AK-Sen: This is pretty lulzy - Lisa Murkowski is busy reassuring people that she'll still have the support of K Street as she pursued her write-in bid. In a year like this, that's the message you want to run on? It's even sadder that she probably feels like she has to reassure her corporate masters that she's still there for them.
DE-Sen: Merry meet and blessed be! Bill Maher unearths a 1999 clip of Christine O'Donnell (a frequent guest on his show), and promises there's more where this came from:
I dabbled into witchcraft - I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. [...]
One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. ... We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.
Yesterday, though, O'Donnell decided to skip visits to some other satanic altars, namely Sunday talk shows "FOX News Sunday" and CBS's "Face the Nation." Dissing Bob Schieffer I can understand - I mean, that's straight out of the Sarah Palin/Sharron Angle hide-in-a-deep-underground-bunker playbook. But the friendly confines of FOX? How will she get a job there when she moves on to her next gig in the grifter's circuit?
AK-Gov: Last week we learned the disappointing news that Republican Bill Walker, who scored 30% running against Gov. Sean Parnell, would not make a third-party gubernatorial bid. But now he's saying that Lisa Murkowski has inspired him and he might yet wage a write-in campaign. Godspeed, good buddy!
IL-Gov: GOP-affiliated robopollster We Ask America has their first survey of the race, finding Republican Bob Brady at 42, Gov. Pat Quinn at 32, and everybody's favorite, Scott Lee Cohen, at 5.
NY-Gov: Speaking of SLC, it looks like the NY GOP has a reverse Scott Lee Cohen situation on their hands. Basically, the less-crazy guy - Greg Edwards, who was supposed to be Rick Lazio's running-mate, won the Republican Lt. Gov. nomination. Revolting meat-bucket (and, dear lord, gubernatorial nominee) Carl Paladino preferred many-time loser Tom Ognibene instead. There's chatter now that Edwards may stay on the ballot but not really run, or will try to drop out (a somewhat tricky proposition in NY). If he does successfully bail, the state GOP would appoint a replacement (presumably Ognibene, if Paladino's in charge). Anyhow, I suggest you click through for Celeste Katz's full story, because there are so many layers and permutations to this story that I simply can't summarize them all.
Ognibene may be the only guy actually not running away from Paladino as fast as he can. GOP comptroller nominee Harry Wilson has refused to endorse Paladino, and attorney general nominee Dan Donovan is basically saying the same thing. Haven't seen any word yet as to whether senate nominee Joe DioGuardi feels the same way.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is now saying he's no longer a Seventeenther (you know, a maniac who wants to get rid of the direct election of United States senators), despite having answered a teabagger survey on that very question in the affirmative. He's also claiming that he doesn't want to abolish the Department of Education. Live by the yes-no question, die by the yes-no question.
MO-04: Another day, another Dem gets endorsed by the NRA. This time, it's veteran Ike Skelton.
NY-15: Adam Clayton Powell, who took just 25% against Charlie Rangel's 53% in a fractured field, is saying he already has plans to run again. Of course, this district's lines (and even number) could change substantially before 2012.
NY-19: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton did a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Cortland Manor this past weekend. Of course, Clinton lives ("lives") just outside the 19th CD in Chappaqua (in the 18th).
PA-10: In a previous digest, we related the story of then-U.S. Attorney Tom Marino providing a personal reference for "businessman" Louis DeNaples's bid to get a casino license - while DeNaples (euphemistically described as "having possible ties to organized crime") was under investigation by Marino's office. These dealings led to Marino's resignation in 2007 (and, surprise surprise, he soon wound up with a nice sinecure as DeNaples's in-house counsel). Marino claimed in April that the Department of Justice gave him permission to serve as a reference to DeNaples (then why did you resign?), but has never provided any proof. Now the AP is saying that a DoJ source tells them that there is no evidence that Marino ever received such authorization. The heat is on.
DCCC: The D-Trip has added Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Bill Keating (MA-10) to Red to Blue.
DC-Mayor: Deposed incumbent Dem Adrian Fenty says he won't try to run in the general as a Republican. Given that there are probably 19 registered Republicans in the entire district, I'm not sure how this was even an idea in the first place.
Polltopia: Go tell Public Policy Polling where to poll next.
DE-Sen: DSCC ad says Christine O'Donnell will "fit right in in Washington," thanks to her personal fiscal irresponsibility. Uh, do they remember who is in charge in DC?
IL-Sen: CQ reports that the DSCC is set to go up here this week for a quarter mil, but no links to actual ads yet
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad compares his navy service to Pat Toomey's service on behalf of Wall Street
FL-Gov: Two Alex Sink ads, one dinging Rick Scott for harping on endlessly about Obama, the other talking about schools
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo's second spot, featuring an endorsement from a former state Republican Party chair
MA-10: Fresh off his primary win last week, Dem Bill Keating is up with an ad on a good issue: his pledge not to raise the retirement age for Social Security (contrasting with his Republican opponent's desire to do so)
MI-07: SEIU spot hitting GOPer Tim Walberg for failing to support the auto industry and wanting to eliminate Social Security (CQ says buy is for $250K)
NC-11: Two spots from Heath Shuler: the first a touching ad about his efforts to build new veterans' health clinics, the second hammering Jeff Miller for supporting the bad kind of SSP
NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter's first ad, a mostly positive spot emphasizing that "whether it's popular or not," she "always fights for what she believes in,"
NY-19: George Pataki's PAC Revere America has a spot hitting John Hall with scaaaaary music over his vote in support of healthcare reform
NY-23: Bill Owens' first ad, which redistricting geeks will appreciate, emphasizing just how big the district is physically
NY-24: Richard Hanna personally narrates a negative ad attacking Mike Arcuri for his support of the stimulus and bailouts - I think it's pretty effective
OH-13: GOPer Tom Ganley's spot touts his work with the FBI (as a civilian) to bring down some mob extortionists
NRCC: CQ rounds up ads targeting Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Bryan Lentz (PA-07), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and John Adler (NJ-03) (click here for Adler ad)
Americans for Job Security: The right-wing front group is launching some huge buys: $443K against Mike Arcuri (NY-24), $526K against Larry Kissell (NC-08), and $712K against Heath Shuler (NC-11)
NY-19: Curses! Those meddling ophthalmologists! The (non-rogue) American Academy Of Ophthalmology, Inc. Political Committee (aka OPHTHPAC) is throwing down $143K on behalf of one of their own, Republican eye doctor Nan Hayworth (NY-19)
• AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she's inviting supporters to a "campaign kickoff" tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a "good team member" and saying they'll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y'know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O'Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O'Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O'Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O'Donnell campaigns.
• IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That's better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's "Cheddarbomb" sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day's worth of contributions.
• AR-Gov: With yesterday's PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it's now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation's safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday's Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state's turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren't defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.
• CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom's behalf too) in mid-October.
• HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there's one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what's literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6'7"). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie's right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).
• NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who's increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish's behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.
• NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people's houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that "something smells" in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people's houses to intentionally physically sicken them.
• CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they're also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.
• MI-09: There's a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.
• NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who's basically been Hoffman's puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)
• TN-04: Sure, we've all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but... oh, wait. We haven't? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It's unclear how much this'll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis's behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis's pollster is.)
• Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn't a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn't sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn't anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.
• IE Tracker:
• MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt
• WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio
• NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher
• AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright
• SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt
• NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler
• MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell
• GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall
• MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer
• SSP TV:
• PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak's rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush's deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard's out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer's tongue-tied performance at last month's debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline "Is this the best Arizona can do?")
• KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero's on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway
• ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it's "good business" for Labrador's immigration law practice
• MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%
...and that's good enough for me; I hope that's good enough for you, too!
Two quick ones today, one of New Hampshire and one of DC.
First, New Hampshire:
Green for Ayotte, red for Ovide. Binnie and Bender each won exactly one town, Binnie's down on the Massachusetts line (blue) and Bender's way up in Coos County (purple). As you can tell, Lamontagne did very well in the cluster around Manchester.
Second, DC, but let's play a game.
Pop quiz for all you hotshots - what are the following maps?
• DE-Sen: Despite all the hullabaloo about the late-breaking surge by Christine O'Donnell (which, if you look at fundraising and ad spending, seems like it might not have been that much of a surge at all), both parties seem to be reconciled to a Chris Coons/Mike Castle race, according to CQ. O'Donnell seems to be hanging her hopes on a last-minute Sarah Palin endorsement, which, according to intense semantic analysis by Twitterologists, didn't really happen with her recent retweety-hashtaggy thing.
• HI-Gov: Hawaii's the last primary in the nation, and that also means it's the last for pre-primary financial reporting. Neil Abercrombie, who'd been lagging Mufi Hannemann on the fundraising front previously, shot ahead for the months of July and August. Abercrombie raised $768K while Hannemann raised $330K. Hannemann still has the CoH edge, $792K to $275K.
• NM-Gov: GOPer Susana Martinez has led narrowly in most polls here, but the RGA isn't taking this race for granted: they're moving $500K to the Martinez campaign. The DGA is also continuing to fight here, and they seem to think they have something here with their own little Bonusgate story here (where Martinez allegedly spent border security money on staff bonuses instead); they're running their second attack ad here, and it (like the first ad) focuses on the bonuses.
• RI-Gov: There had been rumors of this way, way back, but the RNC is revisiting them today, saying that Democratic candidate Frank Caprio talked to them about a possible party switch in February (back when he was still facing the more-liberal Patrick Lynch in the Dem primary). It's unclear what the GOP's angle is in releasing this now... their chances are pretty much DOA, so are they just hoping to deny the DGA a victory here (for post-election talking points purposes) by driving Caprio votes to Lincoln Chafee (the indie who seems to be running, for the most part, to Caprio's left)?
• VT-Gov: The recount has begun for the ultra-close Democratic primary in the Vermont gubernatorial race, but instead of lobbing grenades at each other, 197-vote leader Peter Shumlin and runner-up Doug Racine are touring the state together in an RV, stumping along with the other three candidates. In fact, Racine is urging his donors to get behind Shumlin, despite having requested the recount. (So far, Shumlin's lead has edged up by 9, with 10 of the state's 14 counties having completed the recanvass.)
• WI-Gov: Here's a good development, that a lot of other outgoing Dem incumbents might take a lesson from: Jim Doyle, with $1.8 million sitting around in his campaign funds as he ends his gubernatorial run, is transferring $1 million of that money to the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which has aired both anti-Scott Walker and anti-Mark Neumann ads.
• CT-05: Here's one House GOP internal that's getting a little stale, but somehow eluded us until just now: Sam Caligiuri put out a late-August internal from National Research showing him right on Chris Murphy's heels, trailing 40-39.
• Committees: Jim Doyle's not the only guy with money to burn who's emptying out the piggy banks. Barack Obama will be transferring $4.5 million from his campaign fund, divvying it up three ways with $1.5 million each to the DCCC, DSCC, and DNC.
• Mayors (pdf): Two mayoral polls are out today. One is more timely, with the DC primary only days away: Clarus finds Vincent Gray ready to oust incumbent Adrian Fenty in the Dem primary, 45-38. We Ask America also pounces on the Chicago mayor question, despite a thoroughly unclear field, and finds Rahm Emanuel would be starting in the pole position out of 10 names they gave. Emanuel's at 30, followed by Tom Dart at 14, and both Luis Gutierrez and Jesse Jackson Jr. at 13.
• Massachusetts: Here's an interesting set of numbers out of the Bay State: despite the election of Scott Brown and running a competitive gubernatorial race, Republicans have actually lost ground lately in terms of registration. The GOP has lost more than 9,000 voters over the last two years, and are down to 11% of all registrations. Dems held almost even at 37%, while the ranks of the unenrolled grew (by 187K since 2006), up to 51% of the electorate.
• SSP TV:
• IN-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce is out with an anti-Brad Ellsworth ad hitting the usual "trillions of government spending" points
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's first TV ad attacks John Raese for running attack ads
• OH-Gov: The SEIU attacks John Kasich on his Wall Street days, with a "significant six-figure" buy
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato's first TV ad of the general is a 60-second extravaganza focusing on the revitalization of Pittsburgh
• IL-14: Randy Hultgren talks jobs
• MI-01: Gary McDowell's first ad has testimonials from locals saying he's just like them, only "better dressed"
• OH-18: Americans for Job Security is out with four anti-Dem House ads, in IN-08, PA-04, and PA-07 as well as the 18th... and we have actual numbers ($124K in OH-18, $415K in PA-04, $293 in PA-07, and $318K in IN-08)
• SC-05: John Spratt's first TV ad of the cycle focuses, unsurprisingly, on his constituent service reputation and attention to local issues
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 37%, John McCain (R-inc) 51%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 34%, Mark Kirk (R) 37%, LeAlan Jones (G) 12%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 53%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 50%, John Raese (R) 45%
• 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%
• 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%
• AZ-Sen: There are conflicting messages in Arizona in the wake of that surprising Rasmussen poll showing J.D. Hayworth almost even with John McCain in a Republican primary. Arizona's other senator, Jon Kyl, says Hayworth isn't likely to run, saying that he's better-off hosting his radio show. Hayworth himself, on the other hand, just sent an e-mail to his supporters, saying he is in fact considering a race against McCain but first needs help paying down his campaign debt from his 2006 race. A prelude to a real race, or just some conveniently-timed grifting from some easy marks?
• CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina is trying to play up her pro-woman cred, even if it means coming off very ideologically confused: she said she would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, even though that gives Chuck DeVore a lifetime's worth of ammunition to use against her in the primary. But yesterday she said she "shares Sarah Palin's values." Um, all of them?
• IL-Sen: The NYT had a story yesterday giving voice to David Axelrod's concerns about Alexi Giannoulias's electability and his regrets about not recruiting Lisa Madigan, which got a lot of play elsewhere. They strangely left out one piece of information, though: Axelrod's former consulting firm is working for the David Hoffman campaign.
• MA-Sen: More endorsements came out in the Massachusetts special election primary. AG Martha Coakley got the endorsement of Planned Parenthood, while Rep. Michael Capuano got the endorsements of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters and Black Women for Obama for Change.
• NY-Sen-B (pdf): Yet another poll shows Kirsten Gillibrand in so-so shape, as Marist dribbled out the last few results from the poll where the other results were released last week. Even as she gets better-known she still has a middling approval rating (3% excellent, 22% good, 39% fair, 12% poor, 24% unsure). Gillibrand loses 47-45 to ex-Gov. George Pataki, although that race looks very unlikely now (this same sample had Gillibrand down 54-40 to Rudy Giuliani, which still theoretically could happen). One item of good news for Gillibrand, though: she finally nailed down the endorsement of former colleague Jerry Nadler.
• IA-Gov: Here's one more guy who has the potential to get teabagged to death in his GOP primary: ex-Gov. Terry Branstad. Branstad endorsed and raised money for Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson in the 2000 Senate race. Branstad rival Bob vander Plaats says that, as a result, using the same logic that pervades all movies about time travel, Branstad is directly to blame for the current health care bill. And while he's at it, Branstad is also responsible for the deaths of millions, because he didn't find a way to kill Hitler.
• MA-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker already announced his running mate for 2010, and is fits with his financially conservative, socially liberal, insidery approach: he chose state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei. Tisei, one of five Republicans in the Senate, recently came out as gay.
• NV-Gov: There's a new poll of the general election in the Nevada governor's race, taken by PMI (a firm that previously did a poll of the GOP primary for a conservative website, but this one seems to be taken for the seemingly nonpartisan Nevada News Bureau). They only try out one permutation, assuming that Democratic Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman follows through on his threat to run as an indie. Republican former AG Brian Sandoval wins with 35, followed by Goodman at 28 and Democrat Rory Reid at 21.
• OR-Gov: Anti-tax initiative activist Bill Sizemore is kind of like herpes; he goes away, but is never permanently gone. With the GOP field now in shambles, Sizemore surprised everyone by announcing that he'll run in the gubernatorial primary in 2010. He's been out of jail for almost a year, so OK... but he may be headed back there if he follows through, as he's under an injunction preventing him from raising political money. He plans on challenging that in court, though, at least to the extent to be able to raise individual campaign funds and not more initiative funds. If he somehow prevails in the GOP primary, this could lead to a replay of the 1998 governor's race (where John Kitzhaber demolished Sizemore, 64-30).
• LA-02: With early entries by a few heavyweights, maybe we'll be spared a large and chaotic Democratic primary for the right to beat accidental Rep. Joe Cao in 2010. State Rep. Juan LaFonta, long interested in the race, made official that he's running; he joins fellow state Rep. Cedric Richmond in the hunt.
• NV-02: Do it! Do it! Reno attorney Ken McKenna has apparently been listening to the subliminal voices in his head, and was motivated to pull the trigger on a run against Rep. Dean Heller. (He'll still face a Democratic primary against elderly ex-state Sen. Jack Schofield.) McKenna represents both personal injury plaintiffs and those accused of Breaking the Law, but he's best known for his ill-fated suit against Judas Priest over a fan's suicide. If he thinks he's likely to win this race, he has another thing coming.
• PA-03: Ooops, this isn't going to endear him much to the party base. Paul Huber, a local businessman who got into the GOP primary field to go against Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, was registered as a Democrat from 1975 until just recently. He switched to the GOP earlier this year. In his defense, he claims he was a "Reagan Democrat" and finally got driven out of the party because of, well, all the usual right-wing grievances.
• PA-06: Various developments in the 6th: on the Dem side, state Sen. Daylin Leach pulled his Doug Pike endorsement and switched to neutral, now that it looks like there's an actual race between Pike and Manan Trivedi. On the GOP side, state Rep. Curt Schroder is facing a difficult primary against wealthy pharma exec Steven Welch, but got a boost via endorsements from seven nearby conservative legislators -- including Berks County's Sam Rohrer, who's looking at a longshot gubernatorial bid.
• PA-11: Anti-immigration wacko wants to run for higher office, but needs supporters to pay down his campaign debt first? Sorry to keep repeating myself, but that's happening in PA-11 too. Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta has been talking up another run at Rep. Paul Kanjorski, and has set a pre-Christmas deadline for a final decision. But in the meantime, he's focused on raising donations to pay for his last run while considering his next one.
• VA-10: Republican Rep. Frank Wolf has proven extremely tough to pry out of his swing district, and it's not looking like 2010 will be the year either. Attorney Patrick Lewis, who seemed to be the best bet here, has shuttered his campaign, leaving only two even less-known Dems (Richard Anthony and Dennis Findley) in the field.
• CA-LG: As many had expected, Arnold Schwarzenegger picked state Sen. Abel Maldonado to take over as Lt. Governor (now that John Garamendi is in the House). Maldonado is a sometimes-moderate who was one of Ahnold's biggest allies in the Senate, who broke with other Republicans on budget issues (and probably earned too much of their wrath to survive a 2010 re-election). The Dem-held state legislature is mulling over whether to approve the appointment, which they certainly have the numbers to reject. Calitics is all over it, though, because Maldonado not only has little likelihood of remaining in office come 2011 (Dems he might face would be either state Sen. Dean Florez or LA city councilor Janice Hahn), but also because it would open up SD-15. The 15th is Democratic-leaning turf on the central coast; combined with another opening in SD-12, that's a route to get over the magic 2/3s hurdle in the state Senate and actually pass a decent budget.
• NJ-St. Sen.: Guess who's kicking himself for not taking over for Jon Corzine during the gubernatorial race's low-water mark this summer. Now Richard Codey isn't just not Governor, but now he isn't even state Senate President anymore. Codey may be beloved by the state's electorate, but not by his colleagues: he got bounced out of his position to make way for new leader Stephen Sweeney.
• Mayors (pdf): It looks like the anti-incumbent sentiment extends all the way down to local races too (OK, that's not news; Greg Nickels and Tom Suozzi will certainly confirm that for us). A new Clarus poll of next year's Washington, DC mayor's race finds a 43/49 approval for mayor Adrian Fenty. Fenty leads the field, but at only 34%, followed by three city councilors: Vincent Gray at 24, Kwame Brown at 13, and Michael Brown at 6.
• RNC: If you went to college in the 1990s, you may remember the purity test that got passed around freshman dorms, which went a little like this:
1) solicited anonymous sex in the airport men's room
2) claimed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail while actually visiting my mistress in Argentina
3) given a patronage job to the cuckolded husband of my mistress
4) texted an underage page about the size of his member
5) attempted to strangle my mistress
Wait, that's not it. Anyway, the RNC is passing around a new purity test for future Republican candidates, which they have to score 80% on if they want official party money and support. (There's been some public pondering whether worldly fellows like Mike Castle or Mark Kirk would even make the cut on this test.) And now the Washington Times (wait, they're still in business?) is reporting that this test may even apply to NRSC and NRCC money as well.
• Photo of the Day: Some days I just don't know whether to weep for my country, or stand back and laugh my ass off at it.