georgia, toss-up to lean Republican: While Roy Barnes remains very much in contention, Georgia has become too GOP-friendly a state for a Democrat not to be an underdog - especially when it doesn’t appear that turnout among African-Americans (a key constituency for Democrats in any state, let alone in Georgia) will be anywhere as high as in 2008. Add to that the fact that the race will go to a December runoff if neither candidate reaches 50%, and the very least we can say is that Barnes will not be the victor on November 2nd. That said, it is fairly likely he’ll be able to hold former Rep. Nathan Deal under that threshold too. Deal might have taken a consistent albeit narrow lead in the polls, but he has a lot of baggage (remember that he resigned from the House in the hopes of avoiding the release of a damning ethics report) that might get wider exposure in a runoff campaign.

Iowa, lean Republican to likely Republican: It’s hard to remember, but Governor Culver actually started the cycle in a fairly comfortable position; that was before the electorate turned against Democrats, before the Midwest became ground zero of the party’s nightmare and before Terry Branstad announced he would seek his old position back. Culver trailed Branstad massively from the beginning of the campaign, and the more we approach Election Day the more hopeless his situation becomes. It’s one thing for an incumbent to trail by double-digits a year before the election; quite another six weeks prior. At the moment, Iowa no longer appears to be in play - and Branstad is probably going to become king-maker as head of the state that is going to lunch the 2012 Republican primaries.

Minnesota, toss-up to lean Democratic: Minnesota is one relatively bright spot for Democrats. Since Democrats nominated Mark Dayton to be their nominee, the former Senator has enjoyed a decent lead in a series of polls - typically in the high single-digits. This can be attributed to a number of factors. For one, the incumbent Governor is a Republican - a rare sight in the Midwest, and one that seems to be diminishing voters’ desire to turn to the GOP to achieve changeover.

Second, Republican nominee Tom Emmer is very conservative, especially on social issues - more than is advisable for a GOP nominee in a swing state that typically tilts to the left. While many other conservatives are highly competitive in blue states (think of Brady in Illinois), the fact that this an open race means Emmer cannot just deflect attention to an incumbent’s unpopularity. Furthermore, the presence of Independent Party nominee Tom Horner gives moderates who do not want to vote for a Democrat this year a place to go other than Emmer. And we certainly cannot rule out Horner becoming a contender for the win; he is flirting with the 20% bar in polls.

New Mexico, toss-up to lean Republican: Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish has to be all the more pained at the collapse of her gubernatorial prospects that she was so close from becoming Governor at the end of 2008: Obama had appointed Governor Bill Richardson to his Cabinet, and had Richardson not withdrawn from consideration Denish would have replaced him in the Governor’s Mansion. But that only seemed to delay her coronation, as Denish started off in a strong position to win the open Governor’s race in 2010.

That was before it became clear just how powerful the GOP wave had become - and just how much Democrats would suffer in states in which they are unpopular at the local level on top of the national level. New Mexico is one of these states. While it looked to have swung decisively blue in 2008, Richardson’s ethical struggles combined and the state’s economic difficulties transformed the political landscape - and what was unimaginable 18 months ago is now very much true: Denish is undeniably trailing her Republican opponent, DA Susana Martinez, who has been highly-touted by GOP officials ever since she won her primary. Going forward, remember that New Mexico is one of those states Obama has to defend in 2010.

New York, safe Democratic to likely Democratic: Governor Carl Paladino… That’s such a difficult notion to entertain I have trouble upgrading the GOP’s prospects in this race, but there is no question that what long looked like an Andrew Cuomo juggernaut has weakened. His 40% leads are no more, and while all polls still show he remains the clear favorite, two post-primary surveys have found that the race is down to single-digits. Perhaps the sight of a Governor-in-waiting annoyed New Yorkers and perhaps there is something to the argument that an Attorney General’s popularity is shallow and can easily be punctured (as was demonstrated with Martha Coakley and to a lesser extent with Richard Blumenthal); or perhaps the margin was always bound to shrink given that suburban New Yorkers already signaled in November 2009 just how much they were ready to oust Democrats (Tom Suozzi can speak to that). Add to that Rick Lazio’s decision to drop out of the race, allowing Paladino to consolidate the Conservative Party line on top of the GOP line, and a path to victory opens up for the Republican nominee.

That said, New York is still a reliably Democratic state and Paladino (a millionaire best-known for sending out racist emails, for getting in a physical altercation with a New York Post reporter and for proposing to house welfare recipients in prisons) is so extremist that a number of Republicans have looked uncomfortable campaigning for him. The mere fact that we’re considering a victory by Paladino  possible is a testament to the GOP’s success this year; it’s hard to imagine Republicans can hope for more

Oklahoma, lean Republican to likely Republican: On paper, Democrats should have a good chance to defend this governorship: Not only do they have a strong candidate in Lieutenant Governor Jeri Askins but they won the last open race, which held in 2002 - no bright year for their party. But the electorate is far more hostile towards Democrats this year than it was eight years ago. Oklahoma is simply too conservative a state for Republicans not to be clearly favored in these circumstances, and Republican Rep. Mary Fallin (a former Lieutenant Governor) is not the type of politician to blunder her way out of front-running status. One thing is clear: Oklahoma will have its first female Governor come 2011.


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Weekly update: Besides the IN confusion, KS Dems hope they’ve finally found someone to field

The week started in unexpectedly dramatic fashion when Senator Evan Bayh drove a stake to the DSCC’s hopes of not having to also worry about Indiana; it should also lead to an additional open seat in the House - though we won’t know that for sure until the Democratic party committee taps a replacement for Bayh. Another state with important developments this week was Ohio, which became the 8th state to move past its filing deadline, as I wrote about yesterday.

But forget Evan Bayh: The biggest shocker of the cycle is that Democrats are landing statewide candidates in Kansas! State Senator Tom Holland announced this week that he would take on Senator Sam Brownback in the Governor’s race, giving Democrats hope of at least pulling off a decent showing at the head of the ticket  (that could have repercussions down-ballot). While Holland is the heavy underdog, Democrats are quick to note that he beat two Republican incumbents in 2002 and in 2008 to first be elected to the state House and the state Senate. The party will also milk the one advantage its candidate will have in these difficult circumstances: attack Brownback for practicing “Washington-style politics” while touting Holland’s local roots. “He hasn’t been in Washington for 16 years, he’s been here - building a business, raising his family and serving his community,” said Lieut. Gov. Troy Findley.

Democrats are also hopeful that Holland will inspire state Senator David Haley to jump in the open Senate race, where they currently have no candidate. Since the GOP nominee will be a U.S. House member, this could help the party use the same template in both statewide races, but more on this if Haley actually pulls the trigger.

In California, Senator Diane Feinstein finally put the speculation to rest for good as she closed the door to a gubernatorial run without allowing herself any hedges. This confirms what we have known since the fall: Attorney General Jerry Brown faces no real competition for the Democratic nomination, which few people could have expected as the cycle started given how many ambitious politicians California has. I do think the party could have positioned itself better for the general election; not only can Brown be attacked for being the consummate insider, but how credibly can he propose to fix the state’s terrible fiscal situation given his responsibility in the passage and implementation of Prop 13? In other statewide news, San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, last seen dropping out of the Governor’s race, prepared himself to run for Lieutenant Governor, a surprising move given that the job doesn’t have any real power as opposed to being mayor of a major city.

In Minnesota, the once very large GOP field has now been reduced to just three candidates as state Senator David Hann became the fifth candidate to drop out. That leaves state Rep. Marty Seifert, state Rep. Tom Emmer and former state Rep. Bill Haas as the only politicians seeking the Republican nod, with Seifert and Emmer looking like the clear front-runners ever since Norm Coleman passed on the race. Hann’s withdrawal could help Emmer, as both men represent Hennepin County while Seifert is from Southwestern Minnesota, though ultimately this could matter little since the nomination should be decided at a convention at which I believe a candidate needs 50% of delegates. (I wrote more about Minnesota last month.)

In North Carolina, there is now a fourth candidate seeking the Democratic nomination: Marcus Williams, an attorney from Lumberton. While he would not appear to be a threat to win the nomination, he could pull a significant share of the vote: In the 2008 Senate primary, he received an impressive 13% of the vote (more than 170,000 votes) and won more counties than Jim Neal despite the fact that the latter’s challenge to Kay Hagan won more attention nationwide. If Williams can once again draw a substantial share of the vote, it could help Elaine Marshall by making it difficult for one of her rivals to differentiate himself and get momentum - but it could also ensure that no candidate tops 50% in the May 4th first round. [Correction: In NC, a candidate needs to get only 40% to clinch the nomination in the first round. That diminishes the possibility Williams's entry to prevent Marshall from avoiding a runoff, while the point about his fracturing the field too much for one candidate to catch-up remains valid.]

In Iowa, one of the four Republican candidates dropped out of the Governor’s race: state Rep. Bob Rants, who served as the state’s Speaker between 2003 and 2006. This leaves former Governor Terry Branstad, Bob Vander Plaats and state Rep. Rod Roberts. Rants’ withdrawal improves Vander Plaats’s odds of pulling an upset against Branstad but potentially helping him coalesce the support of conservatives, over which the two men were competing (Rants for instance said that he would veto every single bill that comes out of the state legislature, including the budget, until both chambers vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage). After all, while Branstad has had problem with his right flank throughout his decades in politics, he is too formidable a candidate to envision him losing in a crowded field with numerous conservative candidates.

In Rhode Island, it long looked like no one wanted the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination but there is now a second candidate in the race: former state Rep. Victor Moffitt while go after John Robitaille, the incumbent Governor’s communications director. Neither can be sure to be a competitive general election nominee, but the more state Republicans get invested in their nominee the harder it could be for the now-independent Lincoln Chaffee to pull out a victory in a 3-way race.

As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the retirement and race-by-race pages. First, updates to Retirement Watch:

New open seats Senator Evan Bayh (D, Indiana)
Will not retire Rep. Pat Tiberi (R, OH-12)
Rep. Bill Young (R, FL-10)
Added to retirement watch Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D, IN-08)

Next, the recruitment page:

AZ-Sen, GOP Chris Simcox dropped out
IN-Sen, Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly added to list
Rep. Brad Ellsworth wants the Dem nod
Rep. Baron Hill added to list
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott wants the Dem nod
businesswoman Bren Simon added to list
state Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson ruled out run
Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel ruled out run
IN-Sen, GOP Don Bates Jr is running
plumbing company owner Richard Behney is running
Governor Mitch Daniels will not run
KS-Sen, Dem state Senator David Haley added to list
NC-Sen, Dem attorney Marcus Williams announced run
OH-Sen, GOP Charlena Renee Bradley is running
Traci Johnson is running
OH-Sen, GOP car dealer Tom Ganley dropped out

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

CA-Gov, Dem Senator Dianne Feinstein will not run
IA-Gov, GOP state Rep. Chris Rants dropped out
KS-Gov, Dem state Senator Tom Holland is running
MI-Gov, Dem former Treasurer Robert Bowman will not run
county Treasurer Dan Kildee formed exploratory committee
MN-Gov, Dem state Senator David Hann dropped out
NE-Gov, Dem agribusiness executive Mark Lakers added
PA-Gov, Dem Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty dropped out
RI-Gov, GOP former state Rep. Victor Moffitt announced run
SC-Gov, Dem Mullins McLeod dropped out

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Coleman exit and threat of late Dem primary shake up Minnesota race

Democrats desperately looking to find some good news to latch unto among the recent avalanche of bleak developments could do worse than look at Minnesota’s gubernatorial election, a rare open seat race in which things have tended to break Democrats‘ way. The past month alone has shook up the race.

Last week, Norm Coleman announced he would not run as Governor. Since the former senator had appeared to be preparing himself for a run, including conducting polling and considering the choice of a running-mate, his decision took his party aback. While Coleman faced clear electability questions (he has lost 2 out of 3 statewide races and 2008 Senate race made his unfavorability ratings soar very high), many Republicans were eager to see him run because they do not have that many options in the state: The party’s first choice, moderate former Rep. Jim Ramstad, announced he would not run in the summer, perhaps because his moderate reputation would have made it tough for him to win the nomination through the state’s convention system.

Worse still, Coleman pulled a Beau Biden: He waited so long to make up his mind that he sucked up all the oxygen and made it tough for other Republicans to mount credible campaigns. Just a few days before Coleman’s statement, former Auditor Pat Anderson dropped out of the race, citing the difficulty she had experienced in raising money given that Republican donors were waiting to see what Coleman was up to. “I think the shadow is real,” she said. “And it’s affected us all as candidates.”

This leaves a somewhat underwhelming field headlined by state Reps. Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer, both of whom are part of the party’s conservative wing. With the first caucuses just a few weeks away - and the full convention just three months away - the two are engaged in a heated effort to portray themselves as being furthest to the right. Whatever the environment in 2010, that’s not exactly the recipe to win statewide victory in a blue-leaning state; while a red wave could carry Seifert or Emmer through the finish line, the GOP could have put itself in a better position.

The GOP’s drive rightward is giving the Independence Party hope it could pull a remake of its 1998 upset, in which Jesse Ventura pulled of an unlikely 3-way victory. “Because the Republicans will now likely endorse a more extreme candidate, this makes it even more likely that the Independence Party’s candidate will regain the governor’s office in 2010,” said the IP chairman last week. The IP has not been able to get close to repeating its 1998 feat, and it’s not like it has even tried to do so in every major race; the 2008 Senate race did see a major IP push, however, with Dean Barkley receiving close to 20% of the vote. If the party does field a competitive candidate in the coming months, it could obviously affect the contest’s dynamics.

This week, a candidate stepped up to asked for the IP’s support: public relations executive Tom Horner, who has long been involved in Republican politics, announced he is launching an exploratory committee and would run if he can translate his GOP contacts into contributions. For a candidate like Horner to make it to the general election ballot would probably help the Democratic nominee. (Interestingly, the second IP candidate who emerged this week - Joe Repya - is also a former Republican.)

Not that Democrats are anywhere close to figuring out who will represent them in November. In fact, the party has a problem of its own, namely the possibility that it will not figure out its nominee until months after Republicans and Independents do.

In Minnesota, nomination fights are typically decided in conventions that are held in the spring; losing candidates are expected to bow to delegates’ will and not pursue their party’s nod all the way to the mid-September primary. This field-thinning is all the more certain to take place when candidates are low-profile politicians whose main hope to gain the nomination is to appeal to party activists; for instance, it is tough to see how Tom Emmer could win the GOP primary if the entire party apparatus rallied behind Marty Seifert following his eventual convention win. As such, Republicans are likely to go into the summer with an undisputed front-runner.

That’s more than we can say of Democrats. In officially announcing his long-certain candidacy this week, former Senator Mark Dayton announced that he would include his name in neither the February straw polls nor in the April convention ballots. In short, he is bypassing the usual nominating route and moving straight to the primary ballot. What this means: Whoever wins the delegates’ endorsement in three months (Minneapolis Mayor Rybak is the favorite, though there are other credible contenders like Speaker Margaret Anderson) will need to follow up the convention fight with a very tough interparty campaign that will not be resolved until September 14th, less than 2 months from the general election!

While Dayton brings major electability problems to the race - he retired from the Senate in 2006 largely because he was considered one of the cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents - it’s hard to deny Democrats have more formidable candidates heading into convention season. Might their edge be endangered if the GOP nominee gets a head start to prepare for the general election, soften his conservatism and build-up his profile?


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What a surprise: Jan Brewer, R.T. Rybak and Roxane Conlin running

Over the past two days, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and attorney Roxane Conlin signaled they would run statewide next year. All of these decisions had come to be expected, but that doesn’t mean they are not important developments in the 2010 landscape.

Iowa emerges as a race to watch

At the beginning of the year, Democrats were hoping that Chuck Grassley would retire. That has not happened, but it looks like the Iowa senator won’t win a sixth term without a fight: Roxane Conlin will reportedly become a Senate candidate in the days ahead.  A formidable figure in Iowa politics, Grassley remains the heavy favorite but Conlin gives Democrats a rare chance to score an upset.

While she hasn’t ran for office since her failed gubernatorial bid in… 1982, she remained in the public eye enough that a recent Research 2000 poll found that she was well-known (67% of respondents had an opinion about her, the majority of them favorable). She could also find it easy to amass a substantial bank account: She is very well connected, she would receive large donations from trial lawyers and she could use some of her considerable fortune. If nothing else, it’s good for Democrats to field a contender who would be in a position to benefit from Grassley’s troubles if anti-incumbent sentiment runs high next year.

Conlin’s run also keeps Grassley accountable to the center whereas he had only been acting lately as if all he had to fear was a conservative primary. Another side benefit for Democrats: It could help Governor Chet Culver’s re-election bid by bringing in another Democratic contender who could help turnout the vote - the major challenge facing all of the party’s candidates next year. In fact, Conlin herself admits that the desire to help Culver is a major reason she is entering the race.

Brewer will seek a full term

When Jan Brewer was elevated to the position of Arizona Governor when Janet Napolitano resigned earlier this year, she probably was not imagining that this could end up lowering her prospects of winning the 2010 gubernatorial race. And yet, running as an incumbent governor in this environment is a much tougher proposition than getting through an open race as the sitting Secretary of State.

In fact, Brewer’s trouble reach far deeper than those of most governors. She has had a lot of trouble imposing herself, especially given the budget stalemate that’s opposed her to the (GOP-controlled) legislature and her approval rating is stuck around 30% - a dismal level that makes it hard to see how she can survive next year. And yet, Brewer has chosen to seek a full term in 2010: She just announced her bid yesterday.

Her decision will surely delight Democrats: It will be tough for Brewer to beat Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Democrats’ probable nominee, but it’s less likely that other Republicans (like Treasurer Dean Martin) enter the race if they need to face an incumbent governor in the Republican primary. For now, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker is Brewer’s main GOP rival; he should be able to mount a credible campaign, but he certainly can’t give Republicans confidence they’ll field the strongest general election contender possible.

A prominent entry in Minnesota’s gubernatorial race

I could an entire blog just covering every new candidate in Minnesota’s gubernatorial race, but the latest entrant is among the highest profile contenders yet: Just a few days after easily securing a third term with 72% of the vote, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak filed paperwork to seek the DFL’s nomination. Rybak faces a highly competitive primary against prominent politicians like the state Speaker (Margaret Anderson) and a former Senator (Mark Dayton), but his profile ensures that he’ll rise above much of the field.

And yet, Rybak suffered from a failed start to his campaign: Just a day after he e-mailed his supporters to announce a run, the Minnesota Campaign and Finance Disclosure Board ruled that he had used funds from his mayoral campaign for the gubernatorial race, a violation of campaign finance regulations; Minnesota’s Republican Party had filed a complaint. This ruling amounts to little else than a slap on the rest (the board only ordered the gubernatorial committee to reimburse his mayoral committee), but it’s never good for a campaign to see its kickoff marred by such news stories.

Meanwhile, another Midwestern Democratic Mayor is being increasingly pressured to jump in his state’s gubernatorial race: Two weeks after we learned that Barack Obama favored Tom Barrett in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee mayor met with the White House’s political director to discuss a potential run. Don’t forget that, now that Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton has dropped out of the race (possibly because of signs from the national establishment), Democrats don’t have much of a choice but to convince Barrett to jump in.


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With GOP poised to nominate conservatives, Dem prospects rise in MN and PA

Despite the recent series of Republican recruitment coups, not every race can go the GOP’s way and recent developments put a serious dent in the party’s prospects of contesting two high-profile elections.

Minnesota: Jim Ramstad heads out

Minnesota might not have elected a Democratic Governor since 1986 (!), but no one thinks the GOP will have an easy time holding on to the position. The party’s best bet was to nominate former Rep. Jim Ramstad, whose moderate credentials and popularity in the pivotal 3rd District made him an appealing statewide candidate. From the early days following Tim Pawlenty’s retirement announcement, it was clear that Democrats were most worried about Ramstad.

Yet, Ramstad ruled out a run yesterday. One explanation for this is that the state’s primary process is dominated by a springtime party convention dominated by conservatives. Ramstad might have assessed it would be tough for him to survive that process, especially in a political environment that is likely to make party activists more concerned about ideological purity than usual.

Ramstad’s exit makes it more likely that the nomination will go to a conservative, which will damage the GOP’s prospects of winning in this blue-leaning state. Except for Norm Coleman, who would bring liabilities of his own if he were to join the race, most of the Republicans who are considering the race are well to the right. Former state Auditor Pat Anderson, who just jumped in the race, helped organized “tea parties” this past spring; and state legislators like Marty Seifert, Tom Emmer are Phil Kohls are all part of the GOP’s conservative wing.

As you will notice, that’s a lot of names I just listed. And there are more! By my count, the race already includes a staggering 11 declared candidates - 5 Democrats and 6 Republicans - with at least 2 other Democrats seemingly certain to jump in (Speaker Margaret Anderson and former Senator Mark Dayton)! By the end of the year, the fields should have thinned as the contenders figure out how much support they can expect at the state convention.

In short: It will take a long time before we get a clearer picture of the state of this race but Democrats hold a slight advantage.

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey all but guaranteed GOP nomination

When Arlen Specter announced he would switch his party affiliation, the GOP had a window of opportunity to try to block Pat Toomey’s march towards the nomination. That window has now closed. A slate of Republican candidates who could have given Toomey a tough time - from former Gov. Tom Ridge to Rep. Jim Gerlach and state Senator Jane Orie - declined a run and the NRSC has seemingly given up on searching for alternatives.

Yesterday, the Republican committee released a statement endorsing Toomey, implicitly contrasting him to Specter. “Congressman Toomey is a vigorous and determined advocate for the people of Pennsylvania, and he is clearly guided by principles instead of political opportunism,” the statement said.

I have long warned against underestimating Toomey’s general election prospects, especially if Specter is the Democrats’ standard bearer; that could depress turnout among left-leaning voters and the Republican a shot at victory. As importantly, Toomey will be able to better position himself now that he does not have to worry about a contested primary. He’s already trying to moderate his image: “You can’t win in Pennsylvania unless you have broad appeal. Let’s face it, in Pennsylvania, there are more Democrats than Republicans,” he recently said. He would not have said such a thing if he was still facing Specter in the primary.

In short, Toomey could be a more attractive candidate than he would have been had he moved on to the general election after spending months beating up the incumbent from the right. Don’t forget that Toomey’s statewide name recognition is low, so voters do not think of him as the conservative firebrand we political junkies have come to know.

(Side note: Specter, Sestak and Toomey all raised more than $1 million in the second quarter, guaranteeing that Pennsylvania voters will see a lot of fireworks over the next 17 months. The incumbent is already trying to be aggressive.)

Yet, there is no question that the NRSC would have much rather fielded another candidate. It’s no coincidence that the committee reconciled itself with the prospect of Toomey’s candidacy only after Gerlach and Ridge killed speculation they might run and after it became clear that other possible candidates (Attorney General Tom Corbett, former Governor Mark Schweiker) had no interest in running. And however Toomey now positions himself, Democrats will have a lot to work for considering his staunchly conservative past.

On the other hand, it looks like the NRSC could get some good news in Florida soon.


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Coleman, Strickland and Hutchison won’t be happy with new polls

Yet another Ohio polls finds narrowing Democratic edge

This week’s Quinnipiac survey showing a collapse in Barack Obama’s and Ted Strickland’s approval rating in Ohio must have given a lot of Democrats some heartburn, especially since it came in the heels of June PPP poll confirming the Governor’s vulnerability. We now have a third pollster who got in the Ohio fray, and Research 2000 finds results that are similar to Quinnipiac’s:

  • Of the six politicians whose favorability rating is tested, Strickland has the worst numbers by far: 44% to 40%. He leads former Rep. John Kasich 44% to 39%, which is a good result for the Republican given that his name recognition is not particularly high (more than half of respondents have no opinion of him).
  • Over on the Senate race, Democrats have the same edge other polls have found: Lee Fisher leads Rob Portman 42% to 35%, Jennifer Brunner is ahead 40% to 36%. All three have good favorability ratings, though we should take into account the fact that Portman’s name recognition is lower.
  • The one good news for Democrats: Obama’s favorability numbers are strong (59% to 35%). The one caveat is that Quinnipiac’s poll measured his approval rating, so we’re not comparing the same thing.

With three polls released by three different pollsters finding Strickland well under 50% and leading a lesser-known opponent by mid-single digits, there is no more doubt that Democrats are in for a tough fight. If voters do not feel that the economy has rebounded by the fall of 2010, Midwestern governors will be the recession’s most logical victims. We shall see the extent to which Strickland’s weakening numbers affect his party in the Senate race: Fisher and Brunner are systematically ahead of Portman, but the Republican has more room to grow as more voters have not heard about him.

In Texas, Perry leads Hutchison and Obama leads Romney

The Hutchison-Perry showdown is bound to be the mother of 2010 primaries, but it’s also sure to be very hard to poll since it won’t be easy to determine the turnout universe and the enthusiasm of both sides’ supporters. That said, the conventional wisdom going into the race was that Kay Bailey Hutchison would be the heavy favorite to win the gubernatorial nomination. The first poll of the race had her leading by 25%. Yet, polls released since then have struck a fatal blow to those expectations, and the latest survey from the University of Texas goes as far as to show the incumbent Governor is leading 38% to 26%.

While the poll’s MoE is a large 5%, those are great trendlines for Perry - Hutchison led by 6% in UT’s March poll. And I do believe that the Governor has more to gain as the campaign unfolds: His ideology fits better with the state’s Republican base and as such he is well positioned to take an advantage once the campaign heats up and passions flare.

One fascinating nugget in the poll: Obama is ahead of Romney 36% to 34%. Sure, that’s a lot of undecideds we’re talking about - but for a Democrat to lead in any Texas survey is well worth signaling and it’s a clear response to those who worry Obama has already lost the vote of typically conservative-leaning independents.

Minnesota’s first gubernatorial poll that tests Coleman

It’s barely been a week since Norm Coleman conceded the Senate race but PPP has already tested his strength in a potential gubernatorial race. The result: Coleman’s favorability rating stands at a disastrous 38-52 and voters say 2-1 that his handling of the Senate recount makes them less likely to support him in future races. And yet, Coleman remains competitive against three potential Democratic opponents: He trails former Senator Mark Dayton 41% to 39%, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak 43% to 37%; he leads 42% to 34% against state Rep. Margaret Kelliher.

Those numbers suggest Coleman could be competitive in a 2010 race, but they certainly should not make him confident: His name recognition is far higher than that any of the Democrats he was tested against (even Dayton’s) and the fact that he fails to break 40% suggests that his image might have been irremediably deteriorated not only by the recount saga but also by the brutal negativity of his campaign against Franken.

Also, don’t forget that it’s very unclear who will run in this gubernatorial race: None of the four politicians tested by PPP have declared their candidacy. As such, it will take a long time to draw any conclusions as to which party - let alone who - is expected to win the governorship. For those who are really into this contest, Politics in Minnesota has prepared this handy chart tracking the more than 40 politicians (!) who have been mentioned as potential contenders.

Second consecutive poll finds New Jersey tightening

Jon Corzine is still hovering around the 40% mark, but at least he has cut his deficit and gotten Chris Christie back under 50%. After mid-June’s primary, Rasmussen was the first pollster to find the Republican getting majority support; now, their latest poll has him ahead 46% to 39%. The trendline is within the margin of error, but it also comes just days after a Farleigh Dickinson survey showed Corzine facing his smallest deficitsince April. The Governor has a long way to go before he even gets in a competitive position; but his campaign has just started going negative and trying to define Christie, so we will have to see how those efforts go.


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Monitoring House members looking for a promotion

Corrine Brown forms exploratory committee

To many people’s surprise, Rep. Corrine Brown hinted last week that she might run in Florida’s Senate race and used the opportunity to offer a harsh indictement of declared candidate Kendrick Meek’s seriousness. (“I just think the state needs more than someone who’s there to talk a great game, smile and take pictures,” she said.) Now, Brown has announced the formation of an exploratory committee. This will allow her to raise money for the statewide race and start thinking about the bid without determining herself.

And yet, she set quite a long timetable as to when she will make up her mind, saying (via Senate Guru) that she will decide within the next six months. Whatever you might think about the prospects of a Brown candidacy if she were to jump in now, it is difficult to see how she would mount a strong campaign if she were to only start her campaign in December. Since the start of the year, Meek has maneuvered unexpectedly well to position himself as the dominant front-runner for the Democratic nomination. By the end of the year, Meek is likely to have mounted too strong a campaign operation to be that vulnerable.

Start to raise money would be a way for Brown address that, but it would not help her stop the unexpectedly quick flow of establishment support that has poured on Meek (starting with Bill Clinton’s rare support and the SEIU’s endorsement). Over the next few months, all those who are looking to halt the ambitious Governor will turn towards Meek - the only declared candidate. Meek has proved too serious a candidate for Brown to delay an official announcement if she is serious about the race.

Carolyn Maloney stepping up preparations

The next few weeks are crucial in New York Senate’s race: There is little doubt that Rep. Carlyn Maloney wants to run, but will she keep up her resolve once she receives calls from Rahm Emanuel and even Barack Obama? City Hall is now reporting that Maloney’s camp looks undaunted by the pressure and that it has hired 2 top-notch political staffers - a sign that she has her sights on a statewide race since she is as safe in the House as can be. (A similar clue was dropped in April, when Maloney hired a statewide finance director.) Sources within Maloney’s camp say that she is looking looking to make an “indication of her candidacy” by the end of the month, at which time she could launch a major fundraising push.

At the same time, the same sources caution that “she has made no definitive decision.” This somewhat contrasts with the fact that they say she is aware that she has to move quickly to avoid being subjected to too much pressure. If that was so, why would her camp signal that she is still open to changing her mind - a statement that is just inviting the party’s heavy-hitters not to release the pressure since they know it might still be successful. Might this be a way for Maloney to telegraph that she would be willing to abandon the race in exchange for more political influence?

In the article, the congresswoman’s entourage claims that internal polls have been taken that show Maloney leading Gillibrand by 20%. The same was said about Steve Israel, though it is certainly noteworthy that neither he nor Maloney chose to leak these surveys - nor have public polls found similar results. I do not doubt that Maloney would be a tough opponent for Gillibrand to beat, but I am skeptical that her name recognition is high enough for polls to find such a large deficit so early.

Not much action among Minnesota’s delegation

While an impressively large number of state lawmakers think they have what it takes to make it to the Governor’s Mansion - I’ve counted a total of nine from both parties -  almost none of the current members of Congress look interested. This is not that surprising: Unlike what happens in smaller states, these representatives represent too small a portion of Minnesota to make naturally formidable statewide candidates and to hope they might clear the primary field.

Let’s first review the Democratic representatives. Tim Walz (1st district) had said earlier this year that he would not run for Governor. There were questions as to whether Pawlenty’s retirement might lead him to reassess, but he reiterated that he will not be jumping in. Keith Ellison (5th district) has already endorsed Matt Entenza’s bid. Collin Peterson (7th district) and James Oberstar (8th district) occupy senior positions in the House - Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and of the Transportation Committee, respectively - and it is unthinkable to imagine them jeopardize that.

On the Republican side, Erik Paulsen (3rd district) was just elected to the House a few months ago, so an attempt to get a promotion would not be viewed as credible. Michelle Bachmann (6th district) has been mentioned as a potential contender, but she is too ambitious to risk the national platform her House seat gives her - especially since she certainly would not be guaranteed the GOP nomination; her office has sought to squash speculation, though saying “I don’t think so” is not exactly the strongest of denials.

Remains Betty McCollum (4th district), a Democrat who has served in the House since 2000, and John Kline (2nd district), a Republican who has been in office since 2002. Both have held office for long enough that they would make credible candidates but they have not had the time to attract enough seniority to necessarily want to stick around the House. While an open seat in MN-04 would not be competitive (Obama received 64%), Democrats could have a shot at picking up MN-02 if Kline retires: John McCain received 50% of the vote last fall.


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Pawlenty will retire: A decision with major implications for 2010, 2012 and redistricting

Unlike 17 of his fellow Governors who are barred from seeking a third term in 2010, Tim Pawlenty is not limited from doing so as Minnesota has no term limit law. Yet, Pawlenty is set to announce that he will retire - a move that creates the cycle’s 18th open gubernatorial race and that has clear implications for the 2012 presidential election.

As a potential (even probable) presidential candidate, Pawlenty must have been thinking of former Virginia Senator George Allen in trying to make up his mind. Considered the early front-runner for the GOP’s 2008 nomination, Allen unexpectedly lost his re-election race in 2006 - a defeat that destroyed his presidential ambitions. By contrast, Mitt Romney declined to run for re-election in Massachusetts, thus avoiding the possibility of a high-profile.

Facing mediocre poll numbers, Pawlenty must have known that Democrats would make sure to make his re-election race one of the most contested of the cycle. Why take the huge risk of running for a third term, then, when two full terms as Governor already provide enough experience for Pawlenty to justify a presidential campaign? Add to that the fact that Pawlenty will be free to travel in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina throughout 2011 and the decision cannot have been that difficult.

As for the gubernatorial race, this development does not dramatically improve Democratic prospects since Pawlenty was already certain to face a competitive re-election race. With at least one formidable Republican potentially waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen whether Democrats’ chances of winning an open seat will be at all higher than those of beating Pawlenty, who won his 2006 re-election race by the thinnest of margins.

Depending on who runs and who moves on to the general election, the race should settle somewhere between “lean Democratic” and “toss-up.” That is to say that the the GOP’s prospects should not be underestimated.

Minnesota might have a Democratic history, but it remains a swing state. Republicans have had their share of success - particularly in 2002, when Pawlenty and Coleman won statewide races, and in 2008, when they Coleman performed better than other similarly vulnerable Senators and when the NRCC won the highly contested MN-03 open seat. Most remarkably, Democrats have been shut out of the Governor’s mansion since 1991!

The GOP’s bet to win the general election could be former Rep. Jim Ramstad, a moderate Republican who retired from the 3rd district in 2008. But Minnesota’s nomination procedures are dominated by conventions and it difficult to see how Ramstad could win the nod of party activists. On the other side of the spectrum is Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a far-right firebrand; her popularity among the GOP base would make a strong contender in the primary but she would have obvious electability issues: A statewide race in Minnesota is not quite the same thing as a race for a red-leaning House district.

Other potential Republican candidates include Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau, state House Minority Leader Mary Seifert, businessman Brian Sullivan and Rep. John Kline. The most intriguing possibility is Norm Coleman, who could attempt a political comeback. But the former Senator’s unfavorability rating is high after last year’s campaign - and only it is rising during his challenge to Franken’s victory. Add to that the fact that he lost statewide races in 1998 and in 2008 and the GOP would be well-advised to take another route.

Democrats have an absurdly long list of contenders who are eying the race. Former Senator Mark Dayton, former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, state Senator John Marty, state Senator Tom Bakk and state Rep. Paul Thissen have all taken the first steps in planning runs. Other potential candidates include House Speaker Margaret Anderson, state Senator Tarryl Clark, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Rep. Tim Walz had ruled out challenging Pawlenty, but he might be more interested in an open race. With such a long list of contenders who are not only mentioned but are actually known to be interested in the race, it will take a while for any clarity to emerge.

It’s also very much possible that the Independence Party fields a credible candidate - as it did in the 1998 and 2002 gubernatorial races and in the 2008 senatorial run. Such a scenario would not unfold for many more months.

As if the intrigue of the presidential undertones and the drama of the crowded field of contenders were not enough reason to follow this election, the stakes are very high because of the upcoming redistricting. Democrats have a huge leads in both chambers of the state legislature, so all they all they need to control the redrawing of legislative boundaries is the Governor’s Mansion. If they pick-up the position, they can bolster some of their marginal districts (MN-01 and MN-05, for instance) while drawing freshman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) a much tougher district than the one he was able to win last year; they could also try to make liffe difficult for Bachmann. If Republicans hold the Governor’s mansion, they could force a bipartisan map - thus protecting Paulsen and Bachmann.


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Gubernatorial polls: GOP has edge in Virginia, Oklahoma and Minnesota

Virginia: McAuliffe leads the Democratic race, struggles in general

Less than two weeks remain before the Democratic primary in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Over the past month, it has become clear that the long-deadlocked battle was breaking Terry McAuliffe’s way; 3 new surveys suggest that, while he has not been able to build on his lead, the former DNC Chairman remains in control:

  • Research 2000 has McAuliffe ahead with 36%, compared with to 22% for Brian Moran and 13% for Creigh Deeds. (In April, Moran led 24% to 19% for McAuliffe.)
  • SUSA has McAuliffe leading with 37%; Deeds gets 26% and Moran 22%. (In April, McAuliffe received 38% compared to 22% for his two rivals.)
  • PPP, finally, shows McAuliffe at 29% with his two rivals tied at 20%.

As soon as he entered the race, it became clear that McAuliffe was the man to beat and his opponents had to rely on his potentially polarizing profile. Yet, the fact that this is a 3-way race makes it difficult for one person to put together a coalition strong enough to defeat the front-runner: Voters might be skeptical enough of the former DNC Chairman that he would find it difficult to reach 50% in a a 2-way race, but can such a well-funded candidate fall so low that he’ll fail to win a 3-way race?

Curiously, R2000 and PPP find widely different favorability ratings for McAuliffe among Democratic voters. For PPP, his rating stands at a dismal 36/37; for R2000, it stands at an impressive 62/19. What gives? Unfortunately for Democrats, there is no doubt that all of their candidates are unpopular among the electorate at large. R2000 shows they all have pathetic favorability ratings: 35/36 for Moran, 35/36 for Deeds and 37/40 for McAuliffe.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bob McDonnell is enjoying a far more impressive favorability rating (53/33), which helps explains why he enjoys solid general election leads:

  • SUSA has McDonnell leading Deeds 46% to 40%, McAuliffe 46% to 40% and Moran 37% to 37%.
  • Research 2000 has McDonnell ahead of Moran 42% to 35%, of McAuliffe 44% to 34% and of Deeds 45% to 32%. (Those are all far wider leads than he enjoyed in April, when he was ahead of Moran by only 1% and of McAuliffe and Deeds by only 7%.)

The good news for Democrats is that they have five months to improve their nominee’s numbers and take down McDonnell by dragging him into the fray; the bad news is that they really have a lot of work to do.

Oklahoma: Despite strong Democratic candidates, Fallin in the lead

Two days ago, I wrote about PPP’s poll of Oklahoma’s Senate race; the following day, they released a survey of the open gubernatorial contest. While Republicans are expected to have the upper-hand considering Oklahoma’s conservatism, Democrats have as strong candidates as they could hope - and that makes these all the more striking:

  • GOP Rep. Mary Fallin leads Attorney General Drew Edmondson 48% to 38%; she leads Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins 50% to 34%.
  • Former Rep. J.C. Watts is ahead of Edmondson 47% to 39%; he leads Askins 47% to 36%.

Watts announced that he would not run for Governor this morning. That clears Fallin’s primary path - and this poll suggests she might have an easy time winning the general election as well. After all, Edmondson and Askins are both major contenders. In particular, Edmondson has served as Attorney General since 1994: He is a well-known figure and it does not bode well for Democrats’ competitiveness in the state that even he trails by double-digits.

Minnesota: If he runs, Pawlenty has early edge

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has several tough political choices to make: Should he sign Al Franken’s certificate if the Minnesota Supreme Court rules in his favor? Should he run for Governor in 2010? And should he run for President in 2012? These questions are made all the more difficult by the fact that they are interrelated. In particular: Could running for re-election harm Pawlenty’s ‘12 chances? In 2006, George Allen’s midterm defeat forced him out of the presidential race.

A new SUSA survey tries to answer the question by testing Pawlenty against a bizarrely large pool of nine Democrats. The short take: Pawlenty starts with the early edge, but he is very far from safe. The longer take:

  • Against former Senator Mark Dayton (who has said he might run) Pawlenty leads 47% to 43%.
  • Against Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Pawlenty leads 47% to 42%. He is also held under 50% by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, 48% to 37%. Rybak and Coleman have both said they are not running.
  • Pawlenty is above 50% and has leads between 14% and 19% against all other Democrats: state Rep. Paul Thissen, state Senator Tom Bakk, state Senator John Marty, state Speaker Margaret Kelliher, County Attorney Susan Gaertner and former state Rep. Matt Entenza.

Needless to say, most of these potential challengers are completely unknown to statewide voters. The take-home lesson: Unlike some of his colleagues, Pawlenty is not so unpopular that he trails a credible opponent; but he is also not strong enough to expect an easy re-election race. (He should remember that Democrats are sure to target him if he runs.)


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Dayton mulls Minnesota return

Earlier today, I talked about Rick Lazio’s re-appearance in New York politics. But another old political name surfaced in the news this week-end: former Senator Mark Dayton, who is reportedly planning a gubernatorial run in Minnesota. (The Star Tribune reports he launched an explanatory bid this week-end.)

Dayton could face very different circumstances than Lazio if he decides to challenge Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty.

For one, Minnesota Democrats are anything but desperate: Barack Obama secured a strong victory in November, and Al Franken appears to have unseated Senator Norm Coleman (pending a court challenge, of course). While New York Republicans are desperate for anyone who can put them back on track, Minnesota Democrats are confident they can unseat Pawlenty and they are not looking for a providential savior. In fact, there is a large crowd of contenders pressing themselves at the gate.

Second, Dayton might not have left office after a loss, but his departure occurred in arguably more difficult conditions than Lazio’s. As the 2006 cycle was launched, first-term Senator Dayton looked like the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, and many in the party believed that Dayton was too vulnerable to win re-election. Much like Florida’s Mel Martinez did this year, Dayton chose not to run for re-election, paving the way for Democrats to run Amy Klobuchar who held the seat with unexpected ease. Will this make Dayton into an attractive option for state Democrats?

On the other hand, Dayton has said that he feels much better suited for an executive job than to a legislative one - a contrast other politicians have invoked in recent years (North Carolina outgoing Governor Mike Easley ruled out Senate runs saying he would be bored in committee hearings, and Democrats are terrified Kathleen Sebelius is feeling some version of  that fear) - and he opened the door to a gubernatorial run as early as 2006. This could be a way for him to justify his quick exit from the Senate and to argue that he is well-suited for the Governor’s mansion.

He could even turn the 2006 events to his advantage, using it to portray himself as so disgusted by Washington’s twisted games that he wanted to come back to St. Paul. After all, Minnesota is more sensible than most states to anti-Washington messages.

Interestingly, Dayton’s return coincides with a number of other prominent Democrats making news. A number of state legislators have already filed paperwork to prepare statewide bids, and other contenders are rumored to be eying a run; those include state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Rybak. Both Coleman and Rybak announced in recent weeks that they would seek re-election, but the mayoral elections will be held in 2009; that means that both could quickly turn around and run for Governor the year after.

And all of this is unfolding before the 2008 Senate run is even resolved! Currently, both sides are preparing for the upcoming start of the legal proceedings, which are expected to take up to two months. In fact, Al Franken is currently holding fundraisers in Washington, D.C. to fund his legal team in preparation for the trial. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Norm Coleman could emerge as a primary challenger to Governor Pawlenty if he loses his lawsuit and thus his Senate seat; that seems like an unlikely scenario, but stranger things have happened in Minnesota politics.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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