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Columbus Dispatch Describes Trial Events of September 29, in Ohio Libertarian Ballot Access Case
(from: Ballot Access News @ September 30, 2014, 11:53 AM)

See this Cleveland Plain Dealer story, which describes how Republican Party campaign officials and party officers worked with state election officials to engineer a method to keep the Libertarian gubernatorial ticket off this year’s ballot. The trial is still proceeding on September 30. Thanks to Kevin Knedler for the link.


Kansas still has the worst secretary of state in the nation and he just had another really bad day
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 11:39 AM)

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach head shot
Goal Thermometer

Within minutes of the Kansas Supreme Court's decision to leave Democrat Chad Taylor off the Kansas ballot for U.S. Senate (dealing a blow to Kris Kobach?worst secretary of state in the nation) a Kansas City-area Democrat named David Orel filed a challenge trying to force Democrats to name a new candidate. David Orel also happens to be the father of a Alexander Orel, regional director for ultra-conservative Sam Brownback's re-election campaign.

Kris Kobach once again tried to intervene by joining the lawsuit, but the district court ruled against him and refused to let him join the suit.

Kris Kobach's week was about to get worse. Yesterday, David Orel was set to have his day in court, but his case took a serious hit after he failed to appear before the Shawnee County District Court:

?With all due respect to Mr. Orel, he filed a lawsuit against my clients, drug them into court in the middle of a heated campaign season, then thumbs his nose at this court and refuses to show up," said Randy Rathbun, a former U.S. attorney from Wichita who represented the party.
Judge Franklin Theis was not amused:
"Without him here, it kind of turns this into political theater," Theis said.
Presiding Judge Larry Hendricks also had some serious questions about the military ballots that have already been sent (per federal law):
Democrats also argued that the petition should be dismissed because the secretary of state's office has already mailed out ballots to overseas military personnel, and some of those ballots have already been returned. An order to name another Democratic candidate, Rathbun said, would require invalidating votes that have already been cast and requiring those voters to cast new ballots.

Hendricks, the presiding judge on the panel, also raised the question of how officials would handle such a case if a soldier deployed in a combat zone were to die in action before he or she was able to cast a second ballot.

The judges indicated they would issue a decision no later than 1:00pm on Thursday so the ballot printing won't be delayed any further.

So, now we wait for yet another court to hand Kansas Republicans and the worst secretary of state in the nation another loss. In the meantime, can you contribute $5 to help elect Jean Schodorf and send Kris Kobach packing?


PPP has the Louisiana Senate race close, but Republican Bill Cassidy has a small but steady lead
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 11:08 AM)

Rep. Bill Cassidy speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Republican Bill Cassidy
On Tuesday, Public Policy Polling released its poll of the Pelican State and they found what most pollsters have found: A small but stubborn lead for Republican Bill Cassidy in a one-on-one race with Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

In Louisiana's November all-party primary, Landrieu leads with 42 percent, far from the 50 percent she'd need to win without a runoff. Cassidy leads fellow Republican and tea partier Rob Maness 34-12: All around, about the same numbers ORC recently found for CNN. Democrats would love to face Maness instead of Cassidy but he doesn't have many resources and no well-funded outside groups are coming to his aid right now. Unless there's a massive surprise, it looks inevitable that Landrieu and Cassidy will advance to a runoff in December.

In a hypothetical runoff, Landrieu trails 48-45. The 7 percent who are undecided identify as Republicans and Democrats in equal numbers, and voted for Mitt Romney 7-3. Most polling over the last few months has shown Cassidy with a small lead in one-on-one matches. A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll conducted for the Democratic group Senate Majority PAC gave Landrieu a 2-point edge, but she's generally trailed by 1 to 3 points (with the exception of a Fox News poll that gave Cassidy an unrealistic double-digit lead).

While a 3-point deficit is far from insurmountable, PPP finds that Landrieu is quite unpopular: They peg her approval rating at 42-52. Cassidy's favorables aren't incredible at 37-41 but he has the advantage of running in a very conservative state. It's worth noting that PPP has generally found politicians from both parties with weaker ratings than most other pollsters, but it's still not a good sign for Landrieu if Cassidy has better personal numbers. If you're an unpopular incumbent running in an increasingly hostile state with a very disliked president representing your party (Obama sports a 39-56 approval rating here), your only real option is to make your opponent even more unpopular than you: So far, that doesn't seem to be happening.

PPP also answered the most important question in American politics: Is it a good idea for a politician in a tough race to help someone do a keg stand? It looks like the answer is no: Voters say they disapprove of Landrieu's "keg stand gambit" by a 21-36 margin. If you can't get away with assisting a constituent consume alcohol in Louisiana, you just can't get away with it anywhere.

Mary Landrieu is an incredibly tough campaigner. In 2002 she prevailed in a runoff that Republicans felt they were certain to win. It's also worth noting that while Democrats have usually had problems getting their voters to the polls in runoffs and special elections, Louisiana is one state that's very used to voting at irregular times. In 2002, turnout between November and December dropped by less than 1 percent, though there haven't been any Senate runoffs since then. Even so, for her to win she'll likely need PPP to severely be underestimating her popularity, or she'll to take Cassidy's numbers even further below sea level than they are now. Democrats always knew this would be a difficult race, and this poll only confirms it.

Help elect more and better Democrats this November! Please give $3 to Daily Kos' endorsed candidates and strike a blow against Republicans.


Nevada Republican wants to bring voter suppression home
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 10:08 AM)

Kate Marshall
Kate Marshall
Goal Thermometer
What Republicans need to succeed statewide in Nevada, apparently, is a way to have a lot fewer voters. So that's what the Republican running for secretary of state, Barbara Cegavske, wants to do: suppress the vote.
State Sen. Barbara Cegavske, who is running for secretary of state, says she supports a voter ID law for Nevada. [?]

She also says she opposes same-day voter registration and same-day voting, however, because such last-minute activity could put too much pressure on election workers and make it tough to prevent fraud.

?I do not want to burden the counties with something that?s not attainable or secure,? Cegavske said Wednesday in an interview with the Review-Journal editorial board.

There's not a lot of cases of voter fraud in Nevada, just like everywhere else. There is one notable, and pretty funny exception, the Republican who said she tried to vote twice in the 2012 general election on purpose, to prove just how easy it is to commit voter fraud. Which she didn't, because she was caught in the second attempt, at a second site by poll workers who determined she had already voted at a different precinct.

This is just one reason Daily Kos is endorsing Kate Marshall for secretary of state in Nevada. Currently the state's treasurer, Marshall is opposed to voter IDs because it's money the state doesn't have to solve a problem the state doesn't have. She should know about the state's coffers, since she's in charge of them.

Please contribute to help keep Nevada a safe place to vote. Give $3 to Kate Marshall.


Live Video and Chatter: Secret Service Hearing
(from: Washington Wire @ September 30, 2014, 10:07 AM)

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson is testifying Tuesday at a hearing Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Here is a live video feed and Twitter analysis and commentary.


Statement of Secret Service Director Pierson on White House Security
(from: Washington Wire @ September 30, 2014, 10:02 AM)

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson's prepared testimony on how an intruder entered the White House.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/30
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 09:00 AM)

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest banner
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

7:57 AM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-Sen: On Tuesday, Public Policy Polling released its poll of the Pelican State and they found what most pollsters have found: A small but stubborn lead for Republican Bill Cassidy in a one-on-one race with Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

In Louisiana's November all-party primary, Landrieu leads with 42 percent, far from the 50 percent she'd need to win without a runoff. Cassidy leads fellow Republican and tea partier Rob Maness 34-12: All around, about the same numbers ORC recently found for CNN. Democrats would love to face Maness instead of Cassidy but he doesn't have many resources and no well-funded outside groups are coming to his aid right now. Unless there's a massive surprise, it looks inevitable that Landrieu and Cassidy will advance to a runoff in December.

In a hypothetical runoff, Landrieu trails 48-45. The 7 percent who are undecided identify as Republicans and Democrats in equal numbers, and voted for Mitt Romney 7-3. Most polling over the last few months has shown Cassidy with a small lead in one-on-one matches. A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll conducted for the Democratic group Senate Majority PAC gave Landrieu a 2-point edge, but she's generally trailed by 1 to 3 points (with the exception of a Fox News poll that gave Cassidy an unrealistic double-digit lead).

While a 3-point deficit is far from insurmountable, PPP finds that Landrieu is quite unpopular: They peg her approval rating at 42-52. Cassidy's favorables aren't incredible at 37-41 but he has the advantage of running in a very conservative state. It's worth noting that PPP has generally found politicians from both parties with weaker ratings than most other pollsters, but it's still not a good sign for Landrieu if Cassidy has better personal numbers. If you're an unpopular incumbent running in an increasingly hostile state with a very disliked president representing your party (Obama sports a 39-56 approval rating here), your only real option is to make your opponent even more unpopular than you: So far, that doesn't seem to be happening.

PPP also answered the most important question in American politics: Is it a good idea for a politician in a tough race to help someone do a keg stand? It looks like the answer is no: Voters say they disapprove of Landrieu's "keg stand gambit" by a 21-36 margin. If you can't get away with assisting a constituent consume alcohol in Louisiana, you just can't get away with it anywhere.

Mary Landrieu is an incredibly tough campaigner. In 2002 she prevailed in a runoff that Republicans felt they were certain to win. It's also worth noting that while Democrats have usually had problems getting their voters to the polls in runoffs and special elections, Louisiana is one state that's very used to voting at irregular times. In 2002, turnout between November and December dropped by less than 1 percent, though there haven't been any Senate runoffs since then. Even so, for her to win she'll likely need PPP to severely be underestimating her popularity, or she'll to take Cassidy's numbers even further below sea level than they are now. Democrats always knew this would be a difficult race, and this poll only confirms it.

8:50 AM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-Gov: PPP also took a look at the 2015 gubernatorial contest and found Republican Sen. David Vitter as the early frontrunner. PPP did not test the October all-party primary but they looked at several hypothetical November runoff scenarios. Against state House Minority Leader John Bell Edwards, Vitter leads 50-32, while he leads Democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (the brother of Sen. Mary Landrieu) 47-38. In a general election against fellow Republican and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Vitter leads 37-30. Dardenne also posts a double-digit lead over Edwards but leads Landrieu only 43-39.

Vitter and Edwards have announced that they are running, while Dardenne is very likely to enter the contest. Landrieu is at the top of most state Democrats' wish lists but he has been coy about his plans. There are plenty of other ambitious Louisiana politicians who are contemplating runs but if PPP tested each of them, we'd be here all day.

A few things are worth noting. We have no idea what November 2015 turnout will look like, so these numbers should be taken with some caution. Vitter may also be more vulnerable against Dardenne in a one-on-one race than he looks right now. Dardenne has a reputation as a moderate and he could consolidate enough Democrats and Republicans to cost the very conservative Vitter. However, Dardenne would need to get through the jungle primary first, and he could easily get squeezed out in a crowded race.

One possible asset for Democrats is that outgoing Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal remains horrifically unpopular, at 34-55. In a very hypothetical matchup with former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards, Jindal loses 47-43. Jindal will be eligible to run for governor again in 2019, but it doesn't look like Louisiana will want him back. Edwards isn't the most popular guy in the world with a 40-44 favorable rating but it's pretty good for an ex-con: I'm willing to bet that fellow ex-governors Rod Blagojevich, Bob McDonnell, and John Rowland will be a lot less popular when they get out of prison. Edwards is currently running for the House in the very Republican 6th District, and is considered a longshot.


Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap: How 'real' is all the Republican wave talk?
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 08:30 AM)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at CPAC 2013.
A new poll, by a GOP-leaning pollster, has Gov. Scott Walker (WI) trailing in his re-election bid.

It is not hard, for followers of electoral politics, to find some talking head, or some online article, forecasting a forthcoming Republican "wave." Indeed, if you were running a tally of days since the last time a major media political observer used that phrasing (in spirit, if not in letter), you're going to need to restart your clock.

It's hard not to feel a little sense of irrational exuberance if you are a Republican, and a sense of dread if you are a Democrat, by reading the "big" polling headlines. Be it the horrible polling week last week for Alaska incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, or the banner headline from this weekend's Des Moines Register poll (long considered a "gold standard" poll in Iowa), the recent marked decline in Democratic fortunes as it relates to the Senate has led to a wave (if you'll pardon the pun) of renewed speculation about flagging Democratic fortunes for the 2014 midterm cycle.

But is that fair? And is it accurate? The actual numbers tell us a fairly mixed story about the current state of play in 2014. For that analysis, and a look at the 40 different polls that made their way across our desk in the past four days (polls which were entered into our database between Sep 26-29), head below the fold.


Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: New polls show Iowa's Senate race moving away from Democrats
(from: Swing State Project @ September 30, 2014, 08:00 AM)

Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, glamor portrait.
Republican Joni Ernst
Leading Off:

? IA-Sen: What a difference a few weeks makes. It wasn't that long ago that Republicans were privately conceding that Joni Ernst was a few points behind Democrat Bruce Braley in the Iowa U.S. Senate contest. However, more recent polls have shown either a very tight race or have given Ernst the lead. And on Saturday night, things came to a head when Selzer & Co., on behalf of the Des Moines Register, released a survey showing Ernst up 44-38 on Braley. Frustratingly, though, the Register did not release crosstabs, making it difficult to peer under the hood.

But Selzer has a good reputation in Iowa, and this survey in particular seemed to fill Democrats with a little extra dread and Republicans with a little extra enthusiasm. Please read below the fold for our analysis of Selzer's track record, and what these numbers mean for Braley.


Capital Journal Daybreak: Intruder Got Farther Than Thought in White House | Arab States? Help Opens New Front in Fight | Hundreds of Thousands Face Health Law Subsidy Deadline
(from: Washington Wire @ September 30, 2014, 07:08 AM)

The Journal's morning rundown of the biggest news stories and exclusive features from Washington on politics, policy, financial regulation, defense and more.


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