For those Democrats who are still thinking of this year's election as "historic" here's a bit more data for you.
For the first time in the post-WWII period, and possibly ever, a political party has been completely shut-out and failed to pick up even a single elected position in either the House or Senate. Even the Gubernatorial well was dry.
The final door closed following Republican challenger Max Burns' decision Thursday not to challenge the vote totals form his unsuccessful run against the incumbent Democratic Representative, John Barrow of Georgia.Continue reading "Shut Out"
to his City Dem volunteers:
Before everybody gets involved with Thanksgiving plans I hope you'll take a
minute to congratulate yourself for what you and other Democrats did this
week. By electing Claire McCaskill to the US Senate we literally changed the
world--the whole world, not just Missouri's political world.
Certainly some worthy Democrats seeking elective office lost on Tuesday but
for the most part it was an outstanding day to be a Democrat. Democrats
will control the US House of Representatives; Democrats will control the US
Senate; Susan Montee is the new auditor for the state of Missouri; we gained
a handful of seats in the General Assembly; Democrats won everything in St.
Louis City, St. Louis and Jefferson Counties.
This big victory is certainly attributable, in part, to the incompetence and
corruption of the Bush administration. But don't think for a minute that
that's the whole story. Missouri's Democrats--you--worked like dogs to make
this happen. We literally changed the world.
Congratulations and thanks for all of your contributions and efforts.
City Democratic Central Committee
Again, from unofficial results:
Ward 1 - 37.63
Ward 2 - 42.72
Ward 3 - 30.25
Ward 4 - 35.53
Ward 5 - 35.34
Ward 6 - 50.93
Ward 7 - 48.68
Ward 8 - 52.35
Ward 9 - 40.99
Ward 10 - 52.84
Ward 11 - 47.70
Ward 12 - 59.18
Ward 13 - 55.25
Ward 14 - 53.03
Ward 15 - 49.76
Ward 16 - 64.79
Ward 17 - 44.74
Ward 18 - 38.75
Ward 19 - 34.62
Ward 20 - 33.34
Ward 21 - 40.26
Ward 22 - 32.72
Ward 23 - 62.59
Ward 24 - 51.88
Ward 25 - 42.96
Ward 26 - 40.79
Ward 27 - 38.37
Ward 28 - 55.86
Maida Coleman has retained her position as minority leader of the Senate.
UPDATE: No dissenters. The vote was by acclamation after lengthy and fruitful discussion.
For Talent-McCaskill and for Amendment 2 are here. BUT these are unofficial results and they've been through the imperfect "Drebes human transcriber method." So while I have a high degree of confidence in them, I can't promise they're totally error-free. Plus I didn't include the two alternative candidates. In other words, before you write your senior thesis based on these numbers, go down to the BOE and get the real stuff.
Interesting to note:
Talent's African American outreach did zippo. McCaskill won northside wards with 91-96% of the vote.
Talent only managed 73 votes in the 22nd ward to McCaskill's 2,369. So while there were 800 more votes cast in the 14th ward, for example, the 22nd actually delivered more votes to McCaskill.
Ward 16 was the most competitive in the city - McCaskill won 56% there, and Stem Cell only won 54%.
"Senator, Senator!" Words that must sound sweet to Senator-elect Clair McCaskill.
At her first post-elections new conference, Senator-elect McCaskill expressed concern that Democrats may over-reach in their enthusiasm following Tuesday's sweeping results.
She expressed concern that Democrats may merely use their substantial election results as a jumping-off point for 2008 and 2010, and instead should work for the issues that are important to the people who elected them.
"It's about being a leader," she said. "It's about striking a balance."
She said they should focus on issues like health care, ethics and immigration.
When it came to Iraq, McCaskill said they needed to work as an independent voice and provide accountability in Iraq.
McCaskill told Senator Kit Bond in a phone call this morning that she hoped they could work together to represent the people of Missouri on both sides of the isle.
That echoed a line in her victory speech early Wednesday morning when she told the gathered faithful that she will go to work not just for those who voted for her, but for the thousands who didn't.
McCaskill told reporters that voters responded to her because they saw her as a person and that she also understood their frustrations. She also cited her willingness to stand up to anyone, including her own party. To that, she added that her colleagues might not always like her stance on issues, but they will be her own.
Despite winning substantial seats, McCaskill noted it didn't necessarily create a Democratic mandate and that she would try to help keep the "swagger" out of Democrats actions in the coming weeks and days.
Despite some great leads in the House, many races, especially in the Senate, were much closer. She cited her own race as an example.
"We didn't have a great victory,' she said. "We had a narrow margin."
The 132nd - about 30% Democratic Performing District, but Dems hoped to hold on. Dake loses by a little less than 300 votes.
Missouri Bar's ratings.
As I noted below, some polls are showing marked decrease between Democrats and Republicans on the generic ballot. Yet as in all things statistical, there is a counter-case.
In the Pew poll, the Democrats' margin dropped from 11% (Oct 23rd) to 4% (Nov 5). In the Gallup poll, it fell from 13% (Oct 23rd) to 7% (Nov 5th).
However, two polls still show substantial obstacles for the Republican GOTV effort.
A Fox News poll released today shows a 13% margin (49% to 36%) for Democrats, an increase of 2 points from October 26th (49% to 38%).
A CNN poll has Democrats up by 20% (58% to 38%). Thats an increase of 9 points from a poll on October 30th (53% to 42%).
Is it a wash? We'll only know on Tuesday for sure. The national attitude doesn't cinch anything for McCaskill's campaign, but it sure might give them a bit of head-room.
For Talent's campaign, the closing gap can only help. Republican enthusiasm had been waning, but if things are beginning to swing their way a bit, it might give them the edge in the GOTV effort. Just because you boost your voter contacts, doesn't mean they will be energized enough to vote. The promise of a squeaker might motivate some voters who were thinking of sitting it out.
Nice belch sound.
All I got for a response was a slightly inward smile and a quick glance aside when I asked a McCaskill staffer if they knew something the rest of us didn't. We were all waiting for Senator Barak Obama (D-Il) and a who's-who of Missouri politicians to take the stage for the Democratic rally in the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park and I thought I would try and find out what's was behind a positive impression I had been getting lately. It had changed from positive but couched to one of concealed enthusiasm. It wasn't just the staff.
Their candidate has looked confident and happy in recent appearances; a change in attitude from the way she sometime appeared in her last campaign.
McCaskill lost her race for the Governor's mansion in a 2004 race that was said to be tight going into the last week, but ended up a three-point loss for the State Auditor. That tough race began with a difficult, and devisive, primary. No one looked happy and confidence was thin.
But enough about then, what happens on Tuesday? Naturally, no one knows for sure, but it's fun to look at the numbers we do have.
A Pew poll shows mixed results for the purported Democratic wave. Looking at the generic ballot (GOP vs. Dems) Republicans have cut the Democrats' lead among likely voters from 13 points in early October (53% to 40%) to 4 points in the first days of November (47% to 43%). At the same time, the number of Republicans who think their party will not fare well on Tuesday has increased 8 points (21% to 29%).
Gallup today released a poll today also showing Republicans regaining ground on the generic ballot, from a 13 point deficit two weeks ago to 7 points now (51% to 44%). Remember, however, that 7 point advantage is the same the Republicans had in the days leading up to election day in 1994.
Gallup's poll also showed that McCaskill has increased her lead among likely voters from 3% to 4% (48/45 Oct 1., 49/45 November 5).
Similarly, Pollster.com's running average of the last 5 polls shows a 2 point advantage among for McCaskill (48% to 46%), that doesn't include the Gallup poll released Sunday. Their 10-poll average, on the other hand, still shows a 47/47 tie.
So in a period in which the Republicans are closing the gap nationally, as naturally happens in the final days, McCaskill hasn't lost any ground. It may even be that she has picked up a touch of positive momentum, but that could be written off as statistical noise. Different polls, different techniques; a point or two is too little to take to the bank.
Yet all of the polls released in the last 6 days has her ahead, if only a touch. Throw in the so-called incumbent rule (a phenomenon accepted by pollsters and politicos that between the last poll of the election and election day, the majority of the undecided voters break for the challenger) and there might be a good reason why McCaskill's campaign is smiling to themselves.
on KWMU this morning.
During this final weekend, her campaign will distribute DVDs explaining her position on stem cell and why she's running for state rep.
Here it is on YouTube.
Third party expenditures was one of the indicators that Brian Werner looked at in order to determine which races were competitive.
For example on the MO Republican Party 8-day filing they list multiple direct mail pieces going to the Dake/Ruzicka, Hobbs/Elkin and Mitchell/Todd races.
President Bush's stop in Missouri Friday might help the Talent campaign financially if they have a quick fundraiser, but who will be the electoral benafactor? A New York Times poll (Oct 27-31, 932 RV) indicates it might be Claire McCaskill.
At the same time, Talent has tied himself to the President's policies on Iraq, healthcare and other issues, and the President himself hasn't had an approval rating over 45% in Missouri in 16 months (according to Survey USA). So it hasn't been a deciding blow yet, but it has certainly played into Talent's close race.
For over 50% of voters it won't decide their vote when they walk into the booth, but In a race that has basically been tied for over a year, every point counts.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill's impossible-to-miss blue "McCaskill for Senate" RV pulled up to the hip, if not so new, Kitchen K to press the flesh and meet with Mayor Francis Slay. After some questions outside the two worked the room encouraging lunching downtown business crowd to vote to promote McCaskill to the Senate.
"This is my favorite part," said McCaskill, adding that she much preferred talking to voters than raising money.
McCaskill was immediately asked by reporters about Republican accusations that her family has a tax shelter in Bermuda (the issue has been part of a new series of anti-McCaskill television ads, at least one of which looked re-cut to get the charge in).
McCaskill dismissed the charges as a personal attack. She said her husband owns 6% of a reinsurance company in the form of stock, and that it was included in the disclosures. She added that the stock is not paying dividends and that they would only realize income if her husband sold the stock. McCaskill suggested such companies were routine and that Anheuser-Busch and Washington University had similar companies there. She estimated the current stock value between $200,000 and $500,000.
McCaskill expressed frustration with the advertising war, she said her ads focused on policy and Senator Jim Talent's votes, not on personal issues.
“None of them call him a name…none of them question his character,” she said.
The lunch crowd looked surprised at the commotion while the waiters darted among the less-gainly reporters following the couple around trying to catch what they were saying.
Asked why he supports McCaskill in her effort to unseat the one-term Senator, Jim Talent, Slay cited their long friendship and her honesty and hard work.
"She gets it," Slay said. "She understands what working families are dealing with."
Slay said it was important to have friends of the city in Washington. The city depends on block grants for everything from infrastructure to health care and law enforcement, Many of which, he said, have been cut or are threatened with cuts.
Asked about potential problems, Slay said this election is important for the city voters should expect to be able to vote without unnecessary restrictions and problems.
“Historically I have always been concerned about disenfranchisement,” said Slay.
Slay said his staff is working with the Board of Elections, police and the prosecutors office to ensure a smooth election. He said there would be credentialed lawyers at polling places to supervise.
Despite precautions, recent history certainly is sparking diligence.
“The year 2000 was an embarrassment to the city,” said Slay, referring to a number of problems at the polls including voters being incorrectly stricken from the roles and a judges' decision to allow the polls to stay open after 7 pm to allow voters to get in to vote despite the disruptions.
“I wasn't the Mayor then,” laughingly reminded reporters.
The following analysis came by email, from a knowledgable source:
1. The big one you left out is a possible worry for the Dems. Paul Quinn is running for Wes Shoemeyer's old seat and faces a spirited challenge from the Republican, Kathryne Harper. It's a decent Dem district but by no means solid. In an open seat race, this one could go either way.
2. You left out a few other several semi-longshots in GOP districts where Dems are running solid races and have at least a chance, especially if there proves to be a Democratic wave. All of these have at least a shot, most probably have a better chance than Lucas Kunce or James Owen, if I may politely disagree with your emailers.
In rough order of quality of campaign / likeliness of winning:
Danny Gregory vs. Doug Ervin in the 35th. (Danny is running a spirited race and has some good young activists working for him).
Rebecca McLanahan vs. Nancy Summers in the 2nd. (District includes a university and has decent DPI numbers, Rebecca is both a nurse and a teacher, seems like a good fit and is working.)
Mark Schaeperkoetter vs. Tom Loehner in the 112th. (Schaeperkoetter has a well-known family name in the district and is working extremely hard.)
Luke Scavuzzo vs. Rex Rector in the 124th. (I don't know much about this one but I hear good things about Scavuzzo, that he's really working it.)
Richard Oswald vs. Mike Thomson in the 4th. (Also has a university in the district, really could be Dem territory, Oswald is a farmer who looks like the Marlboro Man and is working hard on the ground.)
UPDATE: One more, from another well-placed source, the 5th (Jim Guest against Mike Walthemath).
ACC reporter Brian Werner identified 21 House and 4 Senate races as close ones to watch. Did we miss any?
I've heard from folks that we should have included the 91st (Fares and Trout), 93rd (Scharnhorst and Frank), and the 24th Senate District (Bray and Maupin).
Any other close ones out there?
UPDATE: Emailers suggest two more - Lucas Kunce is running a spirited race against Mark Bruns in the 113th. This is traditionally the D half of Jefferson City, and money is flowing primarily from other candidates to Bruns and not vice versa. Yard signs don't vote, but Lucas would win if they did.
You might include the 136th between incumbent B.J. Marsh and Democrat James Owen. Owen is sharp and apparently working awfully hard down there and getting a lot of attention.
105th District: Ed Groom-R v. Michael Frame*-D
Frame narrowly beat Groom in a special election last February. The victory in a low turnout special election doesn’t ensure a similar result for Frame, but the District leans Democratic and will stay that way.
135th District: Charles Denison*-R v. Nancy Hagan-D
An internal poll by the Greene County Democrats in late October showed Hagan 3 points behind Denison and gaining ground. However, Republicans have won all of the last three races in the District by over 30% percent. There will be a much smaller margin this year, but a similar result as Denison holds.
137th District: Dan Scott-R v. Charlie Norr-D
Scott and Norr battle for Republican Mark Wright’s seat in Northern Springfield. Scott is an architect and stresses his hometown roots. Norr was firefighter and is a veteran of Navy. Minimum wage could turn out to be a substantial issue in this, one of the poorest districts in the state. Norr wins on the Northside.
163rd District: Kevin Mitchell-R v. Thomas Todd-D
The 163rd District, which dips into the Bootheel in Southern Missouri, was a historically Democratic district before being taken over by Otto Bean, who died in July. The 163rd now seems poised to swing back to the Dems. In 2002, Bean won with only 4,206 votes. With no presidential election this year, it will probably only take 4,500 votes to win. Considering that 4,021 Democrats voted in the contested August primary, Todd should be able to beat out Mitchell in this contest.
15th District: Sally Faith*-R v. Thomas Green-D
Thomas Green should be a well known name for the voters of the 15th District in St. Charles County. He ran for State Rep. in 1998 and lost by 0.8% (81 votes). In 2000 he took the seat by the slim margin of 0.6% (103 votes) and held it until 2004 when he was unseated by Sally Faith in another tight race (1.6% margin). This year, the pendulum swings back and Green reclaims the seat.
21st District: Steve Hobbs*-R v. Skip Elkin-D
Hobbs, a two term legislator from Mexico, MO, faces Skip Elkin. Elkin is Boone County’s Northern District commissioner, a veteran of the Marines, and a member of the National Guard. Elkin upsets Hobbs in a squeaker.
48th District: Will Kraus*-R v. Chris Moreno-D
Will Kraus won the 2004 election by 5.8%, reversing a trend of Democratic representatives in the district. Kraus, a veteran of the Iraq War, has a large money advantage and got the endorsement of the Kansas City Star. Moreno will give him a run, but Kraus keeps the seat.
87th District: Scott Muschany*-R v. Cynthia Kramer-D
Kramer has worked hard to make this one close, while Mushany, who is close to Speaker Rod Jetton, appears to already have his sights on a higher prize. But the 87th District is definitely Republican, and will remain in Muschany’s control.
Incumbent Republican Norma Champion was known for 30 years as Aunt Norma on the children's hour on KY-3. Most people still call her that. Dems have delicately attempted to raise issues of age, health and competence. For a donkey to take down an incumbent elephant in this district requires a near-perfect campaign. Harpool's run a solid race, but it's probably not enough to get him over the top.
Ryan McKenna will unseat Republican Bill Alter. Even Republicans are saying so. And the GOP Senate Committee has pretty much cut Alter loose. McKenna has out-raised, out-endorsed and out-worked Alter. McKenna in a cakewalk.
30th District: Jason Brown*-R v. Jared Welch-D
Usually, having spent over a decade in the Air National Guard would distinguish a candidate. Yet, Jared Welch’s service is likely to be overshadowed by that of incumbent Jason Brown. Brown is currently on leave from the Army after being shot in the chest while on duty in Iraq. Deployed in April for a yearlong tour, Brown was serving his House term while abroad. If Welch was planning on doing any negative campaigning, that's off the table. Given the circumstances, Brown will hold this seat.
38th District: Ryan Silvey*-R v. Dennis Spears-D
The 38th was a Democratic seat before Silvey won a special election following Representative Dan Bishop’s death. Thus far, Spears has raised less than $5,000, while Silvey has raised over $45,000. While infighting amongst the Republicans could make this one closer, Silvey will remain on top.
47th District: Jeff Grisamore-R v. Tom Haley-D
This district seat opened up as Republican Robert Thane Johnson left it to run for senate. Haley ran for the seat in 2002 and lost by 7.6% (875 votes). While Haley might be helped by the name recognition, it won’t be enough as Grisamore takes the open seat.
94th District: Rick Stream-R v. Jane Bogetto*-D
This Kirkwood district was held by Republican Richard Byrd from 2000 until his death in 2005. Bogetto took over the seat in the subsequent special election last November. She now faces long time Kirkwood School Board Member Rick Stream. Repubs would love to grab this one back, but when crunch time comes, Bogetto will win the suburban battle.
There are really only four big races in the Missouri Senate, which makes it a lot easier to follow and handicap than the House. Here are two of them. I'll post the other two tomorrow:
State Rep. Wes Shoemyer is a rural Missouri Democrat, straight out of central casting. Call him, “Missouri's Tom Selleck.” He’s got the glam; he’s got the stache… Shoemyer’s got the NRA's highest rating and was endorsed by Missouri Right to Life three times previously (but not this time, see comment below). He’s that kind of Democrat. His opponent, Bob Behnen, is not the standard issue rural MO Republican. He’s actually an STL-born genealogist. Shoemyer is trying to use this, highlighting his own rural MO roots. He actually brings the sweet corn he grows with him when he visits senior centers! Polls show Shoemyer leading by single-digits.
Incumbent Democrat Barnitz is another working farmer here. Susie Snyder, the Republican opponent, has muffed several questions in debates, which has received widespread attention thanks to the miracle of YouTube. Barnitz won the seat in a special election, surprising many people given the district's Republican tilt. Like Shoemyer, Barnitz fits the district well with his strong pro-life, pro-gun stances. Expect Barnitz to win narrowly.
33rd District: Jerry Nolte*-R v. Terry Stone-D
Jerry Nolte won by 3% in 2004, taking over a seat that leans slightly Democratic. This race will be another close one. The current climate gives Stone a boost as he ousts Nolte.
85th District: Jim Lembke*-R v. Bob Burns-D
Jim Lembke won this Lemay seat by 1.5% in 2004. GOP sources think Lembke’s hard working campaign will prevail. Dems say the same about Burns. The numbers favor the Democrats in this one, and Bob Burns, a Union beer truck driver, will return the seat to Democratic control.
90th District: Sean King-R v. Sam Komo-D
The 90th District, which is southwest of the St. Louis area, is an open seat as Democrat Rick Johnson ran for Jefferson County Prosecutor rather than re-election. Privately some Dems are underwhelmed by Komo’s campaign, but Komo has the support of Johnson and will keep the seat in the D column.
132nd District: Don Ruzicka-R v. Charles Dake*-D
Another winner of a special election, Dake took over the republican seat in 2006. Claims of Republican push polls have surfaced in this race, allegedly being run by Wilkerson and Associates, the same company named for similar calls in the 32nd District. The District has strong numbers for the Republicans and could be their best chance to take a seat from the Dems. Dake, a conservative Democrat, opposes Amendment 2 and lists the NRA as one of his endorsements. In the end, Dake withstands the charge and keeps the seat.
139th District: Shane Schoeller-R v. Jamie Schoolcraft-D
Schoeller and SchoolCraft vie for this North Springfield left open as Republican Brad Roark runs for county commissioner. Though Schoolcraft boasts an “A” rating from the NRA(higher than Schoeller), Republicans have very strong numbers in the District and Schoeller will pull out the win.
161st District: Gary Branum-R v. Steve Hodges-D
The race for the 161st District is about as close as it comes to a tossup. The numbers are just about even in the contest for the seat of term-limited Lanie Black. As two strong candidates battle it out, Branum wins by a hair.
8th District: Kathy Chinn*-R v. Tom Shively-D
Chinn and Shively face off in a rematch of 2004. Chinn won by 3.4%, but this race could be different. Democrats believe that Chinn’s support and ownership of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which have drawn complaints for their smell and pollution, have turned voters toward Shively. When all is said and done, Shively will rise above the muck.
24th District: Ed Robb*-R v. Jim Ritter-D
How much of a factor money plays in elections is a subject of great debate. The candidates in the 24th District aren’t taking any chances. In fact, they’ve set a record for the most expensive state representative race in Missouri history. Both candidates have raised nearly $110,000 as of the October filing, and they’ve each spent over $70,000 of it. And that’s not including any money spent by the state parties on their behalf. According to House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, “Columbia is the most expensive place to run for House” because “you’re expected to do television.” After the dust settles, Ed Robb will emerge the winner.
32nd District: John DeStefano-R v. Jason Grill-D
Another big money race, Grill has raised over $110,000. He lost to Susan Phillips in 2004 by 1.2 % (224 votes). Now the seat is open and Grill is running against DeStefano, who we’re told is the father of Grill’s best friend. DeStefano’s campaign has denied involvement in alleged push polling. Similar calls have been reported in at least one other District which suggests they are part of a broader plan. The race will be incredibly close, but this one’s a pickup for the Democrats.
Do the Democrats have any chance of taking control of the State House?
The new issue - find it on the streets Wednesday - has a front-page article by Brian Werner looking at House races across the state, the only state-wide analysis we're aware of. Here is a preview; I'll be posting specific House and Senate races today and tomorrow.
The background: There are only 19 GOP seats that are not being challenged by Democratic opponents, nearly half as many uncontested seats as in 2004, while 41 Democrats are running without a Republican opponent.
Of the 163 seats in the House, Republicans hold 95 and the Democrats, 66. The 13th and 163rd District seats are currently vacant, both most recently held by the GOP. ACC interviewed members of both parties, analyzed previous election results and campaign finance data, including the flow of funds from state party committees.
From that information we’ve categorized 21 seats that could change hands – 17 of which were last held by a Republican. Of the remaining 142 seats, 80 are likely to go for the GOP and 62 likely for the Democrats. In order to take the House, Democrats would have to win 20 of these 21 races. Notwithstanding a tidal wave of anti-GOP sentiment, such a feat is unlikely.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill, candidate for U.S. Senate, was fired up over recent television ads and statements by her opponent Sen. Jim Talent's campaign that she said distorted her record and besmirched her character. In a press conference call today, McCaskill set out to get the record straight.
“Talent decided to make a calculated mis-characterization of my record, character and issues,” said McCaskill.
At issue were questions Talent's campaign have raised over McCaskill's commitment to renewable energy, the estate tax, animal identification and her auditing of nursing homes.
What seemed to strike McCaskill the most was the attacks against her auditing of nursing homes which call into question her independence and brings in her husband, whose company owns and operates nursing homes in Missouri.
McCaskill pointed out that the Kansas City Star has called on the Talent campaign to stop airing ads citing their paper as a source of criticism of McCaskill. The ads quote a McCaskill opponent criticizing her and is not the opinion of the paper or a conclusion of an analysis.
McCaskill said she had done more work in the area than any auditor previously. She dismissed charges she had gone easy on the industry after she married her husband in 2002 saying that in January of 2003 she delivered an extensive audit of nursing homes.
McCaskill said: she was the first to audit the oversight of nursing homes; called for spot inspections; and that when she reported a decline in care, she linked it directly to funding cuts made by Governor Blunt's administration and the Republican-controlled state legislature.
An issue drawing intense debate in the agricultural world is that of mandating identification for farm animals. The idea would allow livestock to be better tracked through the system. Small farmers and ranchers argue it's too expensive and would hurt their ability to compete.
McCaskill said Talent had slipped on the issue. First offering some support for the program, but now opposing it. McCaskill criticized Talent saying that as a member of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee, he had been in a position to oppose the program. The United State Deparment of Agriculture announced a framework for the program in April of 2004, the Senate subcommittee held hearings on the issue in February.
McCaskill said she had done extensive work in these areas and Talent knew her record as well as she did.
"Shame on Senator Talent," said McCaskill.
A call to the Talent campaign was not returned.
Email from a southside Dem:
It's worse than I ever could have imagined. Some of the wards are not merely leaving stem cell off the ballot, they will be saying Vote NO. The Church didn't merely want the issue off the ward sample ballots, it insisted on opposition. Central Committee, btw, gives each ward $1000 for general election GOTV, printing, etc. In essence, money given to Central Committee over past year is money going to defeat the stem cell initiative. At this rate, stem cell is going to tank on the south side.
You Tube, Via 52nd City.
And when you are a poll, your just quantum.
L.A. Times/Bloomberg Poll: McCaskill 45% Talent 48%
Mason-Dixon/McClatchy Poll: McCaskill 46% Talent 43%
SurveyUSA Poll: McCaskill 45% Talent 48%
The L.A. Times notes that rural voters will likely decide whether Democrats take the Senate this fall.
The Mason-Dixon poll finds that the two candidates' favorable/unfavorable are within a point of each other. It also notes that 81% are voting for a candidate despite a 37%/57% right track/wrong track result.
SurveyUSA found decreasing support for the stem cell initiative. What was a 30-point "certain yes" margin on October 12 has become a 9-point margin. There are likely some observers who are collecting on bets right about now.
The senate numbers are all within the margin of error (+/- 5 for LAT, +/-4 for M-D and +/- 4 for SUSA).
Three weeks away from a huge election and the chatter among city political watchers is mostly about things other than Nov 7.
The hottest topic is the President of the Board race next spring. But also gaining a fair amount of attention is the 5th SD race in 2008.
Last week, a rumor was floating that Stephen Gregali was yet another pol eyeing that race. Yesterday he told ACC, "No Way." Which makes sense if for no other reasons than he doesn't have a very big geographic base in the 5th, and he seems to enjoy being alderman.
Tom Villa, on the other hand, has a lot more real estate in the 5th and seems to enjoy Jefferson City. He isn't saying, No Way.
Last night's debate was telling:
Talent looks like a beaten man.
He was haplessly attacking McCaskill without pacing or timing. It reminded me of Bush Sr.'s spastic, slightly incoherent, style. It's like his advisors told him he needed a knockout. But his attacks were all in the Who Cares category - husband has lots of LLCs, she was late paying personal property tax, blah blah blah. The contrast to his unwillingness to address the issues - strategic and tactical failures in Iraq, minimum wage - was devastating.
Polls, Fundraising, GOTV operations... I don't need any of the usual indicators to discern the momentum of this race. It's over. Talent knows he's beat. You could see it last night.
Yes, it's a little early to be making this call, but... I'll be shocked if McCaskill doesn't win.
The other day we noted a SurveyUSA poll that put State Auditor Claire McCaskill nine points ahead of her opponent, Senator Jim Talent, 51% to 42%.
That same day the Talent campaign advertised an October 12th Rasmussen poll that put Talent ahead by one point, 45% to 44%.
One possible reason for the wide discrepancy has to do with weighting by party ID; Rasmussen does while SurveyUSA doesn't. A similar discrepancy was exhibited in Ohio.
Rasmussen weights its results based on party affiliation trends they track month-to-month. The detailed info on the latest Rasmussen poll is locked behind a subscription wall, but an October 12th report on the Foley affair's effect on party affiliation conducted by Rasmussen found that 37.5% of Americans say they are Democrats while 32.4% say they are Republicans. It is likely that Rasmussed used comparable numbers in weighting their data.
Some pollsters say the weighted method is a more accurate predictor because party affiliation is more stable over time, while others say the un-weighted method gives a better snapshot of public opinion and that the weighted method will suppress the impact of real, if short-term, events such as the Foley scandal.
Keeping that in mind, the latest number is the second time Talent has had the lead in the Rasmussen polls since August. The two candidates have been within three points of each other since March.
McCaskill was ahead by one point in August and September in the SurveyUSA polls. The jump in October may likely have been driven by the events of recent weeks and may be short-lived. It's worth noting that in the October SurveyUSA poll, 37% of respondents identified themselves as Democrats while 32% said Republican, close to the Rasmussen numbers; September was 40/32 and August was 35/35.
An excellent source for the aggregate poll data is available at Pollster.com. A summary of both the last five and ten polls has McCaskill ahead by 2 points.
SurveyUSA released a poll yesterday showing State Auditor Claire McCaskill with a 9-point lead over Sen. Jim Talent, 51% to 42% (497 likely voters, +/- 4 point margin).
The same poll also shows overwhelming support for Amendment 2, the stem cell initiative, 57% to 27% with 16% undecided.
While the election is still several weeks away, and polls are imperfect, McCaskill's lead represents a 9-point gain over an identical poll by SurveyUSA conducted 4 weeks ago where McCaskill was up by 1 point, 48% to 47%.
Republicans may hope that they still have time to try and redirect voters their way, but most of McCaskill's gain was among independent voters. Talent led among independents by 12 points a month ago, McCaskill now leads by 13, a 25-point swing.
Given the importance of independents in a state as narrowly divided as Missouri, that margin could be a difficult challenge for Talent's campaign to overcome. The results from SurveyUSA's post-debate polls might not ease their headache.
After the Channel 5 debate on Wednesday McCaskill was seen as the "winner" 54% to 32%. More importantly, in the Favorable/Unfavorable McCaskill came out ahead 58/25 to Talent's 30/41. Similarly, following the Meet the Press debate on Sunday, McCaskill's Favorable/Unfavorable was 44/32 while Talent's was 28/44.
These debates may actually be hurting Talent. I suppose that the numbers could also suggest McCaskill began somewhat unpopular or unknown, but considering she lost the gubernatorial race to Matt Blunt two years ago by three points when President Bush carried the state by seven, it's unlikely she's either been forgotten or picked up an unfavorable image.
All polling aside, what this game will really come down to is turnout, and that is something the Republicans have earned respect for thanks to their vaunted 72 Hour Program (though some folks have their doubts about its efficacy beyond the PR). To that end, there was a training session for approximately 250 Republican volunteers in Audrain County in North Central Missouri.
Recent numbers (which they don't like to talk about) may cause a bit of stress, but they have faith in their program.
Reactions, impressions from last night's debate?
State Auditor Claire McCaskill stood in the shadow of the Firefighters Memorial across from City Hall in downtown St. Louis and promised to get the funds to implement the upgrades and integration of emergency worker communications systems that was recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
In its report in July of 2004, The 9/11 Commission cited the lack of proper communication as a contributing factor in the deaths of the hundreds of first-responders who died in the buildings collapse.
In a report card released in December of 2005, the Commission rated the efforts to release the needed radio spectrum to the emergency services a n F. The Commission allowed the option of moving up to a C if legislation pending at the time to set a firm date for the release was passed, but the legislation failed.
McCaskill said it was irresponsible of the Republican leadership to not move on these improvements in the 5 years since September 11th.
"They have failed to act in this most fundamental way," said McCaskill.
Standing in front of a fire engine and flanked by a number of members of Missouri firefighters unions decked out in yellow "Firefighters for Claire" t-shirts, McCaskill said she was proud to support rebuilding the communications systems and proud to receive the support of the firefighters unions.
"We'll get you your money, we'll get you your radio," said McCaskill to some of the firefighters she shook hands with as the event broke up.
Present for the event were members of the Sr. Louis Firefighters, Local 73, Mehlville Fire Fighters, Local 1889, and the Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri, Local 2665.
"It's a disgrace," said Bruce Williams, Secretary and Treasurer for the Missouri State Council of Firefighters. "We have launched the space shuttle how many times in the last five years? But a fireman can not talk to a policeman can not talk to a paramedic."
Introducing McCaskill, Williams said that St. Louis faces the same issues they faced in New York in 2001.
Williams said they were happy to support McCaskill and were encouraged by her support for improved communications systems.
AP says that Ohio, Tennessee and Missouri are three targeted races receiving most national Republican money.
A quick rundown on the latest poll numbers in the Missouri Senate:
Rasmussen Oct 7 McCaskill (D) 44%, Talent (R) 43%
Gallup Oct 6 McCaskill (D) 48%, Talent (R) 45%
Zogby/Reuters Oct 5 Talent (R) 43%, McCaskill (D) 39%
Mason-Dixon Oct 2 Talent (R) 43%, McCaskill (D) 43%
The Missouri Senate is, as so many have said, the canary in the coal mine for Republicans. With no scandals, a mind-boggling number of debates, and a likable incumbent, the swing vote here is likely to be heavily weighted by their opinion of that capital "R" behind Talent's name.
Across the board, handicappers are dropping a large number of races from "likely" Republican to "leans". Sentiment is not on the Republican's side. At best, Missouri remains a toss-up for the Republicans.
But Republicans should get too worried yet, thirty days can be an eternity and as the Rothenberg Report points out, don't read too much into the Foley scandal.
Update 12:30 am: I should clarify the last point. I should have said, don't consider the Foley case, on its own. I mention the Rothenberg comment in context of the handicappers analyses of the races and whether they are downgrading formerly easy Republican races into real contests. What Rothenberg is pointing out is that in their estimate, this will be the final straw, but that there is no empirical data for them to say so definitively. The Cook Political Report, one of the top prognosticators, downgraded 15 house races following the Foley revelations and Republican leadership's ham-fisted handling of the matter. Charlie Cook himself notes it is one of several problems plaguing the Republicans as they enter the last critical weeks before the election. Foley, he says, likely represents the tipping point for the Republicans.
The story is being talked about everywhere and no one is buying Hastert and other Republican leadership efforts to walk away from it. It is a clear, easily understandable issue that gets to the core of voters growing unease with the Republican leadership in a way everyone can understand.
Yet, it is one of several stories landing all at the same time. Would the Foley scandal alone bring down the Republicans? It's debatable. But you put that on top of slippage in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bob Woodward's new book, and a general sense of dissatisfaction, and you have some serious fuel for the fire.
The failure of the leadership to properly handle Foley is about as serious as it gets. I had no intent to dismiss the seriousness of the issue itself, only to put it in context of what analysts were saying.
Cook Political Report editor Jennifer Duffy comments on the 2006 Senate race:
"The ultimate bellweather (sic) is Missouri,” Duffy says. “Talent hasn’t done anything wrong. He doesn’t have ethical problems. He shows up for work. He’s got accomplishments. The point is, if he goes down, it’s more of a sign of how big the Democratic wave is than about Talent.” Duffy emphasizes that Missouri is almost like the ultimate swing state, because while “it’s looked pretty red since 2000,” recent races at the “top of the ticket have all been pretty close,” Duffy says. “It’s not as red as it looks.”McCaskill v. Talent has not generated the headlines such as the surprisingly close and increasingly erratic race between Sen. George Allen (R) and former Reagan official and James Webb (D). Yet it's clear that the bookmakers are keeping a close eye on events here.
There haven't been the kind of gaffes, stunts and controversies that latch on to an unfortunate candidate like an anchor on a clumsy sailor. This race has been (despite the wave of out-of-state money) a classic in candidate v. candidate.
A tough fight, for sure, but a clean one.
USA Today articles on marriage gap, and fertility gap.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill emphasized her opposition to last year's Medicaid cuts and criticized Sen. Jim Talent for "taking a pass" by not speaking out against the cuts made by Gov. Matt Blunt and the Missouri legislature.
Speaking at a news conference Friday with four Missourians who lost their Medicaid coverage, McCaskill said she would be a better representative for Missourians.
"As a senator, I will always speak out when Missourians are being hurt," said McCaskill.
McCaskill acknowledged the Talent campaign's assertion that federal funding for Medicaid has increased while he has been in the Senate, but McCaskill said the growth reflected necessary increases due to rising medical costs and that some occurred despite Talent's presence in the Senate.
A campaign handout highlighted four votes in the last two years which both Republican and Democratic Senators voted to reject Medicaid cuts, votes Talent went against the majority on (Vote 62 2006, Vote 291 2005, Vote 58 2005, Vote 39 2004). In one case, Vote 39, which would have restored funding to Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit, Talent and Bond split with Talent voting to support the cuts, and Bond voting to support the funding.
Sharon Belleville, 59, said Talent had failed to follow through on his promise to represent and listen to Medicaid recipients.
"If they don't want to hear what I have to say, then don't come to me for my vote," said Belleville.
Kristine Alliegre, 33, works part-time, is a full-time student and has two kids. She has relied on Medicare since she was pregnant with her first child in 2000. She was just informed on Thursday her two children were going to lose their coverage due to an unspecified problem with paperwork.
Alliegre said the cuts, "detract from families being whole, healthy units."
McCaskill disputed assertions by Republicans at the state and federal level who said the cuts are necessary cost-saving measures and do not represent opposition to the programs. McCaskill said the cuts amount to a tax on every person who uses the health care system, insured or not. Those who have been dropped from the roles now use emergency rooms as their primary care facility. Those hospitals pass on the added costs to covered patients' insurance companies; the insurance company then raises rates to offset their costs; the higher costs then make it harder for low-income individuals to obtain insurance; and around it goes.
"The cycle of cuts is creating more uninsured in America," said McCaskill.
The cuts don't just involve Missouri's resources. As a result of state reductions, $700 million in federal funds were sent back. Those funds don't just disappear, they go to other states, said McCaskill.
Though a Senator can not directly change how a state allocates its funds, they can direct how some federal funds are used. They can also use their very visible position to exert political pressure.
McCaskill said that the use of targeted matching funds and even reshaping the bloated bureaucracy could help encourage states to maintain funding.
One proposal McCaskill floated doesn't address Medicaid, but does affect the availability of quality medical service in poor areas; loan forgiveness. A portion of a medical student's school loans would be forgiven in exchange for working in community health care centers and areas that are having a tough time luring doctors.
Missouri had a similar program for nurses that forgave 25% of the loans for each year spent working in hard-to-staff areas. This year, in order to encourage more students to pursue nursing. the legislature changed the provision to provide 100% forgiveness for any nursing student gaining full-time employment regardless of where they work.
McCaskill spoke at the Connect Care Health Care Center at 5535 Delmar Blvd, just East of DeBaliviere Place. The center is a clinic low-income patients in the city.
The Bush administration's prosecution of the Iraq war and its handling of the needs of members of the military, active and inactive, were were the topics of the day at Veterans for Claire's final stop.
Retired General Wesley Clark and State Auditor Claire McCaskill spoke to a group of veterans, many wearing McCaskill stickers, at American Legion Memorial Post 103 in Mapelwood.
McCaskill thanked the assembled veterans for their service, saying she respected the sacrifices of all veterans, including Rep. Jack Jackson (R-89), a retired Marine colonel, who she said had been publicly criticizing her.
McCaskill said the Bush administration has not lived up to its obligations by failing to adequately supply the military and by cutting heath care benefits for veterans.
"Senator Talent and this administration have turned their back on veterans," said McCaskill.
McCaskill and Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2004, focused specifically on Senator Jim Talent's (R) support for the administration's policy.
McCaskill's said Talent had voted 23 times against veterans, including a 2006 vote against an amendment that would have made funding for veterans' health care mandatory. The amendment would be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, an amendment only two republicans voted for, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Arlen Specter (R-PA).
Calling Talent a "follower", Clark, criticized the Senator for his support of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq while failing to adequately support the military.
In yet another reference to the only Missourian to be elected President, Harry Truman, Clark contrasted Talent's record with Truman's efforts as a U.S. Senator to crack down on war profiteering during World War II. As a democratic senator going up against a democratic president, Franklin Roosevelt, it took leadership and courage to do the right thing, said Clark.
Clark said he would pity Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he were to have to face "Senator Claire McCaskill".
Clark said he has seen many "false patriots" since the attacks of September 11th (a term the Talent campaign has criticized McCaskill for using). Adding that, "the flag doesn't belong to any political party," Clark said too many people pin a flag in their lapel and then vote against the interests of the military.
"What we need in Washington are real patriots," said Clark.
Clark, talking about his own experience being wounded in Vietnam, emphasized the importance of helping veterans learn to deal with their wartime experience. Remembering his own anger and guilt and that accompanied his wartime service, and knowing the stories of some of those returning from Iraq, he would like to see a program that counseled all vets returning from Iraq.
Clark spoke of his own transition from an officer to a politician, and a Democrat at that. He cited his long experience in the military and his time in both the Ford administration–where he worked with Rumsfeld and other prominent Republicans–and the Clinton administration. Clark said he found that Democrats were willing to listen when those in uniform spoke up.
A conversation he had with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she served as national security advisor in the first Bush administration seemed to cement his views that the Republican party didn't understand the role of the military. He cited their positive view of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a perception of the role of military combat as a foreign policy tool rather than a means of last resort.
Despite a perception of the military and veterans as an easy Republican vote, Clark said there needs to be a hard look at the Democratic party. He has certainly decided where he is waging his campaign and for whom.
"We need [McCaskill] in that fight and we are going to put her there," said Clark.
Statement from Brian Wahby, Chairman, Democratic City Central Committee:
I am very grateful to the plaintiffs for forcing this issue and to the court for its wisdom.
This law placed an onerous burden on Missouri voters, particularly our elderly. Without question, it would have had the effect of suppressing votes.
We salute the Court for insisting that elections are accessible to all of Missouri's citizens.
According to Jo.
Two new organizations have joined in the Missouri Senate race. The Center for Security Policy and Progress for America, both conservative think-tanks, are funding television ads in Missouri. (Watch the two ads here and here.)
Enlisting the stark images of the September 11 attacks, terrorist propaganda tapes and Iraq war footage, the ads seem not to support the policies of the Bush Administration so much as argue a familiar line that those–presumably Democrats–who are talking about changing policies are only making it easier for the various international terrorist groups.
Of the two, the PFA ad makes the more direct claims, but may have the most problems, as pointed out by Factcheck.org.
The ads will likely be most effective in states like Missouri. Sen. Jim Talent has vocally supported President Bush's policies and agrees that Iraq is "a central part" of the war on terror. McCaskill, on the other hand, is one of many Democrats who say the Bush administration has mismanaged the global effort to combat terrorists and that the war in Iraq has only made security worse, both at home and abroad.
Yet in other parts of the country, even some conservatives are publicly breaking with the President (editor of the Weekly Standard William Kristol, and editor of National Review Rich Lowrey, senior editor of National Review, Jeffrey Hart, novelist Christopher Buckley), whose popularity is intimately wrapped up in his foreign policies. It has been a winning issue for Republicans since 2001, but has the rhetoric become too overwrought?
Iraq and national security are the top two concerns on Missouri voters minds according to the Post-Dispatch/Research 2000 poll. Yet the "fear" issue that much of the security/terrorism rhetoric uses may not be enough. Iraq is as much now about competency as anything else, and the terror threat seems to have moved from the emotional to the practical. The breakup of the cell in Europe that was developing plans to smuggle explosives onto airlines gave a boost to Bush's popularity because it provided an specific example of successful policy (though not the policy cited in the PFA commercial which erroneously cited the administration's wireless surveillance as the source of the break. Instead it was the British intelligence and law enforcement efforts).
Saturday's rally at the Pageant was, obviously, President Clinton's show. The man is a one-man campaign machine when he turns it on.
Yet one up-and-coming Democrat, Buchanan County Auditor Susan Montee showed that she's got some skills.
Montee, who is running for Missouri State Auditor against Republican Sandra Thomas, gave a rousing stump speech–granted the other speakers aren't in the midst of a hotly contested race. She poured it on.
Up until recently she hasn't been widely known in the St. Louis area, but that won't likely last long. She is certainly determined to leaver her mark.
OK, so a License Collector debate sounds like a recipe for Zzzzz, but I'd go and listen.
As part of its regular series, Ad War, D.C. newspaper The Hill is polling its readers on the effectiveness of Missouri Senate campaign ads. Conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, a top research and consulting firm, the survey contrasts two ads from the race.
One is Sen. Jim Talent's "bipartisanship" ad in which Talent touts his work with members across the isle and highlights the Senator's message that he will, "put people ahead of politics." The ad features scenes of "everyday Missouri"–police, farmers in the field, construction–as well as Talent shaking lots and lots of hands. Talent mentions familiar themes; methamphetamine crackdowns, ethanol, highway funds and, perhaps controversially, prescription drug money.
The other is a McCaskill ad promising that she won't forget her roots in Southwest Missouri or the values her parents gave her; "integrity, hard work, guts," intones McCaskill's mother. The ad is set in a kitchen with McCaskill, her daughter and McCaskill's mother pitching in over a meal. It closes with McCaskill's daughter saying, "fight for what you believe is right, Mom knows that." A nod to the idea that although the ad may seek to soften her image, she is still a fighter.
The themes struck by the candidates are nothing new to those who have followed the election. According to the Research 2000 poll conducted in the last days of August, the top two issues for Missouri voters are Iraq (26%) and terrorism/security (17%), while immigration is tied for third (13%) with taxes. Both candidates had discussed the issues at campaign appearances and in the papers (the Post contrasted their immigration stances in today's paper), but it appears both have locked in their message for the next two months.
To elaborate from yesterday with a couple examples:
In the 15th Ward, Smith hit the 2nd precinct heavily and received 79.47%, compared to 63.91%, 71.34%, 74.90% in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th precincts.
In the 18th Ward, he hit the 2nd and the 5th, getting 22.07% and 14.29% compared to 11.19% and 12.50% in the 4th and 6th.
Not as consistent in the 27th Ward. Smith hit the 4th precinct and got 10.26% of the vote, higher than the 6.18% and 7.14% in the 1st and 6th, but lower than the 11.81% he received in the 2nd precinct.
The newest edition of the ACC, which hit the streets yesterday, featured an analysis of the 4th senate district. Since the story went to press, the precinct vote totals have been released.
The Smith campaign has provided the ACC with a map of where Smith himself doorknocked. A brief look at the data seems to suggest that Smith did significantly better in precincts he doorknocked, compared to neighboring precincts, both in the wards he won and those he didn't.
Stay tuned for a deeper analysis...
The Missouri Secretary of State certified that the Progressive Party and its candidates would be added to the Missouri ballot for the November 7, 2006 general election.
Sen. Jim Talent and his challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, have dueling farm group endorsements to go along with their dueling ads in Springfield.
McCaskill held a telephone conference Wednesday to announce an endorsement by the National Farmer's Union (NFU).
Russ Kremer, a Missouri farmer and board member of the NFU, said the organization had chosen to endorse McCaskill because she "respects family farms," and is fighting for their interests.
McCaskill said she was honored to receive the endorsement and that it would be her responsibility to ensure that family farms, "have the ability to control their own destiny."
According to Kremer, the NFU is made up of 250,000-plus member nationally and that the newer Missouri chapter is made up of approximately 1,500 families. McCaskill emphasized that only family-owned farms can qualify as members.
"At a time when family farms are under attack in Washington, we need a strong voice," said Kremer.
Kremer said family farmers were, "tired of being used as poster children," for issues they were not be in favor of. Kremer cited the estate tax as an example saying family farms were held up as the emotional incentive but that the tax affected only one-half of one percent of family farms.
McCaskill talked about restoring farmers role as price-maker, not price-taker. McCaskill hit upon "country of origin" labeling, a practice she said would open markets to family farms and provide consumers with an educated choice. When it comes to ethanol, she defended her opposition to the Senate energy bill saying it gave too little to renewable energy while piling up big oil's plate.
McCaskill said Talent was being dishonest in his characterization of her opposition to the energy bill (which contained some significant funding for renewable energy as well as tax cuts for oil companies) and that he was only now jumping on the ethanol bandwagon, while she had been in favor of encouraging the development of ethanol since the 1980's.
Though corn-based ethanol is the picture of renewable rural energy (just don't mention it to the TVA), McCaskill said there are other avenues family farmers are also able to take. Windfarms and switchgrass-based ethanol are potential areas of development in Missouri.
In this period of rapid growth for ethanol and corporate farms, the best way to protect the position of family farms from the effects of consolidation, according to McCaskill, is to separate the producers from the processors.
McCaskill has spent considerable money running ads in Southwest Missouri. McCaskill's plan is to take an aggressive position in going after parts of the state that she lost in the Gubernatorial race in 2004.
"We are going to fight in every corner of the state," said McCaskill.
Talent has substantially out-raised McCaskill, as a result McCaskill has refocused her money on areas where she can do "more with less." If she can successfully challenge Talent in his areas that Democrats may have written off previously, she may pick up enough votes to win.
As many campaign junkies may remember, Democrat Charles Dake won the 132nd District State Rep seat with 55% in February of this year, a district Gov. Blunt won with over 65% in 2004.
Oracle explains what happened.
The American sounds okay with the results.
Ross Macholan does bar graphs.
More coming soon...
Scott Leiendecker, Republican Director of Elections, said the Secretary of State's overall estimate of a 26% turnout for the primary is about what they expect for St. Louis City.
"We're expecting a little higher turnout due to interest in the 4th Senate race and interest in the new machines," said Leiendecker.
Leiendecker said they are taking steps to ensure a smooth primary tomorrow, including:
• Hiring technicians to be in place at each polling place to handle any technical difficulties with the machines.
• They are again deploying their automated "wake-up" call to ensure workers and judges are there to open the polling stations.
• Any problems or questions that can't be dealt with on-site will be directed towards a "command center" at the Board of Elections so that there is a unified and organized response. Instead of being given several numbers to chose from based on the problem, voters will be directed towards a single phone number.
Leiendecker said the board feels "pretty good" about the primary. Even still the board continues to take steps to improve its ability to respond to problems.
"We are better prepared now than in April, and we will be better prepared in November than now," said Leiendecker.
NOAA says 50% chance of showers.
ArchPundit's post ties into something I was working on yesterday.
Interestingly, All Children Matter received a last-minute $100,000 infusion from Rex Sinquefeld, as shown in their 8 days out report. That represents a 120% increase in their funding up to that point.
The check was received on July 20th, bringing ACM's cash-on hand which began the period with $5,210.89.
Beginning the next day they cut checks for Gambaro and several others including a $325 donation to Rodney Hubbard's campaign. ACM also spent another $28,290 direct expenditure in support of Hubbard's campaign including payments to OnMessage Inc. a Virginia based direct-mail company and Inkosi Design Studio on Delmar. Inkosi has done work for clients around St. Louis including Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto and Nelly.
OnMessage was founded by GOP consultants Brad Todd and Curt and Wes Anderson. The Anderson brothers worked for the RNC for Bush's re-eclection campaign and worked for Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.). Todd's bio stresses his work in winning close elections for Republicans and the Republican takeover of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
As Dave has previously reported, Sinquefield has been a major supporter of Gambaro. Sinquefield's Show Me Institute has been a major supporter of "school choice", a variety of efforts that include vouchers, tax credits and scholarships to allow public school students to attend private schools or public schools outside of their home district. Gambaro includes it in his campaign promises.
Hubbard's support includes a tax-credit funded scholarship named in honor of former State Rep. Betty Thompson. Thompson formerly held the 72nd seat, the seat currently by Rep. Chapelle-Nadal. Thompson has publicly supported Nadal's opponent former University City council member, Sandi Colquit.
Update: Another $9,349.66 in direct mail for Gambaro from ACM. This time through a more local direct mail group, Campaign and Issue Management of Carbondale, Il. They also spent another $3,350 for direct mail for Hubbard.
Lieutenant Governor Harriet Woods and State Senator Rita Days (D-14th) geared up to door-knock for Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-72).
Nadal is facing a challenge from former University City councilmember Sandi Colquit. Nadal defeated Colquit in a three-way race in 2004.
In the course of canvassing her district, Nadal says she is often asked about home care for seniors and education. She stresses her support for public education and says efforts by pro-voucher groups like All Children Matter are undercutting efforts to improve schools.
Adding to the usual rivalry between candidates is the split that followed the candidates weighing in on the University City mayoral race in April. Nadal and several other prominent Democratic women, including Woods, supported challenger Shelly Welsch, a U City councilmember. Colquit supported incumbent mayor Joe Adams in his successful re-election bid.
The race split the city and the lingering emotions are likely to play a role in Tuesday's election.
Last month, the Arch City Chronicle reported on Colquit's campaign finance violations. She has since settled with the state, but its unclear how that may effect her support.
KWMU's Tom Weber.
Smith, El-Amin, Gambaro, Boykins and Jones. That's the order we're predicting here at ACC.
Our special election issue will be hitting the streets today. In it both the Oracle and Mr. Combest pick El-Amin to win.
ACC endorsed Smith.
Consensus says that it's a two-way race between activist Jamilah Nasheed and former alderperson Sharon Tyus. ACC endorsed Nasheed. Predictions anyone?
Jeanette Mott Oxford is the incumbent, challenged by Committeeman Mark Rice.
Consensus is for an Oxford victory. I haven't seen a single Rice yard sign. ACC endorsed Oxford. Any thoughts?
Rodney Hubbard vs Bill Haas.
Hubbard's support for school vouchers has people upset. But most people assume that his ground organization and generally progressive positions will carry the day.
ACC endorsed Hubbard.
Who will win the 57th? I haven't heard anyone say that they think Karla May can win. ACC endorsed Joe Palm, but my gut tells me that the El-Amin name recognition will carry the day.
Survey USA recently ranked the 100 U.S. Senators based on net approval (positive minus negative approval). Missouri Senators Kit Bond (R) and Jim Talent (R) came in 56 and 86 respectively. Talent has struggled to keep above the 50% approval rate, while Bond has hovered around 55% most of the last year.
We're starting a series of open threads looking at different Aug 8 races.
This morning is the Auditor's race. Let's hear predictions. My gut is saying Jack Jackson. He's spending the $500,000 he lent himself and I'm guessing that the Col. bit plays well with GOPers.
The McCaskill campaign will hold a press conference at 2:15 tomorrow, Wednesday July 26th, to announce that she has picked up the support of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police.
It will be held at the Eagelton Federal Court House, 111 S. 10th Street, downtown St. Louis.
The FOP shouldn't be too surprising, the FOP and Sen. Talent have not been very close. Yet Talent's efforts in enacting stricter laws on methamphetamine have won him praise for law enforcement.
The FOP endorsed Sen. Jean Carnahan over Sen. Jim Talent in the 2002 election. In that race, Talent received the endorsement of the National Association of Police Organizations and their local affiliate, the St. Louis Police Fraternal Organization (not affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police), which is now known as the St. Louis Police Leadership Organization.
In the 2000 Governor's race, the Post's Jerry Berger reported that FOP's attorney ordered Talent to remove a claim from his website that said the St. Louis FOP had endorsed him when in fact the St. Louis lodge had not. In fact, the FOP endorsed Bob Holden's (successful) run for governor that year.
Saying it was her "duty" as chief elections officer for the state, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan kicked off her office's "Show Your Face at the Poll" campaign at the Deer Creek license contract office. Carnahan acknowledged she had opposed the plan but not on the basis of the need for ID. The legislature's rush in implementing the program threatened voter's rights, she said.
The $2.5 campaign is designed to get the word out to voters that they need to have a state-issued photo ID when the come to the polls in November.
"The voting rights of a lot of people are at stake," said Carnahan.
An estimated 200,000 people do not have the proper ID to vote in Missouri.
Of those, however, some are people who can not vote because of mental disability, and some are felons who are prohibited from voting, said Trish Vincent, director of the Department of Revenue.
Carnahan estimated to implement the changes will cost around $22 million, three times what the legislature estimated. Carnahan said they had estimated the DOR and SOS costs, but not the costs to the cities and counties.
Vincent said the DOR is in the process of training employees to operate the mobile ID systems set to go to senior centers. Vincent said they DOR is focused on reaching seniors and others with mobility issues. When asked about providing assistance in low-income areas, Vincent said the legislation specified the help is directed towards seniors and those with mobility issues, not income. Income may be an issue, but most people, even in poorer areas, have access to transportation os some kind.
Carnahan introduced Pastor James Morris, saying his church has, with the help of her office, trained 35 to 40 people in assisting others in obtaining ID's. Morris' church, Lane Tabernacle is at 910 N. Newstead, just North of Delmar Blvd. Morris said they are polling their congregation to find out everyones status and working to get the word out.
State Senator Joan Bray (D-24) and State Rep. Margaret Donnely (D-73) were also in attendance. Bray expressed her displeasure with the ID program and worried that some voters were being steered towards provisional ballots. Carnahan said almost half the provisional ballots were declared invalid.
Donnely expressed her surprise at the number of 18 to 34 year-olds who don't have proper ID. Some of those in her district are students who are staying in St. Louis but hadn't gotten a state ID.
Carnahn said they will start off with direct mail which will begin going out to voters after the August primary, so as not to confuse voters.
Jeff Smith made education the focus at last night's "Meet Jeff Smith" event at Duffs in the West End. Just over twenty people attended the event including the docent of St. Louis politics, UMSL professor Lana Stein.
Smith expressed his concern that the explosion of growth and development in St. Louis city could be derailed thanks to a "private school tax." Smith refers, of course, to the common occurrence of families enrolling their children in private schools or looking across the county line once it's time to get them in school.
Smith referred to his experience in education, both as a teacher evaluator for the St. Louis City Schools and as co-founder of the Confluence academies. He told the audience that the legislature needs someone with an educators perspective.
Perhaps alluding to the strangely worded press release sent out by Rep. Yaphett El-Amin's campaign, Smith said he was tired of people who insist on seeing St. Louis politics “through the prism of race.” In an apt metaphor for the West End, he said he wanted to eliminate the racial divide that is Delmar Blvd.. He pointed to the work he has done to reach across that barrier since his college days when he worked to establish a black cultural center.
In his talk, the only opponent Smith mentioned by name was Derio Gambaro. He contrasted his positions with the more conservative Gambaro by stressing his pro-choice position and his support for stem-cell research. He highlighted Gambaro’s support for President Bush’s effort to privatize social security.Continue reading "Coffee Talk"
Leslie Farr put up a great quarter - 73k. According to Farr, he has been raising money from hundreds of small donors via his website.
Meanwhile Clay's numbers aren't up yet, but last quarter he did 34k.
Short, he says, of the 30% needed to win.
Constitutional Amendment 1, if ratified, will reauthorize for another 10 years an existing one-tenth-cent statewide sales tax earmarked for soil and water conservation programs and state parks and historical sites.
Ah, Craig's List...
Around 11:30am yesterday Adam Schwadron withdrew from the 82nd District State Rep race. Sam Page is now unopposed in November.
Dooley and Passanise
Talent vs McCaskill.
The Hill (via Combest) says it leans for Talent.
Roll Call thinks Blunt may "sink Talent": Missouri Sen. Jim Talent (R) is the fifth most vulnerable Senator up this year. Talent, who in many ways looks like a good fit for the state, has won just about half of the two-party vote in his past two races - the 2000 governor's race and the 2002 Senate contest - making him a classic "half full/half empty" politician going into '06.
Democratic nominee Claire McCaskill didn't distinguish herself in losing a race for governor in 2004. Still, the national mood and the weak poll numbers for Republican Gov. Matt Blunt could be enough to sink Talent.
Sen. Jim Talent is sending out an email opposing immigration reform plans that would provide "amnesty" to illegal aliens.
• I am committed to supporting a comprehensive border security plan that does NOT include amnesty.Immigration is shaping up to be a major issue this election year, one that could be troublesome for some Republicans. The enthusiasm the GOP hoped to instill in their base by taking a tough line on immigration may backfire by sparking a reaction among those who favor immigration policies that would create paths to legalization. Add to that the near-unanimous opposition in the Hispanic community that the GOP had previously begun to make inroads with.
• I've proposed a bipartisan Border Security bill with Senators Domenici (R-NM) and Dorgan (D-ND) to secure our borders and protect us from terrorist attacks, undocumented immigration and the importation of illegal drugs, like methamphetamine.
• My opponent is supporting proposals that amount to amnesty.
In Missouri, immigration doesn't top the list for all voters, but it could trim Talent's margins in areas seen as easy pickups such as St. Charles thanks to growing Hispanic influence and a sympathy for illegal immigrants who came to work. Religious groups working with the poor are also concerned because of potential effects of stricter laws.
Talent is currently sitting at 48% (SurveyUSA via Arch Pundit) so even small changes could make a difference. Add to that a general public opinion that while illegal immigration is getting out of hand, stronger border enforcement and opening paths to legalization (though not necessarily naturalization) are the better solutions.
Democrats might be wise to tread carefully as well. Talent wrote a letter in support of Cecilia Velazquez, prominent St. Louisan and publisher of Red Latina, who was recently deported after a multi-year legal battle (Reps. William Lacy Clay, Jr. and Russ Carnahan also sent letters of support).
Update: Gallup poll from April 10-13, shows that 30% of Republicans do view immigration as their number one issue. In overall ranking, this is the first time since 1993 immigration has reached the top five of public concerns in the Gallup ranking (it's number 2 behind Iraq). Will it last as an issue? 25% of respondents mention immigration in April but only 6% in March.
Thanks to biggestmodem for the note on the Gallup poll. Post updated as well.
Monday, April 24, 2006, 7:30 PM
Carpenter Branch Library (Grand & Utah)
All Democratic candidates for statewide, citywide and 15th Ward legislative offices on the August 8th Primary ballot have been invited.
Offices include Collector of Revenue, License Collector, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of the Circuit Court, US Senate, State Auditor, US Representative - District 3, State Senate - District 4, State Representative - Districts 59 & 67.
Contact the 15th Ward Democrats at 314.773.2907 for more information.
The press release:
Press contact: Laura Slay
NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL: GAMBARO ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CHANGE WAY THAT BUSINESS IS DONE IN THE CITY AND STATE
April 13, 2006, St. Louis, MO -- Derio Gambaro, democratic candidate for the 4th Senatorial District seat in the City of St. Louis, will announce tonight that he is calling for government reform from Jefferson City to St. Louis City. "I am calling for practical solutions to the tough problems that we face. Tonight's announcement is just the first step in a multi-phase initiative to make our community stronger," Gambaro said.
According to Gambaro, over the next two months, he will roll out a NO MORE Business As Usual Plan, which will identify three impediments to honesty, integrity and accountability in government and which will propose a solution for each. "We're going to find solid solutions, not make cheap illusions like some other candidates for this office," said Gambaro. "That's how we are going to build the strongest and most competitive economy in the Union."
Gambaro wants to overhaul the current system of handing out lucrative fee office contracts to big dollar donors, corporate fat cats and political allies across the State. "The citizens of Missouri should not have to deal with incompetence and ineptitude because of government corruption and cronyism. Long lines, tiresome delays and poorly managed and trained staff at State contracted fee offices are now business as usual. I am calling for a complete overhaul and an end to this play for pay system," Gambaro said.
"Our new model will provide a transparent, efficient and cost effective system that will focus on providing good value to the State and quality service to our residents. We call on the governor and the legislature to join with us to move quickly and efficiently toward approving the following changes:
Gambaro proposes five criteria for granting fee office contracts under the
NO MORE Business As Usual Plan:
1. Contracts will be subject to a fair and equitable bid process.
2. Contracts will be granted to the company that offers best value to
3. The bidding process and performance of contractors will be subject
to random audits.
4. No contract will be granted to relatives of political office holders
and/or agency heads.
5. Fee office contractors will disclose all political contributions
made during the previous two election cycles and through the duration of the
Gambaro chose the South Kingshighway Department of Revenue and Motor Vehicle Office as one example of a mismanaged fee office. "I can't count the number of calls that I have received from family, friends and neighbors complaining about the long wait and poor customer service at this office. Some people are waiting up to two hours to get their plates renewed. This is completely unacceptable. Tax payers deserve better than that," said Gambaro. In 2005, the Governor named Damir Huskic, a Republican political insider, to oversee operations of the fee office. The office has been through five managers since that time and is being investigated by the Department of Revenue for
missing equipment and possibly missing cash.
Gambaro will announce his plans tonight during the following neighborhood
association and labor meetings:
7:30 PM - 8:15 PM
Hi-Pointe Neighborhood Association
6747 Clayton Ave. (Dogtown neighborhood at Berthold)
8:30 PM - 9:30 PM
St. Louis Labor Club Meeting
St. Louis Electrical Industry Training Center
Gambaro said he plans to announce other NO MORE Business As Usual
initiatives later this spring.
From the campaign announcement:
* Richard Martin, Campaign Manager. Richard comes to the campaign from
Sprint, where he served as Director of Tax Policy since 2001. He previously
served as Campaign Manager for Bob Holden's successful 2000 gubernatorial
bid, State Director for the Clinton-Gore Campaign in 1996, and Executive
Director for the Missouri Democratic Party from 1993-6.
* Adrianne Marsh, Communications Director. Adrianne served as Press
Secretary to Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI), as Press Secretary for the 2004
Michigan Coordinated Campaign, as Communications Director for the Michigan
Democratic Party, and as Associate Director for Public Relations for a Human
* Brandon Davis, Political Director. Brandon served as the Political
Director for the Missouri Democratic Party, the Political Director for Bob
Holden's 2004 campaign for Governor, and as a regional field director for
Jean Carnahan's 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate.
It is hard to see this not becoming an issue in the '06 elections.
Iranian President Confirms Uranium Enrichment.
Even more so since the statement comes on the heels of a series of stories like Seymore Hersh's "The Iran Plans".
In 2002, Iraq was a defining issue for many and Republican success was seen a a go-ahead for the President's foreign policy agenda, particularly Iraq.
Whether current stories represent administration rhetoric, attempts by the military to define the coming debate or mere speculation is difficult to know.
Ahmadinejad's announcement is provocative, but whether Iran is actually capable of enriching uranium to the necessary levels on the scale needed is still in dispute. (For more extensive information on Iran, nuclear proliferation and affiliated topics check out Dr. Jeffrey Lewis over at Arms Control Wonk. More national security info than you can shake a stick at.)
Rep. Sherman Parker's (R-St. Peters) challenge to Rep. Todd Akin (R-Town and Country) for Akin's 2nd District Congressional seat gets some national attention via National Journal.
NJ's John Mercurio notes that this race may force the Republican party to hash out some issues over which issues will lead the party, social or fiscal issues. The national party is watching this race to see how voters react, especially suburban voters.
The question is, will this be a one-issue race? Akin's status as an incumbent and his significant financial lead may allow him to, if not sidestep the issue, than at least downplay its significance.
Akin's conservatism is not a surprise to the voters who elected him twice. The question is, has the ground shifted enough (or at all?) for Parker to gain traction?
Hope he never does op research on me!
Mentions Akin-Parker race.
Via Combest, Rasmussen gives McCaskill 43-40 edge.
Talibdin El-Amin called today to announce that he has the endorsement of 22nd ward alderman Jeffrey Boyd and 4th ward committeeman James Clayborne.
From: [email protected]
> Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 16:50:41 EST
> Subject: Re: I need your endorsement
> To: [email protected]
> You have my endorsement. You are a great American (and a very fast runner! I
> was impressed with your sprinting the day we were interviewed by the
> Riverfront Times)
> Sue and I are so proud of you and your wife.
> America needs you!
> Bill Federer
One theme the Democrats wanted attendees to take away from Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill's fundraiser last Friday was that the Democrats are gearing up to take the fight to the Republicans. However, Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, warned that Democrats shouldn't look at recent Republican success as a sign they should co-opt their tactics.
Obama believes his party can win on the issues; if they focus on explaining their vision for the country they will prevail without the divisive tactics.
Obama and McCaskill took a moment before the luncheon to answer some questions about the Democrats strategy for the 2006 campaign.
"If we tell a story; why we are Democrats, what it means to fight for the little guy, what it means to expand opportunity and include more people in the bounty of the country, then we’ll get attention," said Obama.
Republican tactics, Obama said, are designed to divide the voters and pull a fifty plus one vicotry. Obama pointed to bills on flag burning, gay marriage and estate taxes (often referred to as "death taxes" by Republicans) Senate Republicans are planning to introduce in coming weeks as examples of wedge issues designed to increase turnout in select areas of their base.
Rather than comment on McCaskill's opponent, Sen. Jim Talent (R), Obama preferred to focus on what McCaskill would bring to the Senate. The two got to know each other last year when McCaskill was deciding whether to run for the Senate. He said she represented her constituents well in the Missouri House, was very effective as the Jackson County Prosecutor and protected the fiscal interests of the state as State Auditor.Continue reading "On their own terms"
Looks like he's in 3rd CD to me.
Chief Wana Dubie running in the 150th.
Ken Griffey filed today for License Collector, Democratic Primary. In 2004, he ran in the four-man primary for sheriff, coming in second with 18%, incumbent Jim Murphy winning with 60%.
Wahby endorses Montee. His statement: St. Louis City Democratic Party Chair Brian Wahby enthusiastically endorsed Susan Montee for the Democratic Nominatation for State Auditor today. Following tonight's Fat Tuesday Parade in Downtown St. Louis, the Chairman said "If you had asked me 6 months ago what were the characteristics of my ideal candidate for State Auditor, I'd say - just as I am today- give me a strong person with elected experience, a candidate with the qualifications - such as a CPA, with the ability to marshal the resources to wage an energetic campaign..... We have that ideal candidate in Susan Montee!" I encourage all Democrats in the City to endorse and support Susan Montee for Auditor & she can win!
Filed for Auditor again.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder attended conservative activist David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend this weekend. The event is designed to let the various wings of the conservative movement meet, mingle and, most importantly, figure out what the movement faces in the upcoming year.
This year the conference focused on concerns that the "conservative revolution" that helped spur Newt Gingrich and the Republican party to wrest control of Congress away from the Democrats in 1994 may be fading.
Marc Cooper of the The Nation quoted Kinder who said, "The demoralization of the base is real. I hear it everywhere."
Cooper is not the first to pick up on grumbles in the conservative community that the movement is sputtering out.
Various reasons are cited for conservatives' lament; Iraq, bribery and influence scandals, an ever-expanding domestic security programs, massive new government spending, ham-fisted health care programs, and President Bush's management skills each leave their own mark.
While speculation runs rampant, the only real measure will come in November.
In Missouri, Democrats aren't leaving any topic off the table. Health care, close connections to lobbyists and an executive with low polling numbers come up in state house races as much as they do at the National level. Add in the Republican division over stem cells and there are the MO GOP has numerous fronts to keep an eye on.
KC Star had the rumors last weekend.
Here's the release:
JASON KLUMB WILL RUN FOR STATE SENATE
Former State Rep. Jason Klumb announced today that he will run for the 10th District State Senate seat being vacated by Senator Charlie Wheeler. In 2004, Klumb ran for Missouri State Treasurer, raising more money than any other Democrat, and securing the endorsement of every major newspaper in Missouri, including the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Despite over 200,000 votes, he lost a crowded primary election.
Ropes, lightning, horses and goggles.
From email tipster:
The poll was last Wednesday or Thursday night. F&A public opinion was the announced polling company. This summary paraphrases the questions from my written notes made during the telephone poll.
They asked for the oldest male registered voter in the house (me.)
1) Did you vote in 2004 Democratic Primary?
2) Will you vote in Democratic Primary this year? (Not "how likely," but "will
3) Is MO heading on the Right Direction/Wrong Track?
4) What is the most important issue to you?
5) Have you ever heard of:
6) Rank Claire McCaskill's job performance (favorable scale)
7) Rank Joan Bray's job performance (favorable scale)
8) Rank job performance of State Senate as a whole (favorable scale)
9) Who would you vote for in the following matchups?
10) List whether favorable/unfavorable impressions of Joan Bray.
11) Agree/Disagree (sliding scale) with the following:
-oppose death penalty
-should be constitutional amendment for marriage b/w man & woman
-Abortion (Always, Rape/Incest/life in Danger, Always Illegal)
-Gov't funding of abortion
-Prohibit all late-term abortion
-Minors need parental consent for abortion
-Joan Bray is too liberal
-I'd vote against Joan Bray
-I'd vote against abortion
-Joan Bray cares about people like you
-Need new leadership
-Need new Democrat leadership
12)Would you rather vote for someone who a) fights republicans or b) makes
13)Would you rather vote for someone who has experience in government or was new and ineffective
14) sliding scale liberal-conservative
15) sliding scale dem-repub
16) are you protestant, catholic, jew, other
17) are you hispanic
18) are you white
Hotline's editor-in-chief, Chuck Todd, has moved Sen. Jim Talent up two spots to the third most vulnerable seat in his senate race rankings.
He, like everyone else, notes that this is going to be a hotly contested and closely watched race.
A recent poll has Talent leading McCaskill by 4% which sounds like good news for Talent, but there is a 4.5% margin of error and 11% are either unsure or went with a third option. These early polls aren't likely to pick up anything too nuanced this far out. Short of a meltdown on either side, the two should continue to circle each other for a couple months. Could stem cells be that issue for Talent?
As someone pointed out on Political Fix the other day, the poll was taken before Talent announced his "third way" position on the stem cell issue. Talent's positioning probably looked great on the table, but satisfied no one.
The National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru gave Talent the "He's a well-intentioned guy but..." treatment in an article the other day. He says Talent's position not only makes no sense, but hurts both those who want to ban embryonic stem cell research and those in the pro-life community who are trying to find a conscience pleasing middle ground. As Dave noted the other day, the ultimate Republican inside man, Robert Novak (made recently famous for his role in the investigation into who leaked a CIA agents identity, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff is now on trial for lying to the FBI over the matter), sees this as a lose-lose for Talent.
Leslie Farr called to report that he hears Isaiah Hair, Republican committeeman of the city's 5th ward, will be filing to challenge Jim Talent.
from KWMU. Starting to look messy on the Republican side.
From the press release:
Today, several St. Louis unions announced their endorsement of Jeff Smith, Democratic candidate for the 4th State Senate seat. Local branches of the Iron Workers, Painters, Elevator Constructors, Glaziers, and Insulators and Asbestos Workers, who represent thousands of workers in the St. Louis area, all declared their support for Smith.
Union leaders praised Smith’s hard work and focus on labor issues as reasons for their endorsement. They cited Smith’s support of prevailing wage legislation, the right to organize and bargain collectively, an increase in the minimum wage, and his opposition to recent changes to Missouri’s Workers Compensation system by Governor Blunt and his Republican allies.
Jim Hathman, president of the St. Louis Iron Workers District Council, said, “We appreciate Jeff’s work ethic, his devotion to protecting workers’ rights, and his close study of the issues that matter to us. Jeff will be a fiery and articulate advocate for the people who keep our country running.”
Candidate Leslie Farr's statement:
Over the past few days there has been a debate about an incident that occurred involving four area police officers. Although these officers response appears excessive these officers should not unjustly be crucified for their effort to deter crime in our area. It is easy for us to question the very difficult decisions that officers are faced with daily and it is unfortunate that the young man has found himself in this situation. However, the entire situation could have been avoided had the young man yielded in the Maplewood area.
Furthermore, it is disappointing to see leaders in the African American community stand up for this type of behavior. The young man was wrong and he led officers on a chase through the heart of North St. Louis, at a time when many children are in transit to school. He proceeded to use his vehicle as a weapon as officers tried to stop him at the intersection of Pleasant and North Florissant, then he began an attempt to escape on foot; further creating a dangerous situation for residents and passers-by.
Being a resident of the Third Ward and its Republican Committeeman and an African American male, I stand behind the police in their continued efforts to thwart crime. This situation is unfortunate and in no way any definition of the hard work and danger that law enforcement officials go through daily, to keep us safe. It is easy for some people with an agenda of conspiracy and malice to try and create a situation that harms the image of law enforcement. That is truly disheartening.
Leslie L. Farr II
US Congressional Candidate
First District of Missouri
The Democrat candidate for the 93rd House District special election, Genevieve Frank, did not get the results she and her numerous supporters were waiting for, but the 175-vote margin buoyed the spirits of the Democrats waiting out the tally. Frank promised that though they fell a few votes short, she promised to run again in the November general election.
Yet before Republicans were able to point to the 93rd as an proof that the Boggetto race (November's 94th House District election) was an anomaly, Democrat Charles Dake managed a 55% to 45% victory in Southwest Missouri's 132nd District (one of the more Republican districts in the state). Word of Dake's victory sent Rep. Donnelly and Rep. Storch jumping up and down in front of the Fenton bar where Frank hosted her watch party.
The Democrats can add another check to the win column with the election of Mike Frame to the 105th House District in a 45.8% to 42.6% to 11.6% victory over Republican Ed Groom and Independent Richard Ford (respectively).
Numerous Democrats were out for the night, Rep. Margaret Donnelly, Rep. Rachel Storch, 83rd House District candidate Jake Zimmerman, and 4th Senate District candidate Jeff Smith, were among the many out to show their support for Frank.
93rd Legislative District- 8 Days out report
105th Legislative District - 8 Days Out Report
The race for the 93rd seat, considered a safe Republican seat, is probably the more interesting of the two. Republicans look at is as an opportunity to rebut Democrat assertions that the tide is turning. Democrats are looking at it as proof that the election of Jane Bogetto in the 94th (formerly thought of as a fairly safe Republican seat) was not a one-time shot.
The 93rd is more consistently Republican than the 94th was, but tomorrow will show how effective history is in handicapping these races.
Could it have been the way they treated their constituents? Or that they supported eminent domain? Or the way they botched the Novus Development Agreement? Or all of the above?
Whatever the reason, for the first time in eight elections, the mayor of Sunset Hills and ALL the aldermen up for election have opposition.
The election is April 4, stay tuned.
National Journal's: Hotline blog noted that Sen. Jim Talent and Rep. Roy Blunt both attended an event thrown by unions representing the construction trades who wanted the thank Republican Congressmen for supporting a variety of their issues.
Hotline notes that Sen. Bond has received endorsements from the Carpenters and the Operating Engineers unions. Representatives from the Carpenters have also appeared at a Bond fundraiser.
The Carpenter's Union in particular has elevated some Democrat eyebrows for their occasional association with Missouri Republicans. MO GOPers have a full-court press going to gain some traction with a group they may have thought were boxed out of.
Are unions simply making sure they are on the minds of those in power, or are they reflecting changes within their own membership?
Making a tapestry.
22nd looks to be heading back to Dems.
McKenna raised 58k - most of any non-incumbent state senate candidate - last quarter. 56k on-hand.
Alter, meanwhile, shows $7,500 raised; $5,800 on-hand; and another 153k in debt.
At last night's TG Heights meeting.
The list keeps growing -
and over twenty committeepeople.
New numbers from Survey USA, approval down 1 point to 35%, disapproval up 2 to 61%.
Last Friday, Alderman Mike McMillan called State Senator Maida Coleman. To ask for her endorsement. With someone waiting in line to file down at the Board of Elections, McMillan was busy nailing down commitments for his License Collector run.
He recalled that recently she had encouraged him to seek higher office. Could he count on her support? Coleman fumbled for words saying that there were things going on now...
McMillan didn't get Coleman's endorsement, but he has garnered an amazing level of support from across the city, especially impressive when considering that filing doesn't even open until the end of February.
McMillan has the endorsement of:
Congressman Clay Sr.
Congressman Clay Jr.
Current License Collector Daly
Former Mayor Schoemehl
2nd Ward Alderman Flowers
3rd Ward Alderman Bosley
4th Ward Alderman Shelton
6th Ward Alderman Reed
13th Ward Alderman Wessels
14th Ward Alderman Gregali
18th Ward Alderman Kennedy
22nd Ward Alderman Boyd
26th Ward Alderman Willamson
27th Ward Alderman Carter
23rd Ward Committeeman Slay
State Representative Rodney Hubbard
St. Louis American Publisher Suggs
St. Louis Argus Publisher Hasan
St. Louis Sentinel Publisher Williams
Rev. B.T. Rice
Rev. Sammy Jones
Former Alderman Martie Aboussie
With more coming everyday.
Not only does McMillan have lots of endorsements locked up, he's also locked up the top-shelf political talent.
Vigilant Communications, Joyce Aboussie's Telephone Contacts, and Tim Persons have all signed on to the campaign.
And he has the money to run an aggressive campaign. His latest filings show $100k in the bank. But those were $300 contributors who can now give up to $1,200 in this race. In other words, he has the capacity to to raise another $200k relatively quickly.
What does all this mean for Coleman? She should look for another job.
formally for Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney:
"I am proud to announce my candidacy for Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, and I look forward to traveling the County over the next year to listen to the voters' thoughts and concerns."
Setting up, at least in theory, a 08 run for Attorney General.
Limited activity. He just announced Jan 1.
Political Eye had reported back in September that former Transit Union President Bob Bartlett would run for 60th District State Rep. He has started a committee, joining Nasheed and Simms.
Ald. Mike McMillan Announces Candidacy for License Collector
On Monday, January 16, on the National observation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, Ald. Mike McMillan announced his candidacy to run in the Democratic Primary for License Collector of the City of St. Louis in the August 8th election. "I want to continue the progress made in the License Collector's Office by advancing the technology, service delivery and streamlining the process for businesses," said McMillan. "St. Louis is a great city that can be even greater with focused and dedicated office holders".
Mike McMillan is an over twelve year public servant of the City of St. Louis. He has been elected to the Board of Aldermen three times overwhelmingly and has initiated and supported over one billion dollars worth of development in his ward.
The drama continues to unfold. ACC has a good source that Maida Coleman is making calls about the License Collector race.
Just received word from tipster, confirming Howard's comment below.
January 12, 2006
Gregory F.X. Daly announces candidacy for Collector of Revenue
Today, two-term License Collector Gregory F.X. Daly announced his
intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Collector of Revenue for
the City of St. Louis in the election to be held in August 2006.
“I want to see our city thrive and grow,” said Daly. “I believe I have
the knowledge, experience and passion that we want in our city
officials. My goal, quite simply, is to make St. Louis the very best
place it can be.”
Daly is a life-long city resident, former small business owner and has
more than twenty years of governmental experience. During his two terms
as License Collector, Daly increased collections and streamlined the
process for businesses to be properly licensed in St. Louis.
Jeff Smith's report will show $35-40,000 raised; over $100,000 on hand.
Shelly Welsch takes on incumbent mayor Joe Adams.
Election is April 4.
Jamilah Nasheed is going to report $10,300 cash on hand for her state representative attempt with the latest statement.
According to Rasmussen.
McCaskill 46% Talent 43%
+/- 4.5% means still basically tied.
Yesterday Joe Palm, commiteeman of the 26th ward, announced his candidacy State Representative for 57th District. The current representative, Yaphett El-Amin is running for the 4th Senatorial District.
His announcement speech highlighted two themes: the need for "real change," and his political experience.
On hand were 26th ward Committeewoman Patricia Moss, State Representative Rachel Storch, 18th ward Committeeman Jesse Todd and former Harmon Administration chief of staff Mike Jones.
According to conversations in the crowd, Palm also has an ally in 1st ward Alderman Qunicy Troupe.
If Palm does indeed have political support in the 1st and 18th along with his own 26th, he's in pretty good shape.
How The Dems Cell '06
Among the tools some Dems believe the GOP used so well in 2004 was the ballot initiative, specifically, the marriage initiatives strewn in various battleground states (including OH).
-- The GOP has been very clever at picking its issue spots (marriage, parental notification) in order to define opponents and turnout base voters in key states.
-- Dems might finally be starting to fight back on this referendum front. Keep an eye on MO where a stem cell init. may be on the Nov. '06 ballot.
-- Stem cell research seems to have a willing majority ready to support, while splitting the GOP nearly down the middle. For every moral conservative who sees stem cells as a slippery slope to cloning, there's another conservative who fears being the one standing in the way of a potential cure.
-- Many a Dem believe (and some GOPers fear) that the collective debates about stem cells, Terri Schiavo and even "intelligent design" push swing voters (including those elusive moderate GOP women) back to the Dems. MO's marquee '06 SEN race featuring the cautious conservative Jim Talent vs. Claire McCaskill might very well be the test case.
From the endorsement:
Slay cited Smith’s energy, work ethic, and intellect as reasons for his support. “He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen in this business, and I’ve seen a lot come and go,” said Slay, who plans to host an upcoming fundraiser on Smith’s behalf.
Smith said, "I'm honored to receive Mr. Slay’s endorsement. He has offered me an abundance of wise counsel over the last two years, and he has taught me much about the city’s political history and about how candidates should conduct themselves. He is truly a class act. I’m grateful for his support, for Gina Hagerty’s, and for that of the 23rd Ward Organization.”
Word is leaking out in advance of tonight's STL City Central Committee Holiday Party that the dean of the Central Committee, Francis Slay Sr., has decided to endorse Jeff Smith in the race for outgoing Senator Pat Dougherty's 4th District seat. This gives Smith the endorsement of the 23rd Ward, historically one of the city's highest turnout wards. Many political observers had expected opponent Derio Gambaro to receive the nod.
Is immigration being positioned as a wedge issue in 06? Starting to hear about it more now on the national level.
From a recent Talent email:
Talent Sponsors Comprehensive Border Security Bill
I share the concerns of many Missourians that the United States requires an effective border management system that protects us from terrorist attacks, illegal immigration, illegal drugs and other contraband. A lot of people view border security as an immigration issue. It’s not. It’s a national security issue. This bill represents a comprehensive approach to secure America’s borders and our people with additional manpower, new barriers and high-tech surveillance equipment. This bill is long over due and proposes real solutions for America’s border security.
more details to come.
In case there was any doubt, Gambaro and El-Amin both have committees now.
full text of endorsement.
From Susan Page of USA Today
Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Even among Republicans, seven of 10 are most likely to back a candidate who has had at least some disagreements with the president.The notion that the President hurt GOP candidates in last weeks elections seems to have pretty significant evidence now.
In Missouri it is difficult to say conclusively after only one election that Governor Blunt's policies pushed cooled moderate support for Missouri Republicans, though it seems quite possible. His 25% approval rate (Survey USA Oct 14-16) among self-identified moderates (42% of their sample) would seem to lend credence to this theory.
Unless things change, Governor Blunt and the President aren't likely to get many invitations from Missouri Republicans facing close races next year.
Committee established yesterday.
The new issue of the Arch City Chronicle - which comes out tomorrow - will report that Derio Gambaro has been telling elected officials in south St. Louis that he is "100% in" the race for the 4th District of the State Senate.
McCaskill 47 - Talent 45
In his recent letter to media, Bill Haas confirmed that he will be running for school board again in spring, 2006.
Shows McCaskill and Talent tied. Comment that Cook Report thinks Ag issues will be big seems strange.
Johnson steps aside for McKenna.
Temple hears Zogby has Nixon up 13% over Blunt right now. I've heard Zogby had Talent with only 1 point over McCaskill.
Survey USA puts Blunt's approval down to 33% and Talent's at 51%.
According to reliable sources, Fred Kratky will soon be endorsing Jeff Smith for the Senate 4th District.
UPDATE: Here it is: Today, State Representative Fred Kratky (D-65) announced that he has endorsed and will support Jeff Smith, Democratic candidate for the 4th State Senate seat.
Kratky said, "Jeff showed people his abundant energy, his work ethic, and his grasp of public policy in his race for Congress last year, and I know that he will bring those skills to the state Senate. While we may not agree on every single issue, I am confident that he will work harder than anyone else to represent the very diverse 4th state senate district. His expertise on the policy process will be welcomed by Senate Democrats and I look forward to working with him in the Legislature."
I asked him last night and he said "definite maybe."
Tells AP she's in; Tells Mannies not yet.
Jake Zimmerman: $55,002 raised; $140,250 on hand.
Barbara Fraser: $102,605 raised; $124,139 on hand. Fraser contributed $35k of her own money topping Jake who contributed 30k of his own money back in July.
Rick Johnson announces for the 22nd District. Again.
The assumption was that the more conservative Ryan McKenna would be the Democratic nominee this time around. Looks like he'll have to beat Johnson first.
Not familiar with the Maneater, but they picked up the Dems press release.
Move the whisper number for Jake up. $54,000 last quarter, $140,000 on hand.
I was on jury duty the last two days which is why the posts were happening at the bookends of my days. During our breaks I was able to have a few hurried conversations. One was with Clint Zweifel who's heading up the House Democratic Campaign Committee. He's optimistic. Of course I'm naturally skeptical after having gone through this drill last cycle with Shoemyer and Johnson insisting that the Dems were going to take the House back.
Clint seems more realistic, less rhetoric-driven. Here's what he told me - HDCC targeting 10-15 races this time around, versus 25-30 last time. Hopes that the focus will translate into better batting average. They've been hitting their fundraising target - latest quarter about $100,000.
They've made three "structural" changes to HDCC that he thinks will improve its effectiveness over the long-term:
1. Decoupled the HDCC apparatus from the party's House leader. Because term limits mean that the leadership rotates relatively fast, this will allow more continuity.
2. Hired a national talent to head up the campaign. The job went to Ronny Richardson who was successful recently in North Carolina.
3. Trying to recruit for beyond 2006. That means more emphasis on small local races, like school board that will eventual culminate into higher offices. It also means thinking about 2008 and 2010 today.
Diatriber and Blog St. Louis both had this, but since we've been following the polls I think it's worth repeating.
Go to this website on Talent's site where you can pick your county and - in theory - read about your county's happenings. Um... nowhere on that page can you click or select St. Louis City. Should we read something into that???
in today's Political Eye. They have Bob Bartlett joining the race for Boykin's seat, but left out Joe Palm running for El-Amin's.
Clearly changes his calculations, "she has credentials and appears to have finances."
Missouri State Representative Yaphett El-Amin, 57th District, will have a press conference tomorrow to announce her candidacy for the Missouri State Senate (4th Senate District).
The 10:00 a.m. press conference will be held at the People's Health Center, 5701 Delmar.
I had a couple of conversations about Montee this weekend, triggered by the comments on the blog last week that she would soon be announcing for Auditor.
Here's what I learned (or think I learned):
She will announce this Wednesday for Auditor.
When she does she will be the front runner and take any wind out of Senator Coleman's and Jason Klumb's sails.
1. She will put $500,000 of her own money into the race right away, giving her the immediate money lead. Her law firm, Montee Law, has a network of connections state-wide that should be valuable as well.
2. She will be the only candidate with auditor experience. Additionally, she can tout her other experience, as a lawyer and CPA.
3. She has the backing, if not officially, of Claire McCaskill. Therefore the Democratic Party wishing to avoid a contested primary might very well rally early and strongly behind her candidacy, making it very hard for a Klumb or Coleman to get traction.
Reprinted from comments below:
Email Address: [email protected]
Actually, she WILL be outstanding. Rumor has it she is announcing her intention to run next Wednesday (September 28th). Further, and this comes on very good authority, she is going to contribute $500,000 (yes, half a million dollars) of her own money to kick-off the warchest.
This is exactly what the Democratic Party needed. A qualified, experienced, and outstate candidate who can finance a campaign.
Talent 43, McCaskill 29, Undecided 27.
Quite a difference from Rasmussen.
The landscape as I see it.
Mannies has Jetton running for Auditor, and Kanzler has a committee formed for Auditor as well, but I'm skeptical about both.
Janet Becker, a stalwart of the St. Louis Democratic left, has endorsed Barbara Fraser for the St. Louis County Council 5th District.
Back in June Greg Daly amended his campaign committee from raising money for License Collector to the more ambiguous "city-wide office." Depending on the rumor you listen to, Daly is either finessing an orchestrated job swap - includes McMillan taking his office - or he's planning on taking on Ronald Leggett, deal in hand or not.
Daly has a fundraiser scheduled for one week from today - September 20th. Perhaps he'll divulge his plans to contributors that evening?
Despite considering the run, Gunn has decided to pass. Blame it on timing - new job, new baby. He will be running for re-election to the Webster City Council.
Reprinted below verbatim as it was sent to me. Aside from all the grammatical oddities (committeeman as two words; referring to Robin Carnahan as state secretary instead of the secretary of state; looking forward to a well ran campaign; "you my write"), I've never seen a candidate announcement in which the campaign manager's name appears three times - as often as the actual candidate. "Self-adoring campaign manager" was how one politico read it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, September 1, 2005
South City Committee Man Mark Rice-(D) has announced his intent to run for the 59th State Representative Seat in Missouri.
We have filed with State Secretary Robin Carnahan and have formed the committee: Citizens for Mark Rice.
St. Louis' own Dustin Mitchell will spearhead the campaign as campaign manager. You may contact Dustin at 314.283.2937.
We look forward to a well ran and balanced campaign. For additional information you my write to Citizens for Mark Rice at PO Box 15166, St. Louis, MO 63110. You may also call or e-mail Dustin Mitchell at 314.283.2937 or [email protected]
Missouri Breaks for DSCC
September 6, 2005
By David M. Drucker, Roll Call Staff
Senate Democrats believe they’ve found the candidate to unseat Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) in 2006; Republicans say Claire McCaskill is just another typical Democrat who is out of step with mainstream Show-Me state values.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is touting McCaskill — Missouri’s elected state auditor — as an example of candidate-recruiting success that DSCC officials claim has far outpaced that of Senate Republicans. “(McCaskill’s) decision to get into the race is the latest piece of good news in our effort to get more Democrats elected to the Senate,” DSCC
Communications Director Phil Singer said last Tuesday, the day McCaskill announced her bid. “There are many Republicans who are going to go to sleep a lot more nervous than when they woke up today.”
Missouri Senate 2006: Talent 46% McCaskill 46%
Survey of 500 Likely Voters
September 1, 2005
Jim Talent (R) 46%
Claire McCaskill (D) 46%
September 6, 2005--Republican Senator Jim Talent is tied with Democrat Claire McCaskill in the first Rasmussen Reports poll for this Election 2006 match-up. This early election poll finds both candidates attracting 46% of the vote.
Support for each candidate is closely correlated to perceptions of President George W. Bush. Among those who Strongly Approve of the President's job performance, Talent leads 91% to 7%. As for those who Strongly Disapprove, McCaskill leads 81% to 9%.
Talent leads among men while McCaskill leads among women. Generationally, McCaskill does best among those under 30 and over 65. Talent is strongest among 30-somethings.
As is the case nationally, there is a huge "Marriage Gap" in the Missouri polling data. Talent leads by 13 percentage points among those who are married (54% to 41%). However, McCaskill leads by 23 percentage points among those who are not married (55% to 32%).
The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 1, 2005. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology)
According to a posting on the Young Democrats list, Mark Rice will challenge Jeanette Mott Oxford in the 59th. Rice lost to Oxford in 2004.
This is from a known Democrat, so this rumor isn't coming from GOP Brain Central:
The Talent campaign has told the potential McNary campaign not to count on any money if they run aganist Dooley. The idea is the Talent money will be better spent in areas including Chesterfield and further west. It appears they are giving up most of St. Louis County.
Thanks to StL Diatriber who spotted the new McCaskill website up and running.
From the Media Advisory:
Claire McCaskill to Announce Her Plans for Elective Office Tomorrow
Will speak at old McCaskill feed mill in Houston
Missouri Auditor Claire McCaskill will announce her plans for elective office tomorrow, August 30, at the old McCaskill feed mill in Houston, Missouri. McCaskill spent the first years of her life in Houston where her father, William, worked at the mill.
Details for tomorrow's announcement:
Who: Claire McCaskill
What: Announcement of her plans for elective office
When: Tuesday, August 30 at 12:00 p.m.
Where: The old McCaskill feed mill in Houston, Missouri, at the intersection of Mill and Phelps streets.
I'm hearing McCaskill will announce for Senate tomorrow!
Mannies: Loudon announcing tomorrow for Auditor.
Tipster: Senator Coleman looking at Auditor position.
Peterson scores the scoop with news that Tod Martin has signed on to McCaskill's team.
Yesterday's NY Times editorial mentions Talent's stance on fuel efficiency standards.
No "shameless plug" category. File under 06.
Second to last line.
Winner of Zimmerman-Fraser primary will have tough incumbent waiting.
I was polled last night. Sounded like a Talent poll. Asking how he matched up against Nixon, McCaskill, (Robin) Carnahan, and Maxwell. Also asked about Blunt and Bush and selected issues - stem cells, health care.
Add another name to the scorecard. We've been tipped that Amber Boykin's husband Shaun Simms is being mentioned as a replacement for her 60th State Rep seat.
With Amber Boykins termed out and declared for the 4th Senate District, one good tipster says to look for activist Jamilah Nasheed to run for the 60th State Rep seat.
UPDATE: Political Fix confirms this item from the St. Louis American.
Not unlikely there will be others interested in that seat. But it's a solid Republican seat, especially since redistricting.
Announced at tonight's County Council meeting, Skip Mange (R-3rd District) says he will not run for re-election.
St. Louis Oracle makes the case for Instant Runoff Voting in the 4th.
From Combest, DraftMcNary.com
From Combest, Claire quoted in KC Star today saying that her decision won't be made for several weeks.
It is said that if McCaskill enters she will have strong support from the national party. This Rollcall article shows that the Democrats are on strong financial footing to help her out.
DSCC Fundraising Stellar
By Lauren W. Whittington
July 12, 2005
Six months into the 2006 election cycle, Senate Democrats have set a torrid fundraising pace and have roughly twice the available campaign cash their GOP counterparts do, soon-to-be filed fundraising reports will show.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee finished the second quarter with a record-setting $15.2 million in the bank after raising $6.9 million in June alone.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $4 million in June and had $8 million left in the bank at the end of last month. The NRSC raised a total of $11 million in the second quarter of the year, compared to a $13 million three-month total for the DSCC.
In fact, in six months' time the DSCC has already eclipsed the committee's fundraising total for all of 2003. So far this cycle Senate Democrats have raised $22.6 million, compared to the $22.4 million they took in two years ago.
But the NRSC is also ahead of where it stood at this juncture last cycle, having taken in almost $21 million for the year so far. At the end of the second quarter in 2003, the committee had raised $14.5 million and had $5.3 million in the bank.
At the end of May, the NRSC had nearly $6.1 million on hand while the DSCC had $8.9 million in the bank.
From DC's tip-sheet, Hotline:
MISSOURI: To Claire Things Up
Multiple Hotline sources confirm that among those Dems in attendance at the DSCC's weekend retreat in Nantucket was Auditor Claire McCaskill. This was a retreat that included a mix of current Dem Sens (see Hotline, 7/8) and candidates running in '06. Among the other non-incumbent Dem SEN candidates who were scheduled to attend: Matt Brown (RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ben Cardin (MD), Jim Pederson (AZ), Bob Casey Jr. (PA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Harold Ford Jr. (TN). While McCaskill was not on the scheduled list of attendees, she, along with a bunch of other non-incumbent candidates not listed apparently flew in at the last minute (Hotline reporting, 7/11).
Roger Wilson on the Democrats' Senate nominee.
He's running for the St. Louis County Council 5th district which includes 150,000 residents and is bordered by the city limits on the east, Warson Road on the west, Olive on the north, and Gravois on the south.
Here is his bio as it was sent to me:
Jake Zimmerman is a lifelong resident of St. Louis County who grew up in Clayton and attended Clayton public schools. He is a graduate of Clayton High School, Claremont McKenna College, and Harvard Law School. He currently lives in Richmond Heights and practices law with Thompson Coburn LLP in downtown St. Louis.
Jake's active involvement in public service has been deep and wide-ranging. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel to former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. Previously, as Assistant Attorney General under Jay Nixon, Jake fought on behalf of people victimized by fraud and illegal business practices. For example: He prosecuted internet scammers who "sold" computers on E-Bay, but actually pocketed the money; He permanently put out of business the fraudulent operators of a so-called "training school" that existed only to bilk students out of $2,500 tuition fees; He successfully sued large cell phone companies who misled their customers by disguising fees as taxes.
Jake's extensive public service history also includes: Working with federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis; Service in Congressman Dick Gephardt's Washington, D.C. office; A White House Internship in 1996 under President Bill Clinton.
Jake understands the importance of an active grassroots campaign. He has polished his political skills from the ground up in numerous races. Jake has worked in Democratic politics locally, for example, as a St. Louis County field office director in the Missouri coordinated Democratic campaign in 2000, and nationally with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C. Jake has been recognized for his leadership and commitment to public service with numerous awards, including the prestigious Harry S. Truman scholarship.
Jake is committed to winning the race. He has the experience, the know-how, and the commitment needed to run a successful campaign. His impressive and diverse background makes him a perfect fit for the St Louis County Council.
Time for another distraction.
Rep Clay does the right thing.
Seems Claire is gone for the week.
Meanwhile, a new name to chew on if she doesn't run... Steve Gaw is said to be looking at the race.
In Southwest Gardens.
Can you feel it?
Claire must be close to a decision.
If I were in an office pool, I'd say that she's calling supporters this weekend with an announcement on Monday.
My guess: She's out. And Roger Wilson looks foolish saying there's a secret list of great candidates in the wings.
From KC Star, via Combest.
Here are the Senate term limits.
Here's why he would have gotten killed by Talent anyway.
State Representative Yaphett El-Amin is expected to run fro State Senate when Pat Dougherty is term-limited in 06. If that happens look for 26th Ward Committeman Joe Palm to run for El-Amin's House seat.
Via Dark Bilious Vapors, Via Pretty War StL, 12 surprising facts about the American Church.
Via Combest, Talent hauls in another $1.5 million. Dems are keeping things "under wraps."
Missouri Pro-Vote is helping lead a coalition of nearly two dozen Missouri groups in a protest over President Bush's Social Security privatization efforts.
President Bush is the star attraction at a $2,000-per-plate fundraising dinner for Sen. Jim Talent's re-election campaign on Thursday, June 2nd. The dinner is being held at the Millennium Hotel downtown.
The groups plan to be there by 4:30 p.m. to be there when the President arrives to demonstrate their opposition to his plans.
"People are very impassioned," said Margarida Jorge the St. Louis Program Director for Missouri Pro Vote. "The social security issue is a really hot issue for people."
The Missouri coalition is also working with the national group Americans United to Protect Social Security as well as MoveOn PAC. Their focus is to force legislators from their districts to take a stand on Social Security and to go on the record either supporting the President's plan or not. It's the least they can do for their constituents, says Jorge.
Jorge said several groups have tried to get Sen. Talent to go on record, but he has not responded to their invitations to speak to them.
"This is a really tough issue," said Jorge. "A lot of people want to stay in the closet. Don't piss off your constituents, don't piss off the President."
They have made some headway with Missouri Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-08), who is the Representative with the highest number of Social Security recipients in her district. She has said that she will not support a plan that is fiscally irresponsible and adds trillions of dollars to the U.S. national debt.
Recent reports of the President's waning political capital aside, the groups are focusing on events featuring the President and his speeches about privatization. They realize that waning public support for the President's signature plan can help pressure Representatives and Senators to come out on one side of the issue or the other.
"It seems no matter what [the President] does or where he goes the plan becomes less popular," said Jorge. "People don’t want to give up what they are entitled to and what they have earned."
I'm not there, but this is what I hear.
In the front of her mind is the debt from her failed gubernatorial campaign. $1.6 million of family money. She transferred that debt to her auditor committee. If she ran for auditor in 06, she could use the race to raise more than she would need to win and whittle down the debt.
Running for senator is a little different puzzle. She can't transfer the debt to a federal (senate) campaign committee. If she beat Talent, of course problems melt. It's not hard for Senators to raise money. But if she lost, she still sitting on the debt and without an office or a race to raise money.
How important is the debt to her decision to run or not? I don't know. I hear it's on her mind though.
Will numbers like these put a little nuance into Talent's position?
Small article in The Hill. With thanks to Combest.
Finally swung by the Board of Elections to see April ward-by-ward break down.
We previously wrote about the March primary turn-out in the 20th ward being horrible. It was 8%. The next lowest was 14%. The bestward turn-out was 29% and the mean ward turn-out was 18%. We believe that for Democrats to win state-wide, they need to maximize voter turn-out in the city. We suggested that committeepeople should be held accountable for poor turn-out.
In previous comments about this on the blog, others have suggested that the committeman Mark Rice is nice and very hard working and not the problem. The problem, more than one poster suggested, is the demographics of the ward.
Mark may be both nice and hard-working. The demographics of the ward may be challenging. And, something's not working. In the April general election, the 20th ward was again last in turn-out - 5.35%. (The next lowest was 8.47%; the highest was 18.55% and city-wide the turn-out was 12.1%) The 20th ward has the least number of registered voters of any city ward and nineteen out of twenty of those registered voters didn't vote last election. Something has to change. Democrats need those votes.
Champions are made in the off-season.
Mark Rice told me that he doesn't like the Arch City Chronicle "because of our pro-gay agenda," and because I personally haven't lived in the city long enough to have an opinion. (I've only lived in the city about seven years.)
This leads me to believe that he may be a "nice guy" and hard-working, but if he doesn't like and doesn't want to include gays, new residents and who knows whatever other group, that may be part of the reason he's ineffective.
Democrats will need every vote in 06 and 08.
Via Combest, National Review's John Miller says that Robin Carnahan is an "interesting possibility" to run against Talent.
I've heard that he is looking at the race. It makes sense. He's in his last term, so he might be looking at his future. But his term doesn't end until 08. So if he lost he'd still have another shot at continuing his political career.
His position in Jefferson City should make fundraising a little easier. His positions on the social issues could play well in Jeff Co, and if he can win his home turf of St. Louis County, the math looks pretty good.
Republicans could do worse for a 3rd CD candidate.
As Dave mentioned a few days ago, and Jo Mannies noted in a story Friday, McCaskill is getting the look from a lot of Democrats eyeing the 2006 Senate election, and even some pressure to make amends after the bruising gubernatorial primary. Some of the recent interest stems from a DSCC poll that shows McCaskill within Talent's margin of error.
While many of the national bookmakers (guru Charlie Cook among them) see Talent as fairly safe, polls are increasingly showing voters dissatisfied with Republican's handling of domestic issues. Both the President and Congress have seen their popularity polls steadily drop as culture issues continue to dominate national politicians time to the detriment of economic and health care concerns.
It's too early to prognosticate which issues will dominate the next year, it's a safe bet that the economy and health care will reassert themselves as major issues in congressional races. As Cook points out in a recent column, the Democrats have a shot at picking up seats if they create their own opportunities and exploit every weakness. In Missouri, the Republican leadership may have given Talent's Democratic challenger both the opportunity and the weapons through a combination of health coverage cuts, single-minded budgetary approaches and a seeming disinterest in the fate of working families.
The speculation will continue as to who will challenge Talent in '06, but chances are there will be voters in Missouri who may be open to Democrat's ideas.
Via Combest, Senator Talent is a $1.3 Million Dollar Candidate and climbing.
Seems like a long-shot.
But beating Talent in 06 isn't that far-fetched. All the Democrats are missing is a candidate (pa-dum-bum).
Really the formula is pretty simple:
First, (out of the Dems control) Republican problems both state-wide and nationally. Pick from the dozens of scenarios out there. Imagine another sucky year for the Missouri budget with Blunt failing to promote any solution except more and more cuts. Or, the Bush administration floundering after getting its ass kicked by Social Security and adrift heading toward its final two years with gas prices gravity-free at $2.75.
Then, a tight campaign with enough money to tell the voters one message over and over again: The Republicans are screwing the state/country up. This guy is a Republican.
That's it. Pray for Republican follies. Have enough money to tie him to it.
It could happen.
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