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Thursday, October 19, 2006

House and Senate Races Round-up: Cash, Ratings Changes, Polls & More!

Posted by James L.

So much news has been buzzing around this week, and boy, has it ever been difficult to restrain myself and study for my midterms while the walls of Fortress GOP come tumbling down. But now that I have a little spare time, let's take a look at recent developments:

MT-Sen: Harry Reid has promised Jon Tester a seat on the Appropriations Committee should he defeat Conrad Burns this November. Tester has promised to make sure that Montana gets its fair share of earmarks, while at the same time ensuring that the process receives "full public scrutiny". Seems like it could be a tough balancing act for most unprincipled politicians, but something about Jon Tester feels different. This development should help boost his argument that Montana has nothing to lose by embracing change this year.

Party committee fundraising receipts are in for the month of September: the DCCC raised $14.4m and entered October with $36m cash-on-hand. The DSCC raised $13.6m and had $23m CoH as the month began. The DNC raised $5.6m in September (with an additional $1m coming in during the last two days, reportedly) and entered October with $8.6m CoH. The DNC has taken out a loan in the ballpark of $5m to $10m to help aid the DSCC's efforts to run the table in the Senate (a very wise strategy), and also expects to spend $25m on "election day activities".

Meanwhile, the NRCC raised $12m in September, and ended the month with $40m CoH. The NRSC raised an underwhelming $5.1m and trailed the DSCC in CoH as well, with $12m in the bank. The RNC had a formidable $26m CoH, and they plan to push a large chunk of that money into shoring up their Senate seats (a job that the NRSC is haplessly underperforming at).

The DCCC has made some noises about taking out a large loan and pumping money into 2nd tier districts, but their most recent expenditure--$12 million--has mostly been funneled to top-tier targets. The clock is ticking on the chance to expand the battlefield. In 2004, the DCCC took out a loan to help fund for its defense of redistricted incumbents in Texas (a largely futile task, save for the defense of Chet Edwards), and I see no reason not to turn the tables around and launch a salvo deep into 2nd and 3rd tier territory. I'm sure that the DCCC has more planned--a lot more--but the exact scope is not yet clear.

Ratings changes galore! Charlie Cook (10/18):

ID-Gov (OPEN): Likely Republican to Lean Republican
RI-Gov (Carcieri): Lean Republican to Toss Up
TX-Gov (Perry): Solid Republican to Likely Republican

AZ-01 (Renzi): Solid Republican to Likely Republican
CA-50 (Bilbray): Solid Republican to Likely Republican
ID-01 (Open): Likely Republican to Lean Republican
KS-02 (Ryun): Solid Republican to Likely Republican
MN-01 (Gutknecht): Likely Republican to Lean Republican

CQ Politics (in the last 7 days):

WA-08 (Reichert): Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite
PA-04 (Hart): Republican Favored to Leans Republican
NE-03 (OPEN): Safe Republican to Republican Favored
MN-01 (Gutknecht): Republican Favored to Leans Republican
PA-07 (Weldon): Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite to Leans Democratic
ID-01 (OPEN): Safe Republican to Republican Favored
CO-Gov (OPEN): No Clear Favorite to Leans Democratic
RI-Sen (Chafee): No Clear Favorite to Leans Democratic
NM-01 (Wilson): Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite
OH-15 (Pryce): Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite
NC-11 (Taylor): Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite
MA-Gov (Open): No Clear Favorite to Democrat Favored

NY-26: From the seemingly Bad News Dept., SUSA has a new poll showing Tom Reynolds back on top of Jack Davis, by a 49-46 margin. That's still pretty hairy, and SUSA notes that a phone disruption actually caused this poll to undersample a crucial Democratic area that favored Davis by 11 points, indicating that this race is even tighter than these numbers suggest. I'd wait for another poll (which SUSA promises shortly) before making too many assumptions. But one assumption that would be unhealthy for us to make is that Tom Reynolds' political career is over.

KY-03: From the Great News Dept., SUSA has another poll showing Democratic challenger John Yarmuth running neck-and-neck with entrenched Republican incumbent Anne Northup (likely voters, 9/29 results in parens):

John Yarmuth (D): 48 (44)
Anne Northup (R-Inc.): 47 (50)
MoE: ±4.3%

Lots of people wrote Yarmuth off, including me, given Northup's solid cred as a battle-tested, effective campaigner. It looks like we could end up with a big egg on our faces, though. (One guy who never did, however, is the Bluegrass Report's Mark Nickolas.) From a distance, Northup's campaign doesn't seem to be engaging Yarmuth effectively, and the Democratic lean of Louisville is putting her at serious risk this year. Northup still has an insane amount of resources to spend on apocalyptic TV ads, and it might help her seal the deal. Or it may not. If you're in the area, Get Out The Vote. This election is about picking up as much low-hanging fruit as possible--it's about base motivation. The Republicans appear to be ready for the challenge. How about the Democrats? It's up to you to write that story.

Posted at 05:48 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate | Technorati

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Right on about Yarmuth! He's breaking boundaries again. This new site kicks a$$! www.NorthupExposure.com

Meanwhile the latest poll has him up a point, he slayed her at the debate yesterday, and she is panicking hardcore.

Be sure to watch the videos on the site and keep an eye on this one... this was supposed to stay red, but they're outraising her now, they're outwalking her, and they are definitely outclassing her. these guys are doing everything right!

Posted by: voter in the ville [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2006 08:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't trust Susa there polls seem to be all over the place.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2006 09:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

CQ Politics upgraded NY-13 from Safe Republican to Republican Favored. Linky goodness about this race in my post in the open thread.

Posted by: NYGreg [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 21, 2006 05:39 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment