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Category Archive for ‘VA-05’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'VA-05' Category


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

Less than three weeks from Texas’s primaries

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

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

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

Bayh might not be that vulnerable after all

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

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

House

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

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

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

Senate

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

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

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

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

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

Governor

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

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

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

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

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


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NV-03, VA-05 and KS-02: Parties land credible challengers with state Senate on their resume

Joe Heck’s switch puts NV-03 on the map

I mentioned former state Senator Joe Heck’s switch from the Governor’s race to NV-03 in my post about Nevada’s statewide elections, but that decision is just as crucial at the House level: It is one more unexpectedly strong recruitment coup by the NRCC, a stark contrast to the 2008 cycle during which House Republicans were certainly not accustomed to this sort of success.

If nothing else, Heck is a definite step-up from Rep. Titus’s first challenger - banker John Guedry - who was highly-touted by the NRCC before he announced he was dropping out two weeks ago.

In fact, to the extent that the NRCC is so insistent that Titus is one of their top 2010 targets, Heck is as good a candidate as they could have hoped for. He was already considered a highly credible candidate at the statewide level (first in the Senate race, as he considered challenging Harry Reid; then in the gubernatorial race) so he should be all the stronger now that he is downgrading his ambitions. Credibility brings the ability to fundraise and the attention of the national party - both crucial elements of successful congressional challenges.

Yet, let’s be clear on the fact that Heck’s entry does not suddenly make Titus one of the year’s most vulnerable incumbents. To insist that she is endangered, Republicans point to the fact that Titus won with only 49% of the vote last year; but she was running against an incumbent (Jon Porter) whose electability is respected enough that he was long considered Reid’s top potential challenger. Second, Heck brings his own problems to the table: He lost his re-election race last year, so he’ll have to show that he has what it takes to overcome Nevada’s blue drift.

That gets us to the fact that NV-03 is far from an obvious district for the GOP to target: It gave Obama a double-digit victory and barely went for Bush by 1% in 2004. Even if 2010 will not be as favorable for Democrats as 2008, the GOP will have to take into account political conditions specific to Nevada - namely Jim Gibbons’s and John Ensign’s weight on the Republican brand.

The GOP field against Perriello getting settled

Freshman Democrat Tom Perriello, who scored one of the rare upsets of the 2008 cycle, has been at the very top of the GOP’s list since his 727 vote victory was confirmed in December. Republicans argue that Perriello was only able to overcome the district’s red lean (VA-05 voted for Bush by double-digits, for McCain by 3%) because of Obama’s coattails and a boost in African-American turnout, two factors that are unlikely to save him in 2010.

I am unconvinced that Perriello’s victory is the fluke the GOP portrays it to be (not only did he overperform by 3% relatively to Obama but the fact that his victory was Election Night’s arguably only surprise Democratic pick-up suggests it can’t just be explained by the magnitude of the blue wave) but there is no denying that he is endangered. And he won’t be able to bank on the GOP failing to recruit a top-tier challenger: state Senator Robert Hurt just took the first step towards a 2010 run. Hurt will not have the Republican primary for himself, but he starts as the clear favorite to move on to the general election. A match-up with Perriello should be a strong takeover opportunity for the GOP.

Democrats get a recruit of their own in KS-02

We wouldn’t necessarily expect to see KS-02 on the DCCC’s priority list, since it gave John McCain a double-digit victory in 2008. Lynn Jenkins scored a convincing victory that same year, first in a competitive Republican primary and then against incumbent Democrat Nancy Boyda in the general election. That Jenkins’s win was one of the night’s few GOP pick-ups confirms that this district is difficult territory for Democrats.

Yet, Democrats recently landed a credible candidate to take on Jenkins: state Senator Laura Kelly. In office since 2004, Kelly is the chamber’s Democratic whip (note that her party only controls 9 of the Senate’s 40 seats).  The Kansas City Star notes that Kelly represents a Republican district; the 58% she received last year in her re-election race thus speak well of her electability in hostile territory.

This profile certainly suggests the Democrat’s bid should be taken seriously; a state Senator can’t be sure to make a race competitive, but she is at least guaranteed to attract the attention of donors and of the national party. It’s worth keeping an eye on KS-02 all the more because of the unwanted attraction Jenkins attracted recently over her depressing comment calling for the GOP to find “a great white hope.” The incumbent was forced to apologize.

All of this said, Jenkins remains clearly favored to win a second term. Sure, Democrats picked-up the seat in 2006, but that was stunning upset that occurred in a fundamentally different environment and against a far weaker Republican incumbent: Jim Ryun’s hold on the district was weak enough that he failed to win the GOP nomination when he sought a rematch in 2008. Unless 2010 becomes friendly to Democrats nationally, it’s hard to see a district that gave McCain 55% dump its Republican incumbent.

Let’s also not forget that Kansas’s down-ballot Republicans will be helped by the coattails of the top of the ticket: GOP candidates will be facing little competition in the Senate and Governor’s contests, despite both posts being open. Democrats did just get their first Senate candidate, as retired advertising executive Charles Schollenberger announced his candidacy; but it will take more for the winner of the GOP’s Moran-Tiahrt primary not to waltz to a general election victory.


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The ups and downs of NRCC recruitment

Yesterday, I highlighted some of the Democrats’ good House news - particularly their ability to avoid giving the GOP unnecessary openings. Within a few hours, yet another Democratic representative announced that he will not vacate his seat in 2010: Rep. Jim Matheson ruled out mounting a gubernatorial run, even though he is one of the only Democrats who could have taken advantage of the shuffle created by Governor Huntsman’s resignation. Matheson’s UT-02 is a red-leaning district that would have been very tough for Democrats to defend, so that sound you hear is yet another sigh of relief from the DCCC.

Yet, House Republicans are still as determined to go on the offensive next year: NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions just said that he was hoping to seriously contest 80 Dem-held districts come 2010! That’s an obviously unrealistic number, at this juncture ridiculously so, but at least Sessions is trying to change momentum after two disastrous cycles in which the GOP was stuck on the defensive. And Sessions went on to unveil its Young Guns program, the GOP’s equivalent of the DCCC’s Red to Blue. The initial list includes 13 challengers Republicans think are top-tier recruits:

Martha Roby (AL-02); Van Tran (CA-47); Cory Gardner (CO-04); Dennis Ross (FL-12); Charles Djou (HI-01); Vaughn Ward (ID-01); Adam Kinzinger (IL-11); Andy Harris (MD-01); Frank Guinta (NH-01); Jon Barela (NM-01); Steve Pearce (NM-02); Steve Chabot (OH-01); Steve Stivers (OH-15)

FL-12 is a GOP-held open seat, so that’s not an offensive opportunity. Of the 12 challengers on the list, some definitely should be on this list (AL-02, CO-04, ID-01, NH-01, NM-02, OH-01, OH-15); one seems to me to be weaker than other candidates the GOP could field (Andy Harris in MD-01); and a number continue to seem like wishful thinking (CA-47, HI-01 and NM-01 seem like too heavily Democratic to be worth the NRCC’s efforts). I am struck by OR-04’s absence: The NRCC spent so much time recruiting Sid Leiken that I’d expect him to now get more attention.

Meanwhile, the NRCC’s recruitment districts in other districts is having mixed results - as you can see from the round-up below.

NRCC misses its best shot at CT-04

CT-04 is not the most obvious of Republican targets - Obama prevailed by 20% last fall, helping dislodge Chris Shays - but the NRCC had been talking up Rep. Jim Himes’s vulnerability. That was perhaps because Himes is a freshman, perhaps because the district’s blue drift is bound to decrease and perhaps because the GOP was counting on recruiting a top challenger: State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, who has a moderate reputation and whose father represented the distrist from 1971 to 1987.

After weeks during which he flirted with a run - even traveling to Washington to meet with NRCC officials - McKinney has just announced he will not challenge Himes in 2010. That’s a huge blow to the GOP’s prospects in this already tough district. Other credible Republicans might run - state Senators Rob Kane, Dan Debicella and Rob Russo are mentioned - but none have the advantage of McKinney’s last name.

Childrers draws top-tier challenger

After winning a springtime special election with surprising ease last year, Travis Childers did not have to worry much about his first re-election race in November. But 2010 should be very different: State Senator Alan Nunnelee, who has served in the legislature since 1994, just filed a candidacy statement. His entry makes this race a top priority for the NRCC.

Nunnelee has has better name recognition than your average challenger; his role as Appropriations Committee Chairman should make it very easy for him to raise money; and his prominence gives him the best shot at avoiding the GOP a divisive primary (in 2008, Republican divisions helped Childers scored an upset). In a district that gave McCain 62% of the vote, can Childers survive a well-funded challenger who is able to unite the GOP? Remember: MS-01 is one of those Southern districts that swung to the GOP in 1994.

GOP can now search for strongest challenger in VA-05

No one doubts that Tom Perriello is a very vulnerable incumbent: The only true surprise winner of the 2008 cycle, Perriello benefited from a favorable environment and he will now have to run without the benefit of Obama’s coattails. But a crucial question surrounded the race: Would the GOP make the most of its opportunity by fielding its strongest possible candidate? Former Rep. Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated in 2008, was very interested in seeking a rematch and he was acting like a candidate.

Yet, he just announced that he would pass on the race, which is undoubtedly good news for the NRCC:  A longtime congressman, Goode is a well-known entity in the district so it would not have been easy for him to overcome voters’ decision to kick him out. Furthermore, his very conservative politics and his history of controversial statements are an increasingly bad fit for this blue-trending district. With Goode out of the picture, the NRCC can turn to fresher faces who can fashion themselves a more appropriate profile: State Sen. Robert Hurt and state Del. Rob Bell are potential contenders.

VA-11: Fimian is back

In 2008, Gerald Connolly’s victory in the VA-11 open race was slightly underwhelming: He came to the race with a far higher profile, had a much longer time to prepare his campaign and he benefited from Obama’s Northern Virginia coattails. The major explanation for why the race remained somewhat competitive was Republican Keith Fimian’s deep pockets. Through self-funding, this wealthy businessman was able to spend far more money than he would have had his fate rested in the NRCC’s hands.

That’s why Fimian’s announcement that he will seek a rematch meets the GOP’s only hope of contesting this district in 2010: While the district is now too Democratic for the NRCC to accept spending much money and for Republican donors to be convinced to invest, a self-funder can test Connolly’s vulnerability without needing much national attention.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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NRCC goes after Kratovil and red-district Democrats, loses a challenger in North Carolina

Earlier this year, the NRCC launched a massive attack against 33 Democratic representatives; but only one incumbent found himself targeted by a TV ad: Zach Space (OH-18). A few months have passed and the Republican committee is using the same strategy.

In a new wave of attacks that targets 17 Democrats, TV ads will be aired in only one district: MD-01, held by Frank Kratovil. Additionally, radio ads will air against six Democrats: Vic Snyder (AR-02), Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), Harry Teague (NM-02), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL), Glenn Nye (VA-02) and Tom Perriello (VA-05).

What do all these Democrats have in common? They all represent conservative-leaning territory: John McCain won all but VA-02, a district in which Obama received 2% but where George W. Bush prevailed by 16% in 2004. In 2010, Republicans are hoping that these district’s conservative nature will reassert itself since the environment is unlikely to be as favorable to Democrats as it was over the past two cycles and they are thus looking to soften these incumbent’s image by blasting them as partisan Democrats and as liberals.

And the GOP has long decided how it will do that: Use Nancy Pelosi as a boogeywoman. The NRCC’s previous wave of ad attacked Blue Dog Democrats on spending matters. “Nancy Pelosi pushed a budget with a trillion dollar deficit,” said the ad that aired in OH-18. “And Space voted to let Nancy Pelosi get her way.”

Now, the NRCC is focusing on Pelosi’s recent back-and-forth with the CIA. “Lying to Congress would be a crime, so why won’t Pelosi investigate the “crime”?,” asks the ad that will air in Maryland’s 1st District. “Frank Kratovil sided with Pelosi to block an investigation. Frank Kratovil, voting with Nancy Pelosi 89% of the time.”

Contrary to what the GOP seems to think, it has not gained the upper-hand on this issue: Polls suggest that the CIA’s reputation is damaged enough that the public did not automatically dismiss Pelosi’s claims. Yet, what might not be a winning argument for the NRCC in most parts of the country could very well be a successful one in red districts like MD-01: Pelosi is very unpopular among Republicans and conservative-leaning voters (a constituency among which these 7 Democrats need to do well) were likely appalled by the Speaker’s contention that the CIA lied.

Democrats who have represented very hostile districts for decades (think Rep. Taylor of Mississippi) have had the time to convince their Republican constituents that they are not automatic votes in favor of the leadership of their party. As such, they have become very difficult to dislodge. But Kratovil, Kosmas, Teague, Nye and Perriello are all freshman and sit in red-leaning districts: the NRCC thus believes it can turn conservative-leaning voters against them, which explains why they are all being targeted.

Herseth Sandlin has easily won her 3 re-election races so her situation is different, but there is some buzz about her facing her first serious challenger - not to mention that she is mulling a gubernatorial run so the NRCC might be looking to pressure into leaving the House. As for Vic Snyder, he is one of those entrenched Democrats I mentioned above but the NRCC has by now made it clear it will go after Snyder and AR-01’s Marion Berry.

To truly make thee Arkansas Democrats vulnerable, the GOP will have to land top challengers, but given how entrenched both Snyder and Berry are the NRCC can hope to convince anyone to run unless they demonstrate their willingness to spend hard money on these districts. Indeed, early advertising is one thing, recruiting credible challengers is quite another. While the GOP has met some success in blue-leaning districts like OR-04 and CA-47, it still has work to do against the more obviously vulnerable Democrats.

In NC-08, a swing district in which Larry Kissell won a tough battle in 2008, Republicans were talking up the potential candidacy of Mike Minter. A former football, Minter looked interested in the race but, in a clear blow to the NRCC, he recently announced that he would not run. (This might open the door to a comeback by former Rep. Hayes, though he would probably not be the GOP’s best option.)

As much as I would like to think that athletes cannot just waltz their way into the political arena and win, there is enough evidence to suggest that Minter would have been a formidable candidate - starting with Democrat Heath Shuler, another football star who successfuly ran against an incumbent in 2006. Minter spent his entire career playing for the Carolina Panthers, which gives him huge name recognition and popularity in this district. (The Panthers are based in Charlotte, part of which is contained in NC-08.)

The GOP might have more success in WI-03: Rep. Ron Kind, who has easily held since his first victory in 1996, has not mentioned as a potentially vulnerable incumbent but he could soon draw a serious opponent: state Senator Dan Kapanke is signaling his interest in challenging Kind. WI-03 only narrowly went for Gore and Kerry (3% each time) but Obama received 58% of the vote. As such, it is not the most obvious place for an unexpected Republican offensive, but trying to expand the map to usually uncontested districts certainly did not hurt Democrats in 2006.


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House: Castle looks safe in Delaware, GOP fields getting crowded in New Hampshire

Castle looks safe in House race

Last week, PPP released a poll of Delaware’s Senate race that found GOP Rep. Mike Castle leading Beau Biden 44% to 36%. The next day, PPP also published the results of a House match-up, and the results are even better for the longtime Republican representative. Even if the Democrat’s dream candidate (former Lieutenant Governor John Carney) were to jump in the race, Castle would easily win re-election: He leads 49% to 32% against Carney, 56% to 21% against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons.

Sure, Castle is under the vulnerability threshold of 50%, but that rule might not apply to a Castle-Carney contest as much as it usually does: Carney is already a well-known politician (35% of respondents don’t have an opinion of him, which is obviously much lower than is typical for a House challenger) and for him to trail Castle by 17% suggests that Delaware’s sole representative will be favored to hold on to his seat as long as he chooses to run for re-election.

If Castle and Carney’s internal polls are telling a similar story, this could have two important consequences. First, it might make Carney less likely to jump the race, as a second defeat in as many cycles would be fatal to his political career (Carney lost a hard-fought gubernatorial primary in 2008). Second, Castle feeling reassured that he will not face a competitive House race no matter who the DCCC recruits could incite him not to jump in the Senate contest: at 70, why sign up for a difficult campaign if you can stay where you are with little effort?

GOP works to find New Hampshire candidates

Republicans have a lot to think about in the Granite State. A Senate and a House seat will be open while the state’s other district (Carol Shea-Porter’s) is vulnerable to a Republican challenge. And while no Republican has hinted to considering a Senate run, plenty are eying the two House races.

In open NH-02, we already knew that former Rep. Charlie Bass was considering running for his old House seat back; we now learn that the GOP’s 2008 nominee, radio host Jennifer Horn, is also considering a run. It will not be easy for the GOP to reclaim a district that has anchored itself in the Democratic column (Obama won by 13%), but Bass would undoubtedly be a stronger contender than Horn, who lost by 17% in 2008. (Granted, that was a particularly disastrous year for New Hampshire Republicans.)

In NH-01, meanwhile, Shea-Porter is sure to face a credible challenger, though it now looks fairly unlikely that she could face a third consecutive match-up with former Rep. Jeb Bradley. Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta is mulling a run and has already met with NRCC officials; businessman Jim Wieczorek and John Stephen. In 2008, Shea-Porter was boosted by the bruising Republican primary that opposed Bradley to Stephen; the attacks the two men exchanged helped the Democrat secure a general-election victory. Could she benefit from the same dynamic next year? Or will the threat of a top-tier Republican challenge push her to run for Senate?

Virgil Goode files candidacy papers in VA-05

Last months, Democrat Tom Perriello had to wait weeks for his upset victory against then-Rep. Virgil Goode to be finalized. Yet, Goode is making a move to seek a rematch uncharacteristically early: He has already filed a candidacy statement with the FEC. Goode is insisting that this should not be taken as a sign that he has decided to run; he explained that he has received “unsolicited” donations, and that election law requires him to file a statement with the FEC if he has more than $5,000 in contributions to declare.

On the other hand, Goode has undoubtedly been acting like a candidate. Over the past few weeks, he has been traveling around the district claiming credit for the appropriation money directed at the district that was introduced in the stimulus bill. Furthermore, Goode has a significant sum remaining in the bank - more than $150,000 - and he will be able to use that left-over money in a 2010 race.

As a freshman Democrat sitting in a red-leaning district, Perriello is undoubtedly a vulnerable incumbent. Yet, he would no doubt welcome the opportunity for a second race against Goode. Not only are former congressmen not often the best of candidates, but Goode’s polarizing profile and his history of controversial statements boosted Perriello’s bid. It is difficult to see Goode losing the Republican primary if he indeed seeks it, but the GOP could find a stronger contender.


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Minnesota’s recount is still indecisive, but Virginia’s is resolved

We still have a long way to go in Minnesota, but we are done with VA-05: That recount only took two days and confirmed Tom Perriello’s victory against Republican incumbent Virgil Goode. (The initial margin of 745 votes was reduced to 727 votes by the recount.)

The recount was not expected to overturn the initial results, but Perriello’s official victory allows us to finalize the House results at a Democratic net gain of 21 seats. Democrats will open the 111th Congress with 257 representatives, versus 178 for Republicans.

The Minnesota Senate race is now the only unsettled race of the 2008 cycle.

Today, there was action on both major fronts of the improbably close Coleman-Franken war: challenged ballots and rejected absentee ballots.

Rejected absentee ballots: The State Supreme Court heard a hearing this afternoon to determine whether counties should be allowed to tally the now infamous “fifth pile,” the nearly 1,600 absentee ballots that were improperly rejected in early November. The canvassing board recommended last Friday that these ballots be counted, and the Coleman campaign is seeking to stop the process.

What is truly fascinating is that two of the Supreme Court’s seven members are part of the canvassing board whose ruling the Coleman camp is contesting. Both recused themselves from this case, meaning that only five Justices heard Coleman’s argument. They will now have to decide whether to rule against their two colleagues’ interpretation of election law.

Coleman’s campaign argument is simply that the process will not be carried out uniformly across the state since not all counties will take part of the process - an argument that obviously draws on 2000’s Bush v. Gore. But at least one of the Justices - Paul Anderson - sounded annoyed when Coleman’s chief lawyer dared compare Minnesota to the Sunshine State. “This is not Florida,” he said. “I’m not terribly receptive to you talking [about] Florida.”

The court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days, and its decision is sure to have a gigantic impact on the race.

Challenged ballots: Meanwhile, the canvassing board continued to process hundreds of challenged ballots. In fact, the board completed the review of all of Franken’s merit-based challenges! (This was only made possible because the Franken camp withdrew thousands of its challenges: over the past two weeks, the number fell from more than 3,000 to just under 450!)

Of the 415 challenges reviewed so far, nearly all where Franken challenges:

  • 238 were awarded to Norm Coleman. Those are rejected challenges, i.e. ballots initially awarded to Coleman that the Franken camp said should not be counted.
  • 63 were awarded to Al Franken. Those were upheld challenges, i.e. ballots initially considered to be undervotes or overvotes that the board decided were Franken votes.
  • 114 were awarded to the “other” pile. It is not obvious whether those ballots were losses for Coleman or for Franken: They could have been Coleman ballots that the Franken camp successfully got tossed out or “no votes” that the Democrats failed to get counted as Franken votes.

Just like yesterday, it seems safe to say that between a quarter and a third of Franken’s challenges were upheld. And just like yesterday, it is impossible to know what to make of this number until we know what share of Coleman’s challenges will be upheld. Arguments to the contrary are simply spin.

However, we do now know what Franken is facing: Coleman has a lead of 358 votes, but only his challenges are remaining - more than 1,000 of them.

The majority of these challenges are sure to be thrown out - just like Al Franken’s - which means that the Democrat is sure to gain votes starting tomorrow. To close the gap, he needs 358 more ballots be attributed to him than will be attributed to Coleman.

This is a somewhat daunting figure since Coleman netted 165 more votes than Franken from the latter’s challenges; but Coleman has more than twice as many challenges, so if the rejection rate stays the same this will be decided by only a handful of votes!

This makes every single ballot that the canvassing board is considering potentially decisive, and the day brought its number of heated (but usually cordial) debates. A small number of decisions were taken on a 3-2 vote, and it was curious to see that Democratic Secretary of State Richie regularly ruled in Coleman’s favor. (Richie appeared to break on the side of upholding the county’s decision in such cases.)

One fascinating dispute occurred over this ballot: Yesterday, the board had held that initials would not be considered an identifying mark if they are next to a correction as they are meant to authorize rather than identify; but today brought the ballot I linked to above in which the voter had written down his full name next to a correction. The board thus debated at length whether initials and a full name should be treated in the same way and finally decided not to disqualify the ballot - which thus became a vote for Al Franken.


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House: Legal victory for GOP delays count in OH-15, Goode seeks recount

Minnesota is recounting, CA-04 is completing its tally and even Alaska has managed to wrap up its counting. Yet, tens of thousands of ballots are still being held up in Franklin County - and, given the latest judicial development, we are no closer to a resolution in the OH-15 race than we were on the morning of November 5th.

Around 1,000 provisional ballot are the object of a heated dispute in Franklin, and all of the county’s provisionals are held up until the dispute over those ballots is resolved. Secretary of State Jennifer Burner has instructed county officials that ballots without a signature on the envelope are still valid, an instruction challenged by Republicans in state court. Complicating matters, Burner asked that the case be heard in federal court - something the Stivers campaign contested.

Last Thursday, a federal judge ruled in favor of Burner, deciding that he had the jurisdiction to hear the case and that those ballots should count. That was viewed as a big victory for Democratic nominee Mary Jo Kilroy because Franklin County leans Democratic.

Today, however, three judges on the court of appeals overturned the ruling of the lower court, deciding that the case should not be heard in federal court and throwing the case to the Ohio Supreme Court. The court did not rule on the merits, but it still amounts to a clear legal victory for the Stivers campaign. This means first of all that we still do now know whether those 1,000 vote will be counted. It also suggests that we will have to wait even longer for any of Franklin County’s provisional ballots to be tallied.

Adding to the GOP’s good day in OH-15, Stivers extended his lead to 594 votes as Republican-leaning Marion County finished reporting. This means that only Franklin County still has ballots to be counted and that Kilroy has a bigger deficit to close than previously thought. She will have to win a healthy majority of the remaining provisional ballots to pull out a victory - and that is certainly possible given that she won Franklin County by 5% and that provisional ballots tend to tilt more Democratic than regular ballots.

Complicating the situation is some uncertainty over whether the 27,000 figure that is being thrown around is the number of provisional ballots for the entirety of OH-15 or just for the county’s portion that makes up OH-15 (about 40% of Franklin is in this district). If the former, Kilroy should be viewed as the slight favorite; if the latter, it would be much tougher for her to overtake Stivers. After all, don’t forget that a substantial portion of these provisional ballots (typically 20%) will be deemed invalid, further reducing the pool of votes Kilroy needs to win.

Meanwhile, in VA-05, Representative Virgil Goode has made it official and has asked for a recount. He trails Democratic challenger Tom Perriello by 0.26% and is thus entitled to send the race into overtime, but there was some uncertainty as to whether he would go ahead and do so as a 745 vote margin is difficult to overturn at the House-level. So Perriello’s has the clear advantage for now, but Democrats will have to wait a while before celebrating another pick-up.


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House: Perriello certified winner as Goode mulls recount, McClintock claims victory

We somewhat lost sight of VA-05 over the past few weeks. While thousands of ballots remain to be counted in other remaining House races, election officials finished tallying all the ballots in Virginia shortly after Election Day, leaving both camps with nothing to do but wait for the state’s Board of Election to certify the results.

That happened today, leaving Democratic nominee Tom Perriello with a 745 vote lead over Republican incumbent Virgil Goode and allowing him to claim the title of Representative-elect. However, Perriello’s edge of 0.23% is well within the recount margin, which means that Goode is entitled to ask for a recount that would be paid by localities, potentially delaying the resolution of the race.

Goode has not issued recent public comments on his plans and 10 days to make a decision. However, CBS 9 is reporting that Goode is planning to seek a recount. Of course, Goode would face an uphill climb: Perriello’s lead might look small, but it is more than 20 times superior to the size of Coleman’s in Minnesota when we account for the number of ballots cast. (A recount in VA-05 would make this race only the second one to undergo a recount this year, with CA-04 and OH-15 possibly to follow.)

In CA-04, the McClintock camp is pressing forward and claiming victory after ballots tallied two days ago gave them a seemingly insurmountable lead. The AP has not called the race, but McClintock’s campaign is even dispensing fat lady metaphors: “The votes are almost all in and the result is no longer in doubt,” said McClintock’s communication directors today.

Brown’s campaign is not admitting defeat, however, and is hoping that the remaining ballots, while probably too few for Brown to take the lead, will be enough for the gap to close to within 0.5% and trigger an automatic but partial recount. (10% of the district’s precinct would be recounted to test for discrepancies.)


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Guilty of dismal fundraising, NRCC spent whatever money it had well

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole briefly flirted with another stint as NRCC Chairman but decided not to oppose the candidacy of Texas Rep. Pete Sessions. The GOP’s campaign committee will thus start the 2010 battle with new leadership, eager to recover after two disastrous cycles that saw Democrats pick up more than 50 seats.

To mark the end of Cole’s rule, it seems appropriate to take a look back at the past two years - recruitment, fundraising, expenditures - and pinpoint a few areas Sessions will have to improve.

What is particularly depressing for the GOP is that its recruitment was not that terrible. For one, the NRCC had managed to recruit a number of top challengers to freshmen incumbents: Jim Sullivan in CT-02, Dean Adler in CA-11 or Tom Bee in AZ-08 were all highly touted early in the cycle. Lou Barletta in PA-11, Melissa Hart in PA-04, Mike Sodrel in IN-09, Anne Northup in KY-03 and Jeb Bradley in NH-01 were also huge threats. The NRCC similarly fielded unexpectedly strong contenders in many GOP-held open seats (Darren White in NM-01, for instance).

Needless to say, all the candidates on this list lost on November 4th; some of them had even completely disappeared from our radar screen - quite a stunning development given their early high-profile. Given the pro-Democratic political environment, however, non-incumbent Republicans had practically no hope of victory - and we all treated them as such.

The NRCC’s huge problem, of course, was its dismal fundraising performance that left the committee in an extremely precarious financial position. This forced the NRCC to pull the plug on some of its top challengers and then make even more painful decisions as to which incumbents it should abandon. It will not be easy for Sessions to do a better job: It is extremely unlikely that Republicans will regain control of the House in 2010, which means that lobbyists and donors are likely to keep filling Democratic coffers. This should guarantee that the DCCC enjoys yet another cycle of financial dominance.

Within this context of budgetary restrictions, it is worth taking a look at the NRCC’s fall expenditures to test whether Cole’s team made the right set of choices with whatever little money they had in hand.

The snubbed districts: First of all, here is the list of high-profile districts in which the NRCC invested nothing: AZ-03, CT-04, CA-04, IL-10, IN-09, KY-03, MD-01, MI-09, NC-08, NM-01, NM-02, OH-16, OR-05, PA-04. It is worth adding CO-04 to the list, as the NRCC pulled the plug on Rep. Musgrave two weeks before the election.

Some of these reflect very good calls on the NRCC’s part, particularly in AZ-03. Democrats made a lot of noise about that race, and the DCCC poured in about $2 million; yet, the NRCC did not take the bait and Rep. Shadegg prevailed by double-digits. Similarly, the NRCC was right to estimate that Reps. Knollenberg, Hayes and Musgrave as well as open seat candidates in NM-01, NM-02 and OH-16 were in particularly bad shape. Democrats picked-up all of these seats, and none of them were close. Finally, good for the NRCC to not delude itself into thinking that it could defeat Democratic incumbents in KY-03, IN-09 and PA-04.

However, the GOP’s refusal to fund McClintock in CA-04 and Harris in MD-01 was most definitely a mistake. Harris lost by 1% and McClintock’s race is still undecided. Both districts are heavily conservative, so there was no possible blow back for national Republicans getting involved (unlike, say, in CT-04).

Defensible investments: As for the races they did fund, the NRCC’s decisions are a mix between golden investments and wasted money. While the GOP lost AL-02, AL-05, FL-08, FL-25, ID-01, MI-07, NH-01, NJ-03, NY-29, OH-01, PA-03, PA-11, VA-02 and WI-08, for instance, it seems hard to argue with the NRCC’s determination to defend these seats, all of which ended up being relatively close. The NRCC should however be faulted for not having invested more in some of them (ID-01 and VA-02, in particular). In some of these districts, the GOP invested significant sums (more than $1 million each in MI-07 and OH-01, for instance) but the DCCC simply had enough money to always outspend its counterpart.

Similarly, the NRCC’s decision to heavily defend KY-02, MN-03, MO-09, NE-02, NJ-07 and WY-AL were an important factor in huge Election Day saves - and the committee’s investments in KS-02, LA-06 and TX-22 (more than $1 million in the latter) helped Republican challengers scored pick-ups. (The NRCC should have been a bit more aggressive in Kansas, even though Lynn Jenkins did end up winning.)

Mistakes: All in all, there were few obvious mistakes in the GOP’s investments - except the largely unnecessary $600,000 spent in MO-06, the decision to go after Rep. Murtha with half-a-million dollars at the last minute and the committee’s determination to help Rep. Porter in NV-03. Another small mistake was CO-04: Even though they did end up abandoning Rep. Musgrave, they first spent nearly $900,000 on a seat that leaned towards a Democratic pick-up early in the fall - but perhaps not enough to justify an NRCC snub in a what is still a conservative district.

The NRCC is guilty of a number of other miscalls, but it is hard to blame them given that the DCCC also miscalculated in the same same districts. Perhaps the biggest such mistake occurred in NY-24, where Democratic incumbent Arcuri won an extremely tight race in a district absolutely no one was paying attention to.

The second biggest mistake was FL-21, a GOP-held district everyone thought was highly competitive and in which the NRCC spent more than $1.5 million. Rep. Diaz-Balart ended up winning by 16% - but the DCCC had invested considerable sums as well, as both parties believed that Diaz-Balart was endangered. Similarly, the GOP spent more than $300,000 defending IN-03 and more than $600,000 in NY-26. Neither race was tight on Election Night; yet, the DCCC wasted much more money on those two districts so the mistake here belongs to Democrats.

Finally, the NRCC rushed into VA-05 much too late, spending more $140,000 at the last minute to save Rep. Goode (the race has not been called yet, but it appears that Goode will go down by a few hundred votes); few people saw Perriello has a big threat to Goode - and the DCCC’s expenditures suggest they had not either. Provided he remains in the lead, that makes Perriello’s into this cycle’s Shea-Porter and Loebsack.


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Coleman and Perriello hang on to narrow leads, await recounts

Seven congressional race are still unresolved. Two have been thrown into December runoffs (GA-Sen and LA-04), while three others are awaiting the counting of tens of thousands of ballots (AK-Sen, CA-04 and OH-15).

That leaves Minnesota’s Senate race and VA-05, where there are no more reservoir of uncounted votes. counties have finalized their canvassing, vote totals haven’t changed for days and all absentee and provisional votes have been accounted for. Norm Coleman and Tom Perriello lead by 206 and 745 votes, and Al Franken and Virgil Goode’s hopes of staging a comeback now rest on recounts.

This leaves Rep. Goode in a hole, as a 745 vote deficit is very difficult to overcome at the district-level, as it amounts to a lead of 0.24% for the Democratic challenger. Taking a page out of Coleman’s playbook, Perriello has been trying to pressure Goode into dropping recount efforts - and this WSLS story implies that the incumbent might be thinking about that. If Goode gives up, we could have a resolution to this race when the results are certified on November 24th; otherwise, we will have to wait until mid-December, as no recount can start until December 5th (see my calendar of upcoming events).

The situation is far more interesting in Minnesota, where Coleman’s 206 vote lead amounts to a 0.01% advantage, a slight edge for the incumbent Senator but one that could easily be erased in a recount in which thousands of spoiled ballots could find their way into the total. And we are in this for the long haul: While the recount will start after the November 19th certification, challenged ballots (those that are the most likely to not have been counted yet and thus to alter the margin) will not be considered before December 15th - more than a month from now!

Even then, it is likely that the election would go into judicial overtime and issues that the campaigns might go to court over keep piling up. For instance, the Franken campaign is insisting that Hennepin County review 461 absentee ballots that Democrats say were improperly rejected; election officials said yesterday that this would be unlikely to be addressed during a recount, meaning that the only way Franken could force the country to reconsider these rejections would be to drag them to court.

Meanwhile, Republicans are doing their best to question the integrity of the recount process in order to pressure election officials - starting with Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie - to issue rulings in their favor. They have blasted Ritchie’s impartiality and pointed to the late discovery of 32 uncounted ballots in a heavily Democratic county as proof that the canvassing process has been fishy. However, it is common for Democratic candidates to gain hundreds of votes during the canvassing of uncontested races, and Franken’s gains are comparable to those of candidates like Amy Klobuchar in 2006.

As a result of Coleman’s protests, however, Richie has been careful to not look partisan and not give the GOP fodder for complaints. Yesterday, Richie appointed the four people who will seat with him on the canvassing board that will take a look at the challenged ballots starting on December 15th. Two of them are appointees of Repulican Gov. Tim Palwenty, while one is an independent appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Unless Georgia’s December 2nd runoff election goes into counting overtime, it looks likely that Minnesota’s Senate race will be the 2008 contest that will be decided last.


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Absentees, provisionals, recounts and runoffs: Update on the 10 remaining congressional seats

Three days have passed since Election Day, but there are still a number of undecided races, pending recounts and uncounted provisional, early and absentee ballots. Here’s a rundown of these contests and where they stand, starting with the presidential election:

  • North Carolina: The Tar Heel state was called for Obama yesterday, completing a stunning Democratic sweep in a state that voted for George W. Bush by 13% in 2004. Democrats also picked up a Senate seat (Hagan defeated Dole by 9%), kept the governorship and the lieutenant governor. (Correction: Democrats did not expand their majority in the state legislature, as a reader points out.)
  • Missouri: McCain is holding on to a 6,000 vote lead, a large enough margin that several media outlets (including MSNBC) have called the state for the Arizona Senator. That would mean 2008 one of the only elections in the past century that the Show Me State has not sided with the winner.
  • Nebraska’s 2nd district: Obama did not win Montana or North Dakota, but it looks like he might still grab one of Nebraska’s electoral votes. McCain still leads by a few hundred votes in this Omaha-based district, but there are still more than 15,000 early and provisional votes to be counted. The Omaha World Herald thinks those should be enough for Obama to grab the lead.

Omaha’s totals are further further evidence that voters held back from voting Democratic all the way down the ballot even as they cast a ballot for Obama, as Omaha’s vulnerable Republican Rep. Terry survived with 52% of the vote. In other words, the Democrat’s presidential candidate outperformed a local Democrat in a conservative area!

At the Senate level, three races remain undecided now that Oregon has gone Democratic:

  • Georgia: Saxby Chambliss has barely missed the 50% threshold, and though there are still a few thousand ballots left to be counted it is difficult to see them going in the Republican’s direction by a big enough margin for him to cross the threshold. This would mean that the race is going to a runoff, about which we will surely have more to say in the weeks ahead. Both candidates have already started campaigning, as Jim Martin is already up with an ad appealing to Obama’s popularity (yes, this is Georgia) and as Chambliss is scheduling McCain (and perhaps Palin!) to stump with him. Both campaigns have the same preoccupation: Keep their supporters energized.
  • Minnesota: There are no provisional, early or absentee ballots left to be counted in this race, but the Coleman-Franken gap kept shrinking yesterday. Why? As counties go back to verify their totals and tabulations, they discover mistakes and typos and correct them. As a result, Franken’s deficit is now down to 239 vote. Whatever the margin by certification, there is no doubt that the race will head to a recount… which would not be held until December. The recount would be conducted by hand, and election officials would try to determine the intent of the voter on ballots that the machine has not recognized. That could mean as much as 6,000 voters being added to the total, making the outcome wildly unpredictable.
  • Alaska: This race could keep us occupied for weeks - months even. Ted Stevens’s advantage stands at 3,257 votes with tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted (estimates put the number of remaining votes between 50,000 and 74,000). However, these ballots will not be counted for about 10 days (taking us back to the absurd GOP House primary in late August which took weeks to be resolved). If Stevens wins, there are signs that he will be kicked out of the Senate - perhaps as early as in the late November/December session. That could mean that Alaska is forced to hold a special election sometime in the spring. Given that Begich couldn’t put Stevens away, could he win against another Republican - Palin or Parnell, for instance?

If Democrats somehow win all three of these races, they could still get to 60 Senate seats - but Republicans have a slight edge in each for now. As for the House:

  • AK-AL: The race is unlikely to be called until the tens of thousands of remaining ballots are counted, but Republican Rep. Don Young probably has too large a lead to lose his seat. His victory would be the biggest upset of the 2008 cycle - and a remarkable survival for an incumbent that was first expected to lose the primary, then the general election.
  • CA-04: In a conservative race Democrats were feeling increasingly optimistic about, Charlie Brown could be headed to his second heart-breakingly close race in a row. Republican McClintock has been increasing his lead since Wednesday morning and is now ahead by 709 votes. But there is still an estimated 48,000 uncounted votes that should be processed in the days and weeks ahead, so this is still anyone’s game.
  • CA-44: This is a race that was on no one’s radar screen, and I do mean no one. Yet, Republican Rep. Calvert is leading 51% to 49% (or 4,000 votes) with tens of thousands of absentee ballots left to be counted. Calvert has a clear edge heading into extra innings, but we should still keep an eye on the race.
  • MD-01: Things are looking good for Democratic candidate Frank Kratovil in this conservative open seat. He has more than doubled his lead since Wednesday morning and is now on top by 2,003 votes. There are a significant number of ballots left to be counted, but Andy Harris would have to win 59% of them to save the seat for Republicans.
  • OH-15: A massive counting glitch by the AP led them to overstate Republican candidate Stivers’s lead by 12,000 vote for much of Tuesday night and Wednesday, but that has now been fixed: Only 136 votes separate Stivers from Mary Jo Kilroy (who already lost a close race in 2006), with thousands of provisional ballots left to be counted, especially in Kilroy-friendly Franklin County. Two years ago, Kilroy cut her opponent’s advantage by half after provisional ballots were counted, gaining about 1,500 votes. That is giving Democrats hope she can replicate those gains this year and give her party a third Ohio pick-up.
  • VA-05: Tom Perriello’s lead jumped from 31 votes to more than 800 yesterday, and has now settled at 751. Perriello has a clear advantage and has declared victory, but some counties are still reviewing their results and an undetermined number of absentee ballots remain to be counted. So advantage to Democrats here, but this could be headed to a recount.
  • WA-08: Ballots have to postmarked by Tuesday, November 4th to be valid, and only about 70% of all estimated votes have been counted. We should not get a final result in this race until next week. But Rep. Dave Reichert looks to be relatively well positioned as he is slightly increasing his lead the more votes are being reported, especially in King County, the Democratic part of the district. Reichert now leads by a relatively comfortable 5,000 votes.

As of now, Democrats stand at 19 net pick-ups (255 seats), and are not at risk of losing any more seat of their own. That means that the possible range is from +19 to +26 - though the final number is likely to be far closer to lower number as a Democratic pick-up is looking improbable in AK-AL and CA-44. On the other hand, Democrats are looking very well positioned in MD-01 and VA-05.



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  • All good things must come to an end

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  • What remains on the table

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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the 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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