• AZ-Sen: I keep saying that there's no way Jeff Flake waltzes to the GOP nomination, but the Republican party has yet to prove me right. Fortunately, my deliverance may come in the form of rich guy Wil Cardon, who is supposedly giving the race a "very strong look" - and can self-fund.
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov, etc.: Like another failed Republican gubernatorial candidate before her, it looks like we won't have Meg Whitman to kick around anymore. Actually, that's kind of confusing, because of course we did get to kick Dick Nixon around quite a bit more... but not until he kicked all of us around first. Anyhow, uh, where was I? Oh yeah, the former eBay chief says she "doubts" whether she'll run for office again. Let's hope she means it.
• MA-Sen: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, and Deval Patrick still won't run for Senate.
• MT-Sen: For once, I'm hoping a Republican schedules more fundraisers - at least, fundraisers like this. Denny Rehberg just did an event in Denver that was co-hosted by BP's "director of government and public affairs" (i.e., their chief in-house lobbyist)... on the one-year anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Good optics!
• ND-Sen: This should scare absolutely no one off, from either party: Republican Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, the only declared candidate to succeed retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, raised all of $32K in Q1. John Hoeven he ain't. While we're on the subject of North Dakota, former Sen. Byron Dorgan, who retired last year, just donated the bulk of his remaining campaign funds - $1 million - to a new charity he founded, the Center for Native American Youth. A worthy cause, I'm sure, but I'll bet Joe Sestak would have really appreciated that extra mil.
• OH-Sen: It's weird how the GOP went from utterly dominating last year's Senate election in Ohio to digging out their barrel-bottom scrapers from the back of the utility shed. Ken Blackwell says he's talking to the NRSC about a possible run... though I guess it's not really clear if the NRSC is talking back. A lulzy quote: "You don't just come out and build the sort of support base that I have overnight." True - you probably need to spend two years running a crappy campaign to do as terribly as he did in the governor's race back in 2006.
• TN-Sen: This is a little odd: Sen. Bob Corker said he "came close" to not seeking re-election this cycle. Too bad we don't have a candidate who could make hay out of Corker's lack of fire in the belly (a phrase he actually uses with respect to some fantasy presidential run, but seems applicable to his day job, too).
• VA-Sen: It's starting to feel like the wingnut candidates are doing everything they can to make life easier for George Allen by piling into the clown car that is the GOP primary field. The latest is rich dude Tim Donner, whom we mentioned last month. Almost all of these weirdos claim to be teabaggers in good standing, so this almost assuredly means we'll see some People's Front of Judea/Judean People's Front nonsense, rather than a united effort to stop Allen. Lame.
• KY-Gov: Republican frontrunner David Williams raised just $450K in Q1 and has $670K on hand. (This compares to Gov. Steve Beshear, whose numbers we mentioned previously: $1.3m/$3.3m.)
• NC-Gov: PPP's monthly home-state poll shows Gov. Bev Perdue inching up against Republican Pat McCrory, trailing 49-38 instead of 50-36. That's very similar to a new SurveyUSA poll which has McCrory up 51-39.
• SC-Gov: The issues are a little too complex for me to try to summarize here in a digest bullet, but the link will take you to an interesting story exposing some pretty naïve political incompetence on the part of supposed GOP wunderkind Gov. Nikki Haley. One thing I'd like to remind folks of is that despite the Republican bloodbath of 2010, Haley didn't perform all that impressively. In fact, she had the second-narrowest win out of all 20 victorious GOP gubernatorial candidates, just 4.3%. Only Rick Scott won more narrowly, and he's Rick Scott. Dem Vincent Sheheen got almost no national attention but should have, given his strong performance in a tough state in an impossible year. If Haley continues to stumble, I think she could prove surprisingly vulnerable in 2014.
• CA-Sen: There's that quote about people who can't remember the past... what does it say again? They're likely to be very, very successful, right? Anyway, PPP looks at the California GOP Senate primary for 2012, and finds the Republican electorate's preferred candidate to go up against Dianne Feinstein would be... Carly Fiorina?!? She's at 23, beating out even Meg Whitman, who in fact is tied with Darrell Issa at 16. Tom Campbell's at 15, Arnold Schwarzenegger is at 6, Steve Poizner's at 5, Kevin McCarthy's at 4, and Mary Bono Mack is at 2. (As I've said before, I'd be surprised if any of these people find their way into primary.)
• CT-Sen: State GOP party chair Chris Healy is starting to sound antsy waiting for Linda McMahon to declare her next Senate candidacy, even sounding a little snippy about it ("I think if you're serious about doing something this big, no matter what your background, you've got to make some indication that you're serious about it."). Healy probably has a lot on the line in terms of getting McMahon to get in, considering how many former allies he had throw under the bus (starting with Rob Simmons) to get her and her millions in place the first time.
• FL-Sen: This is odd: despite most people considering him a lock for a Senate run, Rep. Connie Mack IV, when asked about whether he'd run yesterday by Greta Van Sustern, laughed and said "I have no idea." Could he be getting cold feet? This ought to have a foot-chilling effect: state Sen. President Mike Haridopolos, already declared as a candidate, seems to have the midas touch. He raised $1 million at one (1!) fundraiser in Orlando last week.
• MO-Sen: Apparently there were some rumors yesterday which I didn't hear that said that Rep. Jo Ann Emerson was ready to announce she wasn't going to run for Senate. It's just as well that I didn't hear them, as now Emerson is publicly disputing that, saying she has yet to decide, and will take "a few more weeks."
• NM-Sen: If you're thinking that that PPP poll that showed him overperforming other Republicans in next year's Senate race may have gotten Republican ex-Gov. Gary Johnson interested in dropping his vanity presidential bid and running locally, guess again. Buried in this Politico article is a quote from Johnson confirming that the only office he's interested in is the presidency.
• VA-Sen: So, with Jim Webb's retirement confirmed, what now? Ex-Gov. Tim Kaine is the top Dem possibility (performing just as well as Webb, if PPP's poll of a few months ago is to be believed); his statement yesterday, however, didn't betray any intentions to run or not run (he'd previously said he wouldn't run if Webb retired, but somehow nobody seems to believe that, with most observers saying that Kaine could be swayed if Barack Obama leans on him to run). Rep. Rick Boucher, who's 65 and lost VA-09 after decades in 2010, hasn't said anything either (one advantage he has is that he still has a lot of money left in his federal account, after getting caught napping), but is getting some consideration for being able to put his red corner of the state in play. Another 2010 loser, Glenn Nye, is some Dems' wish list, along with 2009 losing LG candidate Michael Signer, state Sen. Chap Petersen, state Sen. Donald McEachin, and state Del. David Englin. Another state Del., Kenny Alexander, is floating his name (no idea if he's actually on anyone's wish list, though). Terry McAuliffe, the former DNC chair who lost the 2009 gubernatorial primary, says he's "not ruling it out," although he's generally expected to pursue another gubernatorial run in 2013 instead.
The potential candidate who seems to get the most netroots attention is, of course, ex-Rep. Tom Perriello. He's currently out of the country, and a spokesperson merely says he's "keeping his options open" at this point; a Republican consultant, however, gives Politico 10 reasons why Perriello would be a particularly formidable candidate. Two of the state's remaining Dem house members, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott, also are in the "not ruling it out" stage, though Scott says it's "unlikely." Finally, on the GOP side, it seems like Webb's departure is getting Prince William Co. Supervisor Corey Stewart even likelier to run, as he says the odds of a Republican winning in November are greater now.
• NY-26: Chris Lee's shirtless come-on may have been a metaphorical iceberg tip, which may have expedited his surprising resignation yesterday; recall that he was one of the several GOP Reps. particularly smacked down by John Boehner several months ago for excessive partying with female lobbyists. At any rate, let's focus on the future here: it seems like establishment Dems already have a preferred pic here, in the form of Kathy Konst, a former Erie Co. Legislator and current county director of environment and planning who had considered the 2008 Dem primary but smartly decided not to barge into the middle of that insanity. Speaking of that primary's murder-suicide duo, Jon Powers says on his Facebook page that he's "definitely thinking hard about it," while Jack Davis, three time loser in this district, is "seriously considering" another run... but this time as a Republican! (Um, good?) One other Dem name that's unlikely but keeps bubbling up is the White House deputy press director, Bill Burton, who's never held office but is a local.
On the GOP side, alas, it wasn't meant to be: losing gubernatorial candidate/Acme Gaffe Machine Carl Paladino won't run, although he is offering his support to state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (who may be emerging as the consensus candidate, since she has some self-funding capacity). The other top GOP contender, besides Corwin, seems to be former Assemblyman Jack Quinn, son of the ex-Rep. Finally, it seems state Sen. George Maziarz has decided not to run... or maybe had it decided for him by majority leader Dean Skelos, in order to avoid losing a state Senate special election if Maziarz got the promotion and seeing the body devolve into 31-31 chaos.
• MD-St. House: You might have seen some stories about how a member of the Democratic party in the state House wound up joining the body's Tea Party Caucus and in fact getting elected the caucus's vice-chair, apparently after hearing from many of his constituents that they wanted lower taxes and joining up without doing any further research into what the teabaggers were all about. Well, after a bit of an intervention from his fellow Dems, Del. Curt Anderson quit the group and apologized.
• WATN?: With John Kitzhaber returning from the mists of time to reclaim the governorship, now an even more distant figure returns: Democrat Barbara Roberts, who preceded Kitzhaber in office (1990-1994), is putting her name in consideration for an appointment to an open seat on the Portland-area Metro Council. It's unclear whether this is a temporary fill-in for the 75-year-old Roberts, or if she'd stand for re-election at the next general election. (Metro Council is a regional entity that spans the entire Portland metropolitan area with jurisdiction over public transit and land use planning.)
• Vote by mail: One more western state seems to be going down the road of all vote-by-mail elections in the future. A bill to switch Colorado to mail-in status is entering committee in the Republican-controlled state House; similar to Montana (where similar legislation is in the pipeline), the bill has bipartisan support, including a Republican as one of its two main sponsors.
• Census: This week's Census data dump is available (at least in ftp form), for Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, and Vermont. Next week's release schedule is Illinois, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.
PPP's last couple polls (Nebraska, Arizona) have had some bad news for Democrats, so here's a nice refreshing chaser, albeit one that shouldn't offer any surprises. If Dems with lukewarm faves (Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown) could win easily in the Dems' worst year in ages, the state's most popular politician (Dianne Feinstein, with 50/39 approvals) in a presidential year should be no contest. That's what PPP finds.
The only Republican here with even remotely positive favorables is Tom Campbell (who already lost to Feinstein once, in 2000, although he's better known now for losing the 2010 Republican primary to Carly Fiorina), although that may have to do with his little-knownness (21/18) than his moderatism. Everyone else is deep in the hole, no more so than Ahnold, at 25/65 (I think even "The Last Action Hero" tests better than that). My one quibble here is that none of these A-listers are likely to run, paving the way for an even sadder sack in the form of ex-Assemblyman and 2010 GOP primary loser Chuck DeVore, who should have been tested. (He's already said he's running for "something" in 2012; unless he plans to out-teabag one of Orange County's House members, that means the Senate race.)
• CA-Sen: Does Meg Whitman seriously not have anything better to do with her money? Rumors are bubbling up that she's actually considering a return to politics... which, if it's going to be in 2012, would mean a run against Dianne Feinstein (which, of course, would mean a run against the state's most popular politician in a presidential year, instead of an open seat run in a down year for Dems).
• MT-Sen: Republican businessman (and one-time LG candidate) Steve Daines did some serious fundraising in the last few months since announcing his candidacy, hauling in $225K since his announcement, with the majority of that money coming from in-state. The main target he's probably trying to scare with that money isn't Jon Tester (who has about $500K CoH), but Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who's usually the GOPer most associated with this race but has sounded noncommittal so far; I'm sure Daines would like to see Rehberg stay out of the Senate primary. Rehberg has $594K. One other Montana Senate item, although it hopefully won't be an issue any time soon: the Montana legislature is considering whether, in the event of a Senate vacancy, to switch over from gubernatorial appointment to a fast special election instead.
• OH-Sen: Quinnipiac has a poll today of the Ohio Senate race, but, like their Pennsylvania poll last month, the lack of an obvious Republican opponent means the matchup is just against Generic R. Sherrod Brown does pretty well against G.R., especially considering that actual named candidates tend not to do as well as generics at least at this stage in the game; Brown leads 45-33, and has an approval of 45/25. This is definitely a race where we shouldn't start celebrating short of the end zone, though, considering that PPP recently found Brown in much more of a pickle, and even Qpac points out he's far from the 50% mark and in "decent but not overwhelming" shape. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's writeup of the poll spends a lot of ink talking up Rep. Steve LaTourette as a possible GOP candidate; while he'd bring some geographic strengths to the race that other GOPers might not, there hasn't been any indication so far that he's interested.
• RI-Sen, RI-Gov: Sheldon Whitehouse looks like he's dodged at least one credible candidate in 2012; John Robitaille, who came close in the 2010 gubernatorial race (although that was only because of the center-left vote split between Lincoln Chafee and Frank Caprio) and has expressed interest in running for something else, now seems focused on a retry in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Partly, he admits, that's because running statewide as a Republican in Rhode Island in a presidential year would be a kamikaze mission.
• WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant has gotten endless mentions as a likely gubernatorial candidate, but with the clock ticking to the now-only-nine-months-away special election, she's made her candidacy official as of yesterday.
• FL-25: OK, here's a trivia question for you all (which I genuinely don't know the answer to)... which House freshman holds the record for the shortest partial term, before having to resign in shame? (I'm wondering if Eric Massa actually holds the record, but I'd bet there's some historical example of someone accomplishing it in less than one year.) The reason I ask is that things seem to be moving into a new phase in the investigation into David Rivera, and whether piles of money paid from a dog track that he helped, to his mother's marketing company, found their way into his pockets. The Miami-Dade County's state's attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, just turned the case over to the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement. Although that sounds ominous, some observers are seeing the move as a downgrade, though, as the FDLE may not devote the same level of resources to it; Rundle has been viewed as a possible Dem challenger in this district, and may be punting the case to avoid it becoming a liability for her later.
• MI-15: Rep. John Dingell (84 years old) says he'll be back for an unprecedented 30th term in the House, running again in 2012. One important detail, though: whatever district he's running in, it won't be the 15th next time, as Michigan is about to lose a seat. Dingell has survived multiple bad redistrictings over the decades, including beating fellow Democratic Rep. Lynn Rivers in a 2002 primary mashup. (Thanks to Greg Giroux, we know now that Dingell will pass Robert Byrd in all-time legislative service in June of 2013.)
• Mayors: Two mayoral races are in the news today, although both aren't up for grabs until 2012. Two-term incumbent Buddy Dyer (who used to be the Democratic leader in the Florida state Senate) says he's going to run for another term as mayor of Orlando. He also mentioned some vague gubernatorial aspirations. Also, Portland, Oregon will elect a new mayor in '12; all the action will be in the Democratic primary, where it's not certain that Sam Adams (damaged by a sex scandal several years ago) will run for a second term. One interesting possibility mentioned: former Senate candidate Steve Novick, who gained a lot of netroots attention during his '08 Dem primary run, is seriously considering a run.
• Votes: As you're probably already aware, the Dems held the defections down to three on yesterday's HCR repeal vote. It was the three likeliest suspects, given the combination of their dark-red districts and previous statements on the matter: OK-02's Dan Boren, NC-07's Mike McIntyre, and AR-04's Mike Ross. UT-02's Jim Matheson has the reddest district of any "no" vote, but he's a member of leadership and may be sanguine about getting a better district out of redistricting next year (or just figuring that the worst is past).
• Redistricting: Arizona legislative Republicans sort of succeeded with their quest to get three members of the state redistricting panel kicked off (on the grounds that they were serving in other political offices); however, it was a partial success because only two of the three challenged members got kicked off by the state supreme court and the one they were really targeting the most didn't get kicked off. Also, if you're in Virginia and you're a college student, the state is having a redistricting contest. No word on whether you absolutely have to be part of a team or can do it individually, but the winners get a cash prize and get to present the design for new congressional and legislative maps to the Governor's entirely-nonbinding advisory panel. (Actually, it looks like it's too late to start a team if your college doesn't already have one, but your college probably already has a team which you might be able to join. See here for the details.)
• CA-Sen: Despite getting only a small vote share in the GOP Senate primary this year (as conservatives decided to go with the slightly-more-electable Carly Fiorina), Chuck DeVore is talking Senate again, for 2012, when Dianne Feinstein will presumably run for re-election. Or is he? All he's saying is that he's likely to run in 2012, but hasn't decided what office. Senate is the only thing that's available, though, which makes his statement seem kind of strange (unless he's talking about trying to rejoin the state Assembly). If Barbara Boxer could still win by 10 points in a terrible year, the more-popular Feinstein in a presidential year is an even more daunting target, meaning that DeVore may be the only prominent GOPer crazy enough to take on the task.
• MA-Sen: Nobody really has any idea whether or not Vicki Kennedy plans to run for Senate -- she'd probably have a massive field-clearing effect in the Dem primary if she did -- but Joan Vennochi is seeing some signs of the groundwork for a run, looking at Kennedy's stepped-up routine of public appearances around the state.
• OH-Sen: Rep. Jim Jordan had probably been the GOPer most associated with a potential run against Sherrod Brown this cycle, but now he's publicly saying that he's "leaning heavily against" the run. He has a plum job coming up as head of the right-wing caucus (the Republican Study Committee), which is often a leadership springboard, and given his ultra-safe district, that may be a more appealing track than rolling the dice on a Senate run. Auditor and soon-to-be Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (who you may recall got a few weeks of Senate speculation in 2009 when conservatives were casting about for someone more charismatic and less wonky than Rob Portman) may be next in line.
PPP is out with its primary numbers for the GOP side, too, and they find that Jordan was actually in first place among those few people who actually know him. It's one of those everybody-but-the-kitchen-sink fields where the guy with the name rec winds up winning out: Incoming AG and ex-Sen. Mike DeWine (who's quite unlikely to run, given his new job) leads at 27, with ex-SoS Ken Blackwell at 17, new SoS Jon Husted at 11, Jordan at 10, Taylor at 7, Rep. Steve LaTourette at 6, new Treasurer Josh Mandel at 5, and state Sen. Kevin Coughlin at 2.
• PA-Sen: Quinnipiac's new poll of the Pennsylvania Senate turned out to not be that revealing, seeing as how they only testing Bob Casey Jr. against Generic R. (Although they can be forgiven, given the paucity of GOP candidates willing to reveal themselves yet.) At any rate, Casey is in good shape, although the percentage of people with no opinion seems strangely high, maybe reflective of his low-key nature. He beats Generic R 43-35, and has an approval of 39/29 (55/16 among Dems, 28/42 among GOPers, and 36/30 among indies).
• House: Politico has another list of possible rematches among the ranks of defeated Dems. Some of these you're probably already familiar with (Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, Phil Hare, and Alan Mollohan(?!?)), but other names now weighing another bid include Dina Titus, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, and Bobby Bright. Mark Schauer says he's waiting to see what the GOP-held Michigan legislature does to his district, and Ron Klein is waiting to see how his district responds to Allen West.
• NY-St. Sen.: Craig Johnson lost his case concerning the result in SD-7 (in which the balance of the state Senate hangs) at the Appellate Division level, who found there wasn't a basis for a full hand recount. Johnson is still planning to appeal to the Court of Appeals. (In New York, for some screwed-up reason, the Supreme Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court. Also, hamburgers eat people.)
• Switchers: Courtesy of the Fix's Aaron Blake, here's a list from GOPAC of all the state legislators who've switched parties in the last month, if you're having trouble keeping track. There's a list of 20, although almost all come from three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana). Also an interesting note: we've actually found someone who just switched from the GOP to the Democrats, although you have to go even further into the weeds: Luzerne County (in Pennsylvania) Commissioner Steve Urban. Before you get too excited, though, the move seems to be mostly driven out of personal pique stemming from Urban's recent loss in a state Senate race.
• California: It looks like California's switch to a Washington-style "top two" primary is a done deal. It survived a court challenge, with the state Supreme Court refusing to block a challenge to two of its provisions. (One of the provisions is one way in which it'll differ from Washington: in California, party affiliation can be listed only if one belongs to a party that's officially recognized by the state, while in Washington, you can list yourself as belonging to whatever crazy made-up party you want.)
• CfG: The Club for Growth is issuing one of its litmus test warnings, saying that primaries will result for GOPers who defy its will... and it's over one of the less controversial things on the current docket: the omnibus spending bill (which contains... gasp!... earmarks.)
• Votes: The House, as you're probably well aware, easily passed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell yesterday (although its Senate future is hazy; ask again later). The 15 Dem "no" votes are mostly Blue Dogs in socially conservative districts (with nine of them not coming back, either via loss or retirement), with one key exception: Artur Davis, still seeming completely intent on maxing out on his frequent douchebag miles before leaving. The 15 GOP "yes" votes are more interesting, a mix of departing moderates (Castle, Djou, Cao, Ehlers), remaining moderates in well-educated (and presumably low homophobia) districts (Biggert, Reichert, Dent, Platts), GOPers with substantially gay constituencies (Bono Mack, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart... and we can double-count Cao), die-hard libertarians (Paul, Flake, Campbell), and in his own category, David Dreier.
• WATN?: Dede Scozzafava, perhaps as a reward for, in her own round-about way, giving us the gift of Bill Owens in NY-23, is in talks to get a job in the incoming Cuomo administration. The exact position hasn't been defined, but will be something about "streamlining" government.
• Demographics: Here's an interesting piece in the Democratic Strategist that does some demographic slice-and-dice of the House seats where Dems lost. Some of it isn't a surprise (losses occurred where race and education overlap, as the white working class particularly turned right), but it adds an important variable to the mix that nobody else seems to have noticed: manufacturing. There's a definite correlation between losses and how reliant the district is on a manufacturing economy.
To start with it may be worth highlighting the numbers from each of those previous three diaries.
SENATE - GOP +5
GOVERNORS - GOP +5
SENATE - GOP +6
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
SENATE - GOP +7
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
I call that a trend. And not a good one. Unfortunately these final projections continue that trend.
WA (Not at all confident here. And it will probably take several weeks to see if I'm right.)
NV (Polling could well be unreliable here but I have to go with it. Hope I'm wrong.)
CO (Bennet has held on well here but I suspect the year is too much for him.)
IL (Still possible that unexpected Dem turnout can save Alexi.)
PA (Sestak has closed fast but I don't think it will be quite enough.)
CA (This one was a worry at times but I think most of us always felt confident enough.)
WV (Still say he was crazy to push for an election this year but it looks like Manchin will get away with it.)
WI (Poor campaign from Feingold but may not have mattered. His principles are both admirable and frustrating all at the same time.)
AK (Murkowski likely pulls it off but weird things happen up there. No result of the three would shock me.)
DE (Chris Coons will be my favorite Dem Senate Freshman. Not that there is much competition.)
CT (Another that caused a few nerves but the fundamentals always suggested retention.)
MO (The state may be trending away but I think, like many before her, Robin will be back.)
NH (Many say Hodes ran a poor campaign. I don't buy it. The year made it impossible here with so many indies.)
KY (Paul would have won even without Conway ad own goal. At least he will be entertaining.)
OH (Nobody was beating Portman this year with all that cash.)
FL (Rubio may or may not be a national figure in waiting but Crist is certainly done on that front.)
NC (Biggest recruiting fail of the cycle but even someone like Cooper may have struggled with the environment.)
IN (Surprisingly lackluster campaign from Ellsworth.)
AR (The state has finally broken to join the rest of the region in becoming Republican.)
LA (Vitter is scum but the electorate down their think Obama is scummier.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
OR (Kitzhaber turned things around just in time.)
VT (If Rasmussen says Shumlin is leading I'm more than happy to believe him for once.)
FL (Biggest consolation prize of the night.)
CT (Late momentum for Foley probably keeps this Republican.)
OH (Strickland may well yet pull this out. Would be a another great consolation prize.)
IL (Can turnout save Quinn? Probably not but possible.)
CA (Money can't buy you love and all that. Always preferred nostalgia myself.)
MN (I wonder what would have happened here without the perennial third wheel?)
MA (Very impressed with Patrick's recovery. Cahill makes little difference in the end.)
HI (Abercrombie recovering from a few shaky polls.)
CO (Suspect Tancredo's ceiling is 45 percent.)
RI (Chafee ain't a Dem but Caprio makes him as good as.)
NH (Nature of the year that this ended as close as it did.)
PA (D, R, D, R. Like clockwork.)
TX (Very hopeful White has another run in him.)
GA (Environment means no return for Barnes despite Deal's ethical issues.)
NM (Denish weighed down by Richardson and national environment but Martinez a good nominee anyway.)
WI (Barrett never could shake bad environment and Doyle's unpopularity.)
SC (Tighter than many expected but Haley wins nevertheless.)
ME (Hoping Cutler can pull a shocker here but probably not.)
MD (Senator O'Malley in the future perhaps? Maybe the cabinet?)
NY (I suspect Paladino may well cost the GOP some House seats.)
AR (Beebe bucks the tide quite easily.)
NV (One Reid was quite enough already.)
MI (Figure that Bernero may out perform the polls a little but still won't get close.)
AZ (Hating Brown people saves Brewer her job.)
OK (Nobody really ever expected to be even remotely competitive here did they?)
IA (Culver may well have lost to any Republican. He never had a chance agianst Branstad.)
TN (There are many worse people than Haslam that could be winning this for Republicans.)
KS (I do wonder if this would have been competitive in a better year. Parkinson may even have had an outside shot this year.)
AL (Sparksmania didn't quite materialize.)
ID (Otter polls surprisingly weak once again but that hardly matters up here.)
AK (Ethan Berkowitz meet Tony Knowles. You have much in common.)
WY safely in the GOP column.
SENATE - GOP +8
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
• FL-Sen: File this under half a year too late and a few million dollars too short. Charlie Crist, as quietly as possible through an advisor making a leak to the Wall Street Journal, says he'd caucus with the Democrats if elected. If he'd said that many months ago, he would have probably had a clearer shot consolidating the Democratic vote and turning it into a two-man race. This comes shortly after a day of conflicting reports on whether or not Bill Clinton tried to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race, as recently as last week. Clinton and Meek have offered partial rebuttals, but at any rate, it's kind of a non-story at this point with only a few days left.
• LA-Sen: Too bad there isn't time left in the cycle to turn this into an ad: David Vitter's verbal gymnastics at the last debate as to direct questions as to whether or not he actually broke the law when he was engaging in "very serious sin," apparently for pay. The short answer is, of course, yes (assuming that his involvement with a prostitution ring occurred in Washington DC and not Reno).
• NV-Sen: Those of you following Jon Ralston's tweets of the early voting in Nevada with bated breath probably already know this, but thanks to the movement of the mobile voting booths into some Dem-friendly areas, Democrats have actually pulled into the lead (at least by party registration) among early voters, up by 20,000 in Clark County.
• CO-Gov: My first question was why Tom Tancredo would even bother running for office if he felt this way, but then I remembered that he's running for an executive position this time, not a legislative one. Apparently he's a believer in a strong executive. Very, very, very strong.
There is a sort of an elitist idea that seeps into the head of a lot of people who get elected. And they begin to think of themselves as, really, there for only one purpose and that is to make laws. And why would you make laws?
• IL-Gov: Oooops, ad buy fail. A round of Bill Brady ads were pulled from the air on Thursday because the appropriate television stations didn't get paid first. It appears to have been a "glitch" (their words) rather than a cash flow problem, though, nothing that a Fed-Exed check won't fix: the ads will resume running tonight.
• PA-Gov: Ah, nice to see that a Republican briefly acknowledge that the fewer people vote, the better Republicans do. Tom Corbett, at a Philadelphia appearance, said that he wanted to keep Democratic participation down, saying "we want to make sure that they don't get 50 percent."
• OH-13: Sensing a pattern here? A second woman is coming forward to accuse Tom Ganley of sexual harassment. She filed a police report stating that in 2005, while in the middle of a car transaction, Ganley groped her and later propositioned her. This race, despite Ganley's money, is seeming increasingly like one of the House Dems' lesser worries.
• RGA: I'm not sure what you can do with $6.5 million in half a week, but the RGA is determined to find out. They put that much money into four governor's races in some of the nation's largest states: Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and (interestingly, since they haven't sweated this one before) Pennsylvania. (While the other three are for TV ads, in Florida it's for GOTV... seemingly something that Rick Scott forgot to purchase.)
• Election night: This may be the most shocking news of all today, for the obsessive number crunchers among us. This will be the first election where the powers that be (mostly the AP) will be doing away with precinct reporting. Instead of giving specific numbers of precincts in, they'll be expressing it as "percentage of expected vote." The change in longstanding tradition has mostly to do with the increasing prevalence of mail-in votes and early votes, best seen with some locales dumping all their early votes all at once and calling it one precinct, messing with people like us who build complicated models ahead of time.
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk's last ad calls Alexi Giannoulias "too immature" for the Senate (um, has he actually seen the Senate in action?)
• NV-Sen: Obama! Fear! Tyranny! Aaaghh! And apparently the Carmina Burana playing the background! (Sharron Angle's closing statement, in other words)
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold puts on a plaid shirt and faces the camera, touting his accomplishments and newspaper endorsements
• TX-Gov: Bill White also rolls out his newspaper endorsements, as well as lobbing "career politician" at Rick Perry one last time
• MN-06: Taryl Clark's last ad is a look at real people with real problems in the 6th, and the myriad ways Michele Bachmann blew them off
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 49%, Meg Whitman (R) 45%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 47%, Dan Maes (R) 5%, Tom Tancredo (C) 42%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 46%, Charlie Baker (R) 44%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 53%, Jim Huffman (R) 42%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%
• YouGov: The English pollster is out with a slew of polls; the numbers seem very plausible, but they're conducted over the Internet (probably using at least some sort of rigor, but that alone is enough for relegation to the end of the digest)
• CA: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%; Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 45%
• FL: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 41%; Kendrick Meek (D) 18%, Marco Rubio (R) 42%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
• NY: Andrew Cuomo (D) 57%, Carl Paladino (R) 27%; Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 57%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%; Charles Schumer (D-inc) 59%, Jay Townsend (R) 35%
• OH: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%; Lee Fisher (D) 40%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
• PA: Dan Onorato (D) 41%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%; Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%
• AK-Sen: As is often the case, Alaska dominates our headlines today. Perhaps biggest in its implications is a hot-off-the-grill ruling from a judge that says that the state can't provide a list of possible write-in candidates for people in the voting booth. Obviously, that hurts the cumbersome-named Lisa MukroskyMorkoskiGibr Murkowski. Also, in the good news (well, maybe not, considering how far her star has fallen in-state) column for Joe Miller: Sarah Palin will be returning to the Last Frontier to stump for him tomorrow.
On the bad news front for Miller, though, first, he had to shout "I LIE!" yet again. That's a confession from his own work e-mails, over his now-well-known reprimand for hijacking (and covering up his tracks) of co-workers' computers to rig a local Republican online straw poll. That's at the core of his Fairbanks personnel files, released last evening after he declined to appeal their release to the state supreme court. On top of that, now the Army is investigating his use of its soldiers from Fort Richardson to act as his personal paramilitary force during their off-hours; in addition to rules prohibiting active military members from involvement in political campaigns, it's unclear whether they had their commander's permission to seek outside employment.
• CA-Sen: Here's some good news; Carly Fiorina bounced back quickly from her hospitalization yesterday for an infection associated with her breast cancer recovery, and left the hospital today. She'll be back on the trail tomorrow, says her campaign.
• CO-Sen: Would you believe this is the biggest-money Senate race anywhere in the country? It is, if you go by outside group expenditures. 27 different IE groups have spent nearly $25 million in Colorado, with the NRSC leading the way. (Nevada will still probably wind up the most expensive overall, factoring in the candidates' own accounts.) Meanwhile Ken Buck is in the news for two other reasons, first, his questioning of the separation of the church and state... handled more elegantly than Christine O'Donnell's palm-to-forehead method, but still probably a liability as he seeks to downplay his extremism. And also, he's now agnostic on whether he'll support Mitch McConnell for GOP leader (Buck, of course, owes Jim DeMint big-time for getting him as far as he's gotten).
• WV-Sen: Wow, this stuff literally writes itself. John Raese, under fire from Joe Manchin and the DSCC for his Florida mansion (and, for all practical purposes, residency), is now going to have to put some spin on this. The current item on the agenda for the Palm Beach planning commission: approval for Raese to replace a six-by-eight-foot "giant dollhouse" on his property with a fourteen-by-fifteen-foot "glass conservatory," perfect for those real-life Clue re-enactments. I know that's a problem that most West Virginians grapple with on a day-to-day basis.
• AZ-Gov: Now here's an October Surprise that's pushing the envelope (close to a November Surprise). Old documents reveal that Jan Brewer, a state Senator at the time, was involved in a 1988 auto accident where she was suspected at the time of driving under the influence. While she was immune from arrest at the time because the legislature was in session, it's not clear why the case wasn't pursued after that.
• MS-04: This might provide a small boost (dozens of votes?) to Gene Taylor: the Republican who lost the primary to state Rep. Steven Palazzo threw his backing to Taylor. Joe Tegerdine, interestingly, was the Tea Party candidate in the GOP race (with Palazzo the establishment pick), and finished with 43% of the vote; Tegerdine seemed to frame his decision very much in terms of pissing off the Republican establishment, in fact.
• Dark Money: If you look at only one link today, it should be this one, where a picture is worth way more than 1,000 words. It shows the octopus tentacles linking all the various shadowy outside groups that have poured in hundreds of millions of undisclosed dollars, and how they all kind of link back to Republican leadership. It's almost worthy of Glenn Beck's blackboard (well, if it had Woodrow Wilson and Diego Rivera on there somewhere).
• DNC: To quote Don Brodka, "if I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd be at home with a pack of cigarettes and short length of hose." Nevertheless, the DNC is out with a memo today showing in various ways how the Republican wave hasn't materialized, at least not in the form of early voting patterns so far, that's worth a look-see (especially the graphs).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC has two spots in Colorado, both with citizens reciting the litany of why they can't vote for Ken Buck • IL-Sen: The DSCC links Mark Kirk to George W. Bush, while Alexi Giannoulias trots out the Obamas in his own ad
• MO-Sen: I seriously can't summon up anything interesting to say about the last ads from Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan; it's been that sort of race
• NV-Sen: The DSCC finishes in Nevada by pointing out how Sharron Angle consistently brings teh crazy
• PA-Sen: The DSCC hits Pat Toomey on outsourcing yet again, while Pat Toomey goes blandly autobiographical for his closing spot
• WA-Sen: The DSCC's parting shot is to hit Dino Rossi over his web of connections to unsavory real estate and lending partners
• WI-Sen: Both candidates close by ragging on each other; Ron Johnson hits Russ Feingold for only being fake "mavericky," while Feingold asks why Johnson is being so vague and cagey about his agenda
• WV-Sen: The DSCC's newest ad hits John Raese on the Florida residency issue yet again
• ND-AL: This may be the most interesting ad of the day: Earl Pomeroy faces the camera and says "I'm not Nancy Pelosi, and I'm not Barack Obama" (yeah, that's pretty evident by looking at you); he pivots off people's anger to say they'll be even angrier, though, if Republicans go against the farm bill, Social Security, and so on
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's last ad beats the 'change' drum, and focuses on the Seattle Times endorsement again
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 42%, Mark Kirk (R) 46%, LeAlan Jones (G) 5%
• MD-Sen: Barb Mikulski (D-inc) 56%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 35%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 46%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 52%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 49%, John Raese (R) 46%
(ooops, time for Scotty to get in line with everyone else on this one!)