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Category Archive for ‘OH-18’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'OH-18' Category


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Filing deadline passes in Ohio, Indiana

Two new states saw their filing deadlines pass this week: Ohio and Indiana. This means retirement/recruitment season is already done in 8 states. This allows us to take a detailed look at the state of play in all 27 of these state’s House races, as well as their two Senate contests. (Note: Next up is North Carolina, with a February 26th deadline.)

Ohio: No retirement, 7 races to watch

All 18 of Ohio’s congressmen (10 Democrats and 8 Republicans) will seek re-election. Of them, a third look like they will have to fight off a competitive challenge come November, 5 of them Democrats in OH-01, OH-13, OH-15, OH-16 and OH-18. OH-12 is probably the only GOP-held seat to watch, though OH-02 could still be worth monitoring as the district has produced many fireworks in recent cycles. However, a lot depends on what happens in the May primaries, as at least two candidates highly touted by the NRCC face very crowded fields in which their victory is far from certain.

Rep. Steve Driehaus of OH-01 is arguably the most endangered of the state’s incumbents as he is sure to face former Rep. Steve Chabot, whom he defeated two years ago, in the general election: No other Republican filed. Next on the list is probably OH-15, in which state Senator Steve Stivers should have little trouble securing the Republican nomination for a rematch over now-Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The trouble for Stivers could come in the general election: former Hilliard Mayor David Ryon has filed to run as the Constitution Party candidate and he could draw a substantial share of the vote because of conservative mistrust towards Stivers. (In 2008, two conservative candidates totaled more than 10% of the vote, helping Kilroy defeat Stivers.)

OH-16 is home to yet another Democratic freshman, and while Rep. John Boccieri looks in a better shape than his colleagues 5 Republicans are going after him. The front-runner is financial consultant Jim Renacci, whom the NRCC is hoping will self-fund; Renacci also used to serve as Mayor of Wadsworth, a small town of about 18,000 people. Yet, Renacci should face a tough primary against a crowed field of 4 other candidates. In particular, two of his opponents (Matt Miller and Paul Schiffer) ran in 2008 and received 42% and 10% of the vote - showings that are all the more impressive given that they came against a state Senator who secured the nomination with just 47%. In short: Renacci is in no way certain of winning the GOP nod. I’d guess the NRCC will turn away from the district f Renacci loses.

In OH-18, Rep. Zach Space long hoped he would not have to face a top-tier GOP opponent, but those hopes faded back in September when state Senator Bob Gibbs agreed to jump in. In a district George W. Bush twice won by double-digits, this could be a tough challenge to overcome. The twist: there are a total of 9 candidates seeking the Republican nomination, including 2008 nominee Fred Dailey (the former head of the Ohio Department of Agriculture), former state Rep. Ron Hood, and candidates who have never ran for office but who should enjoy support among Tea Party activists (The Chillicothe Gazette has a full rundown). When we are talking about this crowded a primary, as little as 15-20% could get you the nomination and all bets are off as to who could emerge as Space’s opponent.

Last is OH-13, which is the week’s big surprise as the GOP is only able to put Rep. Betty Sutton on its list because of a last-minute decision by auto dealer Tom Ganley, who dropped out of the Senate race to announce he’d run for the House. To be sure, this is a blue district that gave John Kerry and Barack Obama double-digits victories, and if Republicans defeat Sutton they are likely already on their way to a House majority. But Ganley should nonetheless be quite a headache for Democrats: He was willing to spend more than $1 million of his own fortune on the Senate race, money he’ll now use against Sutton, potentially forcing the DCCC to play in this district rather than devote those funds to the state’s many other vulnerable Democrats. A key question: Can Ganley survive the primary? A surprise can’t be ruled out i a 6-way field filled with political novices, but Ganley’s money should carry him through.

Democrats are targeting a seat of their own, OH-12. The filing deadline is all the more newsworthy here that Rep. Tiberi has been the subject of some speculation rumors, but we now know for sure he is seeking re-election. In the general election, he is sure to oppose Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks, who would have had far better chances in the previous two cycles but who we should nonetheless keep track of. Finally, there is OH-02, a staunchly conservative district the GOP has struggled in because of Rep. Jean Schmidt’s persona. But the Democratic state legislator the DCCC was touting dropped out in November, leaving the party in the hands of a trio of candidates: Surya Yalamanchili, a political novice whose claim to fame comes from a bout on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, PaulDavid Krikorian, who got double-digits running as an independent in 2008, and Jim Parker.

That leaves us with 11 districts which will almost certainly not host competitive races.

Democrats Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Dennis Kucinich (OH-10), Marcia Fudge (OH-11) and Tim Ryan (OH-17) should be safe. It should be noted that Kucinich didn’t draw a single Democratic opponent in OH-10 despite the fact that he had to face a few relatively competitive primaries in recent cycles. Furthermore, I have read that the GOP might look to contest Marcy Kaptur’s seat (but it would be a huge upset for former Food Town CEO Rich Iott or former Toledo Police Chief Jack Smith to defeat the longest-serving woman in Congress in a district that gave Obama 62%.

In addition, OH-06 has to be a disappointment for the GOP. This is a district that twice voted for George W. Bush and went for John McCain in 2008, albeit very narrowly; it’s also a district represented by a sophomore Democrat. And yet, the NRCC never made noise about challenging Rep. Charlie Wilson. As a result, the incumbent’s chief challenger is the man he already crushed in 2008 (62% to 33%), former Belmont County Sheriff Ohio Richard Stobbs. While repeat candidates are sometimes successful, it is difficult to go from a 29% defeat to a victory (even Nancy Boyda had not lost by quite that much in 2004), especially considering also made an unsuccessful run for this seat in 2006, this time losing in the GOP primary. This is one potentially tough district that Democrats should be able to hold.

Republican Reps. Michael Turner (OH-3), Jim Jordan (OH-4), Robert Latta (OH-5), Steve Austria (OH-7), John Boehner (OH-8) should be safe. All represent slightly-to-staunchly red districts, though OH-03 is competitive enough that Democrats should have a chance when Turner retires. Another Republican who looks safe despite the fact that John McCain just barely won his district is Rep. Steve LaTourette (OH-14); his main Democratic opponent is former appeals judge William O’Neill, who was already the party’s nominee in 2008. LaTourette lost by more than 20% that year, making it hard to see how he could lose to the same candidate under so much more favorable circumstances.

There were no surprises in Ohio’s statewide contest: Rob Portman and John Kasich are likely to coast to the GOP nominations, Ted Strickland will represent Democrats in the Governor’s race, and there were no major last-minute entrants in the Brunner-Fisher battle for the Democrats’ Senate nomination. That said, the last-minute entrance of two women, one of which has done work for Fisher, has led Brunner’s camp to accuse its rival of foul play.

Indiana: Uncertainty reigns

Indiana’s filling deadline was supposed to be met uneventfully, but Evan Bayh’s last-minute retirement announcement upended the landscape by forcing Democrats to figure out how to replace him. Yesterday’s deadline came and passed with no Democratic qualifying for the Senate ballot, which means a party committee will be able to choose a general election candidate after the May 4th primary results in a vacancy. Meanwhile, there will be 5 Republicans battling for the GOP nomination: former Senator Dan Coats, state Senator Marlin Stutzman, former Rep. John Hostettler, plumbing company owner Richard Behney and Don Bates Jr.

While all 5 of the state’s Democratic congressmen are running for re-election, one district could still open up if Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth or Joe Donnelly are tapped to run for Senate, an additional headache for the DCCC to think about. All three Democrats filed for re-election, despite speculation that Ellsworth might not do so and put pressure on the party committee to give him the nod. The Republican fields, however, are locked in all three districts.

If Ellsworth does not move to the Senate race, he would be heavily favored to defend IN-8 as the GOP field is rather underwhelming. If Ellsworth withdraws before the primary, the Democratic nominee will be state Rep. Trent Van Haaften, the only other Democrat who filed (in coordination with Ellsworth). If Ellsworth withdraws after winning the primary, there will be a vacancy on the House ballot that the state party committee will be called to fill. While an open seat would be tough for the DCCC to defend, the fact that the GOP did not have time to recruit a top candidate will help Democrats; heart surgeon Larry Bucshon would be a credible Republican nominee with a good shot at winning, but other GOPers would have given the party better odds - not to mention Bucshon can’t be sure to win the 8-way primary!

If Hill does not move to the Senate race, he should face a top-tier race in IN-9 against whoever wins the GOP primary: Attorney Todd Young and former Rep. Mike Sodrel would both be strong general election challengers. If Democratic officials want to tap him for the Senate race, they’ll have him stay on the May 4th House ballot and withdraw after the primary to avoid having the nomination go to one of two little-known candidates. In IN-2, Rep. Joe Donnelly is the only Democrat to have filed, so for him to move to the Senate race would make for a fairly straightforward transition at the House level. Republicans are looking to contest this seat, with state Rep. Jackie Walorski and three other candidates seeking the nomination.

The six other districts are unlikely to change hands. Democratic Reps. Visclosky (IN-1) and Carson (IN-7) are safe, as are GOP Reps. Burton (IN-5) and Pence (IN-6). It is worth keeping an eye on IN-3, where Rep. Mark Souder is facing doctor Tom Hayhurst who has been attracting some buzz, but however unimpressive Souder’s hold on the seat has been Democrats aren’t in a position to win a district that voted for Bush by 37% in 2004 in this environment.

Finally, IN-4 is sure to host a highly competitive race - but only in the GOP primary. Just as we expected when Rep. Steve Buyer announced his retirement on January 29th, Democrats are not in a position to compete in a district that gave Bush a 39% victory in 2004 (McCain only won by 13%). On the other hand, a total of 11 candidates are seeking the Republican nod, a crowded field headlined by Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson, state Senator Brandt Hershman and state Senator Mike Young.


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GOP candidates are popping up in House races, including one who’ll challenge a Republican

AK-AL: Don Young’s second opponent is a Republican

Don Young’s re-election prospects have gotten unexpectedly complicated in recent weeks. As it became clear that his two 2008 opponents would not seek a rematch - Sean Parnell replaced Sarah Palin as Governor and Ethan Berkowitz is running for Governor as well - it looked like Young might be spared that competitive a race. But that was before Democratic state Rep. Harry Crawford entered the contest, guaranteeing that the race will be worth watching.

Now, the ethically embattled Young has another challenger to worry about - this time a Republican. A former state legislator, radio talk show host Andrew Halcro has announced he will run. His conservative profile means we should have a repeat of the 2008 primary, in which the Club for Growth-endorsed Parnell hit Young for fiscal irresponsibility (Young barely survived after weeks of counting). On labor and fiscal matters, Young is a rare Republican moderate: one of the few who voted in favor of EFCA in 2007, he often bucks his party on appropriation votes.

Yet, there is one major twist. In 2008, Parnell represented the Palin wing of the Alaska party - the one that claims to prefer fiscal restraint and makes a big show of refusing stimulus funds rather than the one that prides itself on securing congressional earmarks. Halcro might use similar arguments as Parnell did, but he will do so as a one of the state’s most outspoken opponents of Palin: Ever since receiving 10% in an independent bid for Governor in 2006, he has been a conservative critic of the governor. That makes it highly unlikely Palin or Parnell will get involved in next year’s primary.

It will be interesting to see whether the Club is interested in getting involved again; Alaska is certainly a cheap enough state that they can do so without draining their financial resources - and for once they couldn’t be accused of helping Democrats pick-up a seat. Indeed, Crawford would probably prefer facing Young than Halcro: Alaska is red enough that it’s unlikely a Republican without any ethical baggage loses a statewide race. Even if Young is a towering figure in state politics, the bottom line is that he is under federal investigation and might be indicted any moment.

Combine the fact that the DCCC’ best chance is to face Young and the fact that Democrats can at least count on Young’s vote on some issues whereas they’d have nothing to expect from a new-guard Republican congressman, and we’re left with the rare conclusion that Democrats could be better-off having an incumbent survive a primary challenge.

In Dem-held districts, meanwhile, NRCC scores or nears recruitment coups

The most noteworthy is former U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, who announced he will run for Joe Sestak’s open House seat. Given that Meehan was deemed credible enough to be a top-tier gubernatorial contender, he should be quite formidable in a congressional race and he makes PA-07 far more competitive than it would be otherwise. The only reason I am not making a bigger deal out of this is that I already wrote a lengthy analysis when the rumors first started, so I refer you back to this post.

In AR-02, the NRCC has been talking up its chances against entrenched Blue Dog Vic Snyder for months. According to a Politico report, it might be on its way towards recruiting a top-tier candidate as former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is considering the race. I will wait for Griffin to actually make an announcement before analyzing this in more detail, however, because for now I share SSP’s skepticism: Griffin was expected to run for Senate until he ruled out a run this spring. Given that he could have cleared the GOP primary (unlike Meehan in PA) and that Lincoln is far more obviously vulnerable that Snyder, why would he do so only to consider a House race months later?

In the NH-02 open seat, the GOP is close to getting its wish: former Rep. Charlie Bass now says he is leaning towards seeking his old seat back. His 2006 defeat is enough not to make him that formidable a candidate, but Republicans don’t have enough of a NH bench left to be picky. If Bass does get in, it would make NH-02 a key 2010 battleground. There is also speculation that the NRCC might land a state Senator in TX-17, the most Republican district represented by a Democrat; Chet Edwards survived with only 53% against a low-tier candidate last year, so a higher-profile contender would go a long way towards making him endangered.

OH-18: GOP does find a state Senator after all

Back in August, the last of the 3 Republican legislators mentioned as challengers to Rep. Zach Space announced he would not run in 2010. With the NRCC clearly disappointed, I wrote that this would force the NRCC to find a Plan B and reduce Space’s vulnerability. I might have spoken a bit too soon, as a state Senator is getting in after all: Bob Gibbs just filed a candidacy statement, giving Republicans a higher profile candidate than I expected them to land at this point. That said, Gibbs does not look like he is a top-tier contender like the Republicans who declined the race.

While some of his legislative district falls in the 18th congressional District, most of it is in the 16th District. This obviously reduces Gibbs’ appeal since most of Space’s constituents have no exposure to him - not to mention that he will have to campaign in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the one county he represents that falls in the 18th District is staunchly conservative so Gibbs has no track record as to how he will fare in more competitive areas. Finally, Gibbs served in the state House until 2009, which further reduces the share of the district he has a history representing.


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Ups and downs of House recruitment

In OH-18, NRCC loses its last top-tier option

The NRCC has decided that Rep. Zach Space is vulnerable enough that he should be one of just a few Democrats to already be targeted by a TV ad. And there is indeed no doubt that Space is sitting in a difficult district (Bush won OH-18 by 15%, McCain by 7%). Yet, he has already had three years to entrench himself and he proved his political appeal by winning two tough races in 2006. In short, Republicans can’t expect to get very far if they don’t field a strong challenger.

Unfortunately for the GOP, it just suffered a major setback: State Senator Jimmy Stewart, who had met NRCC officials in July, is signaling that he will not run. “I don’t anticipate running for Congress next year,” he said, just a month after Roll Call flagged him as the “ideal candidate.” Stewart was the last remaining member of a trio of state legislators the NRCC was hoping to recruit in this district: state Senator John Carey and state Rep. Hottinger, both of whom were highly touted just a few months ago, have already ruled out runs.

If confirmed, Stewart’s decision, combined with those of Carey and Hottinger, reduces Space’s vulnerability and should lower his position on the NRCC’s list. The GOP now has to find a Plan B - probably a former state legislator, a lesser-known politician who will have to prove herself or a wealthy self-funder. (Attorney Jeanette Moll in the race, but it doesn’t look like the GOP is satisfied with that.) This is not to say that Space is now safe, but his vulnerability is now far more dependent on the national environment than it would have been had Stewart ran.

A banking executive against Titus

For a more concrete idea of what the GOP might be left with in OH-18, let’s turn to NV-03: In the district Dina Titus picked-up in 2008, the NRCC is now touting the candidacy of bank executive John Guedry. It’s definitely a positive sign for Republicans to have a credible candidate to tout against any freshman representative, as those should be the first to fall if the environment gets tough for Democrats. But let’s also be clear on the fact that a wealthy recruit from the private sector does not a top-tier contender make.

Sure, such a recruit can emerge as a politically sharp candidate who proves his skills on the trail, in attracting donors and in opening his own bank account to his campaign operatives - but it is just as probable that Guedry will fall flat, fail to gain traction and be weighed down by his two decades working in financial services - probably not the ideal resume line in this time of bank-induced economic crisis.

Moreover, this does not look like the type of districts Republicans should concentrate on - especially if they have no top tier candidate to field. NV-03 went for Al Gore in 2000, gave George Bush a 1% victory in 2004 and voted for Obama by double-digits last fall. Titus might have won with only 47% of the vote, but she was facing a crowded general election field and she defeated an entrenched incumbent, Jon Porter, who was deemed so politically powerful that he was generally considered to be Harry Reid’s toughest potential opponent in 2010. In short, Republicans needs for Guedry to prove a marvelous campaigner and for voters to truly turn against Democrats before we put NV-03 on the radar screen.

A repeat candidate in IN-03

In 2006, no one paid attention to Mark Souder’s re-election race but the Republican was held to an 8% victory - the smallest of his career - against an underfunded Democrat. Frustrated that it had not made the most of that opportunity, the DCCC did not lose sight of IN-03 in 2008: But after spending hundreds of thousands on the district, Democrats suffered quite a setback when Souter triumphed by 15% - outpacing McCain’s 13% margin. So what should Democrats take out of these two races? Is Souder vulnerable under the right conditions, and if so why did win so decisively despite Obama’s coattails in 2008?

That’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s one the DCCC will have to consider them quickly: Tom Hayhurst, the former Fort Wayne councilman who was the party’s nominee 2006, just announced he will run again in 2010. Hayhurst already proved that he was a worthy candidate - and the contrast between his unexpected showing and Montagano’s poor result makes him look even better. If you think that part of Souder’s improvement comes from the fact that Montagano was a poorer fit for the district than Hayhurst, then the DCCC might have a chance.

But if you think - and I believe I do - that the most important change was that Souder saw the threat coming and prepared himself rather than be taken by surprise, then the district simply remains way too Republican for Democrats to have much of a chance no matter who they recruit: If Democrats failed to unseat Souder last year, when Indiana was as hospitable to Democrats as it has been in decades, how much will they be able to do in 2010, a cycle that is bound to be tougher? Sure, IN-03 shouldn’t revert to its ruby-red 2004 coloring (Bush won 68% to 31%) but it should still prove tougher to crack than it was last fall.


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In aftermath of cap-and-trade vote, NRCC targets 14 other Democrats

As the House took a high-profile and controversial vote last Friday, we knew what was coming: Attack ads! While many vulnerable Democrats voted against the Waxman-Markey, the NRCC wasted no time going after those who supported it: A new wave of ads and robo-calls targets 14 Democrats who voted for cap-and-trade despite representing red-leaning districts.

Only one Democrat earns the right to be targeted by a TV spot: Rep. Tom Perriello (VA-05), an obvious Democratic target whose re-election bid is rated a toss-up in my ratings. The ad starts with footage of Obama saying that his cap-and-trade proposal will result in skyrocketing energy prices and concludes by hitting Perriello for his party loyalty. “Tom Perriello’s voting with Obama and with Pelosi over and over. Call Perriello. Tell him he was wrong to vote for the Pelosi energy tax,” says the narrator:

The 13 other Democrats are being targeted with a radio ad. Here’s the version running against Rep. Vic Snyder (AR-02):

The NRCC has two obvious goals. First, drive down the popularity of these incumbents to endanger their 2010 re-election bid. At least eight of these Democrats are considered highly vulnerable; in 2008, they prevailed by winning the support of voters who also chose McCain and the GOP’s priority is to reconquer these ticket-splitter.

Second, scare these Democrats into switching their vote and opposing cap-and-trade if the legislation returns to the House in the form of a conference report. Last week, Waxman-Markey passed by a narrow 219 to 212 margin so all it would take is for 4 representatives to change their mind for the bill to be killed; pressuring those supportive Democrats who represent the most conservative districts is the surest way for the GOP to get there.

Of course, any backlash these Democrats might endure will only be heightened by the party’s reluctance to fully stand behind Waxman-Markey. The narrow margin by which the bill passed and the dozens of Democrats who voted “no” have done as much to make the bill look controversial as anything the NRCC could say. By contrast, legislation that passes on a 245-186 vote will be covered differently by the press and won’t be as likely to become electorally explosive.

Furthermore, it would be silly for these 14 Democrats think that they would suddenly put the cap-and-trade issue behind them if they oppose an eventual conference report: The NRCC would certainly not hold back from pointing out that they voted in favor of initial passage, and such congressmen would only be weighed down by the need to explain their change of heart. Yet, while a flip-flop might be unlikely, there is no doubt that this is what the GOP is aiming at.

How else to explain the presence on this list of Rick Boucher (VA-09), Bart Gordon (TN-06) and Ike Skelton (MO-04)? (The NRCC is running radio against all three.) While all represent districts that gave McCain more than 59% of the vote, they are veteran congressmen elected in 1982, 1984 and 1976, respectively. They are never described as vulnerable and they very rarely show up on such lists. To a lesser extent, the same goes for Baron Hill (IN-09): He is not expected to face a competitive race in 2010 but his conservative voting record makes him a potential vote-switcher.

(In February, the NRCC ran radio ads attacking Gordon and Skelton for supporting the stimulus but the ads were released before the House voted on the conference report; neither flip-flopped on that second vote.)

Another surprise appearance on this list is Bruce Braley (IA-01), a relatively liberal Democrat who represents the only clearly Democratic district of the list: IA-01 went for Gore and Kerry and gave Obama 58% of the vote, so I’m not sure what the NRCC is trying to do here. (He was also included among the targets of those February stimulus ads.)

Besides these five Democrats, the other targeted congressmen are all to some extent vulnerable: John Boccieri (OH-16), Alan Grayson (FL-08), Deborah Halvorson (IL-11), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Betsy Markey (CO-04), Tom Perriello (VA-05), Vic Snyder (AR-02), Zack Space (OH-18) and Harry Teague (NM-02). (I’ve talked enough about these races not to launch in a detailed analysis now, but you can check here for more race-specific information.)

There are some notable absences, like Frank Kratovil (MD-01) and Steve Driehaus (OH-01), but the NRCC is going after at least one other Democrat - Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) - by launching robocalls on another topic altogether: NASA. Their attack is rather disingenuous since Kosmas voted against the appropriations bill that cut millions from NASA funding; the GOP circumvents that little problem and attacks her nonetheless for not prevent[ing] that cut.”

(For those more interested in the legislative battle behind Friday’s vote, Politico published an interesting story on Nancy Pelosi’s whip efforts.)

In other House news, the GOP landed a top contender in NY-29: Corning Mayor Tom Reed announced he would take on Rep. Eric Massa, who defeated a Republican incumbent last fall. While Corning is too small a city to make Reed that threatening a candidate (its population hovers around 10,000), his political experience and the NRCC’s enthusiasm for his candidacy make him a very credible challenger. As most of the GOP’s 2010 candidates are likely to do, Reed emphasized fiscal issues and his concern for “irresponsible deficit spending.” Note that the NRCC’s preferred candidate was Assemblyman Brian Kolb, but Kolb decided not to run when he became the state Assembly’s Minority Leader; other Republicans could still jump in, including a pair of state Senators.


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Weekly 2010 update, 16th edition: Waiting for Charlie Crist

Before we get into the 16th installment of my weekly 2010 update: I will be traveling from today through Tuesday afternoon and I will not have Internet access until then. Florida Governor Charlie Crist is expected to announce his 2010 plans on Monday; if he does, you’ll have to wait a whole day before getting my take on his decision! But don’t worry, I have made sure you can get your Campaign Diaries fix while I’m gone: As I had promised, the detailed ratings of Dem-held House seats will auto-post tomorrow.

We were expecting Charlie Crist and Mark Kirk to have announced their 2010 plans by now, but the week’s most important development came from another moderate Republican the NRSC was hoping to recruit: former Governor Tom Ridge announced he would not challenge Arlen Specter, leaving the GOP to wonder whether Pat Toomey can be beaten in the primary. Another important development came from the Sunshine State: former state Speaker Marco Rubio did not wait for Crist to announce that he will run for Senate for sure, a move that significantly alters the shape of this open race.

There were plenty of lower-profile but consequential announcements. In Ohio, Rep. Zach Space had left the door open to running for Senate, but his decision to endorse Lieutenant Governor’s Lee Fisher candidacy this week means that he will be staying in the House - a relief for the DCCC as an open seat race in red-leaning OH-18 would have been tough to defend. In Iowa, the GOP is still looking for a challenger to potentially vulnerable Governor Culver, as two potential candidates (former Governor Terry Branstad and former Rep. Jim Nussle) have now ruled out a run.

Finally, Republican businessman Clive Tidwell and Democratic attorney Kenneth Lewis jumped in the Colorado Senate race and the North Carolina Senate race, respectively. Both have the potential to run decently funded campaigns, but they will have trouble breaking through in primaries that should feature higher-profile contenders.

As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the “retirement watch” and recruitment pages. Written in red are those politicians who announced their definite plans rather than simply expressed interest or stroke speculation.

First, updates to Retirement Watch:

Will retire No one.
Will not retire Rep. Zach Space (D, OH-18): will not run for Senate

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

CO-Sen, GOP businessman Clive Tidwell announced run
FL-Sen, GOP state Rep. Marco Rubio announced run
KY-Sen, GOP Cathy Bailey added to list
Rand Paul added to list
NC-Sen, Dems attorney Kenneth Lewis announced run
OH-Sen, Dems Rep. Zach Space will not run
PA-Sen, GOP former Governor Tom Ridge will not run

Third, updates to gubernatorial recruitment:

IA-Gov, GOP former Governor Terry Branstad will not run
former Rep. Jim Nussle will not run
IL-Gov, GOP DuPage County Board chair Robert Schillerstrom forms exploratory committee
KS-Gov, Dems former senate candidate Jill Docking added to list
party chairman Larry Gates added to list
state Sen. Chris Steineger added to list
ME-Gov, GOP businessman Matt Jacobson announced run
Waterville Mayor Tom LePage added to list
state House Minority Leader John Tardy added to list
NM-Gov, GOP state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones added to list
former state GOP chair Allen Weh formed exploratory committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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NRCC hoping to go where it hasn’t gone lately

Early in a cycle, national parties launch large waves of attack that target dozens of U.S. representatives, many of whom will not end up facing a competitive race. Yet, the list of chosen districts tells us a lot about the party’s offensive strategy - and the NRCC is letting us know that it intends to mount a real offensive for seats that are not commonly thought of as top-tier opportunities.

The NRCC’s first mass offensive, which occurred in early February, targeted 30 House Democrats with radio ads devoted to the stimulus bill. Now, the committee is targeting 43 Democrats for supporting Barack Obama’s budget - or rather, for supporting Nancy Pelosi’s budget, since the GOP is doing its best to separate congressional Democrats (who are generally unpopular) from the President (who enjoys high approval ratings).

33 of these incumbents are only being stung by robocalls; radio ads are running in 9 districts; and only 1 Democrat - Ohio’s Zach Space -  is finding himself targeted by a TV ad.

“Just how fast is Congressman Zack Space spending your money?” asks the announcer. “Newspapers say Space and Nancy Pelosi authorized 1.2 trillion dollars in spending in less than two months. Now they’re spending even faster. Nancy Pelosi pushed a budget with a trillion dollar deficit. And Space voted to let Nancy Pelosi get her way.”

Space picked-up an open seat in 2006, boosted by the scandals that engulfed Rep. Ney; in 2008, he easily won re-election, 60% to 40%. He is certainly vulnerable in 2010 because he represents a conservative district that voted for McCain 52% to 45%; yet, he looks to be a good fit for the district and he is less obviously endangered than many Democrats who won their first election last fall.

That the NRCC is choosing to make this the one district in which they are airing a TV ad is a recognition on the GOP’s party that OH-18 is the type of district they will need to contest if they want any hope of meaningfully cutting the Democrats’ majority next year: Just as winning back TX-22 and KS-02 was not enough in 2008, winning back heavily conservative seats like AL-02 and ID-01 will not do much for the GOP in 2010. What they need is to reconquer conservative districts with relatively entrenched incumbents.

Just like OH-18, many of the 43 districts that are now being targeted by the NRCC meet that description. First, the 9 districts that are being targeted by radio ads:

Allan Grayson (FL-18), Debbie Halvorson (IL-11), Charlie Melancon (LA-03), Dina Titus (NV-03), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Michael Arcuri (NY-24), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03) and Chet Edwards (TX-17)

5 of these Democrats were first elected in 2008, and 2 others are sophomore lawmakers. While there are no surprises on this list, it is noteworthy that a number of these districts are not what we would consider the early top-tier of 2010 contests. While Dahlkemper, Shea-Porter and Grayson are sure to be on the GOP’s target list, others should be harder to defeat.

Dina Titus and Mary Jo Kilroy represent blue-trending districts, and the GOP’s confidence is certainly noteworthy - especially in NV-03, which dramatically swung to Democrats last year. While IL-11 remains a swing district, Debbie Halvorson did easily win her open seat and Obama prevailed by a decisive margin. Michael Arcuri was supposed to be ultra-safe last year but he received a shockingly low 52% - a clear indication that he has a weak base of support in NY-24 - but he will not let himself be dulled by a false sense of security in 2010. As for Charlie Melancon, he represents a conservative district but looks to be well entrenched - at least until the next round of redistricting disrupts the state’s congressional lines.

In other words, districts like NV-03, OH-15 and IL-11 are places Democrats are favored to keep but in which the GOP needs to do well if it wants to regain its status as a party that should be taken seriously and could conceivably regain a majority. The same principle applies to the 33 Democrats who are only the target of robocalls:

John Adler (NJ-03); Jason Altmire (PA-04); Tim Bishop (NY-01); John Boccieri (OH-16); Leonard Boswell (IA-03); Allen Boyd (FL-02); Chris Carney (PA-10); Gerry Connolly (VA-11); Peter DeFazio (OR-04); Steve Driehaus (OH-01); Brad Ellsworth (IN-08); Gabby Giffords (AZ-08); John Hall (NY-19); Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL); Baron Hill (IN-09); Jim Himes (CT-04); Steve Kagen (WI-08); Paul Kanjorski (PA-11); Larry Kissell (NC-08); Ron Klein (FL-22); Dan Maffei (NY-25); Eric Massa (NY-29); Jerry McNerney (CA-11); Dennis Moore (KS-03); Gary Peters (MI-09); Loretta Sanchez (CA-47); Mark Schauer (MI-07); Kurt Schrader (OR-05); Joe Sestak (PA-07); Heath Shuler (NC-11); Vic Snyder (AR-02); John Spratt (SC-05); Bart Stupak (MI-01).

The inclusion of some of these districts is expected: Adler, Altmire, Carney, Driehaus, Kagen, Kanjorski, Kissell, Klein, Massa, McNerney, Moore, Peters and Schauer have all picked-up their seat over the past two cycle, and the GOP has to test their vulnerability as soon as possible to prevent them from having the time to entrench themselves. Other districts could conceivably be vulnerable, but it’s difficult to consider Ellsworth, Herseth Sandlin, Hill or Maffei as even being part of the second-tier of competitive races - especially as the GOP has no credible candidate in sight in some of these states.

Finally, there are some truly surprising inclusions on this list, at least considering the playing field we have gotten used to over the past two cycles: Tim Bishop (NY-01), Allen Boyd (FL-02), Peter DeFazio (OR-04),  Vic Snyder (AR-02) and Bart Stupak (MI-01) are certainly not names we have gotten to used to hearing in the context of competitive races as they regularly coast to comfortable re-elections. Yet, all of these Democrats represent swing districts that are very competitive at the presidential level - all but OR-04 were won by George W. Bush in 2004, and Bush prevailed in that district four years earlier (making OR-04 one of only two district to switch from Bush to Kerry).

Bishop, Boyd, DeFazio, Snyder and Stupak remain undoubtedly favored to win another term, and for the GOP to even make one of them worry about re-election would already be a significant achievement. So the fact that these Democrats are being targeted should once again be taken as a sign that the GOP needs that it needs to seriously think about expanding the field to places it did not seriously contest over the past few cycles - places (like OR-04) it has not seriously contested for decades!

And it looks like the GOP is already having some success in its simple goal of being competitive in districts that should be competitive on paper. In AR-01 Rep. Marion Berry has had little reason to be concerned about keeping his job since he first won his seat in 1996; yet, the district has taken a dramatic swing rightward over the past decade. While AR-01 voted for Al Gore by 1% in 2000, it chose George W. Bush by 5% in 2004 and John McCain by 16% in 2008 - a dramatic collapse of Democratic performance that could open the door to a credible Republican congressional challenge.

For the NRCC to successfully put AR-01 on the radar screen will require a top-notch candidate, and the GOP is already touting buisnessman Rick Crawford, known in the district for his agricultural broadcasting. Crawford, who just formed an exploratory committee, could be all the GOP needs to test how loyal Arkansas remains to its Democratic history.


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Dem fields remain unsettled in Ohio, Kentucky Senate races

How many more Democrats can jump in Ohio’s Senate race? Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher and state Rep. Tyrone Yates have already declared their candidacies, while Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones has acknowledged mulling a run. At the very least, it looked like none of the state’s Democratic representatives would risk giving up their House seat to jump in such a crowded Senate seat. Tim Ryan has already endorsed Fisher, and we had not heard much from Zach Space, Betty Sutton, Marcy Kaptur.

It now looks like Zach Space is considering a Senate run much more seriously than anyone expected him to. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Space was one of five Democrats to “pitch himself” for the Senate race at a dinner organized by Ohio Democratic Party’s dinner meant to celebrate 2008 victories.

What might be causing Space to think about giving up his House seat for such a risky run? For one, a five-way primary would be so unpredictable that anything could happen. Sure, it will be difficult for the two-term congressman to get much oxygen or raise enough money to stay in contact with the two statewide powerhouses, but a third candidate could have an opening if Brunner and Fisher spend months demolishing each other.

Second, Space represents red territory: George W. Bush won OH-18 by 14%, John McCain by 7%. That means that Space is likely to remain a vulnerable House member for a long time, making the prospect of giving up his seat less traumatic. This is surely heightened by the possibility that Space will be in even bigger House trouble after the next round of redistricting. Ohio could lose as many as two House seats, and that will result in some major changes in the legislative map. Depending on who which party is in control of the redistricting process - Democrats have a slight edge as things stand now - Space’s district could become even more difficult for him to defend. (Even if Democrats control the process, they would be expected to make more of an effort to protect Rep. Kilroy and Rep. Boccieri than Rep. Space.)

At the very least, Space looks to be seriously considering options other than a House run, so I am moving him to the list of “those we are watching closely” in my retirement page. Needless to say, an open seat race in a red-leaning district would be a very difficult hold for Democrats - though it would not matter long: A freshman representative’s district would be the force to be redistricted into oblivion in two years.

The Plain Dealer piece contained another fascinating piece of information: Tim Ryan’s House seat might be open after all. Lee Fisher’s decision to run for Senate is forcing Governor Ted Strickland to look for a new running-mate for his 2010 re-election race, and one of the Democrats Strickland is considering is Ryan, a young lawmaker who briefly considered a Senate run in 2006 and again this year. For Ryan to become Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor would obviously position put him in a strong position to run for Governor in 2014.

In Kentucky, Democrats only have one candidate running for now: Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo. But it does not look like Jim Bunning’s 2004 challenger will have the field to himself for very long as two other statewide office holders (Auditor Crit Luallen and Attorney General Jack Conway) are considering jumping in the race.

The Kentucky Gazette reports that Luallen and Conway were seen lunching together last week - and Conway’s spokesperson has acknowledged that the two Democrats are talking about the Senate race. “[Conway] doesn’t envision any situation where the two of them would be running against each other,” he said. “They’re good friends; they have lunch often. He views Crit as a friend, an older sister, a mentor.” The spokesperson added that Conway “does not envision” Mongiardo having the Democratic field to himself, which can only lead to one conclusion: Luallen and Conway are already certain that one of them will challenge Bunning, the only remaining question being which of them does so.

Luallen was already considered a potential Senate candidate in the previous cycle, and the DSCC tried to recruit her to run against Senator Mitch McConnell. Polls showed Luallen would have been a strong contender, but she ended up passing on the race in December 2007. As you might remember, that was considered a major blow to Democrats at the time. Given that McConnell only survived by 6% against a lower-profile Democrat who came to the race with extensive baggage, it is certainly fair to wonder what might have been if Luallen had jumped in the race.


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The who’s who of vulnerable House Democrats

Ten days ago, the DCCC launched radio ads in 28 congressional districts held by the GOP. The spot attacked vulnerable Republican incumbents for voting against the stimulus bill, in a legislative effort to scare the lawmakers into supporting the bill’s final version and an electoral effort to soften up their support.

Now, it is the NRCC’s turn to go after 30 vulnerable Democratic incumbents for supporting the stimulus. The radio ads accuse the representatives of being fiscally irresponsible and supporting pork spending - Republican talking points that can be effective against these Democratic congressmen since most of them represent red-leaning districts (see list below).

The NRCC’s first order of business in this new cycle has to be rallying the Republican base against Democrats who represent them, particularly in areas in which conservatives dominate. While there is little money behind these ads, they are necessary to lay the groundwork for 2010 challenges.

Part of the NRCC’s objective, of course, is to scare some of these Democrats into adopting conservative voting habits over the next few months. 11 House Democrats voted against the stimulus bill, but there are enough Blue Dogs that the GOP can hope for more Democrats to cross over to their side on key votes. And they are more likely to vote with Republicans  if they are made to think it is dangerous for them not to do so .

Here is the version that is running in KS-03 against Rep. Dennis Moore (audio here):

Last year, Dennis Moore promised us he would promote fiscally responsible legislation in congress. His website bragged about how he worked with either party to, quote, get our country back on track so we don’t pass on massive debt to our children and grand-children. But now, just a year later, he voted for a wasteful, pork-barreled program that will cost taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars. And he’s borrowing the money!

Dennis Moore’s spending plan is parked with pork. $75 million for smoking cessation, $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts, $335 million to treat sexually transmitted diseases, and $600 million for government employees vehicles, including 32 entirely new government programs. Yup. You heard me. Call Dennis Moore at 202-225-3121. Tell him he made a mistake by supporting wasteful spending. Tell him to guard the taxpayers instead.

While the second part of that ad is used against all 30 Democrats, the first part is twitched a little on an individual basis. Here is the beginning of the spot that is running against Rep. Eric Massa in NY-29:

Last month, Eric Massa bragged about his fiscal discipline in Congress. ‘I’m a fiscal hawk; I don’t like deficit spending.’ Those were Eric Massa’s own words. He said them in a press conference. But now he’s voted for a wasteful pork barrel program that will cost taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars, putting us deeper in debt.

Here is a table listing the full list of targeted Democrats. I added the districts’ presidential vote in 2004 and 2008 so we get an idea of how vulnerable these representatives are. (The district-level results for 2008 are available on Swing State Project’s excellent database.)

District Status 2008 pres. 2004 pres.
McNerney (CA-11) sophomore 54% Obama 54% Bush
Salazar (CO-03) red-leaning district 50% McCain 55% Bush
Markey (CO-04) freshman 51% McCain 58% Bush
Grayson (FL-08) freshman 52% Obama 55% Bush
Kosmas (FL-24) freshman, red district 52% McCain 55% Bush
Barrow (GA-12) (very) narrow ‘06 victory 54% Obama 50% Bush
Braley (IA-01) sophomore 58% Obama 53% Kerry
Moore (KS-03) red-leaning district 51% Obama 55% Bush
Melancon (LA-03) red district 61% McCain 58% Bush
Schauer (MI-07) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 52% Obama 54% Bush
Walz (MN-01) sophomore 51% Obama 51% Bush
Skelton (MO-04) red district 61% McCain 64% Bush
Childers (MS-01) red district 62% McCain 62% Bush
Kissell (NC-08) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 53% Obama 54% Bush
Shea-Porter (NH-01) sophomore, narrow ‘08 victory 53% Obama 51% Bush
Teague (NM-02) freshman, competitive ‘08 race 50% McCain 58% Bush
Titus (NV-03) freshman, competitive ‘08 race 55% Obama 50% Bush
Hall (NY-19) sophomore 51% Obama 54% Bush
Maffei (NY-25) freshman 56% Obama 50% Kerry
Massa (NY-29) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 51% McCain 56% Bush
Driehaus (OH-01) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 55% Obama 51% Bush
Kilroy (OH-15) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 54% Obama 50% Bush
Space (OH-18) sophomore, red district 52% McCain 57% Bush
Schrader (OR-05) freshman 54% Obama 50% Bush
Dahlkemper (PA-03) freshman, narrow ‘08 victory 49% Obama 53% Bush
Carney (PA-10) sophomore, red district 54% McCain 60% Bush
Gordon (TN-06) red district 62% McCain 60% Bush
Edwards (TX-17) red district 67% McCain 70% Bush
Nye (VA-02) freshman 51% Obama 58% Bush
Kagen (WI-08) sophomore, narrow ‘08 victory 54% Obama 55% Bush

It is striking that 28 of these districts were won by George W. Bush in 2004, but only 11 were carried by John McCain in November: CO-03, CO-04, FL-24, LA-03, MO-04, MS-01, NH-01, NM-02, NY-29, OH-18, PA-10, TN-06, TX-17.

Given that most of the country swung blue in 2008, districts that stayed in the red column can be considered the GOP’s most solid base - and the NRCC is understandably frustrated at the large number of Democrats representing such districts. These districts are at the very top of their list, and their congressmen are among the most vulnerable incumbents of 2010. Particularly endangered are those on this list that won in 2006 and in 2008 because of their opponent’s unpopularity or ethics problems; that includes Markey (CO-04), Kosmas (FL-24), Space (OH-18), Carney (PA-10).

On the other hand, many of these red districts are still held by Democrats because they have deeply entrenched Democratic incumbents who are popular enough to hold the district no matter how conservative their constituents. Those include CO-03, MO-04 and TN-06, three red districts targeted by this wave of advertisement - and surprisingly so given how little we have heard about them over the past few cycles!

Equally interesting are the two districts won by John Kerry that the DCCC is targeting, a list to which we can almost add OH-15, which Bush barely won in 2004. But while I can understand why the NRCC is targeting Ohio’s Mary Jo Kilroy, who showed that she was not the strongest of candidates in 2006 and then again in 2006, I am more skeptical as to the inclusion of NY-25 and IA-01. The former is a blue-trending district in which Obama won a decisive victory and in a state where Republicans have been sinking. The latter is even more confusing: Both Kerry and Obama won IA-01 decisively, and Bruce Braley is not even a freshman!


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Rating changes, House edition: Final house cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full ratings here.



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

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

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

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

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

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

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
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  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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