…is almost over. They just have to count the votes, now. Yes, I am so ready for this to be over and done with. And I’ll be honest; I kinda feel sorry for Thad Cochran. I know, I know, he chose to be amenable to pressure to run just one more time – but I am often prone to these bouts of sentimentality, and I frankly cherish them. I feel that they keep me from engaging in thought-patterns that are not… optimal, in the long run.
Josh Kraushaar asks a question: “Does President Obama care about keeping the Senate?” I answer with another question: “Why would he care?”
…and this is becoming a bit of a broken drum, huh? – Which is significant in and of itself, given that the midterm elections are in five months. Five months where the President and leader of his party is spending his time playing golf and having over-long dinner parties instead of attending to either the country’s, or his faction’s, business.
The old joke is right: God must be a Republican. Because this goes way beyond ‘blind luck,’ and right into ‘Divine intervention’…
This is fallout from last Tuesday’s California primary: freshman Democrat Julia Brownley got 46% of the vote to Republican Jeff Gorell‘s 44%. What should probably worry Brownley more is that the combined total percentage of Republican votes was over 50%. It was generally not a great night for California’s Democratic candidates:
- In CA-07 incumbent freshman Democrat Ami Bera is likewise dealing with an environment where Republicans got over 50% of the vote.
- In CA-16 incumbent Jim Costa has the same problem… which he did not have in 2012. This race may have more possibilities than we thought.
- In CA-25 Democrats were locked out of the race to replace Buck McKeon. That seat is now Safe Republican.
- In CA-31 the same thing might still happen: one Republican won first place, and the second spot is up to the absentee ballots. If this happens it will mark the second cycle in a row that the jungle primary system has ensured a Republican representative in what is considered to be a Democratic-leaning seat.
- In CA-52 freshman Democratic incumbent Scott Peters is staring early retirement in the face: he got only 42% of the vote against a field of Republican candidates.
- And, in general: there is no indication that any sitting incumbent Republicans from California are in trouble in the House this year.
All in all, the GOP is looking more and more like they will not lose any net seats in California this year (I consider CA-31 balanced by CA-52) and may actually pick up a couple. And the funny part? The Democrats still haven’t seemed to work out how to work with the new top-two primary system. So if you believe that there were shenanigans involved in the post-Census redistricting… then I guess that those shenanigans failed, because the system now seems to be predisposed to punish political parties that can’t maintain ballot discipline..
I know, I know: ain’t it a shame?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Republican David Evans has edged into second place in the seesaw battle for state controller, pushing Democratic Assemblyman John Pérez into third and, at least for now, out of the Nov. 4 general election.
But a report by the secretary of state’s office Friday morning showed that 991,699 ballots remain to be counted across California, making the most recent numbers anything but final.
Numbers released Thursday night show Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno, leading the race to replace termed-out Democrat John Chiang with 761,108 votes, or 24.6 percent of the ballots cast.
This jungle primary thing just doesn’t stop being funny.
Come, I will conceal nothing from you: this is not my field of study. But this does sound important…
In a historic result, opposition leader Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party are celebrating a resounding win in India’s elections Friday, after ousting the Congress party that has long dominated politics in the world’s largest democracy.
As of Friday afternoon, the tally kept by India’s NDTV showed Modi’s party, the BJP, winning or leading in 334 districts, compared to 59 for the Congress party. The final tally isn’t yet out, but the BJP has far surpassed the required 272 of 543 total seats.
…I did know that India’s Congress Party has indeed dominated that country’s politics for sixty years, with all the problems that such a situation would imply. I won’t regurgitate Wikipedia at you, not least because I don’t know how accurate any of it is, but I’ll say this: if Barack Obama is smart he’ll have Kerry put together a, heh, Tiger Team over in State that can advise the President how to get in on the ground floor and off on the right foot with the new government*. It’d be useful.
Otherwise known as ‘voting over the Internet.’
Iowa Democrats are mulling a slate of ways to boost participation in their next presidential caucuses, including permitting Internet voting, a controversial method that would mark the first time in history the web is utilized to cast an official ballot preference for president.
I look forward with some interest to see how that experiment works out for them. And for the screams of horror and despair, of course.
PS: I do not expect Mickey Mouse or [whatever Howard Stern suggests] to win the 2016 Democratic Iowa caucus. I simply no longer think that such a thing can be ruled out.
Everyone in the world – well, maybe not quite that many people – is talking about this Washington Post-ABC poll/article that suggests that Barack Obama has been merely spitting in the wind for the last month. There’s a lot to mine in there, and not just for our side*, but this passage jumped out at me:
Although Obama’s overall approval rating is at its lowest point ever in Post-ABC polls, his disapproval is still a few points better than at its worst. That’s because more people than usual say they had no opinion. At this point, Obama’s approval rating looks only slightly better than that of President George W. Bush in the spring of 2006.
Articles like this are very helpful. For Republicans: “Is there anyway Democrats can win the 17 seats they need to capture the House majority this November? In one word: Yes.”
In several hundred words: no, not really.
Juan Williams is pretty much stuck with arguing generalities and gerrymandering. The first is used to assure his readers that the American people clearly love the Democrats more, while the latter is used to explain away that pesky problem that said American people have been apparently hate-voting the GOP into power since 2010. But it’s probably wise on Mr. Williams’ part, given that when actual numbers come into play things get sticky: “In the 2012 House races Democrats won 50.6 percent of America’s votes with a popular President Obama at the top of the ballot.” (more…)
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.
In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.
It’s a bad time to be a Democrat, apparently, because they needed to toss out stuff like this pretty darn early this cycle: “[T]he most important news for Democrats going into November is that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is planning to spend $60 million on data-driven GOTV efforts specially focused on reducing the “midterm falloff” factor.” The link – unlike TPM’s – works, but I wouldn’t recommend clicking one way or the other. The major questions raised by that quote: (more…)
This is from, of all places, NPR:
“We always look at the question: how interested are you in the upcoming elections on a 1-to-10 scale, with a 9-to-10 being the most interested.” said Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican research firm, who pointed to a recent Wall St Journal/NBC News poll his firm did with Hart Research Associates.
“In a presidential election, it doesn’t mean as much because everybody votes. In a mid-term election, where you’re looking at 40 percent turnout, it does make a difference… Among voters who rate their interest a 9 or 10, Republicans have a 15-point advantage, 53 [percent] to 38 [percent]. So you have Republicans now gaining the same kind of intensity they had in 2010. It’s like our guys are campaigning downhill as opposed to the Democrats.”
But, as the title says, don’t get cocky. “Confident” is fine, though. People react well to that and it’s good for morale.
Strictly speaking, I am not criticizing the Fix for not drawing a more explicit link between Presidential approval ratings and Senate churn in a midterm election. They established the basic point, which was that both parties are increasingly taking seriously that the President’s current low numbers will translate into Democratic losses in the Senate. The Monkey Cage spells it out:
Presidential approval is strongly correlated with midterm congressional election outcomes. Gallup has polled Americans on presidential approval during every midterm election cycle since 1954. Across the 16 midterm election cycles from 1954 through 2012 the average level of presidential approval during the first quarter (January to March) of the election year is about 58 percent. Over the available Gallup presidential approval polls for the first quarter of this year, Obama’s approval is significantly below the average, about 42 percent, worse than every other year except 2006 and 1974.
These two tweets pretty much sum up my reaction…
Take note future nominees – ads can only move polls a little bit, but tanks will move them 50%+ every time. https://t.co/8MrO50SAJb
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) March 17, 2014
.@JasonBWhitman Well, Putin ran a hell of a campaign. Really targeted key demographics like soccer moms & people who didn't want to be shot.
— Mig Greengard (@chessninja) March 17, 2014