A super Tuesday of primaries means a super-sized Primary Roundup the day after!
AR-Sen(D): Blanche Lincoln's 52-48 victory in the runoff over Bill Halter is being spun as a comeback, but she did, y'know, win the primary too, by a similar margin. A series of R2K polls plus the incumbent rule were the main reason most people mentally gave Halter the edge going into the runoff, but in the end, a pretty similar universe of voters showed up the second time, while the D.C. Morrison voters either split evenly or just stayed away. (C)
AR-01(D): Chad Causey, the former CoS to retiring Rep. Marion Berry, eked out a 51-49 runoff victory over former state Sen. Tim Wooldridge in a battle of conservadem vs. very-conservadem. Causey's late endorsement by Bill Clinton may have helped push him over the top. (C)
AR-02(D): In another Dem runoff, liberal African-American state Sen. Joyce Elliott won a 54-46 victory over state House speaker Robbie Wills. They went hard negative on each other, meaning a lot of damage control before facing well-financed GOPer Tim Griffin in November. (C)
AR-03(R): In the dark-red 3rd, Rogers mayor Steve Womack won the GOP runoff against state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, 52-48; Womack is almost certain to win in November. Bledsoe was the only Sarah Palin endorsee to lose last night (but then, Fiorina and Branstad were gimmees). (C)
CA-Gov(R): With only one outlier poll to the contrary, the primary between former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and current Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner wasn't expected to be close. Poizner's attempts to outflank Whitman on the right netted him only a 64-27 defeat; Whitman now goes on to face former Governor and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown. (JMD)
CA-Sen(R): Yesterday wasn't a dream for Carly Fiorina, who romped to a victory with 56% of the vote over former San Jose congressman Tom Campbell and Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. CarlyFornia gets to take on three-term incumbent Barbara Boxer. (JMD)
CA-Lt. Gov(D): In just one of yesterday's showings of the Northern California dominance of the California Democratic Party, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom beat LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn 55-32, winning all but six counties. (JMD)
CA-Lt. Gov(R): Incumbent Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado, appointed to replace now-Rep. John Garamendi, beat back a conservative challenge from term-limited State Senator Sam Aanestad by a 43-31 margin. Aanestad won the counties in his district and the OC, but not much else. (JMD)
CA-Att. Gen(D): In this seven-way primary for the Dem nod to replace Jerry Brown who's running for governor, San Francisco DA Kamala Harris withstood an aerial assault from Facebook Chief "Privacy" Officer Chris Kelly. Harris ended up more than doubling Harris' vote totals, 33-16. Behind them were East Bay Assemblyman Alberto Torrico at 15%, LA County Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Santa Barbara Assemblyman Pedro Nava, and LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo at 10 apiece. All three Assemblyman were term-limited - better luck next time at musical chairs, guys. (JMD)
CA-Att. Gen(R): Los Angeles County DA Steve Cooley, the lone moderate in the field of three, scores a convincing 47-34-19 victory over his more conservative opponents, Chapman University Law School dean John Eastman and Orange County Assemblyman Tom Harman. This sets up yet another NorCal-SoCal matchup for AG in November, LA County DA Steve Cooley against San Francisco (City and County) DA Kamala Harris. (JMD)
CA-Sec. of State(R): O, RLY? No, not really. Some insiders were worried that Birther Queen Orly Taitz would inexplicably earn the GOP nod for Secretary of State, but she ended up getting thoroughly pasted by ex-NFLer Damon Dunn 74-26. While Dunn's busy facing off against incumbent Dem SoS Debra Bowen, Orly can go back to getting thoroughly pasted (and fined) in court for filing frivolous suits. (JMD)
CA-Init: The good news: Props 16 and 17 -- pet projects for the private utilities and insurance companies, respectively -- have both failed, both losing 52-48 after leading much of the night. The bad news (well, as far as most blogosphere chatter goes; as a Washingtonian with first-hand experience with the 'top two' system, my own feelings are a firm 'meh'): Prop 14 passed 54-46, meaning California switches to a 'top two' primary system. (C)
CA-02(R): Longtime Republican incumbent Wally Herger survived an attempted teabagging from retired Air Force Col. Pete Siglich by a 65-35 spread. Siglich criticized Herger for his TARP bailout vote, earmarks, and, going all the way back to 2003, his support for Medicare Part D, but only spent $45,000 on the race. (JL)
CA-11(R): Attorney David Harmer, who carpetbagged across the border from the 10th after establishing his GOP bona fides in the special election there, captured the GOP nomination with a middling 36%. The publicity Brad Goehring got over his lib'rul huntin' remarks seemed to catapult him into 2nd place, ahead of the other two more normal candidates, Tony Amador and Elizabeth Emken. (C)
CA-19(R): As in the 11th, the establishment GOPer (here, state Sen. Jeff Denham) was the victor with 36% against a fractured field. Denham, who got the backing of retiring Rep. George Radanovich, beat former Fresno mayor (and Club for Growth guy) Jim Patterson and slimy former CA-11 Rep. Richard Pombo. (C)
CA-33(D): Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, who's LA-based 47th AD overlaps quite a bit with CD-33, beat out some minor opposition with 85% of the vote to win the Democratic nomination to succeed outgoing Dem. Diane Watson. Bass faces minor GOP opposition in November and will almost certainly be the next Congresswoman from this D+35 district. (JMD)
CA-36(D): Marcy Winograd's second challenge to Jane Harman was better organized than her first run in 2006, and Jane Harman's had her share of scandal since then, but the needle barely moved. Harman scored 58.8%, down from 62.5% in 2006, but Harman never looked like she was in any real danger last night. (JMD)
CA-37(D): In another case of an incumbent under 70%, scandal-ridden Laura Richardson scored a suprisingly weak 68% against three miscellaneous Democratic opponents in this Long Beach based district. (JMD)
CA-42(R): Who (other than Swing State Project, of course) would've guessed that out of all the dozens of incumbent House members up for re-election, the night's second worst performance after Bob Inglis would come from Orange County's Gary Miller? With problems including war record embellishment, ethical clouds, and a pro-TARP vote, Miller beat Phil Liberatore only 49-37. (C)
CA-47(R): Despite the presence of another Vietnamese candidate on the ballot, Garden Grove Assemblyman Van Tran still got a majority of the vote to challenge incumbent Democrat Loretta Sanchez in this majority-Hispanic district that went for Bush in 2004, but also went by 20% for Obama. (JMD)
CA-50(D): If Francine Busby takes another run after this one, she's in serious danger of landing the kiss of death of being called "perennial candidate" in the press. Nevertheless, she won the booby prize of the Democratic nod against GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray over attorney Tracy Emblem with two thirds of the vote. This marks her fourth run for this seat, and her third against Bilbray (counting two races in 2006). It's not quite Sodrel-esque, but it's getting close. (JL)
GA-09(Special): Tom Graves was hit with some late scuttle in this race to succeed retiring GOPer Nathan Deal who resigned to run for Governor. Despite some weakness in Gainesville (Hall County), the former state Rep. beat out fellow Republican former state Senator Lee Hawkins by a 56-44 margin. The House now stands at 255 D, 178 R and 2 vacancies. (JMD)
IA-Gov(R): Terry Branstad, to no one's surprise, won the GOP primary for a fifth (!) term as Governor. The only surprise was the tepid margin; he beat social conservative Bob Vander Plaats 50-41 (with 9 for Rod Roberts). Unfortunately for Chet Culver (who may be ruing not trying some Gray Davis-style manipulation in the GOP primary), a weak Branstad win is still a Branstad win. (C)
IA-02(R): Move over Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and M. Myers Mermel, because Mariannette Miller-Meeks is back in town. The ophthalmologist and 2008 nominee against David Loebsack won the GOP primary surprisingly easily (with 51%), considering she was against NRCC pick Rob Gettemy and two former Senate candidates. (C)
IA-03(R): The NRCC also hit the Fail jackpot in the 3rd, where their pick, former wrestling coach Jim Gibbons, lost decisively to the better-organized state Sen. Brad Zaun (who won with 42% to Gibbons' 28%) in a race that had been expected to go to convention to be decided. desmoinesdem has a good diary up detailing the NRCC's Iowa double-faceplant. (C)
ME-Gov(D): State Senate president Libby Mitchell seems on track to becoming Maine's first female governor, winning the Democratic primary with 35%; a Bill Clinton endorsement may have helped her stand out from the ho-hum pack. She was followed by former AG Steve Rowe at 23, businesswoman Rosa Scarcelli at 22, and former state Conservation director (and former Avengers star) Patrick McGowan at 20. (C)
ME-Gov(R): Waterville mayor Paul LePage, the Republican who'd been most closely associated with local Tea Partiers, won the GOP nomination with 38%. He finished ahead of a gaggle of moderates, including businessman Les Otten at 17, state Sen. Peter Mills at 15, ex-Collins CoS Steve Abbott at 13. Will a race between the very liberal Mitchell and very conservative LePage give a legitimate opening to centrist independent Eliot Cutler in November? (C)
NJ-03(R): Former Eagles offensive lineman and establishment favorite Jon Runyan dispatched Tabernacle Township Committeeman and insurgent Justin Murphy by a 60-40 margin for the right to take on freshman Dem John Adler in this Burlington County-based R+1 district. (JMD)
NJ-06(R): Back in the egg-on-NRCC's-face department, one of their "on the radar" candidates, Monmouth County GOP Vice Chair Diane Gooch, finds herself 61 votes behind Highlands mayor Anna Little. Winner takes on 11-term Dem Frank Pallone. (JMD)
NJ-07(R): Frosh GOP Rep. Leonard Lance was held to only 56% in his primary against a four-pack of underfunded teabaggers. His closest foe, businessman David Larsen, received 31% of the vote. (JL)
NJ-12(R): NRCC favorite Scott Sipprelle had a surprisingly close call (59-41) against the teabaggish David Corsi for the right to take on Dem Rush Holt in this central Jersey district. (JMD)
NV-Gov(R): A pathetic end for a pathetic man: GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons claimed only 27% in his primary against ex-AG Brian Sandoval, who won the nod with 56%. Sandoval will try to take on Rory Reid's lunch money in the fall. (JL)
NV-Sen(R): Harry Reid must be doing the Angle Dance tonight, as the Dirty Harry Hand Cannon-packing, crypto-Scientologist, prohibitionist, Club for Growth-backed nutcake Sharron Angle trounced former NV GOP Chair Sue Lowden and ex-SoS candidate Danny Tarkanian by an absurd 40-26-23 spread. Harry Reid, you are one lucky bastard. (JL)
SC-Gov: State Sen. Vincent Sheheen easily claimed the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina with 59% of the vote against the briefly-hyped SC School Superintendent Jim Rex (23%). He'll have some time to replenish his reserves by the Republican race goes to a runoff, as state Rep. Nikki Haley weathered her recent controversies in fine form with 49% of the vote to TARP-loving US Rep. Gresham Barrett's 22%. (JL)
SC-Sen(D): This is just embarrassing. South Carolina Democrats had been hyping the candidacy of Charleston County councilman and ex-state Rep. Vic Rawl for months, but Rawl ended up losing to Alvin Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed ex-military guy who lives with his dad and somehow found the ten grand necessary to file for office. (And it wasn't even close, either, at 59-41.) Do we have another Scott Lee Cohen on our hands? The morning-after news seems to suggest so, with court records confirming that Greene was charged with showing obscene pictures to a college student. This is now the second cycle in a row where SC Dems have nominated the less-than-ideal choice for Senate. (JL)
SC-01: Oy. This is pretty damn embarrassing, too. Perennial candidate Ben Frasier (0 for 19!) upset the mildly touted Robert Burton, a former member of the Board of Commissioners of the State Housing Finance and Development Authority, for the Democratic nomination in this open seat. For the Republicans, we're looking at a run-off between state Rep. Tim Scott (the Club for Growth's choice), who won 31% of the vote, and legacy candidate Paul Thurmond, who placed second with 16%. (JL)
SC-03(R): This was a bit of a surprise. In the race to succeed Gresham Barrett in the House, businessman Richard Cash finished first with 25%, with state Rep. Jeff Duncan also advancing to the run-off with 23%. That's something of an upset, as state Rep. Rex Rice, who placed third at 19%, was seen as a strong bet to make the run-off. (JL)
SC-04(R): Bob Inglis is utterly doomed. The increasingly sane GOP incumbent only won 28% of the vote in his primary against Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy and other teabag also-rans. Gowdy ended the night with 39%, meaning that these two are headed for a run-off, but it's hard to imagine how Inglis can survive this one. (JL)
SD-Gov(R): Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard easily sowed up the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 50% of the vote in a five-person field. He'll face state Senate Minority Leader Scott Scott Heidepriem in November. (JL)
SD-AL(R): This was always a hard race to fit into the usual Republican primary template, since all three of the GOP candidates (SoS Chris Nelson, and state Reps. Blake Curd and Kristi Noem) were establishment types, despite some teabaggish behavior (most notably Nelson, who'd been birther-curious). In the end, Noem prevailed, beating Nelson and Curd without a runoff, 42-35-23. Did Noem's advertising make the difference, or did Nelson's birtherism cost him his early frontrunner status? (C)
VA-02(R): Auto dealer Scott Rigell wrapped up the Republican nomination to face Dem Rep. Glenn Nye the Freshman Guy with 40% of the vote. Businessman Ben Loyola placed second with 27%. (JL)
VA-05(R): Despite being absolutely despised by the teabagging base in the district thanks to his vote for the tax hiking Mark Warner budget many moons ago, state Sen. Robert Hurt easily won the GOP nod against Democrat Tom Perriello with 48% of the vote. Hurt will have to look out on his right flank, though, as Danville businessman Jeff Clark has said that he would run as an independent if Hurt wins the nod. (JL)
With the California primaries only days away, I decided to make a list of races worth watching this coming Super Tuesday. Cross-posted at Calitics and Democracy for California.
U.S. Senate (R) - Fiorina seems to have consolidated the "outsider" vote, seeing as she is the only one of the three that has not held elected office and it seems that being an outsider will get one far in the Republican primary (though not so much in a California general election).
Governor (R) - Exactly as I predicted, this race has unfolded to be 2006 in reverse. Whoever wins the GOP primary here will be so radioactive that many Republican voters likely will cross over to vote for Jerry Brown, like many Democratic voters did for Arnold last time. If Jerry Brown pulls similar numbers among Republicans that Arnold did among Democrats, then Brown is likely gonna win big. And I'm unsure about how indies will go, so I just went with an estimate similar to the 2006 numbers.
Lt. Governor (D) - This race will be very interesting: a classic NorCal/SoCal matchup, between Gavin Newsom and Janice Hahn.
Lt. Governor (R) - Newly-appointed incumbent Abel Maldonado will face a tough primary with more conservative State Senator Sam Aanestad. Given that moderates have fared pretty poorly in California elections of late, I give Aanestad the edge.
Sec. of State (R) - Any race with the Birther Queen just has to be a race to watch, more so for the comedy value, though I think most Republicans don't buy her BS, so I see Dunn getting the nomination. No matter who wins, Debra Bowen is likely a cinch for a second term.
Attorney General (D) - Very crowded primary here, with 3 term-limited Assemblymen, Torrico, Nava, and Lieu; S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris; Facebook attorney Chris Kelly; and disgraced ex-L.A. city attorney Delgadillo, though the race seems to have narrowed to just Harris and Kelly. From what I have heard of Kelly, I am rooting for Harris.
Controller (R) - Not much drama here, but I am hoping for Tony Strickland to win so he can lose to John Chiang even worse than in 2006. Unfortunately, he is not up for reelection to the State Senate until 2012, so if he wins the nomination but loses the general, he will still be in the senate (hopefully until 2012).
Insurance Commissioner (D) - Here we have two strong candidates in term-limited assemblymen Hector De La Torre and Dave Jones. I have no preference in this race, but since Jones has more money and establishment backing, I think he'll win the nod.
CA-11 (R) - Will David Harmer, who lost by only 10% in the more Democratic CA-10 in the special election (albeit with lower turnout) be able to make it past the primary against Tony Amador and be more competitive in the general?
CA-19 (D) - I am pulling for Loraine Goodwin here. Any campaign based on health care reform is a big winner in Democratic primaries and in general elections in most parts of the state. Not sure what the HCR numbers are in this neck of the woods.
CA-19 (R) - I think I will root for Denham here, as he has won in more Democratic turf, so he is relatively saner. (And Denham is term-limited, so CA-19 run or no CA-19 run, we have a great shot at winning SD-12.) Pombo shouldn't really be of much concern, as he has placed a distant third in the recent primary poll.
CA-26 (R) - My hometown district, where Dreier faces a primary challenge from businessman Mark Butler. While I consider Dreier to be the heavy favorite, this primary challenge could further drain his campaign coffers. If he wins the primary, Dreier has the advantage of incumbency and a year more favorable to his party (though anti-Obama sentiment is much weaker in California than elsewhere). A disadvantage Dreier has is depleted campaign coffers, from spending like crazy to win only 52% against Warner in 2008 and possibly from this primary challenge.
CA-33 (D) - Former Assembly speaker Karen Bass is likely the heavy favorite, and I hope she wins.
CA-36 (D) - Harman/Winograd redux, only with more fireworks this time around.
CA-42 (R) - Even though Gary Miller's voting record is unabashedly conservative, he is still getting teabagged by three other Republicans. Count on yet another incumbent scoring a subpar primary performance.
CA-45 (R) - Mary Bono Mack has drawn teabag primary opposition from Clayton Thibodeau for her vote for cap-and-trade. She also voted against repealing DADT in spite of her district having the highest concentration of gays of any Republican-held district, possibly out of fear of getting teabagged. If Thibodeau upsets Bono Mack, this Obama-voting R+3 district could be put into play.
CA-47 (R) - Will Tan and Van split the Vietnamese vote, allowing Kathy Smith to sneak through?
CA-50 (D) - I like Busby, but I think her time has passed, if she couldn't beat Bilbray in the far more Democratic-favored 2006. Attorney Tracy Emblem seems to have most of the grassroots support.
AD-05 (R) - In this open, evenly-divided suburban Sacramento seat, the Tea Party has gotten into another Republican primary, backing Craig DeLuz against party-backed Prop 8 backer Andy Pugno. I am rooting for DeLuz to win the primary so in one election we defeat a Prop H8er and increase our chances of winning this district too.
AD-30 (D) - The Parra/Florez feud continues, with Nicole's dad Pete Parra facing off against Dean's mom Fran Florez, who lost to Danny Gilmore, who didn't like being an Assemblyman and that's why he's not running, which I at first found surprising.
AD-36 (D) - Linda Jones, who ran here in 2008, faces primary opposition from real estate broker Maggie Campbell and police officer Shawntrice Watkins. This time I am rooting for Watkins, because this Antelope Valley-centric district is very law-and-order, being the home of the Runners (Sharon and George, of "Jessica's Law" fame), and incumbent Steve Knight also having been a police officer before being elected to the Assembly. Watkins could cut into Knight's law-and-order advantage. Plus Watkins' endorsement from Equality California can't hurt either.
AD-68 (D) and (R) - I am really looking forward to an all-Vietnamese matchup here. Will be interesting to gauge the Vietnamese vote if it's Phu Nguyen (D) vs. Long Pham (R).
And what is a California election without some ballot measures? Five are on the ballot this time.
Prop 13: Tax break to property owners for making seismic retrofits. I like seeing tax breaks used as incentives for good causes. Vote YES!
Prop 14: Top two votegetters in the primary would go on to the general election, limiting voter choices. Vote NO!
Prop 15: Repeals ban on public financing and raises fees on lobbyists to fund a public financing system for SecState election beginning in 2014. Vote YES!
Prop 16: PG&E power grab that requires a 2/3 vote to create public power districts or allow local governments to purchase their own renewable power. Vote NO!
Prop 17: Weakens consumer protections and allow car insurance companies to charge much more for late payments. Vote NO!
While the range of competitive House districts has narrowed considerably, I am still including all 8 Obama-Republican districts to watch their trends. I also added state legislative seats that are open this year in which the incumbent is not term-limited.
With the filing deadline passed, we are beginning to see how the fields are shaping up for the 2010 elections in California. While the range of competitive House districts has narrowed considerably, I am still including all 8 Obama-Republican districts to watch their trends.
Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
• FL-Sen: The 99th-most senior senator in the United States, George LeMieux, has been working his new colleagues on behalf of Charlie Crist. After James Inhofe endorsed Marco Rubio, LeMieux began trying to play the role of gatekeeper, urging other fellow senators to see him first before picking sides. Supposedly, LeMieux has told some of these people that a "shoe was about to drop" in the race - but the Miami Herald's use of the past tense in that quasi-quote has me wondering if some expected bombshell failed to go off.
• IL-Sen: As the bank owned by Alexei Giannoulias and his family started failing over the last couple of years, it nonetheless paid out $70 million in dividends to him and his siblings. Giannoulias claims he only personally received a "minimal" portion of those dividends - except by minimal, he means $2.5 million. Unsurprisingly, his opponent David Hoffman is hammering him about this.
• NY-Sen-B: Chatter is heating up about NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson's future. The NYT reports that folks close to Thompson say he's considering one of three options: challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, challenging state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, or taking a breather and running for mayor again in 2013. The article focuses most heavily on a potential matchup with Gillibrand. Not only have her poll numbers been anemic, but the White House would probably have a hard time trying to dissuade Thompson, given that their public attempt to push another African American, Gov. David Paterson, out of his race.
In related news on the GOP side, Larchmont Mayor Elizbeth Feld said she's considering a run. Feld got crushed in a run for the state Senate's 37th district seat last year.
• CA-50: Solano Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts is dropping out of the race against Brian Bilbray because he and his partner are adopting two more children who are siblings of one of their sons. Roberts declined to endorse either of the remaining Dem candidates, Francine Busby and Tracy Emblem, but pledged to work with the winner to beat Bilbray next year.
• FL-08: The Republicans have "finally found" a candidate to take on Alan Grayson, rich guy Bruce O'Donoghue. That attitude, though, is indicative of the fact that the GOP establishment is ignoring Armando Gutierrez, the young carpetbagging real estate developer who's been in the race since October. Who knows whether O'Donoghue will pass wingnut purity tests, but if he's wobbly, he may be vulnerable to getting teabagged to death by Gutierrez. And if the power players continue to diss Gutierrez, that's only likely to fuel teabag rage further.
• Polling: Another installment of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure from PPP. This time, the choices are Delaware, Georgia, Illinois primary, and South Carolina. Click the link to cast your vote.
Taking into account some suggestions and comments, I made some changes to my previous attempt at redistricting California. I conceded an additional 2 seats to the GOP, which concomitantly makes a number of other seats more strongly Democratic. The additional 2 safe GOP seats are CA-4 and CA-48. Here's what version 2 looks like, overall:
I decided to try my hand at redistricting California's Congressional districts for 2010-2012, using Dave's Redistricting App. After playing around with it a bit, here's what the map I came up with looks like overall:
Here's the 2008 Obama/McCain vote in California, on the precinct level:
• MA-Sen: AG Martha Coakley wasted no time in announcing her candidacy for the special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat; unlike the myriad members of the House delegation, she's not waiting to see if a Kennedy gets in. Meanwhile, people are definitely talking about a candidacy by Curt Schilling, retired from the Boston Red Sox. If Schilling runs, he's ineligible to do so as a Republican, though; he's registered as an independent, and he doesn't have enough time under Massachusetts to change his registration to be able to run as an R. (Schilling himself acknowledges he may not be the best candidate, although he clearly is enjoying the spotlight.)
• NC-Sen: Former state Sen. and Iraq vet Cal Cunningham seems to be acting more like a candidate, and he got a big boost from a recent speech to a Democratic group in Charlotte which has gone viral, as they kids say these days. He lit Burr up with zinger after zinger, effectively summing up the anonymous Burr this way: "In 15 years on Capitol Hill you can't name one thing that Richard Burr has done to make your life better, and I can't either."
• NV-Sen: Feeling confident after seeing several polls giving her an edge over Harry Reid, Nevada GOP chair Sue Lowden is resigning her post, presumably with an eye toward a Senate run. Since there are already announced candidates (former SoS candidate Danny Tarkanian), she's resigning as of Sep. 30 to avoid a conflict of interest.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): Franklin & Marshall is out with a poll of the Pennsylvania races, although the undecideds are bizarrely large. Case in point, Arlen Specter leads Joe Sestak 37-11 in the Dem primary (with 46% don't know and 6% other). Specter bests Pat Toomey in the general, 37-29, while Toomey beats Sestak, 26-22. (As an amusing aside, Sestak and Toomey had a Specter-free debate at Muhlenberg College last night and then adjourned to a local pub together for a round of beers and further private trash-talking of Specter.) F&M also polled the GOP gubernatorial primary, where Tom Corbett leads Jim Gerlach 15-6 (with 73% don't know!). Outgoing Gov. Ed Rendell has quickly plunged from most popular figure in the state to least popular, with a favorable of 32/53.
• MN-Gov: Former Dem state House leader Matt Entenza recently hired Friend of SSP Dana Houle to manage his campaign for governor. Congrats to Dana, and best wishes to Entenza, who made a wise choice. (D)
• NV-Gov: You know your political career is over when other members of your own party are using your name as a cudgel against their opposition. Minor GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Montandon issued a press release attacking John Ensign over his alleged recruiting of recently-retired federal judge Brian Sandoval into the gubernatorial primary. (Although presumably the intent was to besmirch his opponent Sandoval, by linking him to Ensign.)
• VA-Gov: One more poll to mention in Virginia, not as favorable as the PPP poll from Tuesday. Rasmussen's latest look at the race gives Bob McDonnell a 51-42 lead over Creigh Deeds with leaners (49-39 without), not much changed from the early August sample of 47-38. The entire one-day sample was on Sep. 1, after news of McDonnell's anti-fornicator manifesto had broken. Speaking of said master's thesis, Deeds is already on the air with radio spots (wisely airing only in northern Virginia) attacking McDonnell over the thesis. In another sign of Dems' renewed confidence in this race, the DNC is pouring a truckload of cash into the race: $5 million.
• CA-50: Dave Roberts, a city councilor and former mayor in Solana Beach, confirmed today that he'll be a candidate in the 50th against GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray. Roberts, an openly gay veteran, has sounded more conservative notes than the other Dems in the primary, 2006 candidate Francine Busby and attorney Tracy Emblem; he recently changed his registration from Independent to Democratic. (UPDATE: The Roberts camp informs us that he is not a veteran.)
• FL-16: The DCCC sounds happy with its recruit to go against freshman Tom Rooney, 36-year-old St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft. He also has a compelling backstory, as seen in this recent interview.
• NH-01: Here's a poll of the hotly contested race in the 1st, courtesy of Populus Research (the same guys who polled NH-Sen a few weeks ago and found no undecideds) on behalf of the conservative site Now Hampshire. Carol Shea-Porter leads GOP mayor of Manchester Frank Guinta, 46.3%-43.4% (I'm not sure what's up with the extra significant digits when the MoE is still 4%, but who am I to nitpick?). Guinta previously released an NRCC internal poll in April that had him down 43-34.
• NY-23: Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava seems to have one Achilles heel in the NY-23 open seat special election: her brother Thomas (in the fine tradition of Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, and Neil Bush). Turns out she owns $1 million in preferred stock (and a 3% voting stake) in her brother's troubled company, Seaway Valley Capital Corporation, a holding company whose subsidiaries owe $192,000 in back taxes. She maintains she's a mere "passive investor," although she is COO of an affiliated company, Seaway Capital Partners.
• KY-State Sen.: It looks like Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is going to continue his stealth plan to dismantle the GOP's majority in the Kentucky state Senate, one seat at a time. Still riding high off of Democrat Robin Webb's recent win of a GOP-held state Senate seat, Republican Senate President David Williams is pre-emptively whining in the press about Beshear's efforts to see that GOP Senate Majority Leader Dan Kelly gets nominated to a vacant circuit judgeship. This move has been rumored for some time, and back in July, the names of two Democrats were floated for a potential special election in Kelly's seat in central Kentucky's Bourbon territory: former state Rep. Jodie Haydon of Bardstown or Nicky Rapier, the son of the late House leader Kenny Rapier. (J)