Obama’s scandal atmosphere and 2014 Democratic recruitment efforts.

I’m not sure that Stu Rothenberg is correct, here:

…it isn’t clear how much of an impact, if any, the controversies will have on the 2014 midterms. Even if (when) those controversies fade, however, there could be short-term consequences for both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the area of recruitment.

Largely because it doesn’t look like either organization was having stellar recruitment before everything in the world fell on the Democrats’ heads.  We’re about eighteen months out from the election, which is close enough to start seeing trends (at this point in the 2010 cycle I was interviewing a bunch of insurgent candidates and seeing the first signs of the 2010 tsunami).  A look at my usual House race handicappers is… instructive: Continue reading Obama’s scandal atmosphere and 2014 Democratic recruitment efforts.

Why John Boehner’s middle name is not ‘Albatross.’

Surely the National Journal is asking a rhetorical question here, yes?

When Mark Sanford debated a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in his South Carolina race last week, it was a replay of a tried-and-true Republican strategy: Demonize Pelosi and wrap her like a stone around your opponent’s neck.

The tactic can be effective, torn from a well-worn playbook that dates from nearly a decade ago. But it does beg a question: Why isn’t Speaker John Boehner targeted in the same way by Democrats?

Continue reading Why John Boehner’s middle name is not ‘Albatross.’

QotD, And House Democrats Deserve This, Too edition.

Cook Political Report, establishing what we knew already:

In many respects, observing House Democrats trying to take back their majority is like watching a soccer team play a comparably skilled opponent with the field slanted 15 degrees against them.

Short version: Section V of the Voting Rights Act.  We’ve gotten into the habit of creating majority-minority districts; the Democrats are utterly reliant on the black vote to win elections; members of the Congressional Black Caucus are always willing to work with the Republican party to keep their seats safe (and to get new majority-minority districts); white Democrats are a bit reluctant to vote for minority Democrats; and it’s really hard to get the courts to throw out a map that the GOP/CBC has collaborated on.  Mix it all together, and hey presto! Structural GOP majority.

This drives the Online Left nuts, by the way: being largely white Democrats themselves and not entirely stupid, most of the smarter ones figure out eventually that they’re being given the shaft by minority Democrats.  The problem is that while the Online Left largely despises minorities they’re also exceptionally well conditioned by now to never, ever let that show.  So they just blame us, instead.  Oh, and vent their ire on minority conservatives: those are apparently safe targets. Continue reading QotD, And House Democrats Deserve This, Too edition.

Senator Tim Johnson to retire?

Looks that way:

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, does not plan to run for re-election when his current term ends in 2014, sources close to the matter and key Capitol Hill staffers said on Monday.

Johnson, 66, joined the Senate in 1997 and has been widely expected to retire at the end of his term. He plans to make the announcement on Tuesday, the sources said. Johnson’s staff said that he will hold a press conference at the University of South Dakota on Tuesday.

Normally I’d say something mocking about this, but it’s medical: the man had a blood vessel burst in his brain in 2006.  Whoever at the DSCC made Sen Johnson run anyway in 2008 should be dragged out onto the street and beaten with sticks for that petty cruelty…

Moe Lane

PS: Yup, on my list as Serious Risk.  The Democrats are very likely to triage this race, too…


My quick handicapping of Democratic at-risk Senate races in 2014.

Since Glenn Reynolds asked, here’s my current assessment of at-risk Democratic Senators in 2014*. Bear in mind: while I generally got the House right in 2010 and 2012, I overestimated our Senate performance by a couple of seats in both years and of course got the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections wrong.  So, you know, grain of salt and all of that.

Alaska Mark Begich Serious Risk
Arkansas Mark Pryor Some Risk
Colorado Mark Udall Some Risk
Louisiana Mary Landrieu Serious Risk
Massachusetts John Kerry Only if vacant
Michigan Carl Levin Low Risk
Minnesota Al Franken Serious Risk
Montana Max Baucus Some Risk
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Some Risk
New Jersey Frank Lautenberg Only if vacant
New Mexico Tom Udall Low Risk
North Carolina Kay Hagan Serious Risk
Oregon Jeff Merkley Some Risk
South Dakota Tim Johnson Serious Risk
Virginia Mark Warner Low Risk
West Virginia Jay Rockefeller Low Risk

Quick assessments on each: Continue reading My quick handicapping of Democratic at-risk Senate races in 2014.