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Obama announces for 2012: April 4, 2011

Formally launches re-election campaign

President Obama formally launched his reelection campaign Monday morning--illustrating his eagerness to start raising money for a race that could prove difficult but exposing himself to criticism for focusing on politics despite pressing crises at home and abroad.

The announcement--via an e-mail message and a Web video to supporters--makes Obama the first declared candidate in the 2012 presidential race. By filing his candidacy papers with the Federal Election Commission, the president will be able to start raising campaign money immediately.

Obama’s formal entrance into the race comes as his potential challengers are playing a surprising waiting game. For the 2008 race, former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) announced his candidacy in December 2006, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) did the same two months later. The entries of those two prominent candidates effectively forced other contenders to start as well, and almost a dozen candidates, including Obama, were running by April 2007. This time, although former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) formed an exploratory committee last month and is virtually certain to run, as is Romney, none of the most prominent Republicans has made it official. And Republicans say the first member of their party to enter would face what Obama already has to deal with as president: the pundits, press and their opponents watching their every move.

Sources: Washington Post, April 4
Click for complete records of Pres. Obama; or our 2012 Presidential VoteMatch quiz.

2011 Bill sponsorships: March 31, 2011

First round of House bills by new Republican Congress

OnTheIssues.org covers bill sponsorships as well as Congressional voting records. This set of House bills are the first bills introduced by the new GOP-majority House of Representatives. Most have not yet come to the House floor for a vote; we will cover voting records later in the year. Click below for sponsors of each 2011 bill:

11-HJR02Require a balanced budget, by Constitutional amendment
11-HJR03Constitutionally guarantee parent's right to educate kids
11-HR059Require Congressional certification of president's "Czars"
11-HRes20Ratify CEDAW (Discrimination Against Women)
11-HR002Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law
11-HR004Repeal ObamaCare reporting requirements for small business
11-HR025Replace income tax & estate tax with 23% sales tax
11-HR068Defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
11-HR091Repeal requirements for compact fluorescent bulbs
11-HR096End net neutrality; allow tiered Internet service
11-HR097No EPA regulation of greenhouse gases
11-HR104Dedicated funds for harbor maintenance
11-HR111Require insurers to cover breast cancer treatment
11-HR125Require defining constitutional authority for every new law
11-HR126Require video recording of every firearm test by ATF
11-HR127Remove all funding from the 2010 national healthcare law
11-HR140Redefine "birthright citizenship" to exclude illegal aliens
11-HR143Permanently repeal the estate tax
11-HR191Establish a public insurance option via healthcare Exchanges
11-HR204Reduce the salary of Members of Congress
11-HR212Congress shall protect life beginning with fertilization
11-HR217Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood
11-HR284Investigate mortgage discrimination in veterans & disabled

Source: Thomas Locator Service from the Library of Congress
Click for issue stances for Members of the House.

House Committee Memberships: March 6, 2011

Outline of newly-assigned House committees

When you see members of the U.S. House of Representatives on C-Span, they are usually on the "House floor", where final votes take place. But the real work of writing and editing bills takes place in House Committees. House Committee assignments were made in January and finalized in February; OnTheIssues.org includes on each House member's page their committee assignments. We summarize the committees with links to each member; some important committees are:

Source: U.S. House of Representatives, www.house.gov, Committee websites
Click for issue stances for Members of the House. or Lists of Committee memberships

Newt Gingrich prepares to announce for president: March 3, 2011

Excerpts from Newt's biography Newt! Revolution

Newt! Revolution was written in 1995, when Newt Gingrich's was the newly-elected Speaker of the House. He had just engineered the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, and had not yet fallen from power after struggles with Pres. Bill Clinton. Hence this book is a snapshot of Newt at the peak of his power. If Newt runs for President in 2012, as currently seems likely, this book will become a valuable indicator of his views before any post-Clinton lessons.

The book is important for two reasons in the 2012 presidential race: it pinpoints where Newt stands on the scale of conservatism; and demonstrates the consistency of his political views over time. Newt's 2009 book, Real Change, will be excerpted shortly, as will his 2011 book, "To Save America".

We have added Newt Gingrich to our early Presidential 2012 VoteMatch quiz, where you answer 20 questions and get matched issue-by-issue with the major candidates. All of the candidates for the Republican nomination discussed above are also included in the VoteMatch quiz.

This book is the second in our series of 2012 GOP presidential contenders. Also in preparation for the 2012 race, we cover retrospectives on the obama presidency from different political perspectives. Some of the other recently-excerpted books include:

Source: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Newt Gingrich or his biography, Newt! Revolution

Pentagon attempts to brainwash Members of Congress: Feb. 23, 2011

U.S. Army caught applying "psy-ops" illegally on Senators

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war– and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

The list of targeted visitors was long. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

According to the Defense Department’s own definition, psy-ops – the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on "hostile foreign groups." Federal law forbids the military from practicing psy-ops on Americans, and each defense authorization bill comes with a "propaganda rider" that also prohibits such manipulation.

Source: Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone Magazine
Click for issue stances for Members of the Senate or Mmebers of the House.

CPAC convention: Feb. 10-12, 2011

2012 Republican contenders speak at CPAC convention

For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., emerged as the potential presidential candidate that an active group of conservative activists want to see at the top of the Republican ticket in 2012. Paul won this year's Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll by a healthy margin. Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw vote in 2007, 2008 and 2009. 3,742 conference-goers voted in this years straw poll -- more than twice the number who participated in 2007.
ContenderPoll result
Rep. Ron Paul (TX)30%
Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) 23%
Gov. Gary Johnson (NM)6%
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)6%
Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA)5%
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)4%
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN)4%
Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN)4%
Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)3%

Source: Washington Post and Fox News
Click for policy statements from the 2011 CPAC convention

Two members of Congress resign: Feb. 9, 2011

Harman exits revolving door; Lee exits in sex scandal; 2 down; 433 to go.

Two members of Congress demonstrated today why voters should have an attitude of "Throw the bums out!". One Democrat and one Republican resigned from Congress, requiring special elections later in 2011 in New York and California.

Rep. Jane Harman (D, CA-36) is leaving Congress to go to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan research institution (a "think tank"). Harman is worth an estimated $300 million. She presumably quit Congress because the Democrats were no longer in control and millionaires don't like to toil away in the minority. Harman served all of 33 days of her 730 day commitment before announcing her departure.

Harman announced her resignation saying, "I'm just movin' down the street; I'm not leavin' this place." OnTheIssues.org considers that a restatement of the "revolving door" that members of Congress routinely claim to abhor when applied to others. It is difficult to believe that Harman was unaware of the Woodrow Wilson Center deal just three months ago at the time of her re-election, or just one month ago at her swearing-in, when she promised the people of her district to serve for two years.

Rep. Chris Lee (R, NY-26) has a more immediate crisis that forced his resignation -- a sex scandal. Lee abruptly resigned after a shirtless photo of himself, which he had e-mailed to a woman, was published on the Internet. Mr. Lee, who is married and has a son, replied to a personal ad that the woman had placed in the “Women for Men” section of Craigslist.

Mr. Lee’s office released a statement in which he asked for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” he wrote. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”

Under New York law, it falls to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to call a special election to find a successor for Mr. Lee. The special election in California, which has to be called by Gov. Jerry Brown, will test California's new election system: all candidates run in the primary and the top two finishers regardless of party face each other in a runoff.

Source: C-Span radio (Harman); Huffington Post (Harman); N.Y.Times (Lee); & OnTheIssues.org opinion (both)
Click for issue stances for Harman and Lee or other remaining House members.

State of the State speeches: Feb. 5, 2011

Round 2: Governors address state legislatures nationwide

To complement Obama's State of the Union speech, during January and February, Governors describe the "State of the State" to their legislatures. This is the second round of speech coverage; see our first round dated Jan. 16
    Upcoming speeches:
  • Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) March 1
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) March 8
  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) Feb. 16
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) Feb. 7
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) TBD
  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) TBD
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) Feb. 9

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for excerpts from other governors' State of the State speeches or other governors' views on the issues

Chicago Mayoral race: early voting underway: Feb. 1, 2011

Election day: Feb. 22, 2011

Mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Miguel del Valle kicked off the first day of early voting by casting ballots for themselves. Registered voters can cast ballots at any of the city's 51 early voting sites through Feb. 17. The elections board also allows "grace period" voting through Feb. 15 for individuals who are not already registered. Election Day is Feb. 22.

White House aides say President Obama has applied for an absentee ballot to vote for mayor in his hometown of Chicago.

Six candidates will appear on the February 22 ballot:

  • Gery Chico, former chief of staff to mayor Richard M. Daley and former chairman of the City Colleges of Chicago
  • Miguel del Valle, City Clerk of Chicago and former Illinois State Senator
  • Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and former U.S. Representative from Illinois's 5th district
  • Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. Senator from Illinois and former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand
  • Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, non-profit administrator and activist
  • William "Dock" Walls III, community activist and former aide to mayor Harold Washington
Emanuel’s candidacy was in jeopardy when an appeals court ruled that he didn’t meet the residency requirements to run for mayor. But, the Illinois Supreme Court last week reversed that ruling and ordered his name to be restored to the ballot.

Sources: Chicago Tribune (Jan. 31); Chicago Sun-Times (Jan. 31); Fox News (Feb. 1); and Wikipedia.com (Feb. 1)
Click for complete records of Rep. Rahm Emanuel's or Sen. Carol Moseley Braun's issue stances; or Emanuel's biography "The Thumpin'"; or Sen. Moseley Braun in the 2003-2004 Presidential primary debates.

Three Senators announce retirement: Jan. 23, 2011

Sens. Lieberman (I-CT), Conrad (D-ND), and Hutchison (R-TX) will not run in 2012

Q: Will the president find bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill? Joining me now, Senators Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, and from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. All three have recently declared they will not be seeking re-election. Sen. Lieberman, what will you be listening to from the president at the State of the Union?

LIEBERMAN: Well, the president listened to the results of the election in November, and that's -- that's the right thing to do in America. Elections have consequences. And since then, he has really reconnected to the vital center of American politics and, I think, to the American people.

Q: Sen. Hutchison, do you think the president can convey that message of unity and confidence to move forward?

HUTCHISON: I think he can convey the message. But I think the question is, will there be a follow-through? Will he really get his regulatory commissions to cut back on the regulations that are hurting the growth of business? Will he agree to some changes in the Obamacare which is keeping people from hiring?

Q: Senator Conrad, what does Obama need to say?

CONRAD: Well, I think three things. 1) growing the economy and jobs. 2) the debt threat. That's got to be taken on. 3) reducing our dependence on foreign energy.

Source: ABC This Week with Christine Amanpour
Click for all senators' views on the issues

State of the State speeches: Jan. 16, 2011

Governors address state legislatures nationwide

During January and February, Governors describe the "State of the State" to their legislatures, and outline their agenda for the year. (Obama will do the same in late January as the "State of the Union").
Governors' State of the State speeches: Upcoming speeches:
  • Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) Jan. 20
  • Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) Jan. 24
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) Feb. 7
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) Jan. 19
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) Jan. 25
  • Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) TBD
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) TBD
  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) TBD
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) TBD

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for excerpts from other governors' State of the State speeches or other governors' views on the issues

Pres. Bush's book excerpted: Jan. 12, 2010

"Decision Points": George W. Bush's presidential memoir

This book is Bush's first public discussion of his presidency since leaving office. Hence it represents his preliminary presentation of his legacy as president. There is plenty of material here on which political critics will disagree; Bush only addresses some of them. Perhaps a future book by Bush will address more of the political criticisms -- books about Bush most certainly will!

The title of the book, "Decision Points", provides Bush's framework: he explains in detail how many of his major decisions as president came about, including some decisions prior to his presidency. This does provide details that were previously unknown (such as comparing his "call to run" for the presidency with Moses' call from God to lead, p. 60-61). But mostly it provides for justifications of his decisions, some of which are intensely unsatisfying. We'll group these justifications into three categories:

  • Justification by Transparency
  • Justification by Assertion
  • Justification by Apology
Bush's apologies feel half-hearted and more like a justification than a true "mea culpa." For example, on p. 260-261, discussing his poor use of the term "Bring 'em on" to challenge the Iraqi enemy, Bush claims "the comment was intended to show confidence" but "left a wrong impression." Yes, it did; but that "apology" sounds like the henpecked husband in couples therapy who says, "I'm sorry that made you angry." It addresses the RESULT rather than the CAUSE. It would be nice to hear Bush say, "Invading Iraq was a mistake because thousands of people died based on bad evidence and even worse justifications. I'm sorry that my legacy will be overshadowed by this still-ongoing tragedy, and I wish I had never invaded in the first place." Then all the other justifications would make sense. But that does not happen in this book; maybe Bush's later books will come closer to what the American people have come to understand as the whole story of Iraq.
Source: OnTheIssues.org book review
Click for issues stances for Pres. Bush's views on the issues and Bush's book, Decision Points

U.S. Representative shot: Jan. 8, 2011

Six killed in Tucson rampage

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ-8) has undergone brain surgery after being shot through the head Saturday morning by a man who opened fire with a handgun when the Congresswoman was holding a public appearance in Tucson.

Six people were killed, including U.S. District Judge John Roll, a Giffords aide and a young girl, and 18 others were wounded in the shooting, authorities said.

Gov. Jan Brewer said she has ordered flags in Arizona to be flown at half staff. She called the shooting “an unbelievable tragedy’ for the people of Arizona. She called Giffords a friend.

* * *

On the House floor, on a day once scheduled to feature a polarizing vote to repeal last year's health care law, the only business was a four-page resolution memorializing Giffords. [The U.S. House will not introduce any other legislation this week, in tribute to Gifford.]

Sarah Palin lashed out Wednesday at her critics, saying it was a "blood libel" when some in the media and on the left said she'd contributed to an atmosphere of violence that may have pushed an Arizona gunman into shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Palin, who last March included Giffords' district on a map of Democrats she'd targeted for defeat - and marked by a rifle's crosshairs - noted that she'd decried violence while visiting the state the same month.

Sources: Tucson Citizen (Jan. 8) and Kansas City Star (Jan. 12)
Click for complete records of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords issue stances.

Three new governors sworn in: Jan. 1, 2011

New Year's inauguration ceremonies in NY, MI, and NM

Several states swear-in their new governors at midnight on January 1st.
The new governors as of today include: The outgoing governors are:
Gov. Susana Martinez (R); New Mexico's 27th governor and first female governor. Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D, NM)
Gov. Rick Snyder (R); Michigan's 48th governor. Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D, NM)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D); New York's 56th governor. Former Gov. David Paterson (D, NY)

Source: OnTheIssues.org
Click for issues stances for other governors' views on the issues

Jim DeMint's book excerpted: Dec. 26, 2010

"Saving Freedom": First in the 2012 Presidential Prospect series

OnTheissues ends the 2010 election year by focusing on the 2012 election: This is the first in our series of books from the 2012 presidential prospects.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R, SC) can take as much credit for the Tea Party victories of 2010 as can Sarah Palin. She was the outsider; he was the Senate insider. Both will likely announce for the presidency in 2012.

We will excerpt books from all of the likely contenders in the 2012 GOP primary. In fact, having a book is a prerequisite for being a serious contender these days. We have in the works:

Source: OnTheIssues.org and "Saving Freedom"
Click for issues stances for Sen. Jim DeMint's views on the issues and DeMint's book, Saving Freedom

Two final races decided: Dec. 10, 2010

Recounts end for Minnesota Governor's race and New York house race

Minnesota Governor's race

Incoming Gov. Mark Dayton said that he was only now beginning to realize he would be Minnesota's next governor. Republican Tom Emmer on Wednesday abruptly ended a statewide recount and conceded the race, giving a narrow, 8,770-vote victory to Dayton. "It does take awhile to absorb all this," said Dayton, who added that he was still sifting through candidates to head the state's many departments and agencies.

Outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an outspoken conservative who may run for president, deflected a question of whether he would criticize his liberal successor once he left office. When Pawlenty instead praised how former Gov. Jesse Ventura had withheld criticizing Pawlenty, Dayton smiled at Pawlenty and quipped: "I'll make it more difficult for him. Each governor does it differently."

New York house race

The Republican challenger on Wednesday conceded to Representative Timothy H. Bishop in a Congressional race on eastern Long Island, the nation’s only remaining undecided House contest. The challenger, Randy Altschuler, decided against requesting a hand recount in the First Congressional District. Mr. Bishop had a 263-vote lead with 977 absentee ballots left to be counted out of the more than 194,000 votes cast.

Mr. Bishop, a Democrat who was first elected in 2002, told reporters on a conference call that he was grateful to “withstand a Category 5 storm against incumbents.” But he acknowledged he would have less influence in Congress going forward as a member of the minority party. Republicans swept to a majority in the House on Nov. 2, picking up a total of 63 seats.

Sources: Minneapolis Star Tribune (Dec. 10) and New York Times (Dec. 8)
Click for complete records of Governor-Elect Mark_Dayton (D, MN) and Representative-Elect Tim Bishop (D, NY-1) issue stances.

Karl Rove's book excerpted: Dec. 6, 2010

Pres. Bush and others from "Courage and Consequence"

In the off-season between elections, OnTheIssues.org excerpts political books. These provide analysis of past administrations and predictions for future races.

We begin the post-2010-election analysis series with Karl Rove's retrospective of the Bush presidency, called "Courage and Consequence", which was released last month.

We excerpt numerous other officeholders and political celebrities from the same book, and we always include an insightful book review.

Source: OnTheIssues.org and "Courage and Consequence"
Click for issues stances for Pres. Bush's views on the issues and Rove's book, Courage and Consequence

Final Election Results: Nov. 28, 2010

Contested elections decided, mostly

Several elections have been contested by recounts, and one is still being fought in court. A summary of the contested results (in context :
Contested Results:

Donald Trump considering presidential run: Nov. 21, 2010

The 2010 election is over; the 2012 election begins

In an interview on Fox News, The Donald said he is “seriously considering” a presidential run:

"I'm a Republican so if I did anything, I'd do it, I guess, as a Republican," Trump said. "I'm totally being serious because I can't stand what's happening to the country. First time I am being serious about it. I've been asked for years to do it. And I had no interest. This is the first time I am at least considering it. That doesn't say I'm going to do it ... but I am seriously considering it."
Trump has reiterated similar comments on numerous talk-shows. It is not true, however, that this is his first time considering the presidency. He seriously considered running as the Reform Party candidate in 2000. At that time, he wrote a policy book, The America We Deserve, to deflect criticism that he has not considered the issues seriously.

We will add Trump this week to our early Presidential 2012 VoteMatch quiz, where you answer 20 questions and get matched issue-by-issue with the major candidates. Numerous other candidates considering the presidency in 2012 are also included in the VoteMatch quiz.

Source: OnTheIssues.org and New York Magazine (Oct. 5)
Click for issues stances for Donald Trump's views on the issues and Trump's book, The America We Deserve

Two new House members sworn in: Nov. 17, 2010

Special election means early seniority for two Republicans

Two newly-elected Republican House members are to be sworn-in this week, because they won special elections; the rest of the new House members will await their swearing-in until January. These two new Republicans will vote in the upcoming lame-duck session; all other newly-elected members will not.
NY-29Eric Massa (D) Resigned March 8 Tom Reed (R)
IN-3Mark Souder (R) Resigned May 21 Marlin Stutzman (R)
In addition, four other new members won special elections earlier in 2010. These four new members are already sworn-in, and hence are also part of the lame-duck 111th Congress:
FL-19Special Election April 13, 2010Ted Deutch (D)
PA-12Special Election May 18, 2010Mark Critz (D)
HI-1Special Election May 22, 2010Charles Djou (R)
GA-9Special Election June 8, 2010Tom Graves (R)

Source: OnTheIssues.org and wikipedia.com
Click for issues stances for House incumbents and new Representatives-elect

Two new senators sworn in: Nov. 16, 2010

Special election means early seniority for two Democrats

Vice President Joe Biden swore in the two newest Democratic members of the Senate on Monday. [These two won special elections; the rest of the new Senators will await their swearing-in until January].

Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s governor, won a special election to serve out the final two years of the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd’s term. “Bob Byrd would be proud.” Carte Goodwin, the West Virginia attorney Manchin appointed to temporarily fill Byrd’s seat in July, looked on.

Biden administered the oath of office in a separate ceremony for Delaware Democrat Chris Coons, the New Castle county executive who will fill out the remaining four years of Biden’s Senate term. Biden stepped down in January 2009 after he was elected vice president; his longtime aide, Ted Kaufman, was appointed to replace him.

Sources: Politico.com.
Click for complete records of Chris Coons and Joe Manchin issue stances.

Still-Contested Election Results: Nov. 10, 2010

Recounts underway in 11 House Races, 1 Senate race, and 2 Governor's races

There are eleven House races still undecided, or pending a recount outcome. In all eleven cases, a Democratic incumbent may potentially still lose to a Republican challenger. The still-pending House races are listed below, followed by Senate and Gubernatorial recounts:
AZ-8Gabrielle Giffords (D)Jesse Kelly (R)
CA-11Jerry McNerney (D)David Harmer (R)
CA-20Jim Costa (D)Andy Vidak (R)
IL-8Melissa Bean (D)Joe Walsh (R)
KY-6Ben Chandler (D)Andy Barr (R)
NC-2Bob Etheridge (D)Renee Ellmers (R)
NY-1Tim Bishop (D)Randy Altschuler (R)
NY-25Dan Maffei (D)Ann Marie Buerkle (R)
TX-27Solomon Ortiz (D)Blake Farenthold (R)
VA-11Gerry Connolly (D)Keith Fimian (R)
WA-2Rick Larsen (D)John Koster (R)
Senate race still undergoing recount: (Lisa Murkowski is the apparent winner, but she ran as a write-in candidate so the results are still not yet official)
AKLisa Murkowski (I)Joe Miller (R)
Gubernatorial races still undergoing recounts:
MNMark Dayton (D)State Rep. Tom Emmer (R)
VTState Sen. Peter Shumlin (D)Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie (R)
Check back next week for the final results on these pending races.

Congressional Election Results: Nov. 8, 2010

Results from all 50 states

Ninety new House members were elected on Election Day. Republicans gained 65 House seats (66 GOP takeovers minus one Democratic takeover). The most interesting development of the year is the "revenge rematch": five Republicans (marked with asterisks* below) recaptured the Congressional seat they previously held.
Gubernatorial races resulting in party turnover:
New House member of same party as incumbent:

Gubernatorial Election Results: Nov. 7, 2010

Results from all 39 states with races

The last contested results from Connecticut were finally reported on Friday; the Democrat won. Republicans gained 6 governor seats (twelve GOP takeovers minus six Democratic takeovers).
Gubernatorial races resulting in party turnover:
New governor of same party as incumbent:
Incumbent Governor re-elected:

Senatorial Election Results: Nov. 5, 2010

Results from all 38 states with races

The Alaska Senate race is still contested but looks like Joe Miller will lose in a write-in recount. Republicans gained 6 Senate seats, resulting in the Democrats maintaining a Senate majority of 53-47.
Senatorial races resulting in party turnover:
    Democratic Takeover: (0)
  • None.
New Senator of same party as incumbent:
Incumbent Senator re-elected:

Election Prediction: Oct. 31, 2010

OnTheIssues.org's prediction: Tied Senate & GOP House takeover

There are 37 Senate elections occuring on Tuesday. The Senate is currently split 59 Democrat-41 Republican. This first section are our predicted winners for seats where the incumbent party will remain the same. An asterisk* indicates that the named winner is not currently the incumbent (but is in the same party).
Maintain Republican Seat (5)
AK* Joe Miller
AL Richard Shelby
AZJohn McCain
FL*Marco Rubio
GAJohnny Isakson
IDMichael Crapo
IAChuck Grassley
KS*Jerry Moran
MO*Roy Blunt
NH* Kelly Ayotte
NCRichard Burr
OH*Rob Portman
OKTom Coburn
SCJim DeMint
SDJohn Thune
UT*Mike Lee
Maintain Democratic Seat (5)
HIDaniel Inouye
MDBarbara Mikulski
NY2Kirsten Gillibrand
NY6Charles Schumer
VTPatrick Leahy
Following are our predicted turnovers. These are the "sure things"; where the turnover from Democratic incumbent to newly-elected Republican is nearly certain. There are no certain turnovers for Democrats where there is currently an incumbent Republican.
Gain Republican Seat (6)
AR John Boozman
IL Mark Kirk
INDaniel Coats
NDJohn Hoeven
PAPat Toomey
WIRon Johnson
Gain Democratic Seat (0)
The following lists are three races where we wish our prediction could come true, but our predicted winner is well behind in the polls.
Gain Republican Wish-List (2)
DE Christine O`Donnell (the Tea Party favorite beat the establishment Republican in the primary, and the establishment press has been bashing her ever since. If Tea Party enthusiasm can win an election, this is the race where they can prove the pundits wrong).
CTLinda McMahon (Jesse Ventura was behind in the polls in his race for Governor at this stage too. Linda and Jesse were wrestling colleagues, and we hope for the same anti-pundit result in both races).
Gain Democratic Wish-List (1)
LACharles Melancon (the incumbent was caught with a prostitute after years of spouting Family Values. And the incumbent oversaw Katrina's destruction of his home state. He deserves to lose on both counts).
If all of the above predictions are correct, the Senate would be split 52 Democrat-48 Republican. The Republicans would need to gain 3 more seats to gain control of the Senate. There are 6 races where a Republican gain is possible, listed as "Vulnerable Democratic Seats" below. We predict that Republicans will gain half of those six seats, a net gain of three, which would give them control of the Senate. But there is one race where a Democratic gain is possible, in Kentucky. Rand Paul deserves to win because his opponent has broken the record for sleazy campaigning, accusing Mr. Paul of worshipping "Aqua Buddha" and kidnapping a female college student.
Vulnerable Democratic Seat (6)
CA Carly Fiorina
CO Ken Buck
NVSharron Angle
ORJim Huffman
WADino Rossi
WVJohn Raese
Vulnerable Republican Seat (1)
KYAqua Buddha (Rand Paul's opponent who ran such a sleazy campaign that we don't want to list his name on our prediction list).
Hence we predict a 50-50 split in the Senate, which means Vice President Joe Biden wields a tie-breaking vote and gives the Senate majority to the Democrats, and hence all Senate committees will have Democratic chairs and a Democratic agenda.

In the House, we predict that a 44-seat gain for RepublicansThat will switch a 254-181 Democratic majority to a 225-210 Republican majority. That's a thin majority, but enough so that all House committees will have Republican chairs and a Republican agenda.

A split Congress, in the view of OnTheIssues.org, is good for America because neither chamber can get away with partisan extremism. Hence we predict better party comity for the 112th Congress.

Go vote on Tuesday!

Book excerpts: Oct. 28, 2010

OnTheIssues.org's coverage of political pundit's books

Several former elected officials and pundits have published analyses of the 2010 election. We excerpt the relevant issue-based parts and provide scathing book reviews to point out the partisan aspects of each book. Our coverage for this election season includes:

Click on a book title above to view excerpts. Click on the links there for details.

More to follow!

Debate coverage: Oct. 26, 2010

News organizations' coverage of Senate debates

Several news organizations sponsor debates, as well as provide news coverage of debates. OnTheIssues.org excerpts both debate transcripts and news reports about debates. This year, the sponsored debates are:

  • CNN coverage of Senate races:
    • Oct. 13: Debate at U. Delaware, broadcast on WHYY radio, moderated by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and Delaware First Media news anchor Nancy Karibjanian.
    • Oct. 24: Florida Senate candidates Governor Charlie Crist (I), Representative Kendrick Meek (D) and former State House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) debate at University of South Florida's Tampa campus; sponsored by CNN.
  • Fox News coverage of Senate races:
    • Oct. 3: Kentucky Senate debate, Conway vs. Paul, on Fox News
    • March 28: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate
  • NBC coverage of Senate races: Meet the Press debates
    • NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 IL Senate debate, Oct 10
    • NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate, Oct 17
  • ABC coverage of Senate races:
    • Oct. 19: ABC News transcript: Illinois Senate debate; Alexi Giannoulias and Rep. Mark Kirk, moderated by George Stephanopoulos.
    • Oct. 15: Colorado Senatorial and Gubernatorial debates hosted by ABC's Denver affiliate KMGH-TV. ABC News' Jake Tapper moderate the debate between Senate candidates Michael Bennet (D) and Ken Buck (R).
    • Oct. 15: NY Senate debate; Rep. Gillibrand vs. Rep. DioGuardi; in New York City for a debate to be televised on WABC.
    • Oct. 20: Pennsylvania Senate debate between Joe Sestak (D) and Pat Toomey (R) moderated by George Stephanopoulos and ABC's Philadelphia station WPVI-TV6.
Click on a news organization above to view the Senate debate excerpts for coverage by that organization. Click on the links there for details.

More to follow!

Senate closing arguments: Oct. 21, 2010

OnTheIssues.org coverage of late debates, including Louisiana

OnTheIssues.org now has coverage of just about all Senate races where debates have taken place. And we added today coverage for Louisiana, where Sen. David Vitter has finally deigned to debate Rep. Charles Melancon, in one of the hottest races of the season. We will cover these upcoming late debates:

  • OR: Oct. 21: In Medford, on television station KOBI
  • NY: Oct. 21: Russell Sage College in Troy
  • IN: Oct. 22: Debate in Fort Wayne
  • WI: Oct. 22: UPFRONT Town Hall Challenge, moderated by WISN 12
  • OR: Oct. 22: In Portland, at the Portland City Club
  • CO: Oct. 23: Debate In Colorado Springs; Televised live by CBS4
  • FL: Oct. 24: debate at University of South Florida's Tampa campus
  • IN: Oct. 25: Debate in Vincennes
  • LA: Oct. 26: KATC broadcast debate from Baton Rouge
  • IA: Oct. 26: debate on Des Moines radio station WHO-AM
  • IL: Oct. 27: moderator Phil Ponce on his "Chicago Tonight" show
  • LA: Oct. 28: KLFY broadcast debate from New Orleans

Click on a state abbreviation above to view the Senate debate excerpts for candidates in that state. Click on the links there for details.

More to follow!

Third Party Senate candidates: Oct. 18, 2010

OnTheIssues.org coverage completed for Libertarian Party and others

OnTheIssues.org announces our final list of Third Party Senate candidates. Links appear below; each of these candidates appears in their respective SenateMatch quizzes, where you can match up your issue opinions against both their stances and the major-party stances. In past elections, we have covered more Third Party candidates, but this year we got no Third Party volunteers like we normally do! Maybe that's because of the Tea Party, or maybe it's because of the recession... in any case:

Click on a candidate name above to read their issue stances. Click on the links there for details.

Senate organization endorsements and resolutions: Oct. 16, 2010

OnTheIssues.org coverage of other political organizations

OnTheIssues.org announces the 2010 Senate organization endorsements and resolutions are posted.

Endorsements These organizations provide endorsements of Senate candidates (and some House and Gubernatorial candidates) based on candidates' issue stances.
DFA Democracy for America (progressive values) 6 candidates
LCV+ The League of Conservation Voters (pro-environment) 29 candidates
Ratings These organizations provide ratings of Senate candidates based on candidates' issue stances.
(Look on incumbent pages for many additional ratings from previous years!)
NRA National Rifle Association (pro-gun rights) 66 candidates
LCV- LCV Dirty Dozen (anti-environment) 12 candidates
Sponsorships These organizations provide documents which candidates choose to sign, on particular issue topics.
ATR "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" by the Americans for Tax Reform 200 candidates
CAGW "No Pork Pledge" by Citizens Against Government Waste 11 candidates
CfG "Repeal It! Pledge" by the Club for Growth 24 candidates
PCCC "Protect Social Security" pledge by Progressive Change Campaign Committee 133 candidates

Click on an organization name above to read the summary list for that organization. Click on the links there for details.

More to follow!

Senate debates in progress: Oct. 10, 2010

OnTheIssues.org covers debates in 26 Senate races

OnTheIssues.org announces the 2010 Senate debates are posted. Debate season is hot-and-heavy this week, so stay tuned as we fill in the debate pages as they occur. Each debate link below includes information on upcoming debates which we plan to cover.

For senate races in states which are not listed, voters can infer that at least one of the candidates has refused to debate. Generally, the incumbent refuses to debate, or the frontrunner if there is no incumbent. We at OnTheIssues consider that an affront to democracy, and would strongly recommend voting against any candidate who refuses to debate.

Sometimes public pressure shames the incumbent/frontrunner into debating despite the fact that it helps the challenger. For example, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D, NY) has so far refused to debate his Republican opponent, Jay Townsend, since Schumer holds an insurmountably large lead in the polls. Townsend is planning, therefore, to debate a cardboard cutout of Schumer. If the TV stations allow it (for which some have already scheduled airtime), we will cover these "debates" to do our part to shame Schumer into participating.

  -   AK  -   AR  -   AZ  -   CA  -   CT  -   CO  -   DE  -   FL  -  
  -   IA  -   IL  -   IN  -   KS  -   KY  -   MO  -   NC  -   ND  -   NH  -   NV  -   NY  -  
  -   OH  -   OR  -   PA  -   UT  -   WA  -   WI  -   WV  -  

Click on a state name above to read the summary Senate debate page for that state. Click on the links there for detailed excerpts from each debate. Each page lists the future debates we plan to cover, through the end of October.

So stay tuned!

SenateMatch quizzes ready: Oct. 6, 2010

Answer 20 questions and get matched up to every Senate candidates

OnTheIssues.org announces the 2010 SenateMatch quizzes are completed and are now posted online, for all 35 states which have Senate races in 2010. You answer 20 questions on your beliefs on key policy issues, and the SenateMatch quiz matcheS your answers against those of each Senate candidate. Our coverage includes candidates in each of the 35 states with Senate races:

Alabama 2 candidates
Alaska 4 candidates
Arizona 4 candidates
Arkansas 3 candidates
California 4 candidates
Colorado 4 candidates
Connecticut 3 candidates
Delaware 4 candidates
Florida 6 candidates
Georgia 2 candidates
Hawaii 2 candidates
Idaho 2 candidates
Illinois 3 candidates
Indiana 3 candidates
Iowa 2 candidates
Kansas 4 candidates
Kentucky 5 candidates
Louisiana 2 candidates
Maryland 3 candidates
Missouri 2 candidates
Nevada 2 candidates
New Hampshire 4 candidates
New York 5 candidates
North Carolina 3 candidates
North Dakota 2 candidates
Ohio 4 candidates
Oklahoma 1 candidate
Oregon 2 candidates
Pennsylvania 3 candidates
South Carolina 3 candidates
South Dakota 1 candidate
Utah 3 candidates
Vermont 3 candidates
Washington 2 candidates
West Virginia 2 candidates
Wisconsin 2 candidates
Click on a state name above to begin the SenateMatch quiz for that state. When done, you can click directly from the Results page to see how you match up against candidates from other states. It's fun!

Rahm Emanuel resigns as White House Chief of Staff: Oct. 1, 2010

Enters Chicago mayoral race against Sen. Braun, Rep. Jackson, & Rep. Gutierrez.

President Obama announced the resignation of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel reportedly plans to step down in order to run for the mayor of Chicago. Pete Rouse [is] likely to take Emanuel's place as chief of staff.

The Chicago Sun-Times commissioned a poll shortly after Mayor Daley announced he wasn’t seeking re-election, and Emanuel placed fifth with 7 percent. Those topping the poll: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart at 12 percent, state Sen. James Meeks at 10 percent, Congressmen Luis Gutierrez at 9 percent and Jesse Jackson Jr. at 8 percent.

Emanuel announced online Sunday that he's preparing to run, launching a closely watched "listening tour" of the city. [Former presidential contender and former Senator Carol] Moseley Braun has been quietly building support for her mayoral run for weeks.

We can expect a bruising battle in February for the job, and as many as 15 candidates could be on the ballot. The top two vote getters will go to a runoff, and there is a strong chance that Emanuel may not be one of those two.

Sources: WBEZ 91.5 10/1; AP in Chicago Tribune 10/4; The Cap Times (Madison WI) 10/5.
Click for complete records of Former Rep. Rahm Emanuel's issue stances.

Establishment candidate ousted: Sept. 23, 2010

Challenger Christine O'Donnell defeats party favorite Rep. Mike Castle in DE GOP primary; Castle deciding on write-in campaign

Could Rep. Mike Castle (R, DE) pull a Lisa Murkowski? The veteran Delaware congressman indicated yesterday that he hasn't ruled out running as a write-in candidate in the Delaware Senate race after being upset by marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell (R) in last week's primary.

A Castle spokesperson said Thursday that there's a "fraction of a chance" that Castle will run. If Castle does decide to run, he may have a somewhat easier path to the ballot than Murkowski, the Alaska senator who lost her own primary last month to little-known attorney Joe Miller (R) but announced late last week that she would pursue a write-in candidacy.

According to the Delaware Election Commission, all that Castle would have to do in order to officially run as a write-in would be to fill out a form and submit it to the state Elections Commission office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Sep. 30. Write-in candidates' names aren't listed on the ballot, but each polling place is required to post a list of write-in candidates who have declared that they're running.

But as with any write-in candidacy, there would be many logistical obstacles. As in most states, write-in candidates in Delaware have a bleak history: no write-in has ever won state-wide in Delaware. In addition, while Castle has some considerable cash left over from his primary campaign, he would have to struggle against the millions of dollars that O'Donnell has taken in online since her win. Castle would also be lacking a party infrastructure that would boost him with fundraising, TV ads and organizational heft. He also would not have a clear shot at winning Democratic votes -- a necessity for viability -- give that New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) is running a credible race.

A CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll released yesterday showed Coons as a favorite in a head to head matchup with O'Donnell; the Democrat took 55 percent to 39 percent for O'Donnell among likely voters. (If Castle were the Republican nominee, he would be leading Coons 55 percent to 37 percent.) The survey did not test a three-way race among Castle, Coons and O'Donnell.

Source: Felicia Sonmez in Washington Post
Click for issues stances for Senate incumbents and challengers

Senate incumbent ousted: Sept. 1, 2010

Challenger Joe Miller defeats incumbent Lisa Murkowski in AK GOP primary

Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded a hard-fought Senate campaign in the Republican primary Tuesday evening, clearing the way for challenger Joe Miller to face Democrat Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams for the seat held by Alaska’s senior U.S. senator.

Murkowski said she could not envision a scenario in which she could secure the Republican Senate nomination. “And for that reason, and for the good of the State of Alaska, I am now conceding the race for the Republican nomination,” Murkowski said.

When Murkowski’s campaign began she was considered a well-entrenched incumbent, enjoying both high statewide popularity ratings and massive advantages in campaign funding over Miller. She largely campaigned on the strength of her record, including her opposition to the Obama administration and the federal funds she brought to Alaska. But Miller, a self-described Constitutional conservative affiliated with the National Tea Party, ran a hard-right campaign against Murkowski, pointing to her votes with Democrats as proof that she was a RINO -- a Republican in name only -- and questioning her stance on how the Constitution applied to social and funding issues.

Conservative turnout motivated by Ballot Measure 2, a move to require parental notification of teenage daughters’ abortions which narrowly passed Tuesday, may have had a role in unseating Murkowski.

A Miller endorsement from former Gov. Sarah Palin, who became governor in 2006 by defeating the man who appointed Murkowski to the Senate -- her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski -- also could have had an impact on what became a surprisingly close race in its final week.

Source: KTUU News, Anchorage
Click for issues stances for Senate incumbents and challengers

Contract From America: Aug. 28, 2010

Senate and House signatories attempt to recapture Congress

When comparing the 2010 Congressional elections with 1994, pundits cite the "Contract with America". That was a pledge, organized by Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, to vote on a list of bills if elected. In 1994, the Contract is widely recognized as a primary reason that the GOP recaptured Congress.

The "Contract FROM America" is an attempt to reproduce that outcome in 2010, loosely under the auspices of the Tea Party movement. The contract is "from" America because it represents what many in the Tea Party movement want. The list below are the signatories, followed by the pledges of the Contract. Click on any candidate to see the details of the each pledge.

    We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.
  1. Protect the Constitution
  2. Reject Cap & Trade
  3. Demand a Balanced Budget
  4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
  5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
  6. End Runaway Government Spending
  7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
  8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
  9. Stop the Pork
  10. Stop the Tax Hikes
Source: Contract FROM America website, http://www.TheContract.org/, and OnTheIssues.org
Click for issues stances for Senate incumbents and challengers

Key Senate primaries: Aug. 24, 2010

Senate primaries in Alaska and Arizona

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski fought to save her job Wednesday, locked in a stunningly tight Republican primary race against a political novice backed by Sarah Palin and tea party activists. Murkowski trailed Joe Miller by 1,960 votes out of more than 91,000 counted. Miller is a Gulf War veteran and self-described "constitutional conservative."

The outlook was far brighter for another incumbent, Sen. John McCain, who easily cinched his party's renomination--and likely re-election this fall--by dispatching former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who had tea party support. Rep. Kendrick Meek cruised to the Democratic Senate nod in Florida against a wealthy political newcomer. And a slew of Republican and Democratic members of Congress withstood primary challenges.

Murkowski becomes the seventh incumbent--and fourth Republican--to lose in a year in which the tea party has scored huge victories in GOP Senate primaries and voters have shown a willingness to punish Republicans and a handful of Democrats with ties to Washington and party leadership. The other six are:

Source: Associated Press news service and OnTheIssues.org
Click for all Senate races.

Key Senate primaries: Aug. 10, 2010

Senate primaries in Connecticut and Colorado

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado bucked a national anti-incumbent mood to defeat an insurgent challenge on Tuesday, and a Tea Party-backed conservative narrowly led the establishment favorite in the state's Republican Senate primary. Bennet, who had been endorsed by President Barack Obama, beat liberal former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to escape the wave of anti-establishment voter anger that knocked off two Senate colleagues earlier this year. Romanoff had been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.

In the Republican Senate race, former prosecutor Ken Buck rode the backing of conservative "Tea Party" groups to a narrow lead over former Colorado Republican Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton with about three-quarters of precincts reporting. The Colorado Senate races were the highlight of primary voting in four U.S. states. Voters in Connecticut, Georgia and Minnesota also chose candidates to square off in November.

Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon easily won the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut after pouring tens of millions of her own dollars into the race. She beat former Representative Rob Simmons for the right to face Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Source: Reuters news service
Click for all Senate races.

Senate candidate interviews: July 28, 2010

OnTheIssues.org VoteMatch responses from 11 candidates.

Source: OnTheIssues email interviews with candidates
Click for VoteMatch responses and Senate races.

Analysis of House races in November: June 7, 2010

Can the Republicans recapture a House majority?

Many pundits compare the 2010 Congressional elections with 1994, when the GOP recaptured the U.S. House by gaining 54 seats (75 new GOP members were elected; some replaced incumbent Republicans). Is that possible in 2010? We analyze the House races in which there is a viable Republican candidate in districts with open seats or vulnerable incumbents. The list of possible turnover seats is....
Vulnerable Democratic seats Vulnerable Republican seats
AL-7: Artur DavisRunning for Governor
AR-2: Vic SnyderRetiring
AZ-5: Harry MitchellTargeted
AR-1: Marion BerryRetiring
CA-33: Diane WatsonRetiring
CO-4: Betsy MarkeyHot race
FL-8: Alan GraysonTargeted
FL-17: Kendrick MeekRunning for Senate
FL-24: Suzanne KosmasTargeted
HI-1: Neil AbercrombieRunning for Governor
ID-1: Walt MinnickFacing ex-Rep.
IL-14: Bill FosterHot Race
IN-9: Baron HillFacing ex-Rep.
KS-3: Dennis MooreRetiring
LA-3: Charlie MelanconRunning for Senate
MA-10: Bill DelahuntRetiring
MD-1: Frank KratovilFacing State Sen.
MI-1: Bart StupakRetiring
MI-7: Mark SchauerFacing 2 former Reps.
MI-9: Gary C. PetersFacing ex-Nominee
MS-1: Travis ChildersHot Race
NC-8: Larry KissellTargeted
ND-0: Earl PomeroyHot race
NH-1: Carol Shea-PorterTargeted
NH-2: Paul HodesRunning for Senate
NM-2: Harry TeagueFacing Former Rep.
NV-3: Dina TitusTargeted
NY-23: Bill OwensHot race
NY-24: Michael ArcuriHot race
NY-29: Eric MassaTargeted
OH-1: Steven DriehausFacing Former Rep.
OH-15: Mary Jo KilroyTargeted
OH-18: Zack SpaceTargeted
PA-7: Joe SestakRunning for Senate
PA-8: Patrick J. MurphyFacing ex-U.S. Rep.
PA-11: Paul KanjorskiTargeted
TN-6: Bart GordonRetiring
TN-8: John TannerRetiring
TX-17: Chet EdwardsHot race
VA-2: Glenn Nye IIITargeted
VA-5: Tom PerrielloTargeted
WA-3: Brian BairdRetiring
WI-7: David ObeyRetiring
WI-8: Steve KagenTargeted
WV-1: Alan MollohanLost primary
AL-2: Bobby BrightHot race
AR-3: John BoozmanRunning for Senate
AZ-3: John ShadeggRetiring
CA-19: George RadanovichRetiring
CA-44: Ken CalvertHot race
DE-0: Michael CastleRunning for Senate
FL-4: Ginny Brown-WaiteRetiring
FL-12: Adam PutnamRunning for Ag. Cmsn.
FL-21: Lincoln Diaz-BalartRetiring
FL-25: Mario Diaz-BalartRunning in FL-21
GA-7: John LinderRetiring
GA-9: Nathan DealRunning for Governor
IL-10: Mark KirkRunning for Senate
IL-13: Judy BiggertHot race
IN-3: Mark SouderResigned
IN-4: Steve BuyerRetiring
IN-8: Brad EllsworthRunning for Senate
KS-1: Jerry MoranRunning for Senate
KS-4: Todd TiahrtRunning for Senate
LA-2: Joseph Anh CaoTargeted
MI-2: Peter HoekstraRunning for Governor
MN-6: Michele BachmannHot Race
NE-2: Lee TerryHot Race
NJ-5: Scott GarrettHot race
NJ-7: Leonard LanceTargeted
PA-6: Jim GerlachHot race
PA-15: Charlie DentHot race
WA-8: Dave ReichertTargeted
That list comprises 44 vulnerable Democrats and 28 vulnerable Republicans. Let's assume, in an anti-Democrat fit, that the voters choose Republicans in all 28 of the vulnerable Republican races. And then, in an anti-incumbent-party fit, throw out all 44 of the vulnerable Democrats. Even that is not enough to match the 1994 results, where 54 seats changed party.

In 1994, 54 new GOP seats were enough to take over the House majority. The current party count in the House is 254 Democrats to 181 Republicans, a 73-seat majority. Changing an incumbent Democratic seat to Republican in 37 seats would take over the House majority in 2010. The 44 vulnerable Democrats listed above are sufficient, in other words.

As in our Senate analysis below, we list only races where the opposing candidate is viable (although some of the Democratic retirees are in safe Democrat districts). Certainly, in this longer House list, we missed a few which will be upsets. In other words, a GOP takeover of the House is politically possible, not just mathematically possible. But we don't predict a GOP takeover, because there are just too many seats that the GOP would need to win.

Why is that? In 2010, the anti-incumbent fervor seems as strong as in 1994, to be sure. But in 1994, Newt Gingrich engineered the House takeover via a nationwide campaign called The Contract With America. Voters therefore recognized the nationwide importance of their local district races, and candidates stepped up accordingly, and donors donated accordingly, making many more viable challengers. In 2010, the equivalent nationwide campaign is the Tea Party movement. While the Tea Party has succeeded in getting candidates elected in several races, they have not yet matured sufficiently to be able to RECRUIT candidates, as Newt Gingrich did in 1994.

In summary, we predict major Democratic losses in both the House and the Senate, but we just don't see enough viable challengers for the Republicans to take over either chamber.

Source: Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org
Click for issues stances for House incumbents and challengers

Analysis of Senate races in November: May 30, 2010

Can the Republicans recapture a Senate majority?

With Scott Brown's special election in Jan. 2010, the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate. (A supermajority of 60 seats out of 100 means that the Republicans could not mount a filibuster to block a bill from passage). Now, with the economy sputtering and the Tea Party rallying from the Brown victory, pundits ponder whether the Democrats will lose their majority in November. The majority party chairs all Senate committees, which means they decide which bills reach the Senate floor, and have final say over the content of the bills too.

Several recent primary elections vouch for the electorate's dissatisfaction with the incumbent Congress: Arlen Specter (D, PA) and Bob Bennett (R, UT) both lost their seats before the general election season even began. The Tea Party scored a second major victory when Rand Paul defeated the party favorite Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R, KY).

But to throw the bums out, there have to be challengers to replace them. Are there enough viable challengers against incumbent Democrats for the Republicans to take over the Senate? From the current 59-41 Democratic majority, the Dems would have to lose 10 seats to Republicans. We analyze here whether that is mathematically and politically possible:

Democratic incumbent or nomineeViable Republican challenger
AR: Sen. Blanche Lincoln vs. Rep. John Boozman
CA: Sen. Barbara Boxer vs. Former Rep. Tom Campbell
CO: Appointee Michael Bennet vs. Lt. Gov. Jane Norton
DE: Appointee Ted Kaufman (retiring) vs. Rep. Michael Castle
IL: Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias vs. Rep. Mark Kirk
IN: Rep. Brad Ellsworth vs. Former Senator Daniel Coats
NY: Appointee Kirsten Gillibrand vs. Former Rep. Joe DioGuardi
ND: State Sen. Tracy Potter vs. Gov. John Hoeven
PA: Rep. Joe Sestak vs. Former Rep. Pat Toomey
WA: Rep. Rob Portman vs. State Sen. Dino Rossi
Republican incumbent or nomineeViable Democratic challenger
FL: Appointee George LeMieux (retiring)
Marco Rubio (R)
vs. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D)
and Gov. Charlie Crist (I)
KY: Dr. Rand Paul vs. Attorney General Jack Conway
LA: Sen. David Vitter vs. Rep. Charles Melancon
MO: Rep. Roy Blunt vs. Sec. of State Robin Carnahan
NH: Attorney General Kelly Ayotte vs. Rep. Paul Hodes
NC: Sen. Richard Burr vs. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
OH: Rep. Rob Portman vs. Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher

There has been a lot of talk about Harry Reid (D, NV) losing his seat -- but there are no viable Republican challengers [Update Oct. 2010: Sharron Angle has become viable -- ed.]. Same for Chuck Schumer (D, NY) -- he's unpopular but there are no Republicans capable of unseating him. Anger against incumbents is healthy for democracy; but to have an effect at the ballot box, there needs to be someone else to vote for.

The bottom line: Republicans must win in all ten of the states we list in the first half, and must also stave off viable Democratic challengers in all seven of the states we list in the second half above. It is possible there will be an upset in a race we did not list above, but that would be front-page-news-level-upset. If the Republicans miss even one of those 17 races, then the Senate is a 50-50 tie with Vice President Joe Biden giving the Dems the majority. In other words, the Republicans have a MATHEMATICAL chance of taking back the Senate, but no POLITICAL chance.

Source: Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org
Click for issues stances for Senate incumbents and challengers

Decisive primaries: May 18, 2010

Critical congressional nominees decided in 3 states.

Source: DcPoliticalReport.com
Click for House races and Senate races.

Decisive primaries: May 4 and 11, 2010

Critical congressional nominees decided in 4 states.

Source: DcPoliticalReport.com
Click for House races and Senate races.

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