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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

House

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

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

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

Senate

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

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

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

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

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

Governor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Weekly update: NM’s filing deadline passes, state Senator takes on Murray, Krolicki won’t run

The past week was dominated by an avalanche of open seats, most of which concern congressmen who were not expected to retire. Diane Watson, Patrick Kennedy, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Vern Ehlers announced they would not seek re-election and Marco Diaz-Balart made a move for his brother’s district that opened up his own seat. Meanwhile, Jack Murtha’s death will lead to a special election that will probably be held in early May.

A fifth state saw its filing deadline pass this week: New Mexico. The main attraction is the open Governor’s race, in which there were no last minute surprises. On the Democratic side, actor Val Kilmer and state Senate Majority Michael Sanchez let the filing deadline pass without making a move, leaving Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish in control. On the Republican side, no one joined state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, Dona Ana County DA Susana Martinez and Pete Domenici Jr. Over on House races, all three Democratic representatives are seeking re-election, with Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) the most endangered since Steve Pearce is seeking his old seat back. In NM-01, Rep. Martin Heinrich’s probable opponent is Jon Barela, a former vice chairman of the state GOP who will need the environment to be truly dismal for Democrats to pull off an upset.

In Washington, Republicans have yet to convince Rob McKenna, Rob Reichert or Dino Rossi to challenge Senator Patty Murray but they did get a credible candidate in the race this week: Don Benton, who has served in the state Senate since 1996. While Benton is only 52, he seems to have had a higher profile ten years ago: In 1998, he mounted a challenge to Rep. Brian Baird (who is retiring this year) and in 2000 he became chairman of the state Republican Party, though a rocky tenure led to his ouster within 8 months; also, he seems determined to emphasize conservative themes and embrace the Tea Party label, which should prove risky in a state that has trended increasingly Democratic over the entire decade (i.e. not just in 2008).

Yet, Benton’s entry is significant as it once again demonstrates the GOP’s rising confidence. In normal circumstances, Murray would likely crush Benton but if the electorate grows even more hostile to Democrats than it has for now, even a relatively low-profile state legislator can upset a seemingly solid incumbent. (While it seems hard to compare Elizabeth Dole and Patty Murray, Dole would have far tougher for Hagan to beat in most other cycles.) There is for now little reason for the DSCC to be alarmed, but the NRSC does have an eye on this state and Benton could still make life difficult for the incumbent.

In Nevada, we are getting a clearer picture of what the GOP’s Senate primary will look like. After seeing his prospects crushed by an indictment, Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki found himself back in contention when the charges were dropped; but he announced this week he would not jump in. On the one hand, the months of bad publicity due to his indictement surely damaged his standing (Rasmussen recently found him running weakest); on the other, he was a rare Republican with an imposing profile. The GOP field now contains at least 5 candidates with a credible shot at the nomination (Lowden, Tarkanian, Amodei, Angle, Chachas), which makes the primary wildly unpredictable; that’s always a dangerous place for a party to be, as we saw recently in Illinois’s gubernatorial primary.

A twist: A “Tea Party” group has qualified as a official party in Nevada, which will allow them to field a candidate on the November ballot; that candidate will likely be a man named Jon Ashjian. While Democrats will hope this takes some conservative votes away from the GOP, there is no evidence this will have any importance on the general election, but it still merits mentioning.

In Connecticut, week after week the gubernatorial field looks to be in as much flux. On the Republican side, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton had joined the race last week and this week, it was Newington Mayor Jeffrey Wright’s turn. I see that I had missed Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh’s entry in the race, so we now have at least five Republicans in the race. On the Democratic side, former Speaker James Amann’s decision to drop out appeared to open the way to a clearer opposition between Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont, but then we learned that Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura is preparing to jump in. The state’s fifth biggest city, Waterbury has about 110,000 inhabitants; Jarjura could certainly be a major player in the primary.

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

New open seats Debra Watson (D, CA-33)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25): will run for FL-21, leave FL-25 open
Vern Ehlers (R, MI-02)
Patrick Kennedy (D, RI-01)
Jack Murtha (D, PA-12)
Will not retire No one
Added to retirement watch No one

Next, the recruitment page:

NV-Sen, GOP Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki will not run
retired Navy commander Kirk Lippold will run
NY-Sen, GOP/indie Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman added
OR-Sen, GOP Kareem Hamdy is running
SC-Sen, Dem attorney Chad McGowan dropped out
WA-Sen, GOP state Sen. Don Benton announced run
Chris Widener is running
chiropractor Sean Salazar is running
enery trader Craig Williams is running
physician Arthur Coday Jr. is running
Rod Rieger is running

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

CT-Gov, Dem former Speaker Jim Amann dropped out
Waterbury Mayor Michael J. Jarjura announced run
CT-Gov, GOP Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh is running
Newington Mayor Jeffrey Wright announced run
MI-Gov, Dem Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is running
former Treasurer Bob Bowman is running
UM regent Denise Ilitch will not run
NM-Gov, Dem state Senator Michael S. Sanchez will not run
PA-Gov, Dem state Senator Anthony Williams added

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Weekly 2010 update: And so ends Democrats’ hellish week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

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

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

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

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Governor’s races: Heather Wilson will not run, Andre Bauer makes his move

Believe it or not, there is some electoral news this week that does not concern New Jersey, New York and Virginia: Heather Wilson’s announcement that she will not run for Governor next year is a crucial development, since it increases Democrats’ prospects of holding on to New Mexico’s governorship while shuffling up the Republican primary.

Not only have Democrats long already lined up Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish as their presumptive nominee (in fact, Denish thought she would run as the incumbent since incumbent Governor Bill Richardson was supposed to be appointed to Barack Obama’s Cabinet until ethical questions forced him to step down) but New Mexico has been trending blue: Few states swung as dramatically in 2008, with Obama scoring a double-digit victory and Tom Udall cruising to an easy triumph in a Senate race the GOP was never able to contest.

That’s to say that Republicans were not going to have it easy in next year’s gubernatorial race even if they had fielded their top candidate - and Wilson’s withdrawal takes care of that possibility: Until she lost a Senate primary to Pearce last year, Wilson was as battle-tested a Republican as any, since she had survived multiple Democratic assaults on her swing district (NM-01). Combined with her name recognition, her record of appealing to independents would have made an interesting get for the GOP.

All of this said, Wilson would have come to the race with her own glaring problems. Beyond potentially facing a conservative challenge in the primary, she would have taken the GOP back to an era it’s trying to forget, especially given her connections to the U.S. Attorney’s scandal that agitated New Mexico politics more than that of other states. Testifying to the possibility that Wilson was no longer electable given her involvement in the GOP debacle that was the 2008 Senate race, a springtime DGA poll has her trailing Denish by 22%.

As such, her exit might be an opportunity for Republicans to see whether new faces might have better luck turning the page of the Bush years - and the exit of such a heavyweight should allow other politicians to stay or jump in the race: State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez are already running, an former state party chairman Allan Weh has formed an exploratory committee.

Of these, Martinez is attracting the most attention as a potentially highly competitive general election nominee. For one, she is a Hispanic woman, which might help the GOP address a big reason it’s falling behind in New Mexico: The combination of demographic transformations and of the party’s unpopularity among Latinos. Second, she has been a District Attorney in the state’s second biggest county since 1996, winning three terms. Third, she is relatively moderate, which should help her in the general election of a blue state; in fact, she was a Democrat until the early 1990s.

Of course, Martinez’s moderate profile should also mean trouble in the Republican primary, so we’ll have to watch what happens there. That contest will be held in June.

In other gubernatorial news, Bauer makes his move

No one doubted that South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer would enter the open Governor’s race, but his weird offer to Governor Mark Sanford (’I won’t run in 2010 if you agree to resign’) had raised eyebrows as to what exactly Bauer was up to. There are now no more question marks: Bauer has started to file paperwork in preparation for a gubernatorial campaign.

Bauer’s move means two things. First, the Republican primary will be even more confusing and complicated than it already is: There are now 5 candidates who could have a shot at winning especially given how small a share of the vote is needed in such a crowded field: Besides Bauer are running Rep. Greshman Barrett, Attorney General Henry McMaster, state Rep. Nikki Haley and state Senator Larry Grooms.

Second, Bauer’s entry ensures that much of the primary debate gets framed around Sanford’s legacy since he is viewed as one of the Governor’s leading political rivals.

In fact, the multiplication of candidates who are positioning themselves in opposition to Sanford (Barrett had called for his resignation over the summer, McMaster has also distanced himself) could give Haley an opening: If she can coalesce whatever share of South Carolina Republicans are still supportive of their governor, it could give her a large enough plurality to clinch victory. (Update: A commenter points out that the primary will be decided by a runoff if no candidate receives 50%, so this analysis does not hold. At least coalescing pro-Stanford voters could help Haley to the runoff?)

Of course, the primary’s stakes will be high because the winner will start the general election as the clear favorite: Democrats might nominate a credible candidate of their own (Superintendent of Education Jim Rex is running, as well as two state Senators) but South Carolina has drifted rightward enough that the GOP will have a clear edge.


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Citing concerns over cap-and-trade, Steve Pearce makes his move

Eight months after he was crushed by 22% in New Mexico’s open Senate race, Steve Pearce has settled on his next move. He had already declared that he would either seek to reclaim his old House seat or run for Governor; today, he announced he would take the former route, setting up one of the most competitive contests of the cycle: freshman Democrat Harry Teague will have his hands full against Pearce.

The cap-and-trade rationale

In announcing his decision, Pearce insisted that he was looking at the gubernatorial race as recently as two weeks ago but that he was swayed by Teague’s in favor of cap-and-trade.

The cap-and-trade vote is the thing that put my decision over the hump… I was absolutely stunned over his vote. There are 23,000 statewide jobs in the oil and gas industry – and if this bill is passed, this will kill many of those jobs… I don’t think I’d be making the announcement if he voted against the energy bill.

The GOP is confident that cap-and-trade will doom Democrats in 2010 (Teague is one of 14 Democrats already targeted by radio ads) and the NRCC is trying to use this vote to convince potential GOP candidates that they’ll have a good shot if they run. Of course, this contention is mostly for show: There is no evidence that conservatives are positioned to win the global warming debate, nor that cap-and-trade will be a big issue come 2010. As such, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there is something disingenuous in Pearce’s statement.

For months now, he had shown no hint as to which race he was leaning towards and I’m am not sure I believe that he would have jumped in the gubernatorial race had it not been for Waxman-Markey. But saying so could be a tactic to highlight an issue he thinks will hurt Teague - not to mention that it could help the NRCC convince other Republicans that Democrats have so shot themselves in the foot that all a challenger needs to do is show up. We shall see whether this recruitment tactic works.

Expect a competitive House race

In a state that is rapidly drifting leftward, NM-02 has become the new battleground. While George W. Bush prevailed 58% to 41% in 2004, Barack Obama only fell to John McCain 50% to 49%. The same day, Teague easily prevailed in the open House race, 56% to 44%; while that contest was long expected to favor the GOP, Republican nominee Ed Tinsley proved to be a poor candidate who did not put much of an effort in the campaign’s closing weeks.

Teague will now get to run as an incumbent, which that ensures that the race starts no worse for Democrats than a toss-up. But he is a freshman congressman, the district remains red-leaning and the environment shall not be as favorable next year. In short: He is vulnerable.

But can Pearce expect to be taken that seriously by the GOP establishment when he led them to a stunningly large defeat last year? This humiliating a defeat is a blow to any politician’s credibility - just ask Colorado’s Bob Beauprez. After all, Pearce even lost NM-02 - a decisive blow to his electability claims. He performed better than Tinsley, but not as well as McCain: according to my calculations, he lost 52% to 48% in what was then still his district.

The bottom line is that in a truly terrible year for New Mexico Republicans, NM-02 still gave a narrow victory to McCain and 48% to Pearce. As such, the former congressman has a strong base from which to reclaim his old seat - especially if there is a slight breeze pushing Republicans nationally - and he is probably as formidable a challenger as the GOP could have fielded.

He easily won his three House races: He prevailed 56% to 44% in 2002 before receiving 60% in his two re-election bids in 2004 and in 2006. Not only should he be a strong fundraiser thanks to the supporter lists he developed during his Senate bid, but his prominent profile will ensure that he receives free publicity and he will not need to spend money introducing himself to voters. Finally, Pearce has never lost against Teague, removing a major liability former congressmen face when they seek to reclaim their old seat.

Republicans still looking for a gubernatorial candidate

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish has the inside track to win the Democratic nomination, and it remains to be seen whether Republicans will be able to field a credible candidate against her. The party’s only statewide official, Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, has ruled out a gubernatorial bid; now, it’s Steve Pearce’s turn to head out of the race.

That leaves former Rep. Heather Wilson as the GOP’s only prominent politician left. While she is flirting with a run, Republicans would be hard-pressed to find another credible candidate if she were to pass: state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and former state GOP chair Allen Weh are mentioned, but they’ll be hard pressed to put up a fight in this increasingly blue state. Even Wilson might not be enough for the GOP to ensure a competitive race: A recent DGA-sponsored poll has her trailing Denish by 22%. Pearce trailed by the same margin.


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Poll watch: Specter leads Sestak, Deeds gains 10%, Pearce and Wilson are still as weak in NM

Sestak leads Toomey, trails Specter by promising margin

Rasmussen’s poll of Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary might look like great news for Arlen Specter (he leads 51% to 32% against Rep. Joe Sestak) but these are certainly not the type of numbers that will scare Sestak away from the race. Yes, the survey shows that Specter is not rejected by voters of his new party. Quite the contrary, he is popular and stands a good chance of winning the nomination. But we already knew that: After all, Specter switched parties because he thought he had a better chance of winning a Democratic primary.

But Specter supporters like Ed Rendell typically do more than claim he is electable; they insist he is invulnerable. The poll makes it clear that he is not. For an undeclared candidate with low name recognition to gather 32% is a clear sign that there is substantial anti-Specter sentiment among Pennsylvania Democrats - enough for Sestak to build on.

Furthermore, Specter has spent the year being portrayed as a disloyal Republican (stimulus fight!) and as a Democratic savior (6o seats!) - a perception Sestak would be sure to change at least a little if he ran, whether by reminding Democrats of Specter’s conservative past or by airing damning footage of Bush’s ringing endorsements of Specter’s 2004 bid. Given this context, a 19% deficit is not a bad place for Sestak to start.

Rasmussen also tested the general election and found both Specter and Sestak leading Republican Pat Toomey, who hovers in the high 30s: The senator leads 50% to 39%, the representative leads 41% to 35%. Specter’s lead is nearly double that of Sestak, but much of this is once again due to a differential in name recognition: 18% of respondents are undecided in the match-up involving Sestak versus 7% in the match-up involving Specter. On the other hand, Toomey is competitive enough against both potential opponents that Democrats should not be dismissed as unelectable.

Deeds closes Virginia gap by 11%

The first two polls released after Virginia’s primary (the first by Rasmussen, the second by Anzalone Liszt) found Creigh Deeds vaulting to a lead over Bob McDonnell. Research 2000’s post-primary survey does not find quite that good news for the Democratic nominee, but it confirms that Deeds is enjoying quite a bounce:

  • The week before the primary, McDonnell led 46% to 34%; now, he is up 45% to 44%. Deeds could have more reserve among undecideds, as 24% of African-American don’t have a preference versus only 7% of white voters.
  • Unlike the two earlier surveys, the poll finds that McDonnell has a significant favorability edge, but the Democrat has here again closed the gap: McDonnell’s numbers are solid (55-36) but Deeds have improved from 41-39 to 47-35.

Over the course of two weeks, McDonnell’s number has not moved while Deeds has gained 10%: There could be no purer illustration than this poll of the fact that Deeds’s sudden exposure to Virginia’s general public (through a late advertising push and media coverage of his victory) has introduced him to voters and pushed those who are naturally open to voting for a Democrat towards him.

Very well then. Both candidates are now seen positively by voters who lean towards their party and they thus enjoy a baseline level of support. Now comes the harder part: moving from 44%-45% to 50% through a five-month push to solidify base support while courting undecided voters.

Democratic poll of New Mexico finds Denish in control

In New Mexico’s gubernatorial contest, we are waiting to see whether former Rep. Steve Pearce and former Rep. Heather Wilson jumps in the open race. After losing the 2008 Senate race by 22%, Pearce must not be that confident of his ability to win statewide; nor must Wilson be that excited at the prospect given her tough primary loss to Pearce last year.

The DGA is now trying to ensure they stay scared enough not to run by releasing a poll showing them both crushed by Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish in an identical 57% to 35% margin. While this is an internal poll, and thus must be taken with a grain of salt, the result is not particularly surprising. Pearce lost a statewide race by the same margin against Tom Udall just 8 months ago, on a day New Mexico took a decisive leftward turn at all levels. And I have never been convinced that Wilson would make a stronger general election contender (polls that tested both Wilson and Pearce in early 2008 didn’t find a consistent electability difference).

If Pearce and Wilson’s internal numbers are telling them something similar, they’ll be unlikely to attempt a second statewide race in as many cycles. That would leave Denish in control of the general election.


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Movement in statewide races in IL, PA and NM

Illinois: Madigan back in the Senate mix

In early April, it looked like Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had ruled out running for Senate and was concentrating instead on the gubernatorial race. But the situation has just changed with Madigan’s admission to the Chicago Sun-Times that she is is no longer sure she won’t run for Congress.” The governor’s race is still my main consideration,” she said, adding that she was keeping her options open and that the DSCC was trying to recruit her. “They have told me polls show me doing very well,” she noted.

Madigan is to Illinois what Crist is to Florida. A highly popular politician, she will be favored to win whatever race she enters - and it looks particularly tough to see how Republicans could beat her in a general election. A recent PPP survey showed her crushing all potential opponents from both parties, including Governor Pat Quinn, Rep. Mark Kirk and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

In fact, given that Madigan is expected to run for Governor, it would have to be seen whether Giannoulias would even stay in the Senate race if Madigan chose that path. The same goes for Chris Kennedy, a potential candidate. As for Rep. Schakowsky, she would be unlikely to jump in: She is already weary enough of leaving her safe House seat as it is, and Madigan’s entry would make an already tough race even more complicated.

Complicating matters for other ambitious Democrats is that they would have no obvious angle of attack against Madigan. In Florida, Rubio can mount an ideological campaign against Crist; in Illinois, the equivalent could be that Madigan is tied to the state’s establishment to escape the taint of Springfield’s scandals but neither Giannoulias nor Kennedy are in a position to mount an insurgent, good government crusade.

One thing I do not understand, however, is why the DSCC is spending so much time thinking about Illinois: Unless Kirk runs for Senate, Democrats are clearly favored to keep the Senate seat whether or not Madigan runs. That makes the situation very different from Florida, where the GOP was clearly interested in recruiting Crist because that was the only way for the race not to be a toss-up.

Pennsylvania: Strike one more Republican from Senate race

As I have written numerous times, Arlen Specter’s party switch opens the door to the GOP fielding a stronger candidate - but that would require a credible Republican to agree to jump in the race. Former Governor Tom Ridge already ruled out a run, and he is now joined by former Lieutenant Governor Bill Scranton. “I thought about it, and I’ve never wanted to to be a Senator,” Scranton said.

Scranton has twice run for Governor (in 1986 and in 2006), and it’s a good bet that he might still be hoping to realize his old ambition. In fact, with many GOPers focused on the (open) gubernatorial race, it is not going to be easy for the NRSC to get them to switch their focus: Jim Gerlach could also decide that he would have an easier time winning a gubernatorial race than to beat Toomey and Specter in the Senate race.

New Mexico: Lyons will not run for Governor, Kilmer is almost out

New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish might have been disappointed when Bill Richardson dropped out of Barack Obama’s Cabinet, as she was scheduled to be elevated Governor. But her 2010 prospects look to be getting brighter as she has less to worry from two potential candidates.

On the GOP side, New Mexico Land Commissioner Pat Lyons is the only Republican elected to statewide office; term-limited out of his job next year, he could have opted to run for the open gubernatorial seat. Instead, he will seek a seat on the Public Regulation Commission. That does not mean that Republicans will not be able to field a credible candidate, however: former Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce are mulling a run.

On the Democratic side, Denish’s hopes for an easy nomination were endangered earlier this year when actor Val Kilmer said he was interested in running the seat and made moves that suggested he was serious about a run. Well, Kilmer has changed his tune: Asked whether he was running last week, he responded “no, probably not.” That might make the race less entertaining, but Denish will be relieved to avoid such a showdown in which she would have nothing to gain and everything to lose.


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Richardson and Kaine: The contrasting fortunes of two governors

The first week-end of 2009 brought contrasting news for two close allies of Barack Obama. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was forced to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Commerce while Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will become the new chair of the DNC.

Senate hearings have yet to start, but we already know that even Obama’s very extensive vetting process failed to prevent one of his Cabinet appointees from falling to a scandal, something that happens in most presidential transitions but that his team had worked painstakingly hard to avoid.

The former presidential candidate was one of the top contenders for State, but Hillary Clinton’s reconciliation with Obama landed him in Commerce instead - a choice that was celebrated as yet another of the President-elect’s attempts to build a team of rivals. Yet, Richardson was soon hit by the news that a grand jury was investigating pay-to-play allegation involving Richardson and a company that won a New Mexico contract.

Today, Richardson told to NBC News that this investigation prevented him from accepting Barack Obama’s designation. “I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process,” he said. This was an unexpected development considering that very little information has leaked about the grand jury’s proceedings and that the scandal was not considered threatening enough to damage Richardson’s prospects or confirmation prospects.

In fact, most articles written in the past few weeks (even after news of the Richardson investigation surfaced) continued to identify Attorney General-designate Eric Holder as the Cabinet appointee likely to face the most raucous hearings.

Richardson’s appointment was the one Obama appointment that had good consequences for Democrats in down-the-ballot races. Due to term-limits, Richardson is not allowed to run for re-election, but Democratic Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish would have taken over and been able to run as an incumbent in 2010 had Richardson left for Washington.

Richardson might still be forced to leave the governorship early if this scandal still takes larger proportions, but he said today that he would stay in office. This means that Denish’s path to higher office is blocked and that she should prepare to run for an open seat - always a harder endeavor.

This also means that Obama still has a Cabient position to fill. He could potentially choose yet another Democratic Senator and Governor, create an opportunity or complications for down-the-ballot Democrats and force us to revisit my list of the electoral consequences of Obama’s Cabinet picks.

Tim Kaine got better news, however: Obama finally tapped him for something.

The Virginia Governor was on the final short list in the Democratic veepstakes and he was mentioned as a possible Cabinet pick.  Despite being one of the earliest officials to endorse Obama in 2007, he was never chosen - perhaps because his selection would have elevated a Republican as Governor.

Now, The Washington Post is reporting that Kaine has been chosen to serve as DNC Chairman over the next four years. (A president traditionally gets to impose his choice to chair the DNC or RNC, so this is essentially Obama’s decision.)

Kaine will not have to give up the governorship and will serve out his term, which ends in 12 months. Kaine is barred from running for re-election anyway, so he will be a full-time DNC Chairman starting in 2010. In other words, Kaine becoming DNC Chairman will have no (direct) consequences on this coming’s November’s gubernatorial race.

Some Democrats might worry that Kaine’s taking on a far more partisan role could lower his approval ratings and thus make it more difficult for the Democratic nominee to win the governorship. On the other hand, that Kaine is ready to take on such a position only serves as further confirmation of Virginia’s swing to the Democratic column. This is a far bluer state than the one that made Governors out of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in 2001 and 2005, and that should help the Democratic nominee over the next eleven months.

Obama’s choice also temporarily settles the question of Kaine’s political future. Virginia bars governors from serving two consecutive terms, but Tim Kaine had no obvious next step to take. The state’s two Senators are already Democrats, and neither is close to retirement; Kaine had been passed over for the vice-presidentship and Cabinet positions. Without an obvious next outlet, it was likely that he would make his way into the private sector.

But this stint at the DNC will keep him in the public eye for the next four years and perhaps make him a contender for Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial election, in which Kaine will be eligible: He will finish his term as DNC Chairman just in time to announce his candidacy to get his old job back. And how is this for a sign: Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe just officially announced that he was running for Virginia Governor today.


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Down-ballot: Richardson’s succession, the Georgia glitch and Paterson’s strength

Bill Richardson looks set to be unveiled as the Obama Administration’s Secretary of Commerce, in what could be the surest sign yet that Hillary Clinton is set to move to Foggy Bottom. That would also open New Mexico’s governorship. (Richardson was scheduled to leave his post in 2010 due to term-limits.)

Unlike neighboring Arizona, where Republican Secretary of State Brewer might soon take over for Janet Napolitano, Richardson would be replaced by a Democrat: Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish. You might remember Denish’s name circulating last fall, when Democrats were looking for a candidate to run for the open Senate seat. Denish quickly indicated that she would not run, in what everyone took as a sign that she had her sights set on the Governor’s mansion.

If Richardson is indeed confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, Denish’s wishes would come true two years early, giving Democrats the upper-hand for the 2010 election since Denish would then be able to run as the incumbent. (This is the exact inverse of what might happen in Arizona.) Of course, New Mexico Republicans were just decimated last November as Democrats comfortably picked-up one Senate and two House seats to take total control of the state’s congressional delegation. That did not bode well for the GOP’s gubernatorial hopes in an open seat - and their prospects are even lower if they face a Governor Diane Denish.

In Georgia, the GOP is being set back in the turnout war it is waging against the DSCC. The RNC printed and sent absentee request forms to thousands of Republican voters - but the form that they sent was a somewhat complicated version in which it was easy for requesters to miss a required signature line. As a result, thousands of forms received by election officials have been rejected - The Atlanta Journal Constitution estimates that number to be at about 10,000 in DeKalb and County counties alone.

The AJC adds that more than half of the RNC-printed request cards are being rejected in DeKalb County - a ratio that does not bode well for the GOP’s turnout effort if it is holding across the state. Running an effective ground operation is important in any election, of course, but particularly so in this runoff in which turnout should be low and in which both parties have to mobilize their base. Republicans will now have to go back to all these voters and make sure their forms have been processed - and they of course have a very small time window to work with since the runoff is being held in 9 days.

Finally, in New York’s upcoming gubernatorial race, Marist released the week’s second match-up between Governor Paterson and Rudy Giuliani. Just like Sieana found a few days ago, Marist’s poll finds Paterson leading his potential opponent (51% to 41%). More importantly, Paterson enjoys a strong approval rating, 51% versus 37%. Marist also finds Paterson leading Mike Bloomberg 44% to 40% despite trailing by 11% in an October poll.

It is hard to see any Republican other than Rudy having any hope in this race (and it is debatable, of course, how electable Giuliani is nowadays). That makes Paterson-Giuliani match-ups particularly valuable, as they demonstrate the incumbent’s strength. As for Bloomberg, he would certainly be a threat to Albany’s Democratic rule if he were to jump in the race (particularly given the millions he would bring with him to the race), but it now looks highly unlikely he will give it a try given that he got the New York City Council to allow him to run for a third term in 2009.


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Obama’s transition and the 2010 landscape

That the party that holds the White House traditionally suffers losses in midterm elections is generally attributed to voters’ desire to send a message to the incumbent Administration and their alleged preference for divided government. But Obama’s transition points to another factor in midterm losses: A new president draws a number of his party’s star figures to Washington, making it more difficult for the DSCC and DCCC to recruit down-the-line and opening up seats to potentially dangerous special elections.

This is most obvious in the Illinois and Delaware elections that will be held in 2010. Both are Democratic states, but Republicans have an outside shot in getting either of them competitive, particularly if the governors appoint place-holders who do not run for re-election in two years and if the GOP get very lucky recruitment-wise (for instance if Delaware Rep. Castle decides to run for Senate, an unlikely but plausible scenario).

Other special elections could take place in Massachusetts or New York if either John Kerry or Hillary Clinton (who has become the buzz of the day) are nominated as Secretary of State. I already discussed the situation in Massachusetts earlier this week. In New York, Gov. Paterson would get to appoint Clinton’s successor, and there is a remarkably deep bench in the Empire State, starting with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a long list of ambitious House representatives (for instance Nita Lowey and Anthony Weiner) or former Spitzer foe Tom Suozzi.

In both states, it is difficult to see which Republican could force Democrats to play defense - but all of these special elections will only increase the number of Senate seats Democrats have to defend.

The DSCC could be further frustrated if Obama taps Govs. Janet Napolitano and Kathleen Sebelius. Both are term-limited and cannot run again in 2010, and both are mentioned as strong contenders for Senate seats that year. In Arizona, a recent Research 2000 poll showed Napolitano defeated John McCain and its difficult to see many other Democrats with the potential to defeat the former presidential candidate. In Kansas, Senator Sam Brownback has already announced that he will retire, but this is a conservative a state in which Democrats have a small bench. It is difficult to see anyone but Sebelius having a shot at the seat.

The most direct consequence on Senate numbers, however, would come if Obama appoints Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, another name who is mentioned as a possible Cabinet member. The Rhode Island Governor is a Republican, which would lead the GOP to gain a seat in the unlikeliest of states. Obama could compensate that by tapping Maine’s Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who is rumored to be in contention for Commerce Secretary and who would be replaced by a Democratic Governor.

At the House level, Obama’s decision to tap Rahm Emanuel has also provoked a lot of commotion in IL-05, but there is no possibility whatsoever that the seat becomes competitive. The Democratic primary will essentially be the general election, which is why there are more than a dozen credible candidates who are now jostling for support. But the situation would be very different in Texas if Chet Edwards (who, you will remember, made a last-minute appearance in the veepstakes) joins the Cabinet. Edwards represents a heavily Republican seat, and the GOP would be favored to reclaim that seat.

At the gubernatorial level, a number of appointments could result in Republican gains. Of the four Democratic governors whose name is most often mentioned, only Kathleen Sebelius has a Democratic lieutenant. Cabinet taps for Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell, Montana’s Brian Schweizer and Arizona’s Janet Napolitano would all lead to Republican lieutenant governors or secretary of states taking over the governor’s mansion - and positioning themselves to keep the job in 2010.

In Arizona, for instance, secretary of State Jan Brewer (there is no LG in this state) is already mentioned as a possible contender in 2010’s open gubernatorial race; a Napolitano resignation would allow her to run as the incumbent. Tapping New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, however, could have the opposite effect. Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, a Democrat, is virtually certain to run for Richardson’s job in 2010 (the incumbent is term-limited), and she would get a head start in keeping the seat in Democratic hands if Richardson moved to Washington.



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  • All good things must come to an end

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  • What remains on the table

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  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

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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
  • 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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