Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Black Caucus Wins Round with Congressional Campaign Committee

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has agreed to form a working group in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to address issues raised by the Congressional Black Caucus about the leadership of DCCC head Rahm Emanuel (D-IL).

The Hill reports:

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oops..Mayor Nagin Deserves All the Props

Even we fell for the hype. Ray Nagin wasn't going to be able to secure a second term with the loss of a significant portion of the African American population of New Orleans after Katrina. Winning less than 10% of the white vote in the April election and seeing his run-off opponent Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu capture 24% of the African American vote the mountain seemed to steep to climb.

But tonight the Mayor shocked us all (, winning a second term by a razor thin margin of 5,329 votes with all precincts reporting.

Mayor Nagin, according to AP reports, won the predominately African American precincts and the Lieutenant Governor won the majority white ones. However, it appears that African Americans rallied to the Mayor while he cut into Landrieu's white support by doing well in the white Uptown section of New Orleans.

Ray Nagin was able to do what everyone thought Mitch Landrieu would do and that was to assemble a new coalition of white and African American voters to lead the "new" New Orleans during its reconstruction phase.

That new phase will now be a seamless transition with the Mayor who lead them through the storm guiding the Crescent City into its new future.

A future many pundits didn't think Ray Nagin would see as mayor, but he deserves all the props.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Orleans - Nagin v. Landrieu

The most unusual of all elections ends tonight. The campaign for Mayor of New Orleans has been contested outside the city and outside the state of Louisiana. With over half of the population dispersed because of last year' s Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin and his run-off opponent Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu have had to campaign across the country.

Satellite polling places were step up across the Pelican State, people were bussed in from Houston, Atlanta and various environs and fax machines were humming as 24,000 faxed and absentee ballots were sent. Only 20,000 were received in the April General election that was won my Mayor Nagin.

Mr. Nagin's,, victory last month was a surprise to many who expected the now majority white city to elect its first white mayor in three decades. But the mayor surprised them receiving 38% of the vote. However, that means 62% of the voters cast they ballots for someone else and over 90% of whites voted for someone other than him.
Today he will have to assemble a broad coalition to hold off challenger Mitch Landrieu,, who cobbled together an impressive alliance in April.

The Lt. Governor amassed support from all sections of the city including 24% of the African American vote. We think his support from African Americans will remain about the same or maybe decrease some as African Americans may rally around the Mayor, but that his overall take of white voters will increase and pave the way to victory.

That coalition will be critical to rebuilding a city that has been decimated not only structurally, but racially.

Prediction: Landrieu tops Nagin 53%-47%

Results can be found

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

MN - Don't Sleep on Ellison ...

... Because we did for a minute. Minnesota could elect its first African American to Congress in November as State Rep. Keith Maurice Ellison handily won an endorsement from the state Democratic Farmer Labor party. Ellison led a pack of candidates in the 5th Congressional District endorsement convention on May 6th as Dem candidates fell hard and, by the following week, most were publicly endorsing Ellison as the favored. For the numbers go to

Still Ellison will face an uphill battle in the fundraising arena. In addition, retiring 5th Dist. Congressman Martin Sabo is still moving forward with an endorsement of longtime aide Mike Erlandson, who just looks desperate for a job at this point. If Ellison wins, this would also be the first time a Muslim is elected to the U.S. Congress. Anything is possible in Minnesota ...

Landrieu Receives Major Endorsement

Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu received the endorsement of the New Orleans Times-Picayune this morning ( in his race for mayor against incumbent Ray Nagin.

Saying "[n]o single elected official can solve all the city's problems. But the recovery does depend on having a mayor who can bring people together and get things done..." New Orleans' major paper said the challenger was the candidate to do that and rebuild the great city.

Landrieu and Nagin are the lone candidates in this Saturday's mayoral run-off which is our "Key Black Race of the Moment." Check for results to this race.

OR--Hill Can't Climb Mountain

Facing an incumbent, even an unpopular one, is a tall task for the most qualified and liked opponent.

That task was the quest for Oregon gubernatorial candidate Jim Hill and with 99% of the precincts reporting, Hill was not up to the task losing to Governor Ted Kulongoski by little over 73,000 votes (

A former State Treasurer, elected twice in '92 and '96, Hill seemed to be an attractive alternative for Democrats against an embattled incumbent governor who has been ridiculed for using republican ideas, but he couldn't overcome the inherent advantage of incumbency.

While incumbency adds gravitas to any campaign, the fact that Hill had a higher approval rating and a lower disapproval makes us wonder if there was a little more to the campaign.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

PA--McDonald Roberts Comes Up Short...Way Short

Despite the clear assistance that Valerie McDonald Roberts would have given Democrat Ed Rendell in his bid for a second term as Governor of Pennsylvania, the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds is getting thumped by 43 percentage points in tonight's primary( and appears to be on her way to finishing a distant second in the four candidate field.

McDonald Roberts came to race with impeccable credentials and closed the race with endorsements from the state's major newspapers, but the incumbency of Catherine Baker Knoll was too much to overcome. So the Rendell/Baker Knoll team will take on Republican nominees Lynn Swann ( and Jim Matthews in November.

With Swann in the race and McDonald Roberts now out it will be interesting to see how the African American vote in November shakes out. Will they stay firmly and largely in the Democratic camp and thus boost Governor Rendell? Or will more than the usual 8-10% that vote for Republican candidates at any given time give Swann and the GOP an opportunity? Only time will tell.

PA - Swann Hurting ...

Here's the overview of recent polls in the PA gubernatorial race:

Recent Poll (Quinnipiac University Poll May 12)
Lynn Swann 33%
Ed Rendell 55%

Recent Poll (IssuesPA/Pew Poll May 8)
Lynn Swann 29%
Ed Rendell 30%

Recent Poll (Franklin & Marshall University/Keystone Poll May 4)
Lynn Swann 35%
Ed Rendell 49%

Recent Poll (Rasmussen Poll April 20)
Lynn Swann 44%
Ed Rendell 41%

Lynn Swann 36%
Ed Rendell 40%
Russ Diamond 16%

Swann may need to take a look at the Steele model, if the latest Quinnipiac poll is correct. But, depending on the partisan/ideological lean of the institution polling (with the exception of Rasmussen which seems to be the most balanced), we might find some inconsistencies. Still, Swann could be a victim of Bush Fatigue, and he may need to downplay his Republican roots, like Steele in Maryland.

Monday, May 15, 2006

McDonald Roberts Receives Endorsement on Eve of Primary

Calling her the "...Dems' most plausible choice..." Valerie McDonald Roberts received the endorsement of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday in her race for Lieutenant Governor.

McDonald Roberts ( , the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds, is looking to knock off current Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll and become the runningmate of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in his bid for a second term.

As a former City Councilwoman in Pittsburgh and school board president McDonald Roberts gives Rendell regional and gender balance in the Keystone state and more subtlly gives the Governor racial balance as he prepares to take on former Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann.

In what polls are already showing to be a tight contest Rendell will need every edge he can get, and having a qualified, experienced and respected runningmate who will give African Americans an additional reason to vote for the Democrat may make the difference in the election.

Prediction: McDonald Roberts will knock off Lt. Gov. Baker Knoll by 10 points

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mixed Bag for Hill in Oregon Come Tuesday

Running for governor as an African American isn't easy anywhere in America and it's doubly tough out west. In Oregon it may be three times as tough. The Beaver state only has 55, 662 African Americans (1.6% of the total population) as of the last census. However, that has not deterred former state Treasurer Jim Hill ( from running for the state's top office.

Hill, one of three blacks campaigning for the governorship in the west (Barbara Bencel in California, and George Bailey in New Mexico, received good and bad news in recent polls. In a late February poll done by Rasmussen Reports showed Hill leading all three top Republican candidates by healthy margins and enjoying a higher favorable rating than the incumbent governor he's seeking to knock off,

The problem for Hill, who has won statewide twice in 1992 and 1996, is that he trails badly against the incumbent Ted Kulongoski. In a Survey USA poll done on May 9th, Hill trails Kulongoski 49% to 25% with the other democratic candidate Pete Sorenson coming in third with 15% and 10% undecided.

The numbers are somewhat baffling since Rasmussen had Hill with not only a higher favorable rating but a lower unfavorable rating by 4 points in each case. They like Jim Hill. And more people dislike the governor than dislike Jim Hill, yet he finds himself trailing by 24 points in an independent poll with the primary on Tuesday.

But such is the road trod by African Americans campaigning statewide in America.

Prediction: Kulongoski nips Hill by 8 points

Friday, May 12, 2006

MA - Fear of A Black Governor; Patrick Not As Strong, According to Poll

SurveyUSA in conjunction with WBZ-TV (Boston), conducted a poll of 600 Massachusetts adults recently on the gubernatorial race. The results of that poll show former Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) as a weaker Democratic candidate against likely Republican foes - he'd still win, but the margins wouldn't be as strong as Tom Reilly or venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli (who recently entered the race). In fact, recent polls are showing Patrick suddenly behind both Reilly and Gabrieli by a few percentage points.

Massachusetts not so open to the idea of a Black Governor? Watching the brother make headway made the Dem party leaders sweat? One could make that argument ...

Here's the SurveyUSA analysis:

In hypothetical matchups for Massachusetts Governor today, 5/8/06, Republican Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey narrowly trails each of the 3 Democrats she may face in a November General Election, according to a SurveyUSA poll of 521 Registered Massachusetts voters conducted exclusively for WBZ-TV Boston. Independent Christy Mihos finishes third in each match-up. When the hypothetical November match-up is between Democrat Deval Patrick, Republican Healey and Independent Mihos, the outcome today is Patrick 34%, Healey 32%, Mihos 17%. When the hypothetical November match-up is between Democrat Tom Reilly, Republican Healey and Independent Mihos, the outcome today is Reilly 37%, Healey 31%, Mihos 18%. When Chris Gabrieli is the Democrat, the outcome today is Gabrieli 37%, Healey 32%, Mihos 16%. In a SurveyUSA WBZ-TV poll conducted 2 months ago, before Gabrieli entered the race, Republican Healey beat Democrat Patrick by 5 points but trailed Democrat Reilly by 5 points. Healy now trails Patrick by 2 points. Healey now trails Reilly by 6 points. The general election for Governor is on 11/7/06. The Democratic Primary, which will determine which Democrat opposes Healey, is 9/19/06.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Key Race of the Moment -- Booker in Landslide

Wow. Polls showed Cory Booker leading the Newark mayor's race by as many as 35 points, but very few thought he would cover that spread over a well know Deputy Mayor/State Senator. But with 89% of the vote in,, the former City Councilman and erstwhile mayoral candidate Cory Booker is burying Ronald Rice by 48 points.

A nearly 50 point landslide will give Mayor-elect Booker the mandate he'll need for massive change in New Jersey's largest city. Becoming Newark's first new mayor in 20 years Mr. Booker will be greeted with an entreached bureaucracy and gargantuan problems, but the citizens of Newark are clearly wanting change, a new gneration of leadership and a mayor who isn't affraid to rock the boat and think outside the box.

Time will tell whether Mr. Booker is that man, at least 70% of the electorate hope he is.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Key Race of the Moment -- Booker May Finally Scale the Mountain

Four years ago heralded newcomer Cory Booker came close to knocking off the king. Booker lost a close and brutal race to longtime Newark, New Jersey Mayor (and State Senator) Sharpe James in 2002 and vowed to return. Tomorrow Mr. Booker may return on a landslide. The most recent polls,, have the former councilman winning in a walk over Deputy Mayor (and State Senator) Ronald Rice.

This election represents a race between the old school and the new. Mr. Booker, a supporter of school vouchers and other middle of road and moderate proposals has railed about the politics of the past and Senator Rice has been seen as a tool of out going Mayor James and attached to the status quo.

It is that status quo that the new mayor will have deal. Poor schools, a stagnent economy, gut wrentching poverty and a horrendous city image will make the job of the next mayor a mountainous task, and tomorrow the people of Newark will select the man to climb that mountian.

Prediction ~ Cory Booker by 22 points.

Friday, May 05, 2006

PA - Swann Down in F&M/Keystone Poll

Swann is down significantly, 35%, against Gov. Rendell's 49% in the latest Franklin & Marshall Univ./Keystone Poll on 2006 statewide races. That's a wide gap and could be reflective of the entrance of Independent candidate and recording producer Russ Diamond (I) who has, according to Rasmussen, managed to solidify 16% of likely voters. It could also be reflective of overall GOP/Bush fatigue within the battleground state, a phenomenon not only found in Pennsylvania ...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

OH - Blackwell GOP Nominee

As reported by While Congressman Ted Strickland (D) easily won his gubernatorial primary with 78% of the vote, the GOP contest was must more competitive and dirty. With much of the vote counted, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell appeared to have defeated Attorney General Jim Petro by a 57% to 43% vote ( . The two men spent millions on costly TV attack spots that trashed each other. Petro congratulated Blackwell for running a "masterful campaign" but did not yet offer him an endorsement.

Race rating: Leans DEM