Worksheet for the 2018 Midterms (Clinton and Obama Endorse)

By Lambert Strether of .

Here is the latest iteration of my “Table 1” for the 2018 primaries. The structure is a little different from the last iteration (‘Worksheet for the 2018 Midterms (Status Quo, with a Look at the Winners So Far)). As usual, the horserace information is the latest available (last updated August 2, 2018). I have changed the database to add columns for ratings from (CP) (last updated July 27, 2018). This doesn’t show up yet in Table I, because I have on “Previous” data yet, but will show in the figures. (For those of you following along at home, the “Horserace” column is now “Inside Elections” (IE). I also added Democracy for America (DFA) to the Backers column. I have also added a column to the database for the largest city in each district, to make the districts a bit easier for readers to visualize. (This is sometimes a judgement call, since often big cities are split between districts.) I have also updated all the backers, and added columns for endorsements by Clinton, Obama, and Sanders (which appears in the figures). As always, I welcome corrections from readers.

Herewith the table. This week, the data gives us a really interesting insight into the nature of the Democrat Party.

Table 1: Worksheet on House Races, Election 2018 (07-23).

District Date Party Status Incumbent IE IE (Prev) PVI HRC City Challengers
AR-02 05-22 R Hill Likely-R Likely-R R+17 -10.70 Little Rock (; .) [m, e, w], () [e][M], (.) [e][M], (.) [DCCC, DP][fM]
AZ-01 08-28 D O’Halleran Tilt-D Tilt-D R+02 -1.10 Flagstaff [DP]
AZ-02 08-28 R Open McSally Tilt-D Tilt-D R+01 4.90 Tucson , [DP; h], (, ; but ; .) [EL, DCCC, DP][fM], , () [DFA, JD; m][M], (), () [DP][M], [DP][M]
AZ-08 08-28 R Special VACANT Likely-R Likely-R R+13 -21.10 PhoenixS Judith McHale (McHale dropped out prior to the filing deadline), (.) [DP; e], Bob Olsen [m, l], (; .) [EL, IN; h][fM], (; .) [JD, OR][M]
CA-04 06-05 R McClintock Likely-R Likely-R R+10 -14.70 Placerville . (.) [o], (. Also DSA-endorsed.) [BN, JD, OR; s][M], (.) [M], Richard Martin (), (; .) [EL; m][fM], Rochelle Wilcox (.) [l]
CA-07 06-05 D Bera Likely-D Likely-D D+03 11.40 SacramentoS [No challenger] (With no challenger, Bera is the winnner.)
CA-10 06-05 R Denham Tilt-R Tilt-R EVEN 3.00 Modesto [DP; m][M], Lisa Battista, Mateo Morelos Bedolla (.) [DP][M], , [DCCC; e][M], [EL][fM], Dotty Nygard, [M], Seth Vaughn, [DP]
CA-21 06-05 R Valadao Likely-R Likely-R D+05 15.50 BakersfieldS (.) [DCCC], Emilio Huerta (.)
CA-25 06-05 R Knight Tilt-R Tilt-R EVEN 6.70 Palmdale [JD, OR][M], Kelan Farrell-Smith (.), Daniel Fleming , Diedra Greenaway (.) [DP], [EL][fM], (.) [h], Scott McVarish (.), Mary Pallant () [DP], [OR]
CA-39 06-05 R Open Royce Toss-Up Toss-Up EVEN 8.60 Fullerton (.) [m, in, s, e][M], (; ) [DCCC; m], () [DP][M], (.) [e], [DP], , Cybil Steed () [e], () [OR; e][M], (, ) [EL; h]
CA-45 06-05 R Walters Lean-R Lean-R R+03 5.40 Irvine Brian Forde, [DP; s], John Graham, [DP][M], (CAP.) [DP], [DFA, EL, PCCC, DCCC][M], Greg Ramsay, Eric Rywalski, Ron Varasteh
CA-48 06-05 R Rohrabacher Tilt-R Tilt-R R+04 1.70 Huntington Beach [h][fM], Michael Kotick, Laura Oatman, (Googler; ) [EL; s], [IN, DCCC], Deanie Schaarsmith, [in][fM], [m][M]
CA-49 06-05 R Open Issa Toss-Up Lean-D R+01 7.50 Oceanside [JD; m][M], () [EL, DP][M], ( ) [m][M], () [DFA, PCCC, DCCC, DP][M]
CA-50 06-05 R Hunter Likely-R Likely-R R+11 -15.00 Escondido Pierre Beauregard (.) [DP], [m], . (; ; .) [DFA, IN, JD, OR, DP][M], Gloria Chadwick (.) [h, w], Glenn Jensen (), (; ) [M], Alex Spilger ()
CO-06 06-26 R Coffman Tilt-R Tilt-R D+02 8.90 DenverS [DCCC, DP; m], , [M], [OR, DP][M]
FL-07 08-28 D Murphy Lean-D Lean-D EVEN 7.30 Orlando [BN, JD; m][M]
FL-13 08-28 D Crist Safe-D Safe-D D+02 3.20 Saint Petersburg [No challenger]
FL-26 08-28 R Curbelo Tilt-R Tilt-R D+06 16.30 MiamiS [m], (), Steven Machat [DP][M], [EL, DCCC], [m]
FL-27 08-28 R Open Ros-Lehtinen Lean-D Lean-D D+05 19.60 Miami [EL], () [DP; e], , () [BN, JD; e], , (, ) [DP][M], () [DP], [DP], (; ) [EL, DP]
GA-06 05-22 R Handel Likely-R Likely-R R+08 -1.50 Roswell (Runoff, July 24. .), [h][fM], (; . ), (Runoff, July 24. ; .) [EL, DCCC]
GA-07 05-22 R Woodall Likely-R Likely-R R+09 -6.30 Peachtree Corners () [h][M], (Run-off July 24. ; .) [EL, DP; e], (.), (Run-off July 24. . ) [e], [fM], Steve Reilly
IA-01 06-05 R Blum Toss-Up Toss-Up D+01 -3.50 Cedar Rapids Abby Finkenauer [EL, DCCC, DP], [DP], [m, l], [JD; m][M]
IA-03 06-05 R Young Likely-R Likely-R R+01 15.30 Des Moines (.) [EL, DCCC][fM], (; .) [JD, OR; s][M],
IL-06 03-20 R Roskam Tilt-R Tilt-R R+02 7.00 Naperville Becky Anderson (), () [DCCC][fM], [DP], (), [DP; e], [DP][M], (“A Medicare-for-all public option.”) [fM], Geoffrey Petzel (), Austin Songer, Becky Anderson Wilkins (),
IL-12 03-20 R Bost Lean-R Lean-R R+05 -14.80 Carbondale [m], () [DCCC; m, in, l]
IL-13 03-20 R R. Davis Likely-R Likely-R R+03 -5.50 Decatur Jonathan Ebel (.) [m, in], David Gill (; .) [h][M], Erik Jones (; .) [DP; l][fM], (.) [EL, DCCC, DP; w][fM], () [M], Benjamin Webb (.) [e], Mark Wicklund (.)
IN-02 05-08 R Walorski Likely-R Likely-R R+11 -23.20 South Bend Aaron Bush, Douglas Carpenter () [h][fM], Pat Hackett () [fM], (.) [OR, DP; h], () [DP][fM], Roland Leech, John Petroff ()
KS-02 08-07 R Open Jenkins Lean-R Lean-R R+10 -18.40 Topeka [DCCC, DP], Nathan Schmidt () [DP]
KS-03 08-07 R Yoder Lean-R Lean-R R+04 1.30 Kansas CityS Sharice Davids (; ) [EL], (), , (“Create a single-payer Option”) [s], [e], Andrea Ramsey (.) [EL], , [BN, JD, OR, PCCC, DP][M],
KY-06 05-22 R Barr Toss-Up Lean-R R+09 -15.30 Lexington Jim Gray () [DP], , , [DCCC, DP; m], [DP; e], ()
ME-02 06-12 R Poliquin Lean-R Lean-R R+02 -17.60 Bangor Phil Cleaves (), Jonathan Fulford (; .) [DP][fM], (; ) [GS, DCCC, DP; m][M], (.) [DP][fM], Tim Rich (.), Lucas St. Clair (; ; ; ) [M]
MI-06 08-07 R Upton Likely-R Likely-R R+04 -8.40 Kalamazoo () [JD, DP; e][M], () [e][M], [s][fM], () [DP], (; .) [s], [m], () [h]
MI-07 08-07 R Walberg Likely-R Likely-R R+07 -17.00 Ann ArborS (.) [EL, DCCC, DP], (; .) [m, s][M]
MI-08 08-07 R Bishop Lean-R Lean-R R+04 -6.70 Lansing (; ; .) [EL, DCCC, DP; m, in][fM],
MI-11 08-07 R Open Trott Toss-Up Toss-Up R+04 -4.40 Livonia (Site not responsive.) [DP], , [fM], [DFA, JD, DP][M], [DP]
MN-01 08-14 D Open Walz Toss-Up Toss-Up R+05 -14.90 Rochester [M], (, , ) [DCCC, DP; m], [DP], () [m], , () [DP; m, l][M]
MN-02 08-14 R Lewis Toss-Up Toss-Up R+02 -1.20 Eagan () [EL, DCCC], () [e][M]
MN-03 08-14 R Paulsen Lean-R Lean-R D+01 9.40 MinneapolisS [M], Adam Jennings () [m], [DCCC]
MN-07 08-14 D Peterson Likely-D Likely-D R+12 -30.80 Moorhead [No challenger]
MN-08 08-14 D Open Nolan Toss-Up Toss-Up R+04 -15.60 Duluth () [DP], [M], () [DP], () [in][M], [DP]
MT-01 06-05 R Gianforte Likely-R Likely-R R+11 -20.60 Billings John Heenan (; ; .) [BN; s][M], (; .) [DP], , Lynda Moss (.) [DP], (; ) [DP; l], (; ; .) [EL, DP], (. ) [DP; e]
NC-09 05-08 R Pittenger Tilt-R Tilt-R R+08 -11.60 Monroe (; .) [fM], (; .) [DCCC; m], (.) [e]
NC-13 05-08 R Budd Likely-R Likely-R R+06 -9.40 CharlotteS ( (; ; .) [EL, DCCC], Beniah McMiller
NM-02 06-05 R Open Pearce Lean-R Lean-R R+06 -10.20 AlbuquerqueS (.), (.), Ronald Fitzherbert, Madeleine Hildebrandt [m, e], Tony Martinez (; .) [m], Angel Pena (; .), (; ; .) [EL, DCCC, DP], Adolf Zubia (.)
NE-02 05-15 R Bacon Tilt-R Tilt-R R+04 -2.20 Omaha [DCCC, DP], (; .) [DFA, EL, JD, PCCC, DCCC; e][M]
NH-01 09-11 D Open Shea-Porter Tilt-D Tilt-D R+02 -1.60 Manchester (, ) [DP], () [DP], () [BN; s][M], [m, l][M], () [DP], (; ) [M], [l], () [EL, DP; m]
NJ-02 06-05 R Open LoBiondo Likely-D Tilt-D R+01 -4.60 Atlantic City () [DP], () [e][M], () [DCCC, DP], () [e]
NJ-03 06-05 R MacArthur Likely-R Likely-R R+02 -6.20 Tom’s River Rich Dennison (.) [DP], (.), (; more.) [PCCC, DCCC; m, in], () [DP]
NJ-05 06-05 D Gottheimer Safe-D Safe-D R+03 -1.10 Hackensack [No challenger] (.)
NJ-07 06-05 R Lance Tilt-R Tilt-R R+03 1.10 Union Township (; ) [BN, JD, OR][M], , [DCCC, DP]
NJ-11 06-05 R Open Frelinghuysen Tilt-D Tilt-D R+03 -1.00 Wayne [l], () [m], (), Alison Heslin, () [EL, DCCC; m, l][M], [e][M]
NV-03 06-12 D Open Rosen Tilt-D Tilt-D R+02 -1.00 Las VegasS , (; )) [EL, DCCC; e], [M], () [s], , Eric Stoltz, () [M]
NV-04 06-12 D Open Kihuen Likely-D Likely-D D+03 4.90 Las VegasS () [e], () [DCCC, DP], () [DP; m][M], () [DP; e], () [BN, IN, JD][M], [m, in]
NY-11 06-26 R Donovan Likely-R Likely-R R+03 -9.80 Staten Island (.) [m, e][M], (; .) [M], (), (; ; .) [DCCC; m, l][fM], (), () [fM]
NY-19 06-26 R Faso Tilt-R Tilt-R R+02 -6.80 Woodstock [JD; in, e][M], [M], Erin Collier () [EL, DP], [DCCC][fM], Brian Flynn [M], [DP][M], [m, in][fM]
NY-22 06-26 R Tenney Tilt-R Tilt-R R+06 -15.50 Utica [DCCC, DP][fM]
NY-24 06-26 R Katko Likely-R Likely-R D+03 3.60 Syracuse (; ; more) [DFA, IN, OR, PCCC, DCCC, DP; e][M], (; ; ) [DP], Philip LaTessa [DP], (; ) [fM], Juanita Perez Williams (; ; : .) [DCCC, DP; m, e][fM]
OH-01 05-08 R Chabot Likely-R Likely-R R+05 -6.60 Cincinnati (), (; ; .) [DCCC; l], () [h][fM]
OH-12 05-08 R Special VACANT Tilt-R Tilt-R R+07 -11.30 ColumbusS (; ) [m][fM], (: ) [w], (; ; ) [DP], (; ; ) [h, w], [e], (; .) [IN][M], (; ; .) [l], [h][M]
OH-14 05-08 R Joyce Likely-R Likely-R R+05 -11.50 ClevelandS Betsy Rader [EL, DCCC]
PA-01 05-15 R Fitzpatrick Tilt-R Tilt-R D+31 61.30 Levittown [DP; e][M], [EL; m], Scott Wallace () [DCCC, DP]
PA-05 05-15 R Open Meehan Likely-D Likely-D R+13 -28.80 PhiladelphiaS [e], () [DP], () [in][fM], [DP], [DP], () [DP][M], (), () [l], (; ) [DP], [EL], () [s][M], () [DP], ,
PA-06 05-15 R Costello Likely-D Likely-D R+02 0.60 West Chester (; ) [EL, DCCC; m]
PA-07 05-15 R Open Dent Tilt-D Tilt-D R+01 2.30 Allentown , [DP], [JD][M], [DP; l], () [e], (; ) [EL, DCCC; l]
PA-08 05-15 R Cartwright Lean-D Lean-D R+02 -0.20 Scranton [No challenger]
PA-10 05-15 R Perry Likely-R Likely-R R+16 -35.90 Harrisbug Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (; more; ; ) [EL, DP; w], (; ) [s, h][fM], (; ; ) [m][fM], (; ; ) [m, in][fM]
PA-17 05-15 R Rothfus Toss-Up Toss-Up R+01 -10.10 PittsbrughS [m, l], Ray Linsenmayer (Dropped out (oddly). ; ; .)
TX-07 03-06 R Culberson Tilt-R Tilt-R R+07 1.40 HoustonS [h, e], [DP], [EL, DCCC], () [JD, DP], Ivan Sanchez [DP][fM], , (; ) [h]
TX-21 03-06 R Open Smith Likely-R Likely-R R+10 -10.00 Austin (; ) [JD, DP][M], (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ) [m][fM], () [DP][M], [e][M], (; ; ) [e][M]
TX-23 03-06 R Hurd Toss-Up Toss-Up R+01 3.40 San AntonioS [DFA, EL, DCCC, DP; m, l][M], [JD, OR, DP][M]
TX-32 03-06 R Sessions Toss-Up Likely-R R+05 1.90 DallasS (; ; ; ) [DCCC, DP][fM], David Henry, , (; ) [DP][fM], () [m, s], Chris Suprun, , () [fM], (: ) [DP][fM], (; ) [fM]
UT-04 06-26 R Love Lean-R Lean-R R+13 -6.70 Salt Lake CityS (), [DCCC, DP], [JD; s][M], Morgan Shepherd, [s][M]
VA-02 06-12 R Taylor Likely-R Likely-R R+03 -3.40 Virginia Beach (; ) [EL, DCCC; m], () [DP; e]
VA-05 06-12 R Garrett Likely-R Likely-R R+06 -11.10 Charlottesville (; ) [EL][M], Ben Cullop (; ; ) [e], ) [m], Adam Slate, (; ) [l][fM]
VA-07 06-12 R Brat Lean-R Lean-R R+06 -6.50 RichmondS (; ) [EL, DCCC; in, l, e], (; ; ) [m]
VA-10 06-12 R Comstock Toss-Up Toss-Up D+01 10.00 Leesburg [DP; h], () [s], () [DP; in], () [m][fM], , () [l], (), () [DP], () [EL, DCCC, DP; l]
WA-05 08-07 R McMorris Rodgers Likely-R Likely-R R+08 -20.10 Spokane (; ; ) [EL, DCCC, DP; e],
WA-08 08-07 R Open Reichert Toss-Up Toss-Up EVEN 3.00 Wenatchee , [M], () [h], () [M], [M], (; .) [IN; l][M], () [EL, IN; h]
WI-01 08-14 R Open Ryan Lean-R Lean-R R+19 -10.30 Kenosha () [DFA, JD, PCCC, DCCC][fM], () [e][M]
WV-03 05-08 R Open Jenkins Likely-R Likely-R R+23 -49.20 Huntington Paul Davis [DCCC], Janice Hagerman, (; ) [DP], (; ; ) [DCCC, DP; m][fM]
  • Bio keys are m, i, l, and o) for Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Other (except I didn’t find any Others this time[5]). A candidate who worked for the CIA is keyed i. A candidate who worked in Law enforcement and the military is keyed “lm.” “Law Enforcement” is conceived broadly, including not only police but district attorneys.
  • Backer keys are BN, DFA, EL, GS, IN, JD, OR, and DCCC, Brand New Congress, Democracy for America, Emily’s List, Great Slate, Indivisible, Justice Democrats, Our Revolution, and (of course) the DCCC. In addition, there is a DP key, for members of the Democrat Party network, elected and otherwise, and S, for challengers inspired by Sanders.
  • Policy keys are M, fM, for Medicare for All, and any of the various bait-and-switch alternatives proposed by think tanks like CAP, or centrists like Merkeley. Some judgement is involved, based on the verbiage. “Single payer” always merits an “M,” for example.
  • In the cities column, a subscripted “S” (S) denotes “Suburb.”

And now to some results.

Figure 1: Status Changes by District

(There are no changes from the previous iteration.)

I’ve heard it said that the Inside Elections leans Republican, and the Cook Political Report leans Democrat, so I thought I’d compare them:

Figure 2: Toss-Ups, according to Inside Elections (IE) and the Cook Political Report (CR)

I compared toss-ups, because I felt that districts that are “on the bubble” would be the best way to see how each handicapper leans. As you can see, although the contours of the toss-ups are approximately the same, CR leans to the Democrats (I won’t say “to the left”) compared to IE. (That’s fine with me, because this cynical and counter-suggestible analyst would rather avoid “wave” triumphalism; and when IE throws in the towel, we’ll know the “wave” has broken.)

Clinton’s endorsements — nominally, those of “Onward Together (OT), her Astroturf organization — came on ; Obama’s, on .

Figure 3: Endorsements by Obama and Clinton

(I’ve helpfully highlighted “insurgent” backers like Justice Democrats (JD). And just to make the message of Figure 2 more pointed:

Figure 4: Non-DCCC Endorsements by Obama and Clinton

These two figures tell us two things: First, the Obama and Clinton’s endorsements are a nearly complete subset of the DCCC’s, and if you treat Emily’s List (EL) as an equivalent of the DCCC, as far as being a creature of the Democrat establishment, there’s only one outlier: CA-50.

Second, the Democrat Party really is split. As you can see, Obama, Clinton, and the DCCC’s endorsements overlap in only a single case (again, CA-50) with “insurgent” backers like Justice Democrats (JD) and Our Revolution (OR). Negative confirmation: Obama did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez (““). Her district is a safe Democrat seat (unless Crowley, running as a straw on the Working Families line, somehow takes it away from her), so perhaps that doesn’t matter: Positive confirmation: Obama and Clinton didn’t endorse Bryce in WI-01, although — because? — Sanders did, even though the DCCC did, and the seat used to be Paul Ryan’s![1]

We are also left with the brute fact of the remarkable unamamity of opinion in the Democrat establishment between the Party organ, the DCCC, and the former competing, now apparently allied, elder electeds, Clinton and Obama. The latter suddenly turned to join the former, and now they are all going in the same direction, like a school of fish! Institutionally, how was this achieved? It’s not like anybody voted on this, or there was a Party Congress, or whatever. In what venue where the decisions made? Using what communications tools? When we finally come to model the Democratic Party — perhaps as a crime syndicate — answers to these questions will be important.

Figure 5: Districts Likely Targeted

In the abstract, taking the 23 seats the Democrats need to take to regain control of the House looks doable (see especially the HRC margin of victory or defeat). As ever, the question is whether these Democrats can do that.

It will be interesting to see what today’s results will bring!


[1] One might argue that the “insurgents” “stayed in their lane” by deliberately avoiding DCCC districts, to avoid “helping Trump.” That implies, however, that the insurgents are institutionally distinct and, as a faction, capable of collective action.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. willf


    you have both Kara Eastman and Brad Ashford listed as running for Congress from NE-02 (Nebraska’s second congressional district).

    This is incorrect. Ashford was defeated by Kara Eastman in the primary election and is not on the ballot.

    Unless I am mistaken and he is running as an independent — and I cannot find any information to suggest that this is the case — his name should be removed from this list.

    Thank you.

    1. grayslady

      Same with the Illinois races. The DCCC-sponsored Dems won all the primaries. It is still interesting to see what other choices were available to voters, but maybe the winners names could be in caps or bold.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      All candidates are listed, win, lose, or withdrawn. Although table table can be used to track the horse-race, that’s not its primary purpose. Winners and losers are in the database, and when I have time to rewrite the query that generates the table, and adds the formatting, I will do that. Right now, winners are not marked.

  2. flora

    You write:

    The latter suddenly turned to join the former, and now they are all going in the same direction, like a school of fish! Institutionally, how was this achieved? It’s not like anybody voted on this, or there was a Party Congress, or whatever. In what venue where the decisions made? Using what communications tools?

    Follow the money.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      RIght, but to follow anything I need to understand venues and communications, no? What I’m really asking is how “the party decides.” I don’t think the answer to that is quite so linear. After all, Clinton had all the money in the world, and still lost, right?

      1. flora

        Clinton certainly had (or appeared to have) all the corporate money in the Dem party. Is this the estab corporate money wing uniting in self-interest against the not-corporate $27 dollar donation wing (if it can be called a wing)? Again, more questions than answers.

        1. flora

          Adding: maybe another issue related to corporate money is corporate globalism. The Dem estab is Globalist (TPP, TTIP, etc.) and the $27 dollar donation voters aren’t. How could a globalist Dem estab appeal to displaced rust-belt workers, and why would they want to? Much better for the globalists to go after moderate GOP voters they assume are also corporate globalists. (Although Trump’s 2016 GOP primary win and eventual Pres. win should put any such assumption in doubt.)

          Note that not being a Globalist does not make one an Isolationist or anti-trade.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The by product of small minds and limited options. The collapse of the Democratic Party also represented a failure to create a bench. AOC is a person who should have been identified and pushed to run for local or even state government by a healthy political party.

        In many ways, the Democratic elite are small “c”onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them.

        Donna Brazille knocked the Clinton Headquarters staff for not having sex, but the pictures of the Clinton staffers looked like a particularly boring group of College Republicans. Wow, the President listens to Jay-Z. He’s really popular with kids from the suburbs!

        This morning I was reminded that Sam Power apologized for calling Hillary a monster in 2013 probably because it seemed inevitable HRC would be President, but now I see it as a lack of creative thinking where these boring people (they are boring) couldn’t envision an alternative.

        As far as the options, the energy of the political left is not with the Democrats hence why they have to pimp Biden every few months.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Just had a thought. Clinton had what was it, two billion dollars, right? I wonder if anybody worked out just what percentage actually went to her political campaign as in TV ads, staff, phone calls, coffee, transport, etc. and how much just went.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          HRC use to pay DavidHow much went to MSNBC to be in ads for the choir? What good was an HRC ad during a network dedicated to “Her”?

          As far as her staff, she use to pay Mark Penn. Its reasonable to expect the Clinton campaign would simply light money on fire, but I was always puzzled by the ads on MSNBC. What good were they beyond preaching Hillary was running for President?

          We know from the DNC emails Podesta said he needed to talk to HRC about promising the VP to everyone after she had picked Kaine long before the announcement. I’m wondering what kinds of ad buys she promised. When Obama got to the end, he just randomly ran an infomercial and gave the field staff a fairly decent bonus. With all her money in a slam dunk election, I think the story is more than a campaign of would be Mark Penns.

  3. DonCoyote

    Primary elections in Kansas, Michigan, and Washington today.

    , specifically on Billy Kovacs and AZ Dems doing a bad job on “building the bench”, but with general commentary as well. Here’s the subtitle:

    “Progressive upstarts are the party’s future but they terrify centrist-loving establishment — here and nationally”

    and the first two lines:

    “Billy Kovacs is going to lose.
    Billy Kovacs is the future of the Democratic Party in Southern Arizona.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Thanks for posting the local reporting, DonCoyote. I just dropped that link into the Water Cooler (ker-splash!) and was about to do the same here.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I am writing this comment from Mr. Kovacs’ former place of employment. (He used to be the sales manager for this-here coworking space.)

      IMHO, Billy could use some, ahem, professional help with his campaign, and I honestly don’t think that the Arizona Democratic Party can be of much assistance. Too bad that he hasn’t attracted the interest of the Justice Democrats, Our Revolution, or Brand New Congress.

      1. Alex Cox

        I just read the candidate write-ups in the Tucson Weekly. Kovacs looks like the best of the whole bunch!

  4. DonCoyote

    , written 30 years ago, is still probably my favorite political piece of writing.

    Thank you, Lambert, for going beyond the facile “horserace” and “blue wave” tropes and assembling enough data for us non-insiders to be able to gain some understanding of the game the insiders are playing.

    These are people who speak of the process as an end in itself, connected only nominally, and vestigially, to the electorate and its possible concerns… “Anything that brings the process closer to the people is all to the good,” George Bush declared in his 1987 autobiography, Looking Forward, accepting as given this relatively recent notion that the people and the process need not automatically be on convergent tracks.

    When we talk about the process, then, we are talking, increasingly, not about “the democratic process,” or the general mechanism affording the citizens of a state a voice in its affairs, but the reverse: a mechanism seen as so specialized that access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give the off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life.

  5. Tom Doak

    In my home district, MI-01, the lone Democrat running against an incumbent R opponent failed to be listed on the primary ballot, because he filled out his forms with a P.O. Box listed as his home address, and was disqualified. Now he has to get a certain threshold of write-in votes in the primary just to make the ballot in November. D’oh!

    Oh, he is an ex-Marine, and campaigns partly on health care but does not fully advocate single-payer Medicare for All.

    The Democratic party only let us know a week ago that he needs our support to get onto the ballot … I presume they didn’t want give any possible progressive enough time to mobilize and beat their guy by write-in.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s what I mean when I think about conceptualizing the Democrat Party as a crime syndicate.

      The local gang, the Michigan party, muscled your guy off their corner (the “corner” being the ballot, which is the territory this particular crime syndicate controls).

      1. Samuel Conner

        I’m pretty old and tired and have not been enthusiastic about the idea of getting involved in the nuts and bolts of the lowest level of D politics (am so ignorant that I don’t even know what it is called). But I’m wondering — given that there is AFAIK a sort of small “d” democratic process in at least some places at some levels — how one would go about asserting “the will of the people” by showing up and taking part with a sufficient number of like-minded people. Is the knowledge of how to do this “artisanal”, so to speak, or is it documented anywhere (bylaws, or something like that — but interpreted to non-specialists).

        I’m so ignorant I don’t even know what language to use.

        Perhaps a useful project for subversive-minded activists willing to work within the D infrastructure would be to create manuals of procedure for how to accomplish what AOC accomplished, at US legislative district and lower levels, for each State in the Union.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          That link to AZ Don Coyote provided gives .

          I could be wrong, but I think Indivisible is about pressuring the electeds from the outside, not the inside.

          (Amazon, sorry) is said to be good, but I think that’s more about canvassing than it is about the cut and thrust of committee work.

          Readers? This might be a good topic for a post.

    2. saneperson

      Thanks Lambert for the analysis.
      Democracy in the US is, especially at the federal level, a winner-take-all process in which parties are active without a constitutional mandate. This minimalistic model had advantages until about 1950: greater institutional complexity was a handicap given the great distances and the limitations of print media. And it was unnecessary given the arguable cultural homogeneity.
      Accountability and decision-making issues are resolved at the ballot-box in this model. In the major parties the Party Chair role is ceremonial and apolitical to the extent that the Chair is not responsible for policy formulation and serves ultimately at the mercy of the party’s senior office holder, who is the party’s biggest winner in the winner-take-all model.
      Constitutional flaws, for example the electoral college’s anti-democratic potential as well as a lack of effective self-reform in the system, have contributed along with growing technological and cultural complexity to a transformation of major American parties into apolitical branding campaigns. The low-point in this devolution was HRC’s run for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2016.
      The solution is a parliamentary system with proprtional representation in which a constitution sets an electoral threshhold (5-8%) for parliamentary participation.

  6. Wandering Mind

    A little info on NH1.

    I’ve attended quite a few candidate forums and individual candidate appearances for this race. Maura Sullivan and Chris Pappas are “affordable” health insurance/access to health care types and will refuse to budge when directly confronted with the question of whether they support single payer Medicare for all. All of the other candidates support it when asked.

    In addition to the persons listed, a former staffer of the current NH-01 congressperson got in the race not too long ago. Her name is Naomi Andrews. Paul Cardinal and William Martin have also joined this race.

    Mark MacKenzie came out in favor of a job guaranty at the last candidate forum.

    Maura Sullivan and Chris Pappas have together raised more than $1.5. Levi Sanders and one other candidate brought that up at the last candidate forum.

    Both NH U.S. Senators have endorsed Pappas, Shaheen doing so today.

    1. sleepy

      Some of the last working class strongholds for dems were in the Upper Midwest–dozens of counties that had voted dem for president for over 30 years and then switched to Trump. These folks are lifelong dems, voting for Dukakis when California went for Bush. They could be won back if the dems would get off their high horse about Trump and Russia and just campaign on ONE guaranteed thing like free college, $15/hr wage, medicare for all, and so forth. Wouldn’t have to be all of them–just one clear offer of making the voters’ lives a little better.

      That shouldn’t be hard. Just get rid of the rhetoric about some “process”–like improving job skills and educational levels–that will magically improve your life 5 years down the road. Things need to be addressed–and could be–at a more immediate level.

  7. clarky90

    President Trump Meets with Inner City Pastors

    There is a swing away from the Democrats by minority voters.

    Here is a glimpse of what is afoot.

    Also it is an entertaining 30 minutes of viewing

    1. Heraclitus

      On NPR today, a Democratic analyst said that if the bet was that African American voters would break for Trump, ‘I’d take that bet (against it).’

  8. sleepy

    The dem pundits are all in for an O’Connor win in OH-12 as justification for going after the “moderate” republican suburban vote.

  9. Tony of CA

    I have a simple question: Why vote? Both parties are largely control by the same donors. It strikes me as a waste of energy. When someone such a Sanders comes around who actually slightly challenges the status quo, the powers to be actively collude to disenfranchise the movement.

    1. flora

      “I have a simple question: Why vote?”

      Simple answer: It’s the only thing we have that scares them. Why else would they spend so much effort trying to suppress the vote, or not fighting voter suppression? And who knows, some candidates you vote for might win.

      1. Tony of CA

        I don’t think it actually scares them. It’s more important for them to keep the showing going. By voting, we are actively buying into the political theatre. It’s a sham. Really democracy simply can’t coexist in a Capitalistic system.

  10. Altandmain

    Hard question, but how much is an Obama or Clinton endorsement really worth?

    They are not going to be very appealing to swing voters, independents, etc. They have limited to appeal to getting young people and supporters of Bernie Sanders to vote.

    Seems like they are most useful for just motivating Establishment Democratic voters.

    Second, the Democrat Party really is split. As you can see, Obama, Clinton, and the DCCC’s endorsements overlap in only a single case (again, CA-50) with “insurgent” backers like Justice Democrats (JD) and Our Revolution (OR). Negative confirmation: Obama did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez (“Party Unity is for Rubes“). Her district is a safe Democrat seat (unless Crowley, running as a straw on the Working Families line, somehow takes it away from her), so perhaps that doesn’t matter: Positive confirmation: Obama and Clinton didn’t endorse Bryce in WI-01, although — because? — Sanders did, even though the DCCC did, and the seat used to be Paul Ryan’s![1]

    It has been split between those who got rich by neoliberalism (the 10%er base) and the rest of us.

    That’s the really brutal reality.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Probably none.

      My sense is the importance of the Oprah endorsement of Obama wasn’t the endorsement as much as the spectacle and crowds. 10,000 people at a campaign event in New Hampshire is huge. At that point, Obama didn’t have to face the usual primary audience much like HRC where candidates do get fairly difficult questions in comparison to the msm garbage questions cookie recipes.

      Yellow dog types who might vote for AOC over say Crowley on their own might be swayed, but I suspect “DNC” letter head would have the same effect.

  11. cm

    I’m ashamed to admit that I blew it. I’m in WA-03, and Washington state voters had a fantastic opportumity to raise a ruckus.

    Senator Cantwell (D-WA) is up for election this year, and she will win. Instead of voting for her in the primary, everyone should have voted for , Republican fascist. It would have been hilarious to see the Washington State Republican Party have to decide to support this idiot (or not).

    This may be a template — in a major one-party state, I propose that the voters support the most idiotic candidate on the opposing side (I assume D/R are the only meaningful choices), to inflict maximum pain on the opposing party.

    Regardless of your opinion on D/R, the only way this improves is if both parties are forced to “step up their game” — my ballot was filled with completely mediocre choices.

    1. edmondo

      … I propose that the voters support the most idiotic candidate on the opposing side

      Ask Hillary how this worked out for her in 2016. Ask America too.


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