• IN-Sen: Wow, for a late-70-something, Dick Lugar's got a major pair of huevos. He keeps on giving the tea partiers the middle finger despite the great likelihood of a primary challenge, and maybe took that up a notch yesterday, calling the movement out for offering only "cliché" and not being able to "articulate the specifics."
• MI-Sen: You'd expect a poll from Republican pollster Wilson Research to offer worse news for Debbie Stabenow than PPP would, but that's not the case, as they find wider margins against Peter Hoekstra and Terry Lynn Land. Not that Stabenow should be popping the champagne corks yet, as she's still in the proverbial danger zone; she beats Hoekstra 47-41 (whom she led by only 1, in PPP's December poll) and beats Land 46-41. She also sports a definite re-elect of 33%, compared with a "consider someone else" of 36% and 23% definitely "vote against."
• NV-Sen: Well, this is a vague tea leaf that Sharron Angle might be too busy to run for Senate in 2012 as some have speculated; instead, she might be too busy running for President, if her strange visit to Iowa is any indication.
• UT-Sen: This is a striking piece of news, considering that the Tea Party Express attacked pretty much every Republican to the left of Jim DeMint in 2010 and seemed to be gearing up for another round in 2012 (with rumors that he was looking into a primary challenge to John Barrasso!). But today TPX's head, Sal Russo, said that Orrin Hatch, one of the big three teabagger targets among GOP incumbents up in 2012, won't be a TPX target. He even went so far as to call Hatch "an original tea partier." Gotta wonder what Russo's angle is here. This comes only shortly after John Cornyn basically said that Hatch was on his own in the primary, that the NRSC wouldn't be getting involved on his behalf.
• AL-Gov: "Sir" Charles Barkley has been threatening to run for Alabama Governor for seemingly ages, but it seems like the dream has finally died. He says he's no longer considering it, saying politics is "a bad business right now." Also, speaking of Alabama, it looks like 2010 gubernatorial loser Ron Sparks has quickly landed on his feet, picking up a job in the administration of the man who defeated him, new Gov. Robert Bentley. Sparks will be the first head of the newly-created Alabama Rural Development Office.
• IN-Gov: Today was supposed to be the big decision day for Mike Pence, but we really wound up only getting half a decision (although the other half looks pretty clear, by implication). He said that he won't be running for President, and that his "heart is in Indiana." That seems a pretty clear suggestion that he'll be running for Governor instead, but he stopped well short of actually saying that today, simply saying he'll decide "later this year" what to do next.
• CT-05: Here's some more movement in the GOP field in what's the earliest-developing open seat race of 2012. Justin Bernier, who narrowly lost the three-way primary in 2010 (and who'd started in pole position until Sam Caligiuri dropped down from the Senate race), makes it official, saying he's going to run again. Also, state Sen. Andrew Roraback is talking himself up for the race; he's loudly touting his moderate credentials, even citing Mike Castle as a legislative role model.
• PA-St. House: It looks like the Pennsylvania state House didn't quite get the memo on civility that was passed around a few weeks ago. Video of the House floor meltdown is available at the link, although as far as legislative riots go, they still have a long way to go before they can rival the Taiwanese.
To start with it may be worth highlighting the numbers from each of those previous three diaries.
SENATE - GOP +5
GOVERNORS - GOP +5
SENATE - GOP +6
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
SENATE - GOP +7
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
I call that a trend. And not a good one. Unfortunately these final projections continue that trend.
WA (Not at all confident here. And it will probably take several weeks to see if I'm right.)
NV (Polling could well be unreliable here but I have to go with it. Hope I'm wrong.)
CO (Bennet has held on well here but I suspect the year is too much for him.)
IL (Still possible that unexpected Dem turnout can save Alexi.)
PA (Sestak has closed fast but I don't think it will be quite enough.)
CA (This one was a worry at times but I think most of us always felt confident enough.)
WV (Still say he was crazy to push for an election this year but it looks like Manchin will get away with it.)
WI (Poor campaign from Feingold but may not have mattered. His principles are both admirable and frustrating all at the same time.)
AK (Murkowski likely pulls it off but weird things happen up there. No result of the three would shock me.)
DE (Chris Coons will be my favorite Dem Senate Freshman. Not that there is much competition.)
CT (Another that caused a few nerves but the fundamentals always suggested retention.)
MO (The state may be trending away but I think, like many before her, Robin will be back.)
NH (Many say Hodes ran a poor campaign. I don't buy it. The year made it impossible here with so many indies.)
KY (Paul would have won even without Conway ad own goal. At least he will be entertaining.)
OH (Nobody was beating Portman this year with all that cash.)
FL (Rubio may or may not be a national figure in waiting but Crist is certainly done on that front.)
NC (Biggest recruiting fail of the cycle but even someone like Cooper may have struggled with the environment.)
IN (Surprisingly lackluster campaign from Ellsworth.)
AR (The state has finally broken to join the rest of the region in becoming Republican.)
LA (Vitter is scum but the electorate down their think Obama is scummier.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
OR (Kitzhaber turned things around just in time.)
VT (If Rasmussen says Shumlin is leading I'm more than happy to believe him for once.)
FL (Biggest consolation prize of the night.)
CT (Late momentum for Foley probably keeps this Republican.)
OH (Strickland may well yet pull this out. Would be a another great consolation prize.)
IL (Can turnout save Quinn? Probably not but possible.)
CA (Money can't buy you love and all that. Always preferred nostalgia myself.)
MN (I wonder what would have happened here without the perennial third wheel?)
MA (Very impressed with Patrick's recovery. Cahill makes little difference in the end.)
HI (Abercrombie recovering from a few shaky polls.)
CO (Suspect Tancredo's ceiling is 45 percent.)
RI (Chafee ain't a Dem but Caprio makes him as good as.)
NH (Nature of the year that this ended as close as it did.)
PA (D, R, D, R. Like clockwork.)
TX (Very hopeful White has another run in him.)
GA (Environment means no return for Barnes despite Deal's ethical issues.)
NM (Denish weighed down by Richardson and national environment but Martinez a good nominee anyway.)
WI (Barrett never could shake bad environment and Doyle's unpopularity.)
SC (Tighter than many expected but Haley wins nevertheless.)
ME (Hoping Cutler can pull a shocker here but probably not.)
MD (Senator O'Malley in the future perhaps? Maybe the cabinet?)
NY (I suspect Paladino may well cost the GOP some House seats.)
AR (Beebe bucks the tide quite easily.)
NV (One Reid was quite enough already.)
MI (Figure that Bernero may out perform the polls a little but still won't get close.)
AZ (Hating Brown people saves Brewer her job.)
OK (Nobody really ever expected to be even remotely competitive here did they?)
IA (Culver may well have lost to any Republican. He never had a chance agianst Branstad.)
TN (There are many worse people than Haslam that could be winning this for Republicans.)
KS (I do wonder if this would have been competitive in a better year. Parkinson may even have had an outside shot this year.)
AL (Sparksmania didn't quite materialize.)
ID (Otter polls surprisingly weak once again but that hardly matters up here.)
AK (Ethan Berkowitz meet Tony Knowles. You have much in common.)
WY safely in the GOP column.
SENATE - GOP +8
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
• AL-Gov (Univ. of S. Alabama): Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 48%
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Suffolk): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: Kamala Harris leads Steve Cooley 35-34 in the AG race, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 55-40)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (SurveyUSA for KABC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 40%; Jerry Brown (D) 46%, Meg Whitman (R) 38%
(Bonus: Gavin Newsom leads Abel Maldonado 42-34 for LG, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 46-44)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (PPP): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 45-48)
• CA-20 (SurveyUSA for KFSN): Jim Costa (D-inc) 42%, Andy Vidak (R) 52%
(note: this poll population is 37% Hispanic, compared with 67% in reality) (also, the DCCC responded with a poll giving Costa a 47-41 lead, although they neglected to leak the pollster's name) (UPDATE: The pollster is Bennet Petts & Normington, with the sample over the same 10/21-24 period as SurveyUSA)
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov (Quinnipiac): Richard Blumenthal (D) 54% (54), Linda McMahon (R) 42% (43); Dan Malloy (D) 48% (49), Tom Foley (R) 43% (42)
• FL-08 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alan Grayson (D-inc) 41% (36), Daniel Webster (R) 48% (43), Peg Dunmire (T) 4%
• GA-Gov (InsiderAdvantage): Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 47%, John Monds (L) 5%
• ID-Gov, ID-Sen, ID-01, ID-02 (Mason-Dixon for Idaho newspapers): Keith Allred (D) 30%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%; Tom Sullivan (D) 20%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%; Walt Minnick (D-inc) 44%, Raul Labrador (R) 41%; Mike Crawford (D) 17%, Mike Simpson (R-inc) 67%
• IA-Gov (Global Strategy Group for Chet Culver): Chet Culver (D-inc) 40%, Terry Branstad (R) 46%
• IL-Gov (MarketShares for Chicago Tribune): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39% (39), Bill Brady (R) 43% (38), Scott Lee Cohen (I) 5%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%, Lex Green (L) 2%
• IL-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt for DSCC): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 38%, Mark Kirk (R) 36%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%, Mike Labno (L) 4%
• KY-Sen (PPP): Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
• KY-03 (RiverCity for Todd Lally): John Yarmuth (D-inc) 41%, Todd Lally (R) 37% (note: n = only 239, yet they claim MoE of 4.5%)
• LA-02 (Anzalone-Liszt): Cedric Richmond (D) 49%, Joe Cao (R-inc) 32%
• NY-20 (Siena): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42% (54), Chris Gibson (R) 51% (37)
(The Murphy camp leaked an internal from Global Strategy Group today, although only saying a 3-point lead without specific toplines)
• OH-Gov, OH-Sen (Quinnipiac): Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43% (41), John Kasich (R) 49% (51); Lee Fisher (D) 36% (34), Rob Portman (R) 53% (55)
• OH-Sen (Wilson Research, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Lee Fisher (D) 38%, Rob Portman (R) 49%
• OH-Sen (Univ. of Cincinnati for Ohio newspapers): Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman 58%
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Ipsos for Reuters): Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%; Dan Onorato (D) 43%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
(Sestak leads 46-42 among RVs, and even Onorato leads 46-43 among RVs)
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Muhlenberg): Joe Sestak (D) 40% (42), Pat Toomey (R) 48% (47); Dan Onorato (D) 39% (41), Tom Corbett (R) 50% (49)
• PA-08 (POS for Mike Fitzpatrick): Patrick Murphy (D-inc) 40%, Mike Fitzpatrick (R) 50%
• PA-10 (Lycoming): Chris Carney (D-inc) 45%, Tom Marino (R) 39%
• SD-Gov (Neilson Brothers): Scott Heidepriem (D) 40%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 43%
• VA-09 (SurveyUSA for WDBJ): Rick Boucher (D-inc) 46%, Morgan Griffith (R) 47%
• WI-Gov (Mellman Group, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
AK-Sen: Scott McAdams reports raising $650K since the August primary, saying over half his donations came from Alaskans and some 90% were $200 or less. The DSCC also finally registered its first public interest in the race, sending McAdams a $42,000 contribution, the maximum allowable direct donation. McAdams described this as the DS's "first" check to him, suggesting more help might be on the way - but bear in mind that $42K was exactly what the NRSC gave Christine O'Donnell.
IN-Sen: Aaron Blake tweets that the DSCC appears to be up on the air with a "small ad buy... in the South Bend market." SSP hoosiers in that corner of the state, let us know if you see anything.
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston obtained a 38-minute tape of an apparently private meeting between Sharron Angle and Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian, wherein Angle (among other things) pleads with Ashjian to drop out lest he cost her the election. Ralston has links to the full audio, and also posts some transcribed excerpts. The question remains: Why the hell did Angle tape this meeting - and how did it get released publicly?
AL-Gov: Robert Bentley, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, just told Mitt Romney to take a hike. Romney endorsed a bunch of Alabama Republicans (obviously as part of his pre-campaign ass-kissing), but Bentley declined the singular honor. Not surprised, given that you can find something about Willard Mitt which probably makes his backing unwelcome in every state in the union.
SC-Gov (PDF): So there's a poll out by a firm I've never heard of, Cranston & Associates, purporting to show Republican Nikki Haley up just 45-41 over Dem Vincent Sheheen. There are more than a few problem with this poll, though - click a link and check out the responses to their questions. It's apparently an RV poll, but 100% of respondents say they're going to vote. The male-female split is twice what it was in 2008, and the African American percentage is equal to 2008. In other words, this sample is waaay too friendly.
CA-03: I can't summarize this charming bit of hypocrisy better than Torey Van Oot of the Sacramento Bee, whose lede reads: "Rep. Dan Lungren likened the federal stimulus plan to a "spending spree which will add to a growing mountain of debt," but he helped secure $30 million from the program for a local company whose leaders later contributed to his campaign." Click the link for the full details.
CA-47: Clinton Alert! The Big Dog is coming to do a rally for Loretta Sanchez (a Hillary supporter, natch) on Oct. 15th. Recall that Joe Biden was in town last month to support Sanchez, who needs all the help she can get these days. After telling a radio host that "The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, (trying) to take this seat" and that her opponent Van Tran is "is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic," Sanchez came under intense fire and offered a bullshit "I'm sorry if you misunderstood me" non-apology. This one is not going well.
DE-AL: Republican Glen Urquhart is touting a Wilson Research Strategies poll (n=300) which supposedly has him just three points back of Dem John Carney, 45-42.
MA-04: Republican newcomer Sean Bielat, running against Rep. Barney Frank, says he raised $400K in September alone (and has the same amount on hand), after raising just $230K through August 25th. Frank has $1 million on hand. Even though Obama, Kerry, and Gore all won about 65% here, Scott Brown narrowly won this district, 50-49.
MN-06: Jebus - Michele Bachmann says she raised over $3.4 million in the third quarter alone. $3.4 million would be a lot for an entire cycle, let alone just one quarter. Put another way: That's probably 3 to 4 times what Lee Fisher raised last quarter.
PA-10: Given that things like "competence" and "judgment" were not on the list of criteria Karl Rove used when hiring US Attorneys, it's no surprise to hear that another legal impropriety has cropped up in connection with Tom Marino. During his days as Lycoming County D.A., Marino sought to get a friend's drug conviction expunged - and when one local judge refused to do so, he asked another, who granted the expungement, but then reversed himself upon learning what happened with the first judge. Pretty scuzzy - and why was Marino, who seems to have a history of wanting to do favors for unsavory characters, even seeking the expungement in the first place? The Luzerne County Citizens' Voice also tantalizes us with some other unexplored alleged Marino misbehavior "including claims he hired law enforcement colleagues to serve as an "entourage" and would go days at a time without going to the office."
Meanwhile, the Allentown Morning Call confirms what I've always assumed to be the case, that Marino resigned as US Attorney while he was under investigation in the Louis DeNaples matter (see PA-10 tags), which had the effect of halting the inquiry. Reminds me of Nathan Deal bailing on Congress to stop his ethics investigation.
TN-08: Uh-oh - time to get Steve Fincher on "Better Know a District." The Republican agribusiness kingpin didn't realize that the 8th CD includes parts of a small little town you might have heard of once... you know, Memphis, Tennessee. While declaring his ignorance, Fincher also informed the public that he wouldn't debate his opponent, Dem Roy Herron, nor would he release his tax returns (Herron has). Herron's also raised some questions about Fincher's personal financial disclosures, noting that they include zero liabilities - even though Fincher obtained a $250K bank loan that he in turn loaned to his campaign.
AL-02: Bobby Bright runs through a litany of numbers which he says define him - including voting with John Boehner 80% of the time
AZ-03: In his first ad, Dem John Hulburd strikes out at Ben Quayle for his fucked-up moral compass
IA-01: Republican Ben Lange has his first ad up, a biographical spot
LA-02: Cedric Richmond features President Obama speaking directly to the camera (and making lots of hand gestures that look like someone speaking very broken sign language)
NRCC: $5.3 million worth of NRCC spending on too many races to count
SC-05: "Citizens for a Working America" spends $250K against Dem Rep. John Spratt
CT-Sen: It feels as thought we've been partying like it's 1994 in more ways that one this cycle. One major throwback has been Republicans who can't control teh crazy and insist, Newt Gingrich-style, on calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. In fact, Linda McMahon did `em one better, telling some teabaggers that she would also consider getting rid of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't understand whatever cultural bug Republicans have up their ass about the Dept. of Education, but suffice it to say that when you say you want to get rid of it, it sounds like you want to cut education funding, period. So please, keep saying that.
DE-Sen: A GOP source tells Politico that Mike Castle is fielding a poll to test his chances as a write-in. Castle has until Sept. 30th to file a statement with the elections board, something a spokesman said is an "under 5%" chance.
AL-Gov: We've seen all kinds of unexpected touting of seemingly sucky internal polls this cycle, but this may be one of the roughest. Dem Ron Sparks is saying that a poll by Capital Survey Research Center showing him down 52-39 to Republican Robert Bentley is "good news," because a July survey had Sparks behind by 22. (Technically this isn't an internal, but rather was produced by Dem-allied teachers union Alabama Education Association.)
FL-22: Allen West is out with what the Palm Beach Post is terming a "brushfire" poll (n=300) from Wilson Research Strategies that has him up 48-42 over Ron Klein. A recent Klein internal had almost opposite numbers, 48-40 for the Dem.
NC-04: This is a couple of weeks old, but repeat Republican candidate B.J. Lawson claims to have an internal poll from robopollster Action Solutions, purporting to show him up 47-46 over Rep. David Price. But, cautions Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report: "This isn't your standard polling outfit. This is an outfit that most in Washington would not consider reputable." Lawson only has $50K on hand (though Price only has $300K), and got crushed last time out, 63-37. His fundraising also seems to be off from his 2008 pace, when he took in half a million (he's raised just $150K this cycle).
RI-01: Dem David Cicilline is out with a comforting poll from the Feldman Group, showing him up 53-38 over Republican John Loughlin.
VA-05: I'm almost getting tired of keeping track of these, but anyhow... the NRA is expected to endorse Dem Tom Perriello.
NY-AG: A couple of pollsters also took a look at the AG's race in their recent New York polling packages. Quinnipiac, unsurprisingly, finds a close race: Dem Eric Schneiderman is at 37 while Republican Dan Donovan is at 36. Siena (PDF) paints a somewhat different picture, showing Schneiderman up 45-32 over Donovan. Both men have very low name rec in both polls, and the both hold voters of their own parties equally well. Donovan has small leads among independents in both surveys.
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck is running back to the middle, or at least the far right field instead of completely out of the ballpark, as he faces a close race in the general. He's backing down on his previous support of Colorado's "personhood" amendment (granting legal rights to embryos) that's on Colorado's ballot again, saying he's against it despite loudly touting it during his primary bid.
• NV-Sen: Observers are wondering if this is Sharron Angle's true chickens-for-checkups moment (in a campaign that's already littered with quotes that contend for that honor). A video from a 2009 tea party rally by a Dem tracker shows Angle taking issue with a recently passed Nevada state law requires insurance carriers to cover "autism." (And yes, she makes exaggerated air quotes while saying "autism.") I suppose she thinks it's nothing a good massage, sauna, and some aromatherapy can't fix.
• CO-Gov: While John Hickenlooper seems to skate toward the Governor's Mansion, Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo are descending even more comically into fighting to see who can garner a smaller share of the minority. Maes just called Tancredo "an illegal immigrant" (given Tanc's fixations, probably the single worst thing he could be called) in the gubernatorial race, seeing as how he "cheated his way in the back door."
• ID-01: Another day, another endorsement for Walt Minnick from another conservative organization looking to back one token Dem as a badge of bipartisanship. Today, he became the only Dem with the seal of approval from the Citizens Against Government Waste PAC.
• KY-06: Republican challenger Andy Barr, having been on the very wrong end of a couple Democratic polls in the last few weeks (giving Ben Chandler 20 and 14 point leads), comes out with his own internal to demonstrate that he's not that dead yet. His own poll, from the Tarrance Group, gives Chandler only a 49-42 lead, in the wake of Chandler attack ads tying Barr to his previous boss, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
• PA-08: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Patrick Murphy (D-inc): 35
Mike Fitzpatrick (R): 49
It's unexpected to see Patrick Murphy, in the friendlier confines of the 8th, in worse shape than Kathy Dahlkemper in the 3rd (trailing narrowly in a different F&M poll with the same timeframe). He's down 46-36 among RVs.
• PA-11: The Realtors® ride to Paul Kanjorski's rescue yet again! I'm not sure why they have such love for Kanjo in particular among Dems, but today they're slapping down $243K on his behalf. Recall that they spent over $1.3 million saving his hide in 2008.
• TX-17: Wow, that's a big lead. Republican pollster OnMessage, on behalf of Bill Flores, gives their client a 55-36 lead over Dem incumbent Chet Edwards, over 9/19-20. I wonder if this'll motivate Edwards, who notoriously holds his cards close to his vest, to roll out a response (if he has one). The article also notes that AFF is going on the air in the district with a new ad tying Edwards to (gee, guess who) Nancy Pelosi.
• DSCC: Reid Wilson has three new big buys from the DSCC in key states: $335K in Colorado, $235K in Illinois, and $470K in Pennsylvania.
• Redistricting: Here's an interesting piece from Josh Goodman, for those of you among us who like looking at long lists of population figures. (I know I do.) It suggests that the redistricting axe is going to have to fall hardest on rural areas, which is a positive note for Dems; Census data (based on the 2009 ACS... you're going to have to wait a few more months for 2010 data!) shows that the almost all of nation's largest cities have grown (some remarkably so) or at least held steady.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina calls Barbara Boxer "arrogant," citing her notorious examination of Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo has a target-rich environment for negative ads with Carl Paladino; one hit from his new ad includes Paladino's job creation record (or lack thereof)
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland belatedly tries out "You want angry? I'll give you angry!"
• OR-Gov: The SEIU hits Chris Dudley on his proposed income tax cuts for the wealthy
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi does the jujitsu move on Jim Gerlach's hits on his residency, pointing he was busy, y'know, serving the military overseas during the years in question
• AJS: Americans for Job Securities targets four Dem-held seats with cookie-cutter neg ads: IN-08, OH-18, PA-04, and PA-07.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 45%, John Monds (L) 5%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 44%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 48%
IL (Which matters more, state or year? I think the latter but only just.)
NV (Rasmussen's latest has Reid up three with leaners which is probably about right.)
WI (Basically a tie in most polling. I think the DSCC will have to bail Feingold out here.)
WA (Same deal as WI and IL.)
CO (Very few post-primary polls but looks like Buck is up. Bennet has a chance because his opponent says crazy things.)
KY (Best chance of a pickup but only because of Rand Paul.)
FL (Rubio ahead thanks to the exposure of the Dem primary but Crist still well in the game.)
MO (I don't expect Blunt to win by much but I now expect him to win.)
PA (I really hope Sestak hasn't left it too late to try and define Toomey.)
NH (Still a chance that Ayotte isn't the nominee.)
OH (Fisher doesn't have the money to compete.)
CA (Very close to only a tilt but CA is more Dem than WA and WI.)
CT (Maybe should be favored still but the last two polls were a worry.)
NC (Unless the DSCC gets involved I don't see Marshall getting close. Unfortunately I doubt they can afford it.)
WV (Need to see more polling before moving this to leans but suspect may need to.)
DE (Castle probably wins the primary but it is damaging him. I think Coons will surprise people.)
IN (Like Castle, Coats never seems to poll much above 50 but the year looks to much to overcome.)
LA (Vitter doesn't deserve his easy ride. A Dem would be toast in an equivalent state.)
AR (I seriously doubt that Lincoln loses as she polls but she is certain to lose.)
AK (Not as hopeful as some about this but I guess you never know.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
OR (Kitzhaber goes negative and not a moment too soon.)
MN (Would be leans if not for the latest poll.)
MD (O'Malley consistently leads if by a small amount.)
FL (Exit of Chiles is a boost to Sink but this is no slam dunk despite Scott's negatives.)
MA (I suspect Cahill's support will start to bleed away but Patrick should still squeeze past Baker.)
GA (Deal was probably the best opponent for Barnes but still tough this year.)
IL (Hopefully Quinn continues to close but he is still behind for now.)
ME (Not much polling here so anything could happen as in the primaries.)
VT (The primary may have been civil but overtime is hurting.)
NM (Denish has work to do but all is not lost.)
WI (Walker missteps mean I'm more bullish here than I was.)
CA (Whitman barrage finally takes a toll in the polls. I still think Brown can turn it around.)
CT (Malloy has the advantage but I wonder if Foley's money will yet tighten things up.)
AZ (Brewer's debate mess gives Goddard a chance.)
MI (Snyder has appeal to Dems but hopefully Bernero can yet catch fire.)
PA (Probably ends up closer than the polls suggest but not much chance of an Onorato win.)
TX (Polling seems to be moving this out of grasp which is a damn shame.)
OH (Can't quite believe Kasich is doing this but believe we must.)
CO (Governor Hickenlooper I presume!)
HI (Abercrombie likely wins primary and then the general.)
RI (Either Chafee wins or Caprio wins, neither is a Republican so we can safely count this as a Dem pickup.)
SC (If any of this category tighten it will be here. Pushback in the base to Haley gives Sheheen an opening. Possibly.)
OK (Askins may yet make this competitive but probably not enough.)
IA (Ugly numbers for the incumbent means defeat.)
NV (Rory needs to avoid a blowout to help his dad.)
AL (Sparks is good but Bentley is better and this is Alabama in a heavily GOP year.)
ID (Not as big a lead for the GOP as one would expect but it is still Idaho.)
KS (Theoretically Holland may be able to exploit the state moderate/conservative split but I doubt he gets close.)
SD (Daugaaurd is popular and in 2010 that is more than enough for a Republican in a red state.)
TN (Haslam has some moderate credentials so could be worse I guess.)
AK (Parnell should be safe but Berkowitz will make him work for it.)
WY (No Freudenthal means no Dem governor.)
UT (This is Utah.)
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist has to be feeling good about having limited this damage: few major Republican donors have switched over from Crist to Marco Rubio, after his switch to an independent campaign. Only five of Crist's donors who gave more than $200 pre-switch have given similar amounts to Rubio since then, totalling only $6,340.
• LA-Sen: Clarus Research, on behalf of local TV station WWL, finds a somewhat closer Senate race in Louisiana than other pollster have; they see David Vitter leading Charlie Melancon 48-36 (with Vitter sporting a 51/37 approval). Vitter's also in solid shape in his primary (suggesting that Chet Traylor internal was pretty thoroughly ginned-up with "informed ballot" questions); Vitter leads Traylor 74-5, with 3 for Nick Accardo.
• MO-Sen: The Missouri Senate race, not the recipient of much national attention until just recently, is now at the epicenter of ad spending. The DSCC is plowing $4 million into ads here (along with $1.3 million in KY-Sen), while Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads is also launching a new ad in Missouri, as well as one in NV-Sen. The combined buy is for $2 million (no word on how it breaks down between the states); maybe not coincidentally, Crossroads raised $2 million in July, almost all of which came from exactly two donors (prominent conservative donors Harold Simmons and Jerry Perenchio).
• WA-Sen: Maybe that usual calculus of adding Dino Rossi and Clint Didier votes in the primary to see if they add up to the Patty Murray votes shouldn't apply... Didier just held a press conference today to announce that he's not endorsing Rossi (at least not yet). He said he'd back Rossi if he promised to pledge to support no new taxes, sponsor an anti-abortion bill, and... get this... never vote for anything that would "increase the federal budget." We'll have to see if Rossi even bothers dignifying that with a response.
• WV-Sen, WV-Gov: A new "MindField Poll" (yes, that's what they call it) by local pollster R.L. Repass finds an unsurprisingly large lead for Gov. Joe Manchin in the Senate special election; he leads GOPer John Raese 54-32, and is sitting on a 65% approval. They also look at the gubernatorial election in 2012 in the post-Manchin world, and find GOP Rep. Shelly Capito in the best shape. She beats all Democrats mentioned: Senate President (and Governor, if Manchin quits) Earl Ray Tomblin (43-29), state House Speaker Rick Thompson (44-29), Treasurer John Perdue (44-32), and SoS Natalie Tennant (40-37). Former Republican SoS Betty Ireland was also polled, but loses to all the Democrats (by margins as large as 44-24 to Tennant).
• CO-Gov: On what seems like a quest to be the first ever major party candidate to get 0% in a gubernatorial race, Dan Maes is busy pissing off his one remaining clutch of supporters, the teabaggers, with his choice of the somewhat centrist Tambor Williams as his running mate. She was a supporter of anti-TABOR Referenda C and D, but more aggravating to Maes backers is that although she says she's anti-abortion, she's taken some notably pro-choice votes in the leigslature. Maes hasn't lost any major endorsers over it, but is running damage control on the right.
• IL-Gov: It seems like Pat Quinn may be racing Maes to the bottom, in terms of campaign woes. He and his media team -- David Axelrod's former firm, AKPD -- parted ways, seemingly at Quinn's decision. AKPD doesn't seem to sad to be heading out the door; their terse statement about the parting of ways was, "We and the Quinn campaign agreed that our divergent approaches to disciplined, professional communications are incompatible. We wish Pat well."
• FL-08: Daniel Webster is getting some last minute help on the stump in the closing days of the Florida primary campaign. Mike Huckabee (who endorsed Webster a long whiel ago) will appear with him this weekend.
• FL-22: Here's a hilarious little piece on Allen West's attempts to surround and conquer his district, rather than actually do anything in it: he just opened his new campaign office in West Palm Beach... in FL-23. He recently also held a town hall in FL-19, and perhaps most significantly, lives in Plantation, in FL-20. (It is worth noting the 22nd is one convoluted-looking district.)
• Mayors: That vaunted "anti-incumbent" year hasn't panned out much in the primaries, but there is one other race coming up soon that looks like it's on track for a loss by an incumbent. A new Clarus poll of the Washington, DC mayoral race finds Vincent Gray leading incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty, 39-36, in the Democratic primary.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 34%, Robert Bentley (R) 58%
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 27%, John Boozman (R) 65%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 38%, John Robitaille (R) 20%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 32%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 40%, Victor Moffitt (R) 17%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 33%
• WY-Gov: Leslie Petersen (D) 24%, Matt Mead (R) 58%
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck twisted himself into a knot that's unlikely to satisfy anyone. After it came out that, about a year ago, he'd announced his support for the repeal of the 17th Amendment (which allows for direct election of Senators, and should alarm any non-teabagger), on Friday he clarified that, no, he's changed his mind and supports the 17th now (which should piss off any teabagger). While several House GOP candidates have touted the idea, Buck is the first Senate candidate to discuss why it's a good idea for people to vote for him so he can go to Washington and take away their right to vote... for him.
• FL-Sen: There's one more Florida poll to add to the growing pile; it's only of the Democratic Senate primary, though, and it's from Republican pollster Susquehanna on behalf of online media outlet Sunshine State News. They join in the chorus seeing Kendrick Meek pulling away from Jeff Greene, 45-30.
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's getting some support from an unexpected place: Michael Bloomberg, the loudly post-partisan New York mayor. Bloomberg, who'll stump on Sestak's behalf in Pennsylvania tomorrow, seems to like Sestak's efforts on better lending for small businesses. Another bright spot for Sestak: Green Party candidate Mel Packer is dropping out of the Senate race, not seeming able to withstand the pending court challenge to his petitions from the Sestak camp.
• AL-Gov: With friends like Artur Davis, who needs enemies? The ostensibly Democratic Rep., who seems to have gotten consumed with bile after his surprising yet thorough loss to Ron Sparks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, published an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser yesterday titled "A lack of vision" that said that Sparks is "no champion of real change." The key quote: "In a break with tradition, I did not attend that [unity] event and will not be campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee." But really: read the whole thing, especially if you still had any shreds of respect left for Davis.
• CA-Gov: You know that saying about how if you want to experience the sense of yachting, just go stand in the shower with your clothes on and keep continuously flushing money down the toilet? I wonder if Meg Whitman is starting to get that sense about her own campaign and its nine figures worth of out-of-pocket sunk costs. She just wrote herself another $13 million check, saying that she had to throw down more because of the nerve of those unions and their insistence on using independent expenditures.
• IA-Gov: You might remember the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse, a former Des Moines school board member and alternative newspaper publisher who'd made some motions about challenging Chet Culver in the Dem primary. Well, now he's back, and he's planning to mount an independent bid instead. He claims to have enough signatures to qualify, and despite his ostensibly left-of-center orientation claims to be getting a lot of interest from disgruntled Bob Vander Plaats supporters looking for an option to Terry Branstad.
• LA-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Bobby Jindal confirmed that he'll be running for re-election for Governor in 2011. That makes a 2012 presidential run seem less likely, given the quick turnaround, but he's young enough that he needn't hurry.
• MS-01: Travis Childers is out with his second ad in as many weeks, this one a negative spot against Alan Nunnelee (although self-narrated by Childers, rather than using the usual grainy black-and-white photos and angry-sounding voice of doom like most negative ads). Childers hits Nunnelee for raising various taxes while in the state legislature.
• NH-01: Frank Guinta, the presumed frontrunner in the GOP primary for the right to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has some good news and bad news. The good news: he seems to have discovered an extra bank account in his name that had somewhere between $250K and $500K in it, which hadn't been on previous disclosure forms because of "an inadvertent oversight." The bad news: now he has to explain where all that money came from, which isn't exactly clear, as Guinta has partially self-funded his run but also done a lot of outside fundraising. This looks serious enough that ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley is calling for Guinta to drop out if he can't provide a credible explanation (although it should be noted that, although Bradley hasn't officially endorsed, he was already informally backing GOP primary rival Sean Mahoney).
• NY-06, NY-13: The New York AFL-CIO endorsed all but four New York House incumbents over the weekend: the two Republicans, naturally, but also Reps. Mike McMahon and... Greg Meeks? Turns out they've had a beef with Meeks (who's a bit of a mismatch with his dark-blue district) for a while, going back to his CAFTA vote. So this means they did endorse Mike Arcuri in NY-24, despite his HCR vote and subsequent antipathy from the Working Families Party.
• Ohio: We Ask America, an auto-dialing pollster with Republican connections that occasionally pops up with flurries of polls, rolled out three polls of different House races in Ohio last week. They add one more poll to the heap of doom for Rep. Steve Driehaus in OH-01, finding him losing to ex-Rep. Steve Chabot 51-39. They also find Paula Brooks unlikely to prevail in her right-candidate-wrong-year challenge to GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi in OH-12; she trails 51-34. Perhaps most interesting is OH-15, which I believe is the first poll released of this race, which many Dems have mentally written off already. While they have freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trailing, it's not that bad, in comeback-able range with a 46-41 lead for GOP rematch candidate Steve Stivers.
• Stumping: Barack Obama is making a three-state road swing over the next few days, appearing on behalf of three vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer in California, and Patty Murray in Washington. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is making three appearances around Florida today on behalf of Hillary-endorsing Kendrick Meek in his Senate primary.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 48%, Tom Foley (R) 33%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 41%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 55%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 30%, Paul LePage (R) 38%, Eliot Cutler (I) 16%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 69%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 44%, Rick Berg (R) 53%
I'm going to do one of these on the first Monday of every month between now and election day. Though I expect movement in most of these races it is time to do away with the tossup cop out and get off the fence!
Rankings are 'Tilt' (less than 5 point race), 'Lean' (5-10 point race) and 'Favored '(10-20 point race). Anything beyond that is 'Solid' for either party.
IL (Absolute deadheat but since the topic of conversation is all about Kirk I'm giving it Alexi in such a blue state.)
NV (I'm less certain this is has become clear cut as some but Reid has definitely moved ahead at least for now.)
WI (Feingold never wins by whopping margins and races in Wisconsin always seem closer than most.)
WA (No fireable offence from Murray and decent approvals. Rossi has baggage and is only close because of the cycle.)
PA (Small lead for Toomey right now but I expect Sestak to improve his position when he gets better known.)
CO (Until the latest SurveyUSA poll both Buck and Norton lead both Dems. Until the primary shakes itself out we aren't going to see movement.)
KY (Paul has the lead because he has kept his mouth shut lately. Hopefully ads and debates will help Conway.)
OH (I fear this is a huge missed opportunity. Portman is ripe for attack but Fisher doesn't have resources to do it.)
MO (Will be close until the end and I still think Robin can do it despite the unsavory environment.)
NH (Ayotte has clearly been hurt recently but I'm skeptical Hodes can get over the top in this one.)
CA (Small percentage lead for Boxer but much harder for a Republican to close that gap in real votes in California.)
FL*(I'm counting Crist as a Dem pickup though I still think there is a chance he caucuses with the GOP.)
NC (Don't see Burr losing here. Not this year, not with his CoH advantage.)
CT (Blumenthal should be fine since he managed to ride out his exaggerations far better than Mark Kirk.)
WV (Without Capito in the race Manchin should be fine so long as he doesn't coast.)
IN (Ellsworth's problem is name recognition and bad environment. He will close here fast but not sure fast enough.)
LA (Melancon is doing well just to keep this remotely competitive. The electorate wants someone to oppose Obama 100%.)
AR (Blanche shocked everybody once so can she do it again? No. Though I think it will be closer by election day.)
DE (Coons will surprise many and narrow the gap further as we go on but like IN I'm not sure it will be enough.)
We can put ND safely in the GOP column.
OR (Polls are tied but have to give it to Kitzhaber for his campaigning skills and the lean of the state.)
MN (Emmer is killing himself rather than anything the Dems are doing. I think Dayton will get a clear win in the end.)
RI*(I'm counting Chafee as a Dem since he is arguably more liberal than the actual Dem nominee.)
MD (O'Malley hasn't committed a fireable offense and has decent approvals. Lean of the state should be enough.)
FL (The Republicans have nuked each other and Chiles looks like a non-factor.)
MA (Deval seems to be improving his approvals and Cahill means he has a decent shot at re-election.)
CA (Once Brown starts running ads he should be ok in such a blue state.)
GA (Barnes is an underdog in a red state but he is closer than he should be. Both Republicans have skeletons.)
IL (Brady leads but the lean of the state may be enough yet for Quinn if he can paint his opponent as too far right.)
ME (LePage is ahead but like in RI anything could happen here including an indie win.)
OH (Polling is mixed here but my best guess is Kasich has a narrow lead. Strickland can still pull it out though.)
VT (Dubie ahead here but probably more to do with name recognition than anything else. Suspect it will be close.)
TX (Bill White is doing a great job here but I expect the year and state is just too Republican.)
NM (Martinez with a small lead but Denish can win if she is able to seperate herself from Bill Richardson.)
WI (Small leads for both Republicans but Barrett was as good a nominee as Dems could get here. Still possible.)
CO (What a mess for the GOP! Hick should win easily here unless McInnis drops out post-primary.)
CT (Lamont really should win this one and I think he will.)
AZ (Great change in fortunes for Brewer. Maybe Goddard can make this close but I have my doubts.)
MI (Post-primary this may get interesting, especially if Hoekstra is the GOP nominee.)
PA (Onorato will close when he gets his name recognition up but PA has a pattern here that likely won't change.)
OK (Not as big a Fallin lead as I expected but the year and state makes it very hard for Askins.)
HI (Abercrombie has a big lead and should win this going away.)
IA (Branstad is popular and Culver is not. Only one outcome looks likely here.)
NV (Maybe Harry's improving fortunes helps Rory but Sandoval is no Sharron Angle!)
AL (Sparks is probably as good as it gets for Dems but a fresh face in Bentley in a GOP year makes this very tough.)
ID (Not as big a lead for the GOP as one would expect but it is still Idaho.)
KS (Brownback isn't exactly loved by the entire KS GOP but I can't see anything but a Holland defeat here.)
SC (Sheheen may shock people but again, red state in a terrible year for Dems means Governor Haley.)
SD (Daugaaurd is popular and once again, red state, GOP year.)
TN (McWherter is not his dad and the polls are ugly.)
UT (Herbert has anemic poll leads but it is Utah!)