• AR-Sen: I don't know if this is outright shenanigans or innocent bureaucratic bungling, but a lot of eyebrows are being raised over a strange turn of events in Garland County that's going to lead to long lines and voters avoiding the polls. The county, with a population of 80,000 and 42 precincts, will have a total of two polling places for the upcoming runoff election. Worth noting: Garland County (home of Hot Springs) is the most populous county in Arkansas that went for Bill Halter in the primary.
• IL-Sen: The Mark Kirk story seems like it's finally catching hold in the Chicago market. At the link, you can check out the whole "misremembered it wrong" story splashed across the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times, and watch a withering WGN news story.
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi has reported $600K in contributions in one week since announcing his bid. Anyone who is surprised by this number should get better acquainted with the term "low hanging fruit;" the interesting numbers will be the ones in future weeks to see how he does now that most of Washington's major real estate and contracting players have, assumedly, maxed out. Also in the not-surprising file, state Sen. Don Benton dropped out of the race and endorsed Rossi. Benton was the more or less GOP frontrunner prior to Rossi's entry, but also something of a Republican-establishment stand-in for Rossi with a lot of overlap in supporters, so there wasn't much incentive for him to continue. Goldy correctly yawns at Benton's departure, saying that Clint Didier (the Palin-endorsed teabagger in the race) was always the real speed bump for Rossi and one that'll continue to pose a problem: he can't run away from Didier and his supporters, whose enthusiasm he'll need in November, but if he gets too close to them, he'll lose whatever moderate image he once had, which he'll also need in November.
• CA-Gov (pdf): The last pre-primary Field Poll, or at least part of it, is out. All that they've released today is the Republican gubernatorial primary numbers, which are very much in line with everyone else's numbers lately. They see Meg Whitman leading Steve Poizner 51-25, only half the 49-point lead she had in the last Field Poll in March but still certainly enough to get the job done for her on Tuesday. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the data.
• NY-Gov: Maggie Haberman has an interesting retrospective of the big bag of Fail that was the Steve Levy campaign. She weaves together a number of threads that didn't really make it into the national media -- unwillingness to fully commit to the race, his reluctance to dip into his war chest, tabloid stories about law school friends -- to paint a picture of a campaign that, in hindsight, was doomed from the outset.
• AR-03: Sarah Palin (and the Susan B. Anthony List) weighed in in AR-03, adding one more "Mama Grizzly" to her trophy room. She endorsed state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, who's in a runoff against Rogers mayor Steve Womack for the GOP nomination in the open seat race in this safely-red district. Bledsoe only compiled about 15% of the vote in the primary, although with a huge number of candidates, that was enough to squeak by into second place.
• NY-15: In case there was any doubt that a combination of age, sliminess, and having lost his Ways and Means gavel might prompt a last-minute retirement for Charles Rangel, they were laid to rest. He'll be officially kicking off his next campaign this weekend.
• OH-18: The long-unresolved GOP primary in the 18th appears to be finally over, as former state Agriculture director and 2008 nominee Fred Dailey conceded. He lost to establishment pick state Sen. Bob Gibbs by 156 votes according to certified results, and the automatic recount only changed two votes. While this is one more in a string of recent GOP primaries where the establishment candidate beat the teabagger, this, like many of those races (like, say, IN-08 and IN-09, and IN-03 and IN-05 if you want to call the woeful Souder and Burton "establishment") where the anti-establishment candidate came within a hair of winning, and where if there had been fewer teabagger candidates spoiling the broth or things that just bounced slightly differently, the media would be talking about an entirely different narrative.
• Media: So, speaking of media narratives, I'm wondering if the media are starting to dial down their "Dems are dooooomed!" narrative that's been conventional wisdom for the last half a year. Not just because they may be noticing that the polling evidence for that is sketchy at best, but also, as this Newsweek piece points out, that they may have gotten suckered by the Democrats themselves, who seem to be engaged in the ages-old practices of expectations management, lowballing their predictions so they look like heroes later.
• Ideology: 538 has some fascinating charts up as part of a new post on where states (and where the two parties within each state) fit on the liberal/conservative scale, looking at it on multiple dimensions instead of on a left/right line. West Virginia (socially conservative and economically liberal) stands out as an interesting outlier on the chart, which does a lot to explain its particular brand of politics.
AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln's closing ad for her campaign is really, really sad-sack. "I know you're angry at Washington - believe me, I heard you on May 18" and "I'd rather lose this election fighting for what's right than win by turning my back on Arkansas." Gawd.
CT-Sen: Dick Blumenthal is out with his first TV ads of the cycle, featuring people he helped in his capacity as attorney general. You'll need to click over to his site to watch them. No word on the size of the buy (grrr).
FL-Sen: Boy, Joe Trippi sure has shacked up with one serious shitball. Jeff Greene, who spent his entire adult life registered either as "no party" or a Republican, donated five grand to Meg fucking Whitman's gubernatorial campaign just last year. Lately he's given a bunch of money to Dems, but jeez - to Whitman, of all people? Oh, and he also gave money to Pete Wilson back in 1988. That should help him with the Hispanic vote.
IL-Sen: Where to start with Mark Kirk? How about this: Liberal blogger Nitpicker first nailed Mark Kirk for misleading people about his military service record all the way back in 2005 (while chasing down a bullshit attack on Paul Hackett, interestingly enough). TPM also lists many more occasions where Mark Kirk did his best to make it appear he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (he did not). Meanwhile, Bloomberg has another video of Kirk claiming to have won the Intelligence Officer of the Year award (he did not). And last but not least, the Navy itself is saying it alerted Kirk to the fact that the media was inquiring about the award story. Ouch.
KS-Sen: State Sen. David Haley officially kicked off his campaign to succeed Sam Brownback yesterday. Haley lost a bid for Secretary of State in 2006. He joins former newspaper editor Charles Schollenberger and academic administrator Lisa Johnston in the Democratic primary.
KY-Sen: Libertarian purity trolls in Kentucky have decided not to field a candidate to express their unhappiness with Rand Paul... mostly because they don't have, you know, a candidate. Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans are pretty pissed themselves. The GOP-led state Senate adopted a resolution on a voice vote expressing support for the Civil Rights Act, and criticizing those (like a certain nameless senate nominee) as "outside the mainstream of American values" and part of an "extreme minority of persons in the United States" for their opposition to the law. Double ouch.
NY-Sen: Will it blend? The answer is always yes, whether you're talking about a blender from Blendtec or a Schumer from Flatbush. The NY GOP nominated former CIA officer Gary Bernsten, who vowed, a little too Jack Bauer-like, to "pursue Sen. Schumer in every town, on every street and every village." Political consultant Jay Townsend, who may be in this just to sell more DVDs on how to run campaigns, will also be on the primary ballot - as will anyone insane enough to try to petition his or her way on. Whoever the lucky winner is, they'll have to face the implacable Schumer whirling blades of death in November.
KS-Gov: Sen. Sam Brownback, running for governor, picked state Sen. Jeff Colyer has his running-mate. Colyer is also a plastic surgeon whose Google results lead with the fact that he performs breast augmentations.
NV-Gov: Jon Ralston points out that Rory Reid has $2.6 million in cash-on-hand, while likely Republican opponent Brian Sandoval has just $575K. Sandoval has had to fight a primary battle against incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons, while Reid's had the nomination to himself.
AR-03: Steve Womack has finally picked up an endorsement from one of the people he beat in the first round in AR-03, businessman Kurt Maddox. His opponent in the runoff, Cecile Bledsoe, has scored the support of also-rans Steve Lowry, Doug Matayo, and, of course, Gunner DeLay.
CO-07: Navy vet Lang Sias doesn't live in the 7th CD, and he also hasn't done something else there or anywhere else for the last decade: vote. In fact, the former Democrat (who donated to Mark Udall in 2002) didn't even manage to vote for John McCain when he was volunteering for his campaign two years ago. Sias is fighting for the GOP nod against Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, who is whomping him in the cash department.
GA-07: GOP State Rep. Clay Cox is the first candidate on the air in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Linder. Amusingly enough, Cox's ad features his support for the "Fair Tax" - one of the key issues which sunk Tim Burns in PA-12. Obviously it's a different district, but I'll be curious to see if it flies in a Republican primary. Anyhow, no word on the size of the buy (of course). (Also, is it just me, or does the part of the ad in front of the heavy vehicles look greenscreened?)
NY-03: Howard Kudler, a Nassau County teacher, will likely run against Rep. Peter King, says Newsday. Kudler challenged GOP Assemblyman David McDonough in 2008, losing 62-38.
NY-19: Biden alert! The VPOTUS was seen yesterday doing a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Bedford, NY. No word on the haul, though the event was described as "small." In the evening, the elder Biden also did an event in NYC for his son Beau's DE-AG re-election campaign.
Polling: Mark Blumenthal tries to pin Scott Rasmussen down on why his firm hasn't been polling key primaries closer to the actual elections. When confronted with evidence that his patterns this cycle have changed from the last, Ras says that general elections and presidential primaries are "different" from regular primaries. He also claims that the AR-Sen race is only "of intense interest to some on the political left," which doesn't exactly gibe with reality, given how much ink has been spilled on this contest by the tradmed. Meanwhile, speaking of questionable polling, Nate Silver takes a look at Internet-based pollsters. While Zogby of course is the suck, Silver thinks that Harris Interactive and YouGov "are capable of producing decent results."
Passings: Former North Dakota Gov. Art Link passed away at the age of 96. He served two terms in the 70s, losing a bid for a third term to Republican Allen Olson in 1980.
CT-Sen: Yet another thing the New York Times appears to have gotten wrong: Dick Blumenthal was on his college swim team, and no, he never claimed to have been the captain. In light of recent revelations, SSP is retracting the accusation we made in our first post on the NYT article that Blumenthal "lied." Subsequent information has show that the NYT's piece was misleading, at best.
NV-Sen: Chicken Lady is up on the air with an ad attacking Crazy Lady, aka enriched weapons-grade wingnut Sharron Angle, for some pretty lulzy stuff. No word on the size of the buy. Meanwhile, Danny Tarkanian is also aiming (indirectly) at Angle, with a press release criticizing the Tea Party Express, which endorsed her and not him.
NY-Sen-B: Even I had given up on all the people who have given up, but it looks like there may be yet one more name on the list of people who want to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand. Gail Goode, a staffer for the NYC Corporation Council (the city attorney's office) supposedly wants to give it a go. Goode has a pretty unimposing pedigree and would have to go through the arduous and expensive process of petitioning to get on the ballot. Meanwhile, one of the hapless Republicans trying to take down Gillibrand, David Malpass, is on the air with a TV ad (this early? really?), but of course, no word on the size of the buy.
AL-Gov: Mystery wingnutty (?) birthery (?) teabaggy (?) group New Sons of Liberty was caught making prank calls to Moe's Tavern said "psych!" and cancelled their vaporware $1 million ad buy that was set to asplode in the Alabama governor's race. If this was just a gambit to gain free media by pretending to buy paid media, it's an awfully weird one, since we know little more about this group now than we did a week ago. Anyhow, how come ad buyers don't have to put down deposits, especially when they book so much airtime during ad peak season?
IA-Gov: Chet Culver has raised $1.5 million this year so far, but more than half his haul came directly from the Democratic Governors Association. Chief rival Terry Branstad raised $1.6m in the same timeframe. Culver leads in cash-on-hand, $3.3m to $1.2m. You also may have seen that Culver lost his campaign "briefing book," the bible by which any campaign is run. Reminds me of when the Indiana Pacers lost their playbook right before a playoff series with the Knicks. (The Knicks won.)
AL-05: Mo Brooks, mankind's last, best hope of defeating turncoat Parker Griffith in the GOP primary, announced a whole slew of endorsements from local elected officials and party bigwigs. Interestingly, on the list was the GOP chair for Limestone County, who elected not to support the incumbent, which is a fairly unusual move for a party official.
AR-03: Damn - looks like we won't have Gunner DeLay to kick around anymore, at least for this cycle. The ex-legislator, who narrowly missed out on the runoff, backed off his plans to seek a recount and instead endorsed second-place finisher Cecile Bledsoe, a state senator. She squares off against Rogers (pop. 39K) Mayor Steve Womack. With Gunner gone, we're getting desperately low on awesome names.
CA-11: After previously saying he wished he could issue "hunting permits" for liberals because we "need to thin the herd," Republican jackass Brad Goehring isn't backing down in the least - rather, he says he's "proud" of all the flack he's been getting. What a guy!
ID-01: In his ongoing quest to assume the title of Bill Sali 2.0, budding SSP fave Vaughn Ward repeatedly referred to Puerto Rico in a debate as a "country." When corrected by his Puerto Rican opponent, he proudly reveled in his ignorance, saying he didn't "care what it is." That alone should garner him some good wingnut cred.
LA-03: Make them sweat? Despite not really having a candidate in this deep-red seat that most Dems have mentally given up on, the DCCC put out a press release walloping former Louisiana Speaker Hunt Downer, who just got into the race. They accuse Downer, who just retired as a major general from the National Guard, of abandoning his state in favor of his political ambitions instead of dealing with the BP oil spill. Dunno if this charge is really going to stick, though, seeing as Downer said he planned his retirement long ago.
MN-06: It's always rich when anti-tax zealots fuck up paying their taxes - something Michele Bachmann just did by failing to pay her own property taxes on time.
NY-13: Vito Fossella is shocked, shocked!... I mean, surprised! that he was nominated for his old seat by the Staten Island GOP on Wednesday. (Read this if you need to catch up on one of the most remarkable bits of WTF? this cycle.) He says he'll "take a short period of time" to decide if they like him, they really, really like him - i.e., whether to take the plunge. I'm not buying the "short period of time" business, since Fossella said he wants to talk this over with "loved ones," which ought to take him quite a while, given how many families he has.
Meanwhile, Michael Allegretti, one of two candidates (not including Vito Fossella) seeking the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Mike McMahon, says he plans on staying in the race regardless of what Vito does. There had been some chatter that local Republicans wanted him to run for the state Assembly instead, but that would be a pretty sucky alternative, to say the least.
FEC: Instant SSP hero Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA-53) offered an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act (the bill designed to take the Citizens United ruling down a peg or two) which would require that all independent expenditures be filed electronically with the FEC, and be "searchable, sortable and downloadable." The amendment passed unopposed, so hopefully it will emerge intact in the final bill. Now if only the damn Senate would join the 20th century and file electronically, too.
Spoilers: Don't even think about talking about LOST.
Talk Business, a multi-format Arkansas newsmagazine, is conducting a whole bunch of polling on the state's congressional primaries. They are using an outfit I'm not familiar with, with the memorable name of "The Political Firm." They look to be a Republican pollster, but I don't know if they have any skin in the game (or if Talk Business has any axe to grind).
In any event, Talk Business says all the polls were taken April 6-7th, were of registered voters (sort of an unusual choice, given that the primary is on May 18th), and are unweighted. TPF says it uses IVR (aka robopolls). Talk Business also promises two more rounds of polling before the primary.
• AZ-Sen: One more endorsement for John McCain, as the GOP establishment circles the wagons around him in the face of a primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth. Today, it was former presidential rival Mitt Romney's turn to boost McCain.
• FL-Sen: Rasmussen follows up with a look at the Senate general election in Florida, and pretty consistent with its last few polls, gives double-digit leads to both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio over Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Crist leads 48-32, while Rubio leads 51-31. It's looking dicier for Crist to make it to the general, though, and that's reflected with an increasing number of staffers seeing the handwriting on the wall and bailing out. Political director Pablo Diaz announced his departure, and new media consultant Sean Doughtie is already out.
• IN-Sen, IN-08: Dem Rep. Baron Hill, still apparently mulling a Senate bid, says that he probably will make a decision "this week". Meanwhile, presumptive Dem nominee Brad Ellsworth has officially removed his name from the 8th CD Democratic primary ballot, leaving state Rep. Trent Van Haaften as the consensus Democratic choice. (J)
• MA-Sen: Unless you were under a rock yesterday, you know that the Senate jobs bill cleared the cloture hurdle with the aid of five Republicans, most notably Scott Brown, who actually seems to be thinking ahead to getting re-elected and, in doing so, has royally pissed-off his nationwide base of teabagging donors. On top of that comes another revelation that ought to further take the bloom off his status as living embodiment of angry-white-guy rage: that truck that signified he was an average blue-collar guy? Turns out he owns it in order to haul his daughter's horse.
• NV-Sen: One more data point in the Nevada Senate race, this one not looking so good for Harry Reid. Research 2000 polls the race again, this time on behalf of the PCCC, and finds Reid trailing Sue Lowden 53-39 and Danny Tarkanian 54-40. The real point of the poll, though, is to try to show him that his support would go up if he successfully got a public option into the health care reform bill, with 31% saying they'd be likelier to vote for him if so (with 15% saying less likely and 51% saying no difference). Bear in mind that this poll, unlike the interesting POS poll from yesterday, doesn't factor in the sudden emergence of a 3rd party Tea Party option.
• CT-Gov: After some brief flirtations with the idea, ex-Rep. Chris Shays has decided not to run for Connecticut governor after all, saying he couldn't make it work financially. Although he didn't address the also-rumored possibility of running again in CT-04, the same logic may apply there too.
• FL-Gov: The seeming dwindling of the Alex Sink campaign continues apace, at least if you go by Rasmussen's trendlines. Republican AG Bill McCollum is up to 13-point lead against the Democratic CFO, 48-35.
• GA-Gov: More Rasmussenny goodness in neighboring Georgia, where they take their second look at the general election in the gubernatorial race. While Democratic ex-Gov. Roy Barnes led several of the GOP contestants in the previous Rasmussen poll, trailing only Insurance Comm. John Oxendine, this time he doesn't fare as well. Barnes loses to Oxendine 45-37, to Rep. Nathan Deal 43-37, to SoS Karen Handel 45-36, and ties state Sen. Eric Johnson 37-37.
• IL-Gov: The GOP primary contestants are still waiting for the last ballots to trickle in today, the last day for counties to submit their numbers to the state. (The state has until March 5 to announce official results.) Estimates last week were that there were fewer than 2,000 votes, mostly provisional votes, to count. State Sen. Kirk Dillard, currently trailing by a little more than 200 votes, doesn't plan to make a decision on whether to concede or keep fighting until after the 5th. On the Democratic side, the search for a Lt. Governor goes on. Pat Quinn had publicly said that his top choice would be current Deputy VA Secretary Tammy Duckworth, but she has taken herself out of consideration today.
• MI-Gov: Looks like Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee is in the gubernatorial race for the Democrats; he's skipping right over the exploratory phase and filing as a candidate for governor. He joins Lansing mayor Virg Bernero and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, with state House speaker Andy Dillon likely to enter soon.
• PA-Gov: State Sen. Anthony Williams didn't meet his very high $4 million fundraising bar, but he seems to feel heartened enough by the $2 million he has to officially pull the trigger on a gubernatorial run. With Chris Doherty and Tom Knox both out of the Democratic field now, it seems like there's room for one more SE Pennsylvania candidate in the field; Williams, from Philadelphia, will be the only African-American in the race.
• WI-Gov: One more Rasmussen gubernatorial poll to look at, featuring (surprise!) the Republican in the lead. Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker leads Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett 49-40, while ex-Rep. Mark Neumann has a much smaller lead over Barrett, 44-42. That's actually a smidge better than last month's Rasmussen poll.
• AR-03: State Sen. Cecile Bledsoe got the endorsement of one of her predecessors in the 3rd, ex-Rep. and former DEA Director Asa Hutchinson. A wide cast of characters, including Rogers mayor Steve Womack, is either already in the hunt for the GOP nod or considering it, in this dark-red district.
• AZ-05: Rep. Harry Mitchell can probably consider this to be good news: another divisive Republican primary, which helped him to a comfortable victory in 2008, is brewing this year. Former state Rep. Susan Bitter Smith jumped into the GOP field yesterday, which pits her in a rematch against former Maricopa Co. Treasurer David Schweikert (who won the 2008 primary). Businessman Jim Ward and his ability to self-fund is in the mix too, as something of a wild card.
• AZ-08: State Sen. Jonathan Paton has resigned from the state Senate, in order to focus full-time on running against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the 8th. He leaves behind one piece of legislation underway that's actually a pretty cool idea: instituting "question time," a la the UK's parliament, where the Governor has to show up for a biweekly grilling in front of the legislature. Paton becomes the third Republican state Senator to resign in the span of a few weeks, with Pam Gorman and Jim Waring both having bailed out to pursue the open seat in AZ-03.
• FL-24: Former Ruth's Chris Steakhouses CEO Craig Miller went ahead and got into the GOP field in the 24th, despite already having taken on some damage from preemptive salvos fired by the DCCC over statements opposed to stronger drunk-driving laws. Potentially self-funding Miller has become the NRCC's new fave in the race, after state Rep. Sandy Adams and Winter Park city councilor Karen Diebel have floundered at fundraising.
• FL-25: Joe Garcia, the Democratic 2008 candidate who almost knocked off Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, met with the DCCC's Chris Van Hollen yesterday. This only serves to increase speculation Garcia will try again, now that the 25th is an open seat. The DCCC has also been interested in Miami-Dade Co. state's attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
• KS-03: Republican State Sen. Nick Jordan, who lost in the 3rd to Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore, looks to be on track to succeed the retiring Moore. Jordan's own internal poll from POS shows him ahead of state Rep. Kevin Yoder 27-9, with former state Rep. Patricia Lightner and Charlotte O'Hara both at 5 (leaving about half of the voters undecided). Jordan's poll didn't look at the general, but there's nothing to see there yet, seeing as how the Dems haven't, um, found an interested candidate yet.
• MA-10: In the event of a retirement by Rep. William Delahunt, state Senate majority leader Therese Murray says she won't try to succeed him. On the GOP side, possible candidate ex-Treasurer Joe Malone may come with more liabilities than were initially apparent when he first started touting himself for the race. After Malone's tenure ended in 1999, it was discovered that several of his top aides had stolen over $9 million from the state. Malone himself was never accused of being involved, but reminding voters about it will inevitably lead to questions about his judgment.
• NM-02: Ex-Rep. Steve Pearce has released an internal poll performed on his behalf by the Tarrance Group that gives him a small lead over Democratic Rep. Harry Teague, 48-44. The good news for Teague is that R beats D in a generic ballot test 47-37, showing that the conservative Teague overperforms the Democratic brand despite his vote in favor of cap and trade in this heavily oil-dependent district.
• NY-01: Despite the NRCC's seeming preferences for rich guy Randy Altschuler, he's already in a difficult primary, and now he may be facing a three-way contest with a local elected official too. State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick says he's exploring the race.
• OH-06, OH-17: Ex-Rep. Jim Traficant didn't meet the filing deadline to file as a Democrat for any race in Ohio, but now he's saying that he's planning to run as an Independent instead (which would require filing by early May). He's still not saying where he's going to run, although neither of the two possibilities look terribly promising: either the strongly-Democratic 17th (which he used to represent), or the swingy 6th, where he'd have to introduce himself to most of the voters
• PA-06, PA-07: Here's a big get for Manan Trivedi, as he seeks the Democratic nomination in the 6th. He got the endorsement of the Chester County Democrats. With Trivedi already strong in Berks County and Doug Pike strong in Montgomery County, suburban/exurban Chester County is somewhat the pivotal county in the district. (They also endorsed Bryan Lentz over his minor primary opposition in the 7th.)
• PA-12: This is another solid break for the Dems in special election in the 12th: Republican businessman Mark Pasquerilla, with deep pockets, seemed to be one of the few GOPers who could make this race competitive. Something of a John Murtha ally, though, he had previously said he wouldn't run if Joyce Murtha got in. She didn't, but Pasquerilla still didn't bite; instead, he's endorsing Murtha's district director, Mark Critz, who announced his candidacy yesterday. This basically moves the GOP back to square one, with the candidates who were already in place for the regularly scheduled election: businessman Tim Burns (who doesn't seem quite as able to self-fund), or veteran/BMW Direct frontman Bill Russell.
• WV-01, WV-03: Worries have been emanating out of West Virginia's governor Joe Manchin about the re-election prospects of Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall, who despite their no votes on cap-and-trade often get tagged as not being sufficiently pro-coal. The United Mine Workers have no trouble supporting the duo, though; they endorsed both of them this weekend.
• DSCC: There have been some rumblings about DSCC chair Bob Menendez's lackluster ways, at least by comparison to his manic predecessor, Chuck Schumer. Here's a telling quote:
"Chuck - wow - he would call all the time, three, four times a week, when he needed something, but I don't ever hear from Menendez unless I initiate the contact," said a Washington-based donor who has bundled tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to the committee. "You just don't have the same level of energy from Bob; he just doesn't push you like Chuck would," the source added. "And that makes it a lot easier to say no."
• DCCC: The DCCC is trying to get some mileage out of fanning the flames in some of the most divisive GOP primaries between the GOP establishment and teabagger-powered movement conservatives (which they're cheekily calling "Palin's primaries"). Targets include MS-01, VA-02, VA-05, NH-01, CA-11, and TN-08.
• Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal takes another look at Rasmussen, asking if they've been "flooding the zone" and thus shaping the overall narrative by sheer numeric dominance of the data that get released. (Sound familiar? He gives a shout-out to a diary here by our own spiderdem that first raised the point.) It's quite true that Rasmussen has done many more Senate polls this cycle than last (45 vs. 13 at this point in the cycle), but so too have some of the other new players (especially PPP, 21 vs. 5). (He also notices what we've noticed, that SurveyUSA is polling less this cycle; they poll only when hired to do so, and he speculates that TV stations and newspapers have cut back their polling budgets.) Interestingly, he also points to why Rasmussen is able to do so: a "major growth capital investment" from private equity firm Noson Lawen. (Noson Lawen, and what their potential agenda might be, sounds like an interesting topic for enterprising investigative bloggers...)
• CA-Sen (pdf): The Public Policy Institute of California takes a look at the California Senate race, and find it a fairly close-looking race if ex-Rep. Tom Campbell survives the primary against wealthy Carly Fiorina and teabagger-powered Chuck DeVore. Unfortunately, it looks like he's poised to that, leading Fiorina and DeVore 27-16-8. Barbara Boxer leads Campbell 45-41 in the general, while she leads Fiorina by a more comfortable 48-40 and DeVore 47-39. (By comparison, Boxer leads Campbell by 10 in the most recent sample by the widely-respected Field Poll, who found Campbell leading Fiorina 35-25-6.) Another bit of bad news for Fiorina: apparently people at her former company doesn't think that much of her. Boxer has received the maximum $10K from Hewlett-Packard's PAC, while Fiorina has gotten nothing.
• IL-Sen: I don't know if anyone was banking on Jacob Meister and the 1% of voters he was pulling in, but the wealthy attorney running a quixotic bid folded his hand and threw his backing behind Alexi Giannoulias with only a day to go before the primary. He cited David Hoffman's negative ads and that Hoffman is "more conservative" than he lets on. PPP's Tom Jensen also has some thoughts on the Republican primary, wondering why Patrick Hughes fizzled while other tea party-fueled insurgent candidates (Rand Paul) have caught a spark; basically, it has to do with money, and not just one's own money (with Hughes has lots of) but institutional money (from folks like the Club for Growth) instead.
• KY-Sen: Speaking of Rand Paul, he got a top-drawer endorsement today, from Sarah Palin, as the common cause between teabaggers and Paulists now seems fully stitched-together. (Of course, whether that endorsement translates into dollars is another question, especially with today's revelation that SarahPAC spent more money buying copies of "Going Rogue" to push it up the best-seller lists than on contributions to actual candidates.)
• NV-Sen: While he hasn't taken any official steps, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is souding more and more like a Republican candidate for the Senate, publicly saying "I can beat Senator Reid." (And, the implication probably is, that the second-tier odds and ends currently cluttering the race can't, once the gloves come off.) With Krolicki being courted by the John Cornyn at the NRSC, that's just arousing the wrath of the anti-establishment set, though, and even some local bigwigs, like ex-Gov. (and current RNC committee member) Bob List, who's telling Cornyn to back off.
• NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B (pdf): No particular surprises in Marist's new poll of the Senate landscape in New York, finding that a hypothetical George Pataki challenge, rather than Harold Ford Jr., is the biggest threat to Kirsten Gillibrand. She wins the primary against Ford and Jonathan Tasini 44-27-4. Gillibrand loses to Pataki 49-43, while easily beating the only announced Republican, Port Authority commissioner Bruce Blakeman, 52-30. Ford also loses the general to Pataki, 52-35, while getting past Blakeman 39-35. They even test out the other Senate race, the one no one has been thinking about but that talk show host Larry Kudlow has made some noises about joining. Charles Schumer mops the floor with Kudlow, 67-25.
• WA-Sen: I don't know if this is going to strike much fear in the heart of Patty Murray, who has flattened three prominent Republican U.S. Representatives over the course of her career, but a poll from Moore Insight (a Republican polling firm in Oregon) clearly designed to lure 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial loser Dino Rossi into the race finds Rossi leading, 45-43. Rossi says "I never say never," but also says he has "no plans to run for any office at this point."
• CA-Gov: That same PPIC poll has gubernatorial numbers as well, finding that Jerry Brown shouldn't take his race for granted either. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has moved into commanding position in the GOP primary, between her outrageous spending and the disappearance of Tom Campbell from the race; she leads Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner 41-11 (an improvement from 32-8 in December). Brown leads Whitman by five, 41-36 (he led by 6 in December), while he leads Poizner 44-29. Calitics has some advice on how Brown should engage the race if and when he emerges from his Fortress of Solitude, and also some details on how Poizner isn't going down without a fight, calling for federal investigation into Whitman's efforts to push him out of the race.
• MD-Gov: Ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich seems to be moving closer to a rematch with the man who defeated him in 2006, Democrat Martin O'Malley. He's been lining up fundraisers and a statewide "listening tour," although he says he wants to hear what people actually say on said tour before making a decision one way or the other on the race. Another indicator that Ehrlich is likely to run: the only Republican in the race right now, Larry Hogan, a close Ehrlich friend who said he's get out of the way for Ehrlich and was in the race as something of a placeholder, has ended his campaign, saying that he's convinced Ehrlich is getting in.
• MI-Gov: Lt. Gov. John Cherry's withdrawal from the gubernatorial race is certainly different from what we saw Connecticut and Colorado: instead of leading to an instant upgrade, we're just seeing a lot of confusion, with none of the options seeming that much better. The newest EPIC-MRA poll of the race finds pizza magnate Denise Ilitch in the best position in the scrambled Dem primary, leading state House speaker Andy Dillon and Lansing mayor Virg Bernero 23-8-5, with a majority undecided. AG Mike Cox leads the Republican field, beating Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard 32-25-16. Specific head-to-head numbers aren't reported, but Ilitch reportedly trails Cox by 18 and Hoekstra by 7, with Dillon and Bernero faring even worse. (UPDATE: Thanks to RCP, those toplines are: Cox 48, Ilitch 30; Cox 47, Dillon 30; Cox 50, Bernero 28; Hoekstra 42, Ilitch 35; Hoekstra 40, Dillon 32; Hoekstra 45, Bernero 27.)
• PA-Gov: With rich guy Tom Knox suddenly out of the governor's race, another Philadelphian is looking to fill his void in a Democratic primary dominated by western Pennsylvania figures. State Sen. Anthony Williams has been sounding out the race; he'd be the only African-American in the field.
• AR-03: We've already dissected the possible fields in Arkansas' 1st and 2nd districts, but now that it looks like the 3rd will be vacant too, let's see who might step up. One top name is John Arthur Hammerschmidt, the son of the guy who held the seat for more than 20 years (and who notably beat a young Bill Clinton many years ago). A possible return engagement by ex-Rep. and ex-DEA head Asa Hutchinson is also mentioned. Other names for the GOP include former US Attorney Bob Balfe, state Rep. Jonathan Barnett, former state Sen. Dave Bisbee, state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, former state Sen. John Brown, state Rep. Rick Green, city councilor Kurt Maddox, former state Rep. Doug Matoyo, former state Rep. Daryl Pace, current Senate candidate Buddy Rogers, retired general Bernard Skoch, and Rogers mayor Steve Womack. Fayetteville city attorney David Whitaker seems to be the lone Democrat interested in this dark-red district.
• CA-12: Nothing sets off a stampede like an open U.S. House seat in California, where term limits keep people cycling in and out of the state legislature. With Rep. Jackie Speier sounding likely to run for state AG, state sen. Leland Yee, state Assemblyman Jerry Hill, and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma also have said they're revving up for a run in the Democratic primary in this safely-blue seat.
• LA-02: Rep. Joe Cao seems to have gotten sucked into the downward spiral of direct mail marketing. He raised a pretty good $248K during the last quarter, but somehow managed to spend $283K, meaning he burned $35K and is sitting on only $316K CoH anymore.
• MN-03: Bad news in the 3rd: state Sen. Terri Bonoff, who probably should have been our candidate there in 2008, isn't going to run there in 2010, instead going for another term in the state Senate. Maureen Hackett and Jim Meffert are facing off for the Democratic nod, but neither of them has Bonoff's stature in the swingy suburban district.
• NY-15: The Memphis newspaper has an interesting profile of one of the candidates seeking to knock off increasingly-sketchy Rep. Charlie Rangel in the Democratic primary, Harlem community banker Vincent Morgan. What's the Memphis angle on all this? Morgan is really a Ford; he's the estranged son of currently imprisoned former state Sen. John Ford, and the cousin of former TN-09 Rep. and current possible NY-Sen candidate Harold Ford Jr. Morgan isn't close with the family, and prefers to downplay the link.
• PA-08: The minor GOP candidates in the 8th seem to be bailing out, in the wake of the entry of a relative heavyweight, in the form of ex-Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, back to reclaim his seat. Attorney and Iraq vet Dean Malik, who seemed to be as close to a frontrunner as the GOP had pre-Fitzpatrick, dropped out last week and endorsed Fitzpatrick. The self-proclaimed teabagger in the race, Rob Mitchell, also pulled out and threw his support to Fitzpatrick.
• TN-04: Rep. Lincoln Davis had previously made it clear that he was running again, but it's official today: he filed his paperwork for another run. That's gotta be a relief for the DCCC, already trying to plug two holes in TN-06 and TN-08.
• TX-23: Former Bexar Co. Commissioner Lyle Larson, who torpedoed the GOP's preferred candidate (Quico Canseco) in the 2008 primary and then went on to get swamped by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in the general, won't be running again this year. Instead, he's getting into an open seat race for a Texas state House seat instead, giving Canseco a clearer shot this time.
• WV-01: A last-minute primary challenge to Rep. Alan Mollohan sneaked in, and it's a rather serious one, from long-time state Sen. Mike Oliverio. Oliverio is giving up his Senate seat this year, maybe in hopes that Mollohan would retire; when Mollohan filed for re-election anyway, he may have figured he had nothing to lose by running anyway (although with Mollohan's ethical cloud having been recently lifted, I'm not sure what Oliverio's angle would be anymore). Also worth noting: state Sen. Clark Barnes, considering a leading GOP challenger, didn't even file to run, apparently thinking better of it after the party started touting former state Rep. (and more importantly, potential self-financer) David McKinley instead. (You can check out all the Kentucky and West Virginia filings action in benawu's new diary.)
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