• HI-Sen: Both Rep. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have confirmed to Roll Call that they are looking at the Dem primary to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka, and Hanabusa says she's meeting with the DSCC, presumably soon. She also says that the DS "has made it known it wants to speak with anyone interested in running, but it is not actively recruiting any one candidate" (Roll Call's phrasing).
• IN-Sen: So GOPer Richard Mourdock raised $157K, not much better than the $125K or so he predicted (in an obvious attempt to ensure he "exceeded analysts' estimates," as they might say after a Wall Street earnings call). But I flag this item because Roll Call says Mourdock plans to "raise money from a national donor base starting next year." Does this mean he's going the Sharron Angle/Michele Bachmann/Allen West BMW Direct-type direct mail scammery? (See related bullets below.) If so, then perhaps Dick Lugar is in better shape than he might have hoped.
• MO-Sen: This is news to me: Sophomore GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer is apparently thinking about a Senate bid, and has reportedly even met with the NRSC about his intentions. Dave Catanese says that "uncertainty about redistricting" is spurring Luetkemeyer to consider other options, but I'm not sure I buy that, seeing as the new maps being considered by the Republican-held legislature offer him a very comfy seat. The real puzzler is why he's doing this when six-term Rep. Todd Akin seems to be gearing up for a Senate run, since there's almost no way the two would want to fight it out in a primary. Maybe Lute thinks he can be Plan B if Akin demurs.
Another reason cited by Catanese (which applies equally well to both congressmen) is ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman's crappy fundraising. She pulled in just $186K in Q1, which would be unimpressive for a supposedly serious candidate in almost any state. If Akin gets in, I think there's a non-zero chance that she'd drop out.
• MT-Sen: Nice: Sen. Jon Tester (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $1.5m on hand. His Republican opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, raised less than half that, $580K, but has $932K in the bank.
• NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson raised $1 million in Q1 and has $2.3 mil on hand. His chief Republican rival, AG Jon Bruning, raised $1.5 million and has $1.2 in the bank, but Nelson pointed out that $600K was transferred from Bruning's 2008 Senate account (when he briefly sought to primary Chuck Hagel; after Hagel announced his retirement, Bruning was squeezed out by former Gov. Mike Johanns).
• OH-Sen: Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, whom we'd mentioned previously as a possible candidate, has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee, joining Treasurer Josh Mandel in this in-limbo category in the GOP primary.
• TN-Sen: I feel like there's an alternate universe not too dissimilar from our own where a Republican dude named Bob Corker is also freshman in the U.S. Senate, and he's also up for re-election, except Corker Prime is actually vulnerable. Here on Earth, though, it really seems like Corker is well out of reach for us. He raised an impressive $1.9 million in Q1 and has over $4 million in the bank - and there are no Democratic candidates on the horizon.
• MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon lapped his likely Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, on the fundraising circuit, pulling in over twice as much money over the last six months, $1.7 million to $770K. Nixon also has a big cash-on-hand edge, $2.1 mil to $900K.
But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show? Well, pretty terrible, actually - Kinder's had just an awful few weeks in the press. After the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed his penchant for spending taxpayer money to stay in luxury hotels to attend baseball games and society balls, Kinder promised to reimburse the state $35K... but two weeks later, he still hasn't. That nimbus definitely isn't moving anywhere just yet, and it's his own damn fault. Let's hope he runs the rest of his campaign the same way.
• NC-Gov: This just doesn't seem good. Gov. Bev Perdue, whose public image has already suffered enough damage, was out-of-state Saturday afternoon when a series of deadly tornadoes touched down in North Carolina. She was attending a horse race in Kentucky and didn't make a public appearance back home until 11pm that night. I'm not going to predict what this will mean for Perdue, but it can't be helpful.
• WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant's first ad is a hokey spot set on a farm, in which she decries politicians wasting money... and a cow can be heard to moo. (Or a bull. I don't know. It has horns. But small ones. So maybe still a cow? Do bulls moo? I'm from the city - sue me.) Tennant is generally seen as the candidate with the greatest appeal to liberals (yes, there are some in West Virginia), so she's clearly trying to play against type here.
• AZ-08: Rep. Gabby Giffords raised $358K in Q1 and has $556K in the bank.
• CA-19: Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Denham (I admit it - I had already forgotten who he was and had to Google him) is already making a name for himself. That name is "idiot." He staged a mega-lavish DC fundraiser in January when he was sworn in which featured singer Leann Rimes and spent an amazing $212,250 on the event. Total raised? $212,900 - which means he netted exactly $650. That's quite the feat. It's even more amazing when you consider it was all supposed to benefit a joint fundraising committee for 11 GOP frosh. To rub it in, Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee archly observes: "If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59."
• CA-36: Janice Hahn outraised Debra Bowen in Q1, $273K to $195K, and has about double the cash-on-hand, $171K to $93K. Surprisingly, Marcy Winograd managed to raise $50K. (And if you care, Republican Craig Hughey lent his campaign $250K.)
Bowen also put out an internal from the Feldman Group. In a test of apparently all the candidates who have filed, she and Hahn tie for 20, with Republican Mike Gin the next-closest at 8 and Winograd at 6. The memo also says that in a two-way runoff, Bowen leads 40-36 with 16% undecided. The poll also claims that Hahn's unfavorability rating is "double that of Bowen," but a self-respecting pollster really shouldn't include such tripe, because the refusal to release actual numbers means we're talking about something like a 12-to-6 comparison (i.e., meaningless). As mi hermano G.O.B. Bluth would say, "COME ON!"
• FL-08: Hah! Does Daniel Webster want to lose? The GOP freshman raised just $30K in Q1, but the really funny part is that the guy he defeated, Alan Grayson, raised more! Grayson took in $38K, apparently from small donors who hope he'll make a comeback bid.
• FL-22: Allen West raised a seemingly-impressive $434K in Q1, but as you know, he's a major practitioner of the churn-and-burn style of shady direct-mail fundraising, and it really shows in his burn rate. He spent an amazing $266K last quarter, which both as a raw total and a percentage rate is exceedingly high... but see the MN-06 and NV-02 items below.
• IA-04: Interesting, though not surprising: Politico says that DCCC chair Steve Israel warned Christie Vilsack off of challenging Dave Loebsack in the new 2nd CD, assuring her that the D-Trip would back the incumbent. He also apparently promised to support her if she took on Rep. Steve King (as she supposedly might do), though who knows what kind of $ that might translate into.
• IL-03: Insurance exec John Atkinson, who is apparently challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary, raised $535K in Q1, including $312K from his own pockets. Lipinski raised just $138K but has $637K on hand.
• MN-08: Freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack raised just $121K in Q1 - so why are we having such a hard time finding a Dem willing to take this guy on?
• MN-06: Michele Bachmann raised a MIND-OBLITERATING $1.7 million in the first quarter... and yes, I'm being sarcastic, because she also managed to spent $756K. Of course, netting a million bucks ain't bad (and she has $2.8 mil on hand), and if she truly pulls the trigger on a presidential run, I'll bet the spigots will open even wider. But that's still quite the burn rate.
• NV-02: Sharron Angle makes Allen West look as parsimonious as Scrooge by comparison. Everyone's favorite nutter (okay, it's a multi-way tie, but you know you love her) raised an amaaaaaaaaazing $700K in Q1, but spent an actually amazing $550K, mostly to BaseConnect, the scam artists formerly known as BMW Direct. She has only $176K in the bank.
• NY-26: Republican Jane Corwin is not fucking around: She raised just $102K in Q1, but gave her own campaign a whopping million dollars. Yow. Meanwhile, Crazy Jack Davis has raised zilch, but has loaned himself $1.5 mil and already spent $1.4 mil.
• Denver Mayor: SSP commenter Kretzy has a really good run-down on the May 3rd Denver mayor's race, necessitated by John Hickenlooper's ascension to the governor's mansion. I won't try to summarize it - you should just click through. Timely, too, because SUSA has a poll out on the race, showing James Mejia and Chris Romer tied at 22, with Michael Hancock next at 18. Again, read Kretzy's summary if you want to know more about these people.
• Wisconsin Recall: Signatures were filed yesterday to force a recall election for a third Republican state senator, Luther Olsen, and Dems expect to file petitions for Sheila Harsdorf today. (Number of Dem state sens who've had petitions filed against them so far: 0.) Also, the state's Government Accountability Board says it will try to consolidate the recalls into as few elections as possible.
• DSCC: In an item about Herb Kohl raising $0 last quarter (he can cut himself a fat check any time he pleases, so this isn't meaningful), Dave Catanese says that DSCC chair Patty Murray said "she was confident all of the remaining incumbents were running for reelection." Kohl is the most obvious candidate for retirement, and of course Murray could be wrong, but maybe this is it.
• Fundraising: The NYT has a list of fundraising by freshman Republicans, and also notes that IN-08 Rep. Larry Bucshon took in just $45K. Not really wise for a guy whose district is likely to be made at least a bit more competitive. The Fix also has a fundraising roundup.
• LCV: The League of Conservation Voters is launching a $250K radio ad campaign targeted at four members of the House who voted in favor of a bill that would bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The ads are hitting two Republicans running for Senate, Denny Rehberg and Dean Heller, as well as Energy Cmte Chair Fred Upton (R) and Jason Altmire (D). Here's a sample ad (targeted at Heller), which I actually find kinda weird and confusing.
• Passings: Former Rep. Harold Volkmer, who represented mostly rural northeastern Missouri's 9th CD for ten terms, passed away at the age of 80.
• Colorado: Now this at least is a fight that makes sense: Republicans control the Colorado House, while Dems control the Senate - and tempers have already exploded with the release of proposed redistricting plans from both sides. (See yesterday's digest for the maps.) Speaker of the House Frank McNulty flipped out, accusing Democrats of drawing districts that would benefit two legislators in particular: Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Sen. Morgan Carroll.
However, Carroll said she has no plans to run for Congress, while the Dem point-man on redistricting, Sen. Rollie Heath, pointed out that the new 4th CD (which McNulty thinks Shaffer wants to run in) has a 10 percent GOP registration edge... in other words, not the kind of seat you'd drawn for yourself if you were an ambitious Democrat. So either McNulty is just a garden-variety moran, or he's just trying to cast fact-free aspersions against the other side. We've seen a lot of this kind of crap from Colorado Republicans already, so door number two is a definite possibility (but of course, it's not mutually exclusive of door number 1).
• Missouri: Trying to unlock a stalemate that seems remarkably picayune to outsiders such as myself, Republican power brokers in Missouri met yesterday to talk things over. Among the participants were most of the Republicans in the state's congressional delegation, the heads of the state House and Senate, and the chair of the MO GOP. No sort of deal has been announced as yet.
• Virginia: Hah - so much for lawmakers racing back to work to deal with Gov. Bob McDonnell's veto of their redistricting plans. Legislators had planned to be off this week, so rank-and-file members declined leadership's entreaties to show up.
• AK-Sen: Joe Miller made a drive toward the hoop with his attempt to get an injunction to force the state to stop counting write-in ballots that weren't spelled precisely "Lisa Murkowski," but a federal judge stuffed that back in his face late yesterday, denying the immediate injunction and saying there's no risk of irreparable harm; the question, of course, will continue in the courts, just at a more leisurely pace while the count goes on. As for the actual counting (which began yesterday, and went through about 20% of the total), things have seemed to continue on pace for Murkowski to hold on. 89% of the write-ins were unchallenged for Murkowski. 8.5% of the ballots were challenged by Miller observers, but only 1.4% of ballots were successfully challenged. Only 164 of the 19,203 ballots analyzed had write-ins other than Murkowski (including, amusingly, two people who wrote in Joe Miller). Roll Call points out that Murkowski would be on track to win even if Miller's injunction succeeds, considering what a small percentage of ballots are being challenged in the first place, which makes it look like Murkowski's remarkably painstaking campaign of instructing people how to spell her name paid off.
• IN-Sen: If there's a Republican who's guilty of the crimes of attempting to legislate and not punching Dems in the groin at every opportunity, it's Richard Lugar. Between that and his age, he's at great risk of a teabagging in 2012 (assuming he doesn't retire), and there's already a line forming of potential primary rivals expressing interest, including state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, state Sen. Mike Delph, and 2010 primary loser Don Bates.
• MA-Sen: Here's another piece handicapping potential challengers to Scott Brown; while most of the names are familiar (Mike Capuano, plus assorted other Kennedys and Reps.), it adds one more to the mix that I haven't heard but certainly seems plausible: Gov. Deval Patrick, whose stock has risen lately with a surprisingly comfortable re-election.
• VA-Sen: Beltway Kremlinologists are analyzing Jim Webb's pronouncements, notably ambivalent about another Senate run, and announcing that he's sounding even iffier now. While George Allen seems to have the inside track on the GOP nomination, filling a hole left by Webb would be a big question mark for the Dems. Ex-Gov and DNC chair Tim Kaine seems like the likeliest bet, although Tom Perriello also gets a mention.
• FL-22: Somehow I suspect someone from GOP leadership paid a visit to Allen West and gave him a refresher course in political discipline, as he abruptly reversed course and decided that his bomb-throwing best friend from the right-wing radio world, Joyce Kaufman, won't be his chief of staff. As we talked about yesterday, the main problem might not be her long track record of outrageous statements but the Ethics and FCC problems that might result if she kept her day job too.
• NY-29: While everyone knows that Joe Manchin, Chris Coons, and Mark Kirk are gaining early entry to the Senate for the lame duck session (because of the special election status of their elections), there's also one new House member also getting that privilege. Recall that David Paterson bumped the special election to replace Eric Massa all the way back to November to coincide with the general election, so Tom Reed is set to be sworn in next week too (gaining the seniority edge over his myriad fellow GOP freshmen). (UDPATE: Several folks have pointed out that Marlin Stutzman, just elected to IN-03 in a dual special/general in the wake of Mark Souder's resignation, also gets the same treatment next week.)
• DSCC: The quest for a DSCC leader just goes on, as no one wants to be left holding that flaming bag of dog doo. Al Franken took himself officially out of the running. Even Chuck Schumer, who everyone regards as the fallback position if no one else steps up, is still adamant that he isn't going to take it either.
• Money: I don't think the Dems could have salvaged the House even if it hadn't been for the huge last-minute outlays of advertising cash from American Crossroads and assorted other 527s, but it certainly helped the GOP run up the score in the close, late-breaking races. At any rate, it's good to see that at least someone on Team Blue is recognizing that we're behind the 8-ball on the dark money front, and at least for the short term it's a can't-beat-'em-join-'em scenario. David Brock from Media Matters is on the case, trying to pull such a mega-527 together to start corralling high-dollar Dem donors.
• CO-St. House: This is a pleasant surprise: the Dems may yet be able to hold onto the state House in Colorado (which would let them keep the trifecta, if that happened). The GOP is claiming a 33-32 majority right now, but the race in HD-29, where incumbent Debbie Benefield apparently lost to Robert Ramirez by 208 votes, is at least back on the table with 687 more votes discovered that need to be counted. (Of course, it's worth being skeptical about her taking nearly 2/3s of those outstanding votes.)
• NY-St. Sen.: Here's the situation with the Senate in New York, where it may be weeks before we know who's in charge. The GOP has paper-thin leads in two Dem-held seats: Mark Grisanti leads Antoine Thompson in a Buffalo-area seat, while Jack Martins leads Craig Johnson in northern Nassau County. (There's also one other race not yet called, where incumbent Dem Suzi Oppenheimer still leads.) Dems have asked for recounts in both the races where they're trailing, so this is apt to drag on. If the leads hold, the GOP will retake control the Senate 32-30 (assuming Grisanti cooperates with them, which sounds like it may not be a done deal). If Dems turn one around, the clusterfudge gets even nuttier, as it'll be a 31-31 tie, which should let Dem Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy be the tiebreaker but promises endless litigation over just what sort of powers the still ill-defined LG position even has.
• WATN?: Three different names from Florida are considering their options today. One is Jim Davis, not the creator of Garfield but rather the five-term ex-Rep. who left the House in 2006 to run for Governor (and lost to Charlie Crist), who's now looking for a political third act as Tampa mayor. The election to replace termed-out Pam Iorio will be held in March. Another name is Rod Smith, a former state Sen. whom you might remember losing the 2006 Dem gube primary to Davis, and losing in 2010 as Alex Sink's running mate; he's set to take over as Dem state party chair, as Karen Thurman looks like she's finally getting put out to pasture after another terrible cycle. Finally, there's Alan Grayson, who's going to need a new job in a few months; he says he's likely to run for something again someday, not wanting to waste the large supporter base online that he built over the last few years.
• Polltopia: Scot Reader has a very interesting look at the success rates for internal polls this cycle (of which there were an unprecedented number released). He finds that GOP internal pollsters performed better than Dem internal pollsters this cycle, to the extent that firms like POS were pretty close to the mark. (Although it's worth noting that, while public polling of Senate and Gov races was close to the mark -- with the exception of Nevada, where the internal polling was much closer -- it also tended to underestimate Republican support in the House, in the end.) If his name sounds familiar, he's the guy behind the Polltrack twitter feed (now renamed Pollmaven), which we strongly urge you to follow.
• 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: The elections officials in Alaska are out with some further guidance on just how stringent they'll be about misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name: "Murkowsky," for instance, will probably be OK, but misspellings of "Lisa" (hard to misspell, but anything's possible in a state that elected Sarah Palin, I guess) won't. Also, are MurkStrong bracelets on the horizon? They've said it's acceptable for voters to wear wristbands with Murkowski's name printed on them into the ballot booth, as long as they don't show them to other people.
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias offers up an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, taken Oct. 10-12, giving him a 44-41 lead over Mark Kirk (with 4 for LeAlan Jones and 3 for Mike Labno). I don't know how much confidence to get filled with here (especially in view of Nate Silver's seeming ratification of the +5 rule on internal polls, in fact saying it's more like a +6)... but with most public pollsters, even Rasmussen, showing this race to be a game of inches, maybe this is truly worth something.
• NV-Sen: Here's a clear illustration of burn rate, especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me... I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday). Despite her $14 million 3Q haul, her CoH is $4.1 million. That's almost exactly the CoH that Harry Reid just announced ($4 mil, based on raising $2.3 mil in 3Q).
• FL-Gov: Wow, the next Alex Sink attack ad writes itself. It turns out that Rick Scott was actually sued by the state of Florida (the same state, of course, that he's vying to lead) in the late 90s for insider trading at the same time that the FBI was investigating assorted malfeasance at Columbia/HCA. (The case never went to trial, getting subsumed into the larger federal case.)
• RI-Gov: This is pretty late in the game to fall into this state of disarray: Lincoln Chafee's campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini just resigned. It wasn't over any sort of disagreement (or, Tim Cahill-style, over the candidate's hopelessness), though, but rather because of the impropriety of having received unemployment benefits at the same time as working on the Chafee campaign (which he attributes to a payroll snafu). With or without Pagliarini, though, there's already a cloud of disarray hanging overhead, as seen by how little attention the Chafee camp seems to have drummed up surrounding their own internal poll giving them a 34-30 lead over Frank Caprio (with John Robitaille at 15).
• CA-11: It was just yesterday that I was pointing out how clownish OR-04 candidate Art Robinson was a big proponent of eliminating public education altogether. Well, now it's turned out that David Harmer, certainly a "serious" candidate by standard media definitions, is of essentially the same mind, having made the same argument in a 2000 op-ed article in the widely-read San Francisco Chronicle.
• FL-02: At this point I don't expect to see Allen Boyd back in Congress next year, but this poll seems weird even if you feel the same. It's from someone called P.M.I. Inc., only mentioned in a rather sketchily-reported article from the right-leaning Sunshine State News site (complete with a tasteless headline that sounds like something I would write) that doesn't make it clear whether this is an independent poll or taken on someone's behalf (and doesn't include dates or MoE). It shows Steve Southerland leading Allen Boyd 56-30, with two independent conservative candidates pulling in an additional 14 percent of the vote.
• GA-02: With Mike Keown having released a poll showing him trailing Sanford Bishop by only 1, Bishop is rather predictably out with a poll of his own today. The Oct. 7-10 poll from Lester & Assocs. gives Bishop a 50-40 lead. (Keown's poll was taken several weeks earlier, before the DCCC started running ads here.)
• MN-07: Here's one more race where there were "rumors" (without an actual piece of paper) about a competitive race, where the incumbent Dem whipped out an internal to quash that. This is one of the more lopsided polls we've seen lately: Collin Peterson leads Lee Byberg 54-20 in the Sept. 28 poll from Global Strategy Group.
• NY-17: And here's one more mystery poll (expect to see lots more of these bubble up in the coming weeks): it shows Eliot Engel at 31 but leading his split opponents: Conservative York Kleinhandler at 25 and Republican Tony Mele at 23. The poll is from somebody called "YGSBS." Considering that "YG" is the initials of the proprietor of the blog where this poll first emerged (yossigestetner.com), and the "forthcoming" crosstabs still don't seem to have arrived, color me a little suspicious.
• WV-03: Yet another internal poll in the why-are-we-still-talking-about-it WV-03 race: Dem Nick Rahall leads Spike Maynard by 19, in an Anzalone-Liszt poll from Oct. 10-12.
• Fundraising: Here are some fundraising tidbits: via e-mail press release, Taryl Clark just announced $1.8 million last quarter, giving her $1 million CoH. (In any other House race, that'd be huge, but she's up against Michele Bachmann.) Two other fundraising machines who are sort of the polarizing ideological bookends of Florida also reported: Alan Grayson reports $967K last quarter while Allen West reports $1.6 mil (although no CoH numbers, important as his campaign relies heavily on direct-mail churn). Finally, CQ has some assorted other numbers, including $626K for Rick Boucher in VA-09, $700K for Dan Debicella in super-expensive CT-04, and $507K for Andy Harris in MD-01.
• RGA: And here's the biggest number of all: yesterday the RGA reported $31 million in the 3rd quarter, which gives them a lot of leverage in the closing weeks in the tight races. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of that would have gone to the RNC instead in a more competent year.)
• Polltopia: Nate Silver adds some thoughts on the cellphone debate, reignited by new Pew findings that we discussed yesterday. His main takeaway, one that I agree with whole-heartedly, is don't just go start adding 5 points in the Dem direction on every poll you see, simply because the cellphone effect isn't likely to apply uniformly in every population and in every pollster's method.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski finally, as promised, rolls out Ted Stevens dancing with a vacuum cleaner endorsing her from beyond the grave, in a one-minute ad
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is still pouring money into Kentucky (consider that good news), with another boilerplate Conway = Obama ad
• NV-Sen: The Harry Reid team must have spent all last night in the editing suite, as they're already using Sharron Angle's words from last night's debate, on health insurance coverage exemptions, against her
• PA-Sen: If internal polling and press release content are any indication, they've finally something that works against Pat Toomey: China, and outsourcing more in general (which explains why the DSCC is out with another ad on the topic, and also pointing out that in Toomey's last ad that, during the period where he was being a "small businessman" by owning a restaurant, he was really an absentee owner while being a large businessman in Hong Kong)
• WA-Sen: Ditto the DSCC's new ad in Washington, up against Dino Rossi (which, I'll admit, is a strange tack in Washington, one of the most pro-trade states you'll see, and where Patty Murray is a regular vote in favor of trade agreements)
• MO-04: Vicky Hartzler's ace in the hole? She has an ad up with footage of Ike Skelton telling fellow Rep. Todd Akin where to stick it, with repeated obscenities bleeped out (hmmm, that would just make me want to vote for Skelton more)
• NRA: The NRA is out with a planned $6.75 million buy in a number of statewide races, including a few of their Dem friends, but mostly on behalf of GOPers; you can see a variety of their TV ad offerings at the link
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickelooper (D) 42%, Dan Maes (R) 12%, Tom Tancredo (C) 38%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 51%, Linda McMahon (R) 46%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 51%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%
• HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) 49%, Duke Aiona (R) 47%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 55%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 54%
IL-Sen: My god, Mark Kirk is an asshole. The excellent ArchPundit catches Kirk bragging about funding "the largest voter protection" operation in 15 years in "key vulnerable precincts" where "the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat." And pray tell which precincts are those? Says Kirk: "South and West Side of Chicago, Metro East, Rockford." Those aren't just Dem strongholds - they happen to be the places where almost all of the African Americans in Illinois live. What a fucker. "Jigger," huh.
KY-Sen: Clinton Alert! The Big Dog is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Jack Conway on Monday.
OH-Sen: Quinnipiac (9/29-10/3, likely voters, 9/9-14 in parens):
Lee Fisher (D): 36 (35)
Rob Portman (R): 55 (55)
Undecided: 8 (9)
OH-Gov: Quinnipiac (9/29-10/3, likely voters, 9/9-14 in parens):
IL-14: A Randy Hultgren internal from the Tarrance Group shows him leading Dem Rep. Bill Foster 44-38, with 4 points going to Green Party candidate Daniel Kairis.
MD-01: Clinton Alert 2.0! The Big Dog is holding a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. this Sunday for Rep. Frank Kratovil. Man, after all the work he's done this cycle, I hope Clinton has a phat vacation planned for after election day.
SC-02: Rob Miller says he won't vote to retain Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. He also said that he plans to draft Joe DiMaggio in his fantasy baseball league next year and that he's getting his wife a jetpack for Christmas.
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio, $5 million raised (a new record)
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick hits Charlie Baker for raising premiums as a healthcare CEO (while noting that he capped them as governor)
FL-Gov: Rick Scott tries to paint Alex Sink as a hypocrite on various financial goings-on during her tenure as state CFO
FL-08: A new spot from Alan Grayson hits Webster on women's issues
MA-04: Republican Sean Bielat is out with two ads (apparently cable only): the first attacks Barney Frank on the bailout (and features someone calling Bielat "a reasonable guy" - such praise!); the second is basically the same low production values, faux man-on-the-street shtick, and also has a dude saying, "If you don't like the new guy, get rid of him in two years!"
Crossroads GPS: CO-Sen: $780K on media against Michael Bennet (D); FL-Sen: $350K on media for Marco Rubio (R); IL-Sen: $1 mil on media against Alexi Giannoulias (D); KY-Sen: $100K on media against Jack Conway
EMILY's List: CO-04: $160K on TV against Cory Gardner (R); WI-07: $20K on mail against Sean Duffy (R)
NEA: OH-13: $550K on TV against Tom Ganley (R); AZ-05: $650K on TV against David Schweikert (R)
NRCC: $111K on various media expenditures (they look radio-sized) in AZ-08, MA-10 & MO-04
NRSC: $1.3 million on various media expenditures (these look more TV-sized) in CO-Sen, KY-Sen, WA-Sen & WV-Sen
• CT-Sen: This might get swallowed up by Linda McMahon's minimum wage comments, which are still dominating the coverage of this particular race, but here's a new instance of McMahon getting tripped up by those annoying little facts. At a tea party rally in April, she fended off a question about lobbyists, saying "I have not spent lobbying dollars in Washington." Disclosures show that WWE, between 2001 and 2008, spent $680K on lobbying expenses, including $340K in 2007-2008 during the period when Congress was investigating use of steroids in sports.
• DE-Sen: When asked about his plans for the Delaware race, John Cornyn (after having gotten goaded into giving Christine O'Donnell $42K post-primary) has returned to sounding disinterested: "We will be supporting Christine O'Donnell as appropriate if that race is competitive. Right now it looks like it is not as competitive as other places around the country." (Counting down to another blast of anti-NRSC teabagger fury in 3... 2...) Meanwhile, travel back in time (for the future of mankind) to 2002, and check out this great photo of O'Donnell and friends (which ought to further alarm some of her more conservative supporters worried about her witchcraft past... did it involve bat-head biting too?). Is O'Donnell just Paranoid, or is she really riding the Crazy Train?
• AR-Gov: Here's a poll from the one (count 'em, 1) gubernatorial race in the country where the incumbent Democrat is more or less safe. Hendrix College, on behalf of Talk Business, finds Mike Beebe leading Republican Jim Keet 49-35. That's a bit of an improvement from their previous poll in July, where Beebe led 50-41.
• CA-Gov: Realizing that she's on the wrong end of written evidence, Meg Whitman's trying out a new tactic: blaming her husband (the soap-opera-named Dr. Griff Harsh). Whitman denied knowing about the letter, but now says she "suspects" that the handwriting on the letter regarding her housekeeper's Social Security number is his. Meanwhile, here's a link to that Spanish-language TV ad on the housekeeper issue that we mentioned yesterday, as part of the SEIU's huge cash infusion to this race.
• FL-Gov: With a number of public polls this week showing Rick Scott having moved back into the lead, Alex Sink is leaking an internal poll. She's leading, although by a much smaller margin than the Mason-Dixon poll from just last week that had her up 7. Instead, she's up by only 1, 45-44, in the poll taken over Sept. 23-29 (no word on who the pollster is).
• IN-Gov: Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh, of the eight-digit war chest, just gave $500K to the Indiana Democratic Party (after having given $1 million earlier in the year). Presumably that's to help with the three tight House races there, but many are interpreting it as a sign of goodwill oriented toward bolstering his shot at taking back over as Governor in 2012.
• MA-Gov: I'll just quote DavidNYC on this: "I hope they sell sacks in XXXL size for Tim Cahill to put his sad into." How craptacular is your campaign when not just your campaign manager but then your actual running mate bails on you and endorses your opponent? That's what happened to indie candidate Tim Cahill, whose Lt. Gov. running mate, Republican state Rep. Paul Loscocco, announced that he's leaving the ticket and backing Charlie Baker instead, perhaps realizing that Cahill's presence is the main thing keeping Baker from a shot at winning. (Also recall that Loscocco had originally wanted to be Baker's running mate but got snubbed for that, and accepted Cahill's offer as something of a fallback.) Cahill, pretty much friendless at this point, just announced in a press conference that he's staying in the race, though.
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo got an unusual endorsement today, from the always-unpredictable world of Staten Island politics. The Conservative borough president, James Molinaro, threw his backing to Cuomo. (Molinaro is a key ally of Michael Bloomberg. Don't confuse him with ex-Rep. and county Conservative party chair Guy Molinari, who's the real power behind the throne on Staten Island.) Also, the war between Carl Paladino (last seen going ballistic on the venerable Fred Dicker) and the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post seems to be intensifying, if the latest opus from editor-in-chief Col Allen is any indication (note the intentional use of plural form!). If you're a Republican in New York and you've lost the Post, well, you've lost.
Mr. Caputo should check his facts before making charges against Post personnel. In addition, Mr. Paladino should not be surprised by the media's interest in his families...
• OH-13: Now this is seems like it has some game-changing potential here: Tom Ganley, the moneybags car dealer who's turned the Dem-leaning 13th into a real race, just got sued for sexual assault by a former enthusiastic supporter who says she met him at a Tea Party rally and tried to volunteer for his campaign. Ganley, she says, wanted her to volunteer for some rather different duties:
While she waited in Ganley's office, the suit says, he made sexually suggestive comments and invited her to join him and his friends at a condominium he owns in Strongsville. Ganley gave her a $100 bill and told her to buy some lingerie and high-heeled shoes, according to the lawsuit.
Ganley told her he wanted her to dominate her, parade her on a leash and have sex with her in front of his "play friends," the suit says. It accuses him of grabbing her from behind, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her and, despite her resistance, reaching into her pants.
Naturally, the Ganley camp is calling the suit "extortion" and politically motivated.
• PA-07: Now that primary season is over, we've pretty much stopped reporting on union endorsements, as they shouldn't come as any surprise at this point... except when they endorse the Republican. That's what happened in the 7th, though, as the United Aerospace Workers local gave its backing to Pat Meehan. (They're a major presence in the district, given the large Boeing helicopter plant near the Philly airport.)
• Enthusiasm gap: PPP hasn't been putting out very encouraging numbers lately, but they do offer some cause for optimism that may or may not pan out: with Republican unity pretty much maxed out, the enthusiasm gap can't do anything but shrink. They point out that there are many more Democratic undecideds than Republican ones right now. They show that's especially profound in the Illinois races (and that late coming-home may be what's propelling Pat Quinn all of a sudden), and, although it's not on their chart, I'd guess also in Pennsylvania, where the Dem undecideds have always been strangely high and we may be seeing some gap-closing beginning too.
• Money: If you've noticed that there's a crapload of independent expenditures coming from billionaire-funded 527s and 501(c)(3)s in the last month, pretty much wiping out whatever cash advantage the Democratic congressional committees had over the GOP committees, you're not alone in that realization. Bloomberg calculates that independent organizations have outspent the parties combined in trying to buy shape the election: $33 million from folks like American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce, compared with $20 million from all of the party committees.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski works fast to turn Joe Miller's ill-advised drapes-measuring tweets against him, with a new radio ad
• IL-Sen: Here's another ad with cute babies, this time from Mark Kirk, but this time not about abortion but how DEBT WILL CRUSH US ALL!!1!
• NH-Gov: Wow, the RGA must suddenly sense they have an opportunity here, and they have an ad up hitting John Lynch on spending
• TX-Gov: Rick Perry can't coast to re-election this time and he's up with another ad, this time hitting Bill White on one of his perceived strengths (emergency management during Hurricane Rita)
• FL-08: The NRCC hits back against Alan Grayson for his "Taliban Dan" ad against Dan Webster, calling Grayson "a national embarrassment"
• IL-10: The DCCC does a half-and-half ad, touting Dan Seals' business background and hitting Bob Dold! on pro-life and tea party connections
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 41%, Rick Scott (R) 46%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 40%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 50%
FL-08: A poll for Sunshine State News, apparently by a firm called Voter Survey Service, finds GOPer Daniel Webster leading Rep. Alan Grayson 43-36. Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is at 6, and independent George Metcalfe takes 3.
IL-10: Bob Dold! must have superpowers. That's because Bob Dold! can seemingly exist in two places at once. He claimed the city of Chicago as his "primary residence" from 2004 to 2006, and received a tax credit for doing so... but somehow also claimed the town of Winnetka as his "permanent residence," enabling him to register and vote there during the same time period (which he did). So if I'm wrong and Bob Dold! is actually a mere mortal, it seems like it's either tax fraud or voter fraud. Bob Dold!
IL-11: I think this is going to be the last cycle we keep track of this whip count, because now it's becoming routine. The NRA endorsed Debbie Halvorson.
NY-20: Yep, definitely the last cycle. The NRA endorsed Scott Murphy, too.
PA-08: Yesterday we mentioned there was a Dem pol of this race, but that we lacked the toplines. Well, now we have the memo. A Harstad Research poll for the SEIU and VoteVets has Dem Rep. Patrick Murphy leading Mike Fitzpatrick 49-46 among likely voters. Interestingly, the poll shows slightly larger Murphy leads when an even tighter voter screen is applied.
VA-05: Ugh, this again? SurveyUSA's latest in VA-05 is pretty much the same as last time (and the time before that). They have Rob Hurt leading by an eye-popping 58-35 margin, a gap not seen in any other polling. Teabagger Jeffrey Clark takes 4%.
NRCC: The NRCC claims to be out with a bunch of internal polls, but they only provide the alleged toplines for races in seven districts. Forget about field dates or margins of error - they don't even bother to tell us who the pollsters are! If you want to know the numbers, you'll have to click the link.
KY-Sen: Is mockery better than scolding? Compare this Jack Conway ad, which wryly features seniors saying they "don't know what planet Rand Paul is from" when it comes to his Medicare views, with the Halvorson spot below
WV-Sen: John Raese attacks Joe Manchin for being soft on coal and buddies with Barack Obama
IL-11: A bunch of seniors scold Adam Kinzinger (on Debbie Halvorson's behalf) for his anti-Social Security views
NV-03: Grr... Dina Titus seems to have pulled her latest ad off of YouTube!
CO-07: American Future Fund drops $560K against Ed Perlmutter
AK-Sen: On the topic of Lisa Murkowski's declaration that she's "still in this game" and her outreach efforts to a polite but seemingly unenthused Alaska Libertarian Party, The Mudflats sums up the situation pretty well:
* She's not technically in the race right now
* She's not out of the race
* She's not a quitter
* She is who she is
* She will likely not run as a Libertarian
* She will likely not run as a write-in
* She doesn't know what she's doing
NH-Sen: Businessman Bill Binnie is throwing down another $500K of his own money, with the GOP primary just a week in the way. Though ex-AG Kelly Ayotte leads in what little polling there's been, I think this race is still up for grabs.
NV-Sen: The LVRJ has a detailed profile on Sharron Angle's tumultuous years in the state Assembly, where votes in the 42-member body were often "41 to Angle."
CO-Gov: Some Colorado Republicans are suing to try to knock Tom Tancredo off the ballot, saying his candidacy violates the American Constitution Party's bylaws. Even if they're right, I wonder if they have standing.
FL-08: Alan Grayson claims he raised half a million bucks in August, and says he has more than a million on hand, despite prepaying for a bunch of television advertising.
FL-24: GOPer Sandy Adams (and the NRCC, apparently) are touting a Public Opinion Strategies internal which has her leading Rep. Suzanne Kosmas 49-37.
HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa outraised Rep. Charles Djou in the pre-primary fundraising period, $330K to $206K. But Djou has slightly more cash on hand, $428K to $404K.
NY-14: Some Democrat she is. When asked by a reporter if she would vote for her opponent - not even endorse, just vote - in the general if she lost the primary, Reshma Saujani said she "didn't know" whether she would pull the lever for Rep. Carolyn Maloney. I've been adamantly opposed to Saujani's candidacy since I first learned about her, and with good reason. But this may be the most disgusting thing she's said so far. How can I possibly trust the Democratic bona fides of someone who can't even say if she'll vote Democrat in her own district? And no, her campaign's belated attempt to claim she'll "vote a straight ticket" does not assuage me in the least. When the cameras were rolling and the pressure was on, Saujani admitted she wasn't a team player. We don't need people like her in Congress.
Turnout (PDF): According to data compiled by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, the "average percentage of eligible citizens who voted in the primaries of each major political party" shows more a greater share of Republicans voting in primaries this year than Dems for the first time since 1930. Of course, 1930 was a pretty good year for Dems... but the trendlines are not inspiring.
GA-Sen: GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, not a guy you traditionally think of as being endangered (if you've ever even heard of him) touts his conservative record
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes compares Washington to... a hot dog eating contest
NV-Sen: Harry Reid continues to produce some of the best negative ads of the cycle
OH-Sen: We mentioned this ad in yesterday's digest, wherein Lee Fisher sez: "Congressman Rob Portman knows how to grow the economy... in China!" Our update is that a GOPer says the buy is for $1.4 million and that the ad is running in Columbus and northern OH
FL-Gov: Alex Sink responds to Rick Scott's attack ads, which she says are all about Obama, not Florida
CA-11: Jerry McNerney's first ad, touting his support for veterans' causes (I like that he has an actual veteran do the talking - much better than the usual candidate bragging or hackneyed voiceover)
CA-45: Dem Steve Pougnet is on the air with his first ad, kicking off a reported $100K/week TV & radio ad blitz from now through election day
• WI-Sen: Know how you can tell that this hypocrisy-on-government-aid problem (see the last couple digests for backstory... Ron Johnson's company Pacur has been repeatedly expanded with the help of government loans, y'know, the kind that of meddling in the free market that we have to get rid of) is putting a scare into the Johnson camp? Now he's been rewriting history on Pacur's website to adjust the founding date of his company, from 1977 to 1979. Johnson had previously claimed that the railroad spur built (with federal help, natch) to his company was in early '79, before Pacur was founded. (Pacur's predecessor company was founded in '77; it changed names in '79.)
• CO-Gov (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan is out with a new look at the Colorado gubernatorial race; they find the combined Dan Maes + Tom Tancredo vote still less than the John Hickenlooper vote. It's Hickenlooper 46, Maes 27, Tancredo 17. (That's a lot fewer undecideds than today's Rasmussen poll; see below.)
• FL-Gov: Ah, the sweet smell of unity. Well, sort of... the state party finally got around to having its fete for newly-minted gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott, the one canceled last week for lack of, well, unity. Insiders like state House speaker Dean Cannon and next state Senate president Mike Haridopolos toasted Scott, despite the fact that up until last Tuesday they were working hard to defeat him. There was someone important missing, though, that kind of defeats that whole "unity" thing... it was Bill McCollum, who confirmed yet again today that he's "staying out of" the governor's race. Meanwhile, DGA head Nathan Daschle (here's a guy who knows how the game is played) is out with a bit of concern trolling of his own, offering unsolicited advice to RGA head Haley Barbour and other interested Republicans that they probably don't want to be seen campaigning next to Scott.
• NM-Gov: Biden alert! The Veep will be bringing his patented comedic stylings to the Land of Enchantment to host a fundraiser for Diane Denish, whose once slam-dunk gubernatorial bid has deteriorated into a jump-ball.
• NY-Gov: State GOP party chair Ed Cox is having a helping heaping of crow from breakfast, having to get behind Rick Lazio for the GOP gubernatorial nod... out of fear of the possibility of the even more objectionable Carl Paladino winding up with the nomination. (Remember, Cox recruiting Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy to not only get in the race but switch parties to do so, only to watch him crash and burn.) Cox issued a letter urging local party leaders to get behind Cox, filled with magnanimous praise, perhaps none more so than when he calls Lazio "credible."
• AR-04: Rounding out their tour of the state, Talk Business Journal/Hendrix College take a look at the 4th, the only non-open seat in all of Arkansas. Despite the rough poll numbers that they found for the Dem candidates in the 1st and 2nd, they find Mike Ross in solid shape, probably thanks to an underwhelming opponent in the form of Beth Anne Rankin. Ross leads 49-31, with 4 going to Green candidate Joshua Drake.
• FL-08: In yet another example of Alan Grayson zigging when other Dems zag, he's out with an internal poll, and it puts him in surprisingly strong shape against Daniel Webster, thanks in large part to a strong performance by "other" (presumably the Tea Party candidate). The PPP poll gives Grayson a 40-27 lead over Webster, with 23 for "Other" and 11 undecided. That's all in the face of a new ad campaign from Americans for Prosperity, who are out with ads in the Orlando market attacking both Grayson and FL-24's Suzanne Kosmas. (AFP, of course, is the front group for the right-wing billionaire Koch family, and the DCCC has recently filed IRS complaints against AFP for engaging in political advocacy despite its tax-exempt status.)
• FL-22: Allen West is out with a second TV ad focusing on economic issues, like that burdensome debt. (He's talking about national debt, not his own debts.) Still, most of the buzz in this race right now seems to be about his latest round of unhinged remarks on his campaign website's blog, in which he called opponent Ron Klein, calling him, among other things, a "cretin," "little Lord Ron," a "pathetic liberal," "little Ronnie," and "a mama's boy" to Nancy Pelosi.
• IA-05: Rep. Steve King declined to debate opponent Matt Campbell in about the douchiest way possible: when Campbell showed up at a King town hall to ask King why he wasn't willing to debate, King said that Campbell had "not earned it."
• MI-01, MI-07: Well, it looks like the fake Tea Party is truly finished in Michigan. The Michigan Court of Appeals today upheld the Board of Canvassers' decision them off the ballot because of irregularities in submitted signatures. There were Tea Party candidates ready to go in the 1st and the 7th, both competitive districts where Dems would be glad to have some right-wing votes siphoned off from the GOP candidates.
• MO-04: Rep. Ike Skelton is the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and he wants you to know it. Instead of focusing on the endless jobs-jobs-jobs mantra like many Dems, he's focusing on military issues and his commitment to veterans. His first two ads featured testimonials from a Marine mother and an Army veteran, and his third ad attacked GOP opponent Vicky Hartzler over her apparently insufficient support of the military.
• NC-11: Two Democratic House members out with internals? Let's hope this is actually a trend. Buried in a CQ article about his new TV ad (with a buy in the "high five digits"), there are also some details about Heath Shuler's most recent internal poll. The poll, taken by Anzalone-Liszt, gives Shuler a 51-34 lead over Jeff Miller. More ads are likely to follow, as Shuler leads Miller in the cash department, $1.4 million to $70K.
• NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon's getting some big name help on the stump. Bill Clinton will join McMahon for a Friday rally on Staten Island.
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's dipping into his big war chest with another TV spot, this one focusing on his job-preserving efforts. Murphy opponent Chris Gibson, meantime, dropped a bombshell in his first debate against Murphy last week: that government intervention exacerbated the Great Depression rather than mitigated it (a theory advanced by Amity Schlaes and approximately, oh, zero other respected economists).
• PA-10: What's up with former US Attorneys in Pennsylvania turning out to be thin-skinned, poor campaigners? There's the Mary Beth Buchanan implosion, of course, but now video has turned up of Tom Marino's recent encounter with protesters at a Williamsport appearance. Marino yells back to protestors "What do you do for a job?" and "What kind of welfare are you on?" (No word on whether these questions were punctuated with "You hippies!")
• VA-05: Here's a guy we haven't thought about in a long time: Ross Perot. Yet, Tom Perriello is dusting off Perot and holding him up as a guy he liked, especially in terms of his deficit hawkishness. He did so in the context of meeting with the local Tea Partiers (where he also reiterated his support for canning the Geithner/Summers economic team), probably in an effort to find some common ground with them.
• State legislatures: The DLCC has a memorandum out that lays out where they'll be focusing their efforts this year (and thus what they consider to be the most competitive state legislative chambers). The 10 chambers they're emphasizing on defense are the Alabama Senate, Colorado Senate, Indiana House, Nevada Senate, New Hampshire Senate, New York Senate, Ohio House, Pennsylvania House, Wisconsin Assembly, and Wisconsin House. They're also going on the offense in the Michigan Senate, Kentucky Senate, Tennessee House, and Texas House..
• WA-Init: SurveyUSA has polls of a handful of initiatives that'll be on the ballot in November. Most significantly, they find continued (although reduced, from their previous poll) support for I-1098, which would create a state income tax for high earners. It's currently passing, 41-33. Meanwhile, Washingtonians quite literally want to have their cake and eat it too: they're favoring I-1107, by a 42-34 margin, which would end sales taxes on candy and end temporary taxes on bottled water and soft drinks.
• Dave's App: Just in time for the school year, here's a new time-wasting opportunity: Dave's Redistricting Application now has partisan data for Pennsylvania. (There's also partisan data for CA, MD, NC, NM, NY, and TX.)
• Polltopia: PPP wants to know where you think they should poll next. Interesting options include Maine and West Virginia (where there's the tantalizing prospect of House races being polled, too).
• MO-Sen: Anti-Roy Blunt ad from Robin Carnahan
• NH-Gov: Positive jobs-jobs-jobs spot from John Lynch
• FL-02: Allen Boyd hits Steve Southerland on Social Security privatization, 17th Amendment
• IN-09: Anti-Baron Hill from Todd Young
• IN-09: Anti-Todd Young ad from Baron Hill (Social Security privatization... sensing a theme here?)
• MN-06: Bio ad from Tarryl Clark
• MN-06: Michele Bachmann wants you to know that she hates taxes
• NJ-12: Emergency Committee for Israel ad against Rush Holt ("modest but real" buy)
• OH-15: Positive bio ad about Steve Stivers' military service
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski's first TV ad, hitting Lou Barletta over what a shithole Hazleton is
• SC-05: Bio ad from Mick Mulvaney (his first ad)
• WI-07: DCCC ad attacking Sean Duffy over Social Security privatization (their first independent expenditure ad anywhere)
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 36%, Dan Maes (R) 24%, Tom Tancredo (C) 14%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman (R) 44%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 45%
CO-Sen: Like so many Republicans who rail against pork, Ken Buck still loves to gorge himself. Buck signed an anti-earmarks pledge pushed by Americans for Prosperity, but as Weld County DA, he asked then-Rep. Marilyn Manson Musgrave for a $2 million in federal funding for "expansions of North Range Behavioral Health center in Greeley." He also "won $235,000 earmarked for the Weld County Gang Task Force." In non-explaining this rather glaring contradiction, Weld said it "doesn't mean I don't want to change the system." In other words, vote for me because I'm a hypocrite.
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio agreed to participate in a debate with Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek, and then proposed six more. Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Buzz explains how this play might really squeeze Crist:
Charlie Crist is almost always good on TV, but this poses a real problem for him. In a three-person debate, it would be Rubio and Meek each taking turns hitting Crist and pressing him on flip-flops and inconsistencies. It's hard to stay above the fray when you're the main target.
But skipping most of the debates is equally problematic. If Meek agrees to these debates and the networks agree to televise them with or without all three candidates, Crist would be letting Meek raise his profile as the Democratic alternative to Rubio.
Tom Jensen also describes another rock-and-hard-place problem for Charlie: Kendrick Meek is starting to eat his lunch among Democrats, so how can Crist regain that support? Well, he could pledge to caucus with the Democrats... but that would, of course, hurt him among Republicans. Mark Blumenthal also has an in-depth post on the subject, looking at things from Kendrick Meek's perspective and wondering if he has a path to victory. Blumenthal concludes that Meek has a lot of room to grow, but thinks wining would be a "tall order."
KY-Sen: Rand Paul knows that when you are in a deep hole, you bring in a back-hoe. Then, you start using some C4. Finally, you send in an army of ten million moles. At last, once you can finally hear the sound of Chinese being spoken, you know you are deep enough - and you reiterate your opposition to doing anything about the drug problem in Eastern Kentucky.
NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall has become the first (I think) challenger so far to call for former WY Sen. Alan Simpson's resignation from what Atrios calls the "cat food commission" (not cat fud commission, sadly) - aka the president's stupid deficit commission. Simpson, if you haven't heard yet, wrote a vile email to the head of the National Older Women's League, calling Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits" - and telling his correspondent to "get honest work."
NV-Sen: His Mayoralness Michael Bloomberg will be hosting a fundraiser for none other than Harry Reid at Bloombo's home in September. The Hill notes that Bloombleman has endorsed both Dems and GOPers this cycle, including Michael Bennet and Joe Sestak for the good guys, and Mark Kirk and Mike Castle for the bad guys.
Getting back to Nevada for a second, both Reid and Angle have new ads up, which you can view here. Reid has really been smacking Angle relentlessly over all the crazy shit she's said - so I think you can understand why I said yesterday that it feels "limp" for Ron Klein to go after the similarly insane Allen West over tax issues rather than teh crazy. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, though the Reid campaign says the ad "will be added to its rotation of statewide spots."
WI-Sen: Wait, could there actually be room in this digest for a second Republican hypocrite? Hell yes! And it's a repeat performance. It turns out that Ron Johnson's plastics company Pacur received a HUD grant in 1979 to build a railway line out to its factory. This is on top of the $2.5 million federal loan Pacur received in the mid-80s to build an addition to the factory. As one blogger says, Ayn Rand must be rotating in her crypt. Don't forget what Dagny Taggart did for a living!
AZ-03: Ben Quayle started a post-victory press conference by doubling down on his previous jerk-assedness, repeating his claim that "Barack Obama is the worst President in history.'" The douche really doesn't fall far from the bag, huh. Meanwhile, Quayle's former buddies at TheDirty.com were hit with an $11 million default judgment in a defamation suit brought by one of the many people they've wronged over the years. The only problem, however, is that the plaintiff's attorneys appeared to have crumbed the play by naming the wrong business entity in their lawsuit. Hooman Karamian, the scumbag behind the website, says that neither he nor his company was served process, which could seriously imperil the award. In any case, all this legal wrangling is gonna make it a little harder for Quayle to get past this issue, methinks. (And Karamian, for that matter, says that he'll stop blogging about Quayle's involvement with the site once he "admits that he is Brock Landers".)
"Dan Webster is deader than Elvis. ... He is the ultimate establishment candidate," Grayson quipped Wednesday, the morning after Republican voters picked the veteran former state legislator to run against him in District 8. ...
Grayson, of Orlando, is a bare-knuckle campaigner who has already begun referring to Webster as "Taliban Dan," for what he considers to be Webster's extreme religious views. Grayson made it clear his campaign plans a heavy onslaught of attacks against Webster's voting record.
"Stay tuned. You'll see: We'll be putting it out day after day, week after week," Grayson said. "Very soon people are going to realize that Webster can't possibly win."
While he's often infuriating, you gotta respect Grayson for being balls-out, and not sounding like such a wuss like so many other Democrats.
FL-17: The Miami Herald has an interesting post-mortem on the Dem primary in the 17th CD. Given the heavily Haitian population in the district, it seemed likely that it could send the first Haitian-American person to Congress. But the four candidates of Haitian descent in the race split the vote, allowing state Sen. Frederica Wilson to carry the day with 35% (a number which, given the huge size of the field, was actually considered pretty high).
FL-24: Put the can-openers away, boys - no cat fud here. Karen Diebel emerged from hiding to endorse state Rep. Sandy Adams, the winner of the GOP primary. Diebel lost by about 0.8%, but obviously this means no recount.
ME-02: Businessman Jason Levesque is up on the airwaves in his bid to upset Blue Dog Mike Michaud, touting his desire to reign in government spending. Levesque has raised over $250K for his bid, so you may want to consider adding this one to your list of races that are bubbling under. (JL)
NM-02: The other day, we mentioned that the Defenders of Wildlife threw down another $125K on a new attack ad against GOPer Steve Pearce. The New Mexico Independent has the ad, if you'd like to watch it.
NC-07: Here's something you don't see every day: Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre's 2008 Republican opponent, Will Breazeale, is endorsing him. Breazeale really has it in for GOP nominee Ilario Pantano - Breazeale attempted a repeat bid this year, but was beaten by Pantano in the primary. The odd thing is that the McIntyre campaign specifically said "no comment" in regard to the endorsement. Any thoughts on why?
NC-08: Larry Kissell is touting a new internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt, showing him beating Republican Harold Johnson 49-32, with Libertarian Thomas Hill at 7. The only other interesting finding actually released in the memo is Johnson's faves, 32-25.
NV-03: Actually, it turns out AFSCME's buy was a lot bigger than we thought: $750K, according to independent expenditure reports, rather than the $240K reported by the Smart Media Group. AFSCME really seems to like buying in three-quarters-of-a-million chunks.
NY-01: Randy Altschuler is out with a new ad attacking Republican rival Chris Cox for living in New York City, rather than in Suffolk County. (Apparently, Cox is crashing at his uncle's house in the Hamptons.) NWOTSOTB.
NY-13: GOPer Michael Allegretti has a new ad out, frenetically edited in the Dale Peterson style, which includes a "man on the street" declaring that Allegretti "is a paisan! He's one of us!" And here's an interesting detail the ad alludes to, which I think we missed: Allegretti's opponent Mike Grimm apparently has no job and has debts which far exceed his income, according to financial disclosure forms. Gotta wonder how he can afford to run for Congress in NYC.
NY-14: Looks like the New York Post got caught trying to ratfuck the Dem primary here in my backyard. Those scuzzes tried to claim that Hillary Clinton - you know, the Secretary of State - was "unofficially" backing Reshma Saujani. Clinton confidantes and the State Department have called bullshit, though, stating that the Secretary of State does not engage in partisan politics. Duh. Nice try, Posties.
SD-AL: In politics, going after a candidate's record traffic infractions is usually a rinky-dink play, but it turns out that Republican Kristi Noem's record behind the wheel is very troubled:
KELOLAND News checked the records for all five candidates for U.S. House and Governor; Noem has the longest list of violations, including 20 speeding tickets, three stop sign violations, two seat belt violations, and no driver's license. Noem also has six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrants.
Yikes! Meanwhile, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is out with a new ad that, mercifully, doesn't feature her son's poop, but instead speaks in dour tones about how liberals in Washington are wrecking the heartland. Pretty bleak, defeatist-sounding stuff. (JL)