Sam Wang has a new House piece up, and he thinks the House is on a knife edge, with a 74% probability of a Democratic takeover.
Dave Weigel wrote a piece about redistricting that cherry picked a few good Republican outcomes, and Wang’s pushback on that is worth reading. The net of it is that the kind of swing we could see in this election (Wang estimates a D+9 change from 2010) can overwhelm careful redistricting.
We haven’t talked much about the House, so here’s a thread for your own local races. In mine, the new NY-25, we just had a poll showing Louise Slaughter, the incumbent, beating a strong Republican challenger by 10 points.
As far as my district goes, I think the local Tea Party clowns took the hint when their darling Joel Pollak got steamrollered by Jan Schakowsky two years ago, because I haven’t heard boo out of the Republicans this time around.
In the TX-17, the last I checked a month ago, no Democrat was even running and Teahadist nutjob Bill Flores will win against the third party nobodies on the ballot. I was almost perpetually disappointed in Chet Edwards, but he was a Democrat over 50% of the time instead of a loon 100% of the time.
George Badey, PA-07. It’s been going back and forth between the parties. Badey has a good shot at ousting wingnut Pat Meehan (R), who took it over when Joe Sestak (D) left it to run for Senate. Sestak took it from Crazy Curt Weldon (R).
Sargeant Pepper's Spray
I voted for Denny Heck today in WA 10 as an absentee. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll have Pelosi back as Speaker soon enough.
I do not have high hopes for NY-23.
Shinagawa is running a hard-core anti-fracking campaign. This is running great in Tompkins and the Finger Lakes, but is not what you want when most of your district is the Souther Tier bordering Pennsylvania.
From Sam Wang’s keyboard to the FSM’s orecchiette.
This is very encouraging.
Some massive budgetary decisions need to be made in the next few years, and they will set our course for many decades. We have to figure out a way to avoid the fiscal cliff, do some stimulus until unemployment gets under control, and reduce the deficit while funding Medicare over the long haul. (Social security just needs a few tweaks.)
I can’t think of a time when it was more important to have a Democratic majority in Congress.
And this is just where Obama’s long-term focus will be so critical. Honestly, call me an Obot, but we’re so lucky he came along when he did.
And now Romney apparently has the green light to tack back to the middle from a pure planet wingnut campaign strategy, with 39 days left till election day. And he ain’t glad to see you House and Senate wingnuts, that’s an anvil in his pocket.
Obama is going to destroy the guy in debates. He can accuse Romney of about anything on the issues, and it’s a solid bet that at some point in time, all of it would be true.
peach flavored shampoo
Decent porn name.
Here in Tennessee, our state Republicans are fearmongering about a state income tax AGAIN, which is their go-to “flog the voters to the polls” maneuver. Of course, they’re talking about the state legislature, but really, our Republicans have been so far off the rails that even conservatives are wondering what the fuck these people are smoking. So I think there’s concern about a lack of “voter enthusiasm” … but what do I know.
Wang seems to hardening his resolve to see this happen, stroking all the good matchups before spewing out a conclusion I can agree with.
OH-12 here, one of the safest “R” seats in the state. At least my Presidential and Senate votes will be meaningful.
Wing Wang Walla Walla Bing Bang.
Gin & Tonic
I’m not aware of any polling, and would be grateful for any links, but I think there’s a chance RI-1 could slip from D to R. The one-term incumbent, David Cicilline, is relatively weak and the challenger, former State Police honcho Brendan Doherty is strong. It’s a mick against a wop, so the ethnic stuff cancels out. Cicilline is gay, which doesn’t seem to be much of a factor, but he’s still pretty unpopular from his term as Providence mayor. This one could go against us.
I just heard bielak, the asshole running against joe Kennedy go Barney franks old seat, on NPR. I didn’t even realize who was being interviews until halfway through the piece and I wanted to kill the guy. He has Scott browns new burly white asshole persona down like its a uniform and his whole attitude is built around a condescending frat boy ” I will fuck you pansies and wimmins up”.
If course Barney (yay) beat him like a rented mule last time. I hope joe Kennedy fucks him up until he cries like a baby.
@Walker: That’s my old district. Sorry to hear that debt collector Tom Reed will get another undeserved term.
Of course, NONE of this shit matters one iota if Harold and Company dont bounce the filibuster. Dems could have 400+ in the House and 59 Senators and it’s still gridlock unless the Senate fixes the prob.
And I think there’s zero chance Harry ditches the filibuster.
Looks like Duckworth will send Walsh packing in IL. Currently has a 9% or bigger lead. This is my district and I actually expect her to win by about 14 points. She is just starting to run TV ads, which is where Bean got it wrong in 2010, waiting until the last 10 days or so and still only lost by 250 some votes. Walsh’s strongest base was redistricted out of the district. Good chance of 4 House seat pickups in IL, one of the states where redistricting helped the Dems.
In mine, Republican Daniel Webster, who replaced Alan Grayson, is facing a strong challenger in Val Demings.
I really have no idea how this will go. Webster has strong local ties — was in office for years in the Florida legislature, big member of the local church, owns or part owns several successful local businesses, and is personally well liked — he comes across as very down to earth. And he has spent his last two years really not doing or saying anything. (Which is my main objection — not that he’s Republican, but that he’s been pretty much useless.) Demings has an excellent resume — Orlando police chief, very tough on crime, kept the police going even with budget cuts, and has what I think is a pretty awesome picture of her in her cop’s uniform on a motorcycle. She also openly brags that she still carries a gun.
This is all good since this is definitely a swing district. I live in one of the decidedly more Republican areas, so it’s a bit difficult for me to gauge how she’s doing in general. Last I heard the district was still leaning Republican.
I am sitting in a deep red district of Eastern NC, (went for McCain 68% in 2008) so I am pretty much screwed when it comes to local races. However, these two stories made me smile this morning.
And George W. Bush now has a higher approval rating than Mittens!
Sorry, Cathy McMorris Rogers will probably hold there.
@Southern Beale: It has its charms, but TN is a seriously weird place.
I’m in a safe Dem district, so I’ve sent money to my favorite challenger, Dr Raul Ruiz in CA-36 down in the Coachella Valley running against Mary Bono Mack. He’s gone from a complete unknown to essentially tied. Awesome back story and he’s only 40 years old! Bono-Mack has spent most of the election in Florida helping her senator husband who’s getting his butt kicked. Hoping they both end up retiring at the same time!
I judge the desirability of a place to live by the percentage of Baptists in the population (an inverse relationship, of course).
If the current trend holds true through election day, things are not going to be the same, as far as what we have seen from the wingnuts. They are going to have a civil war with themselves that would make General Franco blush, if weren’t dead as a door nail.
But until that is played out, you are probly correct that nothing much will get passed, and Reid is not going to ditch the filibuster. But otherwise, there are going to be big changes down the road that will emerge from the current GOP, if they lose, and double if they lose big.
There are to many ifs for the Democrats to gain that many seats.
My dream though is for the President to just nail the debates and have Mitt chanting something inane. Then the turnout for repubs would be low enough for the House to flip.
@Randy P: we lost 2 good democrats in 2010. Sestak had taken a congressional seat that had been Republican forever. And an up and coming guy named Bryan Lentz got into the state legislature. Sestak ran for Senate and lost, Lentz ran for Sestak’s seat and lost, and Republicans got all 3 seats. It would be nice to undo all of that damage.
This is the state legislature that passed a voter ID law aimed at suppressing 10% of the vote.
I think a really interesting aspect of NY25 is that Louise Slaughter is nearly Robert Byrd/Strom Thurmond old and she’s still able to get enough votes. It also helps that Maggie Brooks is compromised (ahem, crooked).
@Face: There’s one reason why this shit matters more then just an iota: budget reconciliation.
They can filibuster just about everything in the Senate, but they can’t filibuster the budget. And the budget is where the House really, really matters.
I was laid off from a government job (postdoctoral fellow) because of the Republican House. I’ll be laid off this one unless NIH funding is improved in the next.
You know, aside from overturning Citizens United, maybe the most useful amendment to the Constitution we could have is one forbidding gerrymandering. Have the district lines drawn by algorithm with no regard for partisan interests.
@EconWatcher: I’m in NC, so I can’t hardly talk, but sometimes we like to take a break from looking down on SC.
Did you know that there are liberal Baptists? There are not a lot, no, but some of the bigger city Baptist churches here are way liberal. Dean Smith was a member of one, and another one stopped performing any marriages in protest of Amendment One. Still, I can’t say it’s a bad metric in general.
ooh ee ooh ah ah
House is “knife edge?” I’d be very happy to accept knife edge.
GOTV! Protect the voters from suppression! Talk about the voting record of all incumbents!
The outcome of the three federal races in VT is already known. OTOH, next door in NH both of the House races are tossups right now. I think the contest for POTUS is fairly close as well. I have a post on the House outlook here.
I’m in Ohio 1. In 2008 we finally pushed out the plutocrats friend, Steve Chabot for Steve Drihaus, who was a critical vote for ACA. Unfortunately Drihaus lost in the 2010 wave and Chabot got back in. This year I don’t even know who is running against Chabot. Sucks.
(You can remove the period after Chabot in that last sentence to get my true feelings)
@cintibud: OK, I googled and found that I am going to vote for Jeff Sinnard. I’d vote for my cat Mr. Waddles before voting for Chabot. However, as I am one of the more informed voters in my district, if I need Google to find out who is running, then I’m not very hopeful
Due to redistricting, we are trading one safe R for a different safe R. They really just played musical chairs in my area of the state.
At least we didn’t get stuck with Issa*.
* by “us” I mean particularly mean my district. I realize that yes, we as a country are stuck with the odious bastard.
@jibeaux: @Joey Maloney@Joey Maloney:
That and having elections run by independent non-partisan groups whose entire mandate is bringing up turnout while running accurate elections. Get the legislature out of it.
@ThatPirateGuy: Amen. Lord, it’s tiresome.
But they get disowned/kicked out of the larger Baptist organizations.
If I remember correctly Pullen Baptist Church, in Raleigh, did a gay marriage in the early 1990’s and got kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention, so they are basically an independent Baptist church.
SC gives NC a bad name, because people assume because “Carolina” is in the names of both states they are (a) interchangeable and (b) very similar.
@EconWatcher: Agreed. Even the seemingly smaller agenda items, such as renewing the wind power tax credits, are crucial. After 8 years of Bush, 2 years of Dems managing a crisis and passing healthcare, then 2 years of teabaggers, there’s just so many basic issues of governance that need to be addressed.
Until the last few weeks this election looked like it would stay close – unaccountably IMHO based on President Obama’s integrity and strong record, but for the fact of a lingering bad economy from the ’08 crash which was worse even than it appeared at the time. We can largely thank Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their clown bus if in fact a Democratic congressional majority materializes on the coattails of a larger Obama majority than would have been predicted even a month ago. Very critical development – and frankly essential to any real problem solving in the next four. As much as I look forward to four more years of Obama, the GOP’s obstruction game starting all over the day after the election was NOT a cheering prospect. And we need to face the fact that the bigger Obama’s win, the crazier the GOPTea base will get. If they hold Congress, I don’t think they’ll be more “responsive” as the White House tends to suggest. I think it’s at least as likely they’ll be subject to an even more toxic, insane, hysterical “base.” Predicting “bottoms” for the radicalized GOP that still controls Congress is a fool’s errand. The only way around is to defeat them, and sooner better than later.
“while funding Medicare over the long haul”
We hear – and say – this formulation a lot. Actually the issue isn’t Medicare at all. Democrats need to quit buying into this right-wing framing of the real, larger issue. Medicare is the most cost-effective health insurance available in the United States – bettered in cost-effectiveness only by the fully socialized VA hospital system. It also happens to cover exclusively the cohort who will inevitably use their coverage most extensively. The “problem” isn’t Medicare. Medicare can’t be isolated from the problematic issue of overall health care costs in the US as % of GDP, which roughly double those of most industrialized countries. Any “solution” that approaches the problem as raising the bar for Medicare eligibility or replacing it with vouchers – or even suggesting that Medicare is “unsustainable” rather than locked into an unsustainable system – is a phony shell game. The ACA – for the first time in national, “universaling” health insurance reform legislation – begins to address the larger, actual question and it will need to be strengthened in the area of cost control. Medicare, because of its scale, has potential for enacting cost controls focused on providers and on overhead factors that private insurance cannot possibly match.
Proposals to cut back on Medicare eligibility – including Simpson Bowles – are attacking the real systemic problem from exactly the wrong direction – cutting the only health insurance program in the country that has shown potential to cut costs without simply cutting coverage for beneficiaries and throwing people back into the more costly private insurance pit – or leaving them uninsured, most of whose only option is to access the most costly health care service when it’s desperately needed.
We shouldn’t even discuss the issue of Medicare costs in isolation from the bloated costs of the entire system and health care, in total, as % of GDP. “Cutting Medicare” is actually a formula for making health care spending as % of GDP an even bigger problem.
I am back in MN-08 and I haven’t seen any polls for this race yet but I have a good feeling that Nolan can unseat first-term wingnut Cravaak. This is a traditional Dem district and I’m pretty sure we take it back.
The State polling in the upper mid west is gruesome for the GOP right now.
Tea Party do nothing Dr. Scott Desjarlais replaced our worthless blue dog in the big takeover. Now he faces State Senator Eric Stewart who ain’t exactly liberal but may have a chance to cast a Tennessee vote for Nancy. Fingers crossed and phone banking.
I’m in Akron and after looking at the district maps (which are incredibly wackadoo) se map it looks like I’m in District 16 Sutton vs Renacci. I can’t find a poll since early August on the race when they were pretty well tied.
The good thing is Issue 2 on this year’s ballot would form a non-partisan board to draw election districts. If it passes we might finally get a sane districting plan.
God, I really hope so. Latest polls show Bachmann’s challenger within spitting distance. I am hoping Romney’s religion depresses the repug vote in MN-6 and she gets kicked out on her ass.
I have seen no polling from MN-8, but kraaavaaaaak is an utter ass, and his challenger is a former DFL chair. Omentum is going strong in the land of lakes.
Duluth? I grew up in the central hillside.
Continues with Snoopy Dance
((tappity tappity tappity!))
@Gin & Tonic: Purely anecdotal, so take it for what it’s worth, but the local wingnuts were hoping to see Cicilline go down in the primary since they thought he was still the stronger opponent. Then again this is coming from people with a poor grip on reality. Cicilline has been savvy enough work to tie Doherty to the national GOP. He was smart enough to hit all the retirement homes two years ago to promise to protect Medicare from the party that didn’t create it, thereby denying his last opponent the stick the national GOP was beating Democrats with that year and beating him with it instead.
@Aimai: I’m probably not going to be popular for saying this, but Barney Frank did not beat Bielak like a rented mule. He won by a pretty narrow margin considering it was an ultra-safe seat he had been cultivating for decades with excellent constituent services (Barney is one of Congress’ leading lights on fisheries management and relations with Portugal. He didn’t develop an interest in those issues until he was redistricted to represent Southeastern Mass., an area pretty far from his Boston area address in more ways than one). The Countrywide scandal damaged Barney really badly. It caused Chris Dodd not to run again (CT may be blue, but you can’t gerrymander a state, plus Dodd had been neglecting his constituents, so they were already angry at him). Redistricting picked up his district and moved it west. In the past that wouldn’t have been a problem, but Barney really is damaged goods now outside of his longtime supporters, who he would be losing a lot of with the new map. I could see why he wouldn’t want to have to fight such a hard campaign so late in his career.
On the other hand, Kennedy literally has the right pedigree to win. At least the local media will be on his side, no matter how badly he might mess up.
I’m in MI-11 where nobody seems to want to poll and the DCCC appears to have given up on us but nobody knows why. We have Thad McCotter’s seat available for an R to C flip after he quit for committing real, actual, honest to goodness voter fraud.
The only qualified R on the primary ballot was a tea party candidate nobody had ever heard of who is apparently a loose cannon Kerry Bentivolio – so bad the local Republicans ran a write in candidate against him in the primary. Dems have a real candidate, local doctor, not career politician Dr. Syed Taj. This district was made a little more R for McCotter (seriously, look at the shape of the northern part of the district, it’s nuts)but now there is an unknown, reindeer farming, wack job running and the DCCC is putting no money in here and there is nothing on the airwaves. My wife thought she heard the reindeer farmer was winning. Nobody knows what the heck is going on here.
Here in the East Bay, it looks like there is no chance that Barbara Lee will be able to reach our desired 90% threshold on election day, but will be held by the combined forces of the GOP, Peace & Freedom and Natural Law parties to the low 80s.
@General Stuck: “if [he] weren’t dead as a door nail.”
Is he still dead?
Here in CA-26, the open primary and redistricting has resulted in the district now being categorized as “Leaning Democratic.” Long time Republican Rep. David Dreier is retiring. Democrat Julia Brownley has a within-the-margin-of-error lead of 4% over Republican Tony Strickland. Both are carpetbaggers.
Strickland has twice run for State Controller here and was soundly beaten both times. He has been fined twice, once as a result of a lawsuit brought by the CA secretary of state for failure to report late contributions to his campaign and once by the CA FEPC for failure to identify a mass mailing as coming from his campaign.
The Moar You Know
@joes527: I did. Would rather have Bilbray back.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
True: My wife’s mother’s family are nominally Baptist. But these are Northern Baptists who go to churches that used to be something else a long time ago. (Many of the old Puritan churches of New England still exist– they just became Congregationalist, UU, Methodist or Baptist in the 19th century). Reasonably liberal bunch.
Back to the topic: MA-6 is actually close. Tierney (D) has held the seat for a long time, but his wife’s family apparently has some shady people in it (gambling, tax evasion, etc) and this is being used to full effect by Tisei the Republican. Tisei, meanwhile, is your standard low-tax/pro-biz Republican. (He’s also openly gay, but this being Mass that doesn’t mean much to the campaign one way or the other).
I think Tisei might pull it off. Tierney’s trying to nationalize the election (much like Dr Warren has), but the North Shore is the most GOP-friendly part of MA. Many of those ‘one-truck contractors’ we’ve been mentioning make their homes here. (BTW Tisei’s from Wakefield, a wealthy northern burb, and the same town Scott Brown is from)
IMO Tierney should have stepped down when his family’s legal issues came out. There was no need to risk losing that seat.
All good points–and point taken. “Funding Medicare” is not the right way to frame the issue; managing health costs is.
That’s what happens when you live in a deep red part of the state. There’s no need to gerrymander when any plausible district is going to be about the same. I’m in the reverse situation: I got moved from one safe D district (Adam Schiff) to another (Judy Chu). I’m happier with Chu, who’s an actual progressive, than Schiff, who’s a blue dog.
@Randy P: I was redistricted into this race. I have to admit that I wasn’t paying attention, assuming that it was the typical incumbent-smash-the-challenger scenario.
I lived in the Twin Cities for the decade of the 90s. Does Bachmann’s district include Anoka? It almost has to. Those people are mean and nuts.
(I had to represent a criminal defendant in court there; she was not entirely innocent, but the charges were way overblown and she was a very sympathetic young person who got herself in a bad spot. You could see the glee in their eyes when they convicted. Betcha the black boyfriend they found out about during the proceedings had something to do with the glee. Bastards.)
“Did you know that there are liberal Baptists? There are not a lot, no, but some of the bigger city Baptist churches here are way liberal.”
Uh, Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are all Baptists. Also Bill Clinton, Bill Moyers and Jimmy Carter (who have all left the Southern Baptist faction in which they were raised.) The Southern Baptists were a break-away sect, albeit huge, that exists solely as an artifact of defense of slavery and segregation on theological grounds for over a century, well past the 1960s. The American Baptists, National Baptists and Progressive Baptists (the latter two predominantly African-American) are all essentially “mainline” churches and inclusive of relatively liberal folks, politically. Among other problems when a lot of secular white liberals wade into discussions about religion and politics, African-Americans are treated like a footnote to the conversation when, in fact, they combine the most solidly Christian (tending quite traditional theologically) AND Democratic demographic cohort.
@Lojasmo: Up nort, as they say up here, near Canada. We have to go to Duluth for pretty much any shopping so I know it well.
ETA: Go Bulldogs!
Here in NY 1, Bishop is fighting a rematch with the guy he beat by a couple hundred votes in 2010. There have been tons of ads by outside conservative groups, more than I’ve ever seen for a congressional race. This an almost perfectly 50/50 district and Bishop is a very reliable liberal, so I’m hoping the polling lead Siena showed he enjoyed a few weeks ago holds up, but I’m not so sure it will.
@ Dennis SGMM:
Didn’t know you were right up the road from me. I’m in CA 30, the Sherman/Berman fiasco. The only good thing about this race is that it is a sure thing for Democrats. I have been solicted by both candiates for an endorsement, and finally endorsed Sherman two weeks ago. I didn’t know Brownly was polling even slightly ahead of Strickland, good news there.
I am working on the race for AD 38, Ed Headington vs. Scott Wilke. Ed surprised everyone by finishing first in the primary against three Republican opponents, including the wife of Buck McKeon. Still an uphill battle in this R+7 district, be we are working on it.
Our tea party skinny dipper Kevin Yoder is running unopposed.
Ah, cool. If you like sushi, check out hanabi. (First ave e.). Best sashimi have ever had.
In CA-23 Lois Capps (D) is in a tight race with Abel Maldonado (I), who is trying to paint himself as a moderate (compared to the terminally insane).
The Republicans kicked him out as he voted to pass a budget in order to not destroy the California economy. He was the swing vote on that one. He couldn’t send California of a cliff head first, so he’s a ‘moderate’. He was a Schwartzeneger acolyte at the time.
@Bruce S: My parents were American Baptists who met at Sioux Falls College in the sixties, and the church was pretty culturally conservative then. My dad was training to be a minister and quit when, among other things, he realized he wouldn’t be able to tell people that dancing was sinful. Eventually they lapsed pretty much completely.
But the American Baptists haven’t gone the way that the Southern Baptists have. They seem to actually believe all that autonomy and priesthood-of-every-believer stuff.
Baptists, including African-Americans, have tended to be culturally conservative compared to some of the other mainstream denominations, but the sixties was a long time ago and the mainline churches have all moved quite a lot since then. The Southern Baptists are, essentially, an arm of the “Religious Right” – Richard Land makes my skin crawl. He’s little more than a far-right political operative, like Ralph Reed. I think the generic term “Baptist” gets more of a bad rap than it deserves, as do Lutherans do some extent, because of a very vocal hard-right faction that broke from the mainstream and persistently injects itself into far right political discourse. But without “Baptists” we likely wouldn’t have had a mass civil rights movement.
@Gretchen: That bugs me. The Dems should always field a candidate. You never know when a Republican will have a dead girl/live boy problem.
Mike Quigley, Illinois 5, Democrat. He’s gonna win big-time.
Here in WA 1, there’s a close race in what was a pretty safe democratic seat until redistricting.
Microsoft millionaire Susan DelBene captured the Democrat ticket in a tight primary battle.
The Republican candidate, John Koster, is a far-right teahadist (“Let’s track illegals like cattle“), and is predictably well-funded by the crazy PACs.
Pitch in some help for DelBene, as this could be a very close race.
David Cicilline, RI-01 — we need help. His main problem is that the current mayor of Providence, Angel Tavares (D) is blaming Cicilline for all of Providence’s financial woes (he was mayor of Providence before running for the House) to save his own skin. This is putting a HUGE drag on Cicilline’s Congressional campaign, which is a shame – he’s a reliably progressive vote. The state repubs see this as a rare opportunity to pick up this seat, which was previously held firm by Patrick Kennedy (who in a bad year still got like 70% of the vote). This race is closer than it should be, Cicilline up 11 over rethug Brendan Doherty (perennial republican token challenger) but the lead is recent and possibly ephemeral. There is a third party challenger who will peel votes off of Doherty. Ironically, the more of Providence that votes the more likely Cicilline will win.
@MikeJ: She is so awful. :( I can only hope that enough California winery-type transplants continue to head to Walla Walla over the next few years to finally dislodge her.
I think with a Democratic House and Democratic Senate there’s close to a 100% chance that Harry will ditch the filibuster.
I suspect Harry has had all the shit he’s willing to take from Republicans and is ready to jam stuff down their throats.
Then a couple of years later he may be willing to reneotiate some sort of more reasonable filibuster rule that allows the minority party to stall the final vote for a while, but not kill legislation outright.
At least field a good candidate in order to give that person some experience running and an opportunity to build name recognition.
I wasn’t trying to rag on you – but this is a bug I happen to have up my butt. We need to push back on the conventional rhetoric, because that “frame” points the finger in the wrong direction.
@Dennis SGMM: Bruin Democrats will be helping out Brownley with a phonebank in the beginning of October, I think next week.