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Gubernatorial races: Apr. 5, 2010

Excerpts from Governors and challengers.

Governor's races are now getting started. Unilke Congress, most governors are term-limited. Our coverage of governors' races starts with previously-elected challengers, including:
GovernorParty / StateChallengers
Bob Riley
Term-limited, 2010
R, AL Rep. Artur Davis (D, AL-7)
Sonny Perdue D, GA Rep. Nathan Deal (R, GA-9)
Former Gov. Roy Barnes (D)
Linda Lingle
Term-limited; Running for Senate
R, HI Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D, HI-1)
Mark Parkinson D, KS Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
Deval PatrickD, MA Christy Mihos (R)
Grace Ross (D)
Dr. Jill Stein (G)
Jennifer Granholm
Term-limited, 2010
D, MI Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, MI-2)
Former Rep. Joe Schwarz (I, MI-7)
David Paterson
Retiring 2010
D, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D)
Rep. Rick Lazio (R, NY-2)
Brad Henry D, OK Rep. Mary Fallin (R, OK-5)
Mark Sanford
Term-limited, 2010
R, SC Rep. Gresham Barrett (R, SC-3)
Jennifer Granholm
Term-limited, 2010
D, MI Rep. Zach Wamp (R, TN-3)

Source: OnTheIssues.org and DcPoliticalReport.com
Click for Governor's list by state.

State of the State speeches: Apr. 1, 2010

Excerpts from Governors' State of the State speeches.

Throughout the early months of 2010, Governors delivered their annual State of the State addresses to their respective state legislatures. See Feb. 3 entry below for early speeches; Our final round of coverage includes governors who delivered the speech in February, including:
Phil BredesenTennesseeFeb. 1
Dave FreudenthalTennesseeFeb. 8
Ed RendellPennsylvaniaFeb. 9
Jim GibbonsNevadaFeb. 8
Tim PawlentyMinnesotaFeb. 11

Source: OnTheIssues.org and speech transcripts
Click for excerpts from Governors' State of the State speeches.

Interviews of U.S. Senate candidates: March 29, 2010

Races for the 112th Senate.

Our 2010 Senate race coverage expands this week to include candidate interviews. This adds a third round of candidates to the first two rounds (listed below March 15 and Jan. 9).
StateSenate ChallengerParty & Position
AZRudy GarciaDemocratic challenger; formerly Mayor
CTRichard BlumenthalRepublican challenger; currently Attorney General
FLBob SmithRepublican challenger; formerly NH Senator
FLDennis BradleyVeterans Party challenger
NCCal CunninghamDemocratic challenger; formerly State Senator
NHTom AlciereRepublican challenger; formerly State Rep
OHEric DeatonConstitution Party challenger
SCMullins McLeodDemocratic challenger
SDNancy Turbak BerryDemocratic challenger; currently State Senator
Some late additions to the 'previous officeholder' list:
INDaniel CoatsRepublican challenger; former US Senator (until 1998)
UTMerrill CookRepublican challenger; former US Rep.
We have requested that all candidates answer our 20-question VoteMatch quiz. Stay tuned for more responses!

Source: Speakout.com and candidate campaign websites
Click for complete details of VoteMatch candidate interviews.

Key vote on healthcare reform: March 21, 2010

Final Healthcare bill in US House

OnTheIssues.org opens our coverage of healthcare reform with an attempt at clarifying the contents of the healthcare bill. This bill is by far the most significant political legislation of the current Congress. Discussions about healthcare reform gave rise to the Tea Party movement, as part of Town Hall protests in August 2009. Blocking this legislation in the Senate (by creating a 41st vote against its passage) is credited with the upset victory of Scott Brown (R, MA). Pres. Obama has declared this legislation core to his presidency, and it will likely be a decisive factor in many 2010 House and Senate races.

Yet few people know exactly what the bill contains. This is partly because the bill is several thousand pages long; partly because the level of rhetoric on both sides is so high; and partly because legislation is inherently messy (which is why OnTheIssues.org does not report on bills until votes actually occur).

We plan to report on this bill in its entirety over the coming months, including its content and candidate commentary. To get started, we link to the contents of the bill itself. That, too, has become controversial, with Pres. Obama promising to post on the Internet the full contents, but many commentators unable to find the final text. Our opening salvo:

  • H.R. 4872: This is the bill that will be voted on today, Sunday, March 21, 2010, in the U.S. House, which is generally considered a "final passage" of healthcare reform. In fact, this is a "reconciliation bill", which means it accepts all Senate amendments that have occured since the previous House vote. In other words, House members will vote to accept (or reject) all Senate amendments altogether in one vote, rather than voting separately on each amendment.

  • House Report 111-443: This is Budget report on the bill, concluding that, with tax changes, healthcare reform will bring in an additional $587 billion in revenues over the next ten years. (in other words, it is a large net positive to the federal treasury). Republicans complain (on page 807) that the massive tax increases will damage the recessionary economy.

  • Report 111-443 Volume 1 and Volume 2: This is the downloadable version reported on March 17, 2010, from the Committee on Ways and Means. The PDF is 902 pages for volume 1 and 445 pages for volume 2, including Republican dissent.

  • H.R. 3590: This is the bill that passed the Senate. Don't be confused by its title, "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act" -- it is the Senate "vehicle" for passing healthcare reform. The Senate vote on this "vehicle" is the Senate's amended version of healthcare reform, which is now back to the House for reconciliation. One of the amendments changed the title to "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act".

  • Senate vote #396: This is the Senate vote on healthcare reform, on Dec. 24, 2009, which passed 60-39. Under Senate rules, 60 Senators are required to avoid a filibuster, which would postpone or block a final vote. Hence this vote had just the minimum number required to avoid a filibuster, which many Republicans have promised. Sen. Scott Brown's election in Feb. 2010 (replacing a Yes vote from placeholder Paul Kirk) meant that Democrats wanted to avoid another Senate vote, since they no longer had the supermajority to avoid a filibuster.

  • H.R. 3590 PDF: This downloadable PDF of 2,407 pages is the closest there is to a "final" text in one document. Note the "vehicle" title still applies -- yes, it's the right bill!
OnTheIssues will read and summarize the 3,754-page documents in the coming months, including candidate commentary. We recognize that even just reading (or identifying!) the legislation is confusing, and numerous commentators have claimed that is a Democratic trick to avoid public scrutiny. We ascribe the confusion to legislators' inability to speak normal English, having been rendered incapable of understandable language by writing as lawyers and legislators for too long. In other words, we believe that the Democrats are not INTENTIONALLY hiding this bill or its votes from the public, but instead just don't know how to communicate normally anymore. Hence we will do so instead. Stay tuned!
Source: Speakout.com and thomas.loc.gov.
Click for complete records of past Health Care legislation.

Coverage of U.S. Senate races: March 15, 2010

Races for the 112th Senate.

Our 2010 Senate race coverage expands this week with a second round of candidate pages. The first round (see Jan. 9 below) included new Senate pages for candidates who already had OnTheIssues.org pages, either from a House or Governor position, or a previous Senate challenge. This second round includes new challengers who are added to the OnTheIssues.org pages for the first time. We will expand their coverage during the course of the Senate race to attempt to answer all 20 SenateMatch questions, so that you can compare your views with theirs, using our 20-question Quiz.

The list of candidates is always changing, so there will be a third round of additional candidates, and perhaps a fourth. Some candidates have already dropped out of the race -- Beau Biden of Delaware (Vice President Joe Biden's son) announced his withdrawal on Jan. 25 (hence opening the field to several new Democratic challengers, whom we will cover in the next round). On Feb. 2, the Senate primary was held in Illinois: Mark Kirk knocked out Andy Martin on the GOP side (we had covered both). Alexi Giannoulias won the Democratic primary, and we add his page below. We will cover all future changes as the race progresses!
StateSenate ChallengerParty & Position
CACarly FiorinaRepublican
COJane NortonRepublican; formerly Lt. Gov.
FLMarco RubioRepublican
ILAlexi GiannouliasDemocratic; currently State Treasurer
KYJack ConwayDemocratic; currently Attorney General
KYJames BuckmasterDemocrat
MORobin CarnahanDemocratic; currently Secretary of State
NDJohn HoevenRepublican; currently Governor
NHJim BenderRepublican
NHKelly AyotteRepublican; formerly Attorney General
OHJennifer BrunnerDemocratic; currently Secretary of State
OHLee FisherDemocratic; currently Lt. Gov.

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for status of members of the 111th Senate.

Rep. Diaz-Balart to run for brother's seat: March 1, 2010

Click for coverage of Congressional races

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R, FL-21) previously announced his retirement. His brother who is also in Congress, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R, FL-25) announced today that he would run for his brother's seat instead of his own. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D, RI-1) also announced his retirement this weekend, ending the Kennedy family political legacy.

Source: Speakout.com
Click for coverage of 111th Congress

Coverage of U.S. House races: Feb. 13, 2010

Races for the 112th Congress.

All 435 members of Congress are up for election in 2010. Following is a list of issue stances of some of their challengers.

DistrictChallenger for 112th Congress
HI-1 Former Rep. Ed Case (D)
ID-1 Former Rep. Bill Sali (R)
IN-9 Former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R)
MD-1 State Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R)
MI-9 Former Senate Nominee Rocky Raczkowski (R)
NH-2 Former Rep. Charlie Bass (R)
NM-2 Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R)
OH-1 Former Rep. Steve Chabot (R)
Challengers in "hot races" (targeted by one party, or open seats) are listed with each incumbent. Other challengers may request a page by writing to us at submit@ontheissues.org.
Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for status of members of the 111th Congress.

Rep. John Murtha (D, PA-12) dies: Feb. 8, 2010

Special election to be scheduled in May 2010

Rep. Murtha was hospitalized with gallbladder problems in December 2009, and had surgery January 28 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Murtha's large intestine was damaged during the normally routine laparoscopic surgery, causing an infection. Due to the complication, Murtha was again hospitalized two days later, and died on the afternoon of February 8, 2010, in the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia with his family by his side.

 Special Elections in 2010
Jan. 3
Rep. Robert Wexler (D) Resigned to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation. A special election will be held after April 13, 2010.
Jan. 19
Sen. Scott Brown (R) Special election to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy (D). Sen. Brown will serve until the election in November 2012.
Feb. 8
Rep. John Murtha (D) Died. A special election will be held on a date to be determined, possibly in May 2010.
Feb. 28
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) Will resign to focus on run for Governor of Hawaii. A special election will be held on a date to be determined, possibly in May 2010.
Nov. 2
Sen. Roland Burris (D) The appointment lasts only until the November 2, 2010 special election. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of the term that expires January 3, 2011.
Nov. 2
Sen. Ted Kaufman (D) The appointment lasts only until the November 2, 2010 special election, in which he is not a candidate. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of the term that expires January 3, 2015.
Source: Speakout.com and Wikipedia.com.
Click for complete records of Rep. John Murtha's issue stances & voting record.

State of the State speeches: Feb. 3, 2010

Excerpts from Governors' State of the State speeches.

Throughout January and February, Governors will deliver their annual State of the State addresses to their respective state legislatures. Our first round of coverage includes governors who delivered the speech in January; we'll do another round after the later speeches are delivered. This first round includes:
Sean ParnellAlaska1/20
Jan BrewerArizona1/11
Arnold SchwarzeneggerCalifornia1/6
Sonny PerdueGeorgia1/13
Pat QuinnIllinois1/13
Mark ParkinsonKansas1/11
Deval PatrickMassachusetts1/21
Bill RichardsonNew Mexico1/19
David PatersonNew York1/6
Brad HenryOklahoma2/1
Donald CarcieriRhode Island1/26
Mark SanfordSouth Carolina1/20
Gary HerbertUtah1/26
Bob McDonnellVirginia1/18

Source: OnTheIssues.org and speech transcripts
Click for excerpts from Governors' State of the State speeches.

Obama Q&A at GOP House Retreat: Jan. 29, 2010

Click for Q+A from Republican members of Congress

President Obama attended the House Republican Retreat in Baltimore, and took questions from some Republican House members in attendance. The Republican Retreat is an annual event where the Republican Caucus meets to plan their Congressional agenda for the year. Since this year's Retreat occurred shortly after the State of the Union address, most of the questions responded to Pres. Obama's comments during that speech.

Source: Speakout.com
Click for excerpts from the 2010 GOP House Retreat

State of the Union speech: Jan. 27, 2010

Excerpts from Obama's speech and the GOP response, plus analysis.

This was Pres. Obama's first formal State of the Union speech -- his 2009 address to a joint session of Congress was popularly called the "State of the Union" address, but that speech was not constitutionally required of an incoming president.

Pres. Obama used this speech to summarize his first year in office, and focused on the economic woes of the deep recession as well as the cynicism in the electorate resulting from those woes. The cynicism was expressed most dramatically by the election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, which is usually a "safe" Democratic seat. The special election to replace Ted Kennedy happened to be held one week prior to the State of the Union speech, and Senator-Elect Brown was alluded to by Pres. Obama, and cited by name in the Republican response. Brown's election makes passage of Obama's healthcare reform much more difficult, and indicates that the public is dissatisfied with how the Congress has ignored the voice of the people on this issue and others.

Obama's remedy for public cynicism is to call for a reduction in partisanship. However, he then points out that the Democrats still have a large majority in the Senate (59-41 even with Brown) and that they need to get healthcare done, i.e., without Republican input. Obama then calls for Republicans to join in the healthcare process and calls for their input -- implying that they have not offered any constructive suggestions. In the Republican response, the Governor of Virginia lays out the two standard Republican ideas on healthcare reform: allowing cross-state insurance purchasing, and tort reform. Indeed, the Republicans have been pushing those ideas for years -- and if Obama truly cared about Republican input, he would call for those two ideas to be included in the healthcare reform bill. Obama instead sounds partisan -- both on healthcare and on cynicism -- despite his call for a reduction in partisanship.

Source: OnTheIssues.org and speech transcripts from WhiteHouse.gov
Click for excerpts from Obama's State of the Union speech and the GOP response or Senator-Elect Scott Brown's issue stances.

Scott Brown wins: Jan. 21, 2010

41st Republican vote in the Senate

Scott Brown did manage to defeat Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat, pulling off the largest political upset in years. Defeating the Democratic healthcare bill was a major part of his platform, and certainly the issue spotlighted by Democrats and Republicans alike as the greatest reason why the Massachusetts race mattered. Brown’s victory bodes well for the GOP, looking to capitalize on voter frustration over the healthcare debate and other priorities of the Obama Administration in the 2010 midterm elections. If a Republican could win a Senate seat in Massachusetts for the first time in four decades by lambasting Democratic healthcare reform efforts, then there is a distinct possibility that the GOP will make major gains, if not win an outright majority, at the next polls.

Source: Matt Cavedon, Frum Forum
Click for issue stances frmo Attorney General Martha Coakley or State Senator Scott Brown.

Massachusetts Senate Election Prediction: Jan. 17, 2010

Answer 20 questions and get matched to special election candidates

OnTheIssues.org completes our coverage of the Massachusetts special election with a prediction based on coverage of the general election debates. The debate coverage includes issue stances on all hot topics from all three candidates.

Our election prediction is that Attorney General Martha Coakley will eke out a narrow victory due entirely to the "Democratic Machine" in places like Boston. State Senator Scott Brown and the Republican Party nationwide will justifiably declare moral victory because the vote was a referendum on the lack of public input in healthcare reform. Both sides will claim that this election foretells their own victory in the Congressional races in November.

Source: Speakout.com
Click for 2009 MA Senate VoteMatch Quiz or click for more detailed prediction and coverage of the general election debates.

Sens. Dodd and Dorgan announce retirement: Jan. 9, 2010

5 Democratic and 6 Republican Senators have now announced retirement

OnTheIssues.org begins its coverage of the 2010 Senate races by focusing on the 11 races (so far) in which the incumbent is not running for re-election. Those incumbents, and the challengers we are covering so far, are:

Retiring incumbentCovered challengers
CT: Chris Dodd(D) Rep. Rob Simmons(R)
DE: Ted Kaufman(D) Gov. Mike Castle(R)
Christine O'Donnell(R)
FL: George LeMieux(R) Gov. Charlie Crist(R)
Rep. Vern Buchanan(R)
Rep. Kendrick Meek(D)
Sen. Bob Smith(I)
IL: Roland Burris(D) Rep. Mark Kirk(R)
Andy Martin(R)
KS: Sam Brownback(R) Rep. Jerry Moran(R)
Rep. Todd Tiahrt(R)
KY: Jim Bunning(R) Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo(D)
MA: Paul Kirk(D)
VoteMatch quiz for Jan. 19 Special Election
Attorney General Martha Coakley(D)
State Sen. Scott Brown(R)
Joe L. Kennedy(L)
MO: Kit Bond(R) Roy Blunt(R)
ND: Byron Dorgan(D) Gov. John Hoeven(R)
NH: Judd Gregg(R) Rep. Paul Hodes(D)
OH: George Voinovich(R) Rep. Rob Portman(R)
Additional hot races where incumbent is challenged:
Challenged incumbentHot challenger
HI: Daniel Inouye(D) Gov. Linda Lingle(R)
IN: Evan Bayh(D) Rep. John Hostettler(R)
LA: David Vitter(R) Rep. Charles Melancon(D)
NY: Kirsten Gillibrand(D) Rep. Harold Ford(D)
PA: Arlen Specter(D) Rep. Joe Sestak(D)
Rep. Pat Toomey(D)
Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for Senate coverage of the 111th Senate.

Massachusetts Senate VoteMatch Quiz: Jan. 4, 2010

Answer 20 questions and get matched to special election candidates

OnTheIssues.org is pleased to announce the publication of the Massachusetts Senate VoteMatch Quiz for the general election to replace Ted Kennedy.

The quiz now includes Joe L. Kennedy (no relation to Ted Kennedy), a late entry into the race, representing the Libertarian Party.

You answer 20 questions about your political beliefs; then the VoteMatch quiz compares your answers to those of the 6 Senate candidates, and scores each candidate relative to your answers.

The VoteMatch Quiz has been our most popular feature since its introduction in 1999; it's fun and informative! The 6 candidates in the MA Senate race are:

Source: Speakout.com
Click for 2009 MA Senate VoteMatch Quiz or Ted Kennedy's issue stances.

First Massachusetts Senate Debate: Dec. 23, 2009

Debate includes Libertarian candidate Joseph L. Kennedy

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown clashed bitterly last night in the first debate of the US Senate race to be televised, repeatedly arguing over the traditionally partisan issues of taxes, the scope of government, and one-party rule in Washington.

The debate, which also included independent candidate Joseph L. Kennedy, was the last major campaign event before voters turn their attention to opening Christmas presents and buying champagne for New Year’s. The special election to fill the seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy is Jan. 19.

Kennedy, who is an active Libertarian running as an independent, demonstrated last night why Brown has sought to minimize him and Coakley has wanted him involved in the debates: He used nearly every speaking opportunity to challenge Brown from the right, saying the state senator has not done enough to cut spending, limit taxes, and make his voting record accessible. “I challenge him to show me three bills that he has personally submitted that cut $1 billion on spending,’’ Kennedy said.

The line of attack clearly frustrated Brown, who said, “My record speaks for itself.’’

There are several other debates being planned next month, though most have not been finalized. [Coakley insists that Joe L. Kennedy be included in all future debates; Brown would prefer more one-on-one debates].

Source: Martina Robinson in the Western Massachusetts Examiner
Click for issue stances of Martha Coakley (D), Scott Brown (R), and Joseph L. Kennedy (L).

Rep. Parker Griffith (D, AL-5) switches to Republican Party: Dec. 22, 2009

Other US Reps asked to follow Griffith's lead

Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Carney (D) announced tonight that he would not switch to the Republican party despite a personal phone call today from Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) urging him to do so.

"I am flattered by the overtures of Sen. McCain and other Republican Party officials and consider their outreach a sure sign that I have worked in a truly bipartisan manner," said Carney in a statement. "I appreciate the Republican Party's outreach, but I have no plans to change parties."

Carney won the northeastern Pennsylvania 10th district in 2006 thanks, in large part to the scandal surrounding then Rep. Don Sherwood (R). Carney won re-election in 2008 despite the fact that McCain won the seat 54 percent to 45 percent.

McCain's call to Carney signals a coordinated Republican effort to capitalize on the party switch on Tuesday of Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith, the first Democrat to switch to the GOP since Rep. Rodney Alexander in 2004.

Republicans insist there are others like Griffith out there and that the legislative course the House majority has steered is acting as a impetus to push Democrats out of the party.

Again, a single seat like Griffith's doesn't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of the battle for the House where Democrats hold a 40-seat majority. But, the symbolic import of a Democrat abandoning the party when it hold all the levers of power in Washington should not be underestimated.

Source: Chris Cillizza, Washington Post
Click for Rep. Parker Griffith's or Sen. John McCain's issue stances.

Massachusetts Senate Primary Debates: Dec. 6, 2009

Coverage of TV debates and joint interviews.

The candidates for the MA special Senate election have done a great job hiding their views on the issues for as long as they could -- but every candidate has to participate in SOME debates. And the mainstream press have done a great job asking candidates about Tiger Woods rather than reporting the candidate's stances on the issues -- but they too sometimes let issues slip into their horserace-oriented articles. OnTheIssues.org scours the internet to find issue stances, and we report them today to good citizens and voters.

    The debates include:
  • Web-streamed Democratic debate at Suffolk University Law School, Nov. 30
  • WCVB-TV Democratic debate, sponsored by Gatehouse Media New England, Dec. 1
  • Televised Democratic debate, sponsored New England Cable News, WGBH-TV, and WBUR-FM, Dec. 2
  • AARP questionnaire answered by 5 of the 6 candidates
Source: Speakout.com
Click for MA Senate Primary debates and AARP interview answers.

Massachusetts Senate VoteMatch Quiz: Dec. 1, 2009

Answer 20 questions and get matched to special election candidates

OnTheIssues.org is pleased to announce the publication of the Massachusetts Senate VoteMatch Quiz for the special election to replace Ted Kennedy.

You answer 20 questions about your political beliefs; then the VoteMatch quiz compares your answers to those of the 6 Senate candidates, and scores each candidate relative to your answers.

The VoteMatch Quiz has been our most popular feature since its introduction in 1999; it's fun and informative! The 6 candidates in the MA Senate race are:

Source: Speakout.com
Click for 2009 MA Senate VoteMatch Quiz or Ted Kennedy's issue stances.

Sarah Palin releases autobiography: Nov. 17, 2009

See excerpts from Going Rogue

One year ago, Sarah Palin burst onto the national political stage like a comet. Yet even now, few Americans know who this remarkable woman really is.

On September 3, 2008 Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention that electrified the nation and instantly made her one of the most recognizable women in the world.

In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom's-eye view of high-stakes national politics—from patriots dedicated to "Country First" to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost.

Going Rogue traces one ordinary citizen's extraordinary journey and imparts Palin's vision of a way forward for America and her unfailing hope in the greatest nation on earth.

Source: Amazon.com
Click for excerpts from Going Rogue or Sarah Palin's issue stances & voting record.

Election Day results: Nov. 3, 2009

Two new Republican Governors; two new Democratic House members

Former U.S. Attorney Christopher J. "Chris" Christie (R-NJ) defeated incumbent Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ) who spent millions of dollars of his own money trying to win a second term in New Jersey.

The victory of Robert F. "Bob" McDonnell (R-VA) over R. Creigh Deeds (D-VA) in Virginia was expected, but still embarrassing for Democrats. McDonnell will succeed Governor Tim Kaine (D-VA) who is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Deeds lost to McDonnell four years ago in the race for state attorney general.

In California, Lieutenant Governor John R. Garamendi (D-CA) easily defeated former J.P. Morgan Chase assistant general counsel David Harmer (R-CA) to win the seat vacated by Undersecretary of State Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA).

But the most defining race of the evening was the Democratic victory in New York’s 23rd Congressional District where Bill Owens (D-NY) defeated Douglas L. Hoffman (R-NY) to succeed Navy Secretary John M. McHugh (R-NY). With Owens’ victory, Democrats now hold 27 of the Empire State’s 29 congressional seats. The significance of the race, however, does not come from the Democratic pick-up. Rather it comes from the ideological battle which marred the contest. Republicans had nominated state Assembly member Dierdre K. Scozzafava (R-NY) as their candidate in the special election. Despite her overall conservative record in the state assembly, Scozzafava’s support for abortion rights, gay marriages and labor unions was unpalatable to national conservatives. They found an outlet for their frustration in accountant Douglas L. Hoffman. Scozzafava said conservatives’ hatred and lies forced her out. She then turned around and endorsed her former Democratic rival over Hoffman.

Source: DCPoliticalReport.com
Click for details of other House members or other Governors.

Jack E. Robinson announces for MA Senate: Oct. 29, 2009

Ran against Kennedy; now running to succeed him

Jack E. Robinson today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate.

Robinson is participating in the Special Election to fill the seat created by the unfortunate passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy, and will be running against one other Republican candidate.

“I am excited to kick off a very positive and forward looking campaign,” said Robinson. “Our campaign will be one of fresh ideas and a fresh perspective, focusing on the issues and providing solutions for the people of Massachusetts.”

“The last thing we need is to transport Beacon Hill thinking to Capitol Hill,” said Robinson.

Source: Jack E. Robinson Campaign press release
Click for Jack E. Robinson's issue stances.

Massachusetts Senate race coverage in detail: Oct. 13, 2009

Major Republican and Democrtic candidates' issue stances

Today we begin detailed issue coverage of the Massachusetts Senate race. As usual, the mainstream press covers the "horse race" while barely touching on the issues, and then pretend they're "covering" the race. OnTheIssues.org instead presents the candidates' issue stances in detail, based on the following sources:

Stay tuned next month for direct debate coverage, and a VoteMatch quiz comparing YOUR issue stances to the candidates'.

Click for details of other Senators.

Massachusetts Senator Paul Kirk sworn in: Sept. 25, 2009

Appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy

Paul G. Kirk Jr. was sworn in this afternoon to start his four-month stint as junior senator from Massachusetts, stepping into a high-profile role while trying to leave the controversy over his appointment behind.

Kirk was formally sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on the Senate floor. The gallery -- including Kennedy's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his sons Patrick and Ted Kennedy Jr.; other relatives, and more than a dozen of Kirk's relatives -- burst into cheers.

[Sen. Kirk's appointment was made possible by a controversial legislative change allowing Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an interim senator.

Sen. Kirk's term ends in Jan. 2010, when a special election will decide his successor].
  • Scott Brown (GOP State Senator, Wrentham)
  • Robert Burr, Jr. (Canton Selectman)

  • Stephen Lynch (Democratic US Rep.; South Boston)

Source: Joseph Williams and Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe
Click for complete records of Ted Kennedy's or Deval Patrick's issue stances & voting record.

Rep. John McHugh (R, NY) resigns: Sept. 16, 2009

Appointed as Secretary of the Army

More than three months after he was tapped by President Obama to serve as secretary of the Army, Rep. John McHugh was finally confirmed to that post this evening by the US Senate by a voice vote. McHugh had been expected to be confirmed prior to the Senate's summer break, but two Kansas Republicans - Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts - blocked that vote due to their anger over the prospect of Guantanamo detainees being sent to their state. The two lawmakers ended their ban earlier today after discussions with the Obama administration assuaged their fears.

Gov. David Paterson has been speculated to desire a special election in NY-23 to be held concurrent with the November general, in part because it would hold down costs.

Other 2009 Special Elections in U.S. House
Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY-20) Resigned Jan. 26; appointed as US Senator March 31, 2009: Scott Murphy elected
Rahm Emanuel (D, IL-5) Jan. 21: Appointed White House Chief of Staff April 7, 2009: Michael Quigley elected
Hilda Solis (D, CA-32) Resigned Feb. 24, appointed Secretary of Labor July 14, 2009: Judy Chu elected
John M. McHugh (R, NY-23) Sept. 16: Confirmed as Secretary of the Army Election likely scheduled for Nov. 3, 2009
Ellen Tauscher (D, CA-10) Resigned June 26; appointed Under Secretary of State Election scheduled for Nov. 3, 2009
Source: Elizabeth Benjamin in New York Daily News
Click for complete records of John_McHugh's issue stances & voting record.

Florida Senator George LeMieux sworn in: Sept. 10, 2009

Appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to replace Sen. Mel Martinez

Minutes after he was sworn in Thursday, new Florida Sen. George LeMieux got an earful of advice from Vice President Joe Biden, cast his first vote -- against an Obama administration appointee -- and threatened to block passage of an energy bill that would put oil drilling rigs near the Florida shore.

The Republican also sought to tamp down speculation that he would consider taking on Florida's senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, in 2012. ``I'm not focused on running for any political position in 2010 or 2012,'' he told reporters after his first press conference, fielding questions on immigration, oil drilling, President Barack Obama's healthcare speech and committee posts he might seek.

Appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to fill the remainder of retired Sen. Mel Martinez's term, LeMieux scarcely mentioned the man considered his political twin, illustrating the delicate balance he is likely to seek as he promises to be his ``own man'' in Washington. ``There are tremendous issues facing this nation, and although my time in Washington will be brief, I intend to work hard every day to address these critical challenges and serve the people of this unique, diverse and wonderful state,'' said LeMieux, who has described himself as a ``Charlie Crist Republican.''

Crist, who is running for the Senate seat in 2010, didn't attend the swearing-in. LeMieux, who orchestrated Crist's 2006 gubernatorial win, was flanked by Nelson and former Sen. Connie Mack at the ceremony. ``I've got a lot of work to do here in Florida,'' Crist said in St. Petersburg. ``I certainly wish Sen. LeMieux all the best. I'm sure he'll do great for the people of Florida.'' LeMieux's first order of the day after a staff briefing and tour of his office: a speedy oath of office administered by Biden, who, as vice president, is president of the Senate.

Source: Lesley Clark in Miami Herald
Click for complete records of George LeMieux's and Mel Martinez's and Charlie Crist's issue stances & voting record.

Ted Kennedy succession: Aug. 31, 2009

Special election set for Jan. 19, 2010

Amid fevered speculation about possible contenders for Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s seat, Gov. Deval Patrick scheduled a special election for Jan. 19 and said he would keep pushing the state legislature to change the law so he could name an interim successor.

Shortly before his death last week, Mr. Kennedy wrote legislative leaders asking them to revise the law so his seat would not stay vacant for months. The legislature indicated Monday that it would decide quickly whether to grant his request, scheduling a public hearing on the proposal for Sept. 9. Many lawmakers criticized the proposal in the days before Mr. Kennedy’s death, but legislative leaders, at least, have since hinted they would support it.

Massachusetts has not had an open Senate seat since 1984, and excitement is running high about two possible candidates in particular: Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy’s widow, and Joseph P. Kennedy II, his nephew. Ms. Kennedy reiterated on Monday that she was not interested in the seat, people close to the family said.

Joseph Kennedy, 56, a former congressman from Massachusetts, has $2 million in leftover campaign money. At a memorial service for his uncle last week, he spoke of the importance of public service and of chasing “the same goals and ideals that Senator Ted Kennedy lived his life for.” Friends say he is still considering whether to run.

Other possible contenders include Attorney General Martha Coakley, Representatives Michael E. Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey; and former Representative Martin T. Meehan, who retired in 2007 to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Mr. Patrick ruled himself out as a candidate on Monday, saying he was focused on winning re-election next year.

Although the seat will almost certainly go to a Democrat, several Republicans are also said to be interested in running, including Kerry Healey, who was lieutenant governor under Gov. Mitt Romney, and Michael J. Sullivan, until recently the United States attorney in Massachusetts.

Source: Abby Goodnough, New York Times
Click for complete records of Ted Kennedy's or Deval Patrick's issue stances & voting record.

Ted Kennedy succession: Aug. 20, 2009

Asked MA Legislature to change rules prior to his death on Aug. 25

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in a poignant acknowledgment of his mortality at a critical time in the national health care debate, has privately asked the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law to guarantee that Massachusetts will not lack a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant.

In a personal, sometimes wistful letter sent Tuesday to Governor Deval Patrick [and legislative leaders], Kennedy asks that Patrick be given authority to appoint someone to the seat temporarily before voters choose a new senator in a special election.

Although Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, does not specifically mention his illness or the health care debate raging in Washington, the implication of his letter is clear: He is trying to make sure that the leading cause in his life, better health coverage for all, advances in the event of his death.

In his letter, which was obtained by the Globe, Kennedy said that he backs the current succession law, enacted in 2004, which gives voters the power to fill a US Senate vacancy. But he said the state and country need two Massachusetts senators.

“I strongly support that law and the principle that the people should elect their senator,’’ Kennedy wrote. “I also believe it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election.’’

Under the 2004 law, if Kennedy were to die or step down, voters would select his successor in a special election to be held within five months of the vacancy. But the law makes no provisions for Massachusetts to be represented in the Senate in the interim. In the meantime, President Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system, the fate of which may hinge on one or two votes, could come before Congress.

“I am now writing to you about an issue that concerns me deeply, the continuity of representation for Massachusetts, should a vacancy occur,’’ Kennedy wrote.

To ensure that the special election is fair, the senator also urged that the governor obtain an “explicit personal commitment’’ from his appointee not to seek the office on a permanent basis.

{Note: Sen. Kennedy passed away five days after the letter was made public.]

Source: Frank Phillips, Boston Globe
Click for complete records of Ted Kennedy's or Deval Patrick's issue stances & voting record.

Gubernatorial debate coverage begins: Aug. 12, 2009

New Jersey and Virginia debates

New Jersey and Virginia are the only states with gubernatorial races in 2009. OnTheIssues coverage of their debates have begun:

In addition, several governors have taken office in 2009:

Click for details of other Governors.

Sen. Mel Martinez (R, FL) resigns: Aug. 7, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist (R, FL) to appoint successor, perhaps himself

Sen. Mel Martinez told friends and supporters Friday in an e-mail that he'll step down from the Senate as soon as a replacement is appointed to fill out his term. ``My priorities have always been my faith, my family and my country and at this stage in my life, and after nearly 12 years of public service in Florida and Washington, it's time I return to Florida and my family,'' said Martinez, who had already ruled out a run for reelection in 2010.

In an extraordinary turn of events, Gov. Charlie Crist, the leading Republican to replace Martinez in the U.S. Senate, will have the power to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Martinez's term.

Crist has denied that he'd appoint himself. He's expected to make an announcement on a fill-in before the end of the August recess when the Senate returns to Washington. Some names already surfacing: former Sen. Connie Mack, former Gov. Bob Martinez and former Secretary of State Jim Smith. Some speculate that Crist might step down as governor, thereby elevating Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, who could then appoint Crist to the Senate.

Source: Lesley Clark & Marc Caputo, Miami Herald
Click for complete records of Charlie Crist's or Mel Martinez' issue stances & voting record.

Sonia Sotomayor confirmed: Aug. 6, 2009

Replaces David Souter on the Supreme Court

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who rose from the housing projects of the Bronx to the top of the legal profession, made history Thursday when the Senate confirmed her to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

Sotomayor was easily confirmed in a 68-31 vote. Nine Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic caucus in supporting her nomination. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, supported Sotomayor but was not present for the vote because of illness.

Sotomayor, a 55-year-old federal appeals court judge, will be the 111th person to sit on the high court and the third female justice. She will be sworn in at the Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday.

Sotomayor was confirmed after senators spent a final day of debate rehashing arguments for and against her. Democrats continued to praised Sotomayor as a fair and impartial jurist with an extraordinary life story. Many Republicans portrayed her as a judicial activist intent on reinterpreting the law to conform with her own liberal political beliefs.

Among other things, Republican opponents emphasized concerns over her statements and rulings on hot-button issues such as gun control, affirmative action and property rights. They also raised questions about some of her most controversial speeches and statements, including her hope that a "wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences" would reach a better conclusion than a white man "who hasn't lived that life."

Source: CNN.com
Click for complete records of David Souter's or Sonia Sotomayor's issue stances & voting record.

Sarah Palin (R, AK) resigns: July 26, 2009

Sean Parnell sworn in as Governor

As thousands of cheering supporters vowed to keep her feisty, down-home political legacy alive, Sarah Palin stepped down as Alaska governor Sunday, pledging to continue fighting for independence from Washington and for Americans' personal freedoms "as that grizzly guards her cubs."

The hand-over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell at a family-style picnic marked an unexpected end to a brief but remarkable governorship in which the 45-year-old hockey mom turned the Republican Party on its head and propelled Alaska's frontier-style, moose-meat-picnic politics into the national dialogue.

"Let's not start believing that government is the answer," she told the largely affectionate crowd of about 5,000 at Pioneer Park. "It can't help make you healthy or wealthy or wise. What can? It is the wisdom of the people. . . . It is God's grace, helping those who help themselves."

Betraying no sadness or second thoughts, she chastised those who question why she stepped down 18 months before the end of her term. "It should be so obvious to you," she said. "It is because I love Alaska this much, sir, that I feel that it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical politics-as-usual lame-duck session in one's last year in office. . . . I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right. And I have never felt that you need a title to do that."

Palin has declined to say what she plans to do next -- other than write a book and make public appearances, beginning Aug. 8 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Simi Valley. She has not ruled out a bid for the presidency in 2012. At Sunday's picnic, few supporters appeared to believe that she would stay out of the limelight for long.

Source: Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
Click for complete records of Sarah Palin's issue stances & voting record.

Al Franken finally to be seated: July 1, 2009

Norm Coleman concedes election after more than 7 months of controversy

He will be the "un-Al." He will be Minnesota's myth-busting senator. As much as he'll tilt toward the left, he might sway toward Minnesota-style boredom, at least at the start.

As the pivotal Sixtieth Democrat, Al will be on the very fault line of American politics. He will have to show the same remarkable discipline and control that he mustered in defeating Republican Sen. Norm Coleman … In an ironic twist, a man who got famous for his out-of-bounds, deliberately over-the-top humor must once again be a model of decorum and close-to-the-vest style as he enters the Senate.

Franken threw his hat into the Minnesota Senate race on Valentine's Day, 2007. He was thin-skinned then. He could be a bit surly. He was still often in a radio-talk-show mode, seemingly searching for Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly in every corner as they were for him.

Then he donned his dress suit and entered the marathon of getting the DFL nomination, running against Norm Coleman and surviving the recount.

During the campaign, Franken spoke of an "Apollo Project" for renewable energy (focused on job creation), easing the middle class squeeze (with a series of tax credits and a new retirement plan) and getting to an American model of universal health care.

During his victory speech Tuesday, he echoed those priorities, saying he wants to make quality health care accessible and affordable to all Minnesotans, to educate the state's children to prepare them for a "21st century economy," to make Minnesota "the epicenter of a new renewable energy economy," to restore "our standing in the world and put people to work here at home."

Thus we heard the Franken priorities and a map to chart over the next five-and-half years.

When Coleman was asked Tuesday what kind of senator he thought Franken would be, he said, "I hope he'll be a senator in the Minnesota tradition. We've had great senators."

Coleman said he wanted to be careful about offering advice, but added: "So often, we think of the job of the U.S. senator as standing on the floor debating the great issues of the day … A lot of what I thought was important was the customer service aspect, the citizen service aspect … There are great debates to be had, but helping that mom get a kid in Haiti . . . is a pretty big deal. My hope would be that he understands, as I understood in my public career, that the public service part is really fundamental."

Franken's local office is already revved up to begin such constituent services and has been planning for that "customer service" mode throughout the election contest.

Source: Jay Weiner, Minnesota Post
Click for complete records of Al Franken's or Norm Coleman's issue stances & voting record.

Rep. John McHugh (R, NY-23) appointed to Obama adminstration: June 11, 2009

Special election to fill McHugh's seat is now underway

The gradual but unmistakable Democratic trend in New York’s 23rd District has Republicans worried about their ability to keep it in GOP hands when Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) officially steps down later this year to become secretary of the Army.

Since first winning the seat in 1992, McHugh has never seriously been threatened in the historically Republican seat. But over the past four years, there’s been a pronounced shift to the left in the North Country-area seat.

The GOP registration edge in the district has dwindled from about 63,000 to less than 47,000. In 2006, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton won lopsided victories in the district. Then, in 2008, Barack Obama won the district over John McCain, 52 percent to 47 percent — a notable turnaround in a district that George W. Bush carried twice.

Now, Democrats are eyeing McHugh’s district, which, if lost, would leave Republicans with just two of New York’s 29 House seats.

Under New York election rules, the 10 other Democratic county chairmen in the district — like their Republican counterparts — will select a party nominee for the special election, which will take place after McHugh resigns, possibly later this summer.

The most widely mentioned potential Democratic candidate is state Sen. Darrel Aubertine, who won a historically Republican seat last year. On the GOP side, the most frequently mentioned names are New York state Reps. Will Barclay and Dede Scozzafava.

[On June 11], one candidate officially entered the race for the 23rd Congressional District in New York. Republican Legislator Paul Maroun of Tupper Lake will run for the seat being vacated by Congressman John McHugh.

Source: Politico.com (June 10) and WCAX-TV (June 11)
Click for complete records of John McHugh's issue stances & voting record.

Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia: June 9, 2009

Creigh Deeds to face Bob McDonnell in November

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds won the three-way Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, an impressive showing for the candidate who was the least-well funded in the race. And while the momentum was clearly heading in his direction, his capturing of nearly 50 percent of the vote was the big headline of the night. Trailing well behind were former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and former state Delegate Brian Moran.

Deeds will face former state Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) in November. The winner will succeed Democrat Tim Kaine, who is barred by state law from succeeding himself. Four years ago, McDonnell defeated Deeds for the AG post by just 323 votes

Source: NPR.org
Click for complete records of Tim Kaine's issue stances & voting record.

Republican gubernatorial primary in New Jersey: June 2, 2009

Chris Christie to face Jon Corzine in November

Chris Christie won the Republican primary this evening, defeating challenger Steve Lonegan and earning a chance to unseat Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in this fall's election.

Turnout was light across the state, despite the hotly contested battle between front-runner Christie, a former U.S. prosecutor, and challenger Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota.

The Associated Press declared Christie the winner around 10 p.m., about two hours after the polls closed.

GOP Assemblyman Rick Merkt was also in the race, though he ran a distant third.

Corzine, who was expected to win easily in the Democratic primary, kicked off his campaign with a rally at the Codey Arena in West Orange. Vice President Joe Biden headlined the event.

Source: Kelly Heyboer, The Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger
Click for complete records of Jon Corzine's issue stances & voting record.

Sonia Sotomayor nominated for Supreme Court: May 26, 2009

Would replace David Souter omce confirmed by Senate

Sonia Sotomayor - who rose from the broken-glass streets of a city housing project to become the Supreme Court's first Latina nominee - says she's just a "kid from the Bronx."

"It is a daunting feeling to be here," Sotomayor, 54, said minutes after President Obama nominated her to replace Associate Justice David Souter.

The daughter of the Bronx recalled getting a tour of the White House after she was named an appeals court judge 11 years ago.

"It was an overwhelming experience for a kid from the South Bronx. Yet never in my wildest childhood imaginings did I ever envision that moment, let alone ... this moment," she said.

"I hope that as the Senate and American people learn more about me, they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences."

If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first Hispanic justice on the nation's highest court.

Source: Michael Saul, New York Daily News
Click for complete records of David Souter's issue stances & voting record.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher appointed to sub-Cabinet: May 5, 2009

Special election (CA-10) to be scheduled in summer

President Barack Obama on Tuesday formally nominated Ellen Tauscher, a seven-term member of Congress who is considered an expert on defense, as his top arms control official.

Tauscher, who represents a California district, has a record of introducing arms control and counter proliferation legislation and has campaigned for greater oversight of the US Missile Defense Agency.

She said in a statement that she decided to take the job of under secretary of state for arms control and international security after a period of "soul searching."

"Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, making sure other countries do not obtain them and, one day, I hope, ridding the world of these terrible weapons, has become my passion and, I hope, my life's work," she said.

* * *

Source: AFP news Service
Click for complete records of Ellen Tauscher's issue stances & voting record.

David Souter announces resignation: May 2, 2009

Obama's first Supreme Court nomination to come

With one judge aged 89, another aged 76 and receiving chemotherapy and three others in their seventies, the odds were that a Supreme Court vacancy would come up during Barack Obama's four-year term. The surprise is that it was David Souter, a relative spring chicken at 69, who decided to leave the nine-member court

This seems to have been a rare occasion where someone had genuine "personal reasons" for leaving a high profile job. It was well known that Mr Souter, only the sixth bachelor to sit on the illustrious bench, has long yearned for a life outside Washington. He once told acquaintances that he had "the world's best job in the world's worst city".

He maintained a sparsely furnished apartment in the capital and led a decidedly low-tech lifestyle, with no mobile phone, email, television or even answering machine. When the court finished its work every summer, he quickly departed for his beloved New Hampshire - always driving himself the 500 miles home - where he climbed and walked. Friends said on Friday that he wanted to enjoy the outdoors in his waning years, rather than spending October to July in the nation's capital.

Mr Souter has been on the court since 1990, when President George Bush plucked him the federal appeals court circuit. He was heavily touted by John Sununu, the Bush White House aide and former conservative governor of New Hampshire, who hailed his choice as a "home run".

Early in his time in Washington, Mr Souter was called a moderate conservative. But he soon joined in a ruling reaffirming a woman's right to an abortion, a decision from 1992 that remains perhaps his most noted work on the court. He gradually became a mostly reliable liberal vote on the court and was one of the four dissenters in the 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore that sealed the presidential election for George W. Bush.

Source: Alex Spillius, London Telegraph (UK)
Click for complete records of David Souter's issue stances & voting record.

Arlen Specter (R, PA) switches party: April 29, 2009

Switched from GOP to Dem. in 1966; now comes full circle

Arlen Specter, who has represented Pennsylvania in the upper chamber since 1980, said he was "anxious" to stay in the Senate -- and he did not want to face a Republican primary in order to keep his seat next year. "I was unwilling to subject my 29-year record in the U.S. Senate to the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate," he said. "But I am pleased to run in the primary on the Democratic ticket and am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers in the general election."

Polls suggested Specter would face a stiff primary challenge from Rep. Pat Toomey, who falls to his right on the political spectrum. Toomey nearly defeated Specter in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary in 2004. Specter's move puts the Democrats one shy of a rare filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats. Senate Democrats can now reach the 60-seat mark if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.

"As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party," Specter said in announcing his decision Tuesday. He said he made the final decision to switch parties and end a 44-year affiliation with the GOP after consulting with his campaign advisers and family over the weekend.

Source: Alan Silverleib and Deirdre Walsh on CNN
Click for complete records of Arlen Specter's or Pat Toomey's issue stances & voting record.

Democrat Scott Murphy wins special election: April 27, 2009

Results finalized after long recount from March 31 special election

Murphy's opponent, Republican Jim Tedisco, conceded after what had been an extremely close race. Weeks after the special election on March 31, ballots were opened, counted, and contested.. On Friday, with Murphy ahead by almost 400 votes, Tedisco conceded.

Scott Murphy will replace Kirsten Gillibrand in the 20th congressional district (who was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat).

Murphy talked about the strong voter turnout and he spoke of working with people of different parties for economic development. "For the last 15 years I've been starting small businesses. I've been working with companies all across upstate New York to create over 1,000 jobs," said Congressman-Elect Murphy in his address to the crowd. "That's what I've done in the private sector. People said it couldn't be done there. Well we did it. People said we couldn't win this election. Well we did. People don't believe we can get the economy moving here in the 20th district and I tell you, we can!"

Murphy expects to be sworn in as member of Congress on Wednesday in Washington.

Source: Kumi Tucker, WNYT Channel 13
Click for complete records of Kirsten Gillibrand's and Hillary Clinton's issue stances & voting record.

Governor Perry discusses Texas Secession: April 22, 2009

No, Rick Perry did not call for secession!

Governor Rick Perry didn't actually endorse secession when he spoke at an antitax tea party at Austin city hall. But you could forgive people for misunderstanding, since he's been railing against an overreaching Federal Government, rejected stimulus spending and quoted Sam Houston's declaration that "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression." Perry, who faces a tight re-election campaign against that notorious Washington insider "Kay Bailout Hutchison," observed that he thought the U.S. was still a "great union," but "if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that?" (See pictures of tea-party tax protests across the country.)

A Zogby poll last summer found that 1 in 5 Americans thinks states and regions should have the right to leave, which means that the revolutionary DNA of 234 years ago still persists in our bloodstream. Maybe every couple of hundred years, the country should have the debate, just to keep our muscles warm.

The secessionist movements alive today in Vermont, Hawaii and California are not really battles between left and right: they include libertarian Marxists and tribal-rights activists and anarchists and greens and every other ideology, all stirred up by their opposition to big national government.

While we work all this out, I have an idea for Governor Perry. The 1845 Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas omits the right to secede but affirms Texas' right to divide itself into five states if it chooses.

Source: Nancy Gibbs editorial in Time Magazine
Click for complete records of Kay Bailey Hutchison's and Gov. Rick Perry's's issue stances & voting record.

"Tea Party" protests held on Tax Day across the nation: April 15, 2009

Echoing Boston Tea party of 1773

Whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged "tea parties" around the country yesterday to tap into the collective angst stirred up by a bad economy, government spending, and bailouts.

The rallies were directed at President Obama's administration on a symbolic day: the deadline to file income taxes. Protesters even threw what appeared to be a box of tea bags toward the White House, causing a brief lockdown at the compound.

Shouts rang out from Kentucky, which just passed tax increases on cigarettes and alcohol, to Salt Lake City, where many in the crowd booed Governor Jon Huntsman, a Republican, for accepting about $1.5 billion in stimulus money. Even in Alaska, where there is no statewide income tax or sales tax, hundreds of people held signs and chanted "No more spending."

In Boston, a few hundred protesters gathered on the Common - a short distance from the original Tea Party protest in 1773 - some dressed in Revolutionary garb and carrying signs that said "Barney Frank, Bernie Madoff: And the Difference Is?" and "D.C.: District of Communism."

The tea parties were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by Dick Armey of Texas, a former Republican House Majority Leader who is now a lobbyist.

While FreedomWorks insisted the rallies were nonpartisan, they have been seized on by many prominent Republicans who view them as a promising way for the party to reclaim its momentum.

Source: Associated Press in Boston Globe, "Thousands in US protest tax day with 'tea parties'"
Click for complete records of Barney Frank's and Jon Huntsman's issue stances & voting record.

Upstate New York special election still pending: April 11, 2009

Vote result from Tuesday April 7 still undetermined

[In the race to replace Kirstin Gillibrand, who was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat], in New York's 20th Congressional District special election, all counties have now completed the canvassing, or recanvassing, of machine votes. The final vote tally excluding the absentee and military ballots was 76,992 for Democrat Scott Murphy (D-NY) to 77,060 for Republican James "Jim" Tedisco (R-NY). Including a partial count of absentee ballots, Murphy leads Tedisco by 77,804 to 77,769.

It is likely that the vote from Saratoga County, which represents almost one-third of the voting population, will determine the outcome of the race. Tedisco received 4607 more votes cast on election day in Saratoga County. If the absentee ballots from the district reflected the voting population on election day, Tedisco will likely emerge as the winner.

Some have begun discussing the possibility that no one will be declared the winner. The situation, known under state election law as a "failure to elect," would recreate the vacancy which already exists for the position. Governor David A. Paterson (D-NY) could then call for another special election, or leave the position vacant until November when county elections are scheduled.

Source: Albany Times Union via DcPoliticalReport.com
Click for complete records of Kirsten Gillibrand's and Hillary Clinton's issue stances & voting record.

Mike Quigley wins special election: April 7, 2009

Wins IL-5 race to replace Rahm Emanuel

Democrat Mike Quigley's presumptive status as congressman became official Tuesday as he won 69 percent of the vote in a record-low turnout general election.

The tax-fighting Cook County commissioner and part-time amateur hockey player says he is ready to hit the ground voting when he is sworn in April 24.

Only one in 10 voters came out in this generally Democratic district that stretches from Lincoln Park to the DuPage County line. Republican Rosanna Pulido won 24 percent of the vote and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel took 7 percent.

Rahm Emanuel left this seat to become President Obama's chief of staff. In Iraq with the president Tuesday, Emanuel was asked by a Marine if he voted absentee for Quigley. [He said he did not.]

Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Click for complete records of Rahm Emanuel's issue stances & voting record.

Former Sen. Norm Coleman promises continuation of legal challenges: April 5, 2009

Race against Al Franken will likely extend until May

Five months after Minnesota voters thought they elected a U.S. senator, perhaps they will soon get one. And perhaps not.

A legal ruling last week strongly suggests that Democrat Franken, the comedian-turned-politician, will eke out a narrow victory over Republican Coleman, the incumbent. A state appeals court panel will meet Tuesday to oversee the counting of up to 400 absentee ballots, a potentially pivotal sliver of the 2.9 million votes cast last fall, and eventually rule on the disputed election that has Franken up by 225 votes.

The outcome hinges, though, on when the court battles end. The painstaking re-examination of the November election has tried the patience of Minnesota voters, who have watched as lawyers, judges and out-of-town politicians and bloggers weigh in on the Senate race that doesn't seem to want to end.

Franken has been ahead, based on a recount completed in early January, but continued legal challenges have prevented the election from being certified by Minnesota's secretary of state, Democrat Mark Ritchie, and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Until they certify the election result, Franken cannot take a seat in the Senate, meaning Democrats effectively have 58 seats instead of 59 and Minnesota has only one senator.

Coleman promised last week that he would appeal the upcoming appeals court ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which would almost certainly delay any resolution into May.

Another possible scenario is going to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would drag things out further, or filing a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the November election.

Despite all the resources spent in the fight—nearly $40 million in the election alone—neither candidate is wildly popular with voters. Each collected 42 percent of the vote, with thinly financed Independent candidate Dean Barkley getting 15 percent. The winner—now it looks like Franken—will not go to Washington with the warm wishes of the majority.

Source: Tim Jones, Chicago Tribune
Click for complete records of Norm Coleman's or Al Franken's issue stances & voting record.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher appointed to State Dept.: Mar. 19, 2009

Rep. Tauscher (D, CA-10) to resign; see Tauscher's issue stances

Democratic Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher confirmed just Wednesday that she has been offered a high-level State Department post in the Obama administration — and prospective candidates already are stepping in or taking themselves out of contention to succeed her in California’s 10th District seat.

Two well-known regional Democratic officeholders, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, have expressed interest in the seat. Many state lawmakers are likely to consider running, given the term limits placed on them by state election law.

Any candidate activity is just positioning for now, as the seat will not become vacant unless and until Tauscher — elected last November to a seventh House term — is confirmed by the Senate to be undersecretary of State for arms control and international security.

Should Tauscher vacate her House seat, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would call a special election in which candidates of all parties would run on a single ballot. If one candidate receives a majority in the primary, he or she would be declared the outright winner. In the absence of a majority winner in the primary, the top vote-getter in each party would advance to a special general election.

Republicans don’t have a deep bench of elected officials in this district. One whose name has been floated as a possible House candidate is San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, who lost a bid for state Assembly last fall.

Source: Rachel Kapochunas, CQ Politics
Click for complete records of Rep. Ellen Tauscher's issue stances & voting record.

Rep. Hilda Solis appointed to Labor Dept.: Mar. 10, 2009

Gov. Schwarzenegger announces special election for July 14


"I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim and order that a special election shall be held on the 14th day of July, 2009 within the 32nd Congressional District of the State to fill the vacancy in the office of the Member of Congress from said district resulting from the resignation of Hilda Solis."

Candidates of all parties run on a single ballot. If one candidate receives a majority in the primary, he or she would be declared the outright winner. In the absence of a majority winner in the primary, the top vote-getter in each party would advance to a special general election. Likely contenders include:

Source: DcPoliticalReport.com and State of California
Click for complete records of Rep. Hilda Solis's or Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's issue stances & voting record.

Obama address joint session of Congress: Feb. 24, 2009

Excerpts and analysis of Pres. Obama's speech

Barack Obama continues to enjoy the support of most Americans, and his speech on Tuesday evening to both houses of Congress – a State of the Union address in all but name – did nothing to erode it. The president spoke to the country, not even pretending to address the audience before him. In a relaxed performance, Mr Obama sounded winning themes familiar from his election campaign and by popular demand mixed a bit more optimism and a bit less gloom than of late into the blend. This is the United States, he said: we are not quitters. No indeed.

Fine, although one wonders how much longer Mr Obama will be able to give this speech. He said nothing new. He offered no real information to explain what will become of the banks, or how the budget deficit will eventually be brought back under control, or how his expensive and increasingly confident promises to reform education and healthcare will be paid for. In every case, it was “details to follow”.

Source: Financial Times (London)
Click for complete excerpts and analysis of Pres. Obama's speech.

Gov. Gary Locke nominated for Commerce Secretary: Feb. 23, 2009

First Chinese-American governor (D, WA)

Former Gov. Gary Locke is President Barack Obama's likely pick for commerce secretary, a senior administration official said Monday.

Obama's expected choice of Locke arose less than two weeks after his most recent pick, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, backed out, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with the policies of the Democratic president.

Obama originally gave the post, which requires Senate confirmation, to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat and a former 2008 presidential candidate. Richardson withdrew in January, before Obama took office, after the disclosure that a grand jury is investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the awarding of contracts in his state.

Locke, a Democrat, was the nation's first Chinese-American governor. He served two terms, ending in 2005.

The Commerce Department post is typically not one of the more high-profile jobs in an administration. The head of the department oversees agencies responsible for the once-a-decade census, for oceans policy and for many aspects of international trade, among other things.

Source: Associated Press in Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Click for complete records of Gary Locke's issue stances.

Judd Gregg withdraws from Commerce Secretary nomination: Feb. 13, 2009

Would have been Republican in a Democrat's Cabinet

A day after U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., announced that he was withdrawing his nomination as commerce secretary, political observers said the gap between Republicans and Democrats is as wide as ever.

"It would have been difficult for me, after having presented my opinions and having said my two cents worth, and then had it go a different way," Gregg said. "Then, it would have been difficult for me to be out 100 percent behind the president, where I should be."

On Capitol Hill, Republicans called Gregg's move a principled decision.

Gregg said he believes Obama wanted him to be commerce secretary because of his ideas.

"I think the president wanted me in his Cabinet because he thought I'd bring a different voice and be a constructive person at the table," Gregg said.

Few would argue the senator's qualifications for the job, having served on the Budget Committee for years and being a major force behind the TARP stimulus plan.

Source: WMUR-9, New Hampshire
Click for complete records of Judd Gregg's issue stances & voting record.

Collection of State of the State speeches: Feb. 1, 2009

Governors' speeches all this week

This week and next week, all governors will report on the State of the State to their respective legislatures. We cover as many as possible -- check out our coverage as it grows for this year, and check out previous years:

Click for details of other Governors.

Kirsten Gillibrand appointed to Senate: Jan. 23, 2009

Appointed by Governor David Paterson to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

"The next junior Senator from New York will have big shoes to fill. This seat has been held by icons of New York State: Robert Francis Kennedy, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s confirmation as Secretary of State was a bittersweet moment for all New Yorkers. On one hand, we were thrilled that someone of her caliber would be representing America to the world. But on the other hand, at a time of grave economic and fiscal challenges, we were losing one of our strongest voices and most powerful advocates.

"I am proud to say that we have found an extraordinary New Yorker to follow in the mold of Hillary Clinton.

"Kirsten Gillibrand is not only a rising star; she also possesses a deep understanding and a strong record of accomplishment on the issues that matter most today."

Source: Gov. Paterson's press release
Click for complete records of Kirsten Gillibrand's and Hillary Clinton's issue stances & voting record.

Roland Burris sworn into Senate: Jan. 16, 2009

Follow our developing coverage of Roland Burris's issue stances

A week ago, he was left standing in the cold rain outside the Capitol. Thursday, all was different and all was forgiven. And Roland Burris was a member of the United States Senate.

His wild political ride came to an end after he was sworn in as Illinois' junior senator, surrounded and glad-handed by the very Democrats who earlier vowed to keep him from office, saying then that his appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich was tainted by scandal.

One of the figures instrumental in attempting to keep Burris from his seat, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), escorted him to the front of the Senate chamber shortly after 2 p.m. local time. Burris, carrying a large Bible, was given the oath of office by Vice President Dick Cheney.

A few hours later, he cast his first vote, against a resolution that would block hundreds of billions of dollars in funds the incoming Obama administration wants to use for propping up the financial markets. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid walked Burris to the center of the chamber and showed him how to record his vote.

Source: James Oliphant, Chicago Tribune
Click for complete records of Roland Burris's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

Norm Coleman's election lawsuit upheld by governor: Jan. 12, 2009

Al Franken's request for certification denied

The Al Franken campaign today asked Gov. Tim Pawlenty to step into the U.S. Senate recount-cum-election challenge. Indeed, Franken’s side said it is Pawlenty’s “duty” to do so as early as today.

According to the Canvassing Board, Franken won the 2008 U.S. Senate race by 225 votes. Norm Coleman filed last week an election challenge petition [requiring a court decision].

Pawlenty issued a statement saying he won't sign the certificate of election: "I have a duty to follow state law, and our statutes are clear on this issue. I am prohibited from issuing a certificate of election until the election contest in the courts has been resolved."

Indeed, Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote an opinion piece in Roll Call, the Washington publication, saying Franken shouldn’t be seated until the courts decide in Minnesota.

Source: Jay Weiner, MinnPost.com
Click for complete records of Al Franken's issue stances or and Norm Coleman's issue stances & voting record.

New US Senate sworn in: Jan. 6, 2009

Nine new members in U.S. Senate; 4 seats still pending

While most attention is on the two US Senate seats that remain vacant, it's a big day for the 98 senators who are there.

Nine new senators are taking the oath of office today:


Click for details of each Senate race.

Meet Your New Cabinet's books: Dec. 26th, 2008

Books from Obama's designated Cabinet members

Click for details of Bush & Obama Cabinet.

Governor of Illinois arrested: Dec. 10th, 2008

Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces corruption charges for offering to sell Pres.-Elect Obama's senate seat

President-Elect Obama resigned his Senate seat in November. The Governor of Illinois has sole authority to appoint a replacement, which could include appointing himself. Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D, IL) was arrested and indicted for corruption, charged with offering the Senate appointment to the highest bidder, among numerous other charges.

It seems likely that Gov. Blagojevich will resign or be impeached, although he is still legally entitled to make the Senate appointment up until the day he leaves office. The growing list of appointments and special elections due to the incoming Obama administration are....
    2009 appointments and special elections:
  • AZ: Gov. Janet Napolitano designated as Attorney General.
    If Napolitano is confirmed in early 2009, Secy. of State Jan Brewer (R) will become Governor.
  • CA-31: Rep. Hilda Solis designated as Secretary of Labor.
    If Solis is confirmed in early 2009, a special election will be held later in 2009.
  • CO: Sen. Ken Salazar designated as Secretary of Interior.
    If Salazar is confirmed in early 2009, Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will appoint his successor for a 2-year term, until a special election which will be held in Nov. 2010.
  • DE: Vice.Pres.-Elect Biden will resign his Senate seat; and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner has designated his successor:
    Ted Kaufman will be Biden's successor, until a special election which will be held in Nov. 2010.
  • IL: Pres.-Elect Obama has resigned his Senate seat, and Gov. Rod Blagojevich will appoint his successor.
    If Blagojevich leaves office, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) will become governor and will appoint Obama's successor. The Illinois legislature could change the state's Senate successor law from gubernatorial appointment to special election, but that would require the governor's signature or a veto override.
  • IL-5:Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D), designated as White House Chief of Staff.
    A special election will be held in 2009, after Rep. Emanuel resigns.
  • NM: Gov. Bill Richardson designated as Secretary of Commerce.
    If Richardson is confirmed in early 2009, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) will become Governor.
  • NY: Sen. Hillary Clinton designated as Secretary of State.
    If Clinton is confirmed in early 2009, Gov. David Paterson (D) will appoint her successor.
    Paterson became governor in March 2008 when his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, resigned amid a sex scandal.

Click for issue stances of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Meet Your New Governors: Dec. 5th, 2008

Governor's races in 2008-2009

Three gubernatorial races elected new governors; two special elections are pending, and two general elections in 2009:
2008 elections:
D,NC: Governor-Elect Bev Perdue
D,DE: Governor-Elect Jack Markell
D,MO: Governor-Elect Jay Nixon

Pending elections:
D,AZ: Gov. Janet Napolitano designated as Attorney General (requires Senate confirmation, Jan. 2009)
R,AZ: Secy. of State Jan Brewer will become Governor if Napolitano is confirmed.
D,NM: Gov. Bill Richardson designated as Secretary of Commerce (requires Senate confirmation, Jan. 2009)
D,NM: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish will become Governor if Richardson is confirmed.

2009 elections:
D,NJ: Jon Corzine likely to not run for re-election
D,VA: Tim Kaine term-limited in 2009

Click for details of each Governor's race.

Meet Your New Congress: Nov. 25th, 2008

The freshman class of the U.S. House

Three House elections are still undecided; and one House special election is pending:

Pending elections:
(Appointed White House Chief of Staff)
  • CA-31:Solis(D)
    (Announced as Secretary of Labor)
    CA-4:Brown(D) vs.McClintock(R)
    UPDATE: McClintock won recount on Dec. 3rd.
    LA-2:Jefferson(D) vs.Cao(R)
    UPDATE: Cao won runoff on Dec. 6th.
    LA-4:Fleming(R) vs.Carmouche(D)
    UPDATE: Fleming won runoff on Dec. 6th.
    OH-15:Kilroy(D) vs.Stivers(R)
    UPDATE: Kilroy won recount on Dec. 7th.
    VA-5:Goode(R) vs.Perriello(D)
    UPDATE: Perriello won recount on Dec. 17th.

    GOP Freshmen
    in 111th Congress:

  •      Dem. Freshmen
    in 111th Congress:


  • Summary (excluding three undecided races):
    29 new House Democrats
    20 new House Republicans

    Click for details of each House race.

    Meet Your New Senate: Nov. 18th, 2008

    The freshman class of the U.S. Senate

    Click for details of each Senate race.

    Meet Your New Cabinet: Nov. 11th, 2008

    Pres.Elect Obama appoints Chief of Staff: Rep. Rahm Emanuel

    Pres.-Elect Obama has selected Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel will assist in selecting the president's Cabinet.

    Click for details of Bush Cabinet.

    OnTheIssues Election Results: Nov. 4th, 2008
    (updated figures as of Nov. 19)

    Obama over McCain, 365 to 173

    Our presidential prediction was correct in 42 states and incorrect in 8 states. Map below; click for larger version. We are most proud of our accurate prediction of a Nebraska electoral vote split, which most media organizations are still reporting incorrectly as of Nov. 19.

    2008 Electoral Results.
    Popoular vote results:
    Candidate Party Votes  Percent
    Barack Obama Democratic 67,981,686 52.77%
    John McCain Republican 59,082,002 45.86%
    Ralph Nader Independent 720,227  0.56%
    Bob Barr Libertarian 529,767  0.41%
    Chuck Baldwin Constitution 189,888  0.15%
    Cynthia McKinneyGreen 157,585  0.12%

    Click for John McCain's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

    OnTheIssues Senate election prediction: Oct. 31st, 2008

    We predict a net gain of 6 Senate seats for the Democrats

    We have a scary prediction for Halloween: Democrats will control the US House, the US Senate, and the US Presidency. We at OnTheIssues believe that hurts the "balance of powers", one of the core principles of the Constitution. But we believe this outcome will come about because the Republican Party did not learn the lesson of their 2006 election loss: the GOP continued pushing the same economic policy, and the same Iraq war policy, as before 2006, with the same predictable results in 2008. We believe that will be seen as an historical mistake; we only hope that the Republican Party will learn the lesson this time around, so that they can undo the gross imbalance of power in 2010.

    Click for details of each Senate race.

    OnTheIssues Election Prediction: Oct. 29th, 2008

    We predict Obama over McCain, 351 to 187

    Before you read this, you should know that OnTheIssues has predicted wrong in every presidential election since we were founded in 1999. With that in mind, we predict a small landslide for Barack Obama next Tuesday. Our detailed state-by-state prediction appears below (click for larger image).

    We predict that Obama will gain "blue states" over Kerry's 2004 results in the following categories:

    1. BIDEN STATES: Joe Biden is most popular in OH and PA, and will gain those for Obama. He MAY gain FL for Obama, but McCain will focus there in the final week and take it, we predict.
    2. BLACK STATES: Heavy African-American turnout in VA, NC, GA, and AR will turn those formerly red states blue.
    3. MOUNTAIN STATES: Demographic changes in will turn MT, CO, and NM blue -- but these changes are "permanent", because they represent changes in the entire electorate, compared to category #2's changes, which only apply to Obama.
    4. ELECTION SURPRISES: We predict that one electoral vote from Nebraska will go to Obama (they split their electoral votes by district; we predict the Omaha district will go for Obama while the rest of the state goes for McCain). We also predict that NH will go for McCain. NH is too libertarian to vote for Obama and too idiosyncratic to predict accurately. New Hampshirites have loved McCain since 1999.

    Click for John McCain's and Barack Obama's issue stances & voting record.

    OnTheIssues House election prediction: Oct. 21st, 2008

    We predict a net gain of 15 to 27 House seats for the Democrats

    2008 appears destined to be as bad a year for the Republican Party in the US House as 1994 was for the Democratic Party. In 1994, Newt Gingrich oversaw a massive turnover of House seats based on the Contract With America. In 2008, the paired woes of the economy and the Iraq War will oust dozens of Republican House members, we predict. In 1994, the Republicans enjoyed a net gain of 54 House seats, capturing the majority by a 26-seat margin. In 2008, the Democrats may enjoy nearly as large a victory, expanding upon their existing 235-199 majority, a 36-seat margin.

    The lists below indicate the vulnerable House seats for each party. (All challengers are detailed on our main House page). In summary, Republican incumbents have 58 vulnerable seats, while the Democrats have only 25 vulnerable seats. We categorize them as follows:

    Click for details of each House race.

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