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Swing State Project

Jim Webb tosses hat into 2016 ring (July 2, 2015, 02:29 PM)

U.S. Senator Jim Webb gestures during a news conference at a hotel in Bangkok June 3, 2010. Webb abruptly cancelled a planned visit to military-ruled Myanmar on Thursday because of concern about the country's alleged nuclear cooperation with North Korea.
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has an announcement:
After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States.
Good luck, Jim. You're going to need it.


Daily Kos Elections open thread 7/2 (July 2, 2015, 09:00 AM)


Sim City 3000-- "South Bridge"
Daily Kos Elections is taking this Thursday and Friday off for the extended Fourth of July weekend. We'll be back Monday: In the meantime, have a good holiday!


Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Maine lawmakers unanimously vote to investigate Paul LePage (July 2, 2015, 08:00 AM)

Paul LePage
Maine Gov. Paul LePage
Leading Off:

? ME-Gov: The Paul LePage situation has quickly ramped up to ludicrous speed. As you may know, Maine's Republican governor threatened to cut off half a million dollars worth of funding for a charter school for at-risk youth if they didn't rescind an offer they made to the state House speaker (Democrat Mark Eves) to serve as their president. The school promptly buckled, Eves cried foul, and LePage ... well, he admitted it all!

"Yeah, I did," he said. "If I could, I would. Absolutely. Why wouldn't I? Tell me why I wouldn't take the taxpayer money, to prevent somebody to go into a school and destroy it. Because (Eves') heart's not into doing the right thing for Maine people."
In a remarkable show of unity, lawmakers on the legislature's Government Oversight Committee responded by unanimously voting to investigate LePage's actions. Yes, that's right: Republican legislators just voted to launch a formal inquiry into a Republican governor. That's how much LePage has alienated members of his own party.

LePage, though, insists that the committee doesn't have the constitutional authority to dig into his actions, so you know he's going to make this as difficult as possible. But his obstinacy scarcely matters. Legislators most certainly are empowered to conduct an investigation to determine whether LePage should be impeached, which is exactly where all this could wind up.


Louisiana, once a Democratic bastion, has completed its transformation into a Republican stronghold (July 1, 2015, 05:08 PM)


Louisiana State House

We make our way back to Louisiana for a look at the state's 2014 Senate race. We have the results calculated by state House, Senate, and congressional district for the December runoff between defeated Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu and now-GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy, as well as the 2012 presidential contest. As a bonus, we also have the November jungle primary between Landrieu, Cassidy, and tea partying Republican Rob Maness. You can find our master list of states here. We've included Stephen Wolf's interactive state legislative maps for the Pelican State, and be sure to check out the rest here.

While Landrieu had a reputation as a formidable campaigner, she faced long odds winning a fourth term during a GOP wave in a state that Romney carried 58-41. Landrieu's 56-44 loss only delivered her the heavily Democratic LA-02, with the state's other five congressional districts backing Cassidy. The closest seat was LA-04, which backed Cassidy 58-42 two years after giving Romney a similar 59-40 margin.

Landrieu carried 36 of the state's 105 state House seats, five more than Obama carried two years before. Landrieu improved on Obama's margin in 93 House districts, and showed the biggest gain in HD-54, one of the reddest-Democratic held seats in the nation. Romney carried this district, located on the Bayou southwest on New Orleans, 81-17, while Cassidy took it 66-34.

Head below the fold for a look at the state Senate.


Maine legislature opens investigation of LePage's threat to cut off charter school funds (July 1, 2015, 05:04 PM)

Governor Paul R. LePage gave the opening remarks at his Governor's Conference on Education, Putting Students First., March 22, 2013.
Maine Gov. LePage (R)
The Paul LePage situation has quickly ramped up to ludicrous speed. As you may know, Maine's Republican governor threatened to cut off half a million dollars worth of funding for a charter school for at-risk youth if they didn't rescind an offer they made to the state House speaker (Democrat Mark Eves) to serve as their president. The school promptly buckled, Eves cried foul, and LePage ... well, he admitted it all!
"Yeah, I did," he said. "If I could, I would. Absolutely. Why wouldn?t I? Tell me why I wouldn?t take the taxpayer money, to prevent somebody to go into a school and destroy it. Because (Eves?) heart?s not into doing the right thing for Maine people."
So lawmakers, of course, just launched an investigation, and you know they mean it: One of those leading the call for an inquiry is a Republican state senator.

LePage, though, insists that the legislature's Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability doesn't have the constitutional authority to dig into his actions, so you know he's going to make this as difficult as possible. But his obstinacy scarcely matters. Legislators most certainly are empowered to conduct an investigation to determine whether LePage should be impeached, which is exactly where all this could wind up.


Poll: Jeb! leads among Republicans, but Hillary crushes them all (July 1, 2015, 10:03 AM)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts after speaking at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, June 14, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young   - RTX1GGYZ
Here's a poll you won't hear nearly as much about as the ones showing Hillary Clinton with a relatively narrow lead over her possible Republican opponents. The new CNN/ORC poll puts Jeb Bush at the front of the Republican primary field, drawing 19 percent support, with Donald Trump behind him at 12 percent, followed by Mike Huckabee at eight percent, Ben Carson and Rand Paul at seven percent, and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio at six percent. In general election head-to-heads, though, Clinton crushes them all. Let's lay it out so it's easy to see, shall we?

Hillary Clinton 54
Jeb Bush 41

Hillary Clinton 56
Marco Rubio 39

Hillary Clinton 56
Chris Christie 37

Hillary Clinton 59
Donald Trump 34

Hillary Clinton 57
Scott Walker 38

It's an early poll and it's a national poll, which are two good reasons not to put too much stock in it as a sign of where the race will be in November 2016. But these results are not open to much question about where the race stands now.

On another note, when Republican and Republican-leaning voters were asked which Republican candidate could best handle illegal immigration, Donald Trump came in second with 13 percent. A little something to think about as he runs around saying Mexican immigrants are rapists.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 7/1 (July 1, 2015, 09:00 AM)

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest banner
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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Virginia GOP decides it'd be just fine with another Cuccinelli (July 1, 2015, 08:01 AM)

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli stands onstage with his wife Teiro Cuccinelli (R) and their family as he gives his concession speech at his election night event in Richmond, Virginia, November 5, 2013. Democratic Party insider Ter
Ken Cuccinelli delivering his concession speech
Leading Off:

? VA-Gov: Remember Ken Cuccinelli? Remember E.W. Jackson? Of course you do. They were the nut butters that Virginia Republicans put forth to run as a ticket for governor and lieutenant governor two years ago, and both lost gloriously?Cuccinelli, to a former DNC chair who ran as a loud-and-proud progressive, and Jackson, who got crushed by a punishing 11-point margin. Democrats can thank the GOP profusely for both opponents, because Republicans spurned more electable options by choosing to select their nominees at a party convention rather than via a traditional primary.

It's no secret that conventions tend to be dominated by ultra-conservative activists who prize purity over electability even more than your standard crop of primary voters. Jackson is a prime example: He took less than 5 percent in the 2012 Senate primary, but defeated several better-known and more formidable opponents at the next year's convention. Obviously, Team Red learned its lesson... right?

Shah, psych! Republicans in the Old Dominion just agreed to hold a convention once again in 2017, as part of a compromise that involves conducting a proper presidential primary on Super Tuesday next year. That suits Virginia Democrats just fine. They don't much care which GOPer earns the state's presidential delegates, but they sure would like to see more Cucinellis and Jacksons in two years' time. And now, they just might get their wish.


Virginia Republicans pave the path for Ken Cuccinelli 2.0 (June 30, 2015, 04:49 PM)

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa August 9, 2014. The pro-family Iowa organization is hosting the event in conjunction with national partners Family Research Council Action and Citizens United.  REUTERS/Brian Frank? (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR41T6H
Wouldn't it be great if we got another one just like Ken Cuccinelli?
Remember Ken Cuccinelli? Remember E.W. Jackson? Of course you do. They were the nut butters that Virginia Republicans put forth to run as a ticket for governor and lieutenant governor two years ago, and both lost gloriously?Cuccinelli, to a former DNC chair who ran as a loud-and-proud progressive, and Jackson, who got crushed by a punishing 11-point margin. Democrats can thank the GOP profusely for both opponents, because Republicans spurned more electable options by choosing to select their nominees at a party convention rather than via a traditional primary. Obviously, lesson learned, right?

Shah, psych! Republicans in the Old Dominion just agreed to hold a convention once again in 2017, as part of a compromise that involves conducting a proper presidential primary on Super Tuesday next year. That suits Virginia Democrats just fine. They don't much care which GOPer earns the state's presidential delegates, but they sure would like to see more Cucinellis and Jacksons in two years' time. And now, they just might get their wish.


Donald Trump is just a hair behind Scott Walker for first place in new Michigan poll (June 30, 2015, 03:10 PM)

Real estate developer Donald Trump speaks during the Freedom Summit in Greenville, South Carolina May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Keane - RTX1C9LH
God bless Donald Trump. Every passing day, he brings more and more disrepute on the GOP presidential field and the entire Republican Party. But it's also increasingly hard for Republicans to disavow him since he's now started leaping to the top of primary polls. The latest comes from Public Policy Polling, which just surveyed Michigan, and boy are the results fun:
Scott Walker: 15
Jeb Bush: 14
Ben Carson: 14
Donald Trump: 14
Marco Rubio: 9
Mike Huckabee: 8
Chris Christie: 5
Ted Cruz: 5
Rand Paul: 4
Carly Fiorina: 3
John Kasich: 3
Rick Santorum: 2
Lindsey Graham: 1
Rick Perry: 1
Bobby Jindal: 0
George Pataki: 0
Someone else: 2
There's Trump?right behind Scott Walker and tied with Jeb! Bush and Ben Carson (whom we love second-most but not nearly as much as we love The Donald). Conventional wisdom says that Trump will bail on the race come October, the absolute drop-dead date for him to file mandatory financial disclosure forms that every candidate for federal office must fill out. But seeing as he's detonating his own TV career while he's still in the building, if he's in first place come Halloween, would he really quit the presidential race?

Friends, let us pray that he does not. You will not be surprised to learn that among the GOP contenders, Trump performs the worst against Hillary Clinton in this same poll, losing by a 49-39 margin. That ties him for dead last with none other than Ted Cruz, who, funny enough, was just seen defending his rival?"I like Donald Trump. I think he's terrific"?after he (Trump) had announced that Mexican immigrants are a bunch of rapists.

Indeed, Republicans have been afraid to hit The Donald for his offensive remarks, which he only broadened in a new interview. ("I'm not just saying Mexicans, I'm talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they're coming into this country.") Could it be because he actually speaks for his fellow party members? Well, he certainly seems to be speaking for many of its voters, and we have the polling data to prove it.


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