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Swing State Project

Renegade New York Democrats are already trying to back out of their bogus 'deal' to rejoin the party (July 30, 2014, 04:29 PM)

David Valesky presiding over a session of the New York state Senate

David Valesky

Last month, the renegade Democrats who've conspired to hand control of New York's state Senate to the GOP announced with great fanfare that they'd reached a "deal" to rejoin their mainstream colleagues and return to the fold. Most of the media, a lot of labor unions, and even supposed progressive exponents like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio bought into the hype, but there were plenty of reasons from the get-go to mistrust the Independent Democratic Conference, and now we have full proof of their bad faith.

On Tuesday, IDC member David Valesky complained bitterly about the fact that two Democratic senators, Gustavo Rivera and Liz Krueger, were still supporting Oliver Koppell, who is challenging IDC chief Jeff Klein in September's Democratic primary. But that's not all. Valesky also made up a whole bunch of bullshit about what exactly the IDC's non-deal entailed:

"It's hard to comprehend why there's been a blatant violation" by members of the regular Democratic Conference when their leadership pledged that no one would support Koppell, Valesky said.
Oh yes? When exactly did mainstream Democrats promise that no members would support Koppell? One of the IDC's biggest complaints is that, allegedly, Senate Democrats are dysfunctional, so is Valesky seriously expecting lockstep martial adherence to this purported pledge? Even Darth Vader couldn't successfully perform a Jedi mind trick on Ruben Diaz, Sr. (though he might want to Force-choke him).

But like Vader, Valesky is trying to alter the deal. This "deal," though, was exactly one sentence long:

"Therefore all IDC members are united and agree to work together to form a new majority coalition between the Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Democratic Conference after the November elections in order to deliver the results that working families across this state still need and deserve."
And as we noted at a time?and this is why I keep putting the word "deal" in scare quotes?this "deal" only involves the members of the IDC agreeing to work amongst themselves to reunite with the mainstream Democrats. It does not involve an actual agreement between the IDC and the Democrats. So not only is Valesky adding ridiculous, impossible, and unenforceable terms to the deal, there was no real deal in the first place!

That makes it pretty easy for the IDC to walk away from this fake deal, and Valesky's already laying the groundwork to do so. Why is he doing so? Any answers would only be speculative. But we do know that Jeff Klein is an utter snake, and Valesky just one segment of his long tail. If the IDC winds up not rejoining the Democrats next year, no one will have any reason to be surprised.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 7/30 (July 30, 2014, 09:00 AM)

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Pryor's up in his own poll, but headed downward in another (July 30, 2014, 08:00 AM)

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Leading Off:

? AR-Sen, -Gov: Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor has just released a new internal poll from Harstad Research that places him up 45-39 on GOP Rep. Tom Cotton. This is actually the first poll since early May to find Pryor leading, but except for the recent YouGov survey that had Cotton ahead 50-46, every single set of numbers between then and now has come from Republican outfits.

However, we did also finally get some new data from a traditional independent pollster on Tuesday, shortly after Pryor (perhaps pre-emptively) released his own numbers. The latest Talk Business-Hendrix College poll shows the race headed in Cotton's direction. He now leads 44-42, with the Green Party candidate taking 4 and the Libertarian 3. In April, back when a spate of polls brought good news for the incumbent, Pryor was up 46-43.

This is the first time we've seen any data from Harstad, so we don't have any trendlines to examine. But we did recently take a look at Harstad's track record, and for the most part, they did quite well last cycle, without a consistent bias in either direction. The Hendrix trendlines, though, are quite concerning for Pryor.

P.S. While it's not included in the memo, James Hohmann says Harstad also found Republican Asa Hutchinson edging Democrat Mike Ross 42-41 in the governor's race.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 7/29 (July 29, 2014, 09:00 AM)

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WATN? (James L): Remember Robert Straniere, the former New York state Assemblyman and purveyor of questionable hot dogs, who literally became the GOP's option of last resort to replace disgraced Rep. Vito Fossella on the ballot in New York's (then) 13th District back in 2008? We sure do. And we thought it might be time to check in on the man, nearly six years after his 33 percent finish against Democrat Mike McMahon.

It turns out that Straniere, who's returned to practicing law, is now tasking himself with rebuilding and reorganizing New York City's Republican Party, ostensibly through a monthly series of strategy sessions with each of the boroughs' GOP chairpersons. It's truly unfathomable that NYC Republicans would turn their organizational hopes to Straniere, whose House candidacy in 2008 repulsed so many in the Staten Island GOP establishment that the state party nominated him for a judgeship in an attempt to remove him from the ballot. Have New York City Republicans finally reached their nadir?


Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Mitch McConnell's latest obstacle: the Libertarian (July 29, 2014, 08:00 AM)

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Leading Off:

? KY-Sen: SurveyUSA's newest poll finds GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell leading Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes 47-45, but that shrinks to 41-39 when Libertarian David Patterson, who earns 7 percent, is included. In May, SUSA had Grimes edging McConnell 43-42, but back then, left-leaning independent Ed Marksberry, who has since dropped out, was also listed; he took 4, the same as Patterson. These gyrations make the trendlines tricky to follow, but it probably makes sense to focus on the matchup with Patterson, as the Libertarians sound pretty confident that he'll make the ballot. (They have until Aug. 12 to submit signatures and say they're close to their goal.)

Traditionally, Libertarian candidates have hurt Republicans more than Democrats, and Patterson's presence could be especially valuable for Grimes. The hardest task Grimes faces is getting that last chunk of right-leaning undecided voters to flip to her rather than McConnell, but with a third party in the race, she's be almost as happy if they went to Patterson instead. That would allow her to win a plurality victory, much as Jon Tester did in Montana two years ago. And in America, we don't care how you win, just that you win.

There's also a Gravis poll that has Grimes tied at 45 with McConnell (though Patterson wasn't tested here). That at least finally puts Gravis in line with other pollsters; previously, they had McConnell up 43-36.

Finally, we have a Big Dog Alert! For the second time this campaign season, Bill Clinton is visiting the Bluegrass State to help Grimes. He'll be coming to eastern Kentucky on Aug. 6 for a rally, though no further details are available as of right now. Back in February, Clinton showed up in Louisville for a big Grimes event.


Election Diary Rescue: Week 29 (July 28, 2014, 04:01 PM)

DKos Miner 14
The following diaries are examples of this week's Election Diary Rescue. This post features a collection of 43 diaries.

(MI-Sen) Terri Lynn Land to file amended financial disclosure after "forgetting" a multi-million $$ bank acct by Eclectablog - Republican Terri Lynn Land, formerly Michigan's top official in charge of elections, forgot she had a multi-million dollar bank account when she filled out the mandatory financial disclosure form required of all candidates. But she remembered it long enough to tap it for contributions to her campaign.

(NY-21) NY-21 House Race - Moderate Republican endorses Tea Party candidate. Karl Rove is pleased. by AdirondackForeverWildFollow - The U.S. House seat being vacated by Democrat Bill Owens featured a bitter primary that saw Tea Party fave Elise Stefanik beat moderate Republican Matt Doheny. Doheny has now endorsed Stefanik. The Dem nominee is Aaron Woolf.

(MD-CoCouncil) GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads - Updated by jhutson - The head of Maryland's Republican Party has called local candidate for Anne Arundel County Council Michael Peroutka to the woodshed over his involvement with a high profile white nationalist hate group. Scary stuff.

GOTV 2014: What's your plan? by akadjian - Diarist and fellow users share their plans for GOTV. "On the 4-hour drive back from Netroots, I had some time to think. What is my GOTV strategy going to look like for November? I want to quickly share 3 things I picked up at Netroots and then I'm interested in your thoughts since I have never done this before."


This is the 29th weekly edition of Election Diary Rescue. It covers rescued down-ticket election diaries published from Sunday, July 20 through Saturday, July 26. We hope you enjoy the following gems dug up by our dedicated team of miners.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! As the election approaches we will be switching back to our traditional daily schedule for producing this blog. We will need a few good Kossacks to join the team.
Please e-mail us if you would like the opportunity to contribute to this legacy project. DKosEDR@gmail.com.

Diaries: (43)
Senate: (11) posts, (7) states
House: (9) posts, (6) states, (5) districts
State and more: (18)
General: (5)


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 7/28 (July 28, 2014, 09:00 AM)

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YouGov finds rosy picture for GOP in Senate and governor races, but the data merits scrutiny (July 28, 2014, 08:30 AM)

Excerpt of New York Times/YouGov July 2014 polling results

A sampling of YouGov's closest Senate polls

Internet polling has been picking up steam over the past decade, and on Sunday, CBS and The New York Times brought it further into the mainstream: They partnered with British pollster YouGov to conduct polls of every single Senate and gubernatorial race in the country. This gives us a far more comprehensive snapshot of the electoral landscape than we usually get?one based on an unusually large panel of more than 100,000 respondents nationwide, but one that also comes with question marks.

As for the results? Well, let's just say Republicans will uncork some bottles of champagne if these results come to pass.

In Senate races, Republican candidates are ahead in Georgia and Kentucky, the two states Democrats are targeting (by 5 percent in the former, 6 percent in the latter). More importantly, Republicans lead in eight Democratic-held states, though in four of them the margin is just 1 percent: Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina and Louisiana. In the four others, Republicans are further ahead: 4 percent in Arkansas, 8 percent in West Virginia, 16 in Montana, and 27 percent in South Dakota. That's two more seats than they need to win back control of the Senate.

Other incumbent Democrats do come up ahead, though. Mark Udall is up by 4 percent in Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen is ahead of Scott Brown by double digits in New Hampshire, and Alaska's Mark Begich is up either 2 percent or 12 percent, depending on which Republican he faces.

But the best news for the GOP may actually be how well its incumbent governors perform. Kansas's Sam Brownback, in huge trouble in every recent poll, is ahead here by a whopping 13 percent. The same goes for Georgia's Nathan Deal, up a dominant 9 percent, and Florida's Rick Scott, up 6 percent. Ohio's John Kasich is up 6 percent, while Michigan's Rick Snyder and Wisconsin's Scott Walker are up by a more more modest 3 and 2 percent, respectively. By contrast, in rarely polled Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy finds himself in a hole, down 7 percent in a rematch of his 2010 contest.

But there's much more to this polling than the toplines. Indeed, there are a number of issues with YouGov's data and methodology that require serious scrutiny, so we've got lots more analysis after the jump.


Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: New poll has Sam Brownback losing reelection by eight points (July 28, 2014, 08:00 AM)

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Leading Off:

? KS-Gov: Let's not beat around the bush: A new SurveyUSA poll finds Republican Gov. Sam Brownback trailing state House Democratic Leader Paul Davis by a brutal 48-40, with a Libertarian taking five. SurveyUSA found similar numbers a month ago, when they found Davis up by six points. Brownback has posted some bad numbers before, but never quite this bad.

There are many reasons why Brownback has become so toxic in this very red state. In short, the governor and his conservative allies in the legislature have made brutal service cuts, especially to education. Brownback cut taxes without any idea of how to make up for the lost revenue, and Kansans are feeling the effects. It takes a lot to go from a 63-32 victory to a deficit in the polls in only four years, but Brownback has more than earned the dubious distinction of being the country's most vulnerable red state governor.

One small good piece of news for Brownback is that he doesn't appear to be in any primary danger. SurveyUSA finds him leading unheralded primary challenger Jennifer Winn 60-30. Not an impressive result, but it does indicate that at least some people can still stand Sam Brownback.


Daily Kos Elections power rankings: The states (Mid-summer edition) (July 27, 2014, 06:59 PM)

Bruce Braley at podium
The U.S. Senate race featuring Democrat Bruce Braley is just one reason Iowa is a must-watch state.

As it became time to prepare the third go-round of our state power rankings, a problem immediately materialized. Under the criteria in place up to this point, there were simply too few changes. The dog days of summer typically don't see a ton of movement in our race ratings, as prudence often dictates to wait until it can be better assessed who is prepared for the long haul into November.

Since the bulk of the state power rankings were based on race ratings, however, that meant a stagnant top ten. So, an additional metric was added to the rubric. In addition to the race ratings (and how they accumulate points can be seen at the end of the piece), it was decided that a point would be added for every individual general election poll in the prior month per individual contest. After all, if the state power rankings were meant to give readers an idea of what states will be the most pivotal in November, it makes sense to add a gauge for what races are getting the attention of pollsters, even at this comparably early point. Only general election polls were included, to avoid a "primary effect." To wit: Mississippi would've been on the doorstep of the list had primary polls been included. Unless Chris McDaniel carries his hissy fit protest of the runoff results into the fall, and his entreaties actually find purchase in the soil of the Mississippi electorate, there will be pretty much no reason to care about the Magnolia State come November.

So, with this new metric added to the mix, there was some legitimate movement, and a new and deserving occupant in the top spot. Follow me past the jump for the new edition of the state-by-state power rankings.


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