Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miller Outperforms on Newly Counted Ballots, but not by enough to win

29316 left, and Murkowski needs to have 25084 (85.6%) unchallenged for her to be ahead of Joe Miller (by 1 vote) without relying on the challenged but counted ballots. She currently has
90.16% of the write-in votes as being cast for her without being challenged.

Relying on the challenged but counted ballots, Murkowski only needs 67.5% of the outstanding write-in ballots in order to win, and she has currently gotten 97.8% of the tallied write-in ballots for her with or without challenges.

In other words, the newly counted ballots (absentee and questioned ballots), while slightly better for Joe Miller than the previously counted ballots, did not even have him outperforming "write-in", much less outperforming by enough to give him a good shot at victory.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Strategy for Joe Miller: Which Lisa Murkowski Did Voters Mean?

Joe Miller, the bearded Tea Party wonder from Alaska (I don't mind the beard since I have one too, although his is lame) may be in a lot of trouble.

And he's tried so very hard and really pulled out the stops. He has the National REpublican Senatorial Committee spending for him.

Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out an e-mail encouraging donors to assist Miller. The NRSC's main aim is to elect and re-elect Republicans, and until today it was unclear whether it would fully back Miller's post-election fight with Murkowksi, another Republican.

In his e-mail, the chairman of the NRSC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, warned that both sides "are beginning to lawyer up and prepare for any possible legal fights. Joe needs your help to make sure he has enough money to make it a fair contest."
"We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count," he wrote. "Because we need Joe to join our fight against Barack Obama. Help ensure that this vote count is conducted fairly."

Notice that the Republican party's goals in the Senate are not to help get America back on track. It's not even to enact a conservative agenda. It's to "fight against Barack Obama."

He's also gotten Floyd Brown, the infamous person behind the infamous "Willie Horton" ad and the founder of Citizens United, to advise his campaign. By this he means make up "allege" voter fraud and intimidation without providing real examples, claiming conveniently that people are too afraid to come forward; perhaps they fear Willie Horton will come after them if they do.

He's got a truly desperate legal team, which has come up with a novel theory that misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name are "protest votes" against Lisa Murkowski.

Prior to the election, people commented on radio stations and in the comment sections in blogs and newspaper stories that they would deliberately incorrectly write-in a variation of "Murkowski" as a protest. They did so knowing that Murkowski was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a "spelling bee" campaign, replete with wrist bands, pencils and tattoos, all to educate the voters on proper spelling. Why was this done? Because even Murkowski had read the law and knew that it required proper spelling -- "No exceptions." So protest voters were trying to send a message to the candidate.

Unfortunately for ol' Joe, all of this may not be enough. The latest numbers don't look good.

The Division reports 89.78 percent of the write-ins are unchallenged for Murkowski, a number that's held steady during the count.

The Division of Elections overturned challenges by the Miller campaign on another 8 percent of the ballots and counted them for Murkowski. Miller hopes the courts will reverse that.

Just 1.52 percent of the 45,132 write-in ballots reviewed so far have been successfully challenged by Miller ballot observers.

There were, in total, 92,979 write-in votes, and 82,180 votes for Joe Miller. So there are 47,847 remaining write-in ballots to review.

Of the 45,132 reviewed so far, 40519 are unchallenged for Murkowski, so she needs only 41662 of the 47,847 remaining (87.07%) in order to be victorious even if all of the challenged ballots are thrown out. If she maintains the current rate, she'll have 83,476 votes, for a margin over Miller that even recounting wouldn't be likely to change.

So I'd urge Joe Miller's attorneys to take the next logical step. How can we be sure all of the votes for Lisa Murkowski were for the incumbent Senator Lisa Ann Murkowski?

From an excerpt of what I'm sure will be a forthcoming lawsuit:

They could well have meant Lisa Murkowski of Delwood, Kansas, who is the "Representative Conference Vice Chair at American Academy of Family Physicians" according to a White Pages search. Of course, this Ms. Murkowski is not eligible to be a Senator from Alaska, but that's okay. They were protest votes for that Lisa! I urge all write in votes that did not make it clear that they supported the specific Lisa Murkowski who is currently Senator to be thrown out because voter intent cannot be determined.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Women in the 112th Congress

First, a table of the number of women in the House and Senate at the beginning of each of the last few Congresses, broken down by political party.


(112th projected based on current totals in AK-Sen, AZ-8, IL-8, NY-25)

Yes, not since the 96th Congress (1979-1981) have we seen a Congress with less women in EITHER house of Congress than there were in the previous one.

What about this year? In the Senate, no women Senators retired; Democrat Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas lost her re-election race, while Republican Kelly Ayotte won the open Senate seat in New Hampshire being vacated by Judd Gregg. Two more Senate races with women remain undecided. Democrat Patty Murray leads Dino Rossi by about 28,000 votes in Washington (with over half a million remaining to be counted). In Alaska's Senate race, 40.95% of the votes were cast for write-in candidates compared to 34.34% being cast for Republican nominee and Tea Partier Joe Miller; if as expected, most of those write-in votes are valid write-in votes for Lisa Murkowski, she will be returning to the Senate, and there will once again be 17 female Senators, 12 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

In called House races, there will be 7 less Democratic females, 6 more Republican females.

Specifically, we are guaranteed to see the following women in the next Congress (unless something happens to prevent them from taking office):

Republican women are in red font, Democratic women are in blue font, non-white (Latino, Asian, black, Native American, etc) women are in bold, and newly elected female members are underlined.

States which are not guaranteed (based on current results) to have any female members of the House Representatives in the 112th Congress are omitted from the table.

Alabama2Martha Roby (AL-2), Terri Sewell (AL-7)
California19Doris Matsui (CA-5), Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Nancy Pelosi (CA-8), Barbara Lee (CA-9), Jackie Speier (CA-12), Anna Eshoo (CA-14), Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), Lois Capps (CA-23), Judy Chu (CA-32), Karen Bass (CA-33), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34), Maxine Waters (CA-35), Jane Harman (CA-36), Laura Richardson (CA-37) Grace Napolitano (CA-38), Linda Sanchez (CA-39), Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Susan Davis (CA-53)
Colorado1Diana DeGette (CO-1)
Connecticut1Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)
Florida6Corinne Brown (FL-3), Kathy Castor (FL-11), Frederica Wilson (FL-17), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-20), Sandra Adams (FL-24)
Hawaii2Colleen Hanabusa (HI-1), Mazie Hirono (HI-2)
Illinois2Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Judy Biggert (IL-13)
Kansas1Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Maine1Chellie Pingree (ME-1)
Maryland1Donna Edwards (MD-4)
Massachusetts1Nikki Tsongas (MA-5)
Michigan1Candice Miller (MI-10)
Minnesota2Betty McCollum (MN-4), Michelle Bachmann (MN-6)
Missouri2Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8)
Nevada1Shelley Berkley (NV-1)
New York7Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4), Yvette Clarke (NY-11), Nydia Velazquez (NY-12), Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), Nita Lowey (NY-18), Nan Hayworth (NY-19), Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
North Carolina3Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Sue Myrick (NC-9)
Ohio4Jean Schmidt (OH-2), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Betty Sutton (OH-13)
Pennsylvania1Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
South Dakota1Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
Tennessee2Diane Black (TN-6), Marsha Blackburn (TN-7)
Texas3Kay Granger (TX-12), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Washington2Jaime Herrera (WA-3), Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA-5)
West Virginia1Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2)
Wisconsin2Tammy Baldwin (WI-2), Gwen Moore (WI-4)
Wyoming1Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)

The following women who were in the 111th Congress at the beginning will not be in the 112th.

Virginia Brown Waite (R-FL) [retiring], Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) [lost re-election], Mary Fallin (R-OK) [ran for Governor], Debbie Halvorson (D-IL) [lost re-election], Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) [lost primary], Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) [lost re-election], Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) [lost re-election], Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) (lost re-election], Betsy Markey (D-CO) [lost re-election], Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) [lost re-election], Hilda Solis (D-CA) [became Secretary of Labor], Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) [became U.S. Senator from New York], Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) [became something or other in the Obama administration], Dina Titus (D-NV) [lost re-election], Diane Watson (D-CA) [retired], Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) [lost re-election]

In 3 races which have not been called, looking at the present totals, there will be one further less Democratic female (Melissa Bean) and one further more Republican female (Ann Buehrkle of New York)

i.e. Republican wave seems to have made this the first time in 30 years that an incoming House of Representatives has less women than the outgoing one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Preliminary Look at Control and Strategy for Congressional Redistricting: Who Controls the Process?

Public Mapping provides a nice table describing how the process works and who may or may not control it. I'm going to use their information and modify it here, noting how things went down in the 2000 redistricting and updating for the actual (not quite final) results from yesterday's election.

StateWho Controls?2000 (mid-decade) Control2010 Control
AlabamaState Gov'tDemocraticRepublican
Alaska1 seat
ArkansasState Gov'tDemocraticDemocratic
ColoradoState Gov'tSplitSplit
Delaware1 seat
FloridaState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
GeorgiaState Gov'tDemocraticRepublicanRepublican
IllinoisState Gov'tSplitDem
IndianaState Gov'tSplitRepublican
KansasState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
KentuckyState Gov'tSplitSplit
LouisianaState Gov'tSplitSplit
MarylandState Gov'tDemocraticDemocratic
MassachusettsState Gov'tDemocraticDemocratic
MichiganState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
MinnesotaState Gov'tSplitSplit or Rep
MississippiState Gov'tDemocraticSplit
MissouriState Gov'tDemocraticSplit
Montana1 seat
NebraskaState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
NevadaState Gov'tRepublicanSplit
New HampshireState Gov'tSplitSplit
New JerseyCommissionIndependent
New MexicoState Gov'tSplitSplit
New YorkState Gov'tSplitDem or split
North CarolinaState Gov'tDemocraticSplit
North Dakota1 seat
OhioState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
OklahomaState Gov'tSplitRepublican
OregonState Gov'tSplitTie/D leg, D gov?
PennsylvaniaState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
Rhode IslandState Gov'tDemocraticDemocratic
South CarolinaState Gov'tSplitRepublican
South Dakota1 seat
TennesseeState Gov'tSplitRepublican
TexasState Gov'tSplitRepublicanRepublican
UtahState Gov'tRepublicanRepublican
Vermont1 seat
VirginiaState Gov'tRepublicanSplit
West VirginiaState Gov'tDemocraticDemocratic
WisconsinState Gov'tSplitRepublican
Wyoming1 seat

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Props to Google for its Pro-Voting Agenda

Google Maps is saying when you go to it: "Find out where to vote and see candidates on your ballot," and it seems to work pretty well!

It found my polling place correctly, even though it had recently been moved to its current location. Good for Google and the Voting Information Project for geocoding precincts, even though those precincts will nearly all have to be redone after lines are redrawn when the 2010 Census data is processed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Larry Sabato's Predictions

Sabato predicts Republicans pick up a net of 55 House seats, which would end up actually giving them a larger majority in the 112th Congress than they have had since 1946 (234 seats versus a previous high of 232 in the 109th Congress).

Of the 58 seats (since the Dems are expected to pick up the overwhelmingly Democratic Louisiana 2nd now that a presumed felon is not on the ballot as well as the open Dem-leaning IL-10 and DE-AL) expected to go from Dem to Republican under Sabato's predictions, 38 are seats picked up in either 2006 or 2008, another 10 are old southern seats that Dems had managed to hang onto (in districts John Kerry and except for GA-2, Barack Obama did not win or even come very close in). Of the other 10:

2 were pickups in 2004 (CO-3 on election day, SD-AL in a special election); 5 are open (albeit not THAT heavily Republican; Obama won in 4 of them and Kerry even won in WI-7), as well as IL-17, ND-AL, PA-11