Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

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Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: With days to go in Kentucky, another poll shows Conway leading Bevin

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: SurveyUSA returns for one last look at the Nov. 3 general, and they find that Democrat Jack Conway holds a 45-40 lead over Republican Matt Bevin; left-leaning independent Drew Curtis takes 6. Democrats have been dramatically outspending the GOP here, and it seems to be having some effect. While Conway’s 36-32 favorable rating isn’t spectacular, it’s better than Bevin’s underwater 32-38 score.

One month ago, SurveyUSA gave Conway a similar 42-37 edge. Only a few other polls have been released here, and they’ve all found Conway ahead from anywhere between 2 and 5 points: Even Bevin’s own poll showed the Democrat ahead 44-41. The GOP isn’t giving up here though. The RGA is out with three separate ads as part of their overall $2.5 million investment for the final two weeks of the race. Shockingly, all three

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Morning Digest: PPP says, ‘Not so fast, Quinnipiac—Pennsylvania’s pretty competitive’

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) speak as they walk to the Senate Chamber to vote on legislation for funding the Department of Homeland Security on Capitol Hill in Washington March 2, 2015. Three days after lawmakers narrowly avoided a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security in a dispute over immigration reforms, the Senate voted 58-31 to send a

It’s another edition of our favorite series: Senators on escalators

Leading Off:
PA-Sen: Quinnipiac has painted a dire picture in Pennsylvania for Team Blue, with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey consistently leading his prospective Democratic foes by horrific margins. But with questions about the makeup of Quinnipiac’s samples, we’ve long thirsted for another pollster to go into the field in the Keystone State. And indeed, a new PPP survey finds a very different landscape: Toomey is ahead, yes, but he’s by no means unbeatable:

41-34 vs. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman
43-36 vs. former gubernatorial chief of staff Katie McGinty

41-38 vs. 2010 nominee Joe Sestak

PPP gives Toomey a weak 28-43 approval rating, very different from the 51-27 score Quinnipiac most recently found. Some of Toomey’s weakness is with Republican voters, who only approve of him by a 42-27 margin, but will likely come

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Morning Digest: David Vitter tries to nuke his Republican foes as the jungle primary draws closer


David Vitter attack ad against fellow Republican Jay Dardenne

Leading Off:

LA-Gov: Well, maybe GOP Sen. David Vitter really is worried that he won’t take one of the top two spots in the Oct. 24 jungle primary. Vitter’s super PAC has been airing a few negative spots against his intra-party rivals, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, but Vitter and his allies turned the dial up to 11 over the weekend.

Vitter’s campaign is out with two new negative ads. Vitter portrays Dardenne as a liberal, arguing he voted for abortion and to raise taxes. The spot also accuses Dardenne of voting against preventing undocumented immigrants from coming into Louisiana. Vitter’s anti-Angelle spot links the public service commissioner to Obama: The narrator points out that Angelle used to be a Democrat (he formally switched parties in late 2010), and argues that

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Kentucky Republicans sink ever deeper into the muck

James Comer

James Comer

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: There are ugly races, and there’s Kentucky’s May 19 GOP gubernatorial primary.

This contest dove into the gutter last week, when we learned that a blogger named Michael Adams was accusing Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of abusing his girlfriend back in college, something Comer vigorously denied. Adams was in communication with the campaign of Comer’s primary rival, businessman Hal Heiner, who subsequently apologized for any role his team had played in spreading unfounded rumors. But on Monday night, Marilyn Thomas, who Comer says he dated for four months when they attended Western Kentucky University, came forward and told the Courier Journal that the candidate had in fact abused her, and had also taken her to get an abortion.

Comer has once again denied that he ever harmed Thomas, and he is now accusing Heiner’s campaign of paying her to lie. However,

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Mikulski’s departure sets off a free-for-all for her seat

There are no shortage of Democrats who might run for this Senate seat

Leading Off:
MD-Sen: On Monday, five-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest-tenured woman in congressional history, announced that she would not seek another term in 2016. Mikulski’s decision surprised plenty of people, and a number of politicians will be assessing their chances here in the coming days and weeks. Safely blue Maryland has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1980, when Charles Matthias, the man Mikulski succeeded, won a final term, and most of the action is expected to be in the Democratic primary.

We have a visual guide above of the potential Democratic candidates, created by dreaminonempty. Their names are below, along with any information about their intentions:

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III
Former Lt. Gov. and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown- publicly considering

Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. John Delaney- publicly considering

Rep. Donna Edwards

State Controller Peter Franchot- unlikely to run

Former Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler

Rep.

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