It’s a good basic primer for the state of play this cycle…
(Via Hot Air Headlines) The entertaining bit about this Bill Press piece is not that he’s hilariously wrong about where the evvvvvvillllll Koch Brothers fall on the donor scale, or perhaps scale of donors; nor is it that he seems to think that there’s more than a physics’s chance* of the Democrats retaking the House. It’s that his basic point is, in fact, sound: by all means, the Democratic party should concentrate on the 2014 elections first**. But the likelihood that the institution in question will think clearly on that subject? …Well, that’s another physics’ chance.
Moe Lane (more…)
My eyes keep skittering over this Sean Trende piece about likely 2014 Senate losses. Not because it’s bad news: it’s not.
[Sean's calculation table] is a grim picture for Senate Democrats, suggesting that the president would have to get his approval above 50 percent by Election Day before they would be favored to hold the chamber. This is also consistent with what we’ve seen in polling, which shows the seven “red state” Democrats in truly severe states of distress, while Democrats in Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and Colorado are exhibiting surprising weakness. If these 11 seats are showing similar signs of weakness in November, Democrats will have an extremely difficult time holding the chamber. At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.
And by ‘interesting’ I mean favorable:
- The most obvious one is that Republican (and former Lt. Gov) Duke Aiona would in a rematch beat Neil Abercrombie 48-40 among registered voters.
- Charles Djou (running for Senate) has a favorable/unfavorable rating of 58/30, which is fairly close to Colleen Hanabusa’s 62/27. Clearly, Hanabusa’s is better, but not nearly by as much as I would have expected.
- And this is important because Colleen Hanabusa currently leads incumbent Senator Brian Schatz 48/40 in the Democratic Senate primary.
If the Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser poll checked the Senate race, it wasn’t reported: based on the numbers, I’d guess that Hanabusa would be ahead of Djou and that Djou would be ahead of Schatz*. That is… remarkable news: particularly if the Hawaiian primaries turn nasty. After all, Djou won his Congressional race because Ed Case and… Colleen Hanabusa… both adamantly refused to accept the results of their primary race. Obviously, the Hawaiian Democratic party is as aware of this as I am: the question is, will they be able to keep whichever Democrat loses in line?
Interesting days ahead.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*You might be forgiven for thinking that this poll suggests that hao… ahem, ‘Caucasians’… may end up having a somewhat thin time of it in Hawaii this election cycle. Mostly because I’m thinking it, too. I don’t know what to do about it, though.
Background: Politico has acquired a memo (which they did not share, shockingly*) from presumably the DCCC that describes the strategy, for lack of a better word, of the Democratic party with regard to Obamacare. Essentially, they’re going to:
…[t]ell voters Republicans would make the problem worse — raising prescription drug prices, empowering insurance companies and even endangering domestic violence victims.
The battle plan, details of which were in a memo obtained by POLITICO, recognizes the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act. But it also banks on voter fatigue with the GOP’s relentless demands for repeal and counts on poll-backed data that show many Americans would rather fix Obamacare’s problems than scrap it altogether.
While I agree with Glenn Reynolds that this Salena Zito piece about how the primary race for PA-13 is shaping up to be an analogy for the post-Obama Democratic party generally, there’s a really revealing passage in here that I wanted to highlight.
In a year in which Democrats have had a hard time attracting quality candidates for House races — a common occurrence for both parties when they know their chances are slim to win a majority — this race has attracted four qualified candidates.
President Barack Obama has told Senate Democrats that he’s willing to stay away from election battles where his presence would not be helpful, a Democratic source said — an apparent nod to his poll numbers.
Obama’s comments came when he and former President Bill Clinton attended the Senate Democrats’ issues conference at Nationals Park on Wednesday.
Sources at the meeting said Obama assured Democrats that maintaining control of the Senate is his top priority this year.
And he has some excellent advice for Democrats worried about the 2014 elections:
If GOP challengers want to run ads criticizing the recovery act as wasteful, Democratic candidates should lift up the police officers, teachers and construction workers in their state or district, those who are protecting our communities, teaching our children and repairing our roads thanks to the Democrats’ leadership. Highlight the small-business owners who have kept their doors open through projects funded by the act.
The recovery act has been stigmatized. We need to paint the real picture, in human terms, of what it meant in 2010. In future elections, it will be clear to all that instead of another Great Depression, Democrats broke the back of the recession with not a single Republican vote in the House. In the long run, this will haunt Republicans, especially since they made the mess. (more…)
Sometimes I wonder whether the Obama administration’s absolute and total contempt for its most rabid supporters is based on the same thing as my absolute and total contempt for its most rabid supporters. Because let’s face it: if you spent eight years screaming about Imperial Presidencies and Unitary Executives and how George Bush was a unilateralist cowboy and similar agitprop, this passage should be the equivalent of a poisoned-tipped dagger in the kidney.
Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer outlined the lessons learned in a three-page memo that Obama discussed with his Cabinet in recent weeks, according to several administration officials who have read the document.
Among its conclusions is that Obama, a former state legislator and U.S. senator, too often governed more like a prime minister than a president. In a parliamentary system, a prime minister is elected by lawmakers and thus beholden to them in ways a president is not.
As a result, Washington veterans have been brought into the West Wing to emphasize an executive style of governing that aims to sidestep Congress more often.
Let me sum up: the races currently at risk for us (Toss-up or worse) are Florida, Maine, and Pennsylvania: the ones at risk for the Democrats are Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, and Illinois. I don’t contest any of the ratings (they’re all Toss-Up, except for Pennsylvania, which CAC rates as a pickup for the Democrats); if I had to guess which states we keep and which ones we flip, it’s probably be Florida keep, Arkansas flip… and I think that we might be ‘given’ Illinois, but that’s just my endless contempt with the one-party state that is the Illinois Combine talking. Ask me again about Colorado and Maine when events on the ground shake out more. (more…)
…David Nir’s work is actually quite reliably good (too good, in fact, for dKos*). Solid, even: Nir largely keeps his politics out of his political calculations, which is refreshing. A shame that he’s never going on to anything better, but that’s not precisely something keeping me up nights anyway.
Anyway, David Nir’s first look at the 2014 House rankings is up; and you will find them highly entertaining reading**. Particularly the comments, which keep falling back on the narrative of gerrymandering like a comforting Friendly Friend that will never betray them…
— Kevin Binversie (@kevinbinversie) January 14, 2014
Moe Lane (more…)
Which John Hickenlooper so totally did.
Executive summary: Gov. Hickenlooper bragged in his State of the State address that Colorado had gone from 40th in the nation in job creation to 4th. Which is impressive, yes? – Except that Colorado went from 40th in 2010 to 4th in 2012. Also in 2012 was an election where the Colorado state legislature went fully under Democratic control… which means that 2013 was a year where Democrats ran amok through the legislative process. The result? Colorado slipped from 4th place in 2012 to 10th place in 2013.