• IL-Sen: Serial exaggerator Mark Kirk has a new one on his hands: he was previously claiming that he was the driving force behind a bill that cracked down on companies that do business with Iran (but that got turned into a Howard Berman bill so it could pass the Democratic House, says Kirk). Berman says that's not the case at all, and that his committee didn't even consider the Kirk version of the bill.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle had possibly the weirdest ever visit to a group of Latino high school students, first telling them that those weren't supposed to be Latinos in her ad featuring scary-looking dark-skinned persons crossing the border. Maybe those are actually Arabs, and maybe they're crossing the Canadian border, she mused? She then turned the tables back on the students, saying that "I don't know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me." Asian like... Middle Eastern terrorists, maybe? With Sharron Angle speaking, who even knows?
• IL-Gov: Whitey no more? Green Party candidate "Rich Whitey" will apparently get ballots in select Chicago wards changed back to his actual (and preferred) name, Rich Whitney. Apparently there was enough time to reprogram all the machines if crews work overtime.
• SC-Gov: I'm not sure whose side to take here: on the one hand, it's good to see the DNC putting money into the late-breaking South Carolina governor's race, where internals see it as a mid-single-digits race and a real opportunity now. On the other hand, South Carolina Dems just sound pissed, saying the $100K expenditure is too little too late (which is probably true).
• CA-03: Here's an eye-catching independent expenditure: American Crossroads (aka Rove, Inc.) is pouring $682K into a TV buy against Ami Bera in the 3rd. That would tend to support the idea that Dan Lungren, who's lost the fundraising game to Bera every quarter, is also putting up some middling internals too.
• PA-07: Now this isn't good, especially this late in the game: the Pennsylvania state Teamsters suddenly revoked their endorsement of Bryan Lentz. There's no official word on what caused the rift, but it seems to relate back to Lentz's sponsorship of a bill that cracks down on construction firms that misclassify workers to avoid paying taxes.
• OH-St. House: The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a good profile of 10 of the most important races in one of our most important legislative chambers, where Dems have a small edge (53-46) and need to hold it for redistricting purposes. It's a mix of suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, and the rural southern part of the state.
• AFL-CIO: Here's an interesting memo out from the AFL-CIO's political director today suggesting that they've made a lot of under-the-radar progress in the last few weeks, redirecting members who weren't engaged or were flirting with the Republicans. In particular, Pennsylvania stands out, where they're finding that Joe Sestak now has a 55-26 lead among union members, up from only 45-39 at the start of September. They also point out that Joe Manchin now has a 40-point lead among union members in another union-heavy state, West Virginia.
• Early voting: Early voting gets underway today in Florida and Texas, along with five other smaller states. Adding in the states where voting has already started, that means the election is truly afoot in nearly half of all states.
• Debates: We're adding a new component to our digests: courtesy of our friends at C-SPAN, a list of all the debates that are on tap and on the air each night on C-SPAN. Because if you're reading this, we know you can't get enough politicking:
8 pm ET: WV-Sen
9 pm ET: WI-07
10 pm ET: IL-11
11 pm ET : AZ-05
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski may be the only Republican running a pro-pork campaign, with her new ad talking about how Joe Miller will cut off the flow of federal funds to Alaska
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet hits Ken Buck on Social Security privatization and his hardcore pro-life positions
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway moves quickly along from the 'Aqua Buddha' ad, turning the conversation back to mine safety, while Rand Paul continues to whine about it, spending an ad touting his Christian faith
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt tries out a little Medicare sleight-of-hand (the whole HCR-cut-Medicare!!1! line)
• NH-Gov: The DGA, via local group Citizens for Strength and Security, hits John Stephen for retaining his campaign manager even after he received a restraining order for stalking
• NRCC: If you've ever wanted to watch 40+ Republican House ads in one sitting, here's your chance
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 39%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 52%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 45%
• HI-Sen: Dan Inouye (D-inc) 53%, Cam Cavasso (R) 40%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 50%
• UT-Gov: Peter Corroon (D) 29%, Gary Herbert (R-inc) 66%
• UT-Sen: Sam Granato (D) 29%, Mike Lee (R) 54%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 49%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
Scott McAdams (D): 26
Joe Miller (R): 35
Someone else: 35
In looking at PPP's poll released yesterday (on behalf of our Orange Overlords), let's walk step-by-step through what they're doing in this basically impossible-to-poll race. Their approach is fairly similar to what Ivan Moore did a few weeks ago: first run a heat without Lisa Murkowski. (The difference here is that PPP specifically ask "someone else," while Moore only seemed to let people volunteer that on the first round.) With this approach, it's a tie between Miller and "someone else."
PPP then asked the "someone else" voters who they were planning to vote for: indie Tim Carter, indie Ted Gianoutsos, Libertarian Frederick Haase, write in Lisa Murkowski, or write in someone else? Murkowski won that round with 95%, with 2 going to Haase, 1 to Gianoutsos, 0 to Carter, and 2 to write in someone else. That was then imputed to find these results:
Scott McAdams (D): 26
Joe Miller (R): 35
Lisa Murkowski (WI): 33
Miller leads narrowly, despite his atrocious 35/58 favorables among the general electorate - the worst PPP has found for a Republican senate candidate this year, including Christine O'Donnell. (Contrast that with 48/46 for Murkowski and 44/26 for McAdams, probably thanks to his cheerful ads.)
This contrasts a bit with Moore's approach, which was to remind voters of Murkowski's presence, ask all voters "stay the same" or "write in Murkowski," and impute based on that, which seemed to yield a more pro-Murkowski result (44-36 in her favor). I don't know which approach is the most optimal (maybe PPP's, since it doesn't prompt everyone that Murkowski's in the race, only nudges them in that direction with "someone else" and the follow up question, which may more accurately reflect voting-booth dynamics where there's no reminder about Murkowski), but at any rate, they're both better than other polls which just list Murkowski with everyone else.
Ethan Berkowitz (D): 42
Sean Parnell (R-inc): 51
Harry Crawford (D): 36
Don Young (R-inc): 58
PPP also looks at the much-less-complicated Governor and House races, and, as one would expect, finds the incumbent Republicans in command here, although Ethan Berkowitz still looks surprisingly lively in the gubernatorial race.
WV (Jury is out on wisdom of election this year.)
CT (People like Blumenthal and aren't fussed about McMahon but closer than it should be.)
NV (Reid can't pull away but surely Nevadans can't elect that nut. Can they?)
IL (Hardest call to make. I'm still confident Alexi can get over the hump though.)
NY (Kirsten's problem was always that people don't know her. First ads now helping with that.)
WA (Need to see polls not by Rasmussen to see if Rossi has bounced back.)
CA (Boxer isn't out of the woods yet but the GOP have better targets.)
WI (Shocked this has shifted so quickly and so convincingly.)
CO (Bennet doesn't seem to be getting any traction.)
KY (The one remaining shot at a pickup but I suspect it will be another heartbreaker like '04.)
PA (Sestak has left it too late this time I fear.)
MO (This will be close but doesn't look good.)
NH (Independents leaning heavily Republican across the country so Hodes has little chance with them dominating the electorate here.)
DE (Thanks Teabaggers!)
OH (No Brunner fans she would not be doing better.)
FL (Crist is becoming a bit of a joke.)
NC (Marshall has no money so no contest.)
IN (In any other year I think Ellsworth wins. Want more polls.)
AR (Lincoln won't lose as big as some think.)
AK (McAdams has great ads but think Dems will be strategic and help Murkowski.)
LA (Melancon ad hitting Vitter where it hurts in final bid but he was never winning this year if any.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
CA (August as good as it gets for Whitman. As suspected Brown just had to go up on tv to get ahead. No blowout though.)
OH (Strickland running a great campaign but Kasich a tough opponent.)
IL (Quinn is clearly closing despite his problems. Not sure if it will be enough though.)
ME (LePage seems to be sinking but suspect he still leads. Just.)
VT (Need more polling to see if Shumlin has closed here.)
FL (Scott floods the airwaves and Floridians don't seem to care how dodgy he is.)
OR (Kitzhaber surprisingly weak but still in with a good shout.)
CT (Foley has skeletons and Malloy does not which in a blue state means a Dem gain.)
MN (Dayton isn't perfect but split field means a Dem gain.)
MD (Blue state and decent O'Malley approvals mean no Ehrlich return.)
NH (Longevity and the cycle hurt Lynch but I think he'll be fine.)
MA (Patrick's job numbers have risen steadily. Suspect he wins even if Cahill drops out late.)
PA (Onorato seems to be closing a little but too little too late I fancy.)
TX (Great campaign from Bill White but afraid the state is just too red this year.)
GA (Cannot quite believe Deal is getting a pass here.)
NM (Martinez has a perfect resume for this year.)
WI (Seems to be moving away from Barrett.)
CO (Hickenlooper breaks 50 on election day despite having two opponents.)
HI (Abercrombie will have to work for it but should be fine.)
RI (Caprio with the advantage but even if Chafee wins this is basically a Dem gain either way.)
NY (No longer a rout but I'm not worried.)
AR (Every incumbent Dem should be on this board!)
SC (Latest poll looks dodgy but still expect this to tighten in the final weeks.)
NV (Possible Rory could make this close but I can't see any way he wins.)
MI (Since a Republican was always likely to win Snyder isn't half bad.)
AZ (Brewer's debate debacle doesn't seem to have hurt much.)
OK (I suspect no total blowout but a comfy margin all the same.)
IA (Culver might be toast even with a weaker Republican.)
TN (McWherter turns out to be a bit of dud.)
KS (Nobody seems to have much love for Brownback but even fewer love Dems this year.)
ID (Closer than expected but Otter will win.)
AK (Berkowitz is a decent nominee but I bet he wishes he had challenged Murkowski instead.)
Scott McAdams (D): 28
Joe Miller (R): 43
Frederick Haase (L): 2
Lisa Murkowski (volunteered): 18
We saw two polls yesterday finding Lisa Murkowski either winning or in a dead heat, but those polls made no mention of Murkowski's unusual status as a write-in candidate, which should be viewed as a methodological problem. But now we have the first poll that seems to deal head-on with the write-in problem, and as an added bonus, it's Ivan Moore, probably Alaska's best-regarded local pollster. The result shows that Joe Miller might want to stop measuring the drapes.
Stay the same: 55
Write in Lisa Murkowski: 31
Not sure: 15
Scott McAdams (D): 14
Joe Miller (R): 36
Frederick Haase (L): 2
Lisa Murkowski (WI): 44
So here's what Moore did: his first round of questioning omitted Murkowski but permitted respondents to volunteer her; then he asked, as a follow up question "As you may know, Lisa Murkowski is running a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate. Knowing this, would your vote for U.S. Senate stay the same or would you write in Lisa Murkowski?" The second set of results are then re-computed based on prompted Lisa Murkowski votes. That still may not re-create the actual voting experience, where there isn't a voice reminding you that Lisa Murkowski is running. But this still seems an improvement from just listing her with the other candidates.
Here's Moore, with some circumspect analysis of what he tried:
Now, the reality of the situation is that neither of these results is going to be correct. The first should be perceived as a minimum for Lisa, the latter a maximum. The reality lies somewhere in between... the question is where? Personally, I think the second measure is what will happen in an ideal, impediment-less world, and should be adjusted downwards by what we'd reasonably expect the attritional effects of the write-in to be. I have always maintained these will be relatively minimal, maybe not much more than a few percent of people who somehow remain unaware come election day that Lisa is an option, or get her name wrong, or don't fill in the oval, or decide they can't be bothered to write a name."
There are also results from the (comparatively uneventful) gubernatorial and House races.
Scott McAdams (D): 22
Joe Miller (R): 38
Lisa Murkowski (I): 36
Craciun Research for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (9/24-25, likely voters, no trend lines):
Scott McAdams (D): 19
Joe Miller (R): 30
Lisa Murkowski (I): 41
Nate Silver, however, hits on some problems with the methodologies of both polls:
The issue with each of these polls, however, is that they made no particular accommodation to account for the fact that Ms. Murkowski will be a write-in candidate, as her name was mentioned alongside Mr. Miller and Mr. McAdams.
Indeed, and as Nate later tweeted, perhaps the best approach that pollsters should take would be to ask voters if they're voting for McAdams, Miller, or a write-in. That would then be followed by a prompt to ask who they're writing in (rather than offering Murkowski as a choice). However, this methodology would be difficult for a robo-pollster to accommodate (though it shouldn't be too hard for Opinion Research or Craciun, who use live interviewers). After all, the way these pollsters are framing the choice doesn't reflect the realities of the ballot.
It's also worth noting that Scott McAdams only went up on the air last night for the first time, so add that as another reason why these polls may represent something of a high-water mark for Murkowski that she is unlikely to obtain in November.
Meanwhile, CNN/Time also polled the gubernatorial race...
Ethan Berkowitz (D): 38
Sean Parnell (R-inc): 57
Interestingly, Berkowitz's margin is actually slightly worse among registered voters (at 58-36). The guy is tenacious, but this looks pretty tough.
Not much to see here other than the remarkable consistency over the almost one year's period since the previous Selzer poll of this race. (I just learned a new word today, while searching for how to describe this race, linked to the Chet Culver vortex: "syntropy." It's synergy + entropy.)
• NH-Sen, NH-Gov: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, Dec. 2009 in parentheses):
Paul Hodes (D): 32 (36)
Kelly Ayotte (R): 46 (43)
Undecided: 20 (21)
John Lynch (D-inc): 42
John Stephen (R): 40
ARG, mateys! Here be a mighty treasure trove of undecided scallywags! (And here be the gubernatorial link.)
• OH-Sen, OH-Gov: Univ. of Cincinnati for various Ohio newspapers (9/16-20, likely voters, 5/11-20 in parentheses):
Lee Fisher (D): 40 (47)
Rob Portman (R): 55 (46)
Undecided: 5 (6)
University of Cincinnati hasn't been in the field for a while, so they missed the very steady decline of the Dems in Ohio, making it look like more of a sudden collapse. At any rate, this is actually Ted Strickland's best non-internal showing since early August.
• WA-Sen: Commonsense Ten is out with a $412K independent expenditure in the Washington Senate race, on Patty Murray's behalf. (Wondering who they are? This Hotline article from July explains how they're something of a Dem answer to groups like American Crossroads, as well as giving some legal background on just how it came to be that the super-wealthy can give endless money to 527s to spend endlessly on IEs.) Meanwhile, there are dueling ads in Washington. As one might expect, Patty Murray lets Dino Rossi hang himself with his own anti-Boeing words, while Rossi hits Murray on her support of tarps. (Since most Washingtonians own several tarps -- they only thing that allows them to go camping during the ten rainy months of the year -- I don't see what the big deal is.)
• WV-Sen: The Dems are definitely getting active in here: the AFL-CIO is out with a huge direct mail blitz in West Virginia, and the DSCC is placing a major ad buy there starting tomorrow. In the meantime, John Raese, Tweeter and Facepage aficionado, is sticking to the GOP party line on global warming: it's all volcanoes' fault! (Wait... I thought it was sunspots. They'd better get their stories straight.)
• AK-Gov: Bill Walker, after weeks of dithering in the wake of losing the GOP gubernatorial primary, has formally decided against a write-in bid (despite having an easier-to-spell name than Murkowski). No word on an endorsement of either Sean Parnell or Ethan Berkowitz, although Berkowitz has been steadily reaching out to Walker.
• GA-Gov: With Nathan Deal not really having done much to deflect the attention being paid to his family's imminent financial collapse, now he's having to run damage control on another issue: his campaign is accused of having spent $135K to lease aircraft from a company where Deal himself is a part-owner. State ethics law bars candidates from using campaign funds for personal benefit, although the open legal question here is whether this turns into "personal benefit."
• NM-Gov: Third Eye Strategies for Diane Denish (9/21-23, likely voters, no trendlines):
This is kind of odd... we just got a Diane Denish internal poll from a totally different pollster (GQR) in the middle of last week. Does she have two different pollsters working for her? At any rate, the news is decidedly better in this one, showing a tie where last week's poll had her down by 5.
• TX-Gov: Blum & Weprin for Texas newspapers (9/15-22, likely voters, 2/2-10 in parentheses):
Bill White (D): 39 (37)
Rick Perry (R-inc): 46 (43)
Kathie Glass (L): 4 (-)
Deb Shafto (G): 1 (-)
Undecided: 8 (13)
The Texas race is extremely stable (check out the flatness in Pollster's regression lines, with a mid-single-digits spread). While I'd like to think that Bill White can get over 50% on his own, his best hope at this point might be for Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass to start taking a bigger share (presumably out of Rick Perry's hide, via the same crowd who went for Debra Medina in the primary).
• FL-24: Hamilton Campaigns for Suzanne Kosmas (9/22-23, likely voters, 8/25-29 in parentheses):
This is the first internal we've seen from Team Kosmas, and while it's not the kind of numbers that fill you with great confidence (up 2 in one's own internal), it is an indicator that we're still looking at a Tossup here instead of Lean R (which is where some of the other prognosticators have been sticking this one). The movement in Kosmas's direction suggests that voters have found out more about the crazier side of Adams in the wake of her surprise primary victory.
• MS-04: Tarrance Group for Steven Palazzo (9/21-22, likely voters, December 2009 Tarrance Grop poll for NRCC in parentheses):
Gene Taylor (D-inc): 45 (68)
Steven Palazzo (R): 41 (24)
(MoE: ± ?%)
There were reports last week that the NRCC was starting to smell smoke in this race (despite having an underfunded, low-name-rec candidate in Palazzo), and was going to try out a round of polling. Seems like their hunch may be right, as long-time Rep. Gene Taylor (who hasn't given Dems much reason to take interest in him lately... well, ever, really) is up only by single-digits in a new poll from the Palazzo camp.
• PA-10: Momentum Analysis for Chris Carney (9/23-25, likely voters, no trendlines):
Chris Carney (D-inc): 46
Tom Marino (R): 38
Chris Carney, having been slightly on the wrong end of a public poll from the Times-Leader (and on the very wrong end of that sketchy AFF poll last month), rolls out an internal giving him an 8-point lead over Tom Marino. Marino (who's pretty underfunded, although the NRCC is starting to get involved) is little-known (only 26/24 faves), so this is going to be one of many races where the Dem's survival is based on localizing in order to fend off Generic R.
• PA-16: I'm not sure what to make of this: the uphill campaign of Lois Herr (going against Joe Pitts in the 16th, which is solidly Republican but moved a lot in the Dems' direction in 2008) is out with a second internal poll from PPP that has her within single digits of the GOP incumbent. Pitts leads 41-34, which seems kind of bizarre considering that we're seeing polls in Pennsylvania with incumbent Dems losing by larger margins than that in much friendlier districts.
• SD-AL: Bennett Petts and Normington for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (9/22-23, likely voters, no trendlines):
Here's one race that seems to be becoming a little more comfortable for the Democrats. (Recall that Herseth Sandlin led in the last Rasmussen poll of this race, after months of trailing.) I wonder how much of that has to do with the reveal of Noem's atrocious driving record, given voters' memories of leadfooted ex-Rep. Bill Janklow?
• DLCC: If you're looking to really micro-target your financial contributions to where your dollars get stretched the furthest and the leverage is the greatest (given the knife-edges on which many state legislatures, and the entire 2012 redistricting process, rest) the DLCC has rolled out its "Essential Races" program. This points to some of the tightest races in the tightest chambers; the link details their first wave of 20.
• CA-Init: There are some Field Poll leftovers to look at, concerning three of the biggest initiatives on the ballot this year. The news is good all around, although the margins aren't decisive: Proposition 19 (marijuana legalization) is passing 49-42 (it was failing 44-48 in the July Field Poll). Proposition 23 (undoing greenhouse gases limiting legislation) is failing 34-45. And maybe most importantly, Proposition 25 (allowing budget passage with a simple majority) is passing 46-30.
• Florida: Mason-Dixon's latest Florida poll (we gave you Sen and Gov numbers over the weekend) has a lot of miscellany in the fine print that's worth checking out. They find the GOP leading narrowly in three major downballot races: Pam Bondi leads Dan Gelber in the AG race 38-34, Jeff Atwater leads Loranne Ausley in the CFO race 29-27, and Adam Putnam leads Scott Maddox in the Ag Comm race 36-32. They also find that Amendment 4 has a shot at passing; it's up 53-26, although bear in mind that you need to clear 60% for a Florida initiative. Amendment 4 would require localities to put changes to comprehensive zoning plans up to a public vote; Josh Goodman has a good discussion of it today along with several other initiatives in other states that may pass despite having both sides of the entire political establishment lined up against them.
• SSP TV:
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio rolls out his first ad en espanol, a biographical spot
• PA-Sen: How many freakin' ads has Pat Toomey come out with? Anyway, here's another one
• CT-02: Joe Courtney stresses his independence, especially regarding TARP
• CT-05: Chris Murphy's new ad focuses on stopping outsourcing
• PA-03, PA-11: The DCCC is out with new ads in the 3rd and 11th, continuing the trends of hitting Mike Kelly as out-of-touch millionaire and hitting Lou Barletta for sucking as Hazleton mayor
• AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 30%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 58%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 50%, Linda McMahon (R) 45%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 49%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%, Mike Castle (I) 5%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 36%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 52%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 37%, Terry Branstad (R) 55%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 68%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 21%, Jim DeMint (R-inc) 64%
• AK-Sen: If anything makes clear the depth of the NRSC's change of allegiance from Lisa Murkowski to Joe Miller, check out the list of five different NRSC-organized, Senator-filled fundraisers that'll be held on Miller's behalf next week. Murkowski, meanwhile, is shrugging off the loss of her leadership post (which went to John Barrasso) and ranking committee position, seeming more focused on the mechanics of her write-in bid. She's going to have to do a little better than this, though (although Alaska doesn't require precise spelling of write-ins): the original version of the ad telling people about her write-in bid directed people to a URL that misspelled her name (LisaMurkwski.com). (I wonder if some cybersquatter has already grabbed that URL by now?)
• AR-Sen: Ipsos, on behalf of Reuters, is out with a look at Arkansas, a Senate race that's hardly worth looking at anymore. Nevertheless, they show a closer race than anybody else has lately: Blanche Lincoln trails John Boozman by "only" 14, a 53-39 gap among LVs. Lincoln's favorables seem to be improving a bit too, but time's running out for a full-fledged comeback.
• CO-Sen: Here's a tantalizing tidbit, although it doesn't have any bearing on the current race, just likely to exacerbate the seemingly-escalating war between the NRSC and Jim DeMint. It turns out the NRSC gave the maximum $42K to Jane Norton, just four days before the GOP primary. Not much of a vote of confidence in Ken Buck, is it?
• NH-Sen: Unfortunately, where many Republican primaries have dissolved into acrimony afterwards, we're seeing lots of unity in New Hampshire. Ovide Lamontagne is helping to raise funds for narrow victor Kelly Ayotte at a DC fundraiser scheduled for Sep. 27.
• WA-Sen: Considering the play this has gotten in the local press, this small comment on a parochial issue looks to be a major faceplant for Dino Rossi... he dared depart from the party line on the mighty Boeing. He suggested that Boeing should get no favorable treatment from the Pentagon in its competition with Airbus (whose efforts are subsidized by European governments) over who gets to build the next-generation Air Force tanker. (To put that in context, that would be like a candidate going to Iowa and dissing ethanol, or going to West Virginia and dissing coal.) Boeing had already explicitly endorsed Patty Murray, but now she has a nuclear-grade weapon to use against Rossi in the Boeing-dependent swingy suburbs.
And here's a hat tip to Horsesass's Goldy, who spots some interesting details in the fine print of that Elway Poll from last week. People were surprised when that CNN/Time poll found a reverse enthusiasm gap for the Dems in Washington (with Murray faring better among LVs than RVs), but Elway actually shows something similar. The 50-41 topline was LVs, but pushed leaners. Include only the "definite voters" and that pushes up to a 13-pt lead for Murray (43-30). I don't have one good explanation for this phenomenon, but I'd guess it's a combination of a) Dems being more diehard liberal in Washington and less swingy and/or sporadic than in other states, b) the economy being somewhat better in Washington than many other places, and c) teabagger ennui after Clint Didier lost the primary to establishment leftover Dino Rossi.
• NM-Gov: We've got dueling banjos internals in the Land of Enchantment. Susana Martinez whipped it out first, rolling out a POS poll from last week with a 50-40 lead for her. Not to be outdone, Diane Denish pulled out her own poll from GQR from the same timeframe, showing that Martinez is leading "only" 49-44. Um... take that?
• NY-Gov: Rick Lazio is hedging on what exactly he's going to do with his spot on the Conservative Party line, sounding like he wants to wait and see how Carl Paladino fares before making up his mind. Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo got a pretty significant endorsement, from NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, which may sway a few moderate indies but is probably mostly helpful from a GOTV organizational standpoint within the city. Meanwhile, you might have also heard something about a poll of this race today? I've heard a few rumblings. Anyway, we're deferring discussion of today's Quinnipiac poll until the Siena and SurveyUSA polls, due tomorrow, also come out, offering us a better yardstick.
• RI-Gov, RI-01: Quest for WJAR-TV (9/15-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 36
John Robitaille (R): 13
Lincoln Chafee (I): 24
Ken Block (M): 2
David Cicilline (D): 49
John Loughlin (R): 26
This is probably the biggest lead we've seen for Frank Caprio in the Governor's race, and also the first post-primary poll of the race in the 1st, which looks to be an easy race for Providence mayor David Cicilline despite being an open seat in a dangerous year. The poll also finds the Dems easily winning the LG, AG, SoS, and RI-02 races.
• TN-Gov: Crawford Johnson and Northcott for WSMV-TV (registered voters, trendlines from early July):
Mike McWherter (D): 24 (34)
Bill Haslam (R): 55 (60)
Undecided: 19 (6)
I'm not going out on a limb by saying we can expect Bill Haslam to win the Tennessee governor's race. The only odd thing here is that this is WSMV's second poll of the race, and the number of undecideds has shot up dramatically since July (of course, it's a mystery how there were so few back then).
• FL-22: Anzalone-Liszt for Ron Klein (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 40
While this isn't an awe-inspiring lead for Klein in his own internal, it's a good topline and there are some interesting numbers in the fine print. Most notably, West's unfavorables have tripled (to 26%) since May as people have started paying attention.
• MA-04: OMG, even Barney Frank's in trouble! (In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.) (Or was I?) Anyway, the Republican candidate running against Frank, Sean Bielat, is out with a poll from GOP pollster On Message giving Frank a 48-38 lead over Bielat. I suppose a ceiling of 38% is plausible for a no-name GOPer in this part of Massachusetts, which went 63% for Obama but includes a lot of exurbs and went narrowly for Scott Brown in the special election, but I'm unclear on how he gets much further than that.
• PA-03: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, registered voters, no trendlines):
Kathy Dahlkemper (D-inc): 38
Mike Kelly (R): 44
This seems to be the first truly independent poll of this race, although we've seen various internals and Republican third-party polls all showing Dahlkemper in trouble, though not always losing. Franklin & Marshall opts for the "losing" side, although it's slightly less severe among RVs (42-38).
• VA-05: Benenson Strategy Group for Tom Perriello (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Perriello (D): 44
Rob Hurt (R): 46
Jeff Clark (I): 4
Not much difference here than that DCCC poll by Global Strategy Group a few weeks ago that also saw Perriello down by 2. Again, not the most appetizing numbers for rolling out when it's your own internal, but at least it's some pushback against those SurveyUSA numbers.
• WA-09: Benenson Strategy Group for Adam Smith (9/18-20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Adam Smith (D): 54
Dick Muri (R): 35
Hmmm, speaking of pushback against SurveyUSA numbers, here's an internal from the Adam Smith camp (who were seen as being in a close race in a public poll from over the weekend). Now these are the kind of internal poll numbers we like to see... although the very fact that Adam Smith should have to be releasing internal polls in the first place is, well, a sign of the times.
• DCCC: Here's some interesting money shuffling from the DCCC, which might portend an increased focus on GOTV. A CQ piece detailing some miscellany from their report this month included a number of transfers from the DCCC to state Democratic party committees. That includes $196K to Ohio, $142K to Arizona, and $132K to Arizona.
• American Crossroads: Wasn't the "Crossroads" myth about selling your soul to the devil? At any rate, Politico is out with a nauseating story that's a stark counterpoint to the normal old committee numbers that we released this morning: while the Dems have advantages at the committee level, they're getting crushed in outside TV spending by third-party groups, to the tune of $23.6 million for GOP ads to $4.8 million for Dem ads. (Of course, some of that is money that in previous cycles would have gone to the RNC, which is way out of whack (or "wack," as Michael Steele might say) and unable to do much with its usual task of helping state committees... making the GOP more reliant than ever on hoping that their air saturation can overcome disadvantages in the ground game.)
The largest of these groups, of course, is American Crossroads, which is out with six new attack ads in different Senate races: Illinois ($482K), Kentucky ($235K), Nevada ($320K), New Hampshire ($643K), Ohio ($260K), and Pennsylvania ($226K). I know the teabaggers like to think that when the 2010 election is written in the history books, the story will be about some sort of populist uprising, but more likely, their useful idiocy will be long forgotten and the story will be about the uprising of a dozen or so billionaires, leveraging tens of millions on ads in order to save themselves hundreds of billions in taxes.
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: The state Democratic party goes after Linda McMahon, looking at job cuts she oversaw at WWE
• MO-Sen: The DSCC wades back into Missouri, looking at how Roy Blunt keeps his corruption all in the family
• MD-Gov: A DGA-allied group hits Bob Ehrlich for being in the pocket of utilities during and after his gubernatorial term
• IL-10: Dan Seals goes negative against Bob Dold!, hitting him on social security and abortion rights
• IL-14: Nancy Pelosi's coming for you! Booogetyboogetyboogety! (or so says Randy Hultgren's second ad)
• NC-02: Renee Elmers found the money to run an ad? Well, it is cable only... Anyway, it's about the Burlington Coat Factory mosque, despite that Bob Etheridge says he doesn't support it
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski again goes negative on Lou Barletta on the bread and butter stuff, hitting for him opposition to a State Department security forces training center for the district
• PA-17: Even Tim Holden's hitting the airwaves with two different ads, one that's a soft bio spot for himself, and then an attack on his opponent's role in legislative pay raises
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's second ad is against negative against Dave Reichert, especially for opposing financial reform
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 34%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 54%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 47%, Meg Whitman (R) 46%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 27%, Paul LePage (R) 45%, Eliot Cutler (I) 14%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 38%, Rick Snyder (R) 51%
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D-inc) 58%, Jay Townsend (R) 36%
AK-Sen: Word is out about two forthcoming ad buys in Alaska: Lisa Murkowski is going up on radio and TV (NWOTSOTB), while Scott McAdams just threw down what Smart Media Group is calling "a partial buy of $48K in broadcast."
Meanwhile, I don't really give a fuck what John Kyl thinks, but it's nice to see that he's sweating the possibility that a Murkowski write-in campaign makes it less likely the GOP will hold on to the seat. (As an aside, don't you wish Dems had handled Lieberman like this? Indeed, Republicans are supposedly weighing whether to strip Murkowski of her committee assignments.) But maybe Kyl is just being the idiot he always is, because a Republican source tells The Hill that internal polling "indicates Murkowski's write-in bid takes an equal amount of support from Democrat Scott McAdams as it does Miller." For once in my life, I hope Kyl is right!
MO-Sen: Global Strategy Group for the Missouri Democratic Party (9-14/18, likely voters, no trendlines, includes leaners):
Robin Carnahan (D): 39
Roy Blunt (R): 43
Jerry Beck (C): 3
Jonathan Dine (L): 3
AK-Gov: NEA-Alaska, the biggest union in the state, just endorsed Dem Ethan Berkowitz for governor. And Bill Walker, the Republican primary loser who is still considering a write-in bid, is holding out the possibility of a Berko endorsement as well.
FL-22: The ghost of Casey Stengel is smacking his forehead and asking, once more, "Can't anybody here play this game?" The Florida Democratic Party sent out a mailer hitting Allen West over his tax liens... but the managed to include his full Social Security number. Oy.
IN-09: Reid Wilson claims there's a dispute between the IE arm of the DCCC and main HQ... but there isn't a single quote in the piece, not even an anonymous one. Though the IE wing has cancelled ad buys on behalf of Baron Hill in mid-October, supposedly the "coordinated" arm "believes Hill is still deserving of spending." I have no reason to doubt Reid, but if his source at main D-Trip wanted to get this message out there, this is a damn oblique way to do it - but maybe he or she was scared of accusations of "coordination via the media." Anyhow, it all just shows how dumb these rules against coordination are.
KY-06: The Mellman Group for Ben Chandler (9/13-14, likely voters):
Ben Chandler (D-inc): 53
Andy Barr (R): 33
This is the first poll that Chandler has released, though his campaign teased earlier in the summer that their internal from June gave Chandler a "strong double-digit lead".
MI-03: This open-seat race hasn't gotten a lot of attention, but Dem Patrick Miles just rolled out an impressive list of Republican endorsements, including a couple of former county GOP chairs... and two daughters of retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers! Based on the comments in the article, I get the distinct feeling that Republican Justin Amash must be a seriously unlikable dude for this many of his fellow party members to want to diss him so thoroughly. By the way, Amash's fundraising has been unimpressive (just $380K), and he has less than half the cash of Miles ($227K to $112K).
NE-02: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS is coming to Omaha on Sept. 30th to headline a fundraiser for Dem Tom White. I'm gonna guess that Republican Rep. Lee Terry might have a harder time than most in tying White to the Obama administration, though, given that Terry put out flyers in the 2008 cycle touting his support from mythical "Obama-Terry voters."
NY-18: Wow, the NY GOP sure is good at producing pariah leper candidates these days, huh? Republican Jim Russell, running against Nita Lowey, penned an essay for the racist Occidental Quarterly in support of ethnic and religious segregation a few years ago - but that description is way too anodyne to do his piece justice. For instance, he approvingly quotes T.S. Eliot, who said, among other things: "What is still more important is unity of religious background; and reasons of race and culture combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable." Click through to Maggie Haberman's piece for a much larger selection of choice quotes. Also note that the Westchester County GOP endorsed Russell in July, after another candidate dropped out.
TX-23: What a fucking idiot: Republican Quico Canseco blanketed San Antonio with door-hangers that claimed Rep. Ciro Rodriguez voted in favor of TARP. But, uh, he didn't. In fact, he voted against the bailout twice. Seriously, how fucking hard is it to Google this shit?
WA-03: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Denny Heck (9/7-9, likely voters, no trendlines):
We say "no trendlines" because we don't know the precise top lines from GQR's previously poll for Heck (conducted in June), though we do know from Roll Call's write up that Heck trailed Herrera by 7 points in that one.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink's latest ad uses the words of local newspaper editorials against scumbag Republican Rick Scott's campaign platform, while also touting her economic ideas. And, hey, some WOTSOTB: She's spending $800K on the ad.
AZ-05: One Harry Mitchell spot touts his fight against Congressional pay raises; another touts his support from three apparently reg'lar Republicans (but oddly leaves off the "I approve" message - is this not a broadcast ad?)
AZ-08: Gabby Giffords hangs Jesse Kelly on the "flat tax" with his own words in support of a 23% national sales tax. I personally love going after Republicans on this issue because the dumb fucks who support this have to sputter that no, but, really, actually, what we mean is... ah, who gives a fuck what they mean.
KS-03: An anodyne spot from Republican Kevin Yoder (people shouting "We're Yoder Voters!"); and another pretty blah ad about small businesses (featuring a black-and-white photo of Pelosi without even mentioning her by name - odd)
KY-03: John Yarmuth updates an effective ad from his 2008 campaign, featuring a disabled Navy veteran narrating about Yarmuth's support for vets (ad is "expected to run for a week on all the networks in Louisville")
MD-01: Frank Kratovil also has a good ad hitting Andy Harris on the national 23% sales tax (see AZ-08 above)
NY-20: A pretty clever ad from Scott Murphy, responding to attacks on his vote in favor of healthcare reform by pointing out some of the most popular parts of the bill, like closing the Medicare "donut hole"
AK-Sen: This is pretty lulzy - Lisa Murkowski is busy reassuring people that she'll still have the support of K Street as she pursued her write-in bid. In a year like this, that's the message you want to run on? It's even sadder that she probably feels like she has to reassure her corporate masters that she's still there for them.
DE-Sen: Merry meet and blessed be! Bill Maher unearths a 1999 clip of Christine O'Donnell (a frequent guest on his show), and promises there's more where this came from:
I dabbled into witchcraft - I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. [...]
One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. ... We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.
Yesterday, though, O'Donnell decided to skip visits to some other satanic altars, namely Sunday talk shows "FOX News Sunday" and CBS's "Face the Nation." Dissing Bob Schieffer I can understand - I mean, that's straight out of the Sarah Palin/Sharron Angle hide-in-a-deep-underground-bunker playbook. But the friendly confines of FOX? How will she get a job there when she moves on to her next gig in the grifter's circuit?
AK-Gov: Last week we learned the disappointing news that Republican Bill Walker, who scored 30% running against Gov. Sean Parnell, would not make a third-party gubernatorial bid. But now he's saying that Lisa Murkowski has inspired him and he might yet wage a write-in campaign. Godspeed, good buddy!
IL-Gov: GOP-affiliated robopollster We Ask America has their first survey of the race, finding Republican Bob Brady at 42, Gov. Pat Quinn at 32, and everybody's favorite, Scott Lee Cohen, at 5.
NY-Gov: Speaking of SLC, it looks like the NY GOP has a reverse Scott Lee Cohen situation on their hands. Basically, the less-crazy guy - Greg Edwards, who was supposed to be Rick Lazio's running-mate, won the Republican Lt. Gov. nomination. Revolting meat-bucket (and, dear lord, gubernatorial nominee) Carl Paladino preferred many-time loser Tom Ognibene instead. There's chatter now that Edwards may stay on the ballot but not really run, or will try to drop out (a somewhat tricky proposition in NY). If he does successfully bail, the state GOP would appoint a replacement (presumably Ognibene, if Paladino's in charge). Anyhow, I suggest you click through for Celeste Katz's full story, because there are so many layers and permutations to this story that I simply can't summarize them all.
Ognibene may be the only guy actually not running away from Paladino as fast as he can. GOP comptroller nominee Harry Wilson has refused to endorse Paladino, and attorney general nominee Dan Donovan is basically saying the same thing. Haven't seen any word yet as to whether senate nominee Joe DioGuardi feels the same way.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is now saying he's no longer a Seventeenther (you know, a maniac who wants to get rid of the direct election of United States senators), despite having answered a teabagger survey on that very question in the affirmative. He's also claiming that he doesn't want to abolish the Department of Education. Live by the yes-no question, die by the yes-no question.
MO-04: Another day, another Dem gets endorsed by the NRA. This time, it's veteran Ike Skelton.
NY-15: Adam Clayton Powell, who took just 25% against Charlie Rangel's 53% in a fractured field, is saying he already has plans to run again. Of course, this district's lines (and even number) could change substantially before 2012.
NY-19: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton did a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Cortland Manor this past weekend. Of course, Clinton lives ("lives") just outside the 19th CD in Chappaqua (in the 18th).
PA-10: In a previous digest, we related the story of then-U.S. Attorney Tom Marino providing a personal reference for "businessman" Louis DeNaples's bid to get a casino license - while DeNaples (euphemistically described as "having possible ties to organized crime") was under investigation by Marino's office. These dealings led to Marino's resignation in 2007 (and, surprise surprise, he soon wound up with a nice sinecure as DeNaples's in-house counsel). Marino claimed in April that the Department of Justice gave him permission to serve as a reference to DeNaples (then why did you resign?), but has never provided any proof. Now the AP is saying that a DoJ source tells them that there is no evidence that Marino ever received such authorization. The heat is on.
DCCC: The D-Trip has added Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Bill Keating (MA-10) to Red to Blue.
DC-Mayor: Deposed incumbent Dem Adrian Fenty says he won't try to run in the general as a Republican. Given that there are probably 19 registered Republicans in the entire district, I'm not sure how this was even an idea in the first place.
Polltopia: Go tell Public Policy Polling where to poll next.
DE-Sen: DSCC ad says Christine O'Donnell will "fit right in in Washington," thanks to her personal fiscal irresponsibility. Uh, do they remember who is in charge in DC?
IL-Sen: CQ reports that the DSCC is set to go up here this week for a quarter mil, but no links to actual ads yet
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad compares his navy service to Pat Toomey's service on behalf of Wall Street
FL-Gov: Two Alex Sink ads, one dinging Rick Scott for harping on endlessly about Obama, the other talking about schools
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo's second spot, featuring an endorsement from a former state Republican Party chair
MA-10: Fresh off his primary win last week, Dem Bill Keating is up with an ad on a good issue: his pledge not to raise the retirement age for Social Security (contrasting with his Republican opponent's desire to do so)
MI-07: SEIU spot hitting GOPer Tim Walberg for failing to support the auto industry and wanting to eliminate Social Security (CQ says buy is for $250K)
NC-11: Two spots from Heath Shuler: the first a touching ad about his efforts to build new veterans' health clinics, the second hammering Jeff Miller for supporting the bad kind of SSP
NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter's first ad, a mostly positive spot emphasizing that "whether it's popular or not," she "always fights for what she believes in,"
NY-19: George Pataki's PAC Revere America has a spot hitting John Hall with scaaaaary music over his vote in support of healthcare reform
NY-23: Bill Owens' first ad, which redistricting geeks will appreciate, emphasizing just how big the district is physically
NY-24: Richard Hanna personally narrates a negative ad attacking Mike Arcuri for his support of the stimulus and bailouts - I think it's pretty effective
OH-13: GOPer Tom Ganley's spot touts his work with the FBI (as a civilian) to bring down some mob extortionists
NRCC: CQ rounds up ads targeting Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Bryan Lentz (PA-07), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and John Adler (NJ-03) (click here for Adler ad)
Americans for Job Security: The right-wing front group is launching some huge buys: $443K against Mike Arcuri (NY-24), $526K against Larry Kissell (NC-08), and $712K against Heath Shuler (NC-11)
NY-19: Curses! Those meddling ophthalmologists! The (non-rogue) American Academy Of Ophthalmology, Inc. Political Committee (aka OPHTHPAC) is throwing down $143K on behalf of one of their own, Republican eye doctor Nan Hayworth (NY-19)