Here's the last batch of 10 of the Hill House polls by Penn Schoen Berland. The sample periods were a mix of Oct. 16-19 and Oct. 19-21, with each sample with a 4.9% MoE. With previous rounds focusing on freshmen, open seats, and sophomores, this one deals with some of the most endangered veterans:
• CO-03: John Salazar (D-inc) 43%, Scott Tipton (R) 47%
• FL-02: Allen Boyd (D-inc) 38%, Steve Southerland 50%
• GA-08: Jim Marshall (D-inc) 37%, Austin Scott 50%
• IN-09: Baron Hill (D-inc) 46%, Todd Young (R) 44%
• IA-03: Leonard Boswell (D-inc) 49%, Brad Zaun (R) 37%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 44%
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski (D-inc) 43%, Lou Barletta (R) 48%
• SC-05: John Spratt (D-inc) 39%, Mick Mulvaney (R) 49%
• TX-17: Chet Edwards (D-inc) 40%, Bill Flores (R) 52%
So, 4 out of 10 isn't bad, considering the crowd we're looking at here (including the DOA-for-months Chet Edwards and Allen Boyd). Especially noteworthy is IA-03... who would have thought, even a few months ago, that chronically underperforming Leonard Boswell would be well on his way to re-election and possibly even not the most endangered Iowa Dem?
What's the overall damage? 31 of the total 42 Hill polls had Republicans in the lead, 4 ties, and 7 Dem leads. (Remember, 2 of those were GOP-held seats.) Mark Penn's take on what that means overall (remember, we're talking Mark Penn here, so take with salt as necessary):
"We didn't even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats. So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans."
(I'm wondering what 15 he's talking about? Considering that they polled NH-01, TN-08, WA-03, WI-07, MI-01, AR-01, CO-04, IL-11, MD-01, NM-02, OH-15, PA-03, VA-02, and VA-05 earlier, that means I can count only AR-02, IN-08, LA-03, TN-06, NY-29, KS-03, and OH-01 in the "too far gone" category. Either he knows something about eight other races that nobody else does, or his math is a little fuzzy. Maybe he's counting FL-08 and WI-08, but even then he'd still owe us six more.)
• AK-Sen: The story of how his employment with the city of Fairbanks ended is one of the key reasons why Joe Miller suddenly clammed up and said he wouldn't answer questions about his personal background anymore. Now the city's former mayor, Jim Whitaker, is offering his version of the story, saying Miller is "not truthful" about it. Whitaker says Miller's use of borough resources for political purposes (namely, for gaming an online vote for state party chair in a Sarah Palin-orchestrated party coup) was a violation of borough ethics policy and it would have been a cause for termination if they hadn't been so understaffed. Miller eventually resigned in 2009 anyway, partly because his request to go elk hunting got denied.
• FL-Sen: There are so many Kennedys I really can't keep track which one is allied with who, but any time one leaves the reservation it's interesting. Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that he's backing Charlie Crist for Senate, saying that Kendrick Meek can't win and the most important thing is blocking Marco Rubio. Meanwhile, with the current race not looking very interesting anymore, PPP has its eye on 2012 (which seems like it could be close, especially if Jeb Bush gets involved). They ran two other hypotheticals, one not very likely: Bill Nelson beats Rush Limbaugh 50-36 (if Limbaugh for whatever reason decided to take the huge pay cut). More plausibly, he also beats Rep. Connie Mack IV by 42-33.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon is out with an internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt. Public pollsters have generally seen this as a double-digit race, but his poll, taken over Oct. 9-12, gives David Vitter a not-overwhelming 49-42 lead. The campaign says that's a major improvement (no specific numbers, though) over their September poll.
• FL-Gov: The Florida Education Association (obviously a Democratic-leaning organization) polled the gubernatorial race, and found numbers very close to PPP's results yesterday. The poll from Tom Eldon, taken Oct. 9-12, gives Alex Sink a 47-41 lead over Rick Scott. Scott's faves are down to 33/50.
• IL-Gov: This is quite the screwup: Green candidate Rich Whitney's name will appear as "Rich Whitey" on electronic voting machines in nearly two dozen wards in Chicago (half of which are predominantly African-American). And that leads inevitably to the question (to quote the Illinois Nazi Party): "Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey?" Apparently, he can't do much, as there isn't adequate time left to reprogram and test the machines, although he's looking into various legal options.
• AZ-07: I don't know if there's any hard evidence other than a Magellan poll and a McClung internal to prove there's a real race here, but judging by efforts by some organizations on both sides, something's going on. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee had members make 21,000 phone calls to the district to shore up Raul Grijalva, while Americans for Tax Reform is going to spend $230K on advertising in the district, hitting Grijalva with an ad for encouraging a boycott of his state in the wake of SB 1070.
• CA-44: Like CA-03, this is one offense opportunity in California that still seems to be alive and kicking. The Bill Hedrick campaign, short on cash but facing an underwhelming opponent that he nearly knocked off last time, is out with a Zata|3 internal poll showing Hedrick trailing GOP incumbent Ken Calvert by only a 48-43 margin (improved a 49-38 showing in September).
• GA-08: He made it implicit with his most recent ad (distancing himself from Nancy Pelosi, even going so far as to show 60s-era San Francisco hippies), but Jim Marshall is now explicitly joining Bobby Bright in the camp of incumbents saying they won't support Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress (if they're there for it).
• IA-03: I didn't think I'd be saying this a few months ago, but Leonard Boswell is starting to look like he's in healthy shape for the election, thanks in large part of a variety of damaging details about Brad Zaun that went public. Boswell leads Zaun 47-38 in an internal from his campaign, taken Oct. 3-5 by Anzalone-Liszt.
• IL-10: Bob Dold sure can rake in the fundraising dollars, even if Bob Dold can't seem to come up with a lead in the polls, in what's looking like one of the Dems' few pickups this cycle. Bob Dold raised $843K in the third quarter and is sitting on $979K CoH, enough to start running two broadcast ads this week, while Bob Dold's opponent Dan Seals has yet to release any numbers. Bob Dold!
• MD-01, VA-02, VA-05: Another testament to the unpredictability of elections: even a few months ago, who'd have thought, that at this point, the DCCC would have cut loose Debbie Halvorson and Steve Kagen, but would be keeping on pumping money into the races of Frank Kratovil and Tom Perriello? Those two, along with Glenn Nye, are among the survivors of the triage process and will receive continued ad buys.
• NH-02: This race is also turning out to be close, and this can't help Charlie Bass this close to the election: questions are emerging about a stock buy (in New England Wood Pellet, his nephew-in-law's company) that he made while in Congress the previous time. He then set up a meeting between company officials and Bush administration officials, which is a potential House ethics violation.
• OH-01: Credit Steve Driehaus for having some fire in the belly. After having gotten thrown onto the bring-out-your-dead cart by the DCCC, instead of just shrugging and starting to look for a lobbying job, he's doubling down on his fundraising efforts, using it as an incentive to ask for more from his supporters. In particular, he's pissed that the DCCC let him go even while giving money to various Reps. who voted "no" on health care reform.
• OR-04: Well, here's one more race to add to the watch list. Peter DeFazio hasn't faced credible opposition in... well, ever. And he's still not facing credible opposition this year (Art Robinson is kind of a clown; his main action item seems to be the elimination of public schooling, which would kind of help him out considerably, since his day job is selling curriculum supplies for home schoolers). Nevertheless, the mysterious group Concerned Taxpayers (who've also made a six-digit ad buy against DeFazio) is out with an internal poll from Oct. 4-5 from Wilson Research showing a single-digit race, with DeFazio leading Robinson 48-42. (MoE is a hefty 5.6%.)
• PA-10: Chris Carney is on the wrong end of a Critical Insights poll of his district (which will be in our Poll Roundup later), but he's already getting out in front of it with an internal poll. The Oct. 12-13 poll from Momentum Analysis has Carney leading Tom Marino 48-41. With both candidates able to point to leads not just in internal polls but public polls too, this is quite definitely a "Tossup."
• TN-08: Whew! One last internal. Not much surprise here... GOPer Stephen Fincher has an internal out giving him a double-digit lead in the open seat race against Roy Herron, very similar to yesterday's 47-37 Penn/Hill poll. The Tarrance Group poll from Oct. 11-12 gives Fincher a 47-36 lead (with 3 to indie Donn James).
• FL-AG: This is one of the higher-profile downballot races around, and it gets a fair amount of polling attention too. This time, it's Susquehanna's turn (on behalf of Sunshine State News), and they give a lead to Republican Hillsborough Co. Prosecutor Pam Bondi, who leads state Sen. Dan Gelber 50-42.
• Money: Zata|3 is out with more of their super-helpful charts on the behind-the-scenes money game, which is where the Republicans are really winning this cycle, even more so than the polls. Compared with 2008, spending on Senate races (from both sides) has nearly doubled, and it's up more than 50% on House races. And Republican groups are leading the way: the top 5, and 8 of the top 10, outside groups, spending-wise are GOP-leaning. That starts with the cash-flush RGA ($12 mil so far), followed by the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.
• Polltopia: You may have already seen the new Pew study on cellphone use, but it's a real eye-opener, one that should cast some measure of doubt on the accuracy of current polls or even the whole sense that polls can tell us anything. Pew, which in 2008 found a certain amount of pro-Republican bias in polls because of the exclusion of cellphone-only users, is out with a new round of polling showing that bias has only increased. At this point, nearly 25% of adults are "cell-only." Pew finds a 5-point Republican increase would have occurred in their most recent generic ballot test if they hadn't polled cellphones.
Also, on the polling front, Daily Kos is taking a page from PPP and asking where readers what gubernatorial and House race they'd like to see polled in the coming weeks.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: This is actually kind of funny: Joe Miller spoofs Old Spice ads in an attempt to get voters to not write in Lisa Murkowski
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck's out with a base-rallying ad using speech footage of him getting teabaggers fired up about how they got ignored for the last two years and are now out for blood; the NRSC is also on the air, hitting Michael Bennet over his support for the stimulus
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan's new TV spot pushes back against various Roy Blunt negative ads, especially on the subject of an extended family member's wind farm
• PA-Sen: This may be an interesting tea leaf that those Dem internals yesterday may be showing some actual tightening: the NRSC, after letting surrogate orgs do all the work here, is finally having to step in with its own IE ad (a basic HCR/stimulus/cap-and-trade troika)
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese again over the minimum wage
• CA-Gov: What is this, the 80s? Meg Whitman's new ad hits Jerry Brown for being soft on crime
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad goes after Rick Perry's seeming habit of steering state contracts to cronies
• AK-Sen: Scott McAdams (D) 27%, Joe Miller (R) 35%, Lisa Murkowski (WI-inc) 34%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 40%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 4%, Rich Whitney (G) 2%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 52%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 51%
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball
• AK-Sen: Wasn't that Lisa Murkowski announcement about whether she was going to pursue a write-in bid supposed to be yesterday? It never materialized, but we did get some statements from local gadfly and Murkowski ally Andrew Halcro that make it sound pretty likely.
"It's going to be the kind of campaign you should have seen in the primary," said Andrew Halcro, an Alaska political consultant who is a longtime friend of the senator. "It's going to be no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-metal stuff."
• DE-Sen: After putting out a public wish for real Sarah Palin backing instead of just a cryptic retweet, Christine O'Donnell finally got her wish yesterday. O'Donnell got added to the gigantic list of Mama Grizzlies yesterday during a Palin appearance on Sean Hannity's show. The real question, though, is it too little too late? It might help raise some funds this weekend, but it smells a little like Palin's 5 pm-on-Tuesday endorsement of "Angela McGowen." Meanwhile, O'Donnell seems to be doing everything she can to dance right up to the edge of calling Castle gay without going over it: she just blasted his campaign tactics as "unmanly" and also telling him "get your man-pants on."
• ME-Sen: PPP's poll of Maine has some buried details that should lead to some soul-searching for Olympia Snowe, who could be headed down Arlen Specter Boulevard if the right-wing decides to wade into her 2012 GOP primary. (Or she might take the opportunity to retire.) Overall, she's fairly popular at 50/40, but that's based on 59/29 among Democrats. She's only at 40/51 among Republicans, and by a 50-37 margin, Republicans say she really should be a Democrat. Susan Collins sports similar numbers, although she has until 2014 to deal with that, by which point the Tea Party thing may be a footnote in AP US History textbooks. PPP says they'll have 2012 hypothetical Senate matchups out on Monday. (One other note: they find opinions on gay marriage basically unchanged since last November's referendum: 43 in favor, 49 against.)
• NH-Sen: Once he got the Manchester Union-Leader's backing, that led to a lot of speculation that Ovide Lamontagne (as he did in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary) would close fast. It looks like that's happening: he's out with an internal poll showing himself only 10 points behind Kelly Ayotte. He trails Ayotte 34-24, with Bill Binnie (considered the real threat to Ayotte until the last couple weeks) tied at 12 with Jim Bender. It's very close to the Magellan poll that came out last week giving Ayotte a 13-point lead. I wonder if Lamontagne would actually be able to pull out the upset if the Tea Party Express had decided to weigh in here for Lamontagne, instead of in their likely-futile efforts in Delaware?
• NV-Sen: Ralston smash! The intrepid political reporter is on a rampage across the twittersphere today, after Sharron Angle previously said on Jon Ralston's TV program "Face to Face" that she wanted to debate Harry Reid there, then arranged the debate, and then yesterday abruptly canceled the Oct. 21 shindig. The two will still meet in an Oct. 14 debate, which should be one of the most popcorn-worthy events of the year.
• OH-Sen: Who let the Big Dog out? Bill Clinton, who'll be in Ohio soon shoring up Ted Strickland's gubernatorial bid, will also hold a fundraiser on behalf of another long-time ally, Lee Fisher.
• MI-Gov: Another day, another poll showing the Michigan gubernatorial race looking DOA. The newest poll by the Glengariff Group for the Detroit News gives Republican Rick Snyder a 56-36 lead over Virg Bernero.
• VT-Gov: With the numbers having barely budged after the recount in the Democratic primary (the gap between Peter Shumlin and runner-up Doug Racine widened by 6 votes, all the way up to a whopping 203-vote margin), Racine conceded today. Shumlin, the state Senate president pro tem, will face GOP Lt. Governor Brian Dubie in the general.
• CO-04: I'm tempted to put this in the "good news" file, inasmuch as she isn't getting blown out as conventional wisdom would assume: the Betsy Markey campaign rolled out an internal poll, from Bennett, Petts, and Normington, that shows her in a 38-38 tie with Republican Cory Gardner (with 7% going to assorted third-party candidates). However, feeling like you need to release your own internal that's a tie doesn't exactly seem like a big sign of confidence...
• IA-01, IA-02, IA-03: On the other hand, here's a poll, considering the source, that's pretty clear "good news" for Leonard Boswell. A poll for the conservative American Future Fund (who commissioned that avalanche of Whit Ayers polls), this time by Voter/Consumer Research, found Boswell leading Brad Zaun 48-39. That's a complete reversal from Zaun's couple of internals. Still, they have numbers from the 1st and 2nd that show that we need to keep at least one wary eye on these sleepy races: Bruce Braley leads Ben Lange 50-39 in the 1st, while David Loebsack leads Mariannette Miller-Meeks 47-39 in the 2nd (not far off from the one internal that MMM leaked).
• NH-01: This is interesting: the state Democratic party is out with two different mailers in the 1st, attacking Sean Mahoney. There's just one catch... Mahoney isn't the GOP nominee yet, and we won't know if he is or not until Tuesday, when he faces off with ex-Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. It's unclear whether they have info leading them to believe Mahoney has the nomination locked down, or if they'd trying to sandbag Mahoney pre-primary so that the heavily-baggage-laden Guinta (about whom the ads write themselves) wins.
• NY-13: With a lot of people in local GOP circles still holding ex-Rep. Vito Fossella in high esteem (despite his boo-hoo-funny fall from grace), this is one endorsement that may carry a lot of weight as we race toward the conclusion of the GOP primary in the 13th. Fossella gave his backing to Michael Allegretti. That sets up a showdown with the other big power behind the throne in this district: Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari is backing Michael Grimm.
• OK-02: If we have to worry about this race, geez, better start making camel reservations for our 40 years in the desert. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that we don't have to worry about this race. Dan Boren is out with an internal poll, via Myers Research, that gives a jumbo-sized 34-point lead over little-known GOPer Charles Thompson: 65-31.
• Mayors: In sharp contrast to yesterday's We Ask America poll of the Chicago mayoral race, today's Sun-Times poll finds Rahm Emanuel just one of the crowd, in high single digits. This poll finds Cook Co. Sheriff Tom Dart leading at 12, with state Sen. James Meeks at 10. Luis Gutierrez is at 9, Jesse Jackson Jr. is at 8, and Emanuel is at 7. "Don't know" led the way at 35.
• DSCC: Jeremy Jacobs, the man who always seems to know the Size Of The Buy, is out with a helpful breakdown of where the DSCC has made its $18 million worth of reservations so far. Right now, it's $1.6 million in Kentucky, $5.1 million in Missouri, $5.2 million in Pennsylvania, $4 million in Colorado, and $2 million in Washington.
• NRCC: The NRCC, currently only running independent expenditures ads in one district (IN-02), rolled out a list of ten more districts where it'll start paying for ads. They're staying on the air there, plus adding AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05, and WI-07. (The only "surprise," inasmuch as it wasn't on the NRCC's big list of 40 districts from last month, is AZ-01.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Not one but two ads from Mark Kirk, one touting his independence and the other attacking Alexi Giannoulias on taxes, but maybe more importantly, trying to lash him to the increasingly-anchor-like Pat Quinn
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman's new anti-Jerry Brown ad cleverly lets Bill Clinton do most of the talking, with highlights from the 1992 Democratic presidential primary campaign
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett, who's been fairly modest so far about having gotten badly beaten while intervening in a domestic dispute last year, is finally playing the "hero card" with his new ad
• NM-01: Anti-Martin Heinrich ad from American Future Fund, focusing on the Pelosi boogeyman; it's the first IE in the district and a $250K buy for four weeks
• TN-08: Dueling ads in the 8th, with two Roy Herron ads out (one a positive bio spot, the other an anti-Stephen Fincher spot aimed at his campaign finance disclosure foibles... together they're a "six-figure" buy for the next week), and an anti-Herron ad from the 60 Plus Association (the AARP's anti-HCR doppelganger), who're spending $500K on the buy.
• IE tracker:
• DE-Sen: Tea Party Express spending $72K on media buys, direct mail, and e-mail blast for Christine O'Donnell
• MO-Sen: AFSCME spending $43K on anti-Roy Blunt mailer
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending $309K on new ad against Sharron Angle
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending another $49K on another anti-Sharron Angle ad titled "Oye, Sharron" (a Spanish-language market ad, maybe?)
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 44%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 54%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 47%, Kristi Noem (R) 45%
AK-Sen: Lulz. Ex-state Rep. Andrew Halcro is still carrying the torch for a Murkowski Libertarian bid, despite the fact that the Alaska Libertarian Party voted to reject having Murkowski on their ticket over the weekend. Halcro is telling The Hill (and anyone else willing to listen, apparently), that he thinks the Libertarians would be willing to reconsider, as long as Murkowski is the one who reaches out directly. And maybe he's actually got something there, as the state Libertarian chair, Scott Kohlhass, said yesterday that "as a sitting senator, we'd always be open to sitting down and talking to Lisa Murkowski." This is the same guy who, we remind you, previously announced that Murkowski was unwelcome on their ticket due to "fundamental differences". Make up your minds already!
It's also worth noting that Murkowski didn't sound all that interested in carrying this fight on to the general election in her concession speech last night. While she didn't endorse Miller, she spoke of her plans for the future, saying that she was looking forward to "coming home" at the end of her term. I don't think a Libertarian bid, or a write-in campaign, is in the cards.
Meanwhile, the NRSC has been busy trying to convince the world that Joe Miller has this shit locked. On Monday, they released a Basswood Research poll (8/28-29, likely voters) showing Miller leading Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams by 52-36. PPP tested the race around the same time and found Miller ahead by only 47-39.
FL-Gov: The St. Pete Times is hearing "considerable buzz" that Bud Chiles, the son of legendary former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, will pull the plug on his independent gubernatorial candidacy. Chiles, who seemed to be having a net-neutral impact on the race due to his support from Dixiecrat-flavored voters, reportedly was spotted having lunch with Democrat Alex Sink in Miami yesterday. Is an endorsement on tap?
WI-Gov: Jesus. Are these the kind of headlines that you really want to be generating?
Wis. cand. runs fighting ad aimed at attack victim
Scott Walker is up with a new ad in which he dons boxing gloves and vows to "go the distance" against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett, as you may recall, was brutally attacked while intervening in a domestic violence incident at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds last summer, sustaining injuries from which he may never fully recover. Talk about not thinking through all the angles...
CT-05: GOP state Sen. Sam Caligiuri won the endorsement of the Independent Party of Connecticut yesterday, meaning that he'll appear on the ballot against SSP hero Chris Murphy on both the Republican and Independent lines.
IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell rolled out an endorsement Monday from architect Mark Rees... who was most recently seen losing the Republican primary for the nomination to challenge Boswell back in June. Rees, who drew 4% in the GOP primary, says that he's backing Boswell because the Republican nominee, state Sen. Brad Zaun, is too far to the right "on all the issues".
NV-03: AFSCME shelled out $750K for attack ads on GOPer Joe Heck, and they're out with their second ad in the series, a thirty-second spot on the topic of Social Security privatization.
NY-24: Here's a double-dose of bad news for Mike Arcuri. First, the New York Board of Elections recommended that Libertarian Ernest Logan Bell be removed from the ballot after coming up short on valid ballot signatures. (Never fear, fans of liberty, Bell's encouraging his supporters to write-in his name in November.) Next, it seems that Arcuri's "NY Moderates" Party line is in jeopardy. Republicans in the district pointed out the existence of a state statute that says that ballot lines aren't allowed to include the words "New York." Election officials say that may cause Arcuri's indie line to go up in smoke, but are putting off a final decision on the matter until September 16th. Arcuri's attorney, for what it's worth, says that the party name will merely change to "Moderates". Good luck with that.
VA-09: Benenson Strategy Group (8/18-22, likely voters) for Rick Boucher:
Rick Boucher (D-inc): 55
Morgan Griffith (R): 32
Is that too optimistic for Boucher? Perhaps, but it's not entirely far-fetched, either. A July poll by SurveyUSA -- not the most Dem-friendly pollster this cycle -- had Boucher up by 52-39. Despite the bottom falling out for so many Democratic incumbents in tough districts, Boucher appears to have more staying power than some of his colleagues.
WI-07: At SSP, we always try to give you the Size Of The Buy where possible. We reported yesterday that the DCCC was hitting the airwaves with their first independent expenditure ad of the cycle against ex-Real World star Sean Duffy. Turns out the buy is for $36,500 -- not breaking the bank by any means, but House party committees rarely saturate the airwaves in August.
AK-Sen: Just an FYI: The Tea Party Express has now spent $550K on behalf of Joe Miller - quite a sum in a super-cheap state like Alaska. (That means they've poured in about $200K in just the last week.) Remember, the TPX is the organization that helped power Sharron Angle to victory. Knocking off an incumbent senator is a much bigger task than beating Chicken Lady, of course, but the teabaggers are determined to keep this one interesting. (Also, any day I get to write about Chicken Lady is a good day.)
KY-Sen: Rand Paul, subjecting himself to a rare press conference, announced his preferred way of combating drug abuse in Eastern Kentucky. Instead of using federal dollars, he prefers church-based options: "I like the fact that faith is involved, that religion - Christianity - is involved, and I'm not embarrassed to say so. You have to have innovative local solutions to problems." Paul still called for the end of earmarks to fund Operation UNITE, an anti-drug program, which caused some awkwardness for his host, Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool, who has made use of UNITE himself. (And yes, that awesome name is NOT a typo.)
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes has a new ad up, featuring music he wrote himself, which continues a theme we've seen elsewhere - namely, referring to Congress as some kind of daycare center for overgrown children. I'm not really sure how effective this characterization really is, given that it's been incumbents who keep deploying it. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, though the Hodes campaign tells us it's "a significant buy in both the Manchester and Boston media markets" that's going up on both broadcast and cable today.
OR-Gov: Good news for Dem John Kitzhaber: The Oregon Progressive Party declined to nominate a candidate for governor, meaning that there won't be anyone on the ballot running to Kitz's left. Jerry Wilson, creator of the Soloflex, had been hoping for the Prog nod, and says he may run a write-in campaign instead.
AZ-03: Just a day before the primary, Dan Quayle emerged from his undisclosed potatoe to pen an email on behalf of his embattled, pathetic spawn, Ben. At this point, though, nothing can undo the Shame of the Super-Son.
CA-52: Democrat Ray Lutz has ended his 11-day hunger strike, which he launched in an attempt to get Rep. Duncan Hunter to meet him for a series of debates. Hunter actually did say he'd meet for an Oct. 15th debate, though he claims he was planning to accept that date even before Lutz went on his strike. Lutz, of course, is claiming victory - and if this tactic really did have its intended effect, I wonder if we'll ever see anyone else try it again.
IA-03: Rep. Leonard Boswell's been hitting Republican Brad Zaun on his flip-floppery over agricultural subsidies, and it seems like he's landed a solid blow. In Iowa, anything less than maximal statism in support of the ethanol industry is usually a political sin, but Zaun couldn't help himself at a teabagger debate earlier this spring. Zaun related a conversation with a farmer, who asked him "What are you going to do for me and the biofuels industry?" Zaun's description of his own response: "Nothing." Boswell's put out his first radio ad of the cycle (NWOTSOTB) featuring this very quote.
IL-11: Debbie Halvorson is getting a new campaign manager. Julie Merz, who has previously worked for Dennis Moore and Jim Matheson, is taking over for Travis Worl. It's always hard to say whether moves like this reflect campaign turmoil, a sign that the team is upgrading, or just natural turnover. The only tea leaf we have here is that Worl's departure was announced before Merz's hiring was.
LA-02: A good get for Cedric Richmond: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu just gave the state legislator his endorsement yesterday. Richmond faces fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta in the primary, which is this Saturday (note the unusual date).
NV-03: Republican media buying company Smart Media Group says that AFSCME has put down $240K for ads against GOPer Denny Joe Heck. The union hasn't filed an independent expenditure report yet, though.
NY-01: Republican George Demos is up with his first TV ad, attempting to out-conservative opponents Randy Altschuler and Ed Cox - and doing his best to make himself unelectable in the general election by painting himself as "pro-life." NWOTSOTB. Meanwhile, Altschuler succeeded in knocking Cox out of the Conservative Party primary, though Cox has vowed to appeal the judge's ruling.
NY-25: Republican (and Mama Grizzly) Ann Marie Buerkle says she won't rule out SSP - the bad kind of SSP, of course:
"There's so many options when it comes to privatization. I would have to look at each plan that's being proposed... but I would certainly consider looking at it."
• LA-Sen: That ginned-up internal poll that Chet Traylor released a few days ago (showing him within 12 of David Vitter) seems to have served its intended purpose, for what its worth: the contributions have started coming in at a much greater pace over the last few days. He pulled in $30K in three days, almost doubling up on the $42K he raised over the previous duration of his campaign (and most of which he blew on his new anti-Vitter radio ad). And this can't please Vitter, either: a local paper is reporting to Vitter's troublesome ex-aide, Brent Furer, traveled back from DC to Louisiana several times on the public's dime, at points that just happened to coincide with his various trials on charges of drunk driving.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle seems to be wandering all over the map in search of a position on Social Security privatization, one that's extreme enough to satisfy her teabagging core supporters but not so extreme that it scares off, y'know, old people. She's removed the words "transitioned out" from her website (regarding Social Security) but, when pushed yesterday, said that she hasn't changed her view that that's how she feels about it (despite running ads claiming that she wants to "save" Social Security).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak, meet Raul Labrador? As you probably know, there's a common-sense rule of thumb that you don't release your internal polls unless they show you, y'know, ahead of your opponent. Nevertheless, somebody (unclear whether it was the DSCC or the Sestak camp) leaked NBC a Peter Yang internal of the race giving Pat Toomey a 2-point lead over Sestak, 46-44. Obviously, that's not designed to create a sense of Sestak's inevitable victory as most internals are designed to do, but it's pushback against this week's PPP poll, where the switch to LVs hurt Sestak's numbers, probably oriented toward letting contributors know that this race is still in play. The DSCC has also been nailing Toomey on the rather arcane issue of derivatives, which had a key role in inflating the asset bubble that popped and left all our faces covered in pink sticky goo in 2008. Somehow I doubt more than 1% of the nation can offer a cogent explanation of what derivatives (especially credit default swaps) do, but at any rate, they've tracked down three separate times when Toomey as Congressman, on the House floor, praised the use of derivatives, something he's lately tried to distance himself from.
• WA-Sen: We're up to 67% reporting in Washington, with the numbers not really having budged from Tuesday night (still 46 Patty Murray, 34 Dino Rossi, 12 Clint Didier), but more than three-quarters of the remaining precincts are in the Dem-friendly King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, so look for some future budging. Meanwhile, here's a comparison that only true politics junkies will get... remember Fred Heineman? (The one-term Republican House member from NC-04 swept in in 1994, who then said that his $183,000 salary made him "lower-middle-class" and that the middle class extended up to $750K, and promptly got swept out in 1996.) Dino Rossi has apparently decided that he should be Washington's answer to Heineman, as he essentially said that one-third of Washingtonians make over $200K per year. More specifically, he said 2.5 million Washingtonians would benefit from keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $200K/yr. (In reality, 105K households, or 1.6% of the state's population, fit that profile.)
• CA-Gov: Here's an iceberg in the way for the serene cruise of the Queen Meg: activists at a convention of state conservatives this weekend plan a rude welcome for her. They plan to lambaste her on her non-extreme positions on an Arizona-style immigration law in California, and her support for greenhouse gas-limiting Proposition 19 23. Also, here's some quantitative evidence for something that I've long suspected: Whitman has so oversaturated the airwaves with advertising that it went well past the point of having its desired effect and is now just getting people pissed off at her. A Jerry Brown staffer leaked that nugget from internal polling, finding that her own advertising has helped Whitman with 8% of voters and hurt her with 27% of voters.
• IA-03: Hot on the heels of the David Rivera story in FL-25, here's another uncomfortable blast from the past for another Republican House candidate: records reveal that Brad Zaun, the GOP's nominee against Leonard Boswell, had to be told by West Des Moines police to stay away from his ex-girlfriend after a late night visit to her house to pound on her windows and call her names.
• MO-03, MO-04: Odd little pollster We Ask America seems to be entering another period of being prolific, as now they're out with a couple House polls from the underserved state of Missouri. They find Russ Carnahan fairly comfortable against Republican challenger Ed Martin in the 3rd, leading 48-39, but find veteran Dem Ike Skelton in a tighter race in the 4th, leading Vicky Hartzler 45-42. Skelton still draws the support of 27% of Republicans and 37% of indies, crucial to surviving this dark-red district.
• CfG: The Club for Growth is starting to switch gears from primaries (where they seem to have had a more productive run this year than in previous cyles) to the general. They've endorsed four Republican challengers who all cleared the primary bar: Stephen Fincher in TN-08, Todd Young in IN-09, Mick Mulvaney in SC-05, and Tim Griffin in AR-02.
• Ads: The most attention-grabbing ad today seems to be from Indiana Dem Joe Donnelly, who already tried to distanced himself from "the Washington crowd" in his previous ad. Now he's basically thrown in the towel on trying to fight the messaging war and just start running with Republican memes, touting his opposition in his newest ad to "Nancy Pelosi's energy tax." Other ads worth checking out today include an RGA ad for Duke Aiona in HI-Gov, a Joyce Elliott ad in AR-02, a Michelle Rollins spot in DE-AL, and a Mike McIntyre ad in NC-07.
• CT-Sen: This may be the first time we've ever linked to Jezebel, but they have a nice deconstruction of the public face of the new image that Linda McMahon has built up for herself, and its complicated relationship to the WWE, the source of the millions that Linda McMahon plans to spend on her Senate bid. (Although I wish they'd focused more on the behind-the-scenes stuff: the steroids, the lack of health care, the union-busting, and so on...)
• KY-Sen: Is this really the kind of headlines that Rand Paul (or any candidate, for any office) would want to be seeing today? "Woman Says Paul Did Not Kidnap Her," and "Paul Apologizes for Fancy Farm Beer Flub." The former story isn't that surprising, in that Paul's college acquaintance clarifies that the whole let's-tie-her-up-make-her-smoke-pot-and-pray-to-a-graven-idol thing was more of a consensual hazing than an out-and-out kidnapping (of course, other than the "kidnapping" semantics, all that Bong Hits for Aqua Buddha stuff still seems to stand). The latter story has its roots in Paul's worries that the audience at the Fancy Farm church picnic (the same ones who got the vapors last year when Jack Conway used the words "son of a bitch") were going to start throwing beer at him - even though the event was dry. Having realized that you don't go around dissing politically-legendary church picnics unless you have the political instincts of a brick, Paul later apologized.
• LA-Sen: Southern Media & Opinion Research finds that David Vitter leads Charlie Melancon 46-28, not much changed since their last poll from spring, where Vitter led 49-31. They also take a look at the Republican Senate primary, finding (as did POS a few weeks ago) that Chet Traylor is really turning into something of a paper tiger: Vitter leads Traylor 78-4! They also do a quick look at the jungle-style Lt. Governor special election, giving the lead to current Republican SoS Jay Dardenne at 26.
• OR-Gov: Well, it seems like the John Kitzhaber campaign has finally acknowledged what the blogosphere realized a while ago, that it's time to shake things up and bring in a more feisty and uptempo approach. That's hopefully what they're doing with a new campaign manager, Patricia McCaig. Interestingly, McCaig is a former right-hand woman to ex-Gov. Barbara Roberts, who Kitzhaber shoved over in 1994 and whose relations with Kitz have been rocky since then.
• AZ-03: Will today's double-whammy be enough to knock Ben Quayle out of his seeming frontrunner position in the GOP primary in the 3rd? Rocked by controversy over having denied and then having gotten outed as having written pseudonymously for sleazy local website DirtyScottsdale.com (a forerunner to today's TheDirty.com), he's out with a TV spot that he hopes will take some of the heat off. Unfortunately for him, the ad seems to have gotten an almost universally derisive reaction, based on his odd combination of hyperbolic claims ("Barack Obama is the worst president in history"), slow, droning delivery, and strange robotic motions.
• IA-03: When we moved Leonard Boswell in the 3rd to Tossup a few weeks ago, we weren't fooling around. A second Republican poll was released today giving his GOP challenger, state Sen. Brad Zaun, a decent-sized lead: Victory Enterprises, on behalf of the Polk County GOP and not the Zaun camp, finds a 45-38 lead for Zaun. (There was also a June poll giving Zaun a 41-32 lead. It was also by Victory Enterprises, and shared the same Republican-friendly party ID composition, but that one was for the Zaun campaign.)
• OR-05: He's Scott Bruun, and he drives a truck. He also supports privatizing Social Security. Or doesn't he? Bruun has reversed himself several times on how he frames the issue, depending on who his audience is, but either way, he seems to be relying on the Paul Ryan roadmap for his ideas.
• Passages: Here's a sad bookend to yesterday's death of Ted Stevens: today's death of another legendary, long-time Congressman who was a master at horse-trading and pork-wrangling, this one from the other side of the aisle. Former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, one of the biggest Democratic names to fall in 1994, died at age 82.
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 38%, Charlie Crist (I) 33%
• FL-Sen: Jeff Greene (D) 20%, Marco Rubio (R) 36%, Charlie Crist (I) 37%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 40%
• TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 31%, Bill Haslam (R) 56%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 47%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 48%, Dave Westlake (R) 39%
• AZ-Sen: Chances are you've already seen this video, but if you haven't, check out ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth going the full Matthew Lesko, pitching seminars for how to get free government grant money. Typical teabagging mindset at work: I hate the gub'ment! Except when it's giving me money for doing nothing!
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon, I'm sure, is from the "all PR is good PR" school, but this still has to go in the "bad PR" column. The widow of a professional wrestler who died in a 1999 stunt gone awry is suing both the WWE and McMahon personally.
• NH-Sen: Making your first TV ad a negative one isn't really a sign of strength, but in this case, I'm sure Paul Hodes thinks he has something potent here. His first ad hits Kelly Ayotte for being asleep at the switch as AG during the collapse of Financial Resources Mortgage. Hodes' ad includes footage of Ayotte's widely-panned testimony before state legislators last week, framing it as an almost-Gonzales-esque litany of evasions.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Quinnipiac polls the Empire State, and like Rasmussen, finds intensely competitive races brewing... oh, who am I kidding; Dems are crushing, as usual. Kirsten Gillibrand beats Bruce Blakeman 46-26, and beats David Malpass 47-25. Blakeman beats Malpass 14-11 in the GOP primary. Interestingly, they seem to have decided not to poll Joe DioGuardi (who other polls have seen as the GOP primary's frontrunner) this time, who did not get a ballot slot at the convention but seems to be at work trying to petition on. On the gubernatorial side, Andrew Cuomo beats Rick Lazio 58-26 and beats Carl Paladino 59-23. Lazio wins the GOP primary over Paladino, 46-17.
• FL-Gov: Bill McCollum got a lifeline of sorts from the Tea Party community, with an endorsement from ex-Rep. Dick Armey, now one of the movement's chief cat-herders at FreedomWorks. This looks like an endorsement from Armey individually, though, not from FreedomWorks. Filing day also came and went: independent candidate Bud Chiles filed at the last moment, and Alex Sink also found herself with an unexpected Democratic primary challenger, although one of the "perennial candidate" variety (Brian Moore).
• GA-Gov, GA-Sen: SurveyUSA takes a look at the Georgia races, but unfortunately only at the already-thoroughly-polled primaries. On the Dem side, ex-Gov. Roy Barnes' comeback is well underway; he's out of runoff territory at 63, leading Thurbert Baker at 13, David Poythress at 5, Dubose Porter at 4, and three Some Dudes at 1. On the GOP side, the question seems to be who makes the runoff against John Oxendine. Oxendine is at 34, followed by Karen Handel at 18 and Nathan Deal at 17. If Eric Johnson's late push is going to succeed, he has a big climb: he's at 6, down near the weirdos like Ray McBerry (at 3). They also look at the Democratic Senate primary (Michael Thurmond leads 68-11 over R.J. Hadley), and some downballot races too (click the link for those... maybe most interesting, Carol Porter, wife of Dubose Porter, is doing a lot better than her husband; she's leading the Dem Lt. Gov. primary).
• CT-04: After having had to pull the plug on his campaign after he wound up without enough valid signatures to qualify, Tom Herrmann (First Selectman of Easton) threw his backing to state Sen. Dan Debicella in the GOP primary.
• FL-08: Here's some more grist for the mill for those who think that the local Tea Party is nothing more than an Alan Grayson plant to split the conservative vote in November: one of the candidates running for the State House under the Tea Party aegis is Victoria Torres, a consultant who did $11,000 worth of polling work for Grayson. (Amusingly, her polling "firm" is named Public Opinion Strategies Inc., not to be confused with the prolific Republican internal pollster Public Opinion Strategies.) Meanwhile, appointed Sen. George LeMieux just threw his support to ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, despite the NRCC's seeming preference in the GOP primary for businessman Bruce O'Donoghue.
• IA-03: It's not surprising this is a close race, given Rep. Leonard Boswell's long history of underwhelming performances, but these numbers may a little too-good-to-be-true for GOP state Sen. Brad Zaun. His internal (taken by Victory Enterprises) gives him a 41-32 lead over Boswell. The party registration composition looks hinky (43 D-38 R-19 I, instead of 38 D-30 R-32 I), but it still should be a big red flag for Boswell.
• KS-03: State Rep. Kevin Yoder's new web video has him walking with his wife through a field, with several small children in tow. There's one slight problem: Yoder doesn't have any kids. (Yoder's CM believes that the kids in question are nieces and nephews, not rentals.)
• LA-02: Bayou Buzz points to a couple possible speedbumps on the road for Democrats expecting to take back the 2nd from accidental freshman Rep. Joe Cao, in the form of two potential independent candidates. Orleans Sewerage and Water Board member Tommie Vassel, and prominent black minister Byron Clay, are both floating the idea of independent bids. That's presumably to avoid the pileup of establishment candidates (state Reps. Cedric Richmond and Juan LaFonta) in the Dem primary, but the questions are a) whether they pull the trigger and b) if so, are they well-known enough to create a big-enough spoiler effect to save even Cao?
• MS-01: Facing a strong challenge from state Sen. Alan Nunnellee, Democratic Rep. Travis Childers could use some good news, and he just got some: he got the endorsement of the NRA.
• NY-16: This is the first (and apparently last) I'd heard of state Assemblyman Michael Benjamin's interest in running in the Democratic primary against Rep. Jose Serrano. Benjamin said he won't run against Serrano this year, but is watching with great interest to see what happens with redistricting in 2012; he might run then if a second majority-minority seat centered in the Bronx gets created.
• PA-03: The Susan B. Anthony List (the bizarro-world version of EMILY's List, focused on electing anti-abortion candidates) has Kathy Dahlkemper in its sights after her vote in favor of HCR. They're laying out $300K to help her GOP opponent Mike Kelly.
• SC-04: Politico has a look at how Rep. Bob Inglis has gotten very little help from his congressional Republican colleagues, suggesting that they (like us) have been doing the Inglis Deathwatch for the last year and, whatever they may think of him personally, don't see him as a good repository for their political capital. Inglis, who's likely to lose the GOP runoff to the more rhetorically-conservative Trey Gowdy tonight, has received money from only two GOP colleagues this cycle (both of whom are also despised by their bases: Lindsey Graham and Dan Burton). He hasn't gotten any NRCC help either, despite their earlier all-out efforts to help fellow incumbent Parker Griffith in his primary.
• VA-02: One other GOP internal poll to report: Scott Rigell has one from POS, giving him a 41-35 lead over Democratic freshman Rep. Glenn Nye. (No other details about the poll were discussed.) This comes in the context of a larger question over the recent blitz of GOP internal polls, and strange silence on the Democratic end: do the Democrats just not have good news in those districts to counter with, or (as many have speculated) are they engaged in a bit of expectations gaming/rope-a-dope?
• $$$: Remember how fearsome the Karl Rove-founded 527 American Crossroads was going to be, and how it was going to be some sort of unstoppable killing machine? The big-donor-oriented group set a target of $52 million raised this year, but they've raised a grand total of $1.2 million so far, with a whopping $200 last month. (That's not $200K... it's $200.)
• Polltopia: With everybody seemingly buzzing about the "enthusiasm gap!" all the time (or maybe that was just for the duration of yesterday, a lifetime ago in politics), PPP's Tom Jensen simply shrugs. He points to huge GOP enthusiasm advantages in his polling of recent races like PA-12 (where the GOP lost) and NJ-Gov (where the GOP only narrowly won). He also points to Democratic advantages in generic ballot tests among likely but only the "somewhat excited" or "not very excited." As long as those less-excited voters still show up (as they did in, say, PA-12), their votes still count just as much.