Welcome to the Morning Roundup! What you missed last night:
Onwards and forwards.
- Rep. Mark Critz defeated Rep. Jason Altmire for the Democratic nod in PA-12.
- Romney won every single county in all five presidential primaries (NY, PA, DE, RI, and CT).
- Rep. Tim Holden was defeated by double-digits by Matt Cartwright in PA-17.
- Former Rep. Pat Murphy fell to Kathleen Kane in the Democratic Attorney General primary.
- Scott Perry won the open PA-04 Republican primary with over 50% of thevote.
- Coal magnate Tom Smith clinched the Republican Senate nod with over 40% of the vote; Steven Welch falls behind former State Rep. Sam Rohrer for third.
Empathy: 538 takes a look at the empathy gap and finds it is structural- Republicans always have a problem with empathy (like Democrats have a problem with 'leadership'), so any perceived empathy from Romney would probably only help rather than be an absolute necessity. Either way, voters who value such a trait tend to already be Democrats, and stronger factors seem to guide voters at the polls.
Ground Games: Micah Cohen points out that President Obama's campaign has already been laying down the groundwork (offices, field staff, volunteer networks) in battleground states well ahead of Mitt Romney, who has to build those organizations now that he is the presumptive nominee. The article details the number of offices and paid staffers President Obama has on the ground and notes this organization arguably helped flip three states to Obama in 2008.
Youth Vote: A good article from The Fix points out that President Obama did not particularly inspire college students to turn out. A look at college turnout shows that participation among the youth has significantly declined since the 1980s. Instead, the big change was how President Obama dominated the youth vote in 2008 with a 34-point margin over John McCain, double Clinton's performance with the same demographic.
Bloomberg: John McCain is courting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, attempting to get him to endorse Mitt Romney for President.
Paul: Defeat Federal Reserve Governors? Collect gold and delegates? Obviously a Ron Paul video game is coming out.
Texas: Paul is also holding a series of town halls across Texas this week, in El Paso, UT-Austin, and the University of Houston. The campaign saved a chunk of money for advertising in a final hurrah in California or Texas, but I wonder to what end? (Rather than focusing on smaller states where he can build stronger margins, to be clear) Paul supporters turned out for county conventions the last two weekends with the assistance of the Santa Rita Super PAC, but their numbers were nowhere near a majority to control the state convention (to which I am a delegate). Paul may be building contacts for his movement; the Paul organization has accumulated massive amounts of data that it records even after it cannot be used for GOTV (like sign-ins at rallies the night before a primary or caucus, for example) that could be used on future runs.
Gingrich: Molly Ball writes a scathing piece on what Gingrich lost by running for President. Gingrich's web of nonprofits and think tanks has lost its financing while he has lost his relationship with Fox News, where he was once a paid contributor. I think Ball is unfair here- were it not for the Death Star, the race may have been extremely different. To have the chance at becoming the President of the United States, rather than wondering what-if, was likely worth the risk for Gingrich.
Who cares: Nate Silver argues that the Vice President has little effect on his or her home state on election day. He finds that, on average, a Vice Presidential candidate improves their ticket's performance by about 2% in the home state and 4% in elections since 1984.
Nevada: Well, this bodes well in Nevada. Apparently Sheldon Adelson has an old grudge against Rep. Shelley Berkeley, and he intends to put some money behind targeting her. Nobody knows how much, but consider this: he gave $20 million to Gingrich just to help a friend. How much will he spend to stop an enemy?
Massachusetts: Senator Scott Brown (R) is calling on Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren (D) to release her tax returns six years back. She already released two years back before she backtracked and released four years' worth of returns when pressed. Brown plans to release his returns on Friday.
North Carolina: Ugh. I don't want to even touch this mess, but just so you know former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' trial began Monday. I won't bother to recount what led to his corruption trial; it is in the link if you do not yet know the story by heart.
Illinois: Mark Kirk's office released a new picture of the Senator and reports that his recovery is going well since suffering a stroke in January.
Maine: Senator Snowe (supposedly R) will not necessarily use her campaign funds to help the eventual Republican nominee. She has a warchest of $2.36 million, a massive amount in Maine. Supposed she will donate to "like-minded" candidates to give "a national voice" to centrist views. So who could receive money?
Three GOP candidates have ties to Snowe. Charlie Summers is a former Snowe staffer, while Rick Bennett was Snowe's campaign treasurer until she jumped out of the race. William Schneider, meanwhile, received access to Snowe's email list of supporters when he was gathering signatures to get on the primary ballot.
State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Scott D'Amboise are largely backed by the tea party movement and may be unlikely to receive Snowe's support. Republican state Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, has supported anti-abortion bills in the Legislature that may not align with Snowe's pro-choice beliefs.
Her former campaign consultant would not say if Snowe would consider donating to independent candidate and former Governor Angus King.
New Mexico: PPP finds Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) leading former Rep. Heather Wilson 48-43 (47-40) and Auditor Hector Balderas leading Wilson 44-43 (43-43). In the primary, Heinrich leads Balderas 51-27 (47-30).
North Carolina: Former Rep. Bob Etheridge recently released a new ad that will go up on five media markets over two weeks. Interestingly, the ad does not mention his time in Congress. The campaign spent "a couple hundred thousand dollars" on the buy. Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton is also going up on the air with a similar-sized buy.
GA-04: This had been mentioned in the comments some time back, but former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) is looking at running for her old seat again as a Green. Ballot access for minor party US House candidates is particularly horrid (There is no electronic copy, but Richard Winger has a well-written analysis of Georgia's ballot access laws in the Election Law Journal) in Georgia, requiring 18,860 registered voters to sign her petitions to get on the ballot. While McKinney would not verify to the AJC that she is running (why wouldn't you talk to the press?), everyone knows she is. This will be her third rematch with Rep. Hank Johnson, famed for his thoughts on Guam and its potential to capsize. Of course, McKinney is a Gaddafi supporter; I'd prefer innocently misinformed to dangerously wrong.
KY-04: An internal from the Massie camp has him up by 10 points over his closest opponent. The poll by Wenzel Strategies has Massie at 32%, Alicia Webb-Edgington at 22%, Gary Moore 17%, and all other opponents in single digits. I have mentioned my distrust of Wenzel Strategies before- you can read a pretty decent takedown of its polling at the Huffington Post. I think the author overstates their case, but they bring up very significant points about poll wording.
Google: Ars Technica reports that Google spent over $5 million to lobby between January and March of this year, much of it against SOPA/PIPA. While that money was one-time, Google is expanding its reach onto Capitol Hill. How will new tech donors change elections, if groups like Google and Facebook get into the PAC game?
Minnesota Legislature: Minnpost releases a great tool to find vulnerable seats in the State House and State Senate. The big takeaway:
In the House, we found a total of 14 Republican incumbents running in or retiring from districts that favor the DFL or are evenly split, while no DFL incumbents are running in GOP-leaning districts. For the House to change hands, Democrats need a net gain of six seats. In the Senate, 11 Republican incumbents are running in districts that favor the DFL with one incumbent in an evenly split district, and two DFL incumbents are running in districts that favor the GOP. To gain control of the Senate, Democrats need a net gain of four seats.
You can read their methodology here.