Recounts: The Hill reports that the DCCC has sent staffers to assist with recount efforts in California, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Washington state. One state is notably not on the list, and I think that says a lot: Texas. Check out our TX-27 item below for more.
AK-Sen: Here's the schedule: Absentee ballots (30,500) will start getting counted today. Tomorrow, write-ins (83K) will be talled. And provisional ballots (12,000) will be opened on Friday. Joe Miller needs to find a way to disqualify over 13,000 write-ins to have a shot (as things stand now) - or pray that people wrote in someone other than Lisa Murkowski. Interestingly, the NRSC is still backing Miller's play, with Big John Cornyn and Jim "Crème" DeMenthe both sending fundraising emails on his behalf to help with recount efforts. Meanwhile, for her part, Murkowski has brought in notorious GOP hatchet man Ben Ginsburg. You may remember Ginsburg from such recounts as "Florida 2000: The Brooks Brothers Riot" and "Dickface Norm Coleman's Dickfaced Adventure: The Whinening." A little late-breaking cat fud!
MN-Gov: Though he trails Dem Mark Dayton by more than 8,700 votes, Tom Emmer (through his lawyer) says he won't forego a recount. Cynical (i.e., sensible) observers imagine that Emmer will pursue even a hopeless recount just to give GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty some more time in office. With the state lege having just flipped to the Republicans, this would give the right-wing wrecking crew some unfettered time at the controls. The incoming state House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, says that even if this scenario came to pass, the Republicans would not "rush to ram something right through." Of course, you trust him, right?
CA-11: Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney's lead over David Harmer has now climbed to 804 votes. A judge also rejected GOP demands that the elections chief for Contra Costa County allow observers to "compare signatures on vote-by-mail ballots with voter affidavit signatures on file in the office." (The Contra Costa portion of the 10th CD went for Obama 56-43.)
CA-20: Republican Andy Vidak has seen his lead shrivel to just 145 votes... but it's Dem Rep. Jim Costa who is in the driver's seat. Huge numbers of ballots remain to be counted in Fresno County (perhaps 50 to 70K), and the Fresno part of this district went for Obama by a two-to-one ratio. Hard to see how Vidak hangs on.
IL-08: Though she picked up 188 votes last week, Rep. Melissa Bean (D) still trails Jim Walsh by 350. According to the AP, "hundreds of provisional and absentee ballots are still being counted in Cook, McHenry and Lake counties," but the count won't be finalized any sooner than Nov. 16th, the deadline for absentees to arrive. Provisional ballots will get counted after that date. In related barf-inducing news, unnamed sources (aka "buzz," according to Politico) are supposedly floating Bean's name to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Board if she doesn't pull this one out. Gack!
KY-06: Andy Barr is down 649 votes to Rep. Ben Chandler (D), but he won't concede until after a recanvass (scheduled for Nov. 12th) is complete. Barr vaguely sounded like he might be interested in a rematch, saying ""the cause will continue... and you can count on me whether I'm in Congress, a citizen, or a candidate for Congress."
NC-02: A lot of roundups keep forgetting this race, but Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge has not conceded to Renee Ellmers - and in fact, he's already filed a request for a recount. As long as the margin stays under 1% (as it is now), Etheridge is automatically entitled to have the votes tallied a second time. Even so, the gap right now is quite wide - 1,646 votes - but it seems like Dems are pinning their hopes on more errors like the one on election night, where Samson County failed to report votes from three of four early voting sites. Once these were added to the tally, Etheridge gained 453 votes. Still, he's got a long way to go.
NY-01: Dem Rep. Tim Bishop's lawyers are apparently headed to court today, seeking a full hand recount of all the ballots cast in this race. (And he's raising money for the cause, too.) As you will recall, Bishop had a 3,400-vote lead on election night, but somehow that has since swung all the way to a 383-vote advantange for Randy Altschuler. New York finally moved to a modern, scantron-type ballot system this year; problems with the transition are being blamed for all kinds of issues. As for absentees, Hotline says: "There are approximately 10,000 absentee ballots still to be counted; 4,200 from voters of parties that endorsed Altschuler and 3,900 from voters of parties that endorsed Bishop."
NY-25: Dem Rep. Dan Maffei trails Ann Marie Buerkle by 659 votes, but the AP says that "more than 7,000 absentee and other ballots remain outstanding and most won't be counted until Nov. 15." Also note that military and overseas ballots have until Nov. 24th to come in, which could be a factor if the race tightens. However, an analysis in AuburnPub.com suggests that if the absentees follow the same pattern as votes cast on election day, Buerkle's lead will actually increase a bit.
TX-27: Dem Rep. Solomon Ortiz is gearing up to request a recount, but this one looks pretty hopeless. There are fewer votes remaining to be counted (and this includes provisionals, which are subject to getting tossed) than separate Ortiz from Blake Farenthold. Oritz is alleging irregularities at the polls, but local officials haven't heard any such reports.
VA-11: As we mentioned yesterday, Republican Keith Fimian is conceding the race to Rep. Gerry Connolly.
WA-02: As we mentioned yesterday, the AP has called the race for Dem Rep. Rick Larsen over John Koster.
Republican Renee Ellmers, who will likely face a recount in her bid to unseat Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), appealed for help Thursday from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The NRCC declined and Ellmers isn't happy about it.
The Republican said she asked the committee for help covering the costs related to a looming recount - Ellmers leads Etheridge by some 1,600 votes and earlier this week the incumbent signaled his intention to request a recount.
After elections officials discovered a counting error in one of the state's counties, the Republican's lead over Etheridge shrunk. The difference between the two is now less than 1 percent of the vote, enabling Etheridge to ask for a recount.
Now, the Ellmers campaign has always had a notoriously frosty relationship with the NRCC, but since when is that a valid reason to cut a seat loose? What the hell is going on here?
• IL-Gov: The DGA is sending 'round a press release congratulating Pat Quinn on his who'da-thunk-it re-election victory. No official call yet, but the trendlines in the count (with a margin now of 20,000 votes) make it pretty clear what's happening. Bill Brady says he isn't ready to concede... yet. UPDATE: CNN has called it.
• CT-Gov: More vacillation in the Connecticut count, this time with Dan Malloy back on top by about 6,000 votes. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with actual counting, but simply with the AP getting its facts straight (it seemed to be missing a large slab of urban and assumedly heavily Democratic votes, mostly from New Haven). Final tallies remain unknown because we're still waiting on Bridgeport (another Dem stronghold), although SoS Susan Bysiewicz has promised results by the end of the day. (Doesn't seem like she'll make it, though.) Relatedly, Dan Debicella in CT-04 is "waiting and seeing" what the Bridgeport situation is before conceding, although that race has already been called against him.
• FL-Gov: This was pretty well decided yesterday, but Alex Sink officially conceded, finalizing the transaction on Rick Scott's self-financed purchase of the gubernatorial election.
• NE-Sen: Ben Nelson says he won't switch parties. (Why the heck would he want to, considering that the Dems still have a Lieberman-proof majority in the Senate, that he's part of? He'd just get teabagged to death in the 2012 GOP primary a la poor Parker Griffith.) It's worth wondering, though, if any House Dems are considering a switch... but, with the possible exception of Dan Boren, all of the most likely suspects have already lost, saving us the trouble of such speculation. UPDATE: Although here's an interesting post-script to the Nelson story: GOP Gov. Dave Heineman, who's led a few hypothetical polls against Nelson for 2012, has already announced that he won't run for the Senate in two years.
• NV-Sen: The one major race where the polls really seemed off was Nevada, where Harry Reid's 4-pt average deficit turned into a 5-point victory and in retrospect, that's easy to explain: pollsters weren't reaching Latinos. Exit polls suggest that Latinos did turn out well in Nevada (thanks in no doubt to the Reid-friendly hotel unions in Las Vegas). Nate Silver graphs the variance in other states with large Latino populations: it may also have played a role in Colorado, although the poll variance wasn't as bad there, though it was enough to predict a Ken Buck victory... and Latino turnout didn't seem to work in Texas, where Rick Perry exceeded polling predictions (and which explains the sudden and probably brief appearance of Rep. Blake Farenthold).
• KY-06: Here's a race that's definitely going to recount. Andy Barr, trailing Ben Chandler by about 600 votes, has formally requested a "routine recanvass."
• NC-02: Here's one more race where we're not quite dead yet. Bob Etheridge hasn't conceded, it turns out, nor should he: he's down only 1,646 votes, after cutting his deficit against Renee Elmers by more than 500 in late counting yesterday.
• NC-11: When Heath Shuler announced that he'd challenge Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, the proper response was laughter, although my main question at the time was whether he planned to challenge her for minority leader. It sounds like, yes, he does still plan to go through with his kooky gambit (made all the kookier because there aren't any core Blue Dogs left besides him who need to follow through on their promises to not vote for Pelosi). Anyway, the scuttlebutt seems to be leaning toward a voluntary sword-falling and a painless transition to Steny Hoyer, in which case the Shuler challenge would be even more pointless.
• WV-01: After maintaining for most of yesterday that he wasn't dead yet (given the narrow margin, currently 1,357), Mike Oliverio did wind up conceding eventually late yesterday.
• Redistricting: As much as the mess in the state legislatures really messes up hopes of wresting an advantage out of the redistricting process, here's some good news: Amendment 6 in Florida surprisingly passed, clearing the super-high 60% hurdle at 63%. This doesn't create a commission, but it does impose requirements that redistricting be done without political consideration (but without violating federal law, namely the Voting Rights Act). However, two U.S. Reps... probably the two in Florida who have the most to lose from having less friendly districts drawn for them... Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart, are challenging the law in court. With the passage of Proposition 20 in California, though, which creates an independent redistricting commission there, it's all kind of a wash, as a less-bad Florida map is balanced out by not being able to aggressively redistrict California. (Similarly, while it takes some sting out of Alex Sink's narrow loss, it also deflates the impact of Jerry Brown's victory.)
KY-Sen: Jack Conway has succeeded in getting a false and misleading ad by the "First Amendment Alliance" pulled off at least one television station, Louisville's Fox 41.
WI-Sen: On the other side of the equation, Russ Feingold is being forced by the NFL to alter an ad which featured some footage of embarrassing end zone victory dances, including Randy Moss taunting Green Bay Packer fans. Could this really have been a mindless goof by Feingold's media team? The Hotline's Tim Alberta had the same thought I did: This sure was a good way to get plenty of free media coverage for this ad. (Judging by the number of Twitter mentions, at least, this ploy worked - if it was indeed the plan.)
AZ-08: The Smart Media Group is reporting that the DCCC has cancelled all of their ad buys in Tucson except for the final week of October. I suppose there are three ways you can interpret this news. The first is that Gabby Giffords is cruising and doesn't need much help. The second I'll call "panzers reconsolidating": She's basically doomed. And the third lies between the two: The D-Trip is performing triage, figuring that Giffords is strong enough to have a chance on her own, while other more fragile campaigns are in greater need of help. Choose your own adventure!
NY-24: Mike Arcuri is a lucky man. As you may recall, he created a new third party just so that he could have an extra ballot line to run on (and perhaps draw in a few votes from people who like him personally but can't stomach the thought of pulling the lever for a Democrat). The problem: He called it the "New York Moderates" party, but state law forbids any party name from including the words "American," 'United States," "National," "New York State," "Empire State," or any abbreviation of those. Fortunately, a court ruled that he was able to retain the line by renaming it just the "Moderates" party.
MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan: $2.1 million raised, "on par with" Roy Blunt
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D): $3.2 million raised, Pat Toomey (R): $3.8 million raised
CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D): $361K raised from 9/16-29, Dan Maes (R): $28K raised, Tom Tancredo (ACP): $149K
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D): $1.6 million raised from 9/3-10/4
CT-Sen: Sources tell Aaron Blake that the DSCC has added $1.2 million to its buy here
OH-01: The Campaign for Working Families throws down $125K for ads to help Steve Chabot (R)
OR-05: CULAC the PAC chips in $34K for mail on behalf of Rep. Kurt Schrader (D)
NV-Sen: Harry Reid's latest is actually half-positive/half-negative, and concludes by calling Sharron Angle "a foreign worker's best friend"; Angle's newest is a race-baity spot that - jeez - features footage of scary brown people sneaking through a fence (wish I were kidding)
PA-Sen: The DSCC also has an ad out that's fairly race-baity, talking about Pat Toomey's support for sending jobs to China - complete with Asian-style gong noises that were embarrassing even when John Hughes brought us Long Duk Dong more than a quarter-century ago
GA-Gov: In a reversal of the usual roles, Republican Nathan Deal paints himself as the friend of teachers (and education in general) in his first attack ad
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo continues to sound like an anodyne Republican in his ads (cut wasteful government, blah blah), and says that Carl Paladino's "anger is not a governing strategy"
AL-05: Steve Raby goes back to his mailbox to criticize Mo Brooks for being a DC tool (and then litters)
CA-45: In this Steve Pougnet ad, little kids singing bowdlerized versions of the "Miss Mary Mack" (Mary Bono Mack, get it?) schoolyard rhyme are annoying
CO-07: In an ad with weak production values, Ryan Frazier attacks Ed Perlmutter for supporting the stimulus and cap-and-trade
FL-12: Dennis Ross recites some conservative pabulum
FL-25: In a minute-long spot, Joe Garcia uses news coverage to revisit the David Rivera ramming-a-delivery-truck-carrying-his-opponents-flyers incident
ID-01: Walt Minnick can't resist hitting the illegal immigration theme again - and he, too, features footage of Hispanic-looking people. Just uck
MN-06: A Tarryl Clark ad with really low production values stands out only because the otherwise serious-sounding female announcer declares: "Michele Bachmann: Not doing [bleep] for the people of the sixth district" (yes, there's an actual bleep sound) [UPDATE: Gah, it's just a fucking web ad.]
NC-02: Bob Etheridge hits one of my favorite attack ad topics: Renee Ellmers' support of a 23% national sales tax
NV-03: As she did in her last ad, Dina Titus compares Joe Heck to Sharron Angle, this time attacking his record on education
NY-13: Big fucking surprise: Despite voting against healthcare reform, Mike McMahon is getting attacked on it anyway - for not supporting repeal, and for just generally siding with Pelosi & Obama. Will Democrats never learn? Don't answer that
NY-20: Chris Gibson attacks Scott Murphy for supporting the stimulus. Man, it was a damn long time ago, but remember how much traction Murphy got last year by attacking Jim Tedisco (lol) for opposing the stimulus? (Not surprised to see the ad in that link has since been removed)
OH-18: Oh man. Clearly polls must be showing Dems that attacks on Republicans for wanting to send jobs overseas must be especially potent, 'cause here's another one, from Zack Space. No gong in this one, though - instead, he features a prototypical Chinese dragon, and then even has the announcer say a mock "thank you" in Chinese! I really can't wait for this election to be over
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
• AK-Sen: Daily Kos just added Scott McAdams to its Orange to Blue list, so if you're still looking to throw some money in his direction, you can do so via Big Orange. Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is trying to gear up her write-in campaign, and with Ted Stevens having been laid to rest this week, she's mulling whether to roll out those ads featuring Stevens that she had ready to go pre-primary but pulled because of his death. This can't be good news for Murkowski, though: Rep. Don Young, more from the Murkowski/Stevens wing of the local GOP than the teabagger wing, is having a bout of self-preservation and is staying neutral, not endorsing anyone in the race. Finally, here's one more page in Joe Miller's ongoing saga of milking the system that he hates so darn much: when new to Alaska (but after he'd bought his expensive house and started working as an attorney), he obtained an indigent hunting/fishing license that required an income of less than $8,200/yr.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell says she attended Oxford. Oh, no, wait, she took a course from something called the Phoenix Institute that "rented space from" Oxford. Why am I not surprised?
• FL-Sen: I always figured that the early love affair between the local teabaggery and Marco Rubio wouldn't last; he seemed more from the mainstream Jeb Bush camp and it seemed more a marriage of convenience based on his charisma but mostly on the fact that he wasn't Charlie Crist. Anyway, he's pretty much severed the relationship and making a break for the establishment with his latest revelation, that he decided several months ago against privatizing Social Security after concluding the idea "doesn't work." (If Ken Buck gets elected, I wonder how long it'll take him to make the same move?)
• IL-Sen: The DSCC is keeping on pouring money into the Land of Lincoln, bolstering Alexi Giannoulias. They're adding another $400K to the pile, for another week on the air.
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is taking the opposite tack, engaging in a little advertisus interruptus and pulling out for a week from Kentucky. (They claim they're doing so from a position of strength, naturally.) Meanwhile, this is kind of small ball ($1,400 in contributions from three guys), but it's still the kind of headline you probably don't want to see if you're Rand Paul, especially once you've made your feelings on the Civil Rights Act clear:
Conway camp calls on Paul to return money from white separatists
• NY-Sen-B: Marist (9/19-22, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parentheses):
Marist gives you a buffet of different numbers of choose from, as it's 54-42 for Gillibrand when leaners are pushed, or it's 55-36 when polling just registered voters (meaning there's an enthusiasm gap worth 8 points here). They also find Chuck Schumer having no problems in the other Senate race, leading Jay Townsend 58-37 among LVs (and 63-32 among RVs).
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson's one act of political participation prior to this year -- testifying before the state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan-supported Wisconsin Child Victims Act -- is getting a second look in the press. His main interest in opposing the bill was that it could lead to corporations or other business entities being held liable for acts of employees, worried about the "economic havoc" it would create (and worried that those meddling "trial lawyers" would benefit). Think Progress has video of the testimony.
• WV-Sen: This seems like a new one to me... John Raese is actually paying people to write letters to the editor on his behalf. Not just offering them McCain Bucks that can't be redeemed for anything in the real world, but running an actual contest giving money to people who get the most letters published. Also, I'll give John Raese credit for being himself even when he's being followed around by reporters. Here's his reaction to finding out that the NRA endorsement went to Joe Manchin:
Raese speaks angrily into the phone, his words full of threat: "Tell them that I have an A plus rating with them, and that if they are fair they should include that. Tell them about the polling. Tell them I'm riding an elephant." Raese pulls the cell phone away from his ear, hands it back to Patrick the driver, and says "That has made it a lot harder."
• CT-Gov: Little known fact: did you know that Jodi Rell still hasn't endorsed Tom Foley yet, despite only weeks to go? Foley's camp is saying it's imminent, but it looks like Rell has summoned up even less enthusiasm in the general as she did for her Lt. Gov., Michael Fedele, in the GOP primary.
• FL-Gov: Here's an interesting endorsement for Alex Sink: she got the backing of term-limited Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Villalobos is also backing Charlie Crist (and even Dan Gelber in the AG race), so this exactly a sign of the Republican edifice collapsing, though.
• IA-Gov, SD-AL: Add one more to the long list of Dems who are getting a nice NRA endorsement as their box-of-Rice-a-Roni-and-can-of-Turtle-Wax-style parting gift on their way out the studio door. Chet Culver just got the backing of the gun lobby. (One state to the north, they also just backed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today.)
• CA-44: PPP for Democrats.com (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bill Hedrick (D): 38
Ken Calvert (R-inc): 49
Despite being woefully underfunded, Bill Hedrick's keeping the race competitive in his rematch against Ken Calvert (recall that he almost won, out of nowhere, in 2008). How he makes up that last 12 points in this climate, though, I'm not sure.
• FL-22: Harstad Research Group for Project New West (9/20-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 43
There's lots of back-and-forth in the polling of the 22nd, with each side sporting their own internal with a lead in the last week. Dem pollster Harstad weighs in with another one going in Ron Klein's column.
• KS-03: Moore money, Moore problems? Retiring Rep. Dennis Moore is still busy emptying out his campaign coffers, transferring $100K more to the Kansas Democratic party (on top of a previous $100K in June). That's probably with the understanding that the money will be used to pay for their newest mailer in support of Stephene Moore, running to succeed her husband.
• NH-01, NH-02: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 40
Frank Guinta (R): 50
Ann McLane Kuster (D): 36
Charlie Bass (R): 38
Here are some unusual results from ARG! (although should we expect anything else?): they find Carol Shea-Porter getting keelhauled in the 1st, while the open seat battle in the 2nd is a swashbuckling battle (contrary to other polls we've seem of these races, where the 1st has been a tossup or a narrow CSP advantage while the 2nd has looked bad).
• PA-08: I've been patiently waiting here for actual toplines for more than a day, but it seems like they aren't forthcoming... so I'll just let you know there's a Harstad Research Group poll (on behalf of SEIU and VoteVets, not the Patrick Murphy campaign) out in the 8th that gives Murphy a 3-point lead over Mike Fitzpatrick and an 8-point lead among voters who voted in 2006. It was taken Sept. 20-22.
• WI-07: Garin Hart Yang for Julie Lassa (9/26-27, likely voters, in parentheses):
Julie Lassa (D): 41
Sean Duffy (R): 42
Gary Kauther (I): 7
I don't know how good a sign this is, releasing an internal where you're still trailing in a Democratic-leaning district. Lassa needs to let the donors know she's still in this, I suppose.
• WV-03: Global Strategy Group for DCCC (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Well, here's one district where all the polls (even the one from AFF) are consistent in showing a nearly-20 point edge for long-time Dem Nick Rahall.
• NY-St. Sen.: Four polls from Siena of key New York State Senate races have, on the balance, bad news for the Democrats: Darrell Aubertine, the first Democrat in several geological epochs to hold SD-48 in the North Country, is trailing GOP opponent Pattie Ritchie for re-election, 48-45. Brian Foley, in Long Island-based SD-4, is also in a tough race, leading Lee Zeldin 44-43. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents are looking fairly safe: Frank Padavan, who barely survived 2008 in Dem-leaning Queens-based SD-11, leads ex-city councilor Tony Avella 56-32, while in SD-44, Hugh Farley leads Susan Savage 55-37. (I'd rather see them poll the open seat races; that's where the Republicans are at more risk.)
• Mayors: There aren't a lot of big-city mayoral races where the decisive vote is in November (most were wrapped up in the primaries), but one interesting one is Louisville, where the longtime Dem incumbent Jerry Abramson is leaving in order to run for LG next year. Dem Greg Fischer (who you may remember from the 2008 Senate primary) is beating Republican city councilor Hal Heiner 48-42, according to SurveyUSA.
• DLCC: You probably saw yesterday that the DLCC is out with a first round of 20 "essential races" for controlling key state legislative chambers. Well, over in diaries, now they're soliciting suggestions for further additions to the list, so please add some suggestions from races that are near and dear to your own hearts.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce, trying to salvage this dwindling race, tries to hang the "career politician" tag on Barbara Boxer
• CO-Sen: The DSCC goes after Ken Buck on Social Security again
• CO-Sen: The NRSC runs an anti-Michael Bennet ad, hitting him on his support for health care reform
• DE-Sen: The DSCC crams as much Christine O'Donnell insanity as it can into 30 seconds
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk goes back to where he began, with another bio spot of small town boy made good
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's newest ad keeps on trying to tie Pat Toomey to Wall Street
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese for supporting eliminating the minimum wage and his own ooopses at his own company
• CT-Gov: The DGA hits Tom Foley on outsourcing in his former career as textile magnate
• MI-Gov: The RGA hits Virg Bernero on spending as mayor (OMG! he spent $1,277 on pencils!)
• NM-Gov: Another Susana Martinez attack ad hits Diane Denish for some bungled solar power thingamajig
• TX-Gov: Here's a mindblowing stat: the DGA has never paid for advertising in Texas... until now. They're out with an attack on Rick Perry, calling him what nobody wants to be called this cycle ("career politican")
• KY-03: Todd Lally's out with two ads, one a bio spot, the other a pretty funny attack on John Yarmuth using the K-Tel greatest hits album motif
• MI-07: Tim Walberg has to call on his mom for help: not to do any polling on his behalf, just to appear in an ad about Social Security
• NC-02: This was probably inevitable... AJS weighs into the 2nd with an ad using Bob Etheridge going apeshit on a poor innocent little tracker
• NC-11: Repent now or Jeff Miller will forever cast you into the fiery pits of Nancy Pelosi's hell!
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy touts how well he cooperated with George W. Bush! (on Medicare Part D, though, which probably plays well among North Dakota's aging population)
• PA-08: Outsourcing must be polling well for the Dems these days, as Patrick Murphy hits Mike Fitzpatrick on that
• VA-05: Indie candidate Jeff Clark scrounged up enough money to advertise? And he's attacking GOPer Robert Hurt? That's good enough for me
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 50%, Tom Foley (R) 40%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• Fox/Pulse (aka Rasmussen):
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 44%, Dan Maes (R) 15%, Tom Tancredo (C) 34%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 8%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 42%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 45%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%
DE-Sen: Interesting - Mike Castle isn't ruling out a write-in bid. If he does pull the trigger, let's see if the NRSC and the Senate GOP caucus have the stomach to tell Castle to fuck off. It'd be a great test of their will - and their willingness to embrace Christine O'Donnell.
FL-Sen: Al Gore Alert! In a rare sighting on the campaign trail, Al Gore (still my president!) will headline a rally for Kendrick Meek in Tampa on September 30th. Have we seen Gore do events for any other candidates this cycle?
KY-Sen: Objectively pro-methamphetamine senate candidate Rand Paul keeps running into trouble over his views on drugs. Republican Clay County Sherriff Kevin Johnson endorsed Paul after Paul told him he supported Operation UNITE, a federally-funded anti-drug task force. Paul's hostility to UNITE, though, is what's gotten him into hot water in the first place - and amazingly enough, when asked to confirm his pledge to Johnson, Paul's campaign refused to back it up! I had always hoped/prayed/expected that Rand Paul was such a hardcore libertarian that he'd rigidly - and publicly - cling to beliefs that halfway-competent politicians would be smart enough to elide, deny, or just plain hide. I just figured it would be something like the gold standard, not, you know, meth.
Surprisingly, Paul hassmelled the glove belonging to a very different interest group, the neocons. They mistrust Paul's views on Israel and probably just on the general concept of randomly invading countries and killing people.
AR-Gov: That Ipsos poll which showed Blanche Lincoln "only" 14 points into her political grave also has a gubernatorial component. Dem Gov. Mike Beebe is beating Republican Jim Keet by a 55-37 margin among LVs. You want an enthusiasm gap? Beebe wins 58-30 among RVs. (It was 57-35 among RVs back in July.)
CO-Gov: God, I love the smell of ratfucking in the morning. So, we all know about Scott McInnis's now-legendary implosion thanks to his plagiarism/theft scandal, but Democrats had a big hand in consigning him to the dustbin of history. It turns out that a group called the Colorado Freedom Fund spent half a million bucks on ads blistering McInnis during the primary, in order to help bolster Dan Maes. The DGA was a big contributor to this effort, chipping in $150K, while unions and wealthy philanthropist Pat Stryker gave the rest. Excellent fucking work, guys.
MN-Gov: The RGA is funneling $428K to a pro-Tom Emmer group, while the DGA sent a quarter mil to an org helping Dem Mark Dayton.
TX-Gov: Rick Perry may not be the suckiest suck who ever sucked, but you'll have to agree that he is pretty sucky. The Texas Farm Bureau finally agrees, too. Though they've always endorsed him in the past (and have always endorsed Republicans for governor), they're giving up on his sorry ass this year and staying neutral in the race. (They previously endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison against him in the primary.) It probably didn't help that a Perry spokesman, in an attempt to bolster his boss's teabagger/secessionista cred, derided the bureau as "an insurance company that supported the bailout."
IL-14: We could call this the Hypocrisy State Project and still have tons to write about. The latest chapter in this never-ending saga is penned by Republican Randy Hultgren, who was responsible for marketing his investment firm's funds. One of the firm's offerings invested entirely in bailout-backed securities, which were described by one Wall Streeter as "an incredibly free lunch." This is a two-fer, because this fund was also based in the Cayman Islands, to take advantage of lax tax laws, of course.
MA-10: Massachusetts, at least, is one place where Republicans still need to run away from their own party in order to be electable. So it's no surprise to see Jeffrey Perry declare that he doesn't want Sarah Palin showing up in his district. (Don't worry, bud, I think you're safe.) Of course, Perry isn't exactly from the non-crazy wing of the Republican Party (to the extent there still is such a thing), since he has teabagger ties himself.
MI-07: Rossman Group/Team Telcom (9/20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Schauer (D-inc): 38
Tim Walberg (R): 42
NY-18: This interview with Jim Russell - remember him from yesterday? the guy whose writings have been favorably cited by the KKK? - is just brutal. He doesn't disavow anything. So we've gotta ask: Why isn't the press giving this guy the Alvin Greene treatment? After all, Greene's weirdest idea was to sell bobblehead dolls. Russell thinks there are too many Jews. Anyhow, the Westchester GOP is trying to get Russell off the ballot through legal means, and they say if they can't, they'll run a write-in candidate.
NY-19: A judge ruled against a group trying to knock Nan Hayworth off the Independence Party line for a lack of valid signatures. Hayworth gets to keep the line, while incumbent John Hall has the Working Families line.
NY-23: With the vote count all but completed, it looks like Matt Doheny is (still) the winner of the Republican primary, but Doug Hoffman ain't conceding yet. I guess he feels burned after what happened in the special election, where he tried to "un-concede" after some counting errors emerged (but still lost anyway). The vote count does not officially get certified until the 27th, but Doheny could declare victory (and/or Hoffman could concede) before then. Hoffman still hasn't said anything about how vigorously (if at all) he plans to wage war from the Conservative Party line.
PA-10: Another day, another NRA endorsement for a Dem. Chris Carney is the latest in a string of mostly-conservative Democrats to rack up the group's support, even though they labeled him a "true enemy" of guns just four years ago.
TN-09: Heh - the Memphis Flyer commissioned a poll by Yacoubian Research, which found Steve Cohen leading Charlotte Bergmann 66-23. There were only 205 respondents, and note that we previously flagged a Yacoubian poll of the primary for attempting to screen voters by asking them if they lived in the 9th CD - how many people actually know what district they live in, by number? But whatever, Steve Cohen ain't losing.
VA-09: Rick Boucher successfully got an ad by Americans for Job Security pulled off the air for making a misleading statements. The ad said "Rick Boucher supports Nancy Pelosi 96 percent of the time," but this claim was based on the Washington Post's "party voting" score, which Boucher rightly argued does not measure "support for Pelosi." (A good time to remind folks that it's much, much easier to get third-party ads yanked because stations are liable for defamation when they run these ads. Media outlets are immune from liability for candidate ads.)
SSP TV (by James L.):
LA-Sen: "Diaper" David Vitter hits Charlie Melancon for attending a fundraiser in Canada, of all places.
AR-01: Chad Causey's latest spot takes a shotgun approach to messaging, touting his heritage, his support for a balanced budget amendment and a paycut for Congress, while hitting Republican Rick Crawford over the bad kind of SSP and for his support of a 23% national sales tax
FL-22: Allen West takes on Ron Klein over a Florida Democratic Party mailer that boneheadedly revealed West's Social Security number
GA-08: Dem Rep. Jim Marshall goes heavy negative on GOP state Rep. Austin Scott on immigration - not once, but twice
MI-07: GOP douche Tim Walberg says that Dem Rep. Mark Schauer is spending America into ruin, and also makes the dubious claim that he "strongly supports" Social Security. The ad, a coordinated expenditure partially paid for by the RNC, is airing in the Lansing media market and cost $85,000.
MI-15: John Dingell goes negative on Republican Rob Steele over his support from the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Wall Street, while Steele has gone up with an ad of his own touting his record as a physician and poking Dingell over spending
NC-02: Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge's latest ad features the testimonials of locals who say that Etheridge saved their jobs
OH-12: Dem Paula Brooks touts her record on the Franklin County Commission while spilling marbles all over her kitchen island
OR-05: GOPer Scott Bruun will stop the spending... except when it comes to restoring Medicare cuts, apparently
SC-02: Libruhl Rob Miller and libruhl Nancy Pelosi will liberally kill all your jobs; meanwhile, Joe Wilson still sounds like he uses a speech synthesizer instead of a functional set of vocal cords. Seriously, what a creepy-sounding asshole.
VA-09: Republican Morgan Griffith plays a clip of Barack Obama saying "I love Rick Boucher" - four times in thirty seconds
• AK-Sen: If anything makes clear the depth of the NRSC's change of allegiance from Lisa Murkowski to Joe Miller, check out the list of five different NRSC-organized, Senator-filled fundraisers that'll be held on Miller's behalf next week. Murkowski, meanwhile, is shrugging off the loss of her leadership post (which went to John Barrasso) and ranking committee position, seeming more focused on the mechanics of her write-in bid. She's going to have to do a little better than this, though (although Alaska doesn't require precise spelling of write-ins): the original version of the ad telling people about her write-in bid directed people to a URL that misspelled her name (LisaMurkwski.com). (I wonder if some cybersquatter has already grabbed that URL by now?)
• AR-Sen: Ipsos, on behalf of Reuters, is out with a look at Arkansas, a Senate race that's hardly worth looking at anymore. Nevertheless, they show a closer race than anybody else has lately: Blanche Lincoln trails John Boozman by "only" 14, a 53-39 gap among LVs. Lincoln's favorables seem to be improving a bit too, but time's running out for a full-fledged comeback.
• CO-Sen: Here's a tantalizing tidbit, although it doesn't have any bearing on the current race, just likely to exacerbate the seemingly-escalating war between the NRSC and Jim DeMint. It turns out the NRSC gave the maximum $42K to Jane Norton, just four days before the GOP primary. Not much of a vote of confidence in Ken Buck, is it?
• NH-Sen: Unfortunately, where many Republican primaries have dissolved into acrimony afterwards, we're seeing lots of unity in New Hampshire. Ovide Lamontagne is helping to raise funds for narrow victor Kelly Ayotte at a DC fundraiser scheduled for Sep. 27.
• WA-Sen: Considering the play this has gotten in the local press, this small comment on a parochial issue looks to be a major faceplant for Dino Rossi... he dared depart from the party line on the mighty Boeing. He suggested that Boeing should get no favorable treatment from the Pentagon in its competition with Airbus (whose efforts are subsidized by European governments) over who gets to build the next-generation Air Force tanker. (To put that in context, that would be like a candidate going to Iowa and dissing ethanol, or going to West Virginia and dissing coal.) Boeing had already explicitly endorsed Patty Murray, but now she has a nuclear-grade weapon to use against Rossi in the Boeing-dependent swingy suburbs.
And here's a hat tip to Horsesass's Goldy, who spots some interesting details in the fine print of that Elway Poll from last week. People were surprised when that CNN/Time poll found a reverse enthusiasm gap for the Dems in Washington (with Murray faring better among LVs than RVs), but Elway actually shows something similar. The 50-41 topline was LVs, but pushed leaners. Include only the "definite voters" and that pushes up to a 13-pt lead for Murray (43-30). I don't have one good explanation for this phenomenon, but I'd guess it's a combination of a) Dems being more diehard liberal in Washington and less swingy and/or sporadic than in other states, b) the economy being somewhat better in Washington than many other places, and c) teabagger ennui after Clint Didier lost the primary to establishment leftover Dino Rossi.
• NM-Gov: We've got dueling banjos internals in the Land of Enchantment. Susana Martinez whipped it out first, rolling out a POS poll from last week with a 50-40 lead for her. Not to be outdone, Diane Denish pulled out her own poll from GQR from the same timeframe, showing that Martinez is leading "only" 49-44. Um... take that?
• NY-Gov: Rick Lazio is hedging on what exactly he's going to do with his spot on the Conservative Party line, sounding like he wants to wait and see how Carl Paladino fares before making up his mind. Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo got a pretty significant endorsement, from NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, which may sway a few moderate indies but is probably mostly helpful from a GOTV organizational standpoint within the city. Meanwhile, you might have also heard something about a poll of this race today? I've heard a few rumblings. Anyway, we're deferring discussion of today's Quinnipiac poll until the Siena and SurveyUSA polls, due tomorrow, also come out, offering us a better yardstick.
• RI-Gov, RI-01: Quest for WJAR-TV (9/15-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 36
John Robitaille (R): 13
Lincoln Chafee (I): 24
Ken Block (M): 2
David Cicilline (D): 49
John Loughlin (R): 26
This is probably the biggest lead we've seen for Frank Caprio in the Governor's race, and also the first post-primary poll of the race in the 1st, which looks to be an easy race for Providence mayor David Cicilline despite being an open seat in a dangerous year. The poll also finds the Dems easily winning the LG, AG, SoS, and RI-02 races.
• TN-Gov: Crawford Johnson and Northcott for WSMV-TV (registered voters, trendlines from early July):
Mike McWherter (D): 24 (34)
Bill Haslam (R): 55 (60)
Undecided: 19 (6)
I'm not going out on a limb by saying we can expect Bill Haslam to win the Tennessee governor's race. The only odd thing here is that this is WSMV's second poll of the race, and the number of undecideds has shot up dramatically since July (of course, it's a mystery how there were so few back then).
• FL-22: Anzalone-Liszt for Ron Klein (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 40
While this isn't an awe-inspiring lead for Klein in his own internal, it's a good topline and there are some interesting numbers in the fine print. Most notably, West's unfavorables have tripled (to 26%) since May as people have started paying attention.
• MA-04: OMG, even Barney Frank's in trouble! (In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.) (Or was I?) Anyway, the Republican candidate running against Frank, Sean Bielat, is out with a poll from GOP pollster On Message giving Frank a 48-38 lead over Bielat. I suppose a ceiling of 38% is plausible for a no-name GOPer in this part of Massachusetts, which went 63% for Obama but includes a lot of exurbs and went narrowly for Scott Brown in the special election, but I'm unclear on how he gets much further than that.
• PA-03: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, registered voters, no trendlines):
Kathy Dahlkemper (D-inc): 38
Mike Kelly (R): 44
This seems to be the first truly independent poll of this race, although we've seen various internals and Republican third-party polls all showing Dahlkemper in trouble, though not always losing. Franklin & Marshall opts for the "losing" side, although it's slightly less severe among RVs (42-38).
• VA-05: Benenson Strategy Group for Tom Perriello (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Perriello (D): 44
Rob Hurt (R): 46
Jeff Clark (I): 4
Not much difference here than that DCCC poll by Global Strategy Group a few weeks ago that also saw Perriello down by 2. Again, not the most appetizing numbers for rolling out when it's your own internal, but at least it's some pushback against those SurveyUSA numbers.
• WA-09: Benenson Strategy Group for Adam Smith (9/18-20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Adam Smith (D): 54
Dick Muri (R): 35
Hmmm, speaking of pushback against SurveyUSA numbers, here's an internal from the Adam Smith camp (who were seen as being in a close race in a public poll from over the weekend). Now these are the kind of internal poll numbers we like to see... although the very fact that Adam Smith should have to be releasing internal polls in the first place is, well, a sign of the times.
• DCCC: Here's some interesting money shuffling from the DCCC, which might portend an increased focus on GOTV. A CQ piece detailing some miscellany from their report this month included a number of transfers from the DCCC to state Democratic party committees. That includes $196K to Ohio, $142K to Arizona, and $132K to Arizona.
• American Crossroads: Wasn't the "Crossroads" myth about selling your soul to the devil? At any rate, Politico is out with a nauseating story that's a stark counterpoint to the normal old committee numbers that we released this morning: while the Dems have advantages at the committee level, they're getting crushed in outside TV spending by third-party groups, to the tune of $23.6 million for GOP ads to $4.8 million for Dem ads. (Of course, some of that is money that in previous cycles would have gone to the RNC, which is way out of whack (or "wack," as Michael Steele might say) and unable to do much with its usual task of helping state committees... making the GOP more reliant than ever on hoping that their air saturation can overcome disadvantages in the ground game.)
The largest of these groups, of course, is American Crossroads, which is out with six new attack ads in different Senate races: Illinois ($482K), Kentucky ($235K), Nevada ($320K), New Hampshire ($643K), Ohio ($260K), and Pennsylvania ($226K). I know the teabaggers like to think that when the 2010 election is written in the history books, the story will be about some sort of populist uprising, but more likely, their useful idiocy will be long forgotten and the story will be about the uprising of a dozen or so billionaires, leveraging tens of millions on ads in order to save themselves hundreds of billions in taxes.
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: The state Democratic party goes after Linda McMahon, looking at job cuts she oversaw at WWE
• MO-Sen: The DSCC wades back into Missouri, looking at how Roy Blunt keeps his corruption all in the family
• MD-Gov: A DGA-allied group hits Bob Ehrlich for being in the pocket of utilities during and after his gubernatorial term
• IL-10: Dan Seals goes negative against Bob Dold!, hitting him on social security and abortion rights
• IL-14: Nancy Pelosi's coming for you! Booogetyboogetyboogety! (or so says Randy Hultgren's second ad)
• NC-02: Renee Elmers found the money to run an ad? Well, it is cable only... Anyway, it's about the Burlington Coat Factory mosque, despite that Bob Etheridge says he doesn't support it
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski again goes negative on Lou Barletta on the bread and butter stuff, hitting for him opposition to a State Department security forces training center for the district
• PA-17: Even Tim Holden's hitting the airwaves with two different ads, one that's a soft bio spot for himself, and then an attack on his opponent's role in legislative pay raises
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's second ad is against negative against Dave Reichert, especially for opposing financial reform
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 34%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 54%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 47%, Meg Whitman (R) 46%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 27%, Paul LePage (R) 45%, Eliot Cutler (I) 14%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 38%, Rick Snyder (R) 51%
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D-inc) 58%, Jay Townsend (R) 36%
• AK-Sen: Two positive developments in the Alaska Senate race, as Scott McAdams seeks to introduce himself in this suddenly-competitive race. He was the recipient of a Mark Begich-headlined fundraiser yesterday in Washington DC, and he's also out with a radio ad stressing his Alaskan roots and that he'll keep fighting for "schools, hospitals, roads, and other nuts and bolts" - both key ways to differentiate himself from Joe Miller. As for Lisa Murkowski's plans, she's saying that she'll make her intentions known by Friday whether she wants to make a write-in bid (but her plans to return to DC might be a "no" tea leaf).
• DE-Sen: After running far, far away from Christine O'Donnell last night, the NRSC has done an about-face today, giving her the maximum $42K (with Mitch McConnell chipping in his own $5K). I'd be surprised if they give any more than that; this seems like an attempt to placate the base before they go ballistic. Mitt Romney is also backing O'Donnell and giving his own $5K, apparently more worried about getting past the base in the 2012 GOP primary than support for O'Donnell might look for him in the 2012 general. Meanwhile, for those hoping for outright support for Chris Coons from Mike Castle, the Castle camp has said there won't be an endorsement. (Assistance can take a variety of other forms, though, that aren't as likely to be apparent.) Finally, if you're wondering about how Christine O'Donnell sees herself within the Middle Earth context, now you can find out.
• NH-Sen: Although New Hampshire recount law would allow Ovide Lamontagne to seek a recount (since he finished within 1.5% of the total votes cast), he just opted against such an action, conceding the race to Kelly Ayotte. He had until the end of the day to request it.
• AK-Gov: It's the last day to get his name on the ballot in Alaska in any capacity (and not really at issue, since the AIP and Libertarians weren't open to subbing him as their candidate). That leaves 2nd place GOP gubernatorial finisher Bill Walker with a write-in bid as his only option, too, and he sounds like such a bid is "unlikely."
• CA-Gov: I don't know if all is truly well now between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown, or Clinton is just feeling that he's adequately established himself as the alpha dog in the wake of Brown's capitulation following their ill-advised sparring, but Clinton gave his endorsement to Brown. It remains to be seen what exactly Clinton does on Brown's behalf, though.
• CO-Gov: Tom Tancredo is able to stay on the ballot, said a U.S. District Court judge yesterday. He'd been the subject of a challenge from local GOPers, but the judge ruled that it wasn't relevant that Tancredo had been a member of the Republican Party up until launching his Constitution Party bid.
• FL-Gov: The DGA just plowed $1 million into the Florida governor's race, showing that they indeed think this (thanks to Rick Scott's presence) is one of their best pickup opportunities but also that the route to doing so will be through a whole lot of money.
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal is fighting back against reports that he's in such financial disarray right now that he might need to sell his house to avoid default on a large business loan. The $2.3 million loan is due on Feb. 1, which exceeds the Deal family's net worth. (This was an investment in a business started by his daughter which failed completely; it's entirely separate from the family auto salvage business that's at the heart of the Ethics complaint that chased him out of the House.)
• MD-Gov: Looks like we won't have any lingering bad feelings here, unlike a lot of other establishment/Tea Party GOP primaries: Brian Murphy, who lost badly to Bob Ehrlich, has offered his endorsement to Ehrlich "if he's willing to accept it."
• DSCC: I guess Charles Schumer looked at yesterday's election results and decided he didn't have much to worry about in November from Jay Townsend. He just transferred $1 million to the DSCC from his own cash yesterday, on top of a previous $1 million in August. That leaves him with "only" about $22 million CoH... about the same amount of cash on hand that the DSCC has!
• DCCC, NRCC: The DCCC and NRCC are out with slew of independent expenditures advertisements. (Expect to see that phrase in every digest for the next month and a half.) The DCCC rolled out three new IEs in HI-01, MI-01, and AL-02. The NRCC's buy is in 10 districts: most significantly in IN-02 (for $135K), but also AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, MS-01, TX-17, VA-05, WI-07 (for $79K), and TN-08 (for $105K). If you want more details on the NRCC's bid, you can check out the actual FEC filing.
• Self-funders: The Wall Street Journal has a helpful rundown on how self-funders are faring this year. As with, well, pretty much every other year, they're faring quite poorly. Of the 10 biggest self-funders in this cycle's Senate races, only three actually are still running (Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina, and Ron Johnson); the other seven (Jeff Greene, Steve Pagliuca, Bill Binnie, David Malpass, Sue Lowden, Jim Bender, and Terrence Wall) all fell by the wayside, often in spectacular fashion. Same story in the House, where only three of the top 10 self-funders (Tom Ganley, Randy Altschuler, and Matt Doheny) are still functional.
• Redistricting: Any SSP readers out in Arizona? Here's your chance to get out from behind Dave's App and actually get your hands on the real thing! The state's nonpartisan redistricting commission is seeking applications from the public for appointment to the 5-member commission.
• SSP TV:
• 60+ Assoc.: The health care astroturfers are running anti-Dem ads in WI-03, WI-08, NY-01, NY-20, and PA-10
• AFF: AFF launches a total $2.3 million buy in seven Dem districts: AL-02, GA-08, MI-01, MI-07, NJ-03, SC-05, and WV-01
• American Crossroads: Rove, Inc., is spending $330K on a MO-Sen ad and $550K on a CO-Sen ad
• FL-Sen: The US Chamber of Commerce hits Charlie Crist, pointing to his many flip-flops
• NV-Sen: The Sharron Angle camp has another anti-Harry Reid ad, calling him "the best friend an illegal immigrant ever had"
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand's out with her first ad, more or less explicitly introducing herself despite her two years or service
• NC-02: Bob Etheridge isn't leaving anything to chance this year, rolling out an ad that's mostly a pleasant bio spot
• OH-18: I mentioned Zack Space's anti-NAFTA ad yesterday, but here's an actual link to the ad
• PA-06: Jim Gerlach's first ad has him stepping away from the Republican label, saying he's "an independent voice for taxpayers"
• PA-10: Chris Carney's ad goes there, hitting Tom Marino on his ties to sketchy casino entrepreneur Louis DeNaples
• SC-05: Mick Mulvaney's new ad hits John Spratt for having gone native in Washington
• WI-07: Is the DCCC taking a page from the Fred Davis "Celebrity" ad that seemed to bizarrely work against Obama? Their new ad against Sean Duffy is rife with clips from his days on The Real World
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 23%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 41%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• VT-Gov: Peter Shumlin (D) 49%, Brian Dubie (R) 46%
• VT-Sen: Patrick Leahy (D) 62%, Len Britton (R) 32%
WV-Sen: Gov. Joe Manchin is holding a press conference at 10am today to announce his intentions with regard to the special election for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's now-vacant senate seat. Apparently, Manchin is paying for a live satellite feed, leading Mike Memoli to quip that this has to mean he's running.
OH-Gov: Is this really the right way to be doing things? The Cleveland Plain-Dealer explains John Kasich's strategy for dealing with the media:
Until now, Kasich has run a low-profile race with the exception of showing up on national Fox radio and television programs. His campaign advisors repeatedly dodge or refuse to answer questions from local media covering the race.
Kasich must know it. Even as one of his spokesmen tried to pull him away from the media on Monday, Kasich held his ground and with one parting shot vowed to be more accessible.
"There is this perception in some quarters that Kasich is not available. You think I am not available you call me," he said. "Because I don't think I've ever turned down any of your interviews, unless they are just stupid questions."
Uh, no. It's not the right way. And nor is Kasich's first ad, which we discussed yesterday, where he basically repeats Ted Strickland's (dead-on) accusations against him. I've learned from a source that Kasich's ad buy is actually for real - about $200K over three weeks, in Cincy and Columbus - but I don't know if I'd be too unhappy about that if I were the Strickland team. Kasich is proving to be his own worst enemy.
TX-Gov: File this under "TX-Gov, 2006": Rick Perry just settled a lawsuit with Chris Bell, his Democratic opponent from the last time Perry sought re-election, for some $426,000. Bell had accused Perry of trying to mask the source of a $1 million donation from Bob Perry, the kind of Swift Boat pond scum, in the waning days of the 2006 race.
Meanwhile, Obama alert! The POTUS is coming to Texas on August 9th to do two fundraisers, one for the DNC and one for the DSCC. I'm filing this under TX-Gov, though, because Dem gubernatorial candidate Bill White says he has no plans to attend either event.
ID-01: It was a bridge too far, even for Walt Minnick. The Democratic frosh is rejecting the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, on account of their refusal to refudiate racist jerkwad Mark Williams. (Click the link if you really need the backstory.) Minnick is still touting his support from local teabaggers, though.
NC-02: Remember Renee Ellmers? I don't, either, but fortunately Politico reminds us she's the GOPer who was hoping to capitalize on Bob Etheridge's seriously over-the-top response to those weirdo Republican kids who were trying to videotape him doing something embarrassing (boy did they ever). But as one brave anonymous consultant says, Ellmers is clearly "not ready for prime time": she utterly failed to capitalize on the gift she was handed and has only $42,000 in the bank, while Etheridge has $1.2 million.
NY-01: Good news: Rep. Tim Bishop scored the Independence Party line in his bid for re-election. Bishop also has the Working Families Party line.
NY-14: If there's one thing Reshma Saujani is good at, it's protesting too much. She's as touchy about her Wall Street connections as John Kasich, claiming that "only" 25% of her donors in 2Q work in the banking industry. Justin Elliott at Salon crunched the numbers and found that this actually amounted to a full 48% of Saujani's cash haul - even worse than the one-third I calculated represented her share from financiers in the first quarter. Another Salon writer, Alex Pareene, also points out how whack-ass Saujani's messaging has been, trying to downplay her own extreme reliance on Wall Street while attacking Maloney for raising money from from financial types. Moreover, as Liz Benjamin details, Saujani has had a high burn rate ($1.2 million raised, $770K spent, and no TV as yet), and only $272K of her $428K on hand is primary money. The rest is only good for a phantom general election.
NY-20: More good Independence Party news: Rep. Scott Murphy will have the IP line free and clear. Republican Chris Gibson had hoped to challenge Murphy for the line in a primary, but the party refused to give Gibson the necessary "certificate of authorization" (known to hardcore NY junkies as a "Wilson-Pakula") that allows candidates to run on the line of a party they are not a member of.
PA-07: Biden AND Pelosi alert! The fearsome twosome did a fundraiser in Philly yesterday that raised $250,000. Half will go to Bryan Lentz's campaign coffers and half will go to the D-Trip.
VA-02: Republican Scott Rigell, trailing Rep. Glenn Nye by about a million bucks in the cash department, is dumping another $500K of his own money into his campaign, according to a spokesman. That brings his total self-loans to a pretty hefty $1.4 million.
WI-07: An interesting catch from WisPolitics: Just a week before announcing his retirement, Rep. Dave Obey spent $30,000 on polling. That means he took some very thorough surveys before deciding to hang up his spurs. He also still has a million bucks on hand - which will hopefully be making its way to the DCCC before long.
NY-AG: Definitely down in the weeds, but this is SSP, after all: SurveyUSA has a poll of the New York Attorney General's race, a seat that's open this year because the sitting one-term AG, Andrew Cuomo, is running for governor. Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice is the clear frontrunner with 32%. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and state Sen. Eric Schneiderman are both at 9, while wealthy trial lawyer Sean Coffey and former state Ins. Comm'r (not an elected job)/former Securities Bureau chief at the AG's office Eric Dinallo are both at 7. Part of the reason I'm posting this, though, is because I genuinely have no idea who I want to support. So I'm asking the New Yorkers here: who are you backing in this race, and why?