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Category Archive for ‘TX-17’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'TX-17' Category


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DCCC seeks to counter expectation of mounting Dem retirements

Following the streak of four Democratic retirements in as many weeks, all eyes are on veteran lawmakers who represent marginal districts and who might be tempted to follow the likes of John Tanner and Brat Gordon out the door. Today, the DCCC pushed back by getting a number of such Democrats to go on the record as ruling out a retirement.

There are a number of reasons the DCCC would want to counter the growing expectations that it will face a mounting number of Democratic retirements. For one, this can slow down the narrative of an embattled party that risks losing its majority, which would only create a downward spiral, depress donors and embolden Republicans. Second, the NRCC has been circling around around any Democrats who are mentioned as a potential retirees in the hope of pressuring them into retirement; for a congressman to go on the record as committed to seeking another term can get them temporarily off the GOP’s priority list. Third, the expectation that a congressman will retire can give momentum to his declared opponents, who will raise money off of the rumors that they’ll be running in an open seat and thus be stronger candidates if the incumbent remains in the race after all.

The most definitive and trustworthy push back came from Rep. Chet Edwards, who occupies the most Republican district represented by a Democrat: It is fairly incredible that he managed to survive Tom DeLay’s redistricting, which put him in a district that gave Bush 70% of the vote in 2004 and gave John McCain 67% of the vote last year. Needless to say, an open seat in TX-17 would be a near-certain GOP pick-up. Thankfully for the DCCC, Edwards’s camp made it clear today he will be on the 2010 ballot.

Why do I say this development is the most definitive of the list? Texas’s filing period has already started, and the deadline is coming up in just 3 weeks! It is impossible Edwards (who is no Lieberman) would be bluffing this late in the process, so this is one announcement Democrats can trust.

Second is Rep. Collin Peterson, the powerful Minnesota Blue Dog who chairs the Agriculture Committee. Just a few days ago, Peterson hinted that he would not make a final decision until February but he released a statement today blasting those who would suggest that this waiting period is anything but a formality: “I’m running for re-election and anyone who knows me knows that what I’m doing now is what I’ve always done. My paperwork is on file and in February I’ll make an official announcement.”

Third, fourth and fifth are Rep. Ike Skelton, Rep. Tim Holden and Rep. Lincoln Davis whose spokespeople told the press that their bosses would seek another term next year. All three represent red district. Davis might be getting lonely, since two of his fellow Tennessee Democrats announced they would leave Congress in recent weeks; Holden is still relatively young (52), but he was on the NRCC’s list of potential retirees; Skelton, finally, is the 78-year old chair of the House Armed Services Committee. His retirement would have not only sent shock waves through the Democrats’ seniority ranks, but also given the GOP a golden shot at a district that gave McCain 61% of the vote.

We should continue to track of these incumbents (except Edwards, and arguably Peterson, who made it pretty clear he expects to run again). Spokespeople routinely insist that their boss will run for re-election, and it does not always play out that way. After all, incumbents like Holden and Skelton might be hoping to get the GOP off their back while they finish making up their mind. That said, none of them were forced to come out with such statements and they must be at the very least leaning against retiring if they did; it should also calm anxious DCCC officials and give pause to the growing narrative about panic in Blue Dog ranks.

On the other hand, we also learned today that Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt is not committing to running in 2010; this is I believe the first time we get confirmation that he is mulling a retirement. This would be a particularly big blow to Democrats: While seats like TN-6 and LA-3 would be tough holds in any environment, SC-5 (which gave John McCain 53%) is the type of red-leaning district in which the party could have a very good shot at playing defense in a neutral environment.

No open seat doesn’t mean safe seat

Of course, that one of these Democrats chooses not to retire does not mean their districts will remain Democratic. In particular, TX-17 looks like a tough hold. In late November, the NRCC suffered a rare recruitment blow when state Sen. Steve Ogden announced he would not run but businessman Bill Flores is now set to enter the race with his vast fortune: He has already promised half-a-million dollars. This is such a GOP district that any Republican starts with a large share of the vote while Edwards has practically no base to rely on. In 2008, Edwards’s opponent received 46% of the vote after running a low-profile campaign; Flores’s millions could help turn TX-17’s voters against the incumbent and channel conservative anger to ensure Edwards receives less cross-over support than he’s used to.

The NRCC has also been determined to include Skelton to its target list: While the Missouri Democrat has topped 60% in all but one of his reelection races, his district has been trending red - it gave McCain 61% after giving Bush 60% in 2000. Former state Rep. Hartzler, who has devoted herself to socially conservative caucuses, is challenging Skelton; she should not pause much of a challenge in normal conditions but if the environment is as toxic for Democrats as the GOP is hoping, she could motivate the Republican base enough to score an upset.

As for the other names on this list: Lincoln Davis does not seem like he should have that much to fear from physician Scott DesJarlais but his district did go for McCain by 29%, and Tim Holden and Collin Peterson should be out of the GOP’s reach if they indeed seek another term. Neither PA-17 nor MN-07 are conservative enough to be top Republican priorities, and the NRCC did suffer a recruitment failure against Holden.


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Yet another Dem drops out of a House race, but NRCC suffers two recruitment failures

A few days after the DCCC lost state Rep. Todd Book in the OH-02 race, another Democratic candidate has dropped out of a House race: former state Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers announced she was ending her campaign TN-03, left open by Republican Rep. Zach Wamp’s gubernatorial campaign.

Just like OH-02, TN-03 was a very tough district for Democrats to contest: John McCain got 62% of the vote last year, increasing George W. Bush’s margin of victory by 2%. And yet, the DCCC had enough success in comparatively conservative districts in the past cycle that it seemed possible an open race would become competitive; Flower’s entry was a good sign for Democrats since a former statewide official can be expected to have the campaign skills and the profile to succeed in conservative territory.

Her withdrawal, coupled with state Senator Andy Berke and Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield’s springtime announcements that they wouldn’t run, leaves the GOP in firm command of the race.

At this point, the 2010 cycle is shaping to be favorable enough to Republicans that they probably won’t have to worry about keeping such red districts no matter who Democrats nominate; as such, Flower’s decision (just like Book’s last week) doesn’t really impact the House landscape. But it does speak to decreasing Democratic confidence: The party doesn’t have to buy into the GOP’s excessive optimism to admit that they won’t have as much success on offense as they did in 2006 and in 2008.

That said, the NRCC did suffer through two recruitment failures today.

In TX-17, the reddest district held by a Democrat (John McCain received 67% of the vote), it looks like the GOP will once again fail to field the strongest challenger possible against Rep. Chet Edwards. State Senator Steve Ogden just announced that he would not challenge the ten-term incumbent in what is a top Republican priority. (A reminder: Edwards is a rare Democrat who was targeted by Tom DeLay’s mid-decade redistricting who survived the 2004 elections, which is why he represents such an absurdly hostile district.)

That said, this is one district where it might not matter who the GOP nominates. In 2008, Rob Curnock ran a low-profile campaign but received 46% of the vote; he is now back for a rematch. Edwards has practically no Democratic base to rely on; if conservative voters are as angry as indicators suggest, it will be tough for the congressman to win cross-over support as he always does. After all, Edwards survived the 1990s but this is the first time he’ll have to run for re-election with a Democratic White House since his district was redrawn.

In GA-08, meanwhile, Rep. Jim Marshall has been dodging all the potentially most damaging bullets. This week-end, state Senator Ross Tolleson opened the door to a 2012 run but he announced he would not challenge Marshall next year. (Note that Marshall happens to be one of the most conservative House Democrats, so this is one case in which Blue Dogs are not vaulting to the top of the NRCC’s target list.)

The GOP has other candidates in the race (notably businesswoman Angela Hicks and a former county party chairman) but Marshall has proved an elusive enough target that he should be able to dispatch non top-tier opposition - unless the environment is very toxic for Democrats, but we aren’t there yet and in that case Republican recruitment could matter little anyway. It is true that Marshall had a very close call in 2006, but that race intervened just after Georgia Republicans (inspired by their Texas colleagues) had redrawn his district.

In both GA-08 and TX-17, redistricting could soonafter change the district’s make-up. At the moment, the GOP controls the process in both states, so even if they fail to pick-up either seat they could be in a position to make these districts even tougher to hold for a Democrat. (In this scenario, stakes are lowered for the 2010 House results since GOP takeovers would be likely in the years ahead.) Yet, Democrats could pick-up Georgia’s governorship or the Texas House next year; that would give them a voice in the redrawing process and force an incumbent-protection map; as such, if the GOP fails to pick-up the seats next year it could become harder for them to do so in the future.

And another potential headache is emerging for the NRCC in NJ-03: Just a few days after I wrote that it was up to football player Jon Runyan to show he has the political skills to be a serious candidate, he confirmed that rookie candidates are risks when he contradicted the statement he had issued shortly before, denied he was committed to challenging Rep. Adler and added he was only “exploring his options.” His spokesperson has since said that was meant in jest (?!), but this only confirms it might not be the best idea for Runyan to go back to the NFL until the season is over and thus launching his campaign.


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NRCC hoping to go where it hasn’t gone lately

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The who’s who of vulnerable House Democrats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The electoral consequences of Obama’s Cabinet picks

Ever since Barack Obama’s election, there has been intense speculation surrounding his Cabinet positions. A lot of it has concerned the electoral consequences of tapping Governors, Senators and House members: Would the seat switch parties, who would take over, and what would it mean for the 2010 landscape?

Now that Obama has filled his Cabinet, it is time to offer is a rundown of elected officials who were nominated, those who were rumored but did not make the cut - and what all of this means to the political landscape.

Those who were tapped

  • Hillary Clinton, New York

The unexpected news that Hillary Clinton was being considered for a Secretary of State position captivated the political class throughout November. The deed was finally consummated, capping a remarkable year for Hillary and Barack. Clinton’s nomination also opened a vacancy in one of the country’s largest and most Democratic state, focused everyone’s attention on Governor David Paterson and subsequently on Caroline Kennedy, added a Senate race to the 2010 line-up and provided the GOP a glimmer of hope of picking-up a seat.

  • Tom Dashle, South Dakota

Some Democrats dreamed of Dashle challenging John Thune to a Senate rematch in 2010 - a scenario that is now foreclosed by Dashle’s appointment as HHS Secretary. However, it was always very unlikely that Dashle would jump in the race, so Obama’s pick changed very little electorally.

  • Rahm Emanuel, IL-05

IL-05 is a Chicago-based district that is heavily Democratic. Such an open seat can only mean one thing: A chaotic intra-party battle between dozens of city-level Democrats who have been waiting for years to move up the ladder, with no possibility that a Republican even dream about winning the seat.

  • Janet Napolitano, Arizona

Janet Napolitano’s appointment to the Homeland Security Department is Obama’s one nomination that has already cost Democrats a seat. Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer will take over as the state’s Governor. Given that Brewer was already mentioned as a possible contender for an open seat in 2010 (Napolitano would not have been able to run due to term limit laws), it seems a safe bet to say that she will run now that she can do so as an incumbent. This gives Republicans the clear upper hand in what was expected to be one of the most competitive open seats of 2010.

  • Bill Richardson, New Mexico

Richardson’s Cabinet prospects seemed to end with Hillary Clinton’s nomination to Foggy Bottom, but the New Mexico Governor will be reborn as Obama’s Secretary of Commerce. A Democrat, Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, will take over and will thus have the upper-hand in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Due to term-limits, Richardson was not allowed to run for re-election which means that the seat would have been open. But Denish, who was already considered a likely candidate before Richardon’s nomination, can now run as an incumbent.

  • Ken Salazar, Colorado

Ken Salazar’s nomination to the Interior Department created the fourth Senate vacancy due to Barack Obama’s victory. Democratic Governor Bill Ritter will choose Salazar’s successor, and Democrats have a deep enough bench in Colorado that Ritter has plenty of contenders to choose from. (I summarized the politics of this appointment two days ago.) Salazar’s departure from the Senate gives an opening to Republicans, but two factors minimize its impact. First, Salazar was up for re-election in 2010, so this will not add an additional seat for Democrats to defend. Second, Salazar was not safe to start with.

  • Hilda Solis, CA-32

Rep. Solis’s appointment as Secretary of Labor was unexpected, but the special election that will be triggered after Solis’s confirmation won’t give the DCCC many headaches: CA-32 is a very Democratic district that gave John Kerry 62% of the vote in 2004.

  • Tom Vilsack, Iowa

Vilsack’s unexpected nomination as Secretary of Agriculture has one immediate electoral consequence: we are now sure that Vilsack will not run for Senate in 2010. Vilsack might have been the only Democrat strong enough to credibly challenge Senator Chuck Grassley. Vilsack’s nomination might also make it more likely that Grassley run for re-election since he no longer has to worry about spending two grueling years on the campaign trail. All of this said, a Vilsack candidacy was only a possibility, and many considered it unlikely.

Those who were not:

  • Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, Maine

Some Democrats were pushing the idea of tapping one of Maine’s two moderate Senators as one of the Republican Cabinet members Obama had promised in order to allow Maine’s Democratic Governor to appoint their (Democratic) successor.

  • John Corzine, New Jersey

After Larry Summer’s name faded in mid-November, John Corzine was mentioned as a possible Secretary of the Treasury. This would have elevated State Senate President Richard Codey as acting Governor, a position he already occupied after Jim McGreevey’s resignation in 2004. It would also have meant a far more entertaining gubernatorial race in 2009.

  • Arthur Davis, AL-07

Rep. Davis is said to have statewide ambitions - perhaps as early as 2010 - so this seat could soon be open, but Democrats have little to worry about: This is a heavily Democratic and African-American district that gave Kerry 64% of the vote in 2004.

  • Chet Edwards, TX-17

First mentioned as a vice-presidential contender over the summer, Edwards saw his name back in the mix during Obama’s transition efforts. Edwards represents a heavily Republican district, and it would have been very difficult to envision Democrats holding on to his seat in a special election had Edwards joined Obama’s Cabinet.

  • Jennifer Granholm, Michigan

Michigan’s Governor was mentioned as a top contender for a number of positions, including Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Labor. Her appointment would have elevated Democrat John Cherry in the Governor’s position and given the Democratic Party the early upper-hand in the 2010 gubernatorial election. As it stands now, Granholm is term-limited and the race will be one of the country’s most competitive open seats.

  • Stephanie Herseth, South Dakota

Rep. Stephanie Herseth was mentioned as one of the finalists for the Secretary of Agriculture positions, and her appointment would have been a nightmare for House Democrats. South Dakota remains a Republican enough state that the GOP would have had a great shot at reclaiming the seat in a spring special election. This could have consequences down the line for Tim Johnson’s Senate succession.

  • John Kerry, Massachusetts

The former presidential candidate was rumored to be the most likely to be picked as Secretary of State and Massachusetts Democrats were already preparing for a 2009 special election (there is no gubernatorial appointment in the state). But Hillary Clinton’s unexpected emergence thwarted Kerry’s hopes - and those of the hundreds of Massachusetts Democrats who have been waiting for decades for Senate and/or House seats to open up.

  • Colin Peterson, MN-07

Rumored to have been on the short list for Secretary of Agriculture alongside Rep. Herseth, Peterson’s appointment would have triggered a difficult special election for Democrats. Now Chairman of the House’s Agriculture Committee, Peterson is entrenched and senior enough that he can keep his seat blue, but MN-07 is a Republican-leaning district that gave George Bush big winning margins and that narrowly went for John McCain this year.

  • Jack Reed, Rhode Island

Just like Chet Edwards, Jack Reed made a strong apparition in the summer’s veepstakes, and his name was mentioned as a possible Secretary of State. One reason his prospects might have been thwarted is that Rhode Island’s Governor is a Republican, so a Reed appointment would have resulted in an additional GOP Senator.

  • John Salazar, CO-03

Salazar’s name was often mentioned as Secretary of Interior but his brother - Senator Ken Salazar - ended up getting the nod. This is a relief for House Democrats, as CO-03 is a Republican-leaning district that would have been tough to defend in a special election. (That said, we might still have a vacancy in CO-03 since John is on the list of Democrats who could be appointed to Ken’s Senate seat.)

  • Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas

The Kansas Governor seemed certain to land in Obama’s Cabinet. She had been on his vice-presidential short list and was considered a top contender for a number of positions, including Secretary of Labor. Her statement withdrawing her name from Cabinet considerations was thus one of the biggest surprises of this transition period. (It is of course unclear whether Sebelius issued the statement because she genuinely wanted to help Kansas through the economic crisis or because she had already been told she was unlikely to get an appointment.)

In any case, her withdrawal preserves the governorship in Democratic hands (the next-in-line is a Republican); it could have a huge impact on the upcoming open Senate race. Democrats have not won a Senate race in this state since 1936, and Sebelius is probably the only Democrat who stands a chance. A Cabinet appointment would have barred her from running and would have guaranteed that the Senate race remain in Republican hands.


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Obama’s transition and the 2010 landscape

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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  • All good things must come to an end

  • 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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