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


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Poll watch: Bayh crushes Coats, Pomeroy & Shea-Porter struggle, GOP solid in PA

Less than three weeks from Texas’s primaries

Earlier this week, PPP shook up our expectations as Kay Bailey Hutchison suddenly looked in danger of being knocked out of the runoff by libertarian Debra Medina. Since then, three new Texas surveys have been released, all with a differing take on what is likely to happen on March 2nd. Research 2000 finds a likely runoff between Rick Perry and Hutchison, who come in at 42% and 30% with Medina at a still-impressive 17%. The University of Texas has Rick Perry closer to a first round victory (he is at 45%, with 16% still undecided) and a stunningly close race for second, with Hutchison at 21% and Medina at 19%. Finally, a poll conducted by two partisan firms shows Hutchison in front of Medina (27% to 19%) but Perry so close to 50% that it might not matter.

But all of these surveys were conducted before Medina attracted fire not only from the mainstream press but also conservatives like Glenn Beck for expressing openness to the possibility that the government was involved in bringing down of the World Trace Center. “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” she said. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that. I’m certainly not into mind control or thought policing people.” This has gained a lot of coverage and should negatively affect her numbers. The question is: Does it help Perry cross 50% on March 2nd?

Two of these surveys also tested the general election, both finding Houston Mayor Bill White well within striking distance. In R2000, he trails Perry only 46% to 42%; he’s down 47-41 against Hutchison and 44-43 against Medina. The margins are larger according to the University of Texas, but both Perry and Hutchison are well under 50% (they lead 44-35 and 43-34, respectively); Medina and White are tied at 36%.

Bayh might not be that vulnerable after all

The week’s other very interesting poll comes from Indiana, where Research 2000 is the first pollster to test former Senator Dan Coats since he announced he was planning a political comeback two weeks ago. And the result is far less favorable than what the GOP was hoping to see: Coats’s favorability rating is only 38-34, weaker than former Rep. John Hosettler’s, which stands at 40-33. Evan Bayh, whose favorability rating stands at a solid 61-33, demolishes Coats 55% to 35%; against Hostettler, he is up by a narrower yet solid 53% to 37%.

A major reason Bayh has been painted as vulnerable in recent week is a Rasmussen survey showing him struggling against Mike Pence and against Hostettler; R2000 paints a very different situation, so it will certainly be interesting to see where other polls pit the race. Yet, Coats sure doesn’t look like a game-changer - and perhaps we should not be surprised at that: remember that he has not had his name on a ballot since 1992. The past 10 days have marked the first time most Indiana residents have heard about him in over a decade, and the coverage has been remarkably negative, which explains the rough welcome Coats has gotten as he has started to hit the trail.

House

VA-05: Given the number of House surveys that have found Democratic incumbents sinking (SUSA in AR-02, IN-09 and OH-01, most notably), we could have expected Rep. Tom Perriello to be in far worse shape than PPP finds him in. One of the NRCC’s top targets, Perriello is tied against state Senator Robert Hurt, 44% to 44%; the Democrat manages leads ranging from 4% to 10% against other GOP candidates. (While they might have a lower-profile, don’t forget how often we have seen unknown Republicans grab leads against incumbent Democrats lately.) Making matters more complicated is the prospect that former Rep. Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated in 2008, run as an independent: Boosted by a 57-28 favorability rating, Goode ties Perriello at 41%, with Hurt at 12%.

ND-AL: Tom Pomeroy might be keeping his head above water, but Earl Pomeroy is more vulnerable than is commonly believed, at least according to Rasmussen’s new poll. Like many of his colleagues, the 17-year incumbent finds himself trailing against Republicans he probably would have crushed in most cycles: against state Rep. Rick Berg, he is down 46% to 40%. While he maintains a 45-44 edge over Kevin Cramer, he has defeated him twice before, making this result underwhelming. Pomeroy does have a 47-38 edge over low-profile Paul Schaffner, but even then he remains under the 50% threshold. Put ND-AL in the column of truly endangered districts few expected would be vulnerable as 2009 started.

NH-01 and NH-02: In addition to releasing a Senate race (see below), UNH conducted a poll of both of New Hampshire’s districts, finding a very tough landscape for Democrats. (An important caveat: the margin of error is a large 6.2%.) In NH-01, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is in a truly terrible position, failing to garner more than 33% whoever she faces and leading 43% to 33% against former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta. In NH-02, left open by Democrat Paul Hodes, former GOP Rep. Charlie Bass would be favored to regain his old seat if he runs: He leads Ann McLane Kuster 39% to 28% and Katrina Swett 37% to 30%. Sure, Bass’s name recognition is higher but New Hampshire does seem fertile ground for Republicans this year.

Senate

New Hampshire: Two different polls found remarkably similar results and confirmed what surveys have found over and over again since last fall, namely that Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has built a comfortable but stable lead over Rep. Paul Hodes. UNH has her ahead 41% to 33% while Rasmussen pits it at 46% to 39%. However, other Republicans are weaker: Hodes leads decisively against Ovide Lamontagne (38-29 in UNH, 44-38 in Rasmussen), while it is closer against William Binnie (he’s up 34-30 in UNH, trails 42-41 in Rasmussen). A recent Research 2000 poll showed that Ayotte is far from certain of winning the primary, but the fact that Hodes is trailing against a relatively unknown businessman is a bad sign for voters’ willingness to vote Democratic.

Missouri: Rasmussen might be the only pollster to find Robin Carnahan trailing outside of the margin of error, but today marked the second poll they have released with such a finding: Weighed down by Barack Obama’s 40-59 approval rating, Carnahan trails Rep. Roy Blunt 49% to 42%. Though Carnahan would likely have an edge in normal circumstances, Missouri is conservative enough that it should not surprise us to see Blunt carried by the GOP currents.

North Dakota: No miracle for Democrats in North Dakota, where Governor John Hoeven looks even more formidable than conventional wisdom dictates according to Rasmussen’s latest poll. Not only does he enjoy an eye-popping 85% approval rating, but he crushes state Senator Potter and former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp 71-17 and 65-29, respectively. This has got to be all the more frustrating for Democrats that Heitkamp’s has a respectable favorability rating (54-36).

Louisiana: Here’s one race Democrats will not be contesting come November. It’s been obvious for weeks that Rep. Charlie Melancon’s hopes of pulling off an upset have been fading, but the Rasmussen survey with Senator David Vitter leading 57% to 33% is brutal for Democrats. With a 67% to 26% favorability rating, Vitter’s standing bears no trace of the D.C. Madam scandal.

Pennsylvania: With Senate Democrats in bad shape in Delaware, Arkansas or Nevada, they cannot afford to lose but Rasmussen finds Pat Toomey leading Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak by decisive margins: 47-38 and 43-35, respectively. I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again. I am not sure how a five-term senator can survive trailing by 9% and struggling to break 40%, while Pennsylvanians should be more open to voting for the lesser-known Sestak; that also explains why Toomey is further from 50% in the latter match-up. Yet, Specter manages to keep a comfortable lead in the primary: 51% to 36%. That might have been an encouraging back in the fall, but three months from Election Day, the time has come for Sestak to gain traction.

Governor

Colorado: Rasmussen confirms that replacing Governor Bill Ritter with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has improved Democratic prospects. While Ritter was weighed by a negative approval rating, Hickenlooper is popular (his favorability rating is 56-36); while Ritter trailed Scott McInnis in most late 2009 surveys, Hickenlooper leads 49% to 45%. That might not be anything for Democrats to celebrate, but it does leave them in a better position not just to defend the Governor’s Mansion but perhaps also the Senate seat.

Ohio: The good news for Ted Strickland is that his numbers are no longer in free fall. The bad news is that he stopped the bleeding too late not to look highly endangered. Weighed down by a negative approval rating (46-53) and facing a challenger that appears popular (John Kasich’s favorability rating is 47-30), Strickland trails 47% to 41% according to Rasmussen; that’s slightly less than in January, but it leaves him in a rough spot. Might Ohio Democrats have something to learn something from Colorado?

Illinois: The first poll taken since the Illinois primary found Governor Pat Quinn in a stronger position than he looked to be a few weeks ago, perhaps due to a bounce resulting from the coverage of his victory. Against state Senator Bill Brady, Quinn leads 42% to 31%, with 4% going to Green Party nominee Rich Whitney; against state Senator Kirk Dillard, who trails the GOP primary by 400 votes and has not conceded, Quinn is up 41% to 35%. An important caveat: The poll was conducted by Victory Research, a group I had never heard before.

Pennsylvania: Now that he has gotten rid of Jim Gerlach’s primary threat, Attorney General Tom Corbett looks unstoppable in Rasmussen’s latest poll: He crushes Jack Wagner 49-29, Joe Hoeffel 51-29 and Dan Onorato 52-26. While this is nothing we haven’t seen before, and even if we account for Rasmussen representing the GOP-friendly end of the polling spectrum, the margins by which Corbett is demolishing his opponents bode ill for other Pennsylvania Democrats.

Michigan: Rasmussen’s poll of this wide open race confirms the GOP can be optimistic since Republican candidates lead 11 of 12 trial heats. Only Speaker Andy Dillon  manages a 36-35 edge over Attorney General Mike Cox, though he trails 40-32 against Sheriff Mike Bouchard and 41-34 against Rep. Pete Hoekstra. The other important match-ups concern Lansing Mayor Van Bernero, who trails by 6%, 9% and 13%, respectively. This poll is somewhat surprising, since EPIC-MRA has repeatedly shown Cox to be the strongest Republican in the general election; it is also striking that Democrats looked to be in worse shape when Lieutenant Governor John Cherry was in the race. Cherry never looked to be within striking distance, whereas Bernero and Dillon do.


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Weekly update: As Coats’s baggage mounts, Dems land their first candidates in DE & ND

The 2010 cycle got its official launch this week as Illinois hosted the first primary of the year. State voters put an end to brutal intraparty battles, though the GOP’s gubernatorial primary has yet to produce a clear winner (more on Illinois soon.) The other states that monopolized our attention are Delaware, where New Castle County Executive Chris Coons entered the Senate race, and Indiana, where former Senator Dan Coats came out of nowhere to announce he was preparing to challenge the man who replaced him, Evan Bayh.

While Coats is obviously a major threat to Bayh’s re-election, his move in the race was followed by an avalanche of stories that he will struggle to overcome. The latest episode: A video filmed in 2008 in which he says he is planning to retire in North Carolina, footage that could haunt him the same way Tom Dashle’s “I’m a D.C. resident” damaged his 2004 campaign. This video will be all the more damaging that Coats changed his voter registration to Virginia as soon as he left office ten years ago. The continued drip of revelations about Coats’s lobbying clients is also sure to give Democrats major ammunition. Coats spent ten years paying no attention to how his actions and words might play in an electoral context, which is now making him an opposition researchers’ dream.

In North Dakota, Democrats got their first Senate candidate: first-term state Senator Tracy Potter announced this week he will take on Governor John Hoeven. (Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp had been getting the most buzz, but she has yet to clarify her plans.) The Republican is obviously heavily favored to pick-up this seat and while Democrats now have a credible candidate in case Hoeven self-implodes due to some bizarre scandal, that’s probably all Potter can pull off.

Interestingly, Potter has a long political career that started with his activism on behalf of North Dakotan Eugene McCarthy in the 1972 presidential election. While the Democrat plans to tout himself as a centrist, the Grand Folk Herald notes that he was a prominent member of the Prairie Campaign for Economic Democracy, a group that sought to strengthen the state party’s progressive wing in the 1970s; in 1980, he walked out of the Democratic convention in protest over Jimmy Carter’s renomination. Another interesting fact: In 1984, he lost the Democratic primary to be insurance commissioner to Earl Pomeroy, who went on to win the general election and now serves in the House.

In Arkansas, Rep. John Boozman formally announced his challenge to Senator Blanche Lincoln. Since it was already all but certain he would do so 9 days ago, I already analyzed his move at length last week and I refer you to that post for why Boozman’s entry goes a long way towards sealing Lincoln’s fate and why the GOP is clearly favored to defend his open seat (AR-03).

In Maryland, it is looking increasingly likely former Governor Bob Ehrlich will seek a rematch against Marty O’Malley, who defeated him in 2006. The Washington Post reports Ehrlich has been lining up fundraising events; “I’m willing to serve,” he said to the Post. While he added he would not make up his mind until March, that alone signals he is leaning towards running: pulling out of the race so late would make it next to impossible for the GOP to find a back-up. Larry Hogan, who looked like the probable Republican nominee before the Ehrlich buzz increased, ended his exploratory committee this week. “I am convinced [Ehrlich] will run,” he explained.

In Connecticut, both parties have their front-runners but there is still movement. On the Democratic side, state Senator Gary D. LeBeau announced this week he was dropping out, which leaves four candidates in the primary. The Republican side got a new entry: Mark Boughton, who has served as the Mayor of Danbury since 2001. Danbury is a decent-sized city whose population hovers around 80,000, so expect Boughton to be a player in the Republican primary; Quinnipiac’s most recent poll found a wide open field with Tom Foley at 17%, Lieut. Gov. Michael Fedele at 8% and Boughton at 6%.

In California, Rep. Jackie Speier ruled out leaving her House seat this week, despite mounting rumors that she was preparing to run for California Attorney General. Her retirement would have created a fierce Democratic primary in her staunchly blue seat, but it would have been all but impossible to envision a competitive general election (Kerry and Obama both received more than 70% in CA-12). Another Democrat who confirmed his re-election plans this week is Tennessee’s Rep. Lincoln Davis. While he had already said he would run, the GOP still hoped it could push him towards the exit and have a shot at an open seat in a district that voted for McCain by 30%.

While I typically publish my weekly update on Sunday, I had left time to blog today so I am posting this post (which is prepared through the week) today and shall have time to do something else tomorrow.

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:

Will retire Rep. John Boozman (R, AR-03)
Will not retire Rep. Jackie Speier (D, CA-12)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D, TN-04)
Added to retirement watch Rep. Bill Delahunt (D, MA-10)
Rep. Diane Watson (D, CA-33)

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

AR-Sen, GOP Rep. John Boozman announced run
DE-Sen, Dem New Castle County Executive Chris Coons announced run
IL-Sen, Dem Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won nomination
IL-Sen, GOP Rep. Mark Kirk won nomination
IN-Sen, GOP former Senator Dan Coats exploring run
Secretary of State Todd Rokita ruled out run
KY-Sen, Dem doctor Jack Buckmaster is running
Darlene Price is running
businessman Maurice Sweeney is running
KY-Sen, GOP former Ambassador Cathy Bailey will not run
Bill Johnson is running
Gurley Martin is running
Jon Scribner is running
ND-Sen, Dem state Senator Tracy Potter is running
NY-Sen-A, GOP CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow added
WA-Sen, GOP former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi added

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

CT-Gov, Dem state Senator Gary D. LeBeau dropped out
CT-Gov, GOP Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton is running
IL-Gov, Dem Governor Pat Quinn won primary
MD-Gov, GOP Lawrence J. Hogan dropped out
MN-Gov, GOPDFL former state Senator Steve Kelley dropped out

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An epic polling roundup to get our minds off Massachussetts

Research 2000 and ARG just released two of Massachussetts’s final polls - if not the final polls. ARG found a 7% lead for Brown (52% to 45%), up 4% from where he was just last week. Research 2000, meanwhile, found… a tie: Scott Brown and Martha Coakley receive 48% apiece, a testament to how unpredictable the contest remains heading into Election Day. While at this point any poll that doesn’t have Brown ahead is a relief for Democrats, I don’t have to tell you that even that survey is rough for Coakley: Just last week, Research 2000 found her ahead by 8%, which makes this yet another poll to found stunning momentum for the Republican.

Yet, Research 2000 also confirms the hypothesis I enunciated this morning, as an update to last night’s post: Coakley performs better in polls that include Libertarian nominee Joe Kennedy, who will be on the ballot tomorrow. Pajamas Media and PPP, which gave Brown large leads yesterday, did not include Kennedy at all; surveys that have the race within the margin of error do include Kennedy, who for instance receives 3% in Research 2000. There’s every reason to believe that Kennedy is drawing his voters from the conservative camp, so if the race is close his presence on the ballot could allow Coakley to shave off a few points off Brown compared to PPP’s survey. (ARG’s website appears to be down, so I cannot determine whether they included him.)

It’s hard to think of anything but Massachussetts, but let’s try to do just that: Over the past week, there was so much news to cover that I ignored an avalanche of polls, to which I’ll now get to. Now that we’ve entered 2010, there will be more and more surveys released weekly - even daily - so I will obviously not attempt to cover each one in as much detail as I did over the past year; I will however start with polls that are testing election we’ve seen little data on. Today, those consist in 3 House districts and 2 Western Governor’s races.

(Yes, this is a fairly long post… but I let polls accumulate without covering them for more than a week, so I wanted to get to them all at once to make sure I can focus on Massachussetts and other important news after this!)

Three House races find mixed results for Dems

NC-08: PPP managed to find a freshman Democrat from a swing district with solid standing! In NC-08, a district that swung from Bush to Obama, not only does Rep. Larry Kissell have a strong approval rating (45% to 30%), but he displays no sign of vulnerability in three match-ups against his challengers, leading Lou Huddleston 55% to 37%, Tom D’Annunzio 54% to 38%, Hal Jordan 55% to 39% and Harold Johnson 53% to 39%. Sure, none of these Republicans have much name recognition, but consider all the polls we have seen recently in which incumbent Democrats have struggled to mount any sort of lead against unknown opponents. Yet, not only is Kissell up big but he’s also topping 50%.

ND-AL: The DCCC is relieved Rep. Earl Pomeroy decided to seek re-election, but it doesn’t mean he is a shoo-in to win another term. A new poll by Research 2000 finds him solidly ahead of all of his competitors Kevin Cramer and Duane Sand, but he fails to clear 50% against either. (He’s ahead 46-24 and 47-22, respectively.) This is all the more problematic when you consider that Republicans are 5 times more likely to be undecided than Democrats, so the GOP candidates have a lot of room to grow once they introduce themselves, and the NRCC especially has hope in Cramer (North Dakota Public Service Commissioner). In short: Pomeroy has a good standing and he is clearly favored to win re-election, but he is not safe.

OH-01: If Kissell and Pomeroy look strong, Rep. Steve Driehaus is sinking according to a SUSA poll commissioned by FiredogLake. We already knew that this freshman Democrat was one of the most endangered of the cycle (he is facing a rematch against the Republican he ousted in 2008, and OH-01 is a district with a substantial African-American population, so a drop in black turnout compared to the past cycle would be particularly hurtful to his chances), but SUSA’s numbers are uglier than even optimistic Republicans surely expected: Driehaus trails 39% to 56% for former Rep. Steve Chabot. I don’t need to tell you the odds that an incumbent who trails by 17% might win re-election. (Coincidentally, this is the same exact margin SUSA found against Rep. Vic Snyder on Friday.)

An unexpected Dem opportunity in UT, door is closing in OK

Utah: Democrats were excited at Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Coroon’s decision to challenge Governor Herbert, and a Deseret News poll confirms that Coroon could make the race well-worth watching: Herbert leads 48% to 35%, down from his 56-32 lead back in November. There’s no question that Herbert is heavily favored, but Coroon does represent one third of the state’s population in a capacity that ensures he is a visible presence. At the very least, Coroon’s presence on the ballot could help Democrats ensure that Rep. Jim Matheson isn’t a victim of any potential red wave.

Oklahoma: Whatever Oklahoma’s staunchly conservative status, Democrats had enough of a bench they were expecting to mount a highly competitive bid to defend the state’s governorship. (Governor Henry is term-limited.) Yet, a Tulsa News poll finds that Lieut. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmonson are no match for Rep. Mary Fallin; despite their strong favorability rating (Edmonson’s stands at 51-31), they trail the Republican 52% to 36% and 51% to 39%, respectively. A former Lieutenant Governor, Fallin is well-known and popular (54% to 29%). Democrats shouldn’t entirely give up, but the race most certainly leans Republican.

Connecticut and North Dakota won’t be competitive

From the moment Senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd retired two weeks ago, we have known that the races to replace them are unlikely to be competitive. Three new poll confirm that John Hoeven and Richard Blumenthal are very heavily favored to be sworn into the Senate come January 2011.

North Dakota: Richard 2000 finds Hoeven leading 56% to 32% against Ed Schulz, 55% to 34% against former AG Heidi Heitkamp and 56% to 32% against Jasper Schneider. Sure, Hoeven’s lead doesn’t quite reach “overwhelming” status, but looking at the internals it’s hard to see a path to victory for whoever Democrats nominate: There are few undecideds, including among Democratic voters; Hoeven enjoys near unanimous support among Republicans; and he has daunting leads among independents.

Connecticut: We’ve already seen a few surveys displaying Blumenthal’s dominance, but over the past 5 days Quinnipiac and Research 2000 both released surveys confirming it. In Research 2000, Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 54% to 35%, Linda McMahon 56% to 34% and Peter Schiff 56% to 33%. In Quinnipiac, whose brutal numbers for Dodd were as responsible for driving the narrative of his doom than those of any other pollster, his leads are gigantic: 62% to 27% against Simmons, 64% to 23% against McMahon, 66% to 19% against Schiff. Everything can happen if Democrats aren’t careful (see neighboring Massachussetts), but Blumenthal isn’t Martha Coakley.

CO, NH, NV, OH: 4 key Senate races, 7 rough polls for Senate Democrats.

Ohio: Democrats led this open race for much of 2009, but Rasmussen’s new poll is its second in a row to find Rob Portman has grabbed the edge. He leads Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher 44% to 37% and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner 43% to 40%. These numbers are very interesting because the Democratic establishment holds Fisher to be a stronger candidate; yet, Portman increased his lead against Fisher whilelosing ground against Brunner! Overall, then, the two parties are roughly where they were in early December.

Colorado: This week, we received three surveys testing Colorado, which until this week an underpolled state:

  • Rasmussen has by far the worst set of results for Democrats: Senator Michael Bennet trails former Lieut. Gov. 49% to 37%, and he’s also behind lower-profile Tom Wiens (44% to 38%) and Ken Buck (43% to 38%). Former Speaker Andrew Romanoff trails Norton and Wiens by the same margin but is only behind Buck by 1%.
  • In response to these ugly numbers, Bennet released an internal poll, which might have found better results but he is still behind Jane Norton, 43% to 40%.
  • Finally, just this afternoon Research 2000 released the best news Bennet has received in quite some time: Bennet leads Norton 40% to 39%, Buck 41% to 38% and Wiens 42% to 38%; Romanoff trails Norton by 2% but leads Buck and Wiens by 1% and 2%.

There is quite a lot of disparity between these three surveys, and Bennet’s camp will be delighted that he finally manages a lead in a poll - even if it’s well within the MoE. That said, it is clear from all of these surveys that Bennet is stuck at 40% - a dismal place for an incumbent to be, even an appointed one. Colorado remains a major problem for Democrats.

New Hampshire: Another tough Rasmussen poll, since it shows that what once looked like a Democratic-leaning open seat might now be leaning Republican: Attorney General Kelly Ayotte leads Rep. Paul Hodes 49% to 40%. (This is roughly the same margin Rasmussen found in September.) Hodes does led lower-profile Republicans Ovide Lamontagne and Bill Binnie 45% to 38% and 43% to 37%, respectively. This is

Nevada: With everyone now aware that Harry Reid is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators, there’s been speculation that the party might try to convince him to pull a Chris Dodd, as in retire for the good of the party. But a new poll released last week revealed that Democrats don’t have a Blumenthal-like savior:

  • PPP found Harry Reid trailing Sue Lowden 51% to 41% and Danny Tarkanian 50% to 42% - very ugly margins for a longtime senator against second-tier challengers. Yet, the Republicans enjoy similar margins against other Democrats! Rep. Shelly Berkley trails by 8% against both; Rose Miller trails by 10% and 11%, respectively. Only Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman manages to stay on an equal footing: he ties Tarkanian at 41%, leads Lowden 42% to 40%.
  • If PPP’s numbers were ugly, how can we describe Rasmussen’s? Here, Reid is crushed Lowden 48% to 36% and Tarkanian 50% to 36%! He manages to stay close to former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, but even here he’s stuck at 40%, trailing 44% to 40%.

If polls showing other Democrats doing better than Reid started piling up, the party could hope to convince him to retire; but PPP’s survey cuts that hope short (Research 2000 will also soon release a similar poll), which allows Republicans to feel increasingly confident about picking-up Nevada.

OH, NV and MA: 3 key Governor’s races, three tough polls for Dems

Ohio: If Ted Strickland started 2009 as the clear favorite, he starts 2010 trailing former Rep. John Kasich. Rasmussen finds him trailing 47% to 40%, which is actually a 2% improvement over December’s numbers. Other surveys have found a closer race, but there’s no question that Strickland is in for a very tough battle.

Nevada: Rory Reid is in as much trouble as his father, only the position they’re vying for is different. Sure, Reid manages to lead incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons 43% to 36% in Mason Dixon’s poll, but considering that Gibbons is even more unpopular (his favorability rating is 18% to 53%) than David Paterson that doesn’t mean much; the favorite to win the Republican nomination, Brian Sandoval, crushes Reid 53% to 31%! In a three-way race involving Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who is considering running as an independent, Sandoval and Goodman are close (35% to 33% for the former), with 20% for Reid. There’s no mystery as to why: Reid’s favorability rating is 25% to 35%, Goodman’s 43-15 and Sandoval’s 36-5. Hard to explain Reid’s numbers by anything but his last name.

Massachussetts: Two new polls confirm that Martha Coakley isn’t the only struggling Massachussetts Democrat:

  • PPP shows that Governor Deval Patrick has a dismal approval rating of just 22%. In three-way races involving Treasurer Tom Cahill (as an independent) and one of his 2 Republican opponents, Patrick is ahead but he receives less than 30% (!) and leads whoever is in second place by just 2% or 3%. In both match-ups, the 3 candidates are within 8%.
  • The Boston Globe poll is more favorable to Patrick: His favorability rating is a bad but not horrendous 39/50 and his leads over Cahill are a bit larger. If the GOP nominee is Charlie Baker, Patrick receives 30, Cahill 23% and Baker 19%; if the GOP nominee is Mihos, the numbers are 32, 23 and 19 for Mihos.

Much will depend on how Cahill positions his campaign. A former Democrat, he has been inching closer to the right since announcing he would run as an independent, for instance asking a conservative Republican state legislator to join his ticket.

Democrats’ silver lining is definitely Connecticut

Not only did Chris Dodd’s retirement all but guarantee Democrats will save Connecticut’s Senate seat, but Research 2000 shows they can look forward to in the Governor’s race - and also the 2012 Senate contest. Susan Bysiewicz, who just dropped out of the race last week, was in a very strong position: she led Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele 52% to 33%, Tom Foley 51% to 35% and Mark Boughton 52% to 32%. But the Democrats left in the race look solid as well: Ned Lamont leads 46-36, 46-37 and 46-34 while Dan Malloney is up 44-35, 43-37 and 44-34, respectively.

Research 2000 also tested the 2012 Senate race. In a two-way general election match-up between Joe Lieberman and Chris Murphy, the representative leads the independent senator 45% to 26% - it’s quite stunning to see such a longtime senator fail to receive more than a quarter of the vote. Not only does Murphy crush Lieberman among Democrats (71% to 20%), but also among independents (41% to 22%). Democrats might fear a lot of losses in 2010, but at least Lieberman looks to have too low support to have much hope to win re-election in 2012.


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The new open seats: One heir apparent is already running, the other is in no hurry

Good thing some airports still have free wifi, since it allows me to bring you the latest from the newly opened Senate seats.

Connecticut: Blumenthal is in

Any fears Democrats might still have had after learning of Chris Dodd’s retirement late last night were dissipidated early this morning: Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has already announced he will seek the 30-year lawmaker’s Senate seat.

And we already have a poll (courtesy of PPP) showing just how wonderful a swap this is for Democrats. (No, PPP isn’t fast enough to have managed polling the race within a few hours; rather, they already had a survey out in the field testing potential Democratic replacements to see what might happen if Dodd were retire. That’s what one calls good timing.) The results are as decisive as the DSCC could hope for: Boosted by a high name recognition and by a very strong favorability rating (59% to 19%), Blumenthal crushes all three of his Republican opponents: 59% to 28% against former Rep. Rob Simmons, 60% to 28% against Linda McMahon, 63% to 23% against Peter Schiff.

On the other hand, PPP does show Dodd in a stronger position than other recent polls have, as he only trails Simmons 44% to 40%; he ties McMahon at 43% and leads Schiff 44% to 37%. But this doesn’t mean the poll makes him look electable: How can incumbent with a 29% approval rating (with 57% disapproving) have secured re-election?

Just how formidable a replacement Democrats have in Blumenthal is underscored by PPP’s match-ups involving Rep. Chris Murphy: the congressman leads both Simmons and McMahon by 7%, a far cry from the Attorney General’s 31% and 32% margins. (Note: While some have suggested Murphy could still run, I find that unlikely. For one, the speed with which Blumenthal jumped in suggests Democratic leaders coordinated his and Dodd’s announcements; they would strongly push back against Murphy. Second, Murphy is only 36 years old; if he has Senate ambitions, not only would he have a better chance of defeating Lieberman in 2012 but he could easily wait for either Lieberman or Blumenthal to retire.)

Simmons and McMahon’s failure to break the 30% mark against Blumenthal is all the more dramatic considering that they’ve reached such high levels when matched-up against Dodd. In late December, the senator’s campaign itself leaked an internal survey showing Simmons at 51% - a formidable showing for any challenger, and that was supposed to represent good news for Dodd. Earlier in the winter, Simmons beat Dodd 48% to 35% in Rasmussen and 49% to 38% in Quinnipiac.

In the past day, then, Simmons has gone from leading by double-digit to trailing by 31%. It doesn’t get much worse than that in electoral politics!

So is Senator Richard Blumenthal as foregone a conclusion as Senator John Hoeven and Governor Sam Brownback? Well, I did I explain last night the GOP shouldn’t give up all hope: Blumenthal has never had to run in a highly partisan battle, so we have to see how he would hold up under attack. While the same could be said of Hoeven, the difference is that the anti-Democratic winds could help Simmons or McMahon get state voters to give them a chance, whereas that will be tough to do for whoever is charged with going after Hoeven. But this is speculative at best: For the GOP to have even a small shot at making this race competitive requires them to commit to contesting CT and pour in a lot of money at the expense of the dozen more competitive Senate contests.

That any of this might happen is also unlikely because Simmons and McMahon will be too busy demolishing each other to concentrate on relentlessly attacking Blumenthal, as they’d have to do to have any chance at the general election.

The bottom line: In the space of 24 hours, what was the most endangered Democratic seat has fallen off the map. It might not be in the same category as ultra-safe Vermont and New York (Schumer), but the NRSC arguably has a better shot at unseating Barbara Boxer than of picking-up Connecticut, which is saying a lot.

North Dakota: Hoeven is in no hurry

The situation in the other now-open Senate seat will take a bit more time to get clear, as Joe Hoeven is in no hurry to announce anything; he told Politico he would announce his plans some time in the next two weeks. Yet, reports do indicate that (as is expected) he will jump in. Politico says his allies are hearing he will run, though the state GOP Chairman’s comments make it sound like he’s just sprouting off conventional wisdom without any hard info (”I expect Gov. Hoeven to get in, and he’s going to work through personal issues relating to his family, but I would be shocked if he’s not in the Senate race soon. He’s been showing signs of running and getting things cued up in preparation for a decision. It’s inevitable.”).

On the Democratic side, Rep. Earl Pomeroy has already made up his mind: he will not run. He would undoubtedly have been the party’s strongest shot at keeping the seat, but for him to go after Hoeven would have been a kamikaze move that would have likely cost Democrats both a Senate and a House seat. Swing State Project rounds up other possibilities for Democrats: former AG Heidi Heitkamp, former state Senator Joel Heitkamp (Heidi’s brother) and even talk show host Ed Schulz.

Colorado: Will Salazar return?

There might be no heir apparent to Bill Ritter, but an unexpected development has occurred: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is now considering running for Governor, and the White House is apparently giving him its blessing. We’ll talk about this more if it comes to pass, but until then I would love someone to explain to me why Salazar would agree to resign form the Senate to join the Cabinet (thus endangering Democrats’ hold on his seat, since Michael Bennet isn’t, well, the strongest of contenders) if he was going to resign from his post within 12 months to run for another office?


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Shocker: Senator Byron Dorgan will retire

Come 2011, the 60-seat majority is increasingly likely to be a distant memory for Democrats. In an entirely unexpected blow to their hopes of holding down their Senate losses, North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan issued a press release announcing he would not run for re-election next year.

What a horrendous way for Democrats to start the new year! It’s difficult to overstate how much of a nightmare this represents. For one, it comes as a huge surprise: A three-term senator, Dorgan is 67; that might make him a senior citizen, but he is still youthful by Senate standards. More importantly, it means the party is staring at the prospect of losing a Senate seat without even having a chance to contest it.

Whatever progress Obama made in 2008, North Dakota is undoubtedly a red state; in the midterm election of a Democratic president, that would make this open seat a great opportunity for Republicans no matter the candidates. But that opportunity could become a virtually guaranteed pick-up if John Hoeven enters the race for Republicans: The term-limited governor was already considering challenging Dorgan, so how likely is it that he’ll pass on the race now that he won’t even have to face an incumbent? It’s also not a stretch to hypothesize that Hoeven let Dorgan know of his decision to run, which explains the senator’s sudden announcement. Indeed, over the past 6 months, 3 polls showed Hoeven with a huge lead over Dorgan so the Democrat must not have been looking forward to the prospect of this match-up.

(Another possibility as to why Dorgan retired: If he was already trying to decide what to do, the ugly fight that surrounded his attempt to include a drug re-importation amendment during the health-care debate might have convinced him to call it quits. Because it was held to its deal with Pharma, the White House fought the amendment tough and nail, getting Harry Reid to stop Senate proceedings while he convinced Democratic senators like Rockefeller who were supportive of the measure to vote against it.)

If Hoeven enters the race, the race probably ends as quickly as it began. The 3 surveys I just cited show Hoeven with a stratospheric approval rating, which makes him as much of a lock on the seat as Republicans can hope for. North Dakota would be the equivalent of 2008’s Virginia: A Senate takeover that is so certain Democrats make no effort to defend it.

This is all the more so the case because trying anything to defeat Hoeven might only make the situation worse for Democrats. Not only would it draw money to a race that would look far tougher to win than at least a dozen others, but it would probably require convince Rep. Earl Pomeroy to run for Senate. Which would mean facing the likelihood of also losing a House seat.

That creates quite a dilemma for Democrats: Should they even bother pressuring their top-tier candidate to get in?

In case Hoeven does not run (it’s obviously plausible, but Democrats shouldn’t put much hope in this possibility), the race will obviously be more competitive. While the GOP will probably still have a slight edge (the party has a decent bench in the state), no Republican is anywhere near as formidable as the governor; furthermore, it would then be less risky for Pomeroy to jump in the Senate race. Sure, that could still mean Democrats face the prospect of losing both a Senate and the House seat, but it certainly be less of a kamikaze move.

Finally, Dorgan’s retirement is all the more depressing for Democrats because he was undoubtedly progressive by the standards of red state senators. Unlike the chamber’s Ben Nelsons, Blanche Lincolns and even Kent Conrads, he isn’t the type of conservative who tends to hold the party’s priorities hostage; he also was not one of the 17 senators who joined Evan Bayh’s centrist coalition back in early 2009. In short: Not only are Democrats now more likely than not to lose North Dakota’s Senate, but they can’t even console themselves by thinking he wasn’t a senator worth fighting for.

So much for my attempt to make this afternoon all about Massachussetts. Dorgan makes it all the more important for the DSCC to ensure it gets no bad surprises from the Bay State.

Update: This is an opportunity to reflect on just how bad this Senate cycle could have been for Democrats if 2009 hadn’t started with a wave of Republican retirements. The 5 tough open seats the GOP has to defend (Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, New Hampshire) significantly limits their ability to score a truly huge pick-up; after all, they now have very strong shots at eight Democratic seats (ND, CO, AR, NV, PA, IL, DE, CT) with outside possibilities in CA, NY (and possibly IN, if the wave gets huge). Democrats would be well-advised to be energized into urgent action by Dorgan’s retirement and do everything they can to at least get Dodd to not cost them the Connecticut seat.


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Poll watch: David Paterson enjoys uptick, Rand Paul grabs a decisive lead

For the third time this month, a poll suggests David Paterson’s fortunes have taken a turn for the better. First were Quinnipiac and Siena’s surveys, now is SUSA’s monthly look at the governor’s approval rating, which has risen to its highest level since January. Sure, it still stands at a dismal 32%, but that’s certainly an improvement over June’s 18%, October’s 22% and November’s 24%.

While this improvement is certainly not enough for him to be competitive against Andrew Cuomo, Paterson’s hope is that the Democratic establishment eases the pressure he faces to retire: He can now point to Giuliani’s decision not to run and to the uptick in his poll numbers to argue that he is electable after all. Paterson’s strategy is also to give Cuomo second thoughts by ensuring the primary doesn’t just like a formality. As such, the fact that his approval rating among African-Americans has risen from 25% to 43% in two months is excellent news for the governor: In 2002, Cuomo ran in a racially charged primary that proved a significant setback to his career, and he’d be likely to hesitate before getting in if there are any signs 2010 might prove a replay.

Dodd trails in internal poll

Another state, another Democratic incumbent who is trying to fight charges that he’s unelectable: Chris Dodd released an internal poll (conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner) this week that is supposed to reassure his party - but I’m unsure how it’s meant to do that. While he ties Linda McMahon at 46%, Dodd trails Rob Simmons 51% to 46%. The margin is smaller than what other polls’ have shown, but an incumbent will never get positive coverage for releasing an internal poll showing him behind. The desperation underlying such an act is so transparent that it can only raise eyebrows: This is the best showing the campaign has to release?

Is this poll a sign that Dodd is planning to dig, contrary to speculation that he’s open to retiring? Or is it a last-ditch effort to see if he can rally support from party officials? While we’ll only know the answer to this question in the next few months, the fact is that there’s still little evidence that national Democrats are trying to push the senator out. Joe Biden just hosted a fundraiser for his re-election race. Compare that with the treatment Jim Bunning received earlier this year.

Rand Paul seizes commanding leads in Kentucky Senate race

Democratic candidates in other open Senate seats have been able to resist the worsening environment, but Kentucky is too conservative for the shifting political winds not to have had a major impact: While in April PPP found the general election to be a toss-up, the two Republican candidates have substantially improved their performances to grab decisive leads. SoS Tray Grayson leads 40% to 33% against AG Jack Conway (he trailed by 4% in April) and 44% to 35% against LG Dan Mongiardo; Rand Paul leads both Democrats 42% to 36%, a stronger showing than what earlier polls have found.

Picking-up this seat hasn’t looked easy for Democrats ever since Jim Bunning announced he’d retire, and it does look like the party’s nominee will have to swim against the national and state tide. (In the Democratic primary, Conway leads 37% to 33%, which makes this the first public poll to have the Attorney General ahead.)

But PPP’s most stunning finding is that Rand Paul has grabbed a big lead against establishment favorite Grayson in the GOP primary: 44% to 25%. Other surveys have found Paul to be unexpectedly strong, but never to this extent. It’s hard not to see this as good news for Democrats: While Paul has outside of the MoE leads, he’s a far riskier proposition for Republicans than Grayson. An untested candidate (it showed this week), Paul could give Democrats the openings they need to make the race about him whereas Grayson could run the type of quite campaign that allows him to win on the sole basis of the national environment. (Another arguable reason for Democrats to root for Paul: Even if he wins the general election, he’d give the GOP leadership far more headaches than the presumably reliable Grayson would.)

Dorgan at the mercy of Hoeven’s entry

Senator Byron Dorgan has reason to be nervous: Not only is there continuing buzz that Governor John Hoeven might challenge him come January, but polls showing Hoeven would start as the clear frontrunner are piling on. We’d had Zogby (+19% for Hoeven) and Public Opinion Strategies (+17% for Hoeven), we now get Rasmussen’s first foray in North Dakota, which is the best yet for the Republican: He leads by a stunning 22%, 58% to 36%. Dorgan’s vulnerability entirely stems from Hoeven’s strength: While it pales in comparison to Hoeven’s 82% favorability rating, Dorgan’s 62% rating is very strong. Also, he leads the GOP’s 2008 House nominee (Duane Sand) 52% to 37%. In short, Hoeven’s decision is up there with Beau Biden’s as the biggest shoe left drop in the 2010 cycle.

Michigan’s governorship still looks out of Cherry’s reach

Many polls this year have shown that Lieutenant Governor John Cherry is in no position to win Michigan’s governorship, and Rasmussen confirms how large a deficit he starts with: Posting a mediocre favorability rating (39-35) whereas all his Republican rivals enjoy far stronger numbers, Cherry trails Attorney General Mike Cox 39% to 34%, Rep. Pete Hoekstra 46% to 32% and Sheriff Mike Bouchard 42% to 32%. In particular weighed down by Jennifer Granholm’s dismal approval rating (32-66), Cherry can’t even point to a name recognition differential to explain his large deficits.


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Checking in with Democratic senators who aren’t (yet?) GOP priorities

In recent weeks, Republicans have seen their prospects improve in a number of Senate races. 7 seats that Democrats must defend now look genuinely competitive: Nevada, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania? Can the NRSC put even more seats in play? New polls from the 4 Democratic seats that I currently rate “likely retention” (California, North Dakota, New York and Wisconsin) suggest it’s possible in some, less so in others.

(At the moment, there is no conceivable way for Indiana, Maryland, New York’s Schumer seat, Oregon, Vermont and Washington become vulnerable. Despite some early talk about a possible Inouye retirement and a potential Lingle candidacy, neither prospect is attracting any buzz so Hawaii looks safe as well.)

For the DSCC, the best news comes from Wisconsin: A week after Tommy Thompson opened the door to an electoral comeback in 2010, PPP finds that Senator Russ Feingold would easily survive a challenge by the former Governor: In what is the GOP’s dream match-up, the Democrat leads by a solid 50% to 41% margin. Feingold’s approval rating is far from formidable (45-37), but Thompson is too unpopular to topple an entrenched incumbent: His favorability rating stands at 38-45. Feingold leads two little-known Republicans (Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake) by 14% and 15%, though he is just below 50% in both match-ups.

More reassuring news for Democrats in California: Rasmussen finds Barbara Boxer leading Carly Fiorina (46% to 37%) and Chuck DeVore (46% to 36%). That doesn’t mean Boxer is safe (any incumbent under 50% is deemed vulnerable) but at the moment Democrats don’t have much reason to worry about the Golden State. For one, Rasmussen’s California surveys have consistently found more GOP-friendly results than has the Field Poll, generally considered the golden standard of California polling. Second, Boxer’s approval rating remains solid enough (51% to 41%) that it’s tough to envision the state’s Democratic-leaning electorate might consider voting for a Republican: Corzine’s approval rating was stuck in the 30s, and even he managed to come close.

This doesn’t mean that Thompson’s entry would not make Wisconsin a must-watch race or that Fiorina will not end up catch fire (after all, a University of Wisconsin poll released in October found Thompson leading Feingold, 43% to 39%); both Wisconsin and California could still become headaches for the DSCC. Yet, what’s clear is that Feingold and Boxer are in a stronger position going forward than Kirsten Gillibrand and Byron Dorgan, who would quickly vault to the top of the list of endangered incumbents if the NRSC manages to recruit its top candidates.

There’s been enough discussion of the confusion surrounding Rudy Giuliani’s 2010 plans that I don’t need to provide much detail about New York’s situation. While convincing arguments can be made that the former mayor will not end up as strong as he polls and that he has repeatedly proven himself a poor campaigner, the bottom-line for now is that a general election between Giuliani and Gillibrand would start as a toss-up at best. A Marist poll released last week found Giuliani) would start with a 54% to 40% lead (if she were to face George Pataki, Gillibrand would trail by a less dramatic 47% to 45%; by comparison, Zogby’s new survey finds the senator far stronger (she only Giuliani trails 45% to 43% and she leads Pataki 43% to 38%), but it’s nothing for her to boast about.

As for North Dakota, a Zogby poll released over the week-end explains why the GOP is so eager to recruit Governor John Hoeven, who has reportedly accepted to think about the race. The survey finds that he would start with a 55% to 36% lead against Senator Byron Dorgan. The poll leaves no doubt that Dorgan’s vulnerability entirely stems from Hoeven’s strength: The incumbent’s favorability rating stands at an extremely solid 73% (a number most incumbents would die for) and he crushes low-profile Republican Dune Sand 60% to 28%, demonstrating that North Dakotans aren’t at all desperate to dump their senator. The trouble comes from the fact that nearly every respondent likes Hoeven, whose favorability is an absurd 93%.

Frankly, these favorability ratings should make us take this poll with a big grain of salt. Mountain States incumbents are known to remain very popular, but can Hoeven’s favorability rating really be 93%? My skepticism was increased when I saw another Zogby poll, which finds Maine’s two Senators with ridiculously high favorability ratings. I don’t doubt Snowe is popular but 84% in no way matches what other recent polls have found.

So how does Zogby’s poll compare to other North Dakota surveys? A summer poll conducted by a Republican firm found Hoeven leading by a similar margin (53% to 36%) but a Research 2000 released all the way back in February had the Democrat ahead by 22%. In short: If Hoeven jumps in we’ll certainly need to see more polling data before proclaiming him the frontrunner, but probably not to consider Dorgan endangered.


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This past week’s polls give Republicans plenty to celebrate

On Monday, I mentioned two polls that gave Senate Democrats some heartburn - Simmons’s lead over Dodd and Boxer’s weak showing against Fiorina - but many other surveys were released in the days during which I put my blog on hold. Some of them have been circulating for more than a week, and many of you have surely seen them by now; but I thought I should at least mention it - so here’s the full rundown.

As you can see, Republicans have a lot to celebrate (especially when you add the CA and CT polls I mentioned above) while the only good news Democrats can point to is that they’re holding Vitter and Bloomberg under 50%.

Vitter leads by double-digit but under 50%: PPP’s Louisiana survey proposes one the first match-ups we’ve seen of Senator David Vitter and Rep. Charlie Melancon: The incumbent leads by a solid though not overwhelming 44% to 32%.His approval rating stands at a respectable 44-36 while his re-elect is weak (38-44). Vitter is nowhere near the top of the DSCC’s target list, but this poll will do nothing to dissuade those Democrats who think the D.C. Madam’s former client could be vulnerable to a strong challenge: Vitter is well under the 50% threshold. Now, the question is whether Melancon will actually jump in the race. His entry would delight the DSCC, its most probable consequence would be for Democrats to lose his House seat.

McDonnell’s surge: Forget Creigh Deeds’s post-primary bounce: A new SUSA poll suggests the Democrat will now be likely just to enter the general election period in a competitive position. Bob McDonnell led by 4% in June, but he now crushes Deeds 55% to 40%. Republicans also hold decisive leads in the LG and AG races. This surge is due to: McDonnell’s huge advantage among independents (60% to 35%) and to the sample’s composition. While Obama won Virginia’s actual November vote by 5%, 52% of respondents revealed they’d voted for McCain in November while 43% said they’d chosen Obama.

That discrepancy has sparked some debate: Is the poll using a flawed sample? Or is this survey revealing that the Democratic electorate is far less likely to turn out than the Republican base? While I do think the poll’s make-up is perhaps a bit too skewed, that’s certainly no reason to toss it out - especially when we have long known that the biggest risk Deeds faces is a fired-up conservative crowd coupled with disaffected African-Americans and liberals. Furthermore, other surveys have shown McDonnell climbing back since Deeds’s early June bounce; the numbers are certainly not as big as SUSA’s, but the trends coincidence.

GOP poll finds Hoeven crushing Dorgan: North Dakota Governor John Hoeven recently suggested he is still looking at the possibility of running for Senate, and the NRSC is clearly committed to recruiting him. Public Opinion Strategies has just released a GOP-sponsored poll that shows Hoeven crushing Senator Byron Dorgan 53% to 36%. While Dorgan is very popular (69-24), Hoeven is beloved (86-5). It’s hard to know what to make of this poll: A February poll released by Research 2000 had Dorgan leading by 22%!

Who to trust? My sense is that both surveys have unrealistically big margins, but until we get other pollsters to take a look at North Dakota I think Research 2000’s survey makes more sense. Small states - especially the Dakotas - like to keep their incumbents since seniority is their only hope for any influence on the Hill. (There’s also the fact that R2000 is an independent poll while POS is a Republican outlet.)

Patrick is more vulnerable than is commonly thought: A number of polls have shown that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is in trouble and this week’s a Boston Globe-UNH poll confirmed it: Not only is his favorability rating dismal (36% to 52%) but he struggles in all types of general election configurations: Against Republican businessmen Charles Baker and Christy Mihos, he trails 41% to 35% and 41% to 40%, respectively. If Treasurer Tom Cahill runs as an independent, Patrick at least avoids trailing: He ties Cahill at 30% in a match-up with Baker, who gets 20%, and at 31% in a match-up with Mihos, who gets 18%.

This poll demonstrates that Mihos and Baker’s general election competitiveness derives from Patrick’s unpopularity more than from voters’ sudden interest in voting for a Republican. As such, a 3-way race could be Patrick’s main hope for survival as Cahill and the GOP nominee could split the anti-incumbent vote. On the other hand, many Democrats who would not go as far as to vote for a Republican might be open to voting for an independent challenger, so Patrick stands to lose supporters if Cahill runs.

Bloomberg slips, somewhat: Given the obscene amount of money Mike Bloomberg is spending to win re-election, he must surely not have been expecting to see his numbers decline. Yet, that’s exactly what happened in Quinnipiac’s latest survey of New York’s mayoral race: Bloomberg has slipped to its lowest total since Quinnipiac started testing his match-ups with Democrat William Thompson. Sure, Bloomberg remains firmly in control - he leads 47% to 37% - but that compares to his 22% lead in June. In particular, Thompson is climbing among Democrats (he has a 45-42 lead) and African-Americans (56-30). So is this just an outlier or will other polls find a similar tightening?

No improvement for Corzine: Governor Jon Corzine might be going on the offensive in New Jersey, but his numbers remain as dismal as ever: He has trailed by double-digits in 9 of the 11 polls taken since June. The latest survey, released by PPP, confirms that Republicans are now heavily favored to pick-up this governorship: Chris Christie leads 50% to 36%. Despite the Democrat’s negative ads, Christie retains a strong favorability rating (42-32), especially compared to Corzine’s truly disastrous 33-56.


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Poll showing ND’s Dorgan cruising reminds NRSC it will have trouble playing offense

In a fair number of Senate races, parties only have one politician who could hope to mount a competitive run. Democrats need Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Slandin to run if they want to contest Kansas or South Dakota. For Republicans, Vermont, North Dakota and Hawaii are lost causes if they cannot recruit Governors Jim Douglas, John Hoeven and Linda Lingle.

Thus, any news involving one of those five Governors is hugely important. The news that Herseth Slandin is eying a gubernatorial run, for instance is a deathly blow to the DSCC’s South Dakota prospects; for Obama to nominate Sebelius to HHS or the Commerce Department would certainly bury Kansas Democrats. And now, we are getting confirmation of the conventional wisdom that Vermont’s Douglas is unlikely to challenge Democratic Senator Pat Leahy.

Also, Research 2000 released a poll of North Dakota, testing Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan against Hoeven. The results are surprisingly good for the incumbent:

  • Contrary to predictions that a Dorgan-Hoeven race would be a battle of titans, the Democrat crushes the Republican 57% to 35%.
  • Both men have very impressive favorability ratings: 67% of respondents have a favorable impression of Dorgan (against 30%), and 68% have a favorable impression of Hoeven (against 27%).

Making the results all the more surprising, of course, is that North Dakota remains a staunchly red state. Barack Obama made dramatic progress, improving over John Kerry’s loss by 19%. But he still lost by 9%, performing 16% worse than his national result. What can explain the fact that North Dakota voters are so committed to their Democratic Senator as to massively reject their popular Republican Governor (currently serving his third term)?

Two weeks ago, I quoted The Madville Times’s description of South Dakota’s voting patterns: “Every South Dakota voter knows South Dakota is a welfare state, and we like sending Republicans to Pierre to keep our taxes down and Dems to Washington to bring home the pork to make up for the shortfall.” The same explanation holds for North Dakota, a small state that is heavily dependent on its congressmen’ seniority and committee chairmanship, and that is a tremendous insurance for the Dakotas’ incumbents. (It was not enough to save Tom Dashle in 2004, however.)

These early polls are very important because they can influence the rest of the cycle. How can the NRSC convince Hoeven to jump in the race if they have no promising poll numbers to point to? The politicians I listed at the beginning of this post are all major figures in their respective states. They are very unlikely to enter these difficult senatorial races unless they believe they have a clear shot at winning them. If other polls confirm that Dorgan would be heavily favored to beat Hoeven, the Governor will become less and less interested by the prospect of endangering his job with a seemingly hopeless candidacy.

The same problem is plaguing Vermont Republicans. A recent poll showed that Senator Leahy would crush Governor Douglas even if the latter chose to jump in the race - and such numbers will certainly weigh heavily on Douglas’s mind.

These are particularly depressing numbers for the GOP given how few Democratic-held seats they can hope to contest in 2010. They were at least hoping that recruiting Hoeven or Douglas would given them a shot at North Dakota and Vermont. Instead, the NRSC looks like it will have to stick to as narrow an offensive as in 2006 and 2008.



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

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

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

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

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

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    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • 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 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
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  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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