• Election 2012

    Flap’s California Primary Election Ballot Recommendations

    There is an election in California today (remember except for the Presidential race, the top two vote getters go to the November general election run-off) and here are my picks:

    • President of the United States – Mitt Romney
    • United States Senate – Dianne Feinstein. There is NO Republican candidate that I could possibly recommend voting for over Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Feinstein.
    • California State Senate – Todd Zink
    • California Assembly – Jeff Gorell
    • California Proposition 28 Term Limits – No
    • California Proposition 29 Tobacco Tax – No

    The polls are open until 8 PM tonight.

    Please exercise your right to vote.

  • Election 2012,  Electoral College,  President 2012

    President 2012: Obama Targets a Few Key States

    The 2008 Presidential Electoral College Results

    Well, DUH.

    In addition to his bus trip this week through North Carolina and Virginia, the Wall Street Journal notes President Obama will “will visit another key region, the Mountain West, next week, where Hispanic voters helped put Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico in the president’s column in 2008.”

    “The focus on both regions is meant to give the president multiple routes to victory and to reduce his dependence on Ohio and Florida, the giant electoral prizes that have long defined presidential politics. The Obama campaign still plans to fight for both, but its climb has become steeper, as polls show that many working-class white voters have soured on the president.”

    ” “A campaign official noted that if Mr. Obama were to win all the states Democrat John Kerry took in 2004, he would claim an Electoral College majority in 2012 if he could win both North Carolina and Virginia, or one of those states plus Colorado and Nevada. Democrats won none of those states in 2000 or 2004, but Mr. Obama won all four in 2008.”

    Just look at the Electoral College map.

    President Obama will have a difficult time winning in Florida, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina, according to recent polls. Nevada will also be a stretch for Obama (the economy has been devastated there), particularly if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee.

    Colorado is doable for the President, but if he loses all of the rest, he is toast.

    If Nevada, in the below map, goes to Obama then the race would be a 269 vs. 269 tie and the House of Representatives would decide who the next President is (likely GOP).

    You can go over here and run the numbers and scenarios.

  • Congress,  Election 2012,  Polling

    Poll Watch: Congressional Approval at 15%

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    Congressional job approval is now 15%, up slightly from the record-tying low of 13% recorded in August, while disapproval is 82%, compared with 84% last month.

    These results are based on interviews conducted in a Sept. 8-11 Gallup poll, as President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass his newly announced major jobs plan legislation and amid news coverage of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Gallup has recorded only three measures lower than this month’s rating of 15%, although Americans have never responded very positively when asked to rate Congress. The average approval rating since Gallup first began asking Americans to rate Congress in 1974 is 34%. Congressional job approval has generally drifted downward since it reached 39% in March 2009, shortly after President Obama took office. The average congressional job approval rating for 2010 was 19%.

    Last month’s 13% approval tied the record low from December 2010. The highest congressional job approval rating measured by Gallup came in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, with a single reading of 84% in October 2001.

    I would not want to be an incumbent Representative running next year, period.

  • Day By Day,  Election 2012

    Day By Day July 30, 2011 – Principles Balance

    Day By Day by Chris Muir

    The American public are sick of the discourse coming from DC on the debt-limit crisis. They are saying a POX to all of the incumbents – both Democrats and Republicans.

    Americans are finally understanding that the POLS in Washington and their state Capitols are addicted to spending. They also understand that the debt is ruining this country.

    The 2012 election WILL be the intervention.


    The Day By Day Archive

  • Election 2012,  National Republican Congressional Commitee,  Rahm Emanuel

    House 2012: National Republican Congressional Committee Has Twice as Much Cash as the Democrats

    Well, the GOP did retake the House last year (see graphic above) – so, you would expect good fundraising from the special interests.

    In the battle for control of the House of Representatives, the National Republican Congressional Committee has twice as much money in the bank as its Democratic counterpart.

    The NRCC revealed late Monday that the party committee has $10.6 million cash on hand as of June 1, double the $5.3 million the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported having in the bank as of the end of last month.

    The NRCC reported raising $4.6 million in May and a debt of $7 million. The DCCC brought in $3.8 million last month, with a debt of $6.6 million. The NRCC points out that they have raised $26.8 million so far this year, nearly double what they raised in the first half of 2009.

    The Democrats will need to win 24 seats to regain the majority in the House. But, with Rahm Emanuel gone (elected Mayor of Chicago) and moderate Democrats having been largely replaced by Republicans (those recruited by Emanuel) the Democrats will be hard pressed to win back the House in 2012.

    The money gap will make it even more difficult and unlikely.

  • American Economy,  Election 2012,  Polling

    Poll Watch: U.S. Economic Confidence Deteriorates in Early June – Approaches 2011 Weekly Low

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    A sharp deterioration in the jobs outlook and six straight weeks of Wall Street declines sent Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy plunging to an average of -35 during the week ending June 12 — a decline of nine percentage points from two weeks ago, and six points worse than it was in the same week a year ago. Economic confidence is now approaching a 2011 weekly low.

    I can tell you the economy is very poor in Southern California with many of my friends worried about their jobs. Many have been furloughed this past year or taken pay and/or benefits cuts.

    And, polling shows economic expectations are worsening.

    The graph:

    Nearly half of Americans rated economic conditions as poor last week.

    So, what does this all mean?

    The American economy WILL be the PRIME issue as we go into the 2012 Presidential election cycle. It is all about the economy and American voters will take out their wrath on the POLS.

    Gallup’s Economic Confidence measure surged in early May, coincident with the bump in presidential approval after the death of bin Laden. However, the bin Laden “halo effect” on economic confidence has dissipated in early June, as economic news has become increasingly negative.

    Unemployment and underemployment as measured by Gallup have shown no improvement compared with a year ago. In this regard, the government’s job numbers have moved closer to Gallup’s numbers as the U.S. unemployment rate as reported by the BLS worsened from 8.8% in March to 9.0% in April and 9.1% in May.

    The sharp drop in economic confidence in early June is consistent with the deterioration in the jobs situation, six consecutive weeks of decline on Wall Street, and fears of a global economic slowdown. Even a recent decline in gas prices to $3.78 a gallon has not been enough to offset the decline in consumer optimism — possibly in part because overall pump prices remain more than $1 per gallon higher than they were a year ago.

    The key question going forward is whether the current economic soft patch is going to be modest and transitory or something more significant. That two out of three Americans say the U.S. economy is “getting worse” — approaching the high for the year — suggests many consumers may see something more significant coming in terms of a summer slowdown.

  • Congress,  Election 2012,  Polling

    Poll Watch: Americans Continue Anti-Incumbent Mood Against Congress

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    Twenty-eight percent of U.S. registered voters say most members of Congress deserve re-election, tying the low point in the trend set last year, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

    In early May, Gallup found 24% of Americans approving of the job Congress is doing overall, which reflected a rally in support after the death of Osama bin Laden. Congress’ approval rating had been below 20% in March and April. Nevertheless, voters’ views of Congress in 2011 — in terms of both approval and support for most members’ re-election — are no better than they were last year, despite the great turnover in the 2010 elections that led to Republicans’ taking control of the House of Representatives.

    Since 1992, Gallup has typically found more voters saying most members of Congress do not deserve re-election than saying they do. Generally, when higher percentages of voters express these anti-incumbent sentiments, as in 1992, 1994, 2006, and 2010, there is much change in Congress’ membership at the next election.

    Why, am I not surprised?

    The American economy continues in the dire straights and people will blame their elected representatives in Congress and the President

    What is interesting is voter’s thoughts about their own Members of Congress.

    Voters are more charitable toward their own Representative with 57% saying that he or she deserves re-election – only 34% say they do not.

    So, what does this all mean?

    The anti-incumbent mood that led to sweeping changes in Congress after the 2010 elections persists, and the accompanying change in House leadership has not fundamentally altered the way Americans view Congress. Thus, incumbents remain vulnerable heading into the 2012 election cycle, though perhaps not quite as vulnerable as in 2010, given that voters are now more inclined to say their own member deserves re-election.

    All incumbent members of the House will be running in newly drawn districts in 2012, further adding to the uncertainty about their future. But significant turnover in Congress may be the “new normal” pattern, given that it has occurred in each of the last three congressional elections.

    I would say if I were a new Republican Congressman, I would run hard in their district and not take anything for granted. Voters remain unhappy and will vote you out, if they perceive you are representing yourself and not your constituents.

  • Election 2012,  Kent Conrad

    Election 2012: North Dakota Democrat Senator Kent Conrad to Retire

    Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, before the Senate Budget Committee. Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is at right

    The chances of Kent Conrad winning re-election in a “RED” leaning state were remote at best.

    North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad (D) won’t seek re-election in 2012, presenting Republicans a top pick up opportunity next year.

    Democratic sources with knowledge of Conrad’s decision say the Democrat will announce that he will retire on Tuesday. The Washington Post first reported the news of Conrad’s decision.

    Conrad was considered very vulnerable in 2012, but he represented the Democrats best shot at holding on to the seat. Without him in the race, Republicans — who made significant gains in North Dakota last year — start the 2012 cycle with significant advantage.

    In 2010, Republican picked up both North Dakota’s other Senate seat and the state’s lone House seat. Already, Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk has announced he will run for the seat. Other potential Republican contenders include Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who is also considering a run for governor, and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

    Another likely opportunity for the GOP to pick up a seat and achieve a Senatorial majority.

  • Election 2012,  George Allen,  Jim Webb,  Jon Tester,  Kent Conrad,  National Republican Senatorial Committee

    GOP NRSC Targets Montana, Virginia, Nebraska, Florida and North Dakota in 2012 Senate Races

    Montana Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester – a GOP target in 2012

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee has released its target list for 2012.

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has its eyes on five key races that could pave the way for the GOP to take the majority in the upper chamber in 2012.

    NRSC Executive Director Ron Jesmer said in an interview with CNN published Wednesday that the committee believes there is “fertile ground” for Republicans gains in Montana, Virginia, Nebraksa, Florida and North Dakota.

    Jesmer said that centrist Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (D) is in “serious trouble and kind of in a league of his own,” and that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) also “is in a lot of trouble.”

    “There are other states where depending on if one candidate runs, there could be some other good challenges,” he added.

    The official’s comments provide an early preview to the GOP’s strategy heading into the 2012 Senate campaign, when the party is expected to make gains on the Democrats and take the majority.

    Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota were won by 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain. Florida and Virginia flipped from red to blue two years ago, but some see the states tilting back to the GOP after the party picked up a number of House seats in each state. 

    Barring any GOP blow up in the next year, I see a relatively easy time for the GOP to take control of the Senate in 2012 – or at least come within a few seats, but have an in effect operating majority.

    Ben Nelson in Nebraska is toast as are North Dakota’s Kent Conrad and Montana’s Jon Tester.

    Former Virginia Senator George Allen has a good chance to best the irascible and weird Jim Webb (if he runs).

    It will be good Dem Senate hunting for the GOP in 2012.

  • Census,  Election 2012

    President 2012: The First Map of Battleground States Updated

    election2010map Presidential Election 2012: The First 2012 Map of Battleground States
    Back in November, I posted a first map of 2012 Presidential battleground states. Of course, this was before the census and a concomitant reapportionment.

    Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nations population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.

    The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation’s population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation’s population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.

    Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

    The new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats, mostly at the Rust Belts expense. Following each once-a-decade census, the nation must reapportion the House’s 435 districts to make them roughly equal in population, with each state getting at least one seat.

    That triggers an often contentious and partisan process in many states, which will draw new congressional district lines that can help or hurt either party.

    In all, the census figures show a shift affecting 18 states taking effect when the 113th Congress takes office in 2013.

    Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

    Now, we have some additional polling/party identification information which should also give us a clue as to the identity of 2012 Presidential KEY battleground states:

    Watching the party identification polling will give us the trend toward or away from the incumbent Democratic President. Remembering Obama/Biden won 365 electoral votes Vs. McCain/Palin 173.

    Looking at the states that lost Electoral Votes:

    7hcefomukkzriiembmfzw95 2012 GOP Bonanza: All 10 States Losing Congressional Seats Tilt Democratic

    And, the states that gained Electoral Votes:

    ml1evzsnyusz6txglpmfia9 2012 GOP Bonanza: All 10 States Losing Congressional Seats Tilt Democratic

    Before, I identified the key battleground states (pre-census release):

    • Ohio – 20 (electoral votes): -2 after reapportionment
    • Virginia – 13
    • Colorado – 9
    • Florida -27: +2 after reapportionment
    • Nevada – 5: +1 after reapportionment
    • Wisconsin -10
    • New Hampshire – 4
    • Indiana – 11
    • North Carolina – 15

    And, I think, at least for now, pending any dramatic change in party identification I will stay with these states.

    The question for the GOP will be: Who will be the best candidate in these nine states to match up against President Barack Obama?