• AZ-Sen: A GOP polling firm, Summit Consulting, is out with a poll that gives Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio the lead in the nascent Republican field to replace the retiring Jon Kyl. Arpaio is at 21, with Rep. Jeff Flake and ex-Rep J.D. Hayworth both at 17, ex-Rep. John Shadegg at 12, and Rep. Ben Quayle at 6. An Arpaio-free version found Flake at 22, Hayworth at 20, and Shadegg (who has made clear that he's not running) at 17. Although this poll wasn't announced as being on anyone's behalf, there's an important caveat: Summit is raising money for Arpaio's re-election campaign as Sheriff. This seems a consistent pattern for Arpaio over the years: float his name for higher office, rake in contributions, apply those toward his next Sheriff campaign, rinse and repeat. Meanwhile, although previous reports had had him unlikely to run for Senate, Rep. Trent Franks from current AZ-02 is now on the record as "exploring that option."
• ME-Sen: Here's an amusing tidbit about Andrew Ian Dodge, now running a tea party challenge of sorts to Olympia Snowe: he's the subject of some suspicion in certain right-wing circles on account of his British background (which may explain why he cheekily showed up with his birth certificate at his campaign launch). Prime evidence for this strange line of attack is a comment he posted to a blog several years ago where he copped to being a Lord of the Manor in Gorleston, Suffolk. (Politico's Dave Catanese titled his article on this "Snowe challenger is a British Lord..." which isn't quite right. "Lord of the Manor" isn't part of the peerage system (which just plain old "Lord" would be), but just a weird holdover from the feudal system of property rights, an indicator that someone in his family owned property there long ago). (One other thing I noted, though, thanks to the magic of Wikipedia: Gorleston is actually in Norfolk, not Suffolk. WHAT ELSE IS ANDREW IAN DODGE LYING ABOUT!!!!11!!!?!)
• NE-Sen: We've mentioned state Sen. Deb Fischer before as a potential dark-horse candidate on the Republican side in Nebraska, and now she seems to be stepping things up, at least to the extent of contacting Roll Call and letting them know that she's interested. She represents the empty north-central part of the state, and could stand out as an interesting third-wheel in a Jon Bruning/Don Stenberg rumble by being the only rural and female candidate.
• NM-Sen: PPP finally released the GOP primary portion of last week's New Mexico Senate poll, and... common theme in a lot of their polls... find the most electable candidate for the general losing the GOP primary because of various apostasies. Libertarian-flavored ex-Gov. Gary Johnson trails ex-Rep. Heather Wilson in a hypothetical 3-way, 35-27, with Rep. Steve Pearce at 17, Matt Chandler and Dianna Duran both at 6, and John Sanchez at 4. (Not that it matters, since Johnson has confirmed he's sticking with his long-shot presidential bid. In fact, unless Jeff Bingaman unexpectedly retires, I'd be surprised if any of these GOPers bothers to get in.)
• NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller is out with an internal poll that has him way ahead of John Ensign in the GOP primary, and, accordingly, he seems to be accelerating his plans to run. The poll gives Heller a 53-38 lead in a head-to-head, and also sees him winning a 5-car pileup: it's Heller 39, Ensign 23, Danny Tarkanian 17, Sharron Angle 14, and John Chachas 3. Faced with the possibility of a much harder race against Heller than Ensign, possible Dem candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley is saying that it wouldn't dissuade her if Heller were the nominee, but she's continuing to "seriously look at" the race but is also in "no rush" to decide. You know who is in a rush, though? The DSCC. Jon Ralston says they're already talking to Democratic SoS Ross Miller too, in case they need a Plan B.
• TX-Sen: Hmm, here's an interesting place for a Senate scoop to come from: the student newspaper at Claremont McKenna College in California. CMC alum Rep. David Dreier is the linchpin in this game of telephone: he told them that a fellow alum is indeed running for the Senate, and by process of elimination, that would point to former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, considered a likely candidate on the GOP side. Leppert, however, wouldn't confirm to the student paper that he was running.
• UT-Sen: Another Dan Jones poll in Utah takes a look at the Senate race, and this one isn't as weird as the last one (which included Jon Huntsman, who seems, to my eyes, to be running for Vice-President instead): it's a straightforward poll of Orrin Hatch vs. Jason Chaffetz (although it's still a poll of all Utah residents). At any rate, Hatch leads Chaffetz 44-34; among self-identified Republicans, Hatch actually does better, 51-35 (although trailing among "very conservative" voters). Of course, there are various ways this primary might still not happen; Chaffetz could break 60% at the state GOP convention, or Hatch could (a la Bob Bennett) finish third at the convention behind Chaffetz and a teabagger to be named later. Asked for comment, Chaffetz only said he's a "definite maybe" about the race, and may choose to stay in the House.
• VA-Sen: We might have an answer pretty soon on whether Tim Kaine plans to run for the Senate, now that Jim Webb is out. He reportedly will consult with Barack Obama on the matter in the next couple days (gee, I wonder what Obama will suggest?), and Kaine also has announced plans to speak at the state's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner this weekend, which seems like a place to make a 'yes' announcement (as it would be kind of a buzzkill to go there and tell everyone 'no'). There are also rumors... poorly sourced ones at that, so don't get your hopes too high... out there of a GOP-sponsored poll showing not just Kaine but also Tom Perriello leading George Allen, so keep your ears to the ground for more on that.
• MT-Gov: Add one more state Senator to the mix in the Montana gubernatorial race, this time on the Dem side. Larry Jent says he'd like to run statewide, and it'll probably be for governor. (He'd join other current or former state Sens. Dave Wanzenried on the Dem side, and Corey Stapleton and Ken Miller for the GOP.)
• LA-03, LA-07: Two Louisiana papers have had articles in the last few days on Louisiana redistricting and its likeliest casualty, new Rep. Jeff Landry, who was elected with tea party rather than establishment backing and, accordingly, doesn't have much of a leg to stand on when the establishment draws the maps in the coming months. It's looking likelier that a map more favorable to the more senior (and tighter with leadership) Rep. Charles Boustany will be the result. The state's redistricting special session of the legislature will be held Mar. 20.
• NY-15: While there's still plenty of time left for him to reverse course and announce his retirement (hint, hint), Charles Rangel yesterday announced that he's filing for re-election in 2012 to a 22nd term.
• NY-26: While they've been downplaying their chances for success in the R+6 26th, local Dems are hard at work looking for a candidate. It's hard to tell who's on the short list right now, though: one list featured Erie Co. Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, Erie Co. Clerk Kathy Hochul, and Amherst town board member Mark Manna (the only one who actually lives in the district), but doesn't seem to feature oft-mentioned Kathy Konst. Another insider mentions two possible Dems Republican candidates from the private sector: Dan Humiston and Chris Jacobs. There's one familiar face you can scratch off the Dem list, though: 2008 candidate Jon Powers says he's not looking to be considered.
• WA-02: Snohomish Co. Councilor and narrow 2010 loser John Koster is "weighing" another run against Rick Larsen, although he's waiting to see what the 2nd looks like after redistricting. The 2nd (currently D+3) needs to lose population, but it could become swingier if the losses come around Everett, or become bluer if the losses come in eastern Snohomish County.
• Chicago mayor: One more new poll to report in Chicago, another one from We Ask America (on behalf of the Chicago Retail Merchants Association). It has the highest Rahm Emanuel number yet, at 58. Gery Chico is 2nd at 24, Miguel del Valle at 10, and Carol Moseley Braun at 6. The poll was in the field on Sunday, the same day that Moseley Braun, apparently by way of referring to The Producers, compared Emanuel to Hitler, so the impact of her latest gaffe may not even have impacted on this sample. (Given the current trajectory of her poll numbers, she may actually receive a negative number of votes at the actual election on Feb. 22.)
• Special elections: There are not one but two special elections for vacant state Senate seats in California tonight, although neither one should offer much drama thanks to their strong partisan leans. The one you're probably already aware of is SD-28 in the LA's South Bay suburbs (overlapping much of CA-36), where Democratic ex-Assemblyman Ted Lieu is likely to fill the seat left by the death of Jenny Oropeza. He faces seven other candidates, so he might not break 50%, requiring a runoff then. The other race is in SD-17, centered on Lancaster in the high desert north of LA, where Republican Sharon Runner is expected to beat the only other candidate, Democrat Darren Parker. (Runner is trying to take over the seat from her husband George Runner, who vacated to join the state Board of Equalization.)
• Nebraska: Believe it or not, there are multiple interesting things afoot in Nebraska. Most significantly, the proposal to switch Nebraska to a winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes (instead of allotting some by CD, which allowed Barack Obama to sneak away with 1 Omaha-area EV) is entering committee; it's expected to be easily approved by the ostensibly nonpartisan but Republican-controlled unicameral legislature. There are also competing bills in the legislature on changing the size of said legislature, one to reduce it from 49 to 45, the other to expand it to 50 (neither one is expected to go anywhere, though). Also, Nebraska just picked its nine members for its redistricting commission; there will be five Republicans and four Dems on the (again, ostensibly nonpartisan) body.
• WATN?: Ex-Rep. Mike Arcuri, who lost in NY-24 in November, is now working in the private sector at a major law firm in Syracuse. It may be a tea leaf that he might be interested in another run that he's staying in the area instead of heading for the more lucrative world of K St., or it might be nothing. At any rate, he's doing better for himself than Republican 2006 CA-47 loser Tan Nguyen, who just got sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for obstruction of justice related to charges of voter fraud, for sending out flyers intended to suppress the district's Latino vote.
• Polltopia: If you think that polling was way screwier than usual over the 2010 cycle, or that it was better than ever, you're both wrong. It was pretty much the same as always, according to Mark Blumenthal. According to a study by National Council on Public Polls, the average candidate error in 2010 was 2.1%, very comparable to other midterm elections. (The accuracy seems to improve in presidential years, perhaps thanks to more frequent polling.) Interestingly, though, even though the error rate didn't change much, there were many more polls (25% this cycle, compared with 11% in 2006) conducted in the last week before the election with results that fell outside the margin of error (cough Rasmussen cough). They found that live interview polls (2.4%) did slightly better than autodialed polls (2.6%), but, surprisingly, polls conducted over the internet (mostly just YouGov) did the best with a 1.7% error rate.
• AZ-Sen, AZ-06: Rep. Jeff Flake, who announced his bid today, had to wait only a few hours before getting a valuable (for the GOP primary, at least) endorsement from the Club for Growth; he's a natural fit for them, given his draconian budgetary views and laissez-faire social views. Even before Flake had announced, his potentially strongest rival for the GOP nod, ex-Rep. John Shadegg had announced that he wasn't going to run. Shadegg's AZ-03 replacement, Rep. Ben Quayle confirmed that he won't be running either. The same goes for another Republican freshman, Rep. David Schweikert (that article also helpfully points out that famous Arizona residents Meghan McCain and Bristol Palin, who've both accomplished so much in the social media sphere in their short lives, are both too young to run for Senate). Former NFL player Kurt Warner has also taken himself out of consideration.
Buried in a Roll Call article on the whip race to replace Jon Kyl are a few more interesting bits: Trent Franks is "not expected" to run, while state Senate president and prime mover behind SB 1070 Russell Pearce is "out," but "plans to run" for AZ-06, being vacated by Flake. There's not much to report on the Dem side today, but there are further reports that ex-Gov., and current DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (who didn't poll well against Kyl according to PPP a few weeks ago, although they didn't test her against Flake) has been calling around to gauge her support.
• CT-Sen: Ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz rolled out her own long list of endorsements from local Dems, in response to a list unveiled several weeks ago by primary rival Chris Murphy. While Murphy's list was heavy on the 5th District, naturally, Bysiewicz's list is heavy on the 2nd District (which is interesting, as it may be an indication that Rep. Joe Courtney has decided against running... or it may be a preventative shot across Courtney's bow). Bysiewicz is from Middletown, which is in the 2nd although kind of on its periphery. In terms of the Republican field, there was a straw poll taken of state Tea Party Patriots members this weekend. Given the sample size of 54 and the self-selecting nature of the nuttiest of the nuttiest, it's barely worth mentioning, but they found Linda McMahon only barely winning with 15 votes, compared to Peter Schiff's 14. Rob Simmons and Tom Foley each got 6, with state Sen. Scott Frantz at 5 and Danbury mayor Mark Boughton at 4.
• FL-Sen, FL-13: Like I've said before, don't count out Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan for the Senate; the owner of numerous car dealerships is sitting on a big campaign account, has wealthy friends, and can self-fund too. And now he's publicly saying he's "not ruling it out."
• MO-Sen: Over the weekend in Joplin was the first public joint appearance between the two announced GOP candidates so far, Sarah Steelman and Ed Martin. While they superficially only attacked Claire McCaskill, Martin sneaked in some anti-Steelman attacks by implication, saying that he'll support "tort reform every time" and "take on the public sector unions." (While Steelman has the support of the DC-based tea party astroturfers, the local teabaggers are skeptical of her insufficient purity on those two issues.)
• NV-Sen: Given behavior lately that might charitably be described as "erratic," I've pretty much given up on trying to figure out Sharron Angle's plans (her travel schedule seems to take her mostly to early presidential states these days, in case you had any doubts about the scope of her delusions of grandeur). But now she's talking about Nevada Senate again, saying that she'd like to talk to John Ensign before deciding whether or not to challenge him in the primary.
• NY-Sen: As she becomes better-known to New Yorkers, Kirsten Gillibrand's numbers keep going up. Siena's newest poll finds her at 57/18 favorables, with a 52% re-elect (including even a plurality among Republicans). Liz Benjamin also notes that two Republican 2010 Gillibrand challengers - Joe DioGuardi (whom Gillibrand flatted) and David Malpass (whom DioGuardi beat in the GOP primary) - are both still considering the race. Ex-LG "Batshit Besty" McCaughey (who once ran for governor on the Liberal Party line) was also down in DC this past weekend, once again relishing her role as healthcare fabricator-in-chief at the loonier-than-thou CPAC conference - and also possibly trying to raise her profile for a potential run (something we noted a couple of weeks ago). Bring it on!
• OH-Sen: Newly elected state Treasurer Josh Mandel got some buzz at some point last month, and here's some more for him: the Plain Dealer, in a longer piece wondering why the Republican field (in what could be a pickup opportunity with the right candidate) isn't taking shape at all, points to him as a possible alternative in the face of disinterest from the A-list. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor seems to be working on building her portfolio (taking over the state Dept. of Insurance), suggesting a plate too full for a Senate bid, while Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve LaTourette are enjoying their newfound majority. Mandel seems to have the best fundraising chops of anyone beyond that initial top tier.
• VA-Sen, VA-01: Here's one more Republican name to add to the list in Virginia, and it's kind of an unexpected one, in that usually low-profile guys with safe red districts in the House tend to stay where they are. The 1st's Rob Wittman is saying he's "considering" the race, along with the requisite "never say never."
• WI-Gov: The AFL-CIO is already weighing into Wisconsin, even though the next gubernatorial election is three and three-quarters years away. In response to Scott Walker's ham-fisted attempt to limit collective bargaining rights for most state employees, the union is taking to the airwaves with TV spots. Obviously, the target isn't the next election but swinging public opinion against the members of the state legislature, who'll have the final say on the matter. (As a more general question, though, I've gotta wonder if we'll see much more of this type of issue advertising in off-years in the future, as we move more and more into "permanent campaign" mode and the ground needs to be seeded for the on-years.)
• WV-Gov: With Saturday's filing deadline come and gone, we have an official list of all the candidates in the gubernatorial special election, and with 14 names total, it's a doozy. Not much in the way of surprises, though; the only person expected to run who, in the end, didn't seems to be Dem state Sen. Brooks McCabe. For the Democrats, it's acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, state Sen. Jeff Kessler, SoS Natalie Tennant, state Treasurer John Perdue, state House speaker Rick Thompson, and some dude Arne Moltis. For the Republicans, it's ex-SoS Betty Ireland, Putnam Co. Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia, state Sen. Clark Barnes, state Del. Mitch Carmichael, ex-state Del. Larry Faircloth, and some dudes Bill Maloney, Cliff Ellis, and Ralph William Clark. National Journal's Sean Sullivan makes a good observation that in fields this crowded and in a state without runoffs, ballot position (which studies have shown can add 1-3% to a candidate's vote) may actually wind up making the difference here. The positions were determined by random draw; for the Dems, Tomblin is at the top while co-frontrunner Tennant is at the bottom. For the GOP, Ireland is 7 out of 8, while Maloney is listed first.
• CA-36: LA city councilor Janice Hahn keeps rolling out more endorsements in her attempt to get an early lock-down on the Dem nomination in the special election. Three big ones: two very relevant to California (new Assembly speaker John Perez, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein), one, um, not so much (Dick Gephardt).
• NY-10: Gov. Andrew Cuomo just tapped Democratic Assemblyman Darryl Towns to be the state's new Homes and Community Renewal agency. Ordinarily, a special election in the remarkably-blue AD-54 would be too far in the weeds even for us, but you may recognize his name: he's the son of long-time Rep. Ed Towns. The 76-year-old Towns is routinely viewed as a candidate for retirement (and his son a likely replacement), so this move is a puzzle: is it a sign that the elder Towns isn't going anywhere (perhaps permanently fastened to his House seat by all the moss growing there), or perhaps a way for the younger Towns to burnish his credentials a bit and differentiate him a bit from his somnolent dad?
• NY-26: One more name to strike off the Republican list in the 26th (not that I'd known he'd been on the list): Assemblyman Dan Burling said he wouldn't run, and threw his support behind fellow Assembly member Jane Corwin for the nomination.
• Redistricting: This local news piece on redistricting in Indiana exposes the most mind-numbing and tedious part of the process, one that gets easily overlooked: the process of turning census data into precinct data, seeing as how precincts exist in their own little world apart from blocks and tracts. Even though Indiana was one of the earliest to receive their data, this data-cleaning process is expected to take several weeks before the legislature can even begin tackling the numbers. Also, Indiana is one of the states that will allow citizens to get their hands on the data to try making their own maps... but because of licensing issues of some sort, they won't be making the data available online. If you're in-state, you can drop into one of a number of stations they'll be setting up around the state where you can tinker with the data in person, though.
• Site news: DavidNYC here. I'm back from my vacation and I've had the chance to read through all of the comments (every last one) in the post where I announced our impending move to Daily Kos. While many of my replies are "thank yous" for the very kind expressions of support you offered, I also did my best to answer specific questions where I could. Rest assured that this won't be the last I'll have to say on the subject before we make the changeover. I'll also take this opportunity to encourage you to create an account over at Daily Kos if you don't have one already, and to play around with the new site (DK4 just launched this past weeked). (D)
Sen. Jon Kyl will announce his plans to retire at a press conference in Arizona later today, a source confirms to POLITICO.
Kyl's retirement could make this into a competitive race, depending on who pulls the trigger for Team Blue. (Kyl's own numbers were fairly strong against a number of high-profile Dems.) More as we get it.
UPDATE: 6th CD GOP Rep. Jeff Flake is very likely to enter the race in the coming days. The Politico has some comments from a few other possibilities, including Brock Landers himself:
Former Rep. John Shadegg told POLITICO he was "very surprised" at the news and called Kyl's retirement "a loss for Arizona and a loss for the nation."
"I hope that the rumors are wrong. I hope Jon Kyl is running again," he said, declining to discuss his interest in the seat.
Reached on his cell phone, first-term Rep. Ben Quayle said he had no comment on Kyl's plans, accused the reporter of calling the wrong number and then hung up.
In a text message, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth wrote, "stay tuned."
ANOTHER UPDATE: Real Clear Politics reports that Janet Napolitano (Democratic ex-Gov. and current DHS Sec.) has been calling around about the race. It also mentions the possibility of GOP Gov. Jan Brewer, who's termed-out and can't run again in 2014... and since every other Rep. in the state has been mentioned, Trent Franks too. Via the Twitter, there's word of two more guys who've been hitting the phones: Democratic Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon, and Republican Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio (the repellent Arpaio, who's in his 70s, seems to threaten to run statewide every two years and then not do it, though).
• AK-Sen: Congrats to Scott McAdams, who just cleared the McMillion hurdle with $1 million in fundraising so far. The majority of contributions were from Alaska, with 88% contributions of $200 or less.
• KY-Sen: Matt Taibbi's new Rolling Stone article as he works the Rand Paul beat is a must-read even if it doesn't have any revelations as freaky as the "Aqua Buddha" story, although there's some vague and anonymous racism from the newsletter that his snarky secret society put out. The prize-winning quote, though, deals with the Tea Partiers don't seem terribly phased by any of this:
("Well, I used to use that cologne myself," was the response of one Tea Partier to a question I posed about "Aqua Buddha")
• MO-Sen: American Crossroads has declared victory in Missouri, and is pulling out of advertising there, where Roy Blunt has a consistent but single-digit lead. (As for the actual party committees... well, it's probably not relevant, seeing as how Crossroads and its ilk have made them basically irrelevant this year.)
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid racked up a couple endorsements from the big-in-Nevada gaming industry, including PokerPAC. He also got the endorsement of the former chair of the RNC, Frank Fahrenkopf, who warned of the threat Sharron Angle (with her ties to anti-gambling Gary Bauer) might pose to the state's gaming industry.
• PA-Sen: Ah, sweet Schadenfreude. The Club for Growth is having to plug $1 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race in order to bail out their former boss, Pat Toomey.
• WI-Sen: Yet another story with Ron Johnson with his hand in the trough he so regularly decries: he says he's not quite sure how five of his employees (and 10 dependents) at his plastics firm Pacur wound up on BadgerCare, the state's health insurance program for the poor. That would seem to contradict previous statements from the Johnson camp that all Pacur full-time employees are covered by the company's plan.
• AZ-07, AZ-08: I know John McCain has refudiated all his old mavericky ways, but did he actually have to go so far as to violate his signature piece of mavericky legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act? He recently cut spots for GOP candidates in the 7th and 8th, in which he and Jon Kyl appeared, and paid for them out of Friends of John McCain (his campaign committee). Dems have filed FEC complaints against McCain, saying that if he coordinated with the Ruth McClung and Jesse Kelly campaigns, he would've been limited to $4,800 contributions to each (they'd be legal independent expenditures if there was truly no coordination).
• CO-03, CO-04: The gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight strikes twice, in two different neighboring Old West districts. In the 3rd, an anti-abortion group has been hitting the airwaves attacking Ken Salazar. That's fine, but Ken Salazar is the Secretary of Interior. His brother (the one with the mustache) is John Salazar, the Rep. from the 3rd. OK, understandable, since they're brothers... but how do you explain the confusion in the 4th, where not just some outside group but the Cory Gardner campaign mixed up Betsy Markey with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey? They accused her of voting for the Obama budget, which she didn't; that was the other Markey.
• FL-25: I don't know how far this will get, but give local Dems in south Florida credit for audaciousness. A Joe Garcia backer filed a lawsuit trying to get David Rivera removed from the ballot. The suit alleges that Rivera should be removed because of state election finance disclosure irregularities, concerning Rivera's mysterious claims of being a contractor to USAID despite USAID saying he wasn't. While they cite a comparable case where a state senate candidate was recently stricken from the ballot from similar problems, I'm wondering if it may be too late to do anything about that even if it succeeds on the merits (although if it only serves to move the USAID deception into the spotlight, that's good too).
• MO-04: More triage news... on the Republican side? Despite news of a Vicky Hartzler internal poll yesterday that showed a tied race, the NRCC is packing up, at least from the Kansas City market. I wonder if that has more to do with feeling neighboring KS-03 is locked down, as there are other smaller media markets in the 4th where they might still spend, but I think this has to count as at least a partial pullout.
• SD-AL: This is an interesting counterpoint to the anti-Pelosi (or at least Pelosi-skeptical) tide that seems to be rising among threatened Blue Dogs, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (who's in the skeptic camp): GOP challenger Kristi Noem is saying that if she wins her race, she's not sold yet on John Boehner as Republican leader, but would like to see who else might run. Recall that Noem previously politely told Sarah Palin to stay far away from her race, so this isn't the first time she's pantomimed independence.
• Early voting: There's been some buzz today about a CBS News story that says that Dems are doing better than expected in early voting, although it's kind of shy on actual numbers. It mentions that Dems have outpaced GOPers in early voting in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Clark Co., Nevada, while there's a Republican edge in Florida and Colorado. Jon Ralston, of course, has more data on Nevada, while Politico has some Iowa tidbits, involving early ballot requests in IA-03 (where 50% of requests are from Dems, but where Dems are 36% of the electorate) and IA-02 (51% of the requests, 38% of the electorate).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund is out with a "high six-figure" buy in Colorado, with the first TV ad to take on Ken Buck's failure to prosecute that 2005 rape case (the "buyer's remorse" incident)
• KY-Sen: The DSCC hits Rand Paul on his support for the 23% sales (aka "fair") tax
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle wonders how Harry Reid made all that money in her new ad (helpful fact from Jon Ralston: he was a millionaire even before he was in the House)
• WV-Sen: Outsourcing seems to be the hot button issue coming out of focus groups that works for the Dems these days, as the DSCC keeps hitting John Raese on it with their new spot
• AZ-03: Jon Hulburd has another TV ad against Ben Quayle, poking at his values and overall maturity
• HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa's new ad has a special guest star in the form of Barack Obama
• IN-09: The SEIU goes after Todd Young on Social Security privatization
• NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter, in her own ad, also works the SSP angle against Frank Guinta
• VA-05: Is the DCCC trying to drive up indie teabagger Jeffrey Clark's numbers? They're out with a spot hitting Robert Hurt for all the tax-raising he did in the state legislature
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 45%, Rich Whit(n)ey (G) 2%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 42%, Rick Berg (R) 52%
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 54%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 38%, Nikki Haley (R) 47%
If you haven't seen it yet, yesterday DailyKos presented a poll that was conducted for us by Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based Democratic polling firm. Despite it's affiliation with the Democrats, PPP doesn't have a big noticeable House effect though.
The poll's results were an absolute shocker: (relatively conservative) Democrat Jon Hulburd leads the former Vice President's son Ben Quayle 46-44 in the district that is still held by retiring Republican Representative John Shadegg, one of the most conservative Republicans in the House, in a district that has a Cook PVI of R+9- that means that in the last few election cycles it voted on average 9 points more Republican than the nation as a whole.
John McCain, who admittedly stems from Arizona, won 57% of the vote there, Bush got 54% in 2000 and 58% in 2004.
Another note: The huge paragraph breaks are intentional. They don't look very aesthetically pleasing, but I think that without them the numerical density of the diary would pretty much kill every reader.
Jon Hulburd (D): 46
Ben Quayle (R): 44
Whoa. When Republicans have someone like Raul Grijalva on his heels but are having trouble locking down this conservative Phoenix-area district, you know that frat boy Ben Quayle has some serious residual issues leftover from his primary performance -- a performance that was catastrophic in every way, except for the fact that he actually won over a highly fractured field. Indeed, PPP finds Quayle's favorables at an extremely bruised 34-52 (compared to 33-20 for Hulburd). Hulburd wins moderates by 66-27, independents by 50-36, and even takes away 18% of Republicans.
Looks like you can mark this one down on the (very) small list of GOP-held House seats that Republicans actually should be concerned about.
AR-Sen, AR-01: Bill Clinton is heading back home to Arkansas to do events for Blanche Lincoln (probably not a good use of resources) and Chad Causey (better use of resources). Incidentally, Politico notes that Causey's primary opponent, Tim Wooldridge, still has yet to endorse him. Jeez.
DE-Sen: It's official: The Tea Party Express has spooked Mike Castle into going up on the air before the primary, to a six-figure tune. In fact, the Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs has an unusual level of detail on the nature of the buy, noting that "Castle has purchased $113K worth of airtime for Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 in the Salisbury, MD, media market," as well as "$26K worth of time on cable in New Castle County and $42K on radio."
NH-Sen: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is throwing down for a big buy against Paul Hodes. As the Hotline notes, the Chamber's FEC filing says they're spending $1 million, but apparently the buy is for less - a spokesbot will only say that it's "sizable." You can see their ad at the link.
AK-Gov: Republican Bill Walker, who held Gov. Sean Parnell to just 50% in the GOP primary while taking 33% himself, is talking to the Alaska Independence Party about filling their ballot line, since the AIP's nominee, Don Wright, has withdrawn from the race. Remember that in 1994, Dem Tony Knowles very narrowly won the gubernatorial race because an AIP candidate split the right-wing vote, taking 13%.
FL-Gov: I'm not sure whether these are new names or not, but Alex Sink is trying to stick it to Rick Scott by putting out a list of ten Republican elected officials in central and south Florida who have endorsed her campaign. Speaking of Scott, he's reportedly going to tap state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, an African American legislator from the Jacksonville area, to be his running mate.
NM-Gov: Local blog New Mexico FBIHOP has two new ads, one each from Republican Susana Martinez and Dem Diane Denish. NWOTSOTB in either case.
AZ-03: Dem Jon Hulburd is hitting noted d-bag Ben Quayle where it hurts: on Christian radio. Politico has the audio of the ad, which of course references TheDirty.com, but NWOTSOTB.
CA-47: Ya know, usually when we do an Obama Alert! or a Biden Alert! we're at least a little bit excited at the prospect that the (V)POTUS is doing an event for some Dem or other. But once in a while, it just makes me nervous. This is one of those occasions. Joe Biden is headlining a fundraiser for Rep. Loretta Sanchez in DC on Sept. 15th. I'm thinking a rating change might be in order here soon.
MD-01: Dem Frank Kratovil is up with his first ad of the season. NWOTSOTB.
NJ-12: The so-called "Emergency Committee for Israel," led by jerkass extraordinaire Michael Goldfarb and backed by lunatics like Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer, is now targeting Rep. Rush Holt with their latest bullshit. Holt, for his part, is fighting back, calling the ads "blatant lies" and trying to convince cable companies to pull them.
ND-AL: A break for Rep. Earl Pomeroy: The House's Office of Congressional Ethics said earlier this week that they were dropping an investigation into Pomeroy's fundraising practices.
NY-01: If anything saves Tim Bishop's bacon, it might be the fact that the Republican primary has been a festering pit of raw sewage, with outraged attacks traded among Bishop's GOP rivals daily - or more often. In fact, the three-way nature of the race seems to have tripled the likelihood of open warfare at any given moment - and it also makes things damn confusing at times. Anyhow, it looks like Chris Cox is hitting Randy Altschuler for failing to show up to a debate... but then the third dude, George Demos, also had a staffer show up at Altschuler's offices and catch him on camera, right when the debate was supposed to start. Meanwhile, Cox also won a court ruling allowing him to fight Altschuler for the Conservative Party nomination, but he'll have to run as a write-in.
NY-13: Another nasty New York primary also continues to get nastier. Local establishment fave Michael Allegretti keeps piling on attacks against Mike Grimm, the golden boy of national GOP figures like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Among other things, Allegretti is pointing out that Grimm has never voted in a single Republican primary in the 13th CD.
OH-17: Jim Traficant got beamed back on to the ballot yesterday, running as an independent. He'll face Dem Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican Jim Graham, who has raised bupkes.
PA-15: PA2010 is reporting that Dem John Callahan is going up on the air with his first ad, perhaps as early as today. NWOTSOTB, and we also don't have a link to the ad yet, but we'll try to bring it to you once it's public.
TX-23: Republican Quico Canseco is refusing to meet with the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News, claiming they have an "inherent bias" in favor of Dem Rep. Ciro Rodriguez. Only problem: The paper endorsed the last two Republicans who ran against Ciro.
WI-07: Republican Sean Duffy is finally scrambling on to the air with a positive bio spot. Dem Julie Lassa was up with her first ad last week, and the DCCC made its first independent expenditure (anywhere in the nation) here earlier this week. NWOTSOTB, though CQ notes the ad will air "in the Wausau-Rhinelander, Duluth-Superior, Minneapolis-St. Paul and LaCrosse-Eau Claire markets".
WV-03: Republican Spike Maynard is out with a new ad (watch it here) in which he says he wants to "stop the Obama-Rahall-Pelosi war on coal." That a serious mouthful, dude. (James Hell sez: "He should add Rand Paul to the list!") Anyhow, props to the Charleston Daily Mail for these details: "The ad is the first of two ads that will be released by Maynard's campaign as part of a $100,000 ad buy in the Beckley-Bluefield and Charleston-Huntington TV markets."
For Nick Rahall's part, he's apparently going to go on the radio with biographical spots to "familiarize folks with the congressman and his record." Uh, the guy has been in office since before I was born. The paper also reports that Rahall "is expected to run TV ads starting in late September." Can't say I love that pace.
Cat Fud: Think Progress has carefully stacked up an entire pallet's worth of cat fud tins in one of those lovely supermarket displays. They've assembled a long list of Republican primary losers who have refused to endorse the winners. I can think of two more off the top of my head: Pamela Gorman, who didn't want to catch Ben Quayle's cooties in AZ-03, and of course Lisa Murkowski, who maybe kinda sorta doesn't feel all that warmly about the guy who just called her a whore (or a john, take your pick) before the ballot counting was even over. Recall any others?
DSCC/DCCC: This is actually the same link that I got all emo about in that CA-47 item up above, but anyhow, uh, Obama Alert! The POTUS will be in NYC on September 22nd to do a joint event for the two congressional party committees.
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)
FL-Sen: Five Teamster locals, representing union member across the state, endorsed Charlie Crist yesterday. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is out with a new ad, a positive family bio spot that is about as un-partisan as you can get. The Palm Beach Post suggests Rubio is trying to appear "above the fray" and let Crist and Kendrick Meek go at each other. NWOTSOTB.
FL-Gov: Mark Blumenthal (with assists from Charles Franklin and Harry Enten) has an interesting look at the final five FL-Gov polls, in an attempt to understand why PPP and Susquehanna came closest. (In passing, Blumenthal also points out that the average error in this batch of FL-Sen polls was twice as big as the FL-Gov average, but because several high-profile pollsters "called" the gube race wrong, those polls are getting more attention than the senate polls.)
AZ-03: State Sen. and fifth-place finisher Pamela Gorman, best-known for her ad in which she fires a bunch of guns, says she won't endorse Ben Quayle (at least not yet), on account of the vileness he spewed on TheDirty.com. Second- and third-place finishers Steve Moak and Jim Waring, however, say they will support Mr. Potatoe-son.
AZ-08: Those GOPers really can't shut up about how much they want to destroy Social Security, huh? Check out Jesse Kelly, fresh of his teabagger-fueled upset victory:
"We have to fulfill our promises that we've made to people who are on it now, because the government has stolen their money their entire lives, while phasing future generations off. You have to get the future generations off or you're going to go broke," he said. "Individual accounts is the key to it."
FL-22: Ron Klein is up with his first ad of the campaign season, a spot attacking GOPer Allen West for failing to pay taxes. I'm glad to see Klein going on the attack, but given how much utterly insane shit has come out of West's mouth, it feels a little limp to be going after him on IRS liens. Maybe that issue polled better, who knows. NWOTSOTB.
FL-24: Karen Diebel, one of the crazier GOP candidates in a year just chock-full of `em, has gone AWOL in the wake of her narrow loss to state Rep. Sandy Adams. While third-place finisher Craig Miller has endorsed Adams, Diebel hasn't said a word. With 100% of precincts reporting, she trails by 0.8%. She'd need to get under 0.5% to trigger a recount (unless she can demonstrate fraud), which I suppose is conceivable once absentee ballots are counted. But even if that were to happen, she'd still have to make up a few hundred votes, which seems impossible.
ID-01: Heh. Remember when the RNC gave money to the Idaho GOP to hire two staffers to help out the utterly feeble Raul Labrador? Turns out things haven't quite played out that way. One of the two staffers has been re-tasked to work on state races. As for the other guy, who knows?
MI-07: Yesterday we mentioned that AFSCME was launching a new ad against Republican Tim Walberg. Well, those guys don't mess around. The size of the buy? A cool $750K.
ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy is up with his second negative ad in a week, this one attacking GOP Rick Berg on a somewhat unusual issue. Berg apparently promoted a law early last decade which, according to the ad, would allow banks to sell customers' financial records. The bill was later rejected by voters in a referendum. I call this issue "unusual" because you don't typically see privacy matters make a big impact on the campaign trail. NWOTSOTB.
VA-02, VA-05: This is nice to see: Sen. Mark Warner is spending some time this recess campaigning for both Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello. It sounds like he just did a fundraiser for Nye yesterday, and has some events on tap with Perriello this weekend. Speaking of Nye, he's up with his first ad, touting his work in Iraq and how much he enjoys voting against the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Nye's opponent, GOPer Scott Rigell, is also up with an ad, attacking Nye for... supporting the Democratic Party. Do you get it yet, dude? They're going to attack you no matter what, so you might as well sack up and do the right thing. No word on the size of either buy.
Unions: The AFL-CIO and SEIU, which split apart several years back, are trying to join forces once more. The two labor organizations say that they plan to spend at least $88 million between them this cycle, and perhaps more.