• IN-Sen: Chris "Count" Chocola, head of the Club for Growth and himself a Hoosier, says his organization may step in to help oust apostate Sen. Dick Lugar. The CFG has already talked to Treasurer Richard Mourdock, and if they get involved, they could make up for his lackluster fundraising so far.
• MA-Sen: Remember when ThinkProgress busted Scott Brown for sucking up to David Koch for donations while he was publicly saying he wasn't even thinking about 2012? His pitch worked, I guess: Koch Industries coughed up a $2,500 donation to Brown's campaign last quarter.
In other MA-Sen news, why does Barney Frank keep doing this? On Monday, he repeated his remarks that he thinks Newton Mayor Setti Warren shouldn't run for Senate, this time to local blog Newton TAB. I honestly think this is a bit embarrassing for Frank, and makes him look like a jackass. It's an admission that his private suggestions to Warren haven't been well-received, and that he's had to take to the press to accomplish what he apparently doesn't have the power to do on his own. It's ugly, and what's more, I don't even see the percentage in it. Why does Frank care so much whether Warren runs? Really, just enough.
• MN-Sen: Former state Sen. and unsuccessful 2010 SoS candidate Dan Severson says he might seek the Republican nod to challenge Amy Klobuchar, who so far has drawn no opponents. Severson says he'll decide by May. Also, attorney Chris Barden, another unsuccessful statewide candidate last year (he ran for AG), says he may attempt a Senate race, too.
• MO-Sen: It's getting' mighty crowded in here... well, maybe. Wealthy businessman John Brunner (who can at least partially self-fund) says he might join the GOP field to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Reps. Todd Akin and Blaine Leutekemeyer are also still weighing bids, while former Treasurer Sarah Steelman and teabagger fave Ed Martin are already in the race.
• TX-Sen: This is just weird. Ashwin Madia (who you may remember as the Dem candidate in MN-03 back in 2008) is also chair of the progressive veterans group VoteVets. His organization put out a statement the other day in which he said it was "encouraging" to see Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez considering the Texas Senate race as a Dem. It's strange, as Adam Serwer points out, because Sanchez had a very suspect record on torture during his tenure as US commander in Iraq, while VoteVets has been very critical of torture. Another spokesman for the group hurried to say that VoteVets was not issuing a formal statement of endorsement, just an attaboy for a fellow servicemember.
• VA-Sen: Teabagger Jamie Radtke raised just $55K in Q1 and has only $47K on hand. I'm betting that if George Allen does wind up dealing with a serious speed bump on his way to the GOP nomination, it's going to take the form of Del. Bob Marshall, not Radtke. Still a big if.
• VT-Sen, VT-AL: Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $770K in Q1 (not bad for the 49th-largest state in the nation) and has over a million in the bank. The Burlington Free Press pegs an uptick in donations to Sanders after his now-famous eight-hour speech on the Senate floor in which he blasted tax cuts for the wealthy. Meanwhile, Rep. Peter Welch now has a million on hand.
• NJ-Gov, NJ-Sen: Chris Christie's starting to smell like a plate of scungilli left out in the sun after a July picnic. His job approval has dropped to 47-46, according to Quinnipiac, from 52-40 just a couple of months ago. Sen. Bob Menendez isn't doing so hot either, 42-40, but those sorts of numbers are nothing new for him (and are actually better than what he was getting last year). In news of more immediate importance, Dems improved to 47-39 on the generic legislative ballot, up from 43-41. (Thanks to andgarden for spotting that question, tucked away at the very end of the poll.) Also fun: Q asked respondents for an unprompted, open-ended one-word description of Christie. The number one response, by far? "Bully," with 140 mentions.
• AL-05: This is just odd. Freshman Republican Mo Brooks cancelled a town hall and replaced it with one-on-one meetings with constituents-by appointment only. What makes this extra-weird is that these meetings are scheduled to take place across the state line in... Tennessee. Reminds me of this infamous incident from the classic MS-01 special back in 2008.
• IA-04: Some great number-crunching from G-squared: The new 4th CD went for Terry Branstad 59-37 in 2010, 50-48 for GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle in 2006, and 49-48 for Tom Vilsack in 2002. I'll go one further and tell you that Vilsack lost the new 4th in 1998, 47-52. Greg also says that Rep. Steve King currently represents 47% of new CD.
• IL-03: Politico has a profile of John Atkinson, the Democratic businessman who may challenge Rep. Dan Lipinski from the left. Atkinson, who has already raised a boatload, hasn't formally declared yet (and may be waiting on redistricting), but a main theme for him is Lipinski's vote against healthcare reform.
• NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon, recently speaking to the Bay Ridge Democratic Club, definitely sounds like he's leaning toward a comeback. The linked piece from the Brooklyn Eagle contains McMahon's ruminations on why he lost last year, but I'm not sure I understand what he thinks the reasons are. On the one hand, he says "[t]here was a drop-off in progressive voters." On the other hand, he cited a memo from Third Way (ugh, but what do you expect) which polled Obama "switchers" and "dropouts." The memo claims that "[s]witchers were eager to vote in this election, whereas droppers didn't come out for a multitude of reasons, none of them being they were upset with Democrats."
What this misses out on, of course, is that Democratic organizations who were pissed with McMahon's vote against healthcare reform were less inclined to bust their asses for him and drag apathetic voters to the polls on his behalf-something members and officials of the Bay Ridge club made plain to him. (The article says some attendees used "harsher language," so since this is Brooklyn we're talking about, enjoy a moment or two imagining what this sounded like.) I'm not sure what McMahon thinks the solution is for next year, if he runs again, but it doesn't sound like he's ready to take back his anti-HCR vote. I think he'd be wise to do so.
• RI-01: Former Republican state Rep. John Loughlin, who lost by six points to now-Rep. David Cicilline last year, says he's considering a rematch, but first he's serving another tour of duty in Iraq. I wonder if Cicilline's self-inflicted wounds regarding the financial woes of Providence (the city of which he used to be mayor) will make him vulnerable-if not next year (which of course is a presidential year), then at some point in the near future... or in a primary.
• WI Recall: Republicans say they will file recall petitions against three Democrats today: Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch. Meanwhile, Greg Sargent says that Dems will file petitions against a fifth Republican, Alberta Darling, also today.
• WI Sup. Ct.: Yesterday, JoAnne Kloppenburg asked for a recount, which will come at state expense since the final margin of 7,316 votes was less than 0.5%. I'm pretty surprised at the decision, since overturning that kind of result seems almost inconceivable.
• Alaska (PDF): Dave Dittman, a pollster and former aide to the late Sen. Ted Stevens, tested Alaskans' feelings about local pols last month. Sen. Mark Begich, up for re-election in 2014, has a 57-33 job approval rating, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski is at 71-27 and Rep. Don Young is at 63-32. Joe Miller, who says he might run against Young next year or against Begich next cycle, has a hilariously awful favorability rating of 18-73. (FWIW, Sarah Palin is at 36-61.) Note that the poll had oddly long field dates: March 3 through March 17.
• Demographics: Aaron Blake has another good piece looking at the changing demographics of majority-black districts.
• House Majority PAC: The new Dem "super PAC" is out with its first-ever media buy (which they claim is "substantial"-you better be telling the truth), hitting ten GOP freshmen who voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan with radio ad. You can listen to a sample spot against Sean Duffy here. Click the first link for the other nine names.
• DCCC: Speaking of ad buys, props to Dave Catanese for busting what turned out to be a comically bullshit media "blitz" by the DCCC. I groused about this one yesterday, complaining that the size of the buy was sure to be "quite small," but I had no idea that it would be this comically small: The total purchase was just $6,000 across twenty-five districts, with just $40 (yes, $40!) spent against Larry Buchson in IN-08. Of course, it was the NRCC which provided this info to Catanese, which I'm not sure is such a smart move, since they play this stupid game, too. But my bigger concern is whether local reporters who wrote about these ads will be insulted by the joke dollar values and ignore the D-Trip in the future. I sure as hell would.
• Colorado: After instantly descending into a whole bunch of acrimony (mostly, it seemed to me, from the GOP side) after the first batch of maps were produced, both parties agreed to go back to the drawing board and start with a clean slate. Republicans sound a lot more excited about the prospect than Dems, but we'll see if this actually produces any kind of agreement... or if a stalemate eventually leads to court-drawn maps.
• Pennsylvania: No surprise here: The Republican majority on the PA Supreme Court picked a Republican superior court judge to serve as a tiebreaker on the panel which will re-draw Pennsylvania's state legislative maps. This is a direct consequence of a shameful loss of an open Dem-held seat on the court in 2009.
• Texas: A new plan for the Texas state House passed a House committee yesterday. The map increases the number of Latino districts from 28 to 30, but Democrats seem convinced that there are serious VRA issues with it.
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek, sensing that time is running out, decided to reject the endorsement of the Sierra Club. Why? Because they wanted to co-endorse Charlie Crist, and Meek needs to do anything he can to differentiate himself from the governor, since they're largely drawing from the same pool of voters these days. Meek tried to cast this as a principled stance, saying "The Sierra Club has chosen to stand with a governor who stood on stage applauding as Sarah Palin chanted, 'Drill, Baby, Drill.'"
MO-Sen: The Smart Media Group is saying that the DSCC has cancelled two weeks worth of ad buys in Missouri. Given how often the tea-leaf reading has been wrong with all this ad stuff, I'd like to see further confirmation before making up my mind about what this means. (And guys, I don't think you're using cutesy hashtags properly.)
Congressional candidate and veteran political consultant Steve Raby once ran four north Alabama political action committees that authorities say were used to route $200,000 from a Dothan casino owner to a state senator in a vote-buying scheme. Raby says he relinquished control of the PACs weeks before the money transfers.
And this is just not a headline you ever want to see in your own race:
Raby: I have not been accused of doing anything wrong
AR-04: Here's a race that's not on a lot of folks' radars but probably should be, just because of the nature of the year & state. Republican Beth Anne Rankin is out with a one-day robopoll from Diamond State Consulting Group that shows Rep. Mike Ross leading by just a 44-41 margin, with 5% going to Green Party candidate Josh Drake. A poll from July had Ross up 55-33. But does Rankin have the resources to take down the Lord Satrap of the Blue Dogs? Ross had $1.1 million on hand as of June 30; Rankin, just $70K.
CT-04: Believe it or not, Merriman River Group is a Democratic pollster. But they sure have been putting out all kinds of numbers this week which are at odds with... well, everyone else's numbers, particularly in CT-Sen and CT-05. In their most recent effort, they have Rep. Jim Himes at 49 and Republican Dan Debicella at 47, so I'll be really curious to see if internals bear this one out. There are at least two things I don't like about this poll: First off, they report numbers to decimal places, which is a bad practice because it gives a false sense of accuracy. Secondly, they refer to Himes's opponent as "Dan DeBicella" throughout. C'mon, guys.
CT-05: Speaking of CT-05, here's another poll from Chris Murphy (courtesy the Gotham Research Group), showing him up 48-34 over Sam Caligiuri. Murph's last poll had a similar 50-38 margin. The only thing I don't like here is the weak swipe at robopollsters (like Merriman) in the press release: "An automated computer survey can't tell who is actually picking up the phone - a registered voter in the Fifth District, or a voter's 10 year old cousin visiting from South Carolina." Chris - we love you, man, but we know you can do better.
ID-01: In response to some rumor-mongering that showed up the other day in Roll Call, Walt Minnick said he "has no intention of changing parties." I think the Parker Griffith party switch actually was a very good thing for us, as it demonstrated what is likely to happen to any other Dems who follow suit - you'll get teabagged to death.
KS-01: In the race to succeed Rep. Jerry Moran (who is running for Senate), Republican Tim Huelskamp leads Democrat Alan Jilka by a 63-26 margin, according to SurveyUSA.
KY-06: Dueling internals in Eastern Kentucky. First up is Ben Chandler, whose poll from the Mellman group has him up 52-40 over Andy Barr. That's actually a decline from his numbers a few weeks ago which had him up 53-33, but Barr's gain seems pretty understandable - and importantly, Chandler hasn't slipped. (These numbers are also backed up by a recent Braun poll.) Meanwhile, Barr's survey has it 48-47 in favor of the Republican, which are the best numbers we've seen from his camp all cycle.
TX-17: Chet Edwards also has an internal poll out, from Bennett, Petts and Normington. It's not particularly good news: Bill Flores leads 46-42. Still, it's better than the most recent Flores own-poll, which had him up 55-36.
VA-05: Jesus, what is with this guy? Teabagger Jeff Clark has been pulling the Hamlet act more melodramatically than anyone since Mario Cuomo. Now he's claiming he might drop out of the race because he's being excluded from a series of debates between Rep. Tom Perriello and Republican Rob Hurt. Some of his backers say they might file a legal challenge, but that seems dubious.
NH-Sen: Even though Democrats on the Hill were too fucking stupid to schedule a vote on the Obama tax cuts which would have given them great campaign fodder, props to Paul Hodes for cutting an ad on the issue regardless. Hodes says he supports extending middle class tax cuts, but is very explicit that he wants to let tax breaks for the wealthiest expire - unlike Kelly Ayotte
NV-Sen: Hah, if this works, I'll be impressed: Sharron Angle's ad hits Reid on a few votes (like the stimulus), and also includes this gem: Reid's vote against Tom Coburn's retarded "no Viagra for sex offenders" poison-pill amendment to the healthcare reform bill
KY-Sen: Jack Conway has succeeded in getting a false and misleading ad by the "First Amendment Alliance" pulled off at least one television station, Louisville's Fox 41.
WI-Sen: On the other side of the equation, Russ Feingold is being forced by the NFL to alter an ad which featured some footage of embarrassing end zone victory dances, including Randy Moss taunting Green Bay Packer fans. Could this really have been a mindless goof by Feingold's media team? The Hotline's Tim Alberta had the same thought I did: This sure was a good way to get plenty of free media coverage for this ad. (Judging by the number of Twitter mentions, at least, this ploy worked - if it was indeed the plan.)
AZ-08: The Smart Media Group is reporting that the DCCC has cancelled all of their ad buys in Tucson except for the final week of October. I suppose there are three ways you can interpret this news. The first is that Gabby Giffords is cruising and doesn't need much help. The second I'll call "panzers reconsolidating": She's basically doomed. And the third lies between the two: The D-Trip is performing triage, figuring that Giffords is strong enough to have a chance on her own, while other more fragile campaigns are in greater need of help. Choose your own adventure!
NY-24: Mike Arcuri is a lucky man. As you may recall, he created a new third party just so that he could have an extra ballot line to run on (and perhaps draw in a few votes from people who like him personally but can't stomach the thought of pulling the lever for a Democrat). The problem: He called it the "New York Moderates" party, but state law forbids any party name from including the words "American," 'United States," "National," "New York State," "Empire State," or any abbreviation of those. Fortunately, a court ruled that he was able to retain the line by renaming it just the "Moderates" party.
MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan: $2.1 million raised, "on par with" Roy Blunt
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D): $3.2 million raised, Pat Toomey (R): $3.8 million raised
CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D): $361K raised from 9/16-29, Dan Maes (R): $28K raised, Tom Tancredo (ACP): $149K
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D): $1.6 million raised from 9/3-10/4
CT-Sen: Sources tell Aaron Blake that the DSCC has added $1.2 million to its buy here
OH-01: The Campaign for Working Families throws down $125K for ads to help Steve Chabot (R)
OR-05: CULAC the PAC chips in $34K for mail on behalf of Rep. Kurt Schrader (D)
NV-Sen: Harry Reid's latest is actually half-positive/half-negative, and concludes by calling Sharron Angle "a foreign worker's best friend"; Angle's newest is a race-baity spot that - jeez - features footage of scary brown people sneaking through a fence (wish I were kidding)
PA-Sen: The DSCC also has an ad out that's fairly race-baity, talking about Pat Toomey's support for sending jobs to China - complete with Asian-style gong noises that were embarrassing even when John Hughes brought us Long Duk Dong more than a quarter-century ago
GA-Gov: In a reversal of the usual roles, Republican Nathan Deal paints himself as the friend of teachers (and education in general) in his first attack ad
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo continues to sound like an anodyne Republican in his ads (cut wasteful government, blah blah), and says that Carl Paladino's "anger is not a governing strategy"
AL-05: Steve Raby goes back to his mailbox to criticize Mo Brooks for being a DC tool (and then litters)
CA-45: In this Steve Pougnet ad, little kids singing bowdlerized versions of the "Miss Mary Mack" (Mary Bono Mack, get it?) schoolyard rhyme are annoying
CO-07: In an ad with weak production values, Ryan Frazier attacks Ed Perlmutter for supporting the stimulus and cap-and-trade
FL-12: Dennis Ross recites some conservative pabulum
FL-25: In a minute-long spot, Joe Garcia uses news coverage to revisit the David Rivera ramming-a-delivery-truck-carrying-his-opponents-flyers incident
ID-01: Walt Minnick can't resist hitting the illegal immigration theme again - and he, too, features footage of Hispanic-looking people. Just uck
MN-06: A Tarryl Clark ad with really low production values stands out only because the otherwise serious-sounding female announcer declares: "Michele Bachmann: Not doing [bleep] for the people of the sixth district" (yes, there's an actual bleep sound) [UPDATE: Gah, it's just a fucking web ad.]
NC-02: Bob Etheridge hits one of my favorite attack ad topics: Renee Ellmers' support of a 23% national sales tax
NV-03: As she did in her last ad, Dina Titus compares Joe Heck to Sharron Angle, this time attacking his record on education
NY-13: Big fucking surprise: Despite voting against healthcare reform, Mike McMahon is getting attacked on it anyway - for not supporting repeal, and for just generally siding with Pelosi & Obama. Will Democrats never learn? Don't answer that
NY-20: Chris Gibson attacks Scott Murphy for supporting the stimulus. Man, it was a damn long time ago, but remember how much traction Murphy got last year by attacking Jim Tedisco (lol) for opposing the stimulus? (Not surprised to see the ad in that link has since been removed)
OH-18: Oh man. Clearly polls must be showing Dems that attacks on Republicans for wanting to send jobs overseas must be especially potent, 'cause here's another one, from Zack Space. No gong in this one, though - instead, he features a prototypical Chinese dragon, and then even has the announcer say a mock "thank you" in Chinese! I really can't wait for this election to be over
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's gotta be wondering why all those former employees couldn't wait until after the November election to up and die. With the death two weeks ago of Lance McNaught still in the news, another WWE star, Luna Vachon, died over the weekend. An autopsy is scheduled, but the WWE paid for rehab for substance abuse for Vachon last year.
• KY-Sen: Democrat Jack Conway's out with his first TV ad for the general election. The ad buy, touting Conway's work against prescription drug abuse and child pornography as AG, is for about $150K. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is out with a doozy of a legislative proposal: to audit the nation's gold reserves. As with many things that come out of the gray area between ultra-libertarianism and black helicopters-territory, the "huh? why?" part is best answered by reading the comments on the article, which apparently suggest that our nation's gold supply actually been given away as collateral on all our debt to commercial banks/our Chinese overlords/the UN/the Bavarian Illuminati. Why is this getting filed under KY-Sen? Partly because those reserves are (allegedly!!!!1!) in Kentucky at Fort Knox, but also because at some point Rand Paul is going to inevitably get called on the carpet to say whether he agrees with dad's latest scheme.
• NC-Sen: Civitas is out with a new poll of the Senate race in the Tar Heel State, but it's an odd little critter, only polling "unaffiliated" voters. They seem to mirror the larger split statewide, with Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 39-32 (with 7 for Libertarian Michael Beitler). 34% of respondents had still never heard of Marshall. Burr is also out with his first TV ad of the cycle, focusing on his down-home-ness, presumably to ward off the "gone Washington" problem that sank Elizabeth Dole two years ago. The buy is for $578K (click the link to see the breakdown among the state's many media markets).
• NH-Sen: Ovide Lamontagne just got a big score: the endorsement of the Manchester Union-Leader, the state's largest newspaper and also one of the most consistently right-wing editorial pages anywhere. Newspaper endorsements can usually be shrugged off, but the Union-Leader's endorsement of Lamontagne in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary helped him pull of the surprise upset of Rep. Bill Zeliff. Can this help him in a four-way split, though, instead of just a two-way, especially when Kelly Ayotte and Bill Binnie have dramatically outspent him so far? Lamontagne is also finally hitting the airwaves with his first TV ad, with the primary approaching in just a couple weeks. (No dollar figure given, but it's only a one-week cable buy.)
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle just keeps handing gift after gift to Harry Reid, this time unfortunately timed to coincide with Katrina's 5th anniversary: video has surfaced from Angle's 2006 NV-02 bid in which she says she would have voted against Katrina relief funds. One other minor Nevada point, also courtesy of Jon Ralston: Clark County's GOP chair just resigned, leaving more disarray in the local Republican hierarchy as far as staying organized and disciplined for November.
• OH-Sen: The national Chamber of Commerce is out with a new positive ad touting Rob Portman, which is odd since Portman has enough money in the bank that he can pay his own way and then some. (The establishment, free-tradin' Portman is definitely their kind of guy, though, much more so than the teabaggers cluttering a number of other close Senate races.) NWOTSOTB.
• AL-05: Republican Mo Brooks (who blew out party-switching Parker Griffith in the GOP primary) has a decent, but not overwhelming, lead over Dem Steve Raby, at least according to his own internal courtesy of POS. Brooks leads 48-37; taking into consideration that it's an internal, this race isn't a likely pickup but certainly still on the table.
• KY-06: One other ad to consider today: Ben Chandler's out with another spot, this time going negative against local attorney Andy Barr, hitting him on the issue of the bad kind of SSP (social security privatization).
• MI-01, MI-03, MI-07: We Ask America is out with a trio of House district polls in Michigan. As is their usual modus operandi, the Republicans are in the lead. In the Dem-held open seat 1st, Dan Benishek leads Gary McDowell 45-29 (even WAA admits they expect that to tighten a lot, based on Benishek's name being in the news from the ultra-close GOP primary). In the reddish open-seat 3rd being vacated by GOPer Vern Ehlers, Justin Amash leads Patrick Miles 51-30. And the state's most vulnerable Dem incumbent, Mark Schauer trails ex-Rep. Tim Walberg in a rematch, 45-37.
• OH-17: "Trafican't" just got turned into "Trafican." Although there's no official word, supporters of ex-con ex-Rep. Jim Traficant are saying that re-canvassing of petitions has yielded enough valid signatures to get him on the ballot as an independent. He was only 20 shy, and they've found at least 27 new valid signatures. Traficant isn't likely to be much of a factor against incumbent Rep. Tim Ryan in this solidly blue district, though.
• AGs: I know I can rely on Louis Jacobson to go even deeper into the weeds than we here at SSP ever will. Writing for Governing magazine, he handicaps and encapsulates the nation's many state Attorney General races. He finds the Dems (who currenly have a 32-18 edge in AG positions) in danger of losing at least six seats this year, including Dem-held open seats in California, Arizona, and Georgia. One of the Dems' best (if only) offensive opportunities is Bill McCollum's old post in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times has a deeper profile of the race between Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber, and the Sarah Palin-backed Hillsborough Co. prosecutor Pam Bondi.
• Mayors: Here's a second poll in a week's time showing current Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty significantly trailing in his bid for re-election, against Democratic primary opponent Vincent Gray. The Washington Post finds Gray leading Fenty 53-36 among likely voters, or 49-36 among registered voters.
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 38%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 57%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 44%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 37%, Mary Fallin (R) 52%
• OK-Sen: Jim Rogers (D) 24%, Tom Coburn (R-inc) 67%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 19%, Jim DeMint (R) 63%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 48%, John Raese (R) 42%
• AK-Sen: Wow, now we've got Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin working in harmony in at least one place: Huckabee just endorsed Joe Miller, the little-known right-wing challenger to Lisa Murkowski in the GOP Senate primary.
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is out with a new ad in a last-ditch effort to make up some ground on John McCain, and he's relying on time-honored tradition of pulling a few of his opponents' words out of context. In this case, he swipes the passage "I chose lying" from McCain's 2002 audiobook, although in the book it was talking about the South Carolina confederate flag controversy, and Hayworth just slaps it down in an ad about immigration. The ad buy is for $365K.
• CA-Sen: This isn't a surprise in terms of which of the candidates they endorsed, but it might be interesting that the Chamber of Commerce decided there was enough of a shot in this race for them to weigh in. They're backing Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race, based on, y'know, her long track record of success at Hewlett-Packard.
• FL-Sen: A Mason-Dixon poll released late last week gives some hope to Kendrick Meek, who other polls had shown had fallen behind billionaire weirdo Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary. Their poll (conducted for "Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association") gives Meek a 33-29 lead. Greene's main problem seems to be that the press keeps on doing stories about, well, all those things that Greene has been doing for the last couple decades; yesterday the St. Petersburg Times looked at Greene's involvement in a California condo deal that belies his claims that he was a high-level investor and not involved in any of the myriad ground-level predatory lending transactions that, when all added together, helped create the real estate asset bubble. Greene's defense? "I don't follow what happens after the sale.... All I care about is that I get my money." Finally, whether Greene or Meek wins the primary, one more problem they'll have to deal with is the movement of prominent Democratic money to indie Charlie Crist. Pollster Mark Penn hasn't been anyone's image of a reliable or useful Democrat lately, but he is at least a prominent Democrat; he's now raising for Crist.
• KY-Sen: Will "I worship you, Aqua Buddha" become the newest political catchphrase that sweeps the nation? GQ has a hilarious (if somewhat disturbing) look back at Rand Paul's hellraising days at an undergrad at Baylor (a school from which, by the way, he doesn't have a bachelor's degree). It'll be interesting to see if this actually creates any blowback for Paul.
• WA-Sen: Interesting: another endorsement for the once-moderate Dino Rossi from another celebrity on the right in the Senate. Unlike Jim DeMint (whose backing he got last week), who has something of a fundraising network that comes with his endorsement, Tom Coburn (who just announced his support) just has cachet with right-wing fanboys. More evidence that Rossi, while publicly pretending to be focused only on the general, is scrambling to shore up his right flank before the Top 2 primary where he faces competition from various teabaggers, most significantly Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier.
• FL-Gov: That Mason-Dixon poll had a Republican gubernatorial portion as well, and they do provide some confirmation for the sense that Bill McCollum is worming his way back into this thing, with not much time left on the clock. Rick Scott leads McCollum only 37-31. Worth noting: it doesn't seem to have anything to do with people taking notice of Scott's legacy of Medicare fraud at Columbia/HCA, but rather, McCollum consolidating the Republican Hispanic vote (where he leads 3-1), probably thanks to Scott's demagoguery on the immigration issue and McCollum's more even-handed stance. Meanwhile, not that Bud Chiles was gaining much momentum, but explaining this could be a big distraction: his former leadership of innocuous-sounding charity HOPE Worldwide, which it turns out is an arm of the cultish International Churches of Christ.
• IA-Gov: Social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats ran a surprisingly close race against Terry Branstad in the GOP gubernatorial primary and then threatened an independent run when he didn't receive the proper amount of fealty post-primary. However, he announced last Friday that he won't attempt a third-party bid (which would probably give the advantage in the race back to Chet Culver). He'll focus his energies on defeating members of the Iowa Supreme Court, in retaliation for its gay marriage ruling.
• MN-Gov: If there's one campaign out there in need of a shakeup, it's Tom Emmer's, as polls have made clear that the GOP gubernatorial nominee's trajectory post-nomination has been aimed almost straight down. Old campaign manager Tom Mason departed for a farm upstate, replaced by former '08 Norm Coleman CM Cullen Sheehan.
• PA-Gov: Remember Sam Rohrer, the socially conservative state Rep. who persisted in the GOP primary against AG Tom Corbett (and lost big)? His supporters still haven't given up hope, and, although Pennsylvania law prohibits him from a ballot line in November, are now launching an independent write-in campaign for Rohrer. (Rohrer hasn't endorsed the idea, but isn't dissuading them either.) The write-in campaign is a particularly difficult beast, though, meaning that it's likely that Rohrer wouldn't pick up more than a couple percent, and the race would have to get closer than it currently is for that to harm Corbett's odds against Dem Dan Onorato.
• RI-Gov: Brown University is out with a poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race, and one thing is clear: no current Republican is going to win the race. Democratic state Treasurer Frank Caprio leads independent ex-Republican ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee, by a bare 28-27 margin. For some reason, they seemed to poll the two Republicans jungle-style, but it really doesn't matter as both are non-factors: former Don Carcieri communications director John Robitaille is at 7 and ex-state Rep. Victor Moffitt is at 2.
• FL-08: Jeb! backs Web! Ex-gov. Jeb Bush cut an ad in support of ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, who, with his dithering, managed to blow his early shot at consolidating GOP establishment support in the primary. Instead, he's one of many guys stuffed in the clown car, fighting for the right to oppose Rep. Alan Grayson.
• ID-01: The omission of Raul Labrador from the NRCC's Young Guns, which seems to admit any Republican who has enough opposable digits to successfully operate a telephone and call donors, seemed like it was becoming too embarrassing for even the NRCC's skilled writers to spin away. Labrador says he "changed his mind" and is now willing to join the entourage. Labrador, who has $69K, is only entering at the "On the Radar" level, though, the bottom of the pyramid.
• IL-14: State Sen. Randy Hultgren thought he struck some electoral gold when he found a contribution to Rep. Bill Foster from fellow Dem Maxine Waters for $1,000, which then demanded Foster give back. Unfortunately, there's something to be said for basic reading skills: the contribution wasn't to Bill Foster, but rather to former music industry exec Gary Foster, who's now head of a charitable org called Upliftment Jamaica. Naturally, the Hultgren camp blamed the FEC for forcing them to screw up.
• LA-02: Sen. Mary Landrieu announced her backing for state Rep. Cedric Richmond in the Dem primary in the 2nd, more evidence that the Dem establishment is trying to unite behind Richmond and put the squeeze on primary rival state Rep. Juan LaFonta.
• MI-09: As part of the transition from primary to general election, one item that's high on GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski's to-do list is to walk back his previous birtherism. After telling Politico in a post-primary interview that he'd "love" to see Obama's birth certificate, he's now out with a statement that Politico took his out of context... without, of course, explaining what context such a comment should be taken in.
• OH-18: Stop the presses! (And hide the women!) Bill Clinton adviser turned Fox News talking head Dick Morris has announced he'll be making appearances on behalf of at least 40 Republican candidates this year. That includes a fundraiser for Rep. Zack Space's opponent, state Sen. Bob Gibbs, later this month.
• RI-01, RI-02: That Brown gubernatorial poll also looked at the Democratic primaries in the 1st and 2nd, although the margin of error is terribly high (7.4% in RI-01). In the 1st, Providence mayor David Cicilline is in command of the Dem field, leading former state party chair William Lynch 32-11 15, with 11 for businessman Anthony Gemma and 5 for state Rep. David Segal (who just got the local SEIU's backing, by the way). In the 2nd, Rep. Jim Langevin looks likely to weather his primary challenge with ease; he leads state Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan 55-12.
• SBA List: Anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List has come out with polls of one open Senate race and three House races featuring Dem incumbents (where the common thread seems that all the Dems are anti-abortion), courtesy of that Republican pollster with the oh-so-creative name, The Polling Company. They find Dan Coats leading Brad Ellsworth 50-35 in the Indiana Senate race. The House races are an interesting mix of the good, the bad, and the so-so. For the good, Rep. Joe Donnelly seems to start on solid ground in IN-02, where he leads state Rep. Jackie Walorski 52-35. For the bad, Rep. Steve Driehaus may just be the most DOA of any House Democrat, as this is one more poll giving him a double-digit deficit against ex-Rep. Steve Chabot (51-41). And for the so-so, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (last seen losing in a too-good-to-be-true internal from GOP opponent Mike Kelly) is leading Kelly by a pretty plausible 46-42.
• Blue Dogs: The Blue Dogs handed out a load of endorsements to Dem candidates, looking to replenish their soon-to-be-depleted ranks (thanks to a number of retirements, as well as many of their members being in many of the nation's most competitive races). Endorsees are Steve Raby in AL-05, Chad Causey in AR-01, Roy Herron in TN-08, Trent van Haaften in IN-08, and Stephene Moore in KS-03.
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 46%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 36%, Terry Branstad (R) 52%
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland (D) 34%, Sam Brownback (R) 57%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Bill Binnie (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 27%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 59%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 42%, Kristi Noem (R) 51%
CO-Sen: In yet another example of the perils of Citizens United, Americans United for Life, a non-profit anti-abortion group, is endorsing GOPer Jane Norton. Worry not, circular firing squad enthusiasts, as other pro-life groups endorsing Norton's more conservative rival Ken Buck are already hitting back promoting Buck as the pro-lifest option.
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek, seeking to stanch the bleeding of support to Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary, has released an internal poll showing him leading by the slimmest of margins, 36-35, with 8% going to Maurice Ferre and 20% undecided. Meek has three events planned with the Big Dog in the coming weeks - which isn't surprising given Meek did endorse Hillary Clinton for President in 2008.
Jack Conway (D): 31
Rand Paul (R): 41
Braun Research is out with another poll in Kentucky, showing a result consistent with other pollsters of a slight lead for mountain-hater Rand Paul.
NV-Sen: Sharron Angle's Tour de Crazy continues, as she's now bandying about criticizing gay adoption (which is legal in Nevada) and advocating for the right of religious officials to endorse political candidates - which flies squarely in the face of Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.
CO-Gov: Former state legislator Tom Wiens - last seen briefly running for the Senate seat currently held by Michael Bennet - may have set his sights on the Governor's race as a post-primary option given the utter fail of both GOPers on the ballot, Scott "plagiarist" McInnis and Dan "lien collector" Maes. Wiens claims to have already voted for Scott McInnis, but his follow-up statement that "I voted for Scott McInnis and let's hope things work out" is hardly a ringing endorsement.
MN-Gov: Target's CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, is apologizing for the company's recent $150,000 to the shadowy right-wing group Minnesota Forward, which was last seen airing ads in support of the waitstaff-hating, gay-bashing, Christian conservative-cozy GOP nominee, Tom Emmer. The irony in all of this, of course, is that Target is the successor to the Dayton-Hudson Corporation...to which Democratic gube-hopeful Mark Dayton is an heir.
AL-05: With many of their members at risk in November, the Blue Dog Coalition senses an opportunity to add to their ranks here, endorsing Dem nominee Steve Raby. The Blue Dog Coalition goes way back in this northern Alabama district, as Bud Cramer - who held this seat until 2008 - was a co-founder of the coalition.
ID-01: It's hard to to tell who's campaign's been more amusing, Bill Sali's or Raul Labrador's. The normally GOP-leaning Idaho Associated General Contractors - who even endorsed Bill Sali in 2008 - are opting for Dem Walt Minnick, even citing Minnick's opposition to the stimulus as a point of reservation for the group.
TN-08: The dust's hardly settled from last night's bloody GOP three-way...primary, which has fortunately allowed Democratic nominee state Sen. Roy Herron to build up a huge financial advantage. Outside groups are stepping in though, with the conservative-leaning 60 Plus Association dropping $240k in ad buys against Herron in the Memphis, Jackson, and Nashville markets.
VA-05: To the disappointment of cat fud lovers everywhere, the teabaggish Jim McKelvey - despite his earlier reluctance - is endorsing the man who beat him in the primary, "moderate" state Sen. Robert Hurt. Fortunately, there's still the teabagging independent in this race, Jeff Clark.
WA-08: In a major surprise, the Seattle Times has decided not to endorse incumbent GOPer Dave Reichert, criticizing his constant nay-saying. The Times - which has endorsed Reichert in the past - is instead opting for Microsoft exec Suzan DelBene (D) and Expedia senior manager Tim Dillon (R) in Washington's unusual top two primary.
Polling: Daily Kos, after having fired their pollster Research 2000, is back in the polling game, to the delight of Swingnuts everywhere. While Daily Kos has yet to decide on a national pollster, they've settled on the always reliable Public Policy Polling for state-level horserace polling.
• WA-Sen: I'm not sure how this will work, practically speaking, but the two Tea Partiers in the race, rancher Clint Didier and fastener mogul Paul Akers, are "joining forces." They'll be doing joint ads and joint online forums for the remaining few weeks. They can't, of course, be jointly voted-for, so I don't know what the endgame is, but it probably doesn't matter, as both have been polling in the single digits in polls of the jungle primary. Apparently, it does give them a better venue for airing their grievances with the GOP establishment's selection of Dino Rossi as standard-bearer; maybe this way, Akers can distract the ref while Didier puts Rossi in a sleeper hold.
Also on the weird timing front, Washington's Republican SoS, Sam Reed, is just out with a new book on the 2004 gubernatorial election and the protracted recount and court challenges he oversaw. Relations between Reed and the rest of the state Republicans were severely tested during the recount, seeing as how the scrupulous Reed wanted to, y'know, follow the rules. While the book doesn't seem to paint Rossi in a terribly unfavorable light, it can't help but remind everyone of his "perennial candidate" status.
• AZ-Gov: You might recall that NRA board member Owen Buz Mills recently ended his GOP primary campaign against the once-endangered, now-all-powerful Jan Brewer several weeks ago. Well, he's not quite done, his spokesperson is now saying: he's going to enter a Rob Simmons-style state of electoral limbo. Mills won't be spending any more money on the race, but he will leave his name on the ballot. (Other dropouts Dean Martin and John Munger have filed papers of formal withdrawal from the race.)
• OR-Gov, OR-05: Now that Oregon has opted to join New York in the weird world of fusion voting, now it even has its own Independent Party trying to quirkily play it down the middle. Based on its online straw poll of members (with a vote total of a whopping 2,290), the IP gave its backing to Democrat John Kitzhaber in the gubernatorial race, but to Republican state Rep. Scott Bruun in OR-05 (instead of incumbent Dem Kurt Schrader).
• TX-Gov: A number of prominent Dallas business leaders have signed on to a letter announcing their support for Bill White in the gubernatorial race. About half of the signatories, a mix of moderate Republicans and independents, are, in fact, former Kay Bailey Hutchison supporters.
• WY-Gov: I think this trumps her earlier Wilford Brimley endorsement. State auditor Rita Meyer (the only woman in the four-way GOP primary field) got added to Sarah Palin's stable of Mama Grizzlies late last week.
• AL-02, AL-05: The "generally conservative" Alabama Farmer's Federation handed out helpful endorsements to two Dems today: not just to Rep. Bobby Bright (who seems to fit their profile well) but also to Steve Raby, running in the 5th. Raby seems well connected with the agriculture world through his former work for ex-Sen. Howell Heflin.
• MI-02, MI-03: A poll for the Grand Rapids Press, taken by Practical Political Consulting, looks at the GOP primaries in the two western Michigan open seats. In the 2nd (Peter Hoekstra's seat), former NFL player and Family Research Council executive Jay Riemersma has a small lead at 22, followed by former state Rep. Bill Huizenga and teabagging businessman Bill Cooper, both at 15, and state Sen. Wayne Kuipers at 13. In the 3rd (Vern Ehlers' seat), state Rep. Justin Amash (anointed as chosen one by the DeVos family) leads at 28, followed by African-American state Sen. Bill Hardiman at 23 and ex-Kent Co. Commissioner Steve Heacock (the moderate in the field, and Ehlers' endorsee) at 17.
• FL-12: We keep mentally writing this race off due to Lori Edwards' paltry fundraising, and then polling evidence to the contrary shows up. For the second time, the Edwards camp has released an internal poll giving them a lead in this R+6 open seat. Edwards leads GOP ex-state Rep. Dennis Ross 35-32 in a poll taken by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. The catch here is one of the most legitimate Tea Party candidates anywhere is here: Randy Wilkinson, a Polk Co. Commissioner who briefly sought the GOP nomination before deciding to go the third-party route. Wilkinson polls at 20%, although we'll have to see if the near-broke Wilkinson can keep those numbers up through November.
• TN-03: Newt Gingrich handed out a last-minute seal of approval in the GOP primary in the 3rd. He's backing the more-or-less establishment candidate, former state GOP chair Robin Smith. Smith's main opponent is Chuck Fleischmann, a partly-self-funding attorney who seems tighter with the Mike Huckabee crowd than the teabaggers.
• WA-03: The Beltway media seems to take it as an article of faith that GOP state Rep. Jaime Herrera is going to be Denny Heck's opponent in November, but David Castillo shouldn't be counted out. Not being on the ground, they wouldn't pick up on the general sense of underwhelmingness that seems to surround Herrera, but it seems like they would, at some point, have noticed that nearly all the endorsements of consequence in the district have gone to Castillo. He got endorsements from the newspapers in Vancouver, Longview, and Centralia, as well as the out-of-district Seattle Times. AG Rob McKenna, probably the state's best-liked Republican, had endorsed Castillo before Rep. Brian Baird's retirement and Herrera's entry, but he's been pointedly sticking by his endorsement, hosting a Castillo fundraiser last week.
• House: Nate Silver's out with a new toy that SSPers will certainly be interested in: having found that Democratic House candidates tend to overperform vis-à-vis presidential numbers in districts with lower median household income, he's created a new index that's a mashup of prez numbers and income, called the Partisan Propensity Index. (He looked at only results in open seat races, which eliminates the main problem with trying to fit House numbers on top of prez numbers, which is the overwhelming staying power of incumbents.) At the end of the day, it's still not too different from PVI, inasmuch as Chet Edwards has the worst district of any Dem and Joe Cao has the worst district of any GOPer, but it does reflect the reality that suburban Sun Belt districts that are truly swingy at the presidential level are a harder nut for Dems to crack at the House level than rural Appalachian districts that are red at the presidential level.
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 50%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 36%, Mary Fallin (R) 57%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 45%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 35%, Nikki Haley (R) 49%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 49%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Clint Didier (R) 45%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Paul Akers (R) 42%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Mark Neumann (R) 44%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 43%, Scott Walker (R) 50%
There are a few scenarios which could give rise to this map. If control of redistricting is split, then I could see this as a compromise map. As you'll soon see, Mike Rogers' life gets easier while the Second District becomes solidly Democratic (albeit with Bobby Bright is serious trouble in the primary, assuming he's still around).
Even if Democrats have the redistricting trifecta, the fact that only one of the state's seven districts can be counted on to go Democratic and only one another saw Obama get more than 40% of the vote has got to be worrisome. So, a map such as this can also be seen as a Democratic gerrymander of sorts in that it makes two solidly Democratic districts.
I could even see this as a Republican map, especially if Bobby Bright survives. If that happens, they could concede the Second in return for shoring up their most vulnerable member: Mike Rogers.
Finally, this map could result from a decision by the courts or the Justice Department mandating that Alabama have another black-majority district. 2005 Census estimates put Alabama at 26.7% black. That amounts to just under two districts, and considering that adding another majority black district to Alabama is fairly easy as the heavily black areas tend to be clustered or at least fairly close to each other.
DE-Sen: Biden alert? Dem senate candidate Chris Coons says a Biden fundraiser is "in the works." I sure hope so! I think Coons is a sleeper candidate, and it would be ridic for Biden not to help a fellow Dem out in his own state (which is just outside of DC, anyhow).
NV-Sen: It may be too late to save her fricasseed campaign, but Sue Lowden has an over-the-top ad out hitting Sharron Angle for her support of a Scientology-backed plan to offer massage therapy to recovering drug addicts. Be sure to check out the cameo of a certain couch-jumping Top Gun star at about 20 seconds in.
NY-Sen-B: So as you know if you're a faithful SSP reader, the state GOP put two dudes on their ballot line for the September primary: Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass. They did not include ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi, but (and this is a big "but," DioGuardi did score the Conservative Party's ballot line all to himself. Though DioGuardi says he'll try to petition his way on to the GOP ballot, Republicans don't seem to have a lot of faith in him becoming their nominee, and they want to avoid a split ticket. So Conservative chair Mike Long got a bunch of calls asking him to bounce DioGuardi from his party's line, but he refused, pointing out that DioGuardi got 70% of the vote at the Conservative convention. Ah, the New York GOP - still a train wreck.
ID-Gov: The Idaho Statesman has a pretty good profile on Dem gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, who is running a surprisingly vigorous (and decently-funded) campaign against the not-so-hot incumbent Butch Otter. The most interesting detail is the fact that the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a chamber-of-commerce-type big business lobby, is already attacking Allred - not something you usually bother doing with an un-serious candidate.
SC-Gov: Rudy Giuliani jumped in with a last-minute endorsement of AG Henry McMaster yesterday - though note that the unlovable loser finished sixth in the South Carolina primary in 2008. (Though Joe Lieberman reassured him that it was actually an eleventy-way tie for fifth.) And in a seriously weird last-minute desperation move, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer released, uh, well... you'd expect me to say "released a poll," right? Nope - he released the results of a polygraph test (!), which he claims show he had no involvement in the various Nikki Haley affair allegations. Talk about protesting a wee bit too much, huh?
AL-05: A douchey move from a douchey guy: Bud Cramer, the Democrat who held this seat before giving way to Parker Griffith, is not "ready to endorse any candidate for Congress" - even though, you know, we have a nominee (Steve Raby). Cramer actually pulled this same shit last cycle after he announced his retirement, dithering for several weeks before finally endorsing Griffith. Back then, Cramer suggested he might endorse a Republican - and I guess he finally got his wish when Griffith switched parties. Jesus, though - do the right thing already.
FL-24: Former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel scored an endorsement from Mike Huckabee in her bid to become the GOP nominee against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.
MA-10: Republican Jeffrey Perry has been under fire for his oversight of a police officer under his command while Perry was a police sergeant in the early 1990s. The officer, Scott Flanagan, was ultimately fired and pled guilty for illegal strip-searching a 16-year-old girl. Now, the Cape Cod Times reports that Perry's own accounts of the incident and its aftermath are contradicted by police records from the time. In an earlier interview, Perry suggested that he had acted with alacrity in handling the situation, but now it appears he waited 24 hours to write up the officer, and almost a week to take a statement from a witness to the search.
NC-08: Heh, he actually went ahead and did it. Weapons-grade wingnut Tim D'Annunzio launched a defamation suit against his runoff opponent, Harold Johnson, for a "radio ad targeting D'Annunzio for his 'life of drugs, crime and time served in prison' and for supposedly failing to pay an employer payroll tax, having tax liens, and withholding child support." D'Annunzio had previously threatened to sue the chair of the NC GOP, but this is so much more fun.
NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon scored the endorsement of the Independence Party, which means he'll have their ballot line in November (something he didn't have last cycle). And while he won't get the support Working Families Party thanks to his "no" vote on healthcare, the WFP isn't expected to nominate any kind of challenger, so their line will likely remain blank in this race - thus avoiding a split of the left-leaning vote. A Dem primary challenge at this point also looks remote. Meanwhile, McMahon raised $140K at a fundraiser hosted by none other than Mike Bloomberg. He was also expected to take in some $90K at an Anthony Weiner event, which was also slated to feature Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, a Conservative.
NY-29: Judge David Larimer of the Western District of New York ruled against Republicans who were seeking to force Gov. David Paterson to call the special election for this vacant seat earlier than November, saying Paterson was empowered to call it for the fall. An appeal to the Second Circuit is possible, but no word yet on whether one is planned.
CA-SoS: I guess maybe we were too busy laughing when we first heard stories that Orly Taitz was running for California Secretary of State to bother writing it up... but not only is she on the ballot, the CA GOP is worried she might win the primary! She's running against Damon Dunn, another ex-NFLer (what is with those guys running for office this year?), but Dunn's deliberately ignored her rather than attack. The Republicans have little chance against Dem incumbent Debra Bowen, but Orly as their nominee would be a nice, months-long goiter for them to deal with.
Blue Dogs: I think I agree with everything Chris Bowers says in this post.
Games: Several folks in comments were recommending a new game called Congress Forever the other day, where you battle for control of the House and Senate. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like the perfect nerd timewaster.
Polling: Nate Silver just released the latest version of his pollster ratings, which analyzes a truly massive data set of "4,670 distinct polls from 264 distinct pollsters covering 869 distinct electoral contests" going all the way back to 1998. He lays out his methodology in a separate post, which is a must-read. Also, that gang of polling maniacs over at PPP are soliciting your votes again: The choices this time are LA, MA, PA, WA or WI.
Redistricting: Politico has a piece out which claims that Republicans are lagging in the race to raise money and set up legal groups to wage the coming round of redistricting battles. I'm a little skeptical, because the article says that Republicans are hurting thanks to a lack of soft money in the post-McCain Feingold world - but if anything, Dems were known as the party most dependent on soft money before campaign finance reform passed. Still, P'Co suggests that Dems are more organized because of some top-down control being exercised by the Obama political operation.