Each redistricting dataset merges the electoral data the SWDB collected and processed over the preceding decade with the most current census data (PL94-171). The result is a census block level dataset that allows for longitudinal analysis of electoral data over time on the same unit of analysis. Electoral data consist of the Statements of Vote (SOV) and Statements of Registration (SOR) for each statewide election. These data are collected from the Registrars of Voters for each of the 58 California counties with each election.
The SWDB collects the Statement of Vote and the Statement of Registration along with various geography files from each of the 58 counties for every statewide election. The Statement of Vote is a precinct level dataset and precincts in California change frequently between elections. The goal of the SWDB is to make election data available that can be compared over time, on the same unit of analysis – a precinct, a census block or a census tract.
January 26, 2010
State candidates, stealth political groups and special-interest political committees in Colorado have amassed millions of dollars in campaign donations to kick off the 2010 elections.
At stake are the governorship, control of the state legislature, and the redistricting of state and federal legislative districts.
"This is that one election in a decade with redistricting ," said Colorado State University political science professor John Straayer.
The treasurer's race is fast becoming the most expensive for that office in the state's history. Candidates for state legislature have 60 percent more in their campaign coffers than four years ago. And special interests such as drug manufacturers and tobacco companies are pumping money into so-called 527 political committees.
Both political parties in Colorado are scrambling to turn the political turmoil of the past month into victory in November.
Republicans think this is the year to turn around the losing streak that has cost them the governorship and control of the state House and Senate.
"I'm not going to make some bold prediction that it's definitely going to happen," said Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams. "But I will say I see a path to majorities in both houses."
The strategy for Democrats is to avoid complacency, said Colorado Democratic Party chair Pat Waak.
"What I am telling people is you have to work very, very hard," Waak said. "Don't take anything for granted."
Here's how campaign donations are lining up through the end of 2009:
State treasurer's race
The race involving incumbent Democrat Cary Kennedy and three Republican challengers is on pace to smash the record of $1.265 million, set four years ago.
Kennedy and Republicans Walker Stapleton and J.J. Ament raised $708,844 through the end of last year. Four years ago at this time, only $136,000 had been accumulated by the candidates.
The totals this year don't yet include a third Republican, Ali Hasan, who just recently announced his candidacy. Hasan put more than $350,000 of his own money into a losing race for the state House in 2008.
Political analyst Eric Sondermann said he thinks Republicans want to try to derail Kennedy's political career.
"Republicans regard Cary Kennedy as an up-and-comer, and they want to stop her upward trajectory now," Sondermann said.
He said Republicans regret not mounting a vigorous campaign against Democrat Ken Salazar when he was seeking re-election as attorney general in 2002. He later became a U.S. senator and now is secretary of the interior.
Candidates for the contested seats have loaded up on much more money than they had four years ago.
A Denver Post comparison found that politicians vying for House and Senate seats had amassed about $1.4 million combined as of the end of 2009. That is about 60 percent more than the $880,000 they had in their coffers at the end of 2005 heading into the 2006 election.
Democrats control the Senate, 21-14, and the House, 37-27.
Ken Bickers, chairman of the political science department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said that if either party controls both chambers, that party will have the upper hand in redistricting .
"The stakes are fairly high given redistricting ," he said.
Republicans are targeting four seats to take control of the Senate, Wadhams said.
Candidates in two of those seats - District 5 on the Western Slope held by Democrat Gail Schwartz and District 20 in Jefferson County with no incumbent - already have raised more than $100,000 combined.
The other expensive races are centered in Denver where Democrats are competing against one another for a series of seats being vacated by term-limited incumbents.
The most expensive so far is the campaign for District 7, now held by outgoing Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll . Four Democrats have raised a combined $115,564 through the end of the year.
On the west side of Denver, two incumbent state representatives - Democrats Joel Judd and Jerry Frangas - and former Denver Public Schools board member Lucia Guzman are running for the state Senate seat held by term-limited Paula Sandoval. The race has generated $66,863 in political donations.
527 political committees
Republican- and Democratic-leaning 527 committees, the stealth political groups that can raise money with no donation limits, have taken in about $1.1 million combined.
They can spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they don't specifically urge the election or defeat of candidates. In past elections, the groups have been responsible for many of the negative-attack mailings and commercials, especially targeting incumbents of the opposition parties.
The top donor to Republicans and Democrats is a political action committee of drug manufacturers. Other contributors to both sides include Philip Morris, Anheuser-Busch and Comcast.
Small donor committees
The political groups, mostly union-oriented, have raised about $1.3 million to dole out to candidates for state races.
The strength of these committees is they can donate about 10 times the state limits to candidates as long as they accept no donations larger than $50.
For example, the maximum donation an individual or political action committee can give a state legislative candidate is $400 compared with $4,250 for a small-donor committee.
Unions, using payroll deductions for members, historically have dominated small-donor contributions. However, several business associations have amassed war chests this year.
COPIC, a medical insurance and financial services group, leads all small-donor groups with $240,000 in contributions.
It is followed by the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters, with about $180,000.
Burt Hubbard: 303-954-5107
or firstname.lastname@example.org. Memo: Corrections RAN 1/28/2010: Because of a reporting error, the first name of state treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton was wrong in a chart that ran on Page 8A on Tuesday. Corrections RAN 1/29/2010: Because of a reporting error, the first name of a state House candidate was incorrect in a chart on Page 8A in Tuesday's newspaper. Jennifer Coken is a candidate for state House District 4.
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