WI-Gov: Barrett Trails by Single Digits

PPP (pdf) (6/26-27, Wisconsin voters, 3/20-21 in parens):

Tom Barrett (D): 38 (39)

Scott Walker (R): 45 (42)

Undecided: 17 (19)

Tom Barrett (D): 36 (38)

Mark Neumann (R): 41 (43)

Undecided: 23 (19)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

PPP’s Wisconsin gubernatorial sample is out, showing some slight movement within the MOE against presumptive the Democratic nominee, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, to succeed outgoing Dem Jim Doyle. Doyle’s incredibly unpopular at 28/59 approval, which may be rubbing off on Barrett, who’s slightly underwater at 28/30 favorables. Barrett does marginally better against former 8th CD Rep. Mark Neumann than Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who might be cutting into Barrett’s base a bit. Polling of the Republican primary has been sparse at best, but it seems Neumann – and his abhorrent favorables at 18/35 – would be the weaker target (compare to Walker’s 36/28).

Though Indies are breaking for Neumann 41-29 and Walker 43-30, there is some upside in these numbers. More Democrats (20% in Barrett-Neumann and 14% in Barrett-Walker) remain undecided than Republicans (16% and 9%), and Barrett’s only losing 7% of Democrats against Neumann and 8% against Walker. If Barrett can consolidate Democratic support, it’d go a long way towards closing that gap. Either way, there’ll be more certainty in this race after Wisconsin’s late primary, September 14th.

SSP Daily Digest: 6/30

CA-Sen, CA-Gov: There’s no shortage of pollsters looking at California, and now Canadian firm Ipsos (on behalf of Reuters) piles on. They find, like most pollsters, single-digits leads for the Democrats in both major races: Jerry Brown leads Meg Whitman 45-39 in the gubernatorial racer, while Barbara Boxer leads Carly Fiorina 45-41. They also find the proposed ballot initiative legalizing marijuana failing but by a close margin, 48-50.

CO-Sen: The endorsement that seemed to blow everyone away yesterday was Bill Clinton’s unexpected backing of Andrew Romanoff, who’s mounting a primary challenge to appointed incumbent Michael Bennet in the Senate primary. It may not be that surprising, though, given Clinton’s willingness to go to bat for lost causes who backed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, which Romanoff did. It sounds like Clinton’s intervention will be limited to fundraising e-mails, though, rather than stumping with Romanoff.

FL-Sen: The criminal case against former state GOP party chair Jim Greer is interesting enough on its own. But it could get even more interesting if Charlie Crist gets called to testify as a witness, which could happen, as his name is on a list of potential witnesses that’s being circulated.

IL-Sen: Mark Kirk, having offered some weak excuses (“I wasn’t thinking”) at his public appearance yesterday to apologize for his resume embellishments, tried to get back on the offensive against Alexi Giannoulias, rolling out two ads. That includes one that tries to get back to the whole “mob banker” meme. Giannoulias, however, isn’t letting the resume flummery issue die; he rolled out his own attack ad today keeping Kirk’s misrememberments front and center.

KY-Sen: Charming: Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary to AG Jack Conway, isn’t going to endorse anyone in the Senate race. Also, he said he isn’t planning to run for Governor next year. (Steve Beshear is running for re-election, but dropped Mongiardo from the ticket in favor of Louisville mayor Jerry Abramson, perhaps assuming that Mongo would already be Senator by 2011.)

NC-Sen (pdf): SurveyUSA (6/23-24, likely voters):

Elaine Marshall (D): 40

Richard Burr (R-inc): 50

Mike Beitler (L): 6

Undecided: 5

(MoE: ±4%)

We haven’t been intentionally ignoring this poll from last weekend, just kept dropping the ball on getting it onto the front page. At any rate, this is one of those weird instances where Rasmussen sees a better race for the Dems than does SurveyUSA, although that may have to do with Rasmussen’s odd tendency to see huge post-primary bounces.

NV-Sen: Last night’s title heavyweight bout was between Sharron Angle and Jon Ralston on Ralston’s public affairs TV show. Angle tried to emphasize her softer side, walking back earlier vague threats about armed insurrection, but still voiced support for Social Security phaseout and, maybe even more fatal for Nevada, support for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.

WV-Sen: Don’t get too comfortable in assuming that the West Virginia election to replace Robert Byrd won’t be held until 2012. There are vague rumblings that, despite the SoS’s decision, there might be a legislative special session this year to move the election date to November 2010. Bear in mind, though, that Dems thoroughly control the legislature so they’d be doing it only if they thought there was an advantage to doing it now instead of ’12. As Aaron Blake points out, Joe Manchin is not only the heir apparent to the Senate seat but also the Governor, who has the power to move the special session agenda, so the whole thing is really up to him. (Manchin might figure his heavy popularity is more of an advantage in a shortened election season, instead of a multi-year ramp-up to 2012.) At any rate, Manchin seems content to take his time, wanting to wait until after Byrd’s funeral next week to make any moves.

MN-Gov: Mark Dayton is flying in the face of conventional wisdom (conventional wisdom that ignores the success of recent pro-tax ballot measures in Oregon and freakin’ Arizona) by making tax increases for the wealthy a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign. Dayton also just landed endorsements from 2006 gubernatorial candidates Mike Hatch, and ex-Rep. Bill Luther.

ID-01: Raul Labrador, the gift that just keeps on giving. Labrador, who just had to walk back criticisms of John Boehner, is now facing reports that he recently tore into John McCain at a pre-primary appearance and voiced his support for J.D. Hayworth. On a related note, the NRCC just promoted 16 more Young Guns to the top tier of their fundraising pyramid, but despite having won the primary here, Labrador‘s name is still nowhere to be seen on the list.

KS-04: Here’s some trouble for Wink Hartman, the businessman competing with Mike Pompeo for the GOP nomination in this Todd Tiahrt-held open seat. Pompeo’s camp is making hay out of reports that Hartman, whom they’ve accused of carpetbagging in from Florida, is still taking a valuable homestead exemption on his expensive house in Florida, which would require that to be his primary residence.

LA-02: State Rep. Cedric Richmond seems to have a big advantage in his quest to win the Democratic nomination in the 2nd; he’s released an internal poll taken by Zata|3 (which you might remember polling the Arkansas primaries on behalf of Arkansas Business Journal), giving him a 53-13 lead over fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta. No general election numbers for the battle against Republican Rep. Joe Cao were released.

VA-05: Rep. Tom Perriello is out with what might get my vote for the best candidate TV ad of the cycle so far. (Well, the best ad not featuring Dale Peterson, I suppose.) It’s attention-grabbing and light-hearted enough to break through the clutter, while still staying on-message on the issue of jobs.

WA-02: Talk about an utter polling fail. John Koster, the Republican challenger to Rep. Rick Larsen, is touting a poll with a lead over Larsen but isn’t giving the name of the pollster or even the specific numbers (saying he’s “in the neighborhood of 53 to 47 percent” – wow… no undecideds?). Larsen’s camp is saying the poll is crap, and they have a little more than the usual platitudes to back that up: Larsen was actually one of the persons polled, and he helpfully jotted down all 12 questions the poll asked. One of them identified Larsen as… a Republican.

DCCC: Here’s some good news; now that they’re down to the final day of the quarter, the DCCC is actively twisting some arms to get recalcitrant House Dems to cough up their DCCC dues. So far, through the end of last month, House Dems have given $19.5 million over the cycle to the DCCC… but deadbeats still abound.

Potosnak within 4 in NJ – 7

Some GREAT news to share with the list about Openly LGBT Congressional candidate Ed Potosnak.

Here is a poll they just got back a poll last night that shows that his message is working and his opponent is in major trouble. A whopping 46% of people in NJ- 7 want Leonard Lance out of office, and it’s not just Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents who are dissatisfied with Leonard Lance’s “Washington insider” approach to representing his constituents.

The team they have put in place has put the campaign within striking distance for this November.  When voters learn more about Ed, and how he wants to get the job done is Washington, he already is coming within 4% of defeating Leonard Lance!  (Lance 47-Potosnak 43).

The most stunning news to me is that only 31% of respondents think that Leonard Lance should keep his job.  This tells me, that after already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and barely winning his Republican Primary, Lance is ripe to be taken out.  This race is quickly shaping up to be one of the best chances to pick up a Democratic seat as well as add another LGBT candidate to Congress.  

You can learn more at www.EdPotosnak.com


Below is the poll memo


1724 Connecticut Aven ue, N.W.

Was hingto n, DC 20009

Tel : (202 ) 234- 5570

Fax : (202 ) 232- 8134


TO: Ed Potosnak for Congress

FROM: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group

DATE: June 28, 2010

RE: Recent NJ-7th CD Survey Results

Between June 23 and 24, 2010, the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group conducted a

survey among 400 likely voters in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district. This

survey, which has a margin of error of +5%, is fully representative of the 7th CD’s

demographics, including partisanship. For example, there are slightly MORE

registered Republicans in our sample, and in terms of party self-identification, there

is a net GOP advantage of 38% Republican and 35% Democrat.

Even with the Republican-leaning nature of this district, the survey data yields two

encouraging findings: (A) Congressman Lance, as evidenced by his unimpressive

55% showing in the June 8th GOP primary, is not immune to the national antiincumbent

trend, and (B) Ed Potosnak has the potential to run an extremely

competitive campaign against the incumbent.

We asked a broad survey question to measure the electorate’s temperature on this

year’s congressional elections without naming the actual candidates. We found that

7th CD voters prefer electing “new people” over reelecting “current members of

Congress” by nearly three to one (55% to 19%). What’s ironic is that it is Lance

voters who are the MOST pre-disposed to electing new people, by a nearly six to

one margin.

On EVERY single measurement of an incumbent’s standing, Congressman Lance is

well-below the critical 50% threshold. For example, just 31% of 7th CD voters

would like to see Leonard Lance reelected to Congress, while a 46% plurality think

it is time to make a change and elect someone else.

The overall 31% “reelect” is a low number for Lance, but what is notable is his poor

showing among Independents (24% reelect, 47% make a change) and even among

Republicans (43% reelect, 39% make a change).

Thus, it is not surprising that the initial trial heat standings show Lance with an

unimpressive lead despite the fact that Ed Potosnak is virtually unknown to 7th CD

voters (12% name recognition). Currently, Leonard Lance holds 43% of the vote,

Ed Potosnak garners 30%, and 27% are undecided.

Congressman Lance’s current advantage, albeit with the incumbent’s support below

the 50% threshold with considerable softness (just 43% of Lance voters are firmly

committed to their candidate), is almost purely a result of his commanding name

recognition advantage.

In fact, when we present equal and positive descriptions of BOTH candidates, the

challenger makes up significant ground. For LEONARD LANCE, he was described as

having been assistant counsel to former Governor Tom Kean, and in his first term

in Congress as having fought for fiscal responsibility and a strong advocate for

environmental protection. For ED POTOSNAK, he was described as a Rutgers

graduate who became a scientist and teacher and started his own small business,

and who has the real-world experience.

After these descriptions, the INFORMED trial heat standings show the challenger

pulling into a competitive position: 47% Lance, 43% Potosnak, 10% undecided.

The strong appeal of Ed Potosnak’s non-politician profile in an anti-incumbent year

is borne out by Potosnak’s 49% to 40% lead among Independents, and by his

three-to-one lead among undecided voters.

Finally, the fluid nature of this electorate AND Congressman Lance’s vulnerability is

evidenced by the final trial heat, which we asked after we presented criticisms of

BOTH candidates. In this trial heat, Lance drops to 38% support, while Ed

Potosnak climbs to 48%. While we do not purport this is “real-life,” it is

nonetheless notable that 7th CD voter preferences change from a 13-point Lance

lead at the beginning to a 10-point Potosnak advantage at the end, which is a

significant amount of movement in a relatively short amount of time.

While the 7th CD electorate has a strong bias against incumbents, we do not

underestimate Congressman Lance’s campaign skills that he has picked up in his

nearly two decades in politics. However, we believe the overall political dynamics

of 2010 make Ed Potosnak a credible and attractive challenger who has the

potential to run a competitive and winnable campaign.

OH-Sen, OH-Gov: 3 Out of 4 Ain’t Bad

PPP (pdf) (6/26-27, Ohio voters, 3/20-21 in parens):

Lee Fisher (D): 40 (36)

Rob Portman (R): 38 (41)

Undecided: 22 (23)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

Quinnipiac (6/22-27, Ohio voters, 4/21-26 in parens):

Lee Fisher (D): 42 (40)

Rob Portman (R): 40 (37)

Undecided: 17 (21)

(MoE: ±3%)

Well, the two nationwide pollsters left that I trust anymore are both out with new polls in the Buckeye State. In the Senate race, both PPP and Quinnipiac find a two-point lead for Democratic Lt. Governor Lee Fisher over Republican ex-Rep. Rob Portman, which is consistent for Quinnipiac but a significant reversal for PPP, who had Portman leading three months ago.

Barack Obama approval isn’t very high in either poll (45/49 in Quinnipiac, 42/54 in PPP), but PPP’s Tom Jensen thinks that anger towards Washington, in a counterintuitive way, may help Fisher: Portman is a creature of the Beltway, while Fisher is a long-time fixture in Columbus. GOPers might argue that Portman’s problem is low name recognition, which he can fix with his large financial advantage, but his “not sures” aren’t that much bigger than Fisher’s: according to PPP, Fisher’s faves are 28/27 while Portman’s are 22/25.

PPP (pdf) (6/26-27, Ohio voters, 3/20-21 in parens):

Ted Strickland (D-inc): 41 (37)

John Kasich (R): 43 (42)

Undecided: 16 (21)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

Quinnipiac (6/22-27, Ohio voters, 4/21-26 in parens):

Ted Strickland (D-inc): 43 (44)

John Kasich (R): 38 (38)

Undecided: 15 (17)

(MoE: ±3%)

We don’t get agreement from PPP and Quinnipiac on the governor’s race. PPP gives a tiny lead to Republican ex-Rep. John Kasich while Quinnipiac gives a slightly bigger lead to Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland. Interestingly, that’s consistent too; PPP has repeatedly taken a dimmer view of Strickland’s chances than Quinnipiac.

The difference seems to be that PPP finds Strickland (37/48 approval) much more unpopular than Kasich (28/30 faves), while Quinnipiac finds both of them in positive territory (44/42 approval for Strickland, 28/19 faves for Kasich). My only hunch is that the differential may have to do with PPP’s current use of a very loose LV screen, while Quinnipiac has been polling RVs (although note that Qpac now is saying it’s polling “Ohio voters,” so I’m left wondering if they too are moving toward a hybrid LV model like PPP).

MI-08: 35 days to pull off the (near)-impossible

OK, first off, this is a very strange situation, so please bear with me. More importantly, please rec this diary up; we need as much exposure as possible, as quickly as possible.

Michigan’s 8th District has been “represented” (if you can call it that) by a Republican named Mike Rogers since 2000, when he won a squeaker of a race by just 111 votes to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by Debbie Stabenow when she was elected to the U.S. Senate.

You might be thinking that, given the closeness of the race, that MI-08 should be a district that the Dems could take back if they put their minds to it. Unfortunately, up until now, that hasn’t happened. He won 68/31 in 2002, 61/37 in 2004, 55/43 in 2006 and 56/40 in 2008.

The closest anyone has gotten to him was Jim Marcinkowski in 2006, a former CIA agent and Naval Operations Specialist–and that was in an extremely Dem-friendly year (Marcinkowski, a former Republican, actually ran for Congress mostly because he was furious about the outing of Valerie Plame, who was a friend of his from his CIA days).

Now, don’t get me wrong–Rogers isn’t a star in the GOP. As far as I can tell, he’s very good at raising money and getting re-elected, and not much else. Once in a while, he’ll pop his head up on TV long enough to say something incredibly stupid, like blaming Pres. Obama for McChrystal’s insults in Rolling Stone. Other than that, he’s kind of a cypher, a rubber stamp for the GOP, but boy is he good at keeping his seat.

OK, so, Rogers is sitting pretty, right? He has a million bucks in the bank, it’s a GOP-leaning year, and the district seems to have been pretty much ceded by the national Dems.

This, of course, is where Howard Dean’s 50-State Strategy kicks in, right? DON’T CEDE ANY DISTRICT TO THE REPUBLICANS; run a candidate everywhere, no matter how long the odds. At worst, you’ll at least make sure to get the Democratic message out and force the GOP incumbent to stick around their district and spend a few bucks out of their war chest. At best, the incumbent will be caught with their pants down (either figuratively or, more likely, literally), and voila, you pick up the seat after all!

Cut to the 2010 campaign.

Earlier this year, a young guy named Kande Ngalamulume (he was born in Zaire, now known as the Congo) decided to take a shot. No political experience, he’d lived outside of Michigan since 2002. His biggest claim to fame was having been a track star at Michigan State. However, he seemed like a good enough guy, and rightly got a lot of kudos for stepping up to the plate this year. He gave up his job in Pennsylvania to move back home.

I met him in February, and in March he hired me to take over the maintenance of his campaign website (someone else had set it up, but wasn’t able to do the day-to-day updates). I can’t afford to do campaign sites pro bono, but recognized the shoestring nature of his campaign and gave a hefty discount for my time. No one else seemed interested, so he was the only one to file, and had the Democratic nomination to himself; his name will be the only on on the ballot on the August 3rd primary.

Unfortunately, after finding a lack of financial support (he had only raised a total of around $25,000 or so, I believe), he dropped out of the race on June 2–and not only did so in a very public manner (via email press release), but did so several weeks after the filing deadline…and then left the state.

Since he waited until after the filing deadline to drop out, and was the only one to file, his name will remain on the August 3rd ballot anyway, unless either dies or registers to vote in a different state–and so far, he hasn’t filed elsewhere. If he does, then the 8th District Dems can legally challenge his name being on the ballot and could scramble to get someone else to replace him, but otherwise, they’re in a bind. Rogers now has a completely uncontested race, and is free to roam around the state, raising money for whoever the GOP has running against Democratic freshmen Mark Schauer (MI-07) and Gary Peters (MI-09), or turning over a chunk of his million-dollar war chest to the RNC, or whatever he likes. A GOP seat is now 100% safe, 2 Democratic seats are further threatened, and the 8th District Dems are in a pickle.

However, there is one more way out of this pickle: If someone runs as a write-in candidate against Kande Ngalamulume in the Democratic primary and wins, the problem is resolved. Yes, they’d still face the longest of odds against Rogers in November, but at least they’d be doing the yeoman’s job of keeping Rogers distracted, preventing him from helping the GOP out too much, and saving some face for the local party.

NOTE: Edited to remove the unnecessary negativity about Mr. Ngalamulume; I shouldn’t have been speculating on his reasons for doing what he did, and they’re irrelevant to the current situation anyway.

Which brings me to the point of this diary:

Meet Lance Enderle.

Lance is a government school teacher (he was laid off last year; don’t get me started about the state budget cuts by the GOP-controlled Michigan State Senate). He also happens to be a pro-choice, progressive Democrat, who was very active in Democratic politics in the ’90’s up north (He worked for Bart Stupak for a number of years; say what you will about Stupak, but aside from his recent HCR/Abortion debacle, he’s been a pretty solid Dem on most of the other important issues). He got burnt out and got out of the political game 10 years ago…until a couple of weeks ago.

Lance decided that he was so pissed off about the thought of Mike Rogers getting a free ride that he’s going to attempt the impossible improbable: He filed to run for U.S. Congress as a write-in Democrat.

Now, his previous political involvement is important for a couple of reasons: First, it means he has some idea of how to run a campaign; and secondly, it means that, unlike Kande Ngalamulume, he understands just how slim his chances are. His primary goal (pun intended) is to at least win the nomination. While stopping there would normally be pretty meaningless, given the unique circumstances at hand, this would be huge.

The bad news, of course, is that not only does he have to get more votes than the only name actually on the ballot on Aug. 3rd; not only does he have to hope that the voters of the district know how to spell his name; but he also only has 35 days to get the word out about it.

The good news (I hope) is that he has you…and me! Yep, after being burnt by one MI-08 Democratic Congressional Candidate, I’ve willingly signed on to help out another one, in the same race, even! I got in touch with Lance after hearing about him jumping into the ring and he’s brought me on board to handle HIS campaign website from top to bottom.

Now, I know what you’re saying: This guy doesn’t have a chance in hell. OK, probably, but if you’d told me on September 12, 2001 that the next President elected–with more votes than any other candidate in history, I might add–would be a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama, I’d have said you were nuts.

Alright, hyperbole and wishful thinking aside, Mike Rogers remains a total jackass. At the very least I think it’s worth a shot. Besides, look what happened to Mark Foley–a 12-year incumbent in a 65%+ Republican district. Then he gets caught sending porn messages to underage boys and voila! We have an extra Democrat in Congress! (Yeah, that guy turned out to be kind of a jerk as well, but you get my point; anything can happen in a political campaign, but if you don’t have someone running, you have no chance of picking up the pieces).

Here’s some articles/interviews about Lance:

Candidate against Rogers emerges

Post-Kande options open for local Dems

Teacher fills Dems’ void in House race

Radio interview with Lance on City Pulse Live (his segment starts appx. 15 min into show)

Radio Interview on A.M. Lansing (direct link to MP3)

So, with all of this in mind, I’d like to invite you to learn more about Lance, more about his campaign, and perhaps (of course) to pony up a few bucks for the underdog race of the year:

Lance Enderle for Congress (just launched)

Lance’s ActBlue Page (just launched)

Lance’s Facebook Page (this has been up for a couple of weeks now)

If you can’t donate money, please at least rec this up and spread the word. Thanks.

Full disclosure: While I’m working for far less than my normal rates, I am still being modestly paid. Mostly, however, I’m just pissed at the mess Kande caused and am trying to help salvage the situation.

Daily Kos Alleges Research 2000 Fraud

This is, needless to say, some pretty big news on the polling front. You probably recall that several weeks ago (after the Arkansas runoff, but apparently motivated primarily by 538’s pollster rankings) Daily Kos severed its relationship with its pollster, Research 2000. Today, based on a study by three prominent statistics experts, Daily Kos is alleging that something is seriously amiss with Research 2000’s polling, suggesting that the conclusions do not seem to reflect truly random polling. While the discrepancies seem most obvious in the weekly tracking polling and not state-to-state polling, Daily Kos has disavowed all numbers produced for it by Research 2000.

While the investigation didn’t look at all of Research 2000 polling conducted for us, fact is I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else. I ask that all poll tracking sites remove any Research 2000 polls commissioned by us from their databases. I hereby renounce any post we’ve written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

The gist of it is (as you might expect) best explained by Nate Silver, by excerpting the key graphics from the prepared report. The graphics show how R2K’s weekly favorable numbers for Obama always seemed to move from week to week, usually by a small amount… which isn’t indicative of a normal distribution. By contrast, Gallup’s numbers form a very normal-looking bell curve, with a change of 0 being the modal amount of week-to-week change. The researchers who performed the poll also found discrepancies in rates of appearances of odd and even numbers (shades of Nate’s takedown of Strategic Vision there).

Greg Sargent has details on the lawsuit that will be filed in short order by Daily Kos against Research 2000. For his part, Research 2000 head Del Ali tells TPM that he stands “unequivocally” behind every poll he produced, and is denying the allegations.

Needless to say, we at SSP have very much relied on the supposed quality of Research 2000’s data, and will be watching further developments in this matter with great interest.

SSP Daily Digest: 6/29

FL-Sen: As much as Charlie Crist seems to have benefited from his switch to an independent bid, he still has to deal with blowback from a lot of ticked-off Republicans. A group of GOPers, led by state Rep. Tom Grady, has filed a class action lawsuit against Crist to get back their contributions which they thought would be used to support a Republican. Meanwhile, with Crist running around looking gubernatorial amidst the oil spill crisis, and the media having lost interest with the Republican primary settled, Marco Rubio now finds himself in an unusual position (which may be reflected in recent polls): the guy who isn’t getting any attention.

IL-Sen: Well, it took Mark Kirk a couple months to do what Richard Blumenthal took a few days to do, but he finally got around to apologizing today in a press conference for his various “careless” embellishments of his military and teaching records.

KS-Sen: SurveyUSA (6/24-27, likely voters, 5/21-23 in parens):

Jerry Moran (R): 53 (52)

Todd Tiahrt (R): 33 (29)

Other: 5 (4)

Undecided: 9 (15)

(MoE: ±3.7%)

SurveyUSA also looks at the Democratic Senate primary (where little-known college professor Lisa Johnston is the surprise leader, at 24, followed by somewhat higher-profile candidates like former newspaper editor Charles Schollenberger at 16 and state Sen. David Haley at 11), and at the Republican gubernatorial primary (where I didn’t even know there was a contest anymore, but where Sam Brownback leads Joan Heffington 76-17).

KY-Sen: With the primary resolved and with Rand Paul having gone into media-related hiding, his fundraising seems to have dwindled accordingly. He held another online moneybomb yesterday, which used to be his bread and butter, but the bomb was more of a dud this time: he banked only $90K by yesterday evening. That’s was off from the $400K generated by his largest one last August.

NJ-Sen: A couple items of good news for Frank Lautenberg: first, he’s announced that, after having been treated for lymphoma, his cancer is now in remission. And today, he got Robert Byrd‘s gavel for the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

NV-Sen: Sharron Angle, in contrast to Rand Paul, is at least temporarily breaking her media silence tonight… and she’s doing it not exactly the friendliest environment either, going on local reporter Jon Ralston’s TV show. (Ralston is one of the best left of the dying breed of state-level political reporters; his Twitter feed is highly recommended.) Meanwhile, Nevada Dems are hitting Angle for her decidedly extreme position on abortion (legal under absolutely no circumstances), while the once-thought-ominous Karl Rove 527 American Crossroads is out with a new ad attacking Harry Reid over unemployment.

WV-Sen: There’s quite a long list of potential temporary appointees developing in West Virginia, but ex-Gov. (and current College Board president) Gaston Caperton won’t be one of them; he took his name out of the running. In addion to former state party chair Nick Casey and current chair Larry Puccio, other names, all of whom are well-connected with Gov. Joe Manchin, bubbling up today include former Manchin counsel Carte Goodwin, businessman Perry Petropolis, former state Supreme Court justice Richard Neely, and first lady Gayle Manchin.

AL-Gov: Robert Bentley is touting an internal poll from Dresner Wicker & Associates giving him a substantial lead over Bradley Byrne in the GOP runoff; Bentley leads 46-27, and has 59/9 favorables. Bentley has also pledged no negative ads from his camp, which may be a relief to many Alabamians (and which may have been the secret to Bentley’s surprise success in the primary, as he dodged the heavy crossfire between Byrne and Tim James).

CA-Gov: There’s a clear difference in strategy in California’s governor’s race, with Jerry Brown (who needs to draw Meg Whitman out into the open) agreeing to ten debates and Whitman (who needs to hide behind her ads) agreeing to one. New ads run by Brown surrogates seem to be taking increasing aim at Whitman’s tendency to hide behind her large piles of money, too.

RI-Gov, RI-01, RI-02: The Rhode Island Democratic party issued its endorsements yesterday, and the results weren’t good for the party’s former state chair (or his brother). Bill Lynch lost the RI-01 endorsement to Providence mayor David Cicilline, while AG Patrick Lynch lost the RI-Gov endorsement to state Treasurer Frank Caprio. In the 2nd, incumbent Jim Langevin got the endorsement over primary challenger state Rep. Betsy Dennigan.

TX-Gov: The situation with the Texas Greens ballot line isn’t quite going away yet. A lower court decided last week to block them from the ballot because their petition drive was illegally funded with an in-kind corporate contribution (with roots tracing back to Rick Perry’s former chief of staff). The decision, however, was just appealed to the Texas Supreme Court (which, of course, is Republican-controlled and not averse to the occasionally nakedly political decision).

ID-01: Here, maybe, is another instance of the Chamber of Commerce realizing that conservative Democrats do a better job of addressing big business’s needs for a functioning physical and educational infrastructure than do the group of anarchists who seem to have seized control of the GOP? The US Chamber of Commerce just gave freshman Dem Walt Minnick their endorsement.

LA-02: Rep. Joe Cao has had to back down on a fundraising letter that strongly implies that the local Catholic diocese and Archbishop Gregory Aymond backed his candidacy. Cao apologized for taking Aymond’s praise for him out of context.

MI-03: Well, at least we now know who to cheer against in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers. The Club for Growth announced yesterday that they’re backing state Rep. Justin Amash, meaning that Amash must have impressed the far-right group with his level of disdain for public spending. (JL)

PA-07: Philly’s just a short Amtrak ride from Washington DC, and Joe Biden will be there July 19 to host a combined fundraiser for the DCCC and for the Dem candidate in the 7th, state Rep. Bryan Lentz.

TX-17: Here’s an article that’s an interesting reminder of how all politics is, in the end, local, and how it can turn on stuff that’s a million miles away from inside-the-Beltway concerns. Politico looks at the race in the 17th, which is very much a Waco/Baylor (Chet Edwards) vs. College Station/Texas A&M (Bill Flores) contest, with the recent (now irrelevant, though) proposal to break apart the Big 12 a key flashpoint.

WV-01: Old man yells at cloud? Initially, the idea of a legendary West Virginia Democratic politician setting up a PAC with the pure intent of stopping Democratic nominee Mike Oliverio from winning in November sounds like a game-changing impediment. From the backstory, though, it sounds like former SoS Ken Hechler may not have that much oomph behind his vendetta, which seems mostly motivated by Oliverio’s 2004 failed primary challenge to him in the SoS primary, where Oliverio’s entire argument seemed predicated on the fact that Hechler was 89. (If you do the math, that makes him 95 now. I guess the secret to longevity is to become a Democrat in West Virginia!)

CA-Init: Don’t count on California making the switch to the Washington-style top-two primary just yet, despite the passage of Proposition 14 earlier this month. The major and minor parties are weighing legal challenges to it, and they’re watching with interest the latest round of litigation on the matter in Washington. (The US Supreme Court has already upheld a state’s authority to switch to a top-two primary, but there’s a new suit pending on new grounds.)

WI-Sen: Suprisingly Close Race for Feingold

PPP (pdf) (6/26-27, Wisconsin voters, 3/20-21 in parens):

Russ Feingold (D-inc): 45

Ron Johnson (R): 43

Undecided: 12

Russ Feingold (D-inc): 45 (48)

Dave Westlake (R): 38 (31)

Undecided: 17 (21)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

There was a general sense of Russ Feingold having dodged a bullet when ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson decided not to run (in PPP’s March poll, Feingold led Tommy Thompson 47-44). In a bit of a surprise, though, likely GOP nominee Ron Johnson performs about as well as Thompson, trailing Feingold only 45-43. PPP’s Tom Jensen speculates Republicans may have actually done themselves a favor here by running a fresh face (Johnson) instead of the stale Thompson; with only 20/18 favorables right now, Johnson does certainly have a lot of upside. (Feingold’s approval is 42/42.) Of course, on the other hand, some of Johnson’s support now may simply be because he’s something new and different, and while Thompson had some moderate crossover appeal, the very conservative Johnson may not have much of that once the candidates start talking about specifics.

PPP may have run into a more conservative batch this time than last time; today’s sample broke 48 Obama, 47 McCain, and it’s also apparent in the trendlines for the low-profile Some Dude in the race, Dave Westlake. Regardless, it’s a pretty clear signal that Russ Feingold (and the DSCC, unfortunately) are going to have to fight this one out.

Rasmussen Reports, You Decide, Vol. 21

*Note: All polls have a margin of error of monkey-fuck ridiculous.

AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 40%, Bradley Byrne (R) 49%

AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 37%, Robert Bentley (R) 56%

AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 31%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 58%

AR-Gov: Mike Beebe (D-inc) 57%, Jim Keet (R) 33%  

AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 32%, John Boozman (R) 61%

AZ-Gov (R): Jan Brewer 61%, Buz Mills 16%, Dean Martin 12%    

AZ-Sen (R): John McCain 47%, J.D. Hayworth 36%

CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 45%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%

CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%

CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 41%, Scott McInnis (R) 46%

CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 40%, Jane Norton (R) 46%

CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Jane Norton (R) 43%

CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 39%, Ken Buck (R) 45%

CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 41%, Ken Buck (R) 46%

FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 38%, Bill McCollum (R) 40%

FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 40%, Rick Scott (R) 45%

FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 15%, Charlie Crist (I) 37%, “Marcus” Rubio (R) 37%

FL-Sen: Jeff Greene (D) 13%, Charlie Crist (I) 41%, “Marcus” Rubio (R) 37%

IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 31%, Terry Branstad (R) 57%

IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 37%, Chuck Grassley (R-inc) 54%

IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 47%

IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 39%, Mark Kirk 42%

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 41%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 16%

MD-Gov: Martin O’Malley (D-inc) 45%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 45%

ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 36%, Paul LePage (R) 43%, Eliot Cutler (I) 7%

MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 34%, Mike Cox (R) 40%

MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 36%, Peter Hoekstra (R) 39%

MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 30%, Rick Snyder (R) 42%

MI-Gov: Andy Dillon (D) 37%, Mike Cox (R) 39%

MI-Gov: Andy Dillon (D) 35%, Peter Hoekstra (R) 40%

MI-Gov: Andy Dillon (D) 33%, Rick Snyder (R) 41%

NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 43%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 44%

ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 19%, John Hoeven (R) 73%

NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 33%, Brian Sandoval 55%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 41%, Sharron Angle (R) 48%

NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 49%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 38%

NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 50%, Bruce Blakeman (R) 38%

NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 49%, David Malpass (R) 34%

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 47%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 43%, Rob Portman (R) 43%

OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 45%, Chris Dudley (R) 47%

OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 47%, Jim Huffman (R) 37%

SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 40%, Nikki Haley (R) 52%

SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) 41%, Kristi Noem (R) 53%

SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 36%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 52%

TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 32%, Bill Haslam (R) 50%

TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 33%, Ron Ramsey (R) 44%

TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 33%, Zach Wamp (R) 44%

TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 40%, Rick Perry (R) 48%

UT-Sen: Sam Granato (D) 28%, Mike Lee (R) 58%

VT-Gov: Deb Markowitz (D) 40%, Brian Dubie (R) 47%

VT-Gov: Peter Shumlin (D) 36%, Brian Dubie (R) 55%

VT-Gov: Doug Racine (D) 36%, Brian Dubie (R) 51%

VT-Gov: Susan Bartlett (D) 29%, Brian Dubie (R) 55%

VT-Gov: Matt Dunne (D) 32%, Brian Dubie (R) 52%

VT-Sen: Pat Leahy (D-inc) 64%, Len Britton (R) 29%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Clint Didier (R) 40%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Paul Akers (R) 38%

WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 39%, Mark Neumann (R) 47%

WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 41%, Scott Walker (R) 49%

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 45%

Who Should We Defend?

If nothing else, this post is simply a reminder that the end of the fundraising quarter is later this week (Wednesday, the 30th). I’ve had this vague sense that there’s a lot less fundraising intensity among the netroots than compared to this point two years ago (although that turns out to be wrong, if you delve into the stats at ActBlue — we’re ahead of the 2008 pace in terms of both total number of dollars and especially number of contributions). But after the 30th, there’s only one more full fundraising quarter left.

That vague lack of intensity, though, may have its roots in the fact that playing defense just isn’t as glamorous… in 2006 and 2008, it was genuinely fun anticipating where all we might make gains and trying to allocate our resources accordingly. It’s not so much fun to figure which incumbents most need our money in order to survive… especially when so many of the most endangered incumbents were simultaneously also the ones least likely to vote the way the netroots would have wanted them to. And the netroots still seems to be playing the old 06-08 ballgame instead, still playing offense: focusing on primaries, and on challenges to Republican incumbents or open seats. Some of that is seen in ActBlue’s top 10 May recipients, none of whom are incumbents (although at least some were the more progressive option in primaries where we’re trying to hold a seat, like Joe Sestak or Ann McLane Kuster). And Daily Kos’s Orange to Blue list currently has only one incumbent on it, Alan Grayson.

No knock on Grayson, of course; as you can see below, he is the most progressive of all the incumbent Dems in the “Tossup” realm — although Carol Shea-Porter and Mary Jo Kilroy are certainly within the same range. However, I’d like for the netroots not to just put all its eggs in the Grayson basket (particularly when he can, if need be, refill that basket with his own personal cash). So, I’m posing the question to all of you, to answer in the comments: what other incumbents should we be defending?

Once we get past the other fairly obvious choices (Shea-Porter and Kilroy, again), it becomes an interesting philosophical question, one where your input would be valuable: is it better to start looking for progressives in the lower-tier races, where our money might come in valuable later? Or do we hold our noses and focus on shoring up some of the members who didn’t fare so well on the litmus test issues, knowing that we need to accept some (in fact, many) imperfect members in order to cobble together a majority?

In fact, it may be most interesting to approach this like putting together an investment portfolio. Say you have $100 to spend on contributions. How much do you allocate to the most endangered progressives? How much to the more valuable (or less heinous) New Dems and Blue Dogs? How much to progressives who aren’t quite as endangered? For that matter, how much to Blue-to-Blue open seat races? And how much to races where we’re still on the offensive? Within each category, which particular names stand out for you?

To help with your decision-making process, I’ve put together a couple tables that look at all of the Democrats’ vulnerable incumbents. The first is organized by column by just how vulnerable we at SSP have decided they are, and organized by row according to Progressive Punch scores, from best to worst. (Ordinarily I prefer DW-Nominate scores for this type of analysis, but Progressive Punch scores are much more intuitive to interpret; the order of Reps. in each column should be pretty similar regardless of which method you use.) (Also, you’ll note I’ve thrown several more Dems on the list — Bobby Etheridge and Allen Boyd — whom we haven’t formally added to the board yet but undoubtedly soon will.) Feel free to mention Senate races too, of course; I’m table-izing just the House races because a) there are so few Senate races involving vulnerable Dem incumbents that we actually like that it’s pretty easy to keep track of them, and b) House races are smaller-dollar affairs, so netroots dollars, if everyone pushes in the same direction, can actually make a difference in select races, whereas in pretty much any Senate general election, netroots dollars are a drop in the bucket that would go largely unnoticed.

Likely D Lean D Tossup
NJ-12 (Holt) 97.74

MO-03 (Carnahan) 95.73

WA-02 (Larsen) 95.56

OR-01 (Wu) 95.49

WV-03 (Rahall) 94.89

CA-47 (Sanchez) 94.68

GA-02 (Bishop) 94.23

CT-05 (Murphy) 94.11

CO-07 (Perlmutter) 93.60

OH-06 (Wilson) 93.16

FL-22 (Klein) 93.07

NC-02 (Etheridge) 92.29

CO-03 (Salazar) 91.84

NY-25 (Maffei) 91.67

OR-05 (Schrader) 91.15

CA-18 (Cardoza) 90.07

NC-08 (Kissell) 89.52

PA-17 (Holden) 89.16

FL-02 (Boyd) 88.69

MI-09 (Peters) 87.95

KY-06 (Chandler) 87.13

WI-03 (Kind) 85.17

GA-12 (Barrow) 83.94

NY-13 (McMahon) 83.33

IL-08 (Bean) 81.93

UT-02 (Matheson) 81.65

GA-08 (Marshall) 76.29

NC-11 (Shuler) 64.12

MS-04 (Taylor) 55.01
OH-13 (Sutton) 97.90

WI-08 (Kagen) 95.81

SC-05 (Spratt) 94.50

VA-11 (Connolly) 93.99

NY-01 (Bishop) 93.97

NY-19 (Hall) 93.96

TX-23 (Rodriguez) 93.64

IA-03 (Boswell) 93.57

PA-08 (Murphy) 92.31

ND-AL (Pomeroy) 92.17

NM-01 (Heinrich) 92.01

MN-01 (Walz) 91.45

TX-17 (Edwards) 91.29

VA-09 (Boucher) 90.79

MO-04 (Skelton) 88.00

MI-07 (Schauer) 87.93

CA-11 (McNerney) 87.61

CT-04 (Himes) 86.06

TN-04 (Davis) 86.02

OH-16 (Boccieri) 85.62

IL-11 (Halvorson) 85.37

PA-03 (Dahlkemper) 85.27

OH-18 (Space) 84.28

SD-AL (Herseth Sandlin) 83.07

IL-14 (Foster) 82.85

PA-10 (Carney) 80.04

NJ-03 (Adler) 79.10

AZ-08 (Giffords) 77.99

IN-02 (Donnelly) 74.66

PA-04 (Altmire) 74.02

NY-20 (Murphy) 73.44

AZ-01 (Kirkpatrick) 71.11

AZ-05 (Mitchell) 58.91

PA-12 (Critz) ?
FL-08 (Grayson) 95.72

OH-15 (Kilroy) 95.37

NH-01 (Shea-Porter) 94.97

PA-11 (Kanjorski) 94.00

NV-03 (Titus) 92.19

OH-01 (Driehaus) 86.71

CO-04 (Markey) 85.84

FL-24 (Kosmas) 82.91

NY-23 (Owens) 80.29

NY-24 (Arcuri) 79.22

VA-05 (Perriello) 78.58

NM-02 (Teague) 77.15

IN-09 (Hill) 70.96

VA-02 (Nye) 66.67

MD-01 (Kratovil) 64.97

MS-01 (Childers) 59.49

AL-02 (Bright) 41.57

ID-01 (Minnick) 40.28

Alternatively, here’s a version based around six key litmus test votes (stimulus package, 2009 budget, cap and trade, the 2009 and 2010 health care votes, and the Stupak Amendment); Reps. are ordered according to how many “bad votes” they took out of the six. Many people have their own personal line-in-the-sand legislatively, for which an aggregated score like Progressive Punch is too broad, so this may be more helpful for those who want to make their choices a la carte.

Likely D Lean D Tossup
CA-47 (Sanchez) 0

CO-07 (Perlmutter) 0

CT-05 (Murphy) 0

FL-22 (Klein) 0

IL-08 (Bean) 0

MI-09 (Peters) 0

MO-03 (Carnahan) 0

NJ-12 (Holt) 0

NY-25 (Maffei) 0

OR-01 (Wu) 0

OR-05 (Schrader) 0

WA-02 (Larsen) 0

WI-03 (Kind) 0

WV-03 (Rahall) 0

CA-18 (Cardoza) 1 (Stupak)

GA-02 (Bishop) 1 (Stupak)

NC-02 (Etheridge) 1 (Stupak)

CO-03 (Salazar) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

FL-02 (Boyd) 2 (Stim, HCR1)

NY-13 (McMahon) 2 (HCR1, HCR2)

OH-06 (Wilson) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

KY-06 (Chandler) 3 (HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

NC-08 (Kissell) 3 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2)

NC-11 (Shuler) 4 (Stim, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

PA-17 (Holden) 4 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

GA-08 (Marshall) 5 (Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

GA-12 (Barrow) 5 (Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

UT-02 (Matheson) 5 (Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

MS-04 (Taylor) 6 (Stim, Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)
AZ-08 (Giffords) 0

CA-11 (McNerney) 0

CT-04 (Himes) 0

IA-03 (Boswell) 0

IL-11 (Halvorson) 0

MI-07 (Schauer) 0

MN-01 (Walz) 0

NM-01 (Heinrich) 0

NY-01 (Bishop) 0

NY-19 (Hall) 0

OH-13 (Sutton) 0

PA-08 (Murphy) 0

PA-12 (Critz) 0

VA-11 (Connolly) 0

WI-08 (Kagen) 0

AZ-01 (Kirkpatrick) 1 (Cap)

NY-20 (Murphy) 1 (HCR1)

SC-05 (Spratt) 1 (Stupak)

AZ-05 (Mitchell) 2 (Budget, Cap)

IL-14 (Foster) 2 (Budget, Cap)

ND-AL (Pomeroy) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

NJ-03 (Adler) 2 (HCR1, HCR2)

OH-16 (Boccieri) 2 (HCR1, Stupak)

OH-18 (Space) 2 (HCR2, Stupak)

PA-03 (Dahlkemper) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

PA-10 (Carney) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

TX-23 (Rodriguez) 2 (Cap, Stupak)

VA-09 (Boucher) 2 (HCR1, HCR2)

IN-02 (Donnelly) 3 (Budget, Cap, Stupak)

MO-04 (Skelton) 3 (HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

SD-AL (Herseth Sandlin) 3 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2)

TX-17 (Edwards) 3 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2)

PA-04 (Altmire) 4 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

TN-04 (Davis) 4 (Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)
FL-08 (Grayson) 0

NH-01 (Shea-Porter) 0

NV-03 (Titus) 0

NY-23 (Owens) 0

OH-15 (Kilroy) 0

IN-09 (Hill) 1 (Stupak)

OH-01 (Driehaus) 1 (Stupak)

CO-04 (Markey) 2 (Budget, HCR1)

FL-24 (Kosmas) 2 (Budget, HCR1)

NY-24 (Arcuri) 2 (Cap, HCR2)

PA-11 (Kanjorski) 2 (Stim, Stupak)

VA-05 (Perriello) 2 (Budget, Stupak)

MD-01 (Kratovil) 4 (Stim, Budget, HCR1, HCR2)

NM-02 (Teague) 4 (Budget, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

VA-02 (Nye) 4 (Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2)

ID-01 (Minnick) 5 (Stim, Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2)

MS-01 (Childers) 5 (Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

AL-02 (Bright) 6 (Stim, Budget, Cap, HCR1, HCR2, Stupak)

There’s yet another way you might of approaching this question, one that’s a little more forgiving of Blue Dogs: that’s the PVI/Vote Index, which is a measure we’ve discussed the last few years. This posits that a Representative’s value is found in overperforming his or her district’s lean as much as possible, which tends to favor the Dems in the reddest-possible districts as well as diehard progressives in swing districts. In particular, that tends to favor Chet Edwards, who has an R+20 district but usually is a reliable vote as seen by his Progressive Punch score (granted, he voted “no” on three of the six litmus test items, but that’s still a substantial improvement over whatever else we might get in that district). The link here is to the 2008 numbers; I just crunched the 2009 numbers, which I’ll write up later in the week, but Edwards again is by far the greatest overperformer. Cold-blooded contributors who can be purely value-added and ignore litmus test votes might want to emphasize Edwards (and similar overperformers like Earl Pomeroy or John Spratt).