• AR-Sen: Bill Halter is "mulling" an endorsement of Blanche Lincoln, and wants a sit-down with her before doing so. Frankly, it'd be a big surprise if he didn't endorse her: it didn't seem like any more negative a race than usual by today's standards; labor made its point and is probably eager to move on; and Halter would probably like to run for something else at some point.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon has, well, a crisitunity on his hands with the oil spill in the Gulf. It gives him the chance to go on the offensive against David Vitter (who's been trying to limit BP's liabilities, and who's also taken to Twitter to tout Louisiana seafood (now pre-blackened) as safe). But he has the tricky task of keep his district's oil-and-gas dependency in mind; he's aggressively calling Vitter a "liar" now... but only because Vitter has been saying that Melancon supports the Obama administration offshore drilling moratorium.
• NC-Sen: Bob Menendez continues to play favorites in the NC-Sen runoff, although it wasn't with a large sum of money: Menendez's PAC (not the DSCC) gave $5,000 to Cal Cunningham last week, as well as the same amount to Blanche Lincoln.
• SC-Sen: The slow-motion trainwreck of Alvin Greene's media rollout continues apace in South Carolina, with last night's go-nowhere interview with Keith Olbermann taking the cake. (Gawker concludes he may actually be, instead of a plant, just "some random dude." Glad to see our phrasing's catching on.) Jim DeMint is, for his part, denying that he put Greene up to this, while other Republicans are helpfully suggesting that Democrats may have put Greene up to it instead, in order to give Vic Rawl a visibility boost (because unopposed candidates don't appear on the ballot). The Rawl campaign has had elections experts look over the voting patterns to try to figure out what happened, and they've already raised one odd red flag: the strange shift from the early absentee votes (where Rawl dominated) to votes cast on Election Day (which Greene won).
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett, after hinting at it several weeks ago, went ahead and endorsed Tim Bridgewater today. Bridgewater is one of the two quasi-insurgents who finished ahead of Bennett at the state GOP convention, and will be competing in the primary against Mike Lee.
• CA-Gov: I think Godwin's Law might not yet have been enacted when Jerry Brown was Governor the first time, but he might want to familiarize himself with it, after he was caught referring (apparently in jest) to Goebbels in reference to Meg Whitman's saturation advertising. Speaking of which, Whitman just launched her first TV ad post-primary, in which (big surprise) she hates on taxes.
• FL-Gov: Looking for something that'll stick against moneybags Rick Scott, Bill McCollum is now trying to attack him on his pro-life credentials, saying that Columbia/HCA hospitals performed abortions while Scott was CEO.
• OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with a poll in Oregon that has a whiff of outlier to it (as any poll that's about six points to the right of Rasmussen tends to): they find Republican candidate Chris Dudley leading Democratic ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber 47-40. Part of the problem for Dems might be that the poll has third-party Progressive candidate Jerry Wilson racking up 6%, which is assumedly coming out of Kitzhaber's column. But the crosstabs have Dudley winning 44-43 in the Portland area, which, given that area's sheer blueness, seems very odd (as counterpoint, Gordon Smith won the Portland area (Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties) 50-46 in 2002 en route to a 56-40 victory statewide, the Republicans' high-water mark for about the last 25 or so years). They also have Ron Wyden leading Jim Huffman 51-38 in the Senate race (with 4 for a Libertarian and 2 for a Green), which also seems strange.
• SC-Gov: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who crashed and burned his car/plane in 4th place in the GOP gubernatorial primary, threw his support to 2nd place finisher Gresham Barrett for the runoff. He said Barrett was the only one he "could trust."
• TX-Gov: The Green Party has agreed that it temporarily won't put forth any candidates until there's been a hearing in the lawsuit filed by the state Democrats. The lawsuit concerns whether the Greens unlawfully accepted a corporation's help in obtaining the signatures it needed to (surprisingly) qualify for a ballot line in Texas.
• AL-02: The Tea Party Express weighed in with an endorsement in the Republican runoff in the 2nd, and they aren't supporting the NRCC-backed establishment candidate, Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby. Instead, they're backing billiards entrepreneur Rick Barber. Their beef with Roby seems to be that she backed a budget pushed by then-Montgomery mayor, now-Rep. Bobby Bright.
• KS-02: You may remember Sean Tevis, who became a netroots fave based on his clever cartoon depictions of his campaign and raised a surprising amount of money that almost let him knock off an incumbent in a red legislative district. Well, he's moving up a level this year; he's decided to run in the 2nd, against Lynn Jenkins (or Dennis Pyle, if he successfully teabags Jenkins). He still faces two other Dems, Cheryl Hudspeth and Thomas Koch, in the primary.
• NC-08: The SEIU looks like it's going through with its strange plan to launch a third-party bid against Larry Kissell in the 8th; they submitted 34K signatures to qualify Wendell Fant for the ballot, much more than the necessary 17K. (The SEIU had previously tried to get a whole third party a ballot line, but that signature drive came up short.) Perhaps even stranger, Fant hasn't agreed to run, at least not yet; he didn't show up at the ballot-submitting press conference. Fant, it turns out, is an ex-Kissell aide who may have an axe to grind after getting dismissed for using a work computer to work on his own VA case.
• NJ-06: Diane Gooch, the self-funder who was expected to easily win the GOP nomination in the bluish 6th to go against Rep. Frank Pallone, is instead finding herself having to request a recount. Anna Little has declared victory, based on the 78-vote margin, after spending $22K to Gooch's $430K.
• NV-03: Americans for Prosperity has Dina Titus in its sights; they're taking out a $100K ad buy on network and cable (thanks, LVRJ, for actually reporting the details!), still harping on Titus for her vote in favor of health care reform.
• NY-13: Because the Republican/Conservative field in the 13th had some wiggle room to get even more messed-up, now another guy is trying to get in on the action. It's Lou Wein, who's going to try to petition his way onto the ballot against Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti, each of whom have their own clique of powerful backers. Wein is more of a loose cannon -- he's best-known for winning 4% statewide in a 1990 gubernatorial bid on the Right-to-Life line, as well as an unsuccessful 1977 mayoral bid -- but if he can pick up the teabagger banner, he might make some waves here.
• VA-05: Jim McKelvey's up to something weird here; we just don't know what yet. He says he's going to make up his mind this weekend whether or not to endorse Rob Hurt, to whom he finished 2nd in the GOP primary. His latest action is a head-scratcher: he's starting his own PAC, the Take Our Country Back PAC, in order to "seek out, support, educate, train and elect conservative candidates on the local and state level in the fifth district and throughout Virginia."
• Arizona: Here's an interesting piece of data that should hearten Terry Goddard and Rodney Glassman: there's been a surge in Latinos registering as Democrats since the passage of Arizona's new immigration law. This shouldn't be a surprise, as it closely mirrors what happened in the wake of California's Prop 187 in the 1990s. The surge is also demographics-driven, given the fast Latino growth in Arizona, and in fact nationwide: the Census Bureau reports that, for the 2009 estimate, minorities will make up 35% of the nation, way up from 21% of the nation in the 2000 census. While much of that comes from increases in Latino births, a lot of it also has to do with more Americans self-identifying as multiracial.
• Governors: Josh Goodman does some number crunching and guesses that, with all the open seats and expected turnover this year, we're on track to have 28 new Governors. That would be an all-time record for gubernatorial turnover (the previous record, 27, goes back to 1920).
• When Animals Attack: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose photo op went awry yesterday, ending with him getting stabbed in the hand by the horn of a large mohair goat. Apparently the most dangerous place to be is not between Weiner and a camera... so long as you're a goat.
AR-Sen: Mark Blumenthal has a detailed post-mortem of the polling in the Arkansas senate runoff, including some off-the-record claims that both Halter's and Lincoln's internal polling showed Lincoln ahead. I sort of wonder why Lincoln didn't put out these numbers, if true.
CT-Sen: Several big-name Republican fundraisers are hosting an event for none other than Joe Lieberman, to benefit his 2012 re-election campaign. Some of the hosts include Robbie Aiken, Wayne Berman, Rachel Pearson, and Kathryn Rand. Obviously an outright party switch is always possible with this fuckin' guy.
FL-Sen: Wow, so there really is a Democrat who wants death panels (more or less). Maurice Ferre, himself 75 years old, said in a meeting with the Palm Beach Post editorial board:
"Well, you know what, when you get to be 85 or 90 years old, you're going to die. And I'm sorry, you call it, Sarah Palin, what you want, but the fact is that it is absurd for us to be spending the types of money we're spending to extend life three months."
Asked what he'd do as a Senator to control such costs, Ferre said: "I would absolutely say that this is the cap on how much is available for you to spend at age 90, 87, with a heart condition of this sort, with diabetes of this sort, two legs missing and, you know, this is how much is available for you to spend. And you spend it any way you want."
There are other ways to lose races in Florida, but this is the simplest and most direct.
KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell's sticking in his bite-guard and gritting his teeth hard to do a fundraiser for Roark Rand Paul later this month. Believe it or not, we happened to get the advance text of Paul's prepared remarks for the event:
Throughout the ages, the finger painter, the Play-Doh sculptor, the Lincoln Logger stood alone against the daycare teacher of her time. She did not live to earn approval stamps. She lived for herself, that she might achieve things that are the glory of all humanity. These are my terms; I do not care to play by any others. And now, if the court will allow me, it's naptime.
NV-Sen: The Big Dog is coming to the Silver State to do a campaign rally for Handsome Harry Reid next week - who won't actually be there because the Senate will be in session. No word on whether a fundraiser is also on tap.
PA-Sen: Pat Toomey is taking some heat for a long-ago resume item: He used to work on Wall Street - in derivatives trading, no less.
SC-Sen: Alvin Greene, the mysterious Dem senate nominee in South Carolina, says he won't drop out of the race, in spite of the state party's call for him to bail in the wake of revelations that he was arrested on an obscenity charge last fall. Then again, Scott Lee Cohen said he wouldn't bow out, either.
KS-Gov: Dem gubernatorial hopeful Tom Holland picked fellow state Sen. Kelly Kultala, considered something of a rising star in KS politics, as his running mate. The two formally kicked off their campaign yesterday.
NM-Gov, WI-07: In NM-Gov, we mentioned a little while back that Dem LG Diane Denish is hitting GOP nominee Susana Martinez's record as a prosecutor in TV ads, specifically targeting her conviction rate. A related issue is coming up in WI-07, where Dems are charging ex-prosecutor Sean Duffy with misusing his (very recently) former office to compile conviction statistics helpful to his political campaign.
SC-Gov: Mitt Romney, who endorsed Nikki Haley back in March, is heading back down to the Palmetto state to campaign for her once more. Haley faces a runoff against Rep. Gresham Barrett on June 22nd.
AK-AL: Former communications exec Sheldon Fisher is running ads against his primary opponent, GOP Rep. Don Young, portraying himself as the "new conservative choice." Kudos to the AP for reporting that the ad buy is $40,000 in size - not much by conventional standards, perhaps, but that money ought to go a lot further in Alaska.
IN-03: So this is pretty bizarre. Ex-Rep. Mark Souder, who recently resigned on account of having an extra-marital affair with a staffer, sent an odd message on Facebook concerning his likely successor, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman. On the one hand, he says Stutzman is "probably best qualified" to fill his spot. But then, explains the AP:
In one paragraph, he says Stutzman knew nothing of the affair and therefore couldn't have tipped off the media. In another, he mentions that Stutzman or a political consulting firm leaked word of the affair to Fox News after getting information from the staffer's husband, Brad Jackson a Kosciusko County commissioner.
Hmm, I thought it was Mike Pence who dimed out Souder?
MD-01: Businessman Rob Fisher is going up with an ad presenting himself as an outsider in the GOP primary. He faces the better-known state Sen. Andy Harris (the 2008 loser). BIG props to Ben Pershing at the Washington Post for nailing down these details: "The spot is running on cable stations in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets, with an initial buy of more than $70,000."
MI-07, MI-09: President Obama did some fundraisers in Michigan earlier this week - one for the DNC, and another joint event for Reps. Gary Peters and Mark Schauer.
OH-18: Zack Space is doin' it right: He's launching a "six-figure" buy for an ad attacking GOP opponent Bob Gibbs as a tax-hiker and self-pay-raiser. Why do I like this move? Because Space is using his use cash edge ($1.3 mil to $0.1mil) to define Gibbs, at a time when Gibbs has only just emerged from the uncertainty of a primary recount (which he won with an absurdly pathetic 20.9%). For his part, Gibbs fired back with a popgunpress release, the poor man's television ad - very poor man's.
VA-05: True to his word, Some Dude Jeff Clark is going ahead with his plans to run as a teabagging independent, since Rob Hurt won the GOP primary to take on Tom Perriello. In fact, Clark filed petitions with the board of elections last week. Note, though, something he hasn't yet filed: an FEC report. Meanwhile, second-place finisher Jim McKelvey, who swore he wouldn't support Hurt if he became the nominee, is still playing coy. Election night remarks suggested he was prepared to fall in line, but he hasn't officially endorsed. (The other four also-rans have in fact done so.)
Polltopia: Taegan Goddard relays some blind non-quotes from random "pollsters" complaining about the alleged lack of transparency in Nate Silver's pollster ratings - in particular, the fact that he hasn't published his database of polls. Leaving aside the delicious irony that anonymous pollsters are complaining about transparency, I think this is a red herring. As Nate points out in a post of his own, anyone can recreate his work (with a lot of time and a little money) - and his main concern is the legal issues involved in making public a database that in part relies on information drawn from for-pay services.
A lot of beltway pundits have said a lot of stupid beltway things about the result of the Arkansas senate runoff between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter. But at least a couple of outsider analysts have the right take. First is Ari Melber, who works for the Nation but also has a monthly column in the Politico. It's really worth reading his newest piece in full, but here's a good excerpt:
Take the senior administration aide who called Politico's Ben Smith on Wednesday morning, eager to declare that unions ""flushed"" ten million down the toilet in a ""pointless"" primary. That public servant is either disingenuous or clueless.
"If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country,"the aide said, "that could have made a real difference in November."
This criticism misreads the entire insurgency on the left - and may cause more heartburn in November.
President Barack Obama's political team can wish that its base was focused on defending a governing majority. But labor has joined cause with anti-establishment, liberal groups that believe changing the membership of the party's congressional majority is as important as growing it.
After watching Democratic incumbents freeze out a litany of progressive proposals, from the famous public option to the Employee Free Choice Act - which Democratic politicians have decided to support through speeches, not floor votes - some allies are wising up.
For labor, not doing anything was tantamount to losing. Blanche Lincoln is terrible on issues important to labor. As long as she remains in the Senate, unions lose.
Yes, labor dumped $10 million on the effort. But they, you know, almost won. If anything, the closeness of the contest -- recall that Halter forced Lincoln into a runoff three weeks ago -- underscored that labor was right to undertake this effort. And putting aside that $10 million, unions are in some ways in a better position than they were before: It's a simple fact that other Dems will think longer and harder before crossing labor on issues that are dealbreakers for them.
If labor had never entered this race at all, they'd still be in a losing position with Lincoln in the Senate. This is an unbearably simple and obvious point, but the only way for labor to reverse this situation was to try to replace her with someone better on their issues. They couldn't do this, of course, without running the risk of losing. Doing nothing would have amounted to a loss, anyway -- with no chance of ever winning. They were absolutely right to give it a shot. The alternative was much worse.
I'll add a final thought, which is that for all the claims that DC loves to play the "expectations game," the only thing that beltway bobbleheads understand is winning and losing. Smart baseball analysts know that good teams don't win many close games - they win a lot of blowouts, because narrow wins are more a product of luck than skill. But in the cloistered minds of most tradmed pundits, only the won-lost record matters: you win, you're golden, you lose, you suck - no matter how close the margin. This, of course, is foolish, and the establishment ignores Lincoln's tight escape at its peril.
Before starting this little rant, I'd like to say that as a progressive Democrat, I would've preferred that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter win his primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (and, in fact, it was my prediction that Lincoln would lose the run-off). Having said that, the progressives who really think that Halter was going to be able to defeat Republican congressman John Boozman need a reality check, and should reflect a little on what happened here before getting so bummed out by the events of the Arkansas race.
The GOP establishment tries to nominate electable candidates, and gets sabotaged by the teabaggers. We're trying to nominate electable candidates, and we get sabotaged by the Democratic Party establishment. We won in Pennsylvania, lost in Arkansas. You can't win them all. But make no mistake -- we made the politically smart move.
Unfortunately, the smart political move lost. So say hello to Sen. John Boozman, the next senator from the great state of Arkansas. It's the political reality. No need to sugarcoat it.
How much do you think the Chamber of Commerce and its corporatist allies will spend on behalf of Blanche Lincoln through the fall? Zero. Suddenly, you're going to see Lincoln quite friendless
Those evil "out of state" unions and progressive groups sure won't lift a finger to help her. The only question is how much the DSCC wastes on the losing effort.
I've long since quit being impressed by moral victories. In this case, we forced Blanche to dramatically improve the financial reform bill, and it may be too late to strip out her derivatives reform language. And we delivered the kind of pain that no other incumbent wants to suffer. So congressional Democrats have two options -- they can either shape up and be spared primary pain (I'd be happy focusing solely on Joe Lieberman in 2012), or they can be Blanched
It's much easier to keep your job if you don't have to fight for it twice in a single year.
Kos seems to be arguing a few things here; one that the Democratic establishment (really, the White House) was being stupid by supporting Lincoln, that Bill Halter would've been able to win while Lincoln would not, and that this primary challenge will make conservative Democrats in congress somewhat more progressive.
The first thing, that the Democratic establishment should have thrown Lincoln out the door for Halter ignores one simple truth: political parties, at their core, are incumbent protection rackets, period. This is not an ironclad rule that can never be broken, but those circumstances usually involve some pretty bad scandals (for example, the Republican Governor's Association (the RGA) actively endorsed Brian Sandoval against incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons, mostly because of how scandal plagued he was). The Democrats had no business supporting incumbent Congressman Bill Jefferson in Louisiana's second district, and they should have been criticized heavily for it, as Jefferson was accused of and later convicted of bribery, but that was simply not the case for Lincoln. Political parties protect incumbents for good reason, they are the power-base of the party, without incumbent members in government, the party has no power (just look at the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, and many others) and if the party isn't going to go to the mat for its incumbents, then its incumbents will stop supporting the party, period. This isn't limited to the Democrats either, the Republicans support their incumbents as well, and Kos is, frankly, delusional if he thinks that any political party should abandon incumbents who aren't scandal-tainted (but for the record, it was pretty stupid of the White House aid to shoot his/her mouth off about the labor unions, though I suspect that he/she wasn't authorized by the White House to talk either).
On the second argument, electability, I'd find that view a lot more convincing if Bill Halter were either winning or were within range of John Boozman in polling, but the fact is, Boozman is beating Halter by double-digits too and there's no prize for only losing by 15 instead of losing by 20. To be clear, yes, I believe that Halter was more electable than Lincoln, but to pretend that Halter's chances of victory were really that much better than Lincoln's doesn't do progressives well in the credibility department.
On the final point, well, frankly, I know that Kos means well, but there's a case to be made that Lincoln's derivatives language isn't really that good an idea. Just because something sounds good on paper and looks like it's putting the screws to the banks and everything which is evil, doesn't mean that it actually is or that this has somehow created better policy. Frankly, it's even arguable that this was good politics for just the general election, as everyone hates the banks and appearing to be tough on them just looks good. In addition there was a point made by a regular commenter on Swing State Project who goes by DCCyclone which I'd like to bring to light:
And, frankly, to a substantial extent it bothers me, because the singling out of Lincoln for demonization shows a big lack of perspective. Lincoln is from a most conservative state and the strongest anti-Obama state of any Democratic Senator up for reelection this year.
I suppose this is about making an example out of her for the sake of doing so, and winning in politics does, ultimately, require demonizing the opponent. That's just a fact of political life, I accept that.
But if Halter wins tonight and goes on to lose by 20 to Boozman, I don't think the left benefits. ConservaDems don't feel pressured to be more responsive to the left, instead they just feel more tightly squeezed with a narrower needle to thread to win. The only way the left wins politically out of this is for Halter to win not only tonight but to pull off the massive upset and win in November. If that happens, then the intense emotional energy will have been fully vindicated, and I'll be proven a fucking moron. But it's hard to see a "Senator Halter" getting sworn in in January.
DCCyclone's point is a good one, what if Halter had won the primary? Maybe there would have been a polling bounce for him, but I doubt he'd even get a lead in that situation (or even close to it) and he'd probably return to where he was, 10-15 points behind Boozman which is almost certainly what the final result would have been. If that would have happened (hypothetically), it could easily by Democratic operatives to argue "see, this is what happens when you primary incumbents, you lose seats, you're no better than the Club for Growth!" (not to say that their point would be all that good, but it'd be pretty easy to make it, and suddenly the progressive groups who supported the primary look stupid for being successful). And that's really the main point, a loss for the progressives who backed Halter was probably inevitable no matter what, whether it would've been now or in November is sort of beside the point.
• AR-Sen: The Bill Halter campaign is looking for last minute phonebanking help to seal the deal. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (pdf): The Senate GOP primary portion of the Field Poll came out over the weekend, and it's right in line with the various other pollsters finding a last-minute Carly Fiorina surge into a double-digit lead. She leads Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore 37-22-19. (Campbell led 28-22-9 in the previous Field poll in March.) Also, it looks like Campbell's last-minute ad pitch, centered around his electability, may fall on deaf ears: 42% of primary voters think that Fiorina has the best chance of beating Barbara Boxer, while 22% think that Campbell does (and 12% think that Chuck DeVore does -- which is also about the same percentage of Californians who believe there is a 1,000 foot high pyramid in Greenland). There are also primary polls out from Republican pollster Magellan (who don't have a horse in this race), who find things even worse for Campbell: they have Fiorina leading Campbell and DeVore 54-19-16. They also give a big edge to fellow rich person Meg Whitman in the gubernatorial race; she leads Steve Poizner 64-22. The unfortunate moral of the story here: have a lot of money.
• DE-Sen: New Castle Co. Exec Chris Coons is pre-emptively getting ahead of Republican charges that he raised taxes, by, instead of hiding under the bed like conventional wisdom dictates, saying 'guilty as charged' and explaining how it helped. The county wound up with a AAA bond rating and a eight-digit surplus. Coons also previewed one of his lines of attack against Mike Castle: Castle's role in deregulating the banking sector.
• FL-Sen: As Charlie Crist rebuilds his team from scratch, he's rolling out a new media team that's heavy on the Democratic ties. Most prominently, Chuck Schumer's former chief of staff, Josh Isay, will be Crist's lead media person. Isay's firm SKD Knickerbocker may be best-known for helping out other moderate independents, like Joe Lieberman and Michael Bloomberg. One of the fires that Isay will have to put out as soon as he gets in the building, though, is what to do about the Jim Greer situation. Greer's lawyer is saying that Crist gave the initial OK on Greer's fundraising workaround which avoided usual party channels (which Greer allegedly turned into a scheme for filling his own pockets).
• IL-Sen: Rep. Mark Kirk's very, very bad week last week just seems to be spilling over into this week. There are allegations popping up that he fibbed on getting shot at in Afghanistan too, and also evidence that he made a lot of stuff up while talking off the cuff about the Somalia situation last year. Taking a page from Richard Blumenthal, late last week he finally dropped the playing offense against the charges and instead went to the Chicago Tribune's e-board to say "I'm sorry" -- but that apology comes after letting the story fester all week.
• NH-Sen: After a year and a half of having the Democratic primary to himself, there are hints that Rep. Paul Hodes might get some late-in-the-game company. Mark Connolly, the former head of the state's Securities Division who resigned to become a whistleblower in the wake of the Financial Resources Mortgage coverup (the same one that'll have Kelly Ayotte testifying before the state legislature soon), expressed some interest and said "he's angry enough to do it." (Looks like a common theme this year.) Speaking of Ayotte, it sounds like she doesn't know how to read a poll: she says she won't take drilling for oil off New Hampshire's tiny coastline "off the table."
• WA-Sen: You might remember from last week that the Univ. of Washington engaged in some methodologically weird stuff by adding an extra week's worth of samples on the end of their already-released poll and re-releasing the numbers (which were nevertheless unchanged, at Patty Murray 44, Dino Rossi 40). Well, now they're re-releasing the poll yet again with even more samples, with changed toplines and with specific numbers for that tiny extra sample for the days May 24-28 (following Rossi's official announcement). The number that's getting all the press is that Rossi led Murray 42-39 in that batch, although that's only based on 221 likely voters with a margin of error of 6.6%, so its usefulness is, well, questionable. Their full numbers are now 42-40 for Murray for the entire RV sample and 46-40 for Murray for the entire LV sample (i.e. those who voted in 2006), and she leads Generic R 44-39 among RVs (and 46-41 in the May 24-28 sample), but this poll has gotten so methodologically convoluted I'm not really sure it's worth much of anything at this point.
Murray got some good news today in the form of an endorsement, and it's not from a human but a corporation: Boeing. While she's received plenty of Boeing money in the past, I'm not aware of Boeing ever having explicitly endorsed her or anyone else before (although anyone with a pulse knows that Murray has taken over for Scoop Jackson as the "Senator from Boeing"). Frankly, in the state of Washington, this is a bigger endorsement than any human politician's endorsement would be, considering the way Boeing's tendrils reach so much of the state. Finally, the field of miscellaneous Republicans kept shrinking today, as chiropractor Sean Salazar (probably the first guy to try to grab the teabagger mantle here, although he got shoved over by Clint Didier) bailed out of the race and backed Rossi.
• WI-Sen: Here's a strange vulnerability for Ron Johnson in the Wisconsin Senate race: his fixation on opposing bipartisan Wisconsin state legislation making it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers. That'll require some explanation, and I assume it'll be something other than his current explanation, that such legislation would only lead to more victims of sexual abuse by making organizations likelier to sweep it under the carpet.
• IA-Gov: After endorsing a variety of misspelled odds-and-ends last week ("Cecil Bledsoe," "Angela McGowen," and Joe Miller), Sarah Palin went with a big gun this weekend, and it was one who doesn't match her carefully cultivated teabagging/religious right image at all: establishment retread Terry Branstad in Iowa. Is she counting on getting repaid by Branstad in the 2012 caucuses, if she decides to give up the grifting lifestyle and take the huge pay cut associated with running for President? (Branstad also has the backing of Mitt Romney, who seems more of a kindred spirit for him.)
• MI-Gov: The Schwarz is not with us after all. Joe Schwarz, the moderate ex-Rep. who got bounced from MI-07 in 2006 in the GOP primary by Tim Walberg, has decided against pursuing the independent bid in the Governor's race that he'd been threatening. On the surface, the loss of a center-right indie looks like bad news for the Dems, but depending on which two candidates match up in November, Schwarz could just have easily pulled more left-of-center votes... and in all likelihood, he wasn't going to rack up more than a few percent anyway.
• NY-Gov: In their standoff with Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, the Working Families Party seems to have blinked first. They went ahead and nominated placeholders in the Governor, Lt. Gov, and AG slots, presumably to allow coordination with the Dem choices later. Cuomo had been leaning hard on the WFP to do so. The person most affected by this is state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, a Cuomo foe who had been considered the most likely WFP candidate for AG; instead, the WFP may wind up going with Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice, who's Cuomo's preferred AG for his informal "ticket."
• TX-Gov: The Greens are actually going to be on the ballot in Texas this year, for the gubernatorial race? I'm as surprised as you are, but it's less surprising when you find out who's behind it: Arizona Republican consultant Tim Mooney, who set up the petition drive to get them on the ballot (and who's also a veteran of the 2004 efforts to get Ralph Nader on as many states' ballots as possible). GOP incumbent Rick Perry faces a tough race from Dem former Houston mayor Bill White, and he can have a little breathing room if the Greens siphon off a few lefties.
• AR-01: Chad Causey has an interesting argument for Democratic runoff voters in the 1st not to vote for ex-state Sen. Tim Wooldridge: he's likely to bolt for the Republican Party at his earliest convenience. Causey's evidence for the flight risk posed by Wooldridge includes his very conservative voting record in the state legislature, starting with his pro-public hanging legislation. Wooldridge, for his part, said he'd never switch. The Wooldridge camp is also offering up an internal poll (no word on the pollster) claiming a 48-24 lead over Causey in the runoff.
• CA-19: SurveyUSA has one last poll of the race in the 19th's GOP primary, which they've polled exhaustively (and found almost exactly the same thing each time). However, this time it's a little more interesting: there seems to be some late movement to former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson, who now leads state Sen. Jeff Denham 34-30. Ex-Rep. Richard Pombo is back at 17, with Larry Westerlund at 8. On the Dem side, it's a 26-26 tie between Loraine Goodwin and Les Marsden.
• MN-06: What started out as a thorny three-way primary (when Elwyn Tinklenberg was in the race) has turned into a walk for Democratic state Sen. Tarryl Clark. Maureen Reed, a physician and former Independence Party Lt. Gov. candidate, ended her bid and endorsed Clark against Rep. Michele Bachmann. Reed had done surprisingly well at fundraising, but didn't have the institutional advantages that Clark did, especially once Clark got the DFL endorsement. Clark still has an uphill fight against Bachmann, who's insulated against likely future foot-in-mouth incidents by the district's reddish lean as well as a huge war chest.
• TN-08: A Hill piece on the possibility of another NRCC-touted candidate (in the form of Stephen Fincher) going down in flames actually has some nice dirt on all three Republicans contesting the primary in the 8th. Fincher, of course, is widely noted for his hypocrisy on attacking the federal government while receiving millions in farm subsidies, but it's also been revealed that he has voted in three Democratic primaries in the last eight years, "used virtually the same TV ad as a candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commisioner" (I have to assume it was an ad from one of the "thugs," since if he'd riiiiiiipped off Dale Peterson's ad, the whole blogosphere would already know about it by now), and perhaps most pathetically, misspelled "Tennessee" in a mailer. His challengers, Ron Kirkland and George Flinn, have their own troubles; Kirkland contributed to outgoing Democratic Rep. John Tanner in 2000 and 2004, while Flinn tried to cover up a lawsuit by a contractor who wasn't paid for remodeling work.
• AR-Sen: I don't know if this is outright shenanigans or innocent bureaucratic bungling, but a lot of eyebrows are being raised over a strange turn of events in Garland County that's going to lead to long lines and voters avoiding the polls. The county, with a population of 80,000 and 42 precincts, will have a total of two polling places for the upcoming runoff election. Worth noting: Garland County (home of Hot Springs) is the most populous county in Arkansas that went for Bill Halter in the primary.
• IL-Sen: The Mark Kirk story seems like it's finally catching hold in the Chicago market. At the link, you can check out the whole "misremembered it wrong" story splashed across the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times, and watch a withering WGN news story.
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi has reported $600K in contributions in one week since announcing his bid. Anyone who is surprised by this number should get better acquainted with the term "low hanging fruit;" the interesting numbers will be the ones in future weeks to see how he does now that most of Washington's major real estate and contracting players have, assumedly, maxed out. Also in the not-surprising file, state Sen. Don Benton dropped out of the race and endorsed Rossi. Benton was the more or less GOP frontrunner prior to Rossi's entry, but also something of a Republican-establishment stand-in for Rossi with a lot of overlap in supporters, so there wasn't much incentive for him to continue. Goldy correctly yawns at Benton's departure, saying that Clint Didier (the Palin-endorsed teabagger in the race) was always the real speed bump for Rossi and one that'll continue to pose a problem: he can't run away from Didier and his supporters, whose enthusiasm he'll need in November, but if he gets too close to them, he'll lose whatever moderate image he once had, which he'll also need in November.
• CA-Gov (pdf): The last pre-primary Field Poll, or at least part of it, is out. All that they've released today is the Republican gubernatorial primary numbers, which are very much in line with everyone else's numbers lately. They see Meg Whitman leading Steve Poizner 51-25, only half the 49-point lead she had in the last Field Poll in March but still certainly enough to get the job done for her on Tuesday. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the data.
• NY-Gov: Maggie Haberman has an interesting retrospective of the big bag of Fail that was the Steve Levy campaign. She weaves together a number of threads that didn't really make it into the national media -- unwillingness to fully commit to the race, his reluctance to dip into his war chest, tabloid stories about law school friends -- to paint a picture of a campaign that, in hindsight, was doomed from the outset.
• AR-03: Sarah Palin (and the Susan B. Anthony List) weighed in in AR-03, adding one more "Mama Grizzly" to her trophy room. She endorsed state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, who's in a runoff against Rogers mayor Steve Womack for the GOP nomination in the open seat race in this safely-red district. Bledsoe only compiled about 15% of the vote in the primary, although with a huge number of candidates, that was enough to squeak by into second place.
• NY-15: In case there was any doubt that a combination of age, sliminess, and having lost his Ways and Means gavel might prompt a last-minute retirement for Charles Rangel, they were laid to rest. He'll be officially kicking off his next campaign this weekend.
• OH-18: The long-unresolved GOP primary in the 18th appears to be finally over, as former state Agriculture director and 2008 nominee Fred Dailey conceded. He lost to establishment pick state Sen. Bob Gibbs by 156 votes according to certified results, and the automatic recount only changed two votes. While this is one more in a string of recent GOP primaries where the establishment candidate beat the teabagger, this, like many of those races (like, say, IN-08 and IN-09, and IN-03 and IN-05 if you want to call the woeful Souder and Burton "establishment") where the anti-establishment candidate came within a hair of winning, and where if there had been fewer teabagger candidates spoiling the broth or things that just bounced slightly differently, the media would be talking about an entirely different narrative.
• Media: So, speaking of media narratives, I'm wondering if the media are starting to dial down their "Dems are dooooomed!" narrative that's been conventional wisdom for the last half a year. Not just because they may be noticing that the polling evidence for that is sketchy at best, but also, as this Newsweek piece points out, that they may have gotten suckered by the Democrats themselves, who seem to be engaged in the ages-old practices of expectations management, lowballing their predictions so they look like heroes later.
• Ideology: 538 has some fascinating charts up as part of a new post on where states (and where the two parties within each state) fit on the liberal/conservative scale, looking at it on multiple dimensions instead of on a left/right line. West Virginia (socially conservative and economically liberal) stands out as an interesting outlier on the chart, which does a lot to explain its particular brand of politics.
AR-Sen: We knew the SEIU wasn't going to fuck around. Their newest (and probably final) ad buy on behalf of Bill Halter (which we mentioned yesterday) is on the order of $370K. The League of Conservation Voters is also putting down $100K for a buy of their own, also in support of Halter.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul, the son of Ayn Rand and a Somali warlord, must be dying inside: He actually felt compelled to call for more regulation of offshore drilling. Upon hearing this, a thousand Austrian School economists tried to jump off a bridge, but couldn't find one as the free market had decided a bridge was unnecessary.
NH-Sen: Former AG Kelly Ayotte is being called to testify before a state senate committee investigating the collapse of a mortgage company called FRM which is accused of running a Ponzi scheme - and which was allowed to continue in operation while Ayotte's department was supposedly regulating it. It's belated, but at least someone is watching the watchmen.
AL-Gov: Artur Davis: "I have no interest in running for political office again. The voters spoke in a very decisive way across every sector and in every section of the state. A candidate that fails across-the-board like that obviously needs to find something else productive to do with his life."
NM-Gov: Diane Denish is already out with a negative ad trying to paint GOP opponent Susana Martinez as an ineffective prosecutor, saying she went soft on DWI felons and had the worst conviction record in New Mexico. No word on the size of the buy, though the Denish campaign says, according to Heath Haussamen, that the ad "is running statewide on network and cable television."
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is trying to kill off the Working Families Party. He says he doesn't want their ballot line this fall, without which the WFP has almost no hope of getting the 50,000 votes it needs to stay on the ballot for the next four years. The party is under investigation by the Manhattan US Attorney's Office, and hyper-ventilators like the Daily News editorial page accuse it of sponsoring a "job-killing agenda," so you might think there's sufficient reason for Cuomo to avoid the WFP on the merits.
But I don't think that adds up, because few voters pay attention to this stuff, which means that Cuomo will miss out on more votes without the WFP line than he'd risk losing by accepting the party's endorsement - so it looks like a power play to me. (Note that state lawmakers friendly to the WFP are trying to introduce legislation which would allow a party to remain on the ballot if it got 50K votes in any statewide election, which would allow the party to bootstrap itself to, say, the Schumer or Gillibrand campaigns.)
FL-08: Uh, is this really an endorsement that you want? Former state House Speaker Daniel Webster, hoping to challenge Alan Grayson in the fall, secured the backing of ex-Rep. Tom Feeney. Feeney was last seen apologizing to voters for his role in the Abramoff scandal while getting his ass kicked by Suzanne Kosmas.
ID-01: I know we all miss Vaughn Ward terribly, but I think we'll enjoy having Raul Labrador to kick around, too. It turns out that Labrador forgot to get his cooties vaccination, because the NRCC is keeping him in one of those glove-box containment zones. GOP brass has no plans, says Politico, to add the Lab to their Young Guns list - even though it already contains an absurd 110 names. Michael Steele, though, seems to like Raul just fine (which makes sense), sending some cash to help the Idaho GOP.
AL-Ag. Comm'r: May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless Dale Peterson:
Boy! We put up a tough fight in round one. The thugs made a full court press to stop me by making hundreds of thousands of "robo calls" with lies about me.
Rest assured, Dummy and the thugs at ALFA will not go quietly - so expect them to launch a full-scale attack against John McMillan in the coming weeks as the July 13 runoff draws near. Just remember, the word "truth" is not in their vocabulary.
Because good ol' Dale gives a RIIIIIP about Alabama, he promises that he's "not going away." Hooray!
Rasmussen: Commenters here have been all over it, but Markos lays out in bright orange letters exactly how fucked up Rasmussen's recent polling in CT-Sen and KY-Sen has been.
• CT-Sen: Where's the New York Times when you need them? At least we have the Post to go there: way back when she was applying for an appointed seat on Connecticut's Board of Education, one of Linda McMahon's selling points was that she had a degree in education. Nope, it quickly was revealed that her degree was in Freedom French (which, to my mind, is a lot harder to parse away through semantic obfuscation than "in Vietnam" -- I mean, this is just a flat-out lie). Jodi Rell still picked McMahon for the board.
• IL-Sen: Where's the New York Times when you need them, Part II? Mark Kirk has had to admit that previous claims about his military experience weren't "precise," when it turned out that the "Naval Intelligence Officer of the Year" award went to Kirk's entire unit, not himself as stated on his website's bio.
• TX-Sen: Remember when gubernatorial candidate Kay Bailey Hutchison promised to resign her Senate seat as soon as she tied up those last few legislative loose ends? After dragging that out to finish her term instead, now she's making noises about just continuing on like nothing ever happened and running for another full term in 2012. Questions remain as to whether she'd attract high-profile primary competition if she stayed; would-be competitors would have to be heartened by her weak performance in the gubernatorial primary.
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman pretty much ended her viability as a candidate in the general election with her closing argument ad for the GOP primary, where she demands border crackdowns and opposes "amnesty." (In fact, check out the photo at Politico's link; one picture says more than 1000 words could about Pete Wilson handing the Prop 187 turd torch to Whitman. UPDATE: Oops, photo not there anymore, but see here.) To make sure the message gets across to those least likely to be enthused about that, the California Nurses Association is running a Spanish-language ad on Hispanic radio stations that replays her comments.
• MI-Gov: This endorsement isn't exactly a surprise, seeing as how Andy Dillon is widely disliked by Michigan's public employee unions, but still it's an important building block for Virg Bernero. The Michigan Education Association, the state's largest teacher's union with 155K members, gave its nod to Lansing mayor Bernero in the Democratic gubernatorial primary; Bernero also has the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, which includes the UAW.
• NY-Gov: Has anyone ever had to confirm to the media that "no, I'm not dropping out," and then actually gone on to win a race? Steve Levy seems intent on being the first to try to do that. With the mellifluously-named M. Myers Mermel on the verge of getting the backing of the Queens GOP, the GOP/Conservative field is basically collapsing into chaos in the wake of the infighting at the Conservative Party convention, where Levy and Carl Paladino backers forced a placeholder (Ralph Lorigo) onto the Con primary ballot in hopes that Rick Lazio doesn't win the GOP convention. Paladino's camp is even talking up the possibility of creating a whole different "Tea Party" ballot line. There's now also talk of creating a new ballot line out of whole cloth coming from state GOP chair Ed Cox of all places, as a means of helping the GOP's preferred candidates circumvent the Conservative Party's preferences.
• SD-Gov: Polling the fast-approaching (June 8) GOP gubernatorial primary in South Dakota has, oddly enough, not been a high priority for any pollsters, so money may be our main guide here. Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard is the clear winner by that criteria, having raised $1.65 mil over the cycle, more than double the $700K of next-best state Sen. majority leader Dave Knudsen. Interestingly, though, South Dakota is the only non-southern state to use runoffs, and with three other candidates in the running, those two may find themselves facing off again in late June.
• WY-Gov: Our long national nightmare is over: we have a credible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Wyoming. State party chair Leslie Petersen took one for the team and filed the paperwork to run in the Democratic primary on Aug. 17. The Natrona Co. party chair, R.C. Johnson, had said she'd run if no one else did, so I suppose the state chair running when no one else did is, uh, something of an upgrade from a county chair. The Jackson-based, 69-year-old Petersen (assuming she gets past the several Some Dudes in the Dem primary) will face one of not one but four strong GOPers in November.
• CA-45: Rep. Mary Bono Mack and her opponent, Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet, are on the same stage today to celebrate the new Palm Springs Airport control tower. Both were proponents of the construction project and will no doubt try to claim their share of the credit, although Bono Mack has the slight problem of having voted against the stimulus package that paid more than half the costs of the project.
• PA-12: Turnout numbers seem to contradict the GOP's excuses about how they would have won the special election in the 12th if they hadn't gotten swamped by a surge in Dem turnout motivated by the Sestak/Specter primary. Turnout in the 12th for the special election was 135K, compared with 203K in the 12th in the 2006 general election.
• WA-03: Here's a surprise: state Sen. Craig Pridemore, who'd been carrying the liberal flag in the Democratic primary in the open seat race in the 3rd, is prepared to drop out. Pridemore had been lagging on the financial front compared with self-funding establishment choice Denny Heck (who now has the Dem field to himself), but that hadn't been a deterrent before and it seems like that wasn't what spurred the dropout. Instead, it was leaked over the weekend that the Washington Education Association was prepared to back Heck, and without the state's biggest union on his side, Pridemore didn't have much a route to getting over the top.
• WI-07: It looks like the careful field-clearing for state Sen. Julie Lassa in the Democratic primary in the open seat in the 7th wasn't entirely successful. She'll still have to face Joe Reasbeck in the Dem primary. Reasbeck, an author and consultant who doesn't seem to have held office, seems to be at the Some Dude end of the spectrum, though. He's announcing his campaign kickoff with a ganja break at Superior's Richard Bong Museum.
• New Hampshire: SSPers will no doubt enjoy this... a Blue Hampshire blogger has calculated 2004/2008 PVI for each of New Hampshire's 299 voting wards, not only putting together tables but also a slick map.
• Polltopia: PPP's latest nugget unearthed from their crosstabs is that Democrats are still holding onto moderates pretty well, contrary to what conventional wisdom has been asserting. Tom Jensen finds that Dems are leading among self-identified moderates in all the key Senate race around the country. (The problem, of course, is that there are more self-identified conservatives than liberals, which accounts for GOP leads in a number of these races.)
• History: Here's a very interesting bit of history from Arkansas writer John Brummett, looking at the remarkable parallels between the Blanche Lincoln/Bill Halter race, and the long-forgotten 1972 Democratic primary in Arkansas where upstart David Pryor almost knocked off long-serving conservative Democrat John McClellan.
AR-Sen: Mitch Berry, the son of retiring Dem Rep. Marion Berry, is stepping up his fight against Bill Halter's purported war on common sense. Berry's PAC, Arkansans For Common Sense, just filed a $150,000 media buy against Halter, bringing their total expenditures in this race to nearly $350K. (J)
NV-Sen: Salon notes that hard-charging teabagger Sharron Angle has been handing out her own newspaper-style pamphlet at campaign events, titled "The Angle Examiner." Underneath eye-grabbing headlines like "Reid Waterboarding the Economy" are photos of Angle in various action poses, including one in which she's firing her .44 Magnum, which she calls her "Dirty Harry Hand Cannon." Salon editorializes that "the breathless tone of its writing, and the very un-slick design, makes it seem like one more piece of evidence that Angle may not be quite ready for prime time."
Ready or not, Angle is getting some big help in the closing days of her insurgent campaign. The Club for Growth filed a half-million dollar expenditure report with the FEC, the bulk of which is being spent on direct mail and attack ads hitting front-runner Sue Lowden. At the same time, the Tea Party Express has upped their media buys supporting Angle by another $50K. (J)
AZ-Gov: Get a load of this tyranny. GOP Gov. Jan Brewer says that she "has removed" state AG Terry Goddard, a Democrat running against her this fall, from defending the state against possible litigation by the federal Department of Justice surrounding the state's "papers please" immigration law. Apparently, Brewer thinks that Goddard is "colluding" with the DoJ after learning that he met with DoJ lawyers shortly before they met with the governor's legal advisors. This is a routine practice for Justice Department attorneys when considering legal action against a state, but Brewer will have none of it. Goddard, for his part, insists that he will be "definitely defending the state" in any challenges to the law. (J)
NY-Gov: Ex-Rep. Rick Lazio scored the Conservative Party's endorsement, but he didn't exactly do it in fine fashion. Chairman Mike Long pushed the party convention a week ahead of the GOP confab, in the hopes of pressuring the Republicans to nominate Lazio instead of recent ex-Dem Steve Levy. But this move ruffled quite a few feathers, it seems, and supporters of Levy and ultra-creepbag Carl Paladino conspired to also put Erie County Conservative chair Ralph Lorigo on the ballot as well. This means that if Lorigo sees it through, Lazio could face a contested primary for the Conservative line. That would mean two different primaries for two different parties with two different sets of opponents for Lazio at the same time! I also have to wonder whether Long will also face backlash over his continued meddling in NY-23 as well. Ah, the Republicans: They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
CA-36: Not taking any chances, Dem Rep. Jane Harman is out with an incendiary ad against her primary opponent, activist Marcy Winograd. The ad, which began airing on local cable stations and FIOS last Thursday, hits Winograd for wanting to "kill the defense budget" and to "destroy Israel." Kudos to the Politico's Alex Isenstadt for inquiring about the size of the ad buy, but shame on the Harman campaign for declining to provide details. (J)
CA-42: Teabagging accountant Phil Liberatore pumped another $375K of his own cash into his race against GOP Rep. Gary Miller. Liberatore has now spent half a million trying to unseat Miller, who has spent "only" $337K. There are also a couple of Some Dudes in this race. The primary is June 8th.
FL-10: Even though the House ethics office cleared Bill Young in the PMA lobbying scandal back in February, a criminal investigation is apparently underway at the Justice Department. (You may recall that several lawmakers were accused of steering defense-related earmarks to PMA clients, in exchange for campaign donations.) Dem Charlie Justice seems to be overplaying his hand here (if he even has one), calling for Young to resign from office.
GA-09: Sure, anyone can file a lawsuit, but banks aren't Orly Taitz, and they usually only sue debtors when they mean it. So it's a bit startling to see that a local bank is suing Tom Graves, the leading candidate in the GA-09 runoff, to recover an unpaid $2.25 million business loan. They're also accusing him of fraudulently transferring some property in order to frustrate the bank's collection efforts. This sounds pretty serious, and could be a real game-changer. The second round of this special election is on June 8th, where Graves, a former state rep., faces Lee Hawkins, a former state senator. (Graves led 35-23 in the first round.)
ID-01: Walt Minnick just rolled out a list of 100 key supporters across his district, including a bunch of prominent Republican donors and elected officials, like some county commissioners and the former head of the National Cattleman's Beef Association. Whoo-eee!
IL-10: Biden alert! The VPOTUS will do a fundraiser for Dan Seals on June 21st in Chicago.
NC-08: It's always the sign of a successful campaign when the candidate starts threatening to sue members of his own party for defamation. That's what SSP fave Tim D'Annunzio is doing, claiming that the state GOP chair is spreading lies about him. Oh, and he wants $5 million. God speed, little Timmy!
NY-01: Bill Clinton will be doing a $2,400-a-head fundraiser for Rep. Tim Bishop in Manhattan this Thursday, while Henry Kissinger will be doing the same for Republican Chris Cox. (Cox is the grandson of Richard Nixon, who of course was BFF with Kissinger back in the day.) P.S. Note to CQ-Roll Call: There is no "furor" about this dumb Sestak job non-story.
SC-02: GOP Rep. Joe Wilson raised an unbelievable amount of cash after his infamous State of the Union outburst, and he's spending at an equally prodigious clip, too. Wilson's pre-primary fundraising report, filed with the FEC, indicates that his campaign brought in $190,000 in a six-week period following the end of March, but he also spent over $450,000 out of his war chest, leaving him with under $1.9 million cash-on-hand. All told, Wilson has spent a whopping $2 million on his re-election campaign already, despite not facing any primary opposition. (J)
UT-02: Rep. Jim Matheson scored the backing of the 18,000-strong Utah Education Association teachers union. It so happens that his primary opponent, Claudia Wright, has been a teacher for 30 years.
NRCC: A good observation by Steve Benen, who points out that the NRCC has recently begun lowballing expectations. While Republicans had for months been acting as though they were sure to retake the House, NRCC recruitment chair Kevin McCarthy has reduced his oddly specific takeover from 45 to 37 - just short of what the GOP would need for the majority. Benen wonders if the NRCC is playing a deep game here, trying to goad supporters into giving their all, lest they become complacent. But in the wake of PA-12 and other embarrassments in primaries, maybe the Republicans really have dialed back their hopes a bit.
Research 2000 for Daily Kos (5/24-26, likely voters, 5/10-12 in parens for general election match-ups):
Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 44
Bill Halter (D): 47
Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 38 (40)
John Boozman (R): 58 (54)
Undecided: 4 (6)
Bill Halter (D): 42 (41)
John Boozman (R): 53 (50)
Undecided: 5 (9)
Bill, finish her! This is the third consecutive poll from Research 2000 showing Lincoln fading in a head-to-head against Boozman, and her net general election favorability has dropped to a negative 21 points -- while Halter is still in the black by 10. While the runoff should still be an incredible dogfight, especially since Lincoln has the Big Dog, Bill Clinton, in her corner, I'm liking Halter's odds. And that means we may have a fighting chance of at least making a race of this state in November.
We should note, though, that R2K previously looked at the runoff question in a methodologically unsound snap poll for Democracy For America. That poll has Halter up by 48-46.