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Category Archive for ‘PA-12’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'PA-12' Category


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Open seats: Dem field narrows as GOP tensions rise in PA-12; Phoenix Mayor won’t run in AZ-03

PA-12: Joyce Murtha and Singel back Critz, Russell signals he won’t give up

While I wrote about PA-12’s special election last night, the race took an entirely new direction in the past 24 hours alone: Where we expected a long-line of state legislators looking to replace Rep. Jack Murtha led by state Senator John Wozniack, today’s event make it look increasingly likely the Democratic nod will go to Murtha’s district director Mark Critz and that there won’t even be a single currently elected official from either party looking to challenge him.

While Critz came to look as a serious contender over the week-end, when a wealthy Republican businessman touted by the NRCC announced he would support him instead, his first big break occurred this morning, when Joyce Murtha endorsed her husband’s former aide. With that development already sure to weigh on Democratic leaders’ minds given the Murthas’ prominence in party circles, Critz caught as big a break when former Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel, who as of yesterday had come to be viewed as the closest thing the field had to a front-runner, announced he was withdrawing his bid and also throwing his support behind Critz! Add to this Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Ceraso’s decision to also end his candidacy, and that leaves just two candidates actively seeking the Democratic nomination: Critz and the state’s former Republican Treasurer Barbara Hafer.

Given the deep bench the party has in this cycle, I confess this is not the final line-up I expected; this situation certainly confirms that most political insiders are expecting this district to be dismantled after the next round of redistricting. It also suggests that Democrats will have less difficulty uniting behind a single candidate than might have been expected. More specifically, I find it unlikely that whichever of these two was not chosen would mount a primary campaign against the other. (Remember that May 18th is both the special election and the primary for November’s regularly scheduled election, and for a candidate to have to simultaneously fight on both frights could be fatal.) Critz’s only asset is his institutional ties, so it’s unclear how he could run if the establishment chooses Hafer; and given the way in which local Democrats are coalescing around Critz, it would have to be seen who would vouch for Hafer’s party credentials if she attempted a primary run.

The situation is opposite on the GOP side as tensions are rising between Tim Burns and William Russell. National Republicans are transparently signaling they would prefer for their nominee to be the former, mainly because he could self-fund part of his campaign, but Russell is making it clear he would not step aside. In other words, even if party leaders choose Burns to represent them in the special election, Russell is threatening to still seek the GOP nomination for the November ballot and thus create an untenable situation for the NRCC: Of the Russell loyalists who would go to the polls on May 18th to vote for their champion in the primary, how many would skip voting in the special election question rather than cast a ballot for Burns? Republicans are down on Russell’s candidacy because he has $216,000 of cash-on-hand; that might be too low an amount to beat a Democrat if the NRCC is not willing to help, but it is more than enough to seriously complicate Burns’s life.

I would say that this is making Democratic prospects of defending PA-12 look even better than when the seat first became vacant, but I would first like to see what type of candiate Critz will turn out to be and at the very least wait until we learn more about a man who does not as of yet have the clearest public profile.

AZ-03: Gordon will not run

An open seat in a district that gave John McCain a 17% victory is not at the top of the Democrats’ priority list, but Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon would have at least made the party competitive - as any mayor of a city of more than 1,5 million is sure to be when he seeks another office with far fewer constituents. (Note that AZ-03 extends into Phoenix’s northern suburbs, so a fair amount of the district would have been new territory for Gordon.) Yet, after a few weeks in which he openly mulled the possibility of running, Gordon announced today that he would not seek the seat of retiring Republican John Shadegg.

Gordon’s decision is unlikely to lead many Democrats other than DCCC officials to lament since there’s a limit to how conservative a candidate the party is willing to tolerate - and with Parker Griffith’s party switch and Joe Lieberman’s antics fresh in everyone’s minds, recruiting a politician who enthusiastically endorsed John McCain’s presidential bid is not high on the DCCC’s to-do list. Besides his support for McCain, Gordon is mistrusted because he endorsed Republican Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio bids to be Maricopa County’s county attorney and county sheriff, respectively. (Thomas and Arpaio are high-profile figures who have led an anti-immigration crusade in Arizona.) That said, Gordon’s ties with Arpaio considerably deteriorated over the past two years, including over the mayor’s criticism over the sheriff’s sweeps into Hispanic neighborhoods.

One major reason that might explain Gordon’s decision is Arizona’s resign-to-run law, which would have forced him to give up his mayoral post as soo as he would have announced a House run - just as Republican state Senator state Sen. Jonathan Paton had to do this week as he moved to challenge Rep. Giffords. Given that the district is a tough one for a Democratic candidate, that would undoubtedly have been a big political risk. (Note that I am not sure the resign-to-run law applies to mayors in the same way as for statewide officials or state legislators, though I can’t see why it wouldn’t.)

The filing deadline is still three months away, so there could still be plenty of movement, but the Democratic front-runner is now more than ever attorney Jon Hulburd, whose main draw seems to be finances: He not only raised more than $300,000 in the fourth quarter, but he appears to have enough money to self-fund his campaign, allowing the DCCC not to have to do anything but potentially forcing the NRCC to invest some of its precious resources in playing defense and saving that money from being used to attack an additional Democratic incumbent. Can Democrats hope for much else in such a district in such political conditions?


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Open seats: Dems clarify plans in PA-12, candidates withdraw in WA-03

As Joyce Murtha rules out bid, other Dems clarify plans

While Democrats looked very interested in the possibility that Joyce Murtha might run for her late husband’s seat in the May 18th primary, but she announced she would do no such thing, thus leaving the field wide open. While her decision might complicate matters for Democrats in the short-term (widows tend to be strong candidates in special elections, however unjustified their candidacies), it will allow Democrats to work towards electing someone who could then try to defend his job even if this district is combined with a Republican-leaning district in the next round of redistricting, as I discussed last week.

It remains to be seen who that Democrat will be, however. Murtha’s decision has allowed other Democrats to come public with their plans. If former Treasurer Barbara Hafer said she wanted to run last week, this week brought a number of new contenders - starting with former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel, Murtha’s former district director Mark Critz and Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic. (Remember that there will be no primary; rather, the party’s state executive committee will choose a general election candidate at a March 8th meeting, three days before a committee of GOP leaders selects its nominee.)

Singel is be the highest-profile name on that list. (He was the party’s gubernatorial nominee in 1994, and his 6% defeat to Tom Ridge was the occasion of a deep rift with outgoing Democratic Governor Casey, who did not campaign for Singel, perhaps over of abortion.) Yet, he has worked as a lobbyist for a Philadelphia law-firm, which is certainly not the best resume line with which to run for office - especially given the current economic conditions, especially in a hard-hit place like Western Pennsylvania. However, some local party officials might be reluctant to support Hafer, who was a Republican until 2002 and as far as I know has never before ran for office as a Democrat. That alone should make Critz a credible contender for the party’s nod; after all, as Murtha’s district director he forged close relationships with local officials, which should serve him well now that all he needs is to secure their support.

Interestingly, Republicans have not been able to get anyone interested in running except their 2008 nominee William Russell and businessman Tim Burns, neither of which would give the GOP as clear a shot at winning as the party was hoping to have when the seat became vacant. Indeed, whatever the national mood, let’s not forget that few districts have received as much federal money as PA-12, and most voters are probably aware of that. The GOP nominee might be very successful campaigning against Washington and against Democratic policies, but to run against the earmarking process or express pride in ignoring the ways of Congress could prove a tricky proposition to navigate.

The NRCC was hoping to convince wealthy businessman Mark Pasquerilla to seek the GOP nod, as he could try to spend his way to victory, Pasquerilla announced a few days ago that he not only would not run but that he is also endorsing a Democrat, Mark Critz. That came as a clear sign that the district’s increasingly red hue in presidential races has not translated to GOP-friendly conditions at the local level, and also that Murtha’s ability to secure millions of earmarks for the area was a powerful reason for people like Pasquerilla who identity as Republicans to support a Democrat in the special election - at least as long as said Democrat seems to follow in Murtha’s footsteps, as Critz presumably would.

Wallace withdraws in in WA-03

Within weeks of Rep. Brian Baird’s retirement, it seemed like the Democratic field to replace him would oppose centrist state Rep. Deb Wallace to progressive state Senator Craig Pridemore. Yet, a third contender (former Rep. Denny Heck, who has been working in the private sector since the early 1990s) disrupted that expectation: Not only did he indicate he would to self-fund by pouring $100,000 of his own money in his campaign, but he also displayed his institutional backing when he secured the surprise endorsement of Governor Christine Gregoire a few weeks ago. Also supporting Heck are former Governor Booth Gardner, for whom Heck worked twenty years ago, and Don Bonker, who represented the district from 1975 to 1989.

Perhaps as a result of the increased hardship created by Heck’s candidacy, Wallace decided to drop out of the race this week - and in doing so she called on voters to nominate a centrist. “Although Wallace is not making an endorsement for another candidate at this time she believes we need to elect a true moderate Democrat who has the wherewithal to win this election,” her statement said. That certainly rules out her backing Pridemore, though I am unable to determine whether Heck fits Baird and Wallace’s centrist mold enough for this primary to feature the clear ideological fault lines it would have had if Pridemore had been opposed to Wallace. With Heck out of public office for two decades, he doesn’t appear to have taken public positions on polarizing matters, which could allow him to play the front-runner card more easily. (For one, we will have to see whether Heck can follow-up his Gregoire endorsement with more high-profile gets.)

As to the question of who Wallace’s withdrawal should favor, the obvious answer would seem to be Heck, since centrist-minded Democrats should be more likely to gravitate towards him, but important geographical factors lead me to think Pridemore is breathing a sigh of relief. While Heck is from Olympia, Wallace and Pridemore are both based around in the Vancouver part of WA-03, and their legislative districts overlap are adjacent; had they both been in the race, they would have been competing over the same turf (the region they already represent), thus undermining their best chance to clinch victory.

Today, a Republican candidate also withdrew: Washougal Mayor Pro Tem Jon Russell dropped out. Russell indicated that he was only raising $500 per month, which probably means he wouldn’t have been a big factor had he stayed in. Here also, there will be a contested primary between state Rep. Jaime Herrera and financial consultant David Castillo, who was already running before Baird retired.


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Scheduled for May 18th, PA-12’s special might have lowered stakes due to looming redistricting

As expected, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell called the special election to fill Jack Murtha’s district on May 18th, a day you should mark on your calendars since it will also bring us the resolution to the hotly disputed Specter-Sestak, Mongiardo-Conway, Grayson-Paul and Kitzhaber-Bradbury races, as well as the first round of the Arkansas primary, which will shrink the number of Blanche Lincoln’s Republican challengers from 8 to 2. (It would also be the day Blanche Lincoln would have to fight off Bill Halter if the Lieutenant Governor ever took the plunge, though you should not hold your breath on that. Rumors were once again swirling last week that Halter was on the verge of jumping in the race, but the buzz has died down with no discernible movement.)

I explained last week the two main consequences of PA-12’s election being held on May 18th. First, it should prove a big help to Democrats since whoever emerges as their nominee will be able to rely on the turnout machines of the many candidates running in the party’s hotly contested senatorial and gubernatorial primaries; voters who come out to vote for Sestak or Onorato will also be likely to vote for the House race. The Republican nominee, meanwhile, will be all on his own since the GOP’s statewide primaries are uncompetitive. Second, it could create a confusing situation in which the candidates designated by party committees might have to fight simultaneous battles: one in the special election against the other party’s nominee for the right to represent the district until the end of 2010, another in the regularly scheduled primary for the right to be their party’s nominee again on the November ballot.

Yet, it looks like this latter scenario might not be as big of a factor as expected because PA-12 could emerge as a repeat of LA-3: Local politicians might be reluctant to give up their current office because they are fearful that the district will be eliminated in the next round of redistricting (Pennsylvania will probably lose a seat), which the Philadelphia Inquirer is today reporting is very much a possibility.

Even if a district resembling this PA-12 still exists come 2011, it is likely to look very different since the current district was apparently drawn specifically with Rep. John Murtha in mind. As such, we at the very least cannot know what the district’s exact boundaries will look like, nor even who will control the redistricting process.

When a district has to be eliminated, redistricting often targets the most junior lawmakers, which explains why whoever wins LA-3 is likely to be in big trouble come 2011-2012. Yet, Pennsylvania is likely to have many freshmen in the next Congress since the GOP is mounting strong challenges in no less than 7 districts (PA-3, PA-4, PA-7, PA-8, PA-10, PA-11, PA-17) while Democrats have a shot at capturing PA-06 and PA-15. This makes for a striking stat: 10 of the state’s 19 districts are hosting highly competitive races this year, which makes it highly likely PA-12’s new representative will not be the only junior congressman lacking the clout to ensure his or her district is protected. On the other hand, the possibility of many turnovers make it easy to imagine the congressional map looking very different from what it is today.

Adding to the uncertainty is that we do not know who will control the redistricting process. While the GOP is certain to have a voice in the process since the state Senate is firmly in their control, the Governor’s Mansion and the state House are up for grabs. While Democrats control both at the moment, Republicans have at least an even shot of holding all three levels of power come 2011 (Tom Corbett looks like the front-runner in the gubernatorial race and Democrats’ 104-98 House majority could easily be toppled if the November electorate favors the GOP). The map will look very differently if Republicans take control of redistricting or if Democrats can have a voice in the process, thus forcing a fairer map than the GOP gerrymander that was drawn in 2001.

Add it all together, and it hardly becomes surprising that candidates haven’t been rushing to hint at their interest for an election that is less than three months away.

In fact, the politician who was considered Murtha’s most likely successor in the first wave of stories following the congressman’s death just announced he would not run: state Senator John Wozniak’s decision is all the more surprising that he could have tried his luck without giving up his seat in case of a loss, since his term isn’t up until 2012. (Of course, he couldn’t go back to the state legislature if redistricting forced him out of Congress.) This is somewhat of a blow for Democrats, as the 14-year senator looked like the candidate with the most local experience.

Yet, another Democrat announced that she wanted the party’s nomination, and she has as credible a profile as you can think of: Barbara Hafer served as a commissioner in Allegheny County before winning numerous statewide elections, first as Auditor General and then as Treasurer. The twist: She won all of these campaigns as a Republican. She switched parties in 2002, after winning her second term as Treasurer and 12 years after being the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee against incumbent Bob Casey! Hafer considered challenging Senator Santorum in 2006, but she did not jump in so my understanding is that she has never ran for anything as a Democrat. Is that someone party officials are going to be comfortable choosing as their nominee?

The answer might very well depend on whether other candidates express interest. With Wozniak’s exit, other local politicians might take the possibility more seriously, for instance state Rep. Bryan Barbin, state Rep. Tad Harhai, state Rep. Rick Geist, former Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel and Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Ceraso. The wild card: There is a lot of speculation that the deceased congressman’s widow Joyce Murtha might want to run for the seat. Despite how ridiculous such familial hand-overs tend to be, it would take a surprise if the party denied her the nod given the many precedents in which this has happened (Bono Mack in California, for instance).

While I do not know Joyce Murtha’s exact age, she married her husband back in 1955 so she has to be at least 73-75. For Democrats to nominate her would probably signal they are indeed expecting this district to be so disfigured come 2011 that it is not worth thinking about holding it long-term. One reason this is foolish: a Democratic incumbent could have a shot at surviving even if he is thrown into a incumbent-against-incumbent battle against a Republican in a district that would seem to favor the latter. Depending on how it is done, combining PA-12 and PA-9 could for instance result in a GOP-friendly but district that is nonetheless winnable for a Democrat in favorable circumstances, one of which could be the candidacy of someone who already represents the district.

Interestingly, there is far less at the moment about potential Republican candidates, which can either mean that the GOP thinks it does not have enough of a bench to find an upgrade over the current two candidates (Tim Burns and William Russell), that Republicans are waiting to see how the Democratic field shakes up or that the party doesn’t plan a full push to win the seat for the reasons I’ve already outlined.


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Rep. John Murtha dies

Rep. John Murtha died this afternoon due to complications following gallbladder surgery. The 77-year old had represented Western Pennsylvania in the House since winning a special election in 1974, which made him the chamber’s 8th most senior member in the current Congress.

A longtime member of the Appropriations Committee, he directed billions of dollars towards his district and his hometown of Johnstown, a hard-hit region that came to rely on Murtha’s unapologetically aggressive earmarking. Murtha was also a close ally of Nancy Pelosi, and he played a key role in helping the California congresswoman rise in the Democratic leadership. In 2006, Pelosi backed his bid to become Majority Leader in the aftermath of the 2006 midterms.  Murtha lost to Rep. SteveSteny Hoyer but he moved on to chair the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, which made him all the more powerful.

Murtha’s final years in Congress will perhaps be best known for his decision to call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops out of Iraq in early 2005; his statement came at a time the Democratic establishment was still largely hostile to withdrawal, and the generally hawkish Murtha, with his strong ties to the defense industries, was the last congressman who would have been expected to lead his party towards an anti-war stance. This led to an ugly incident on the House floor when GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt called Murtha a coward, leading to ten minutes of chaos that ended with Schmidt withdrawing her comments. Yet, in his final years Murtha also attracted criticism over his stance on ethics reform and over corruption allegations against groups in his entourage. While Murtha himself was never investigated, questions arose over his ties to the PMA Group, a lobbying shop raised by the FBI in 2008 that had been able to secure hundreds of millions of dollars of earmarks from Murtha, as well as to other organizations.

I will let you dig more information about Murtha in news outlets like The Washington Post and will move on to this blog’s main beat: What happens next in PA-12? With Murtha’s district now vacant, a special election will be organized, yet another major headache for Democrats at a time they cannot ill afford any more electoral setbacks.

Located in southwestern Pennsylvania, this district is the type of area in which Democrats once dominated but are now struggling as Appalachia’s formerly coal-mining, working-class electorate moved away from the party and towards the GOP. In fact, PA-12 is the only district in the country to have switched from John Kerry in 2004 to John McCain in 2008; in 2000, Al Gore had prevailed by 11%, which means the district took significant rightward drift over the past decade.

In short: The DCCC has to defend a McCain district with voters who were predisposed to punishing Democrats even before they were disproportionately affected by the economic crisis; this makes for a strong pick-up opportunity for Republicans.

However, numerous factors should favor Democrats, the first of which is the election’s timing.

State law gives Governor Ed Rendell 10 days to call a special election, which has to be scheduled at least 60 days after his proclamation. It is highly likely Rendell will choose to hold the general election on May 18th, which is the day of Pennsylvania’s regularly scheduled primaries. Why might that help the Democratic nominee? Democrats are hosting two highly competitive primaries for the Senate and Governor’s races while the Republican primaries are largely uncontested at this point. That means turnout should be higher among Democratic voters, who will have many other reasons to go out to the polls than to vote for Murtha’s successor.

Consider that May 18th will mark the culmination of the rough Specter-Sestak battle, which is now starting to heat up and on which millions will be spent by Election Day; that should sure boost Democratic turnout. Consider also that one of the front-runners in the party’s gubernatorial primary is Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, who will put together a heavy turnout machine in Western Pennsylvania, which is his geographic base (in fact, parts of Allegheny County are in PA-12). Some unions are sure to be heavily involved in both Democratic primaries, and as such they will be major players in turning out voters in PA-12, which is heavily unionized.

Whether they are going to the polls to vote for Specter or Sestak, Onorato or Jack Wagner, most of these Democratic voters will be likely to also punch the ballot for whoever Democrats nominate in the PA-12 special election. The Republican nominee should receive less help, as there will be less players ensuring GOP voters head to the polls (Tom Corbett and Pat Toomey don’t face much competition in the statewide primaries).

Second, PA-12 is mostly Democratic at the local level, which means that the party has a strong bench to choose from.

That should not only also guarantee Democrats not suffer the same fate as in KS-3 or LA-3, open seats in which they are struggling to field a candidate, but that they will have a solid contender. Names that are mentioned include Mark Singel, who served as Lieutenant Governor from 1987 to 1995; state Senator John Wozniak, who has represented Johnstown since 1996; state Senator Richard Kasunic, who has been serving since 1994; state Rep. Bryan Barbin; state Rep. Tad Harhai; and still many other state legislators. (State Rep. Bill DeWeese, who once served as state Speaker, probably cannot run given the criminal charges he is now facing.) The Republican bench is far weaker. The GOP has two candidates currently in the race, Tim Burns and William Russell, its 2008 nominee whom conservatives rallied behind late in the cycle; the NRCC spent more than $1 million on his behalf in the campaign’s final weeks.

The twist: Pennsylvania special elections have no primaries. Just as happens in New York (as we learned in 2009 with vacancies in NY-20 and NY-23), a committee of county party chairs meets to determine a candidate.

This should create quite a confusing situation: Whoever the county chairs place on the general election ballot will not have first established their legitimacy through a primary vote, which means these anointed candidates could face challenges from other members of the party for the right to be the nominee on November’s regularly scheduled ballot. And here is where things get really complicated: If Rendell calls the special election on May 18th, the special election’s general election and the regular election’s primary races will be held on the same day!

This could mean that whoever is nominated in the special election has to fight the opposing party’s candidate while at the same time battling opponents from his own party. If such scenarios occur, all bets are off as to how much support the candidates can expect from their party’s base and how united the respective camps will be. (It’s difficult to predict which party is most at risk here: Democrats have a deeper bench, and thus more potential for politicians seeking to move up, but as we saw in NY-23 the GOP electorate’s mood makes Republicans more receptive to ideological disagreements.)

In short, the PA-12 special has the potential to be just as wild as that in NY-23. While I have tried to argue Democrats have a stronger chance than we would think based on the fact that McCain won the district, there is no question that the DCCC is at serious risk of seeing its streak of 9 consecutive special election victories interrupted.


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Q2 fundraising reports, part 1: Reps signal higher ambition, hint at retirement

Money has a lot of influence on campaign results, not to mention on politicians’ behavior once they are elected, as the health care debate is only confirming: that the member of the Senate’s HELP committee who has received the least amount of money from the health sector is the loudest advocate for a single-payer system is no coincidence. From this blog’s electoral focus, however, too much is read into most candidates’ financial situation. Not every half-a-million difference will matter come 2010; pretending it does only makes contributions more consequential by extending their significance beyond spending inequality.

As such, let’s concentrate on: 1. what these reports reveal about the 2010 plans of those incumbents who have not yet made their plans clear? will they seek higher office, run for re-election or retire. 2. the districts in which the challenger is uncommonly strong and has managed to out raise an incumbent (or has come close to outraising him), such a rare sign of financial strength that it necessarily puts these districts on our midterm map. Here are thus the newsworthy tidbits out of the fundraising reports of House members (more on statewide races later).

You can peruse through Swing State Project’s very useful fundraising chart and through the candidates’ full disclosure statements - with donor lists, names and amounts donated.

Sign of ambition: Melancon and Sestak hint at Senate run

Of all House members running for re-election, only one raised more than $600,000 - and he raised much more: Joe Sestak’s fundraising haul for the second-quarter alone is a staggering $1 million, which brings his total cash on hand (CoH) to $4 million - far above his fellow representatives. This should remove all doubts we might still have that Sestak has bigger things in mind than a re-election race. This type of money can only mean that the sophomore is committed to challenging Senator Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary.

Another representatives who is reporting unusually high sums is Charlie Melancon, whose name you’ll recognize as another prospective Senate candidate. While the $400,000 he raised this quarter alone are impressive, the $1,2 million he has stocked up in the bank suggest he might be thinking about a statewide run more seriously than conventional wisdom suggests. The same is true for Carolyn Maloney, whose $574K second quarter funds and $1,6 million on hand are among the highest of any House member.

Note that we shouldn’t generalize this too much. Reps. Ron Klein, Heath Shuler, Allen Boyd, Gabrielle Giffords and Jon Jim Matheson all have more than $1 million in CoH but none is supposed to harbor statewide ambitions this cycle. Boyd and Shuler ruled out Senate bid, Klein endorsed Meek’s candidacy and Matheson is sitting in such conservative territory that he could find himself vulnerable with a moment’s notice. (If anything, this suggests that Klein was very seriously considering the Senate race until Charlie Crist got in.) That leaves Giffords, who is sometimes mentioned as a senatorial candidate; no one thinks it likely, but could she jump in?

Inversely, Rep. Mike McIntyre and Rep. Bob Etheridge, North Carolina Democrats who are mentioned as potential Senate candidates, have second quarter hauls under $200,000. That’s not surprising since neither is expected to face a competitive re-election race, but it does suggest neither is covertly planning a Senate run.

Outraised incumbents: 3 in Q1, 7 in Q2

While I am weary of dismissing a challenger because he had a lousy fundraising quarter, a challenger outraising an incumbent is undoubtedly a sign of electoral strength - one that is so rare that it will get the attention of the national party and attract funds from the NRCC and DCCC. This occurred in 7 districts:

  • 4 where GOP-held districts: CA-03 (Ami Bera over Rep. Dan Lungren), CA-45 (Stephen Pougnet over Rep. Mary Bono Mack), DE-AL (Joe Carney outraised Rep. Mike Castle 2:1) and FL-10 (Charlie Justice over Bill Young).
  • 3 where Dem-held districts: CA-47 (Van Tran over Rep. Loretta Sanchez), NY-19 (Greg Ball over Rep. Hall) and PA-12 (Bill Russell over Rep. Jack Murtha)

Particularly noteworthy are Stephen Pougnet and Van Tran’s hauls. As far as I can tell, neither is benefiting from obvious corporate ties and neither is on the list because their opponent didn’t spend much time fundraising. Neither CA-45 nor CA-47 is generally considered a top-tier race, and this suggests the NRCC and DCCC will take closer attention to their candidacies than they might have had Pougnet and Tran come up shorter.

Let’s also note four challengers who almost outraised their opponents. In TX-10, Jack McDonald outraised GOP Rep. Mike McCaul 3:1 in the first quarter; while the two are now at parity, McDonald raised more than $300,000, making him one of the best funded challengers in the country. Also: Frank Guinta, Cory Gardner and Maureen Reed stayed in contact with Reps. Carol Shea-Porter, Betsy Markey and Michelle Bachmann, respectively.

Retirement watch: Castle and Young don’t seem committed to running

For many cycles, we have been looking at Mike Castle and Bill Young’s fundraising hauls to see whether they are finally leaning towards retiring; and while both politicians typically bring in small hauls, prompting speculation that they’re heading out, they have yet to do so. But this cycle is different since both men are facing top-tier opposition. As such, it’s much harder to dismiss Young’s $50,155 and Castle’s $125,000 - only 11% of which was raised through individual contributions.

Castle’s haul is particularly noteworthy since the Delaware congressman is also considering a Senate race. If he was really leaning towards seeking Joe Biden’s former seat, would his team not be spending a bit more time fundraising? Delaware might be a small state, but Castle does face the prospect of a clash with Attorney General Beau Biden. Or is Castle certain that the vice-president’s son will pass on the race, as is sometimes speculated?


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Illinois Republicans boosted by latest Burris revelations

I was never fully convinced that Senate Democrats should do all that was in their power to block Roland Burris, but I did always think that the circumstances of Burris’s appointment were shady enough that he would not be able to escape Blagojevich’s taint.

The Governor was accused of trying to sell his Senate seat against political or financial favors, and here was a politician who had actively sought the position after the scandal had broken. While there were allegations that Burris had partaken in a pay-to-play deal, the fact that he had obtained the seat raised an obvious question: What had Blagojevich asked of him, and what had he promised the Governor in return?

While I thought that these questions would plague Burris over the next two years - enough to endanger his re-election in 2010, I did not expect that my suspicions would be confirmed within a few weeks. The Chicago Sun-Times broke the story over the week-end (emphasis mine):

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s brother solicited U.S. Sen. Roland Burris for up to $10,000 in campaign cash before Blagojevich named Burris to the coveted post — something Burris initially failed to disclose under oath before an Illinois House impeachment panel… Burris acknowledges being hit up for the money in a new affidavit he has sent to the head of the House committee that recommended Blagojevich be removed from office.

Burris acknowledged having three conversations with Robert Blagojevich, who headed the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund — and one of those was likely recorded by the FBI.

On January 8th, the House committee had asked Burris which Blagojevich associates he had talked to about his desire to be appointed to the Senate, and Burris had not mentioned Blagojevich’s brother. Burris is now defending himself by pointing out that he voluntarily sent this corrective affidavit, but the document is dated February 5th, four weeks after offering his sworn testimony and three weeks after being sworn in to the Senate seat. How convenient, Senator Burris.

Sure, there is no evidence that Burris had illegal dealings with Blagojevich, and he did not end up donating to the Governor’s campaign. But beyond the fact that these revelations raise the issue of perjury, Burris does not deserve the benefit of the doubt given that he campaigned to get the position after the Governor’s arrest and that he waited three weeks after being sworn in to disclose shady talks with Blagojevich’s brother.

At the very least, it is incomprehensible that Burris would not think this significant enough to mention to the House committee. Does he not realize that Blagojevich is being accused of wanting to exchange the Senate seat in exchange for favors? Burris did not betray much concern about how that made his own appointment look back in December and in January, and little seems to have changed then. In short, Burris looks like he is so devoured with ambition that he is willing to overlook any ethical concerns. Rep. Danny Davis, by contrast, reportedly turned down a Blagojevich appointment despite harboring Senate ambitions of his own.

Needless to say, all of this further complicates Burris’s already endangered re-election prospects, and the DSCC should make sure they primary Burris if they want to keep the Senate seat in 2010. The general election might not be for another 20 months, but Blagojevich is sure to stay in the news and the stunningly blasé way in which Burris is trying to justify his failure to mention this in last month’s hearings will ensure that the scandal does not get anywhere. Burris will be one of 2010’s most endangered incumbents if he wins the Democratic nomination and Republicans recruit a somewhat credible candidate.

Illinois Republicans are obviously aware of the electoral potential of continuing coverage of Democrats’ ethical problems, and they are now seeking to push this story’s perjury angle.

In fact, the GOP is looking to make ethics into a national issue in 2010, and Democrats are cooperating to a depressing extent. Besides Blagojevich, Burris and the tax problems of Cabinet appointees, longtime Democratic congressmen are caught up in financial investigations. First is Rep. Jack Murtha (PA-12), whose ties to a lobbying company are proving of interest to the FBI; a company with ties to Murtha was raided earlier this month. If this story continues to develop over the next few months, it would be the second consecutive cycle that Murtha would have brought electoral trouble upon himself.

Second is the revelation that Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-38) has collected $221,780 of interest from a $150,000 loan she made to her own campaign in the late 1990s. Only $65,000 of the principal has been paid back, raising obvious ethical questions since Napolitano is essentially using political contributions to fill her personal bank account via a decade-old loan she could have long paid back. (The fact that Napolitano represents a heavily blue district helps her since she does not actually need to spend any money to win re-election.)


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Congress: Chaos in NY-26, Dems exploit Coleman lawsuit and rush to Murtha’s rescue

NY-26: Who knew this much chaos could erupt in a district three days from Election Day? On the one hand, a juicy scandal is threatening Republican candidate Chris Lee; on the other hand, a legal battle threatens to divide Alice Kryzan’s hold on the Democratic base.

This morning, The Buffalo News broke the story about the circumstances of Chris Lee’s departure from computer product distributor Ingram Micro. Lee was fired after he hacked a company computer to raise customers’ credit limit to be able to sell them more products and heighten his personal gain, putting the company at risk if these customers then failed to pay back.

This happened nearly 20 years ago, but it is surely not the type of news a campaign wants to see dominate the final days of coverage - especially when it is a scandal that can easily be related to the current credit crisis, where loans were given to people who could not afford them.

Meanwhile, state and federal judges keep overruling each other in a high-stakes fight over which name will appear on the Working Families Party line. (In New York, candidates can appear on the ballot multiple times under different parties and then add up the totals.) The party had endorsed Democrat Jon Powers before he unexpectedly lost the nomination to Alice Kryzan, and the only way for Powers to be removed from the WFP line was to die, be nominated for judgeship or move out of the state.

He did the latter earlier this fall, and the WFP immediately moved to place Kryzan’s name on the ballot - but Republicans sued to prevent the move, arguing that Powers’ had to occupy the party’s line. A state judge ruled in the GOP’s favor, only to be overruled by a higher state court, whose ruling was itself reversed today by a federal judge who issued a restraining order against the change and maintained Kryzan’s name on the ballot.

The Democrats have vowed to appeal, but we are now 60 hours from polls opening, we still don’t know what the final ballot will look like. (This presumably only matters for electronic machines at this point, as paper ballots have had to already been printed and absentee ballots have been sent to voters. I believe already-printed ballots have Powers’ name on them.) If Democrats are unable to reverse the ruling, it would significantly hurt Kryzan’s chances as Powers has a following in the district and is sure to cost Kryzan votes.

PA-12: Jack Murtha’s district has become quite a battleground over the last few days of the campaign. Not only did the NRCC dump $400,000 to air an ad attacking Murtha for his controversial comments but Bill and Hillary Clinton are now rushing to Murtha’s rescue. Not only did they record two robocalls on Murtha’s behalf, but Bill will hold a rally with Murtha on Monday to try to rally the Democratic base around the longtime congressman. This is a district in which Hillary crushed Obama in the April 22nd primary, giving the former first couple some clout.

Of course, Bill Clinton will also help Obama while in the Keystone State. This is the type of area McCain needs to do well in to have any hope of winning the state, and Murtha’s troubles could very well cost Obama: Republicans are hoping that racial factors will reduce Obama’s share of the vote, and Murtha’s declaring that the district’s electorate is racist was the surest way to racialize the vote.

Minnesota: It is hard to describe the latest events in the state’s Senate race as last minute chaos since the contest has been chaotic for months now. In no other race have we had this many revelations, scandals, intrigue and important third party candidates (some of which made news by not running).

On Thursday, a Texas businessman’s lawsuit alleging that he was made to make secret payments to Senator Coleman through his wife is making a confusing race even more unpredictable - especially as it was quickly followed by a second lawsuit filed by minority shareholders of the Texas marine company through which a Coleman family friend is being accused of having transferred money to Ms. Coleman’s insurance company.

These two lawsuits threaten to dominate news coverage of the Senate race over the last 3 days of campaigning, a development that could push Coleman voters in the hands of third-party candidate Barkley or break undecideds towards Al Franken. The DSCC is seeking to make the most of the situation by launching an ad that will run in the lead-up to Tuesday’s vote:

On the other hand, last minute revelations have the potential of hurting one’s opponent if they are perceived to be politically driven. Despite the fact that the allegations about the $75,000 payment were not made by Franken’s campaign, Coleman is seeking to create a backlash by alleging that his opponent is smearing him and his wife and calling on Democrats to “stop attacking my family.” In a new ad, Coleman is playing the family man card; with his wife by his side, Coleman says that Franken “crossed the line:”

At the very least, Democrats can feel happy that Coleman is finishing the campaign on the defensive, forced to address allegations rather than deliver a closing argument. This is a reversal from the more usual pattern in this contest in which Franken has had to air explanatory ads to respond to Republican attacks about his past writings and tax history. The fact that Franken is still standing, however, should give Democrats pause as negative campaigning has only boosted Barkley’s prospects.


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Rating changes, House edition: GOP continues to lose grip on base districts

It is hard to believe that there are only three full days of campaigning let before Election Day, but in a number of districts the die might already have been cast due to the high proportion of voters who have already cast their ballot. The results might very well have already been decided, for instance, in NV-02, NV-03, OR-05, NC-08 or CO-04.

Even if nothing has been cast in stone in most of these districts, there is little campaigns can do at this point but focus on their GOTV efforts and hope that the presidential coattails will help them. The slightest change in the electorate’s breakdown could yield dramatic consequences at the House level (for instance, a boost in black turnout could be all Democrats need in at least half-a-dozen GOP-held seats), and any GOP uptick in the final days could save the party a large number of seats. Indeed, many of the Republican incumbents who have become endangered only over the past few weeks will stand or fall together.

If Democrats have a strong wind behind their back on Tuesday, we should expect a shockingly high number of races that are currently rated likely Republican to fall to the opposition. If turnout is lower than expected among sporadic voters or if late deciders break towards the GOP, the party’s second and third tier races might weather the storm.

For now, all indications point to the former scenario. Of the 14 rating changes I am introducing today, 11 favor Democrats, and yet another GOP-held seat migrates to the lean Democratic column, bringing the grand total to a staggering eighteen. (By contrast, only three Dem-held seats are rated lean or likely take-over.) To make matters worse, a number of Republican incumbents who were only recently added to these ratings (let alone to a competitive category) are being moved to the lean retention column. Who would have thought just a month ago that SC-01, TX-07, TX-10 and VA-05 would look like battlegrounds in the week-end heading into the election?

This, more than anything else, is what should terrify Republicans. The political environment is putting seats in play that would never even be mentioned in any other year. If the GOP does not pull off a strong ground game over the next… 72 hours, its House caucus risks being decimated.

Note, when reading these ratings, that a “lean” designation means that the race tilts towards one candidate but that the contest remains highly competitive and that an opposite result would not be surprising. A “likely” designation signals that a candidate is strongly favored and that the opposite result would be a considered a stunning upset - though we should certainly expect a number of those on Tuesday nights. There is simply not enough data on House races to draw exact conclusions as to which district are the most vulnerable.

  • Safe Democratic: 207
  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 230
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 245
  • Toss-ups: 26
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Republican: 164
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 150
  • Safe Republican: 126

Full ratings available here.

AK-AL, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Any hope Rep. Don Young might have had to overcome the ethical scandals that surround him and survive Tuesday’s vote evaporated with Ted Stevens’ conviction. The state GOP’s corruption troubles and Young’s ruined reputation were once again cast in the spotlight. Ethan Berkowitz has been leading Young for months, and Democrats are poised to win their first federal race in this state since the 1970s.

FL-24, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Rep. Tom Feeney was caught in the worst position a politician can find himself in: He was so damaged by reports of his ties to Jack Abramoff that he simply had to air an ad apologizing - but in so doing he might very well have sealed his fate. Even Republicans no longer believe Feeney can survive, and the NRCC has not spent a dime on his behalf; Democrats, meanwhile, have spent more than $1,1 million and have ensured that the Abramoff-funded Scotland trip remains on voters’ minds with some hard-hitting ads of their own. The only poll we have seen of late has been a DCCC internal showing Kosmas leading by 23%; that might have seemed excessive, but the GOP’s failure to release a counter-poll reveals just as much about the state of the race as the DCCC’s poll.

IN-03, lean Republican to toss-up: This is not a district Republicans should worry about for a single minute. George Bush got 68% of the vote in 2004 - but Rep. Mark Souder only prevailed by 8% in 2006 against an underfunded opponent. This year, Democratic attorney Michael Montagano is attracting more attention and he is being helped by national Democrats. Both congressional committees have engaged in the district over the past few weeks, with the DCCC outspending its counterpart 2:1. It would be a true upset for Souder to lose, but two recent polls confirm that the race is now a dead heat and Montagano from Barack Obama’s remarkable ground game in the Hoosier State. Who would have thought a Democratic presidential candidate could help down-the-ballot candidate in such a conservative district?

KY-03, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: What was expected to be one of the hottest races of the 2008 cycle has turned out into an easy re-election campaign for Rep. Yarmuth. Anne Northup, the incumbent who Yarmuth narrowly defeated in 2006, is poised to suffer her third high-profile defeat in as many years (she also lost the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination in 2007). Recent SUSA polls show Yarmuth with a wide lead, and the DCCC has not bothered investing a dime in the district. Given how much money Democrats have, would they not have moved in this race if they thought Yarmuth was endangered?

MO-06, lean Republican to likely Republican: This has perhaps been the most disappointing race for Democrats this year. Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes was one of their top recruits, but as other Democrats got more and more competitive, Barnes faded away. Perhaps this was due to Rep. Graves’ quick hit on his opponent: his spring ad attacking Barnes’ San Fransisco values provoked much controversy, will surely be remembered as one of the most memorable ads of the year and might have discredited Barnes. SUSA’s latest poll has Rep. Graves jumping to a shocking 18% lead, and, in the surest sign that Graves has gotten himself out of trouble, the DCCC has dropped out of the district for the past two weeks. All of this said, if there is one year in which a Democratic challenger can beat all the odds and unexpectedly prevail, it’s this one - so don’t completely rule out an upset.

MS-01, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Travis Childers won a high-profile special election in May, and it is rare for voters to fire an incumbent after only a few months. The DCCC has poured in more than $200,000 over the past few months, while the NRCC has not engaged. Childers should be boosted further by the surge in African-American turnout that is manifesting itself in Southern states that propose early voting.

NC-05, off the map to likely Republican: It seems insane to put this district on our radar screen, and frankly, it is insane. But in the current environment, no Republican incumbent who is facing a credible Democratic challenger can be entirely safe, particularly in a state like North Carolina where the electorate has so dramatically shifted blue.

NY-26, toss-up to lean Republican: While the race remains highly competitive, we can now say that Republican candidate Chris Lee has a slight advantage. Alice Kryzan’s unexpected victory in the Democratic primary led hurts her party’s efforts to win the seat, and, despite the DCCC spending almost $2 million in this seat, a recent independent poll shows Lee grabbing a double-digit lead. That might be overstating his advantage, as New York Republicans are an endangered species, but Democrats are no longer as optimistic as they were in the spring.

PA-03, toss-up to lean Democratic: Democratic challenger Kathy Dahlkemper was always considered a good recruit by Democrats. but this was never supposed to be a top-tier race. But we got our first taste of how vulnerable Rep. Phil English was when the NRCC chose to make one of its very first investments here. Unfortunately for Republicans, that did not prevent the DCCC from significantly outspending its counterpart (and pouring in a total of $1.5 million over the past 6 weeks). Pushed by the Democratic wind, Dahlkemper is in a strong position to knock off the incumbent Republican. An English victory would certainly not be shocking, but the race now narrowly tilts Democratic.

PA-12, lean Democratic to toss-up: The situation is getting worse by the day for Jack Murtha ever since he described Western Pennsylvania as a “racist” area. The comments have attracted a huge amount of attention in the local media, and the GOP is moving to make sure that every voter is aware of the controversy by Tuesday. A bombshell exploded today as it was revealed that the NRCC had bought $465,000 worth of air time to use against Murtha, guaranteeing that his comments continue to receive one play. Given that the NRCC has had to pull hte plug on a number of endangered Republican incumbents, for them to invest this much money in this seat means that they are very confident that Murtha’s comments have been a game changer.

SC-01, likely Republican to lean Republican: Republican incumbents in districts with a substantial African-American population are in grave danger of falling to the boost in black turnout that we have been already seeing in states like North Carolina and Georgia. This race was nowhere on our radar’s screen at the beginning of October, and Rep. Brown certainly remains favored. But an upset by (openly gay) Democrat Linda Ketner is looking increasingly plausible. The DCCC has only invested limited resources in the district ($70,000), but that could be due to Ketner’s ability to spend her own money.

TX-07, likely Republican to lean Republican: The DCCC might not have spent anything in this district, but that is not necessarily because they don’t believe it is competitive: Democratic challenger Michael Skelly is a wealthy business executive who has donated a lot of money to his own campaign and he entered October with more than $1 million of cash on hand. That might not be enough by itself to knock off a Republican incumbent in a conservative district, but it certainly contributes to making the race competitive. And while Bush obtained a huge percentage of the vote here in 2004, Texas Republicans are worried that their numbers will deflate now that their former Governor no longer is on the ballot.

TX-10, likely Republican to lean Republican: This district might be ever so slightly less Republican than TX-07, but Bush got more than 60% of the vote in 2000 and in 2004 - underscoring just how difficult it will be for Democrats to score a shocking upset. But Democratic candidate and lawyer Larry Joe Doherty has raised enough money to be a credible contender and contest the district even without the DCCC”s help. Until we know the post-Bush state of Texas Republicans, Rep. McCaul has a target on his back and a Research 2000 poll released this week showed the incumbent leading by only 4% - and well under 50%.

VA-05, likely Republican to lean Republican: Rep. Goode is so entrenched in this district that he has run (and won) as a Democrat, an independent and a Republican. Now, he is finally facing a difficult re-election race in a state that is quickly shifting away from the GOP. The DCCC has invested more than $600,000 in the district over the course of three weeks, confirming that we should keep a close eye on this district. A victory by Democratic challenger Tom Perriello would no longer be a shocker.

Full ratings available here.


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Congress: Hillary’s impact, Dole’s second godless ad, Stevens’ plea and the NRCC’s hit on Murtha

One of the most puzzling developments of the past few days has been Hillary Clinton’s transformation from a boogeywoman Republican use to scare conservative voters away from Democratic candidates into a working class heroin praised by the GOP’s presidential ticket!

Hillary’s new ambiguous position on the American political scene was confirmed by two new ads airing in red states. In Mississippi, Roger Wicker is using her as a stand-in for Washington Democrats in a spot that urges voters not to “send a failed ex-Governor to support Hillary’s liberal agenda:”

Meanwhile, in conservative Kentucky, Bruce Lunsford is touting Clinton’s support. Not only will the New York Senator visit the state a second time Sunday to boost Lunsford, but footage of her first visit a few weeks ago is now being highlighted in a new Lunsford ad:

That’s right, a Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky is doing his best to tie his fate to Hillary Clinton’s popularity. Who could have predicted that a few months ago? Given that Mississippi and Kentucky are both red states that McCain is likely to win by wide margins, the discrepancy between Wicker and Lunsford’s ads is somewhat curious - though perhaps not dramatically so.

Democrats enjoy a large registration advantage in Kentucky, but conservative-minded blue-collar Democrats have become reliable Republican voters. It is precisely that constituency that Clinton championed in the latter half of the primary, and Kentucky’s Democratic voters rewarded her with a resounding 35% victory in the late May contest. Today, Lunsford is looking to mobilize the Democratic base by proving to Kentucky’s Democratic voters that he belongs to the Clinton wing of the party rather than to the Obama wing - whatever those distinctions came to mean in the last few months of the Obama-Clinton showdown.

In North Carolina, the entire Senate campaign has come to a scratching halt and has been replaced by the controversy over Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless” ad. Kay Hagan filed a defamation lawsuit, but that is not preventing Dole from firing another shot. This is not about “Hagan’s faith,” the new ad says, but about the “fact” that she attended a party thrown by Godless Americans. The concludes by asking, “If Godless Americans threw a party in your honor, would you go?”

Elizabeth Dole is putting all her re-election hopes on this one attack against Hagan - not that she has a choice. After Kay Hagan’s forceful response, Dole would be admitting that her initial ad was a disgrace if she backed down, so she is accepting the showdown. At the very least this new ad no longer juxtaposes Hagan’s image with a woman’s voice announcing that there is no God.

It is nearly impossible to predict what impact such attacks have, so we will have to wait until Tuesday night to see whether it allowed Dole to discredit Hagan and mount a comeback or whether it backfired. One factor to take into account, of course, is the jaw-dropping early voting turnout rate (already 60% of the total 2004 vote), which means it is probable than more than half of voters already cast their ballot as this controversy is heating up.

In Alaska, Ted Stevens is trying to convince voters to re-elect him despite his guilty verdict. In a new ad in which he talks directly to the camera, Stevens insists he is innocent and seeks to cast the trial and its conclusion as non-Alaskans trying to intrude in Alaska affairs:

As we discovered over the past few months, there is a powerful anti-lower 48 current in Alaska (even Todd Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party, after all), and Stevens is trying to channel that anger to get voters to not only forgive him for his conviction but to also rally around him. If anyone can pull this off, it’s probably Stevens, who is as towering a figure in his home state as any politician in the country, making it easier for him to appeal to voters’ Alaskan pride.

In House races, both parties are making last-minute expenditures - and the NRCC is by far making the biggest splash. It has bought $465,000 worth of air time against Democratic congressman Jack “Western Pennsylvanians are racist” Murtha. That’s a very substantial sum of money to spread over just 4 days, especially when it comes to the NRCC. The Republican committee has budgetary difficulties and it has pulled the plug on an number of highly endangered incumbents (Musgrave in CO-04, Bachmann in MN-06, Knollenberg in MI-09, …).

For the NRCC invest this much money in this seat at the last minute means that they are very confident that Murtha’s comments have made him highly vulnerable. If Murtha loses Tuesday night (which is very possible), it will mark a stunning upset that just two weeks ago was unthinkable; if Murtha wins by a comfortable margin, this is one $465,000 that Republicans who’ll go down in tight races will be particularly bitter about.

Meanwhile, the DCCC is spending modest expenditures in at least two GOP-held seats in which they had yet to invest: FL-18 and NJ-05. Both districts are rated likely Republican in my recent House ratings, and polls in both have suggested that the once-comfortable GOP incumbents risk being upset on Tuesday. The DCCC’s last-minute push could help make the most of this - but it is certainly getting late.


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NRCC’s new expenditures boost defense, play some offense

As expected, the NRCC posted most of their expenditures after the first round of spending I documented yesterday morning, and their decisions on where to spend money over the final week offers us a wealth of information on which districts Republicans thinks are still winnable, which they are resigned to losing, and which they are feeling some confidence in. Meanwhile, new expenditures posted by the DCCC confirm Democratic determination to expand the map.

First, Democrats are not giving up and Republicans are not feeling overconfident in two of the most endangered Dem-held seats: TX-22 and PA-11. Both are rated lean take-over in my latest ratings, but both parties are heavily investing. The NRCC poured more than $700,000 against Rep. Nick Lampson in Texas (bringing its total to more than $1 million) and more than $270,000 against Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania. Both districts have appeared to be gone for months now, so it is somewhat puzzling that the DCCC has not abandoned these incumbents; it just spent $600,000 in Texas (for a total of $1 million) and more than $200,000 in Pennsylvania (for a total of $2.3 million).

The NRCC played offense in a few more districts, spending more than $300,000 in KS-02 and LA-06 and around $100,000 in AL-05 and WI-08. The rest was devoted to defense: $506,000 was just spent in WA-08 (bringing the total above $1 million), more than $400,000 in FL-25 and MI-07 (bringing the total in the latter to $1.5 million), more than $300,000 on in FL-08, NJ-07, OH-15, more than $200,000 in NY-29, MN-03 and OH-02, and more than $100,000 in AL-02, ID-01, NJ-03, PA-03 and VA-02. (Note that the NRCC had already reported six figure buys yesterday in WY-AL, NE-02, IN-03, MO-06 and MO-09).

A few notes about these districts: This is the NRCC’s first ad buy in FL-08, a seat that I recently moved to the lean take-over category - albeit the race remains highly competitive. The DCCC just released its first ad for the race yesterday, meaning that both committees are moving in Orlando for a last-minute push. Furthermore, it is fascinating to see which highly endangered open seats the NRCC is contesting and which it is not: OH-15, NJ-07 and NJ-03 at one point looked like they would be easily Democratic pick-ups, but the GOP candidates have proved resilient and the NRCC is providing some help; open seats candidates in OH-16 or NM-01 have been completely abandoned. As for Erik Paulsen, he can thank Michelle Bachmann for her anti-Americanism rant, as that led the NRCC to move resources out of MN-06 and into MN-03.

In fact, even more interesting than the seats in which the NRCC is spending are the seats in which they are not: Given the NRCC’s budgetary constraints, they cannot afford to spend on seats in which there isn’t a very clear and accessible path to victory. As had already been reported but not yet confirmed, the NRCC is spending no new money in CO-04, all but abandoning Rep. Musgrave; there also appear to be no new ads in NV-03 and NH-01, which is more of a surprise. The NRCC’s new buy in KY-02 is two thirds smaller than it was the previous week, which is probably more of a sign of confidence than of despair. And the NRCC has still spent no money whatsoever in a number of highly competitive seats: AZ-03, IL-10, IL-11, FL-24, MD-01, NC-08 or NM-01, for instance. (The DCCC has spent more than $1 million in each of these districts.)

Meanwhile, the DCCC’s latest spree lavishes resources on two top contenders - Darcy Burner gets more than half-a-million in WA-08 and Kathy Dahlkemper gets almost $400,000 (for a total of more than $2 million) in PA-03. But as noticeable are the DCCC’s expenditures in long-shot districts in which they only started investing last week: $350,000 goes to VA-02, almost $300,000 to VA-05, to WV-02 and to WY-AL. Smaller sums go to playing defense in OR-05 and PA-10.

Not all publicity is good publicity, however. A day after Elizabeth Dole provoked the type of firestorm that is very likely to backfire with her ad “accusing” Kay Hagan of atheism, Minnesota’s GOP is facing similar bad press over allegations that they darkened the skin of Democratic candidate and Indian-American Ashwin Madia (MN-03). Such charges are unlikely to cause much movement if they remain topics of discussion on blogs, but at least one TV station devoted a segment to this in their local news (watch video here), getting independent experts to confirm that images of Madia were in fact darkened. Paulsen’s campaign got in trouble earlier this fall for insisting that Madia did not “fit the demographics” of the district, in what serves as a reminder that the presidential race could have gotten far uglier. [Update: Politico's Reid Wilson is far more skeptical of Democratic complaints than that TV station.]

In MN-06, finally, the DCCC’s second ad hitting Michelle Bachmann once again makes no mention of the anti-Americanism controversy - nor does it need to, since the comments have already gotten wide play in the district. What Democrats now need to do is convince voters that Bachmann is extremist on substantive issues as well, and for the second ad in a row the DCCC is focusing on one issue: regulation.

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q740nXMu0ZI"]

In the other district in which an incumbent’s recent words have gravely endangered his reelection prospects, the NRCC has released a very hard hitting ad against Rep. Jack Murtha (PA-12), playing footage of his declaring that Western Pennsylvania is “racist” and “redneck” to make the case that Murtha does not “respect us:”

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSmUQdZG2D4"]

Murtha and Bachmann’s races both appear to have turned into highly competitive seats over the past two weeks. Will they balance themselves out on Election Day? Given his seniority and the fact that he is a very entrenched incumbent, Murtha is far more likely to survive than his opponent - though he certainly is not helping himself.


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House ratings, House edition: 17 GOP-held seats now rated lean Democratic

Another week, another round of Democratic gains. Of the 11 races whose ratings I am changing here, 10 are moving in the Democrats’ direction, and three new GOP-held seats are entering the lean takeover category for the first time (FL-08, MI-09 and NC-08). That brings the total of Republican districts in which Democrats are currently favored to seventeen, with 21 more GOP-held seats rated as toss-ups.

Needless to say, the GOP hasn’t flirted with such dismal lows for decades.

The one race in which Republican prospects have improved is Rep. Jack “Western Pennsylvania is racist” Murtha’s PA-12. That means that this is the second week in a row in which the one Republican gain is caused by self-inflicted Democratic wounds. Murtha’s statements aren’t as much of a game-changer as the Mahoney scandal, but they are in a sense more worrisome for Democrats since they have made what was previously a safe seat into a competitive contest.

Yet, the developments in PA-12 serve as a reminder of just how unlucky the GOP has been in most other Democratic-held seats. In December 2006, Republicans seemed assured that they would regain a number of the seats they had just lost, and their predictions sounded accurate: how could Democrats possibly TX-22, PA-10 or OH-18? They were also facing very difficult races in places like IN-09 and KY-03. Now, the GOP is on the run in most of these districts: We have gotten to the point at which a double digit lead for Reps. Hill and Yarmuth does not seem surprising, no one has talked about OH-18 for months, and even ultra-conservative TX-22 no longer looks like a slam dunk or Republicans.

One last thing to keep in mind is that there is a crucial difference between Senate and House ratings. Senate seats that are rated as “likely retention” will not switch over unless something huge happens; the rating is meant to indicate that a surprise is within the realm of the possible. We can predict, however, that there will be a few House seats that are rated as “likely retention” that will switch over. We simply do not have enough polling data and indications from the ground to figure out which GOP incumbents in that list are truly endangered: some will win by huge margins, others will fall.

  • Safe Democratic: 207
  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 226
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 245
  • Toss-ups: 26
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Republican: 164
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 153
  • Safe Republican: 127

Full ratings available here.

Arizona’s 1st district, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: No one gives Republican candidate Sydney Hay much of a chance to beat former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in this open seat, but the DCCC is taking no chances. It has already poured $1.7 million in the district, including a $338,000 buy this week. The DCCC’s continuous spending suggests that their internal numbers aren’t showing the easy pick-up that has come to be expected, but those $1.7 million spent labeling Hay a “corporate lobbyist” should close any door the Republican might have had.

Florida’s 8th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: It looks like Rep. Keller will be the victim of the Democrats’ gains in the Sunshine State, and Obama’s ground game risks overpowering the GOP machine in this Orlando-based district. In fact, Democrats just gained an edge in voter registration in the district, reversing the GOP’s 14,000 voter advantage just two years ago. Add that to Keller’s own weakness (he only received 55% of the vote against a weak opponent in the primary), and you get an explosive combination. The DCCC just released a poll showing its candidate Allen Grayson leading by 11%, even though they have curiously still not spent a dime in the district. Keller quickly replied with a survey of his own showing him leading 47% to 43%, but you know things are bad for an incumbent when he feels compelled to release such weak numbers.

Iowa’s 4th district, off-the-map to likely Republican: Rep. Latham is sitting in one of the least Republican districts held by his party, and that’s not a good district to hold in a heavily Democratic year. Becky Greenwald is now in a position to score one of the year’s biggest upsets, just as her party shockingly picked-up IA-02 out of nowhere two years ago. A just-released Research 2000 poll shows Latham leading by only 5%, and Barack Obama’s strength in Iowa could further boost down-the-ballot Democratic totals in the state.

Idaho’s 1st district, lean Republican to toss-up: That GOP Rep. Bill Sali is endangered in a district Bush won with 69% of the vote in 2004 is entirely due the incumbent’s personality and extremism. Sali is despised by much of Idaho’s Republican establishment, and he is best known for incidents such as these, in which he disturbed his opponent’s chief of staff’s interview with a local journalist with heckling and… bunny ears. Democratic internal polls have shown a competitive race for months, and a recent SUSA poll has Democratic candidate Walt Minnick leading by 6%. A sure sign that this race is highly competitive: The NRCC is pouring significant amount of money to defend Sali. Who would have thought the GOP’s meager fundraising would have to be spent defending a seat in Idaho?

Illinois’s 11th district, lean Democratic to likely Democratic: Debbie Halvorson was once one of the Democrats’ biggest recruits, while Republicans did not even have a candidate well into 2008. But eventual GOP nominee Martin Ozinga proved surprisingly resilient in a district Democrats were expected to pick up easily. Not anymore. The Democrats’ surge over the past month has erased the GOP’s hopes of pulling off come-back victories in districts like this, and the DCCC’s money (more than $1 million) is helping Halvorson close the deal. Independent polls and private Democratic surveys find Halvorson pulling ahead.

Michigan’s 9th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: Joe Knollenberg is a well-established incumbent who would be very difficult to beat in a neutral environment, but the Democratic wave is now threatening to submerge him. Not only did the incumbent receive a terrible blow when McCain abruptly pulled out of Michigan, undercutting Knollenberg’s hopes of relying on the GOP’s presidential ground game to turn out his own base, but the NRCC has canceled all of the $600,000 it had planned on spending on his behalf. By contrast, the DCCC has already spent $1,6 million on behalf of Democratic candidate Gary Peters and the Obama campaign is still organizing in the state. A just-released DCCC poll has Peters ahead by 10%; that might be overstating his lead, but the NRCC’s decision to pull out of the race confirms that even the GOP thinks the race is drifting away.

Minnesota’s 6th district, lean Republican to toss-up: It is too early to tell whether Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Americanism rant on MSNBC will prove to be her macaca moment, but it has seriously endangered her reelection chances. Two polls released over the past week showed Bachmann trailing within the margin of error, a remarkable turn of events in a race that until two weeks ago was considered to be relatively safe.And you can’t accuse Bachmann of backing down easily.  After standing her ground in the immediate aftermath of her comments, Bachmann is now airing an in which she asks voters to understand that “I may not always get my words right, but I know that my heart is right.” Far from apologizing, Bachmann repeats her argument that liberalism stands in opposition to American values. “We could embrace government as the answer to our problems,” she says. “Or we can choose freedom and liberty:”

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3_VRUHStOg"]

New Jersey’s 5th district, off the map to likely Republican: Not that Rep. Garrett is sitting in an overwhelmingly Republican district (Bush got 57% of the vote in 2004, but only 52% in 2000), but he was not expected to face that competitive a challenge this year. Yet, Democratic gains have been the strongest in the Northeast, and that has put this seat on the Democrats’ radar screen. Garrett’s opponent is progressive candidate and netroots favorite Rabbi Dennis Shulman, a credible enough contender to benefit if voters are looking to reject Garrett. A just-released Research 2000 poll has a 7% race, and Garrett is feeling nervous enough about his chances to have released one of the most vicious ads we have seen this year, juxtaposing his opponent to Ahmadinejad.

North Carolina’s 8th district, toss-up to lean Democratic: What a difference two years make. In 2006, Democrat Larry Kissell was pleading for the DCCC to invest some resources in his race against Rep. Robin Hayes. The DCCC left him in the cold, and Kissell lost by about 300 votes. This year, the DCCC is not committing the same mistake: they have already poured in $1.7 million, while the NRCC has invested nothing. Kissell is also benefiting from Democratic gains in North Carolina. And the expected boost in African-American turnout (as testified by the early voting numbers) should make a huge difference in this district, which has a substantial African-American population. As if this was not enough, both an internal DCCC poll and a SUSA survey showed Kissell with a large lead over Hayes over the past month.

Pennsylvania’s 12th district, off-the-map to lean Democratic: Rep. Murtha’s comments describing Western Pennsylvania as a “racist” area transformed this race overnight from a safe Democratic district to a competitive race, and Murtha’s subsequent attempts to explain himself did not help the situation. In a neutral environment, that might be enough to allow Republican candidate Russell to upset an entrenched incumbent like Murtha, but the Democrat could be saved by the political environment. Another factor that will hinder Russell’s hopes is that the NRCC has no money to come to his aid (unlike, say, in MN-06 where the DCCC quickly committed $1 million to attacking Bachmann after her MSNBC comments).

Washington’s 8th district, lean Republican to toss-up: Rematches tend to be the most brutal races, and the second match-up between Rep. Reichert and Darcy Burner is no exception. The latest salvos include both camps questioning their opponent’s college degree, with the conservative Seattle Times taking care of the (now discredited) hit job on the Democrat. That said, Burner has significantly improved her poll numbers over the past two weeks; after two Democratic surveys found her ahead, SUSA and Research 2000 both confirmed that she had erased Reichert’s lead.

In a sure sign that both sides are taking this race very seriously, both national committees are pouring resources in the district, and this is one of the seats where the NRCC has spent the most for now (more than $500,000). That is both an indication that the NRCC thinks Reichert is highly endangered and that they think his seat is salvageable; in short, it is a toss-up.

Full ratings available here.


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Poll watch: Obama leads big in OH, PA, FL, IN and more; Franken narrowly ahead

The clock is running out, and the only good news for McCain today is a IBD/TIPP poll that has him only down 1%. But just like yesterday’s AP poll, that appears to be an outlier as seven other national polls show Obama firmly in command (not to mention that IBD/TIPP has McCain with more than 70% among 18-24 year-old respondents). In fact, Obama leads by double-digits in four of the day’s survey, and McCain remains stuck in the low 40s (39% to 45%) in all eight - including IBD/TIPP.

State polls are even more decisive, and they are breaking in favor of Obama rather than against him. Today’s line-up of surveys has Obama posting some big margins across the country, and what is significant is that these surveys come from different institutes, some of which have not been particularly friendly to the Democrat before (National Journal/All State or Big10, for instance). Obama leads by double-digits in five polls of Pennsylvania, three polls of Minnesota, two polls of Wisconsin, two polls of Ohio and one poll each of Michigan, Iowa and Indiana.

Obama also leads outside of the margin of error in two Florida surveys (something McCain has not done in a single Florida poll for four weeks) and captures a narrow advantage in Montana in the first poll that (finally) includes Ron Paul’s name. He is within striking distance in Georgia, where early voting turnout confirms that he has a shot at making the race very close.

Needless to say, Obama needs to capture very few of the states I just mentioned. If he wins just one of the Big Three (OH, PA and FL), he will be in a very good position to capture the presidency; two would ensure victory; and even an (at this point unlikely) defeat in all three would certainly not be the end of his ambitions: A sweep of Colorado, Virginia and Nevada (or any of these replaced by Indiana, Missouri or North Carolina) could replace the Keystone State. With all of this in mind, let’s go on to today’s full roundup:

  • Obama maintains a double-digit lead in the latest NYT/CBS poll. He is ahead 52% to 39% (he led by 14% last week). He leads by 6% among independents. 62% feel “personally connected” to Obama, 47% to McCain; more voters think Obama has the right temperament and personality to be president, and more voters think Obama would handle a crisis well. Palin’s favorability rating remains negative.
  • Obama keeps his dominant position in the tracking polls. He gains 2% in Zogby (52% to 40%) and 1% in Rasmussen (52% to 45%). The race stays stable in Hotline (48% to 43%), ABC/Washington Post (54% to 43%) and Research 2000 (51% to 41%). Obama slips 1% in Gallup (51% to 45%) and 3% in IBD/TIPP (where he is only up 1%, 45% to 44%). That puts Obama’s lead in the day’s trackings at: 1%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 10%, 11%, 12%.
  • Ohio: Obama leads by double-digits in two new polls, his biggest leads ever in the state. He leads 52% to 38% in a Quinnipiac survey (he led by 8% three weeks ago). He leads 53% to 41% in a Big 10 Battleground poll.
  • Florida: Obama leads outside of the MoE in two new surveys. He is ahead 49% to 44% in a new Quinnipiac poll (he led by 8% three weeks ago). He leads 49% to 42% in a St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald poll. Obama seizes a big lead among independents in the latter, which was taken Monday through Wednesday.
  • Indiana: Obama leads 51% to 41% in a Big10 poll. The race was tied in mid-September.
  • Michigan: Obama leads by a stunning 58% to 36% in a Big10 poll.
  • Georgia: McCain leads 51% to 46% in a Rasmussen poll. McCain led by 9% two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, in down the ballot polls:

  • Proposition 8 is losing 52% to 44% in a PPIC poll. However, the “no” was ahead 55% to 41% five weeks ago.
  • Minnesota’s Senate race: Democrat Al Franken narrowly leads in two polls. In Rasmussen, he is ahead 41% to 37% with 17% for Barkley. Two weeks ago, Franken led by 6%. In a University of Wisconsin poll, he is ahead 40% to 34% with 15% for Barkley.
  • In Kentucky’s Senate race, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell leads 47% to 43% in a Research 2000 poll.
  • In Georgia’s Senate race, GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss leads 47% to 45% in a Rasmussen poll. He led by 6% two weeks ago.
  • In Louisiana’s Senate race, Democratic Sen. Landrieu leads 53% to 43% in a Rasmussen poll. She led by 14% last month.
  • In Washington’s gubernatorial race, Democratic Gov. Gregoire leads 50% to 48% in a Rasmussen poll.
  • In IL-11, Democrat Debby Halvorson leads 50% to 37% in a new SUSA poll.
  • In PA-12, Democratic Rep. Murtha is only up 46% to 41% in a new Susquehanna poll.
  • In WA-08, Democrat Darcy Burner storms back to grab a 50% to 46% lead in a new SUSA poll. Reichert trailed by 10% three weeks ago.
  • In MI-09, Democrat Gary Peters leads 46% to 36% against Rep. Knollenberg in a DCCC internal.
  • In OH-15, Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy leads 44% to 36% in a DCCC poll. She led by the same margin three three weeks ago.
  • In AL-02, Democrat Bobby Bright leads 50% to 43% in a DCCC poll.

Senate: It is difficult to know what to make of the Minnesota Senate race. Barkley is holding stable just under 20%, but his support is not firm: It could end up at a far lower point, but it could also end up rising if voters come to think he has a chance of pulling it off. In either case, it is impossible to know how that would affect Coleman and Franken’s totals.

House: Democrats get great news from SUSA. Darcy Burner appeared to be fading in WA-08, but she has now led in three polls in a row. The first two were Democratic polls, now an independent pollster confirms her comeback. IL-11 was once going to be an easy pick-up before GOP candidate Ozinga proved surprisingly resilient. Now, the Democratic surge appears to have buried Republican prospects of a come-from-behind victory here.

Furthermore, a trio of DCCC poll completes the strong news for Democrats, especially when combined with the NRCC pulling out of MI-09. That said, Susquehanna’s poll from PA-12 confirms the Democrats’ worst fear that Rep. Murtha’s recent comments about his districts has endangered his re-election prospects.



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Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::filter_post_comments() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Posts


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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