• AZ-Sen: Board of Regents member Fred Du Val, who I don't think we'd discussed before, said he won't seek the Democratic nomination to replace Jon Kyl. The article also mentions another possible Dem name that I hadn't previously seen, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke.
• FL-Sen: This article makes George LeMieux's candidacy appear exactly as lame as you'd expect. Not only is he lamely courting teabaggers, but a recent "Tax Day" rally drew "less than 100." Sounds like a lot less.
• MA-Sen: Apologies for the paywalled-link-not something I'd ordinarily do, but this story isn't available elsewhere. Anyhow, bigwigs constantly talking about him to the media has just got to be frustrating for Newton Mayor Setti Warren. First it was Gov. Deval Patrick, blabbing to the press that he was sure Warren was going to run. (Warren had to publicly back away from Patrick's remarks.) Now, it's the opposite: Rep. Barney Frank for some reason thought it would be a good idea to tell the National Journal: "I think it's a mistake for him to run, I've told him that." Well, if Frank's told Warren this, then why the fuck does he also have to tell the NJ and turn it into a public spectacle? And it's not just one off-hand remark - Frank made multiple statements talking down Warren's chances. Sheesh, just let Warren do what he wants to do. Jeez.
• ME-Sen: Dem House Minority Leader Emily Cain says she won't challenge Olympia Snowe next year. (Cain, just 30 years old, can certainly bide her time.) The same piece mentions another possible Democratic name, businessman Donato Tramuto, who may also be interested in a 2014 gubernatorial bid.
• MO-Sen: As Eli Yokley of PoliticMo observes, Todd Akin's visit with a bunch of teabaggers in Joplin, Missouri took him three hundred miles outside of his congressional district, as sure a sign as any that he's interested in taking on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin says he'll decide "in the near future." Interestingly, at the end of this article, he also whined about Democrats "beating up" Republicans over wanting to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. That kvetching means our attacks are already working-and when you have to start explaining yourself in full-length paragraphs (as Akin tries to do), you're on the defensive and flailing.
• NM-Sen: Auditor Hector Balderas said on Friday that he'll decide whether to seek the Dem nod to replace the retiring Jeff Bingaman "within the next two weeks."
• TX-Sen: It appears that Democrats may have landed an interesting recruit in this race: Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top military commander in Iraq. Sanchez said he wouldn't "confirm or deny" the reports, but former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Dem, decided to crack out of turn, saying he spoke with Sanchez and that it sounded "like he's close to being a candidate." One black mark: Sanchez was in command of US forces during the Abu Ghraib scandal, and he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram it was "pretty fair" to say the event ended his military career (though of course neither he nor any high-ranking officers were ever held responsible).
In other TX-Sen news, another one of Ron Paul's offspring, Fort Worth physician Robert Paul, says he has "thought about running" for Senate... but that's pretty much all he's said.
• NH-Gov: Mark Connolly is an interesting figure in New Hampshire politics: He's the former director of the state's Bureau of Securities Regulation, until he resigned last year to publicly blow the whistle on the state's mishandling of an investigation into a ponzi scheme run by an entity called Financial Resource Management. (You may recall that this scandal also tainted Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who had been NH AG at the time, but not enough to derail her Senate bid.) In any event, Connolly says he thinks Gov. John Lynch should seek a fifth-term and he'd support him if he does-but if Lynch declined to run, Connolly "would consider" doing so himself. (Note that Connolly also briefly considered a Senate run himself last cycle, but was wise enough to stand aside.)
• WA-Gov: I'm not really understanding Rob McKenna's path to victory. He's spent most of his career trying to convince people he's a "moderate," non-insane Republican, but then he signed on to the multi-state suit by mostly red-state Republican AGs to try to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional. He's since continued in that surprising vein: He just attended a teabagger "Tax Day" rally and seems to think he needs to court the wingnuts in order to be successful. Is he worried about a primary? Or is he concerned he can't win without teabaggers pushing for him at full throttle? Either way, it seems like he's screwing himself.
• FL-22: Kinda interesting: Former Gov. Charlie Crist just gave $1000 to Democrat "no not that" Patrick Murphy's campaign to oust Allen West. (They share a consultant in common.) Really, I can't believe Crist just didn't switch parties when he had the chance.
• OR-01: Carla Axtman, writing at the you-should-bookmark-`em-if-you-haven't-yet Blue Oregon, goes as far down into the weeds as it's possible to go without spontaneously commencing photosynthesis. In a look at the possible Dem field shaping up to primary Rep. David Wu, she mentions a couple of candidates we hadn't previously seen named before: state Rep. Brad Witt and Clatsop County Commissioner Dirk Rohne, a recent R-to-D switcher.
• NYC-Mayor: Kill me now: Dick Grasso, the d-bag ex-director of the New York Stock Exchange, says that if Eliot Spitzer runs for mayor, so will he. I just pray Spitzer isn't stupid enough to actually run, but if anything, this challenge from Grasso probably has Eliot's blood flowing and makes him more likely to do it. God.
• WATN?: Alan Hevesi, who had once served as NYC Comptroller and later comptroller for the whole state, was sentenced to one to four years in prison, after pleading guilty last fall to one count of official misconduct. Hevesi took bribes from financial firms (politely called "pay-to-play") in exchange for steering the state to invest its considerable pension funds with those firms. What a piece of shit. Anyhow, he could be out of jail in less than a year.
Another ex-pol who has very much landed on his feet is former PA Gov. Ed Rendell. Of course, you'd expect nothing less from Fast Eddie, and if you really are curious as to what he's up to, you're going to have to click the link, because it's way more than I can summarize.
• CT-Sen: Following his loss in the CT-Gov primary after leading the polls almost all the way, I hadn't heard much discussion about Ned Lamont making a repeat run against Joe Lieberman for the 2012 Senate race. Lamont confirms that, saying he's "strongly disinclined" to try again.
• FL-Sen: Here's a dilemma for temp Sen. George LeMieux, as he gave his farewell speech from the Senate floor. Acknowledge the man without whom he'd be utterly unknown and thus not in a position to run again for Senate in 2012... or invoke said man, whose name is utterly mud in Florida GOP circles, thus reminding everyone of those connections that can only hurt in a 2012 primary? In the end, basic human decency prevailed, and LeMieux thanked Charlie Crist for appointing him.
• ME-Sen: This is pretty big news, as everyone has been treating newly-elected Gov. Paul LePage's imprimatur as a make or break for Olympia Snowe's hopes in a GOP primary in 2012. LePage, of course, was the tea party choice in the primary, and his say-so would go a long way toward either encouraging or discouraging a teabagger challenge to Snowe. LePage just came out with a statement of support for Snowe in the primary, saying he'd back her in the face of a possible primary challenge.
• MO-Sen: Sarah Steelman continues to rack up support from the GOP's far-right, as she girds for a possible GOP primary showdown against ex-Sen. Jim Talent. Steelman met with Jim DeMint, the Senate's de facto kingmaker of the tea party set, and those involved expect DeMint's Senate Conservative Fund to back Steelman shortly (which would be his first endorsement of the 2012 cycle).
• PA-Sen: Moran gets brain? Perhaps sensing the steep uphill climb of a challenge against the Casey name brand in Pennsylvania in a presidential year, random rich guy John Moran has done an about-face on a threatened possible Senate run that first emerged last week. Another central Pennsylvanian, though, state Sen. Jake Corman, seems to be interested in taking on Bob Casey Jr.
• UT-Sen: In case there was any doubt about Orrin Hatch running again -- in his 70s and facing a likely difficult primary/convention -- well, he is. He released a statement this morning saying "I intend to run, and I intend to win." That comes in the face of the formation of a new leadership PAC by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which would likely point to stepped-up fundraising efforts in the face of a intra-party challenge. (Hatch is sitting on $2.32 million CoH, while Chaffetz has $179K. If the targeted audience isn't all Utahns but a few thousand nuts at the state convention, though, money is less of an issue.)
• IN-Gov: Soon-to-be-ex-Sen. Evan Bayh is issuing something of a timeline regarding whether or not he runs for his old job as Governor again in 2012. Bayh says he'll make a decision by the end of the year, and is saying it's a "possibility but [not] a probability." (Rep. Baron Hill and Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are other fallback options.)There's no timeline, though, from Rep. Mike Pence, who probably would be the strongest candidate the GOP could put forth, but seems more interested in going straight for the Presidency. One GOPer who isn't waiting for Pence's decision is Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who has moved forward on fundraising although she hasn't officially declared anything. Soon-to-be-Rep. Todd Rokita warns not to underestimate Skillman.
• MN-Gov: This is kind of a moot point in view of his concession this morning, but in case you're wondering what suddenly motivated Tom Emmer to drop his challenge to Mark Dayton and move on, this was probably the last straw: yesterday the Minnesota Supreme Court denied his petition asking for all counties to perform a reconciliation of number of voters with number of ballots cast. With the recount already done, the reconciliation would have been the only practical way of even stringing this thing out for a while longer, let alone finding an extra 9,000 votes.
• MO-Gov: In marked contrast to the recent PPP poll giving Jay Nixon a clear edge, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (now looking more like a candidate than ever) is pointing to an internal poll by American Viewpoint taken way back in late September that gives him a 47-38 lead over Nixon. The poll finds Nixon still popular, though, with 51% approval.
• ND-Gov: Today was the first day on the job for North Dakota's new Governor, ex-Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who took over as John Hoeven resigned in order to join the Senate soon. Hoeven is the first-ever North Dakota Governor to resign voluntarily. Taking over as Lt. Gov. is ex-US Attorney Drew Wrigley. Dalrymple will be watched carefully as to what happens in 2012: he could either run for election to a full term, or move over to a Senate run against Kent Conrad.
• MN-08: Newly-elected Rep. Chip Cravaack will have one of the tougher re-elects of any of the new House Republicans (he's in a D+3 district that includes the Dem stronghold of Duluth), but one of the bigger-name Dems in the district is saying he won't be the challenger. State Sen. Tom Bakk (one of the 5,589,358,587,568,120 people who ran for the DFL gubernatorial nomination this year) is staying where he is, especially since he's about to become minority leader.
• GA-St. House: One more D-to-R party switcher to report, and it's a fairly big name within the confines of the Georgia legislature: Doug McKillip, who was previously #2 among Democrats. Interestingly, he's not from a dark-red rural district but represents the college town of Athens, and he says he'll be better able to agitate for the University's needs from within the majority... although, that, of course, would depend on getting re-elected again from that (presumably blue) district.
• AK-Sen: Nothing has really changed with the overall trajectory of the Alaska Senate race, but this is the first day that Lisa Murkowski has been able to claim a "lead" over Joe Miller (even though her victory has become increasingly clear each day). At the end of yesterday's counting, she had 92,164 votes to Miller's 90,448. 7,601 were subject to challenge but counted for her anyway (and, if Miller's lawsuit succeeds, could get reversed), but based on Murkowski's success at avoiding write-in challenges, is on track to win with or without those challenged ballots.
• FL-Sen: George LeMieux, whose year-and-a-half in the Senate is about to expire, is leaving with more of a whimper than a bang, if PPP is to be believed: his approvals are 11/28 (with 61% with no opinion), including 14/24 among Republicans. He's not looking like he'd have much impact in a challenge to Bill Nelson in 2012, which he's threatened (which isn't to say that Nelson is out of the woods, as a stronger Republican will no doubt come along). Among all the appointed Senators, he's still faring better than Roland Burris (18/57) but worse than Carte Goodwin (17/22) and Ted Kaufman (38/33). (Oh, and if you're still feeling like we lost out by not having Charlie Crist win the Senate race, guess again: Bob Dole! is reporting that Crist promised him he'd caucus with the GOP if he won the 3-way race. This comes after leaks in the waning days of the race that he'd caucus with the Democrats. Somehow, I expect any day now that Ralph Nader will reveal that Crist promised him that he'd caucus with the Green Party if he won the race.)
• IN-Sen: Richard Lugar made it official; he's running for re-election one more time. Lugar, who'll be 80 in 2012, probably has more to worry about in the Republican primary than he does in the general election, where aspiring Democrats would probably be more interested in the open gubernatorial seat.
• OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown will probably have a tougher re-election than his initial election, but it's unclear which Republican he'll face. The two who've gotten the most press are Mary Taylor, the current Auditor and newly-elected Lt. Governor, or Rep. Jim Jordan (a religious right fave from the state's rural west), but another possibility that the article broaches is long-time Rep. Steve LaTourette, one of the House's more moderate GOPers left. Either way, if Jordan or LaTourette were to try for the promotion, that would help the state GOP decide which of their seats to vaporize in the redistricting process (although LaTourette's, in the northeast corner and surrounded by Dem seats, would be much harder to work with). Ohio's losing two seats, though, and one more Dem seat is on the chopping block, especially since the biggest population losses have come in the northeast -- the likeliest outcome seems to be consolidation of districts that sets up either a Dennis Kucinich/Marcia Fudge or Dennis Kucinich/Betty Sutton mash-up.
• PA-Sen: The GOP feels like they have a shot against Bob Casey (who won by a near-overwhelming margin in 2006), given the state's turn toward the red this year. The big question, though, is who? If Tom Ridge didn't do it this year when it would have been a gimmee, he certainly isn't any likelier to do it in 2012. Hotline mentions a couple current suburban Reps., Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent, both of whom have tenaciously held down Dem-leaning districts that would be prime open seat battles if they left. Failing that, the bench looks pretty empty; they cite state Sen. Jake Corman as interested, as well as talk radio host and behind-the-scenes player Glen Meakem, who cited interest in running for 2010 but decided against it.
• MN-Gov: Minnesota's SoS (a Dem, Mark Ritchie) has laid out the timeline for the recount process. The race will be canvassed starting Nov. 23, and presuming a recount is necessary (which it will be unless something weird happens with the canvass, as Dem Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer by less than one-half of a percent, triggering the automatic recount provision), the recounting will begin on Nov. 29.
• MD-01: Nothing like teabagger hypocrisy at work: freshly elected with a mandate to destroy the federal government, Andy Harris's first act in Washington was to demand all the free goodies from the federal government that he's entitled to, so long as other people are paying for them. At freshman orientation, Harris was observed expressing dismay that his gold-plated health care plan takes a month to kick in.
• NY-01, NY-25: Here are a couple more updates from overtime. In the 1st, Randy Altschuler's lead over Tim Bishop is currently 383, but there are more than 11,000 absentees to be counted starting today, and since they're all from one county (Suffolk), your guess is as good as mine how they break. In NY-25, Ann Marie Buerkle gained a tiny bit of ground as two GOP-leaning counties reported their absentees; she's now up 729. Dan Maffei's base, Dem-leaning Onondaga County, is about to start counting its 6,000 absentees. He should make up some ground, but he'll need to average 56% among the remaining absentee ballots, while he's only got 54% in Onondaga so far, though.
• DSCC: Dianne Feinstein told the press that Michael Bennet is, despite his previous demurrals, going to be the next DSCC chair. Does Michael Bennet know this? He's still saying no. The rest of the Dem leadership in the Senate (and the GOP, too) was elected without a hitch today, but the DSCC job still stands vacant.
• CA-AG: Things keep looking up for Kamala Harris in California, after a torrent of new votes yesterday from Alameda County (where the Dem stronghold of Oakland is). That batch broke 18,764 for Harris, and only 5,099 for Steve Cooley, which may be a decisive moment in the count.
• Chicago mayor: Rahm Emanuel is certainly looking like the early favorite in the Chicago mayoral race, courtesy of an Anzalone-Liszt poll commissioned by the Teamsters local (who haven't endorsed yet). Emanuel is at 36, with Danny Davis at 14, Carol Mosely Braun at 13, Gery Chico at 10, James Meeks at 7, and Miguel del Valle at 4. Now you may be noticing what I'm noticing, that there's significant splitting of the African-American vote here, and if you added Davis, Braun, and Meeks up into one super-candidate, they'd be in a dead heat with Emanuel. Well, don't forget that this election uses a runoff, so chances are good we'll see a head-to-head between Emanuel and one of the African-American challengers, and the poll finds Emanuel winning both those contests convincingly too: 54-33 versus Davis and 55-32 against Braun.
• 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%
Alex Sink (D): 45 (44)
Rick Scott (R): 41 (45)
Undecided: 11 (9)
Kendrick Meek (D): 15 (22)
Marco Rubio (R): 42 (44)
Charlie Crist (I): 35 (30)
Undecided: 7 (4)
Quinnipiac's latest Florida poll is their most optimistic one for Alex Sink in a while; they've been one of the more bearish pollsters in Florida for the last few months, and this is their first poll with a Sink lead since August. While this boost might just be chalked up to float within the margin of error, if nothing else it shows that "debategate" (in which Sink got a text message during her debate) didn't seem to affect the dynamics of the race one way or the other.
Even more interesting is that Charlie Crist seems to be busting a late move in the Senate race, although it's probably still too far out of reach for him to pull it out, given the weirdness of the three-way race and the split among left-of-center votes. His five-point gain pulls him within 7 of Marco Rubio. Crist's gain comes at Meek's loss (down 7 since the last poll), so there might be some last-minute consolidation by Dem-leaning voters deciding that Crist is the best way to avoid the specter of Rubio. (Crist now gets 51% of Dems, while Meek gets 36% of them. Indies go 43% for Crist, 38% for Rubio, and 9% for Meek.)
Alex Sink (D): 46 (44)
Rick Scott (R): 43 (40)
Undecided: 7 (-)
Mason-Dixon provides some confirmation today of Quinnipiac's numbers with a poll taken slightly more recently, although they don't see movement at all over the last few weeks (Sink led by 4, now by 3). Most interestingly, they find Scott's unfavorables getting much worse: he's now at 30/52, compared with Sink's 49/44. It would be pretty remarkable to see anyone win with those kind of favorables, and a Scott win would obviously have a lot to do with the national climate. If there's any doubt this is the nation's closest major governor's race, check out the trendlines from Pollster.com.
Site News: Holy moly. We just passed ten million all-time visitors yesterday. Wow. Just really have to take a step back for a moment. When I started this site almost exactly seven years ago, I never, ever imagined we'd achieve anything like this. Just a huge thank you to every reader who has checked in since Oct. 19, 2003 to today - and beyond.
AR-Gov (Mason-Dixon): Mike Beebe (D-inc) 59, Jim Keet (R) 26
CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner & American Viewpoint for the LA Times/USC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 50, Carly Fiorina (R) 42; Jerry Brown (D) 52, Meg Whitman (R) 39
CA-Gov (John McLaughlin & David Hill (R) for Meg Whitman): Jerry Brown (D) 46, Meg Whitman (R) 43
CO-Sen, CO-Gov (SurveyUSA for 9News/Denver Post): Michael Bennet (D-inc) 47, Ken Buck (R) 47; John Hickenlooper (D) 46, Dan Maes (R) 15, Tom Tancredo (ACP) 34
Bonus: SUSA also tested the state AG, SoS, and Treasurer races.
CO-Gov (Magellan): John Hickenlooper (D) 44, Dan Maes (R) 9, Tom Tancredo (ACP) 43
FL-Sen, FL-Gov (Ipsos for Florida media): Kendrick Meek (D) 20, Marco Rubio (R) 41, Charlie Crist (I) 26; Alex Sink (D) 41, Rick Scott (R) 44
Bonus: Ipsos also tested the AG, Ag Comm'r, and CFO races.
FL-Gov (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alex Sink (D) 45, Rick Scott (R) 45
IL-Sen, IL-Gov (Mason-Dixon for St. Louis Post-Dispatch/KMOV-TV): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 40, Bill Brady (R) 44; Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41, Mark Kirk (R) 43
Note: The poll apparently asked respondents about "Alex Giannoulias."
IL-Sen (Market Shares Corp. for the Chicago Tribune): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41, Mark Kirk (R) 44
LA-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt (D) for Charlie Melancon): Charlie Melancon (D) 45, David Vitter (R-inc) 48
MA-Gov (Western New England College): Deval Patrick (D-inc) 44, Charlie Baker (R) 36, Tim Cahill (I) 8
MA-Gov (UNH): Deval Patrick (D-inc) 43, Charlie Baker (R) 39, Tim Cahill (I) 8
MD-Gov (OpinionWorks for the Baltimore Sun): Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 52, Bob Ehrlich (R) 38
MN-Gov (Princeton Survey Research for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune): Mark Dayton (D) 41, Tom Emmer (R) 34, Tom Horner (I) 13
MO-Sen (Mason-Dixon for St. Louis Post-Dispatch/KMOV-TV): Robin Carnahan (D) 40, Roy Blunt (R) 49
NY-Gov (Marist): Andrew Cuomo (D) 60, Carl Paladino (R) 37
PA-Gov (Quinnipiac): Dan Onorato (D) 44, Tom Corbett (R) 49
WV-Sen (Global Strategy Group (D) for Joe Manchin): Joe Manchin (D) 48, John Raese (R) 43
Margins & Errors: On Sunday, Pat Toomey moved out to a 3-point lead in the Muhlenberg tracker, while Tom Corbett is +9... some sketchy details of IN-02 internals from Brian Howey: "Howard County Republican Chairman Craig Dunn said internal polling has shown Walorski chipping a 9-point Donnelly lead to "at the margin of error" around 4 percent." ... CNN sources tell them that Harry Reid's internals have him up 6 over Sharron Angle in NV-Sen... PPP will have polls out for CA, CO, KY & WV this week
• AK-Sen: Where even to start in Alaska? With vague reports of Joe Miller in "free fall" in private polling, both the NRSC and his own personal kingmaker, Jim DeMint, are having to step in with advertising in order to back him up. The NRSC's buy is for $162K, which I'm sure they'd rather spend putting out fires in Pennsylvania and Kentucky instead of on a should-have-been-sure-thing... and the ad (which focuses on Barack Obama, not Lisa Murkowski or Scott McAdams) can be seen here. DeMint's ad is for $100K and touts Miller's pro-life credentials.
Meanwhile, the drip-drip of unsavory stuff from Miller's past keeps coming. It turns out he worked for one of Alaska's top law firms after graduating from Yale, prior to sliding down the food chain to working for the borough of Fairbanks; while they wouldn't elaborate because of personnel policies, a firm partner said they were "not eager" to have him stay on and "relieved" when he left after three years. Also, a CPA with commercial property knowledge should double-check a look at this story before we start alleging wrongdoing, but it's an interesting catch: Miller may have been paying himself ridiculously-above-market rents on the law office he owned, in order to game his taxes. And finally, with the damage already done, it looks like no charges will be filed in the "irrational blogger" handcuffing incident, either against Tony Hopfinger or Miller's hired goons.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway succeeded in getting an NRSC ad pulled from a local TV station, seeing as how the whole premise was based on a lie (that Conway has supported cap-and-trade). WHAS-TV pulled the ad after the NRSC was unable to provide convincing sources for the alleged quotes.
• MO-Sen: This might be too little too late, but Roy Blunt is the third Republican candidate in the last month to get a bad case of housekeeper-itis. State Democrats released documents yesterday showing that in 1990 Blunt hired an "illegal worker" and then tried to expedite the citizenship process for her. Blunt's campaign says she never worked directly for them, only for some church events, but the documents say she had "done some work" for Blunt's wife at the time.
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer, one of the few people anywhere routinely polling over 60%, has decided to dole out more of his gigantic war chest to other Democrats rather than spending it on himself. (It may not be entirely altruistic, as he may still have a Majority Leader battle in mind if Harry Reid can't pull it out.) In recent weeks, he gave an additional $1 million (on top of a previous $2 mil) to the DSCC. He's also given widely to state parties, including $250K in both New York and Nevada, as well as smaller amounts in 11 other states.
• PA-Sen: Before you get too excited about the major shift in polling in the Pennsylvania Senate race, absentee ballot numbers out of the Keystone State should be considered a dash of cold water. Of the 127,000 absentee ballots requested, Republicans have requested 50% and Dems have requested 42%, and also returning them at a faster clip. (I'm sure you could parse that by saying that Republican voters are likely to be older and thus less likely to want to vote in person, but either way it's not an encouraging figure.)
• WV-Sen: Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of John Raese last week -- apparently predicated on the fact that they have lockers near each other at an expensive private country club in Palm Beach, Florida -- may have done more damage to Raese beyond the obvious problem of making him look like a rich, entitled carpetbagger. After a little digging, it turns out that the Everglades Club is an all-white affair. Although it doesn't have specific membership requirements, it's never had a black member, and only one Jewish member. (In fact, remember that membership in this club was considered one of the disqualifying factors when Limbaugh was making noises about buying the St. Louis Rams several years back.)
• CO-Gov: Credit Dan Maes for entrepreneurial spirit: when he needed a job, he created one for himself... running for Governor. In the last year, Maes' campaign has reimbursed his family $72K. That's actually his campaign's second-biggest expense, and nearly one-third of the paltry $304K he's raised all along. Maes says much of that money was "mileage," though.
• OR-Gov: Here's something that we've been seeing almost nothing of this cycle, even though we saw a lot of it in 2008 (especially in Oregon, with Gordon Smith): kissing up to Barack Obama. But that's what Chris Dudley did in an open letter published as a print ad in the Oregonian this week, saying that while they might have their differences he'll work together with him on educational issues (one area where Dudley's been making some Democratic-sounding promises, albeit without any discussion of how to do that and pay for his tax cuts at the same time). With Barack Obama more popular in Oregon than much of the nation, and about to host a large rally with John Kitzhaber, the timing is not surprising.
• MA-04: I don't know if Barney Frank knows something that his own internals aren't telling us, or if he just believes in not leaving anything to chance, but he's lending himself $200K out of his own wallet to fund the stretch run in his mildly-interesting House race.
• MA-10: The illegal strip search issue (where Jeff Perry, then a police sergeant, failed to stop an underling from strip searching two teenage girls) is back in the media spotlight in a big way today, with one of the victims ending her silence and speaking to the press. Perry has defended himself saying it wasn't "in my presence," but she says he was a whole 15 feet away, and that he tried to cover up the incident.
• NJ-03: It seems like every day the honor of dumbest person running for office changes, and today the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Jon Runyan. When asked in a debate what Supreme Court case of the last 10 or 15 years he disagrees with, Runyan's answer was Dred Scott. As TPM's David Kurtz says, given the crop of GOPers this year, maybe we should just be grateful that he disagrees with Dred Scott.
• VA-05: If Tom Perriello loses this cycle, he's one guy who can walk out with his head held high:
In return, Hurt asked Perriello if he was willing to admit his votes on stimulus funding, health care and energy were mistakes.
Perriello stood behind his votes and the positive impact he says they have had or will have on the district....
"Leadership is about making tough decisions," he said.
• IA-St. House: The Iowa state House is one of the most hotly contested (and likeliest to flip to the GOP) chambers in the nation this cycle, and here's a Des Moines Register analysis of the 23 biggest races to watch in that chamber. (Bear in mind, though, that although Iowa is on track to lose a House seat, it uses independent commission redistricting, so the state legislature is not pivotal in that aspect.)
• DNC: The DNC somehow raised $11.1 million in the first 13 days of October, putting them on track for one of their best months ever for a midterm election. Wondering what's happening with that money? The DNC is out with a new TV ad of their own, saying don't go back to failed Republican policies and decrying the flow of outside money into this election. I have no idea where it's running, but the non-specificness of the pitch leaves me wondering if it'll run in nationwide contexts. (The DNC is also running $3 million in radio ads on nationally syndicated programs, particularly targeted to black audiences.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Someone called WFUPAC (funded by SEIU and AFT) hits Mark Kirk for being buddy-buddy with George W. Bush in the bad ol' days
• NH-Sen: Kelly Ayotte's out with a boilerplate litany of everything Dems have done wrong
• WV-Sen: The NRSC returns to the "Manchin's a good governor, keep him here, and send a message to Obama" theme
• MN-01: The DCCC has to push the playing field boundaries a little further with their first ad in the 1st, hitting Randy Demmer on Social Security privatization
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster has two different ads out, both on outsourcing and job creation, one hitting Charlie Bass and one positive • PA-03: Here's that AFSCME ad (see above for the IE) hitting Mike Kelly
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi says Washington hasn't been listening to you
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's fourth ad touts her as "smart moderate" and wields her Seattle Times endorsement
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 20%, Marco Rubio (R) 43%, Charlie Crist (I) 32%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 43%, John Raese (R) 50%
FL-Sen: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Kendrick Meek (D): 22
Marco Rubio (R): 39
Charlie Crist (I): 31
FL-Gov: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Alex Sink (D): 45
Rick Scott (R): 38
Misc.: In the AG race, Pam Bondi (R) leads Dan Gelber (D), 38-30. Also, a poll by Voter Survey Service (aka Susquehanna) for the right-wing Sunshine State News site has Adam Putnam (R) leading Scott Maddox (D) in the Ag Comm'r race, 40-35. Tea Party candidate Ira Chester takes 14%.
Tom Barrett (D): 41 (28)
Scott Walker (R): 50 (44)
Undecided: 6 (17)
Margins & Errors: The Fix publishes an alleged WA-Sen poll without either field dates or sample size... Bill Kristol (yeah, that Bill Kristol) claims he has his hands on an OH-10 poll - he has the n, but won't say the pollster's name, who paid for the poll, or when it was taken... Pollster.com has a PDF from ccAdvertising with numbers for WV-Sen, WV-01, and WV-03 - but not only does ccA report to hundredths of a percent, they get taken to the woodshed by Mark Blumenthal for refusing to divulge the poll's sponsor
• AK-Sen: The story of how his employment with the city of Fairbanks ended is one of the key reasons why Joe Miller suddenly clammed up and said he wouldn't answer questions about his personal background anymore. Now the city's former mayor, Jim Whitaker, is offering his version of the story, saying Miller is "not truthful" about it. Whitaker says Miller's use of borough resources for political purposes (namely, for gaming an online vote for state party chair in a Sarah Palin-orchestrated party coup) was a violation of borough ethics policy and it would have been a cause for termination if they hadn't been so understaffed. Miller eventually resigned in 2009 anyway, partly because his request to go elk hunting got denied.
• FL-Sen: There are so many Kennedys I really can't keep track which one is allied with who, but any time one leaves the reservation it's interesting. Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that he's backing Charlie Crist for Senate, saying that Kendrick Meek can't win and the most important thing is blocking Marco Rubio. Meanwhile, with the current race not looking very interesting anymore, PPP has its eye on 2012 (which seems like it could be close, especially if Jeb Bush gets involved). They ran two other hypotheticals, one not very likely: Bill Nelson beats Rush Limbaugh 50-36 (if Limbaugh for whatever reason decided to take the huge pay cut). More plausibly, he also beats Rep. Connie Mack IV by 42-33.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon is out with an internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt. Public pollsters have generally seen this as a double-digit race, but his poll, taken over Oct. 9-12, gives David Vitter a not-overwhelming 49-42 lead. The campaign says that's a major improvement (no specific numbers, though) over their September poll.
• FL-Gov: The Florida Education Association (obviously a Democratic-leaning organization) polled the gubernatorial race, and found numbers very close to PPP's results yesterday. The poll from Tom Eldon, taken Oct. 9-12, gives Alex Sink a 47-41 lead over Rick Scott. Scott's faves are down to 33/50.
• IL-Gov: This is quite the screwup: Green candidate Rich Whitney's name will appear as "Rich Whitey" on electronic voting machines in nearly two dozen wards in Chicago (half of which are predominantly African-American). And that leads inevitably to the question (to quote the Illinois Nazi Party): "Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey?" Apparently, he can't do much, as there isn't adequate time left to reprogram and test the machines, although he's looking into various legal options.
• AZ-07: I don't know if there's any hard evidence other than a Magellan poll and a McClung internal to prove there's a real race here, but judging by efforts by some organizations on both sides, something's going on. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee had members make 21,000 phone calls to the district to shore up Raul Grijalva, while Americans for Tax Reform is going to spend $230K on advertising in the district, hitting Grijalva with an ad for encouraging a boycott of his state in the wake of SB 1070.
• CA-44: Like CA-03, this is one offense opportunity in California that still seems to be alive and kicking. The Bill Hedrick campaign, short on cash but facing an underwhelming opponent that he nearly knocked off last time, is out with a Zata|3 internal poll showing Hedrick trailing GOP incumbent Ken Calvert by only a 48-43 margin (improved a 49-38 showing in September).
• GA-08: He made it implicit with his most recent ad (distancing himself from Nancy Pelosi, even going so far as to show 60s-era San Francisco hippies), but Jim Marshall is now explicitly joining Bobby Bright in the camp of incumbents saying they won't support Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress (if they're there for it).
• IA-03: I didn't think I'd be saying this a few months ago, but Leonard Boswell is starting to look like he's in healthy shape for the election, thanks in large part of a variety of damaging details about Brad Zaun that went public. Boswell leads Zaun 47-38 in an internal from his campaign, taken Oct. 3-5 by Anzalone-Liszt.
• IL-10: Bob Dold sure can rake in the fundraising dollars, even if Bob Dold can't seem to come up with a lead in the polls, in what's looking like one of the Dems' few pickups this cycle. Bob Dold raised $843K in the third quarter and is sitting on $979K CoH, enough to start running two broadcast ads this week, while Bob Dold's opponent Dan Seals has yet to release any numbers. Bob Dold!
• MD-01, VA-02, VA-05: Another testament to the unpredictability of elections: even a few months ago, who'd have thought, that at this point, the DCCC would have cut loose Debbie Halvorson and Steve Kagen, but would be keeping on pumping money into the races of Frank Kratovil and Tom Perriello? Those two, along with Glenn Nye, are among the survivors of the triage process and will receive continued ad buys.
• NH-02: This race is also turning out to be close, and this can't help Charlie Bass this close to the election: questions are emerging about a stock buy (in New England Wood Pellet, his nephew-in-law's company) that he made while in Congress the previous time. He then set up a meeting between company officials and Bush administration officials, which is a potential House ethics violation.
• OH-01: Credit Steve Driehaus for having some fire in the belly. After having gotten thrown onto the bring-out-your-dead cart by the DCCC, instead of just shrugging and starting to look for a lobbying job, he's doubling down on his fundraising efforts, using it as an incentive to ask for more from his supporters. In particular, he's pissed that the DCCC let him go even while giving money to various Reps. who voted "no" on health care reform.
• OR-04: Well, here's one more race to add to the watch list. Peter DeFazio hasn't faced credible opposition in... well, ever. And he's still not facing credible opposition this year (Art Robinson is kind of a clown; his main action item seems to be the elimination of public schooling, which would kind of help him out considerably, since his day job is selling curriculum supplies for home schoolers). Nevertheless, the mysterious group Concerned Taxpayers (who've also made a six-digit ad buy against DeFazio) is out with an internal poll from Oct. 4-5 from Wilson Research showing a single-digit race, with DeFazio leading Robinson 48-42. (MoE is a hefty 5.6%.)
• PA-10: Chris Carney is on the wrong end of a Critical Insights poll of his district (which will be in our Poll Roundup later), but he's already getting out in front of it with an internal poll. The Oct. 12-13 poll from Momentum Analysis has Carney leading Tom Marino 48-41. With both candidates able to point to leads not just in internal polls but public polls too, this is quite definitely a "Tossup."
• TN-08: Whew! One last internal. Not much surprise here... GOPer Stephen Fincher has an internal out giving him a double-digit lead in the open seat race against Roy Herron, very similar to yesterday's 47-37 Penn/Hill poll. The Tarrance Group poll from Oct. 11-12 gives Fincher a 47-36 lead (with 3 to indie Donn James).
• FL-AG: This is one of the higher-profile downballot races around, and it gets a fair amount of polling attention too. This time, it's Susquehanna's turn (on behalf of Sunshine State News), and they give a lead to Republican Hillsborough Co. Prosecutor Pam Bondi, who leads state Sen. Dan Gelber 50-42.
• Money: Zata|3 is out with more of their super-helpful charts on the behind-the-scenes money game, which is where the Republicans are really winning this cycle, even more so than the polls. Compared with 2008, spending on Senate races (from both sides) has nearly doubled, and it's up more than 50% on House races. And Republican groups are leading the way: the top 5, and 8 of the top 10, outside groups, spending-wise are GOP-leaning. That starts with the cash-flush RGA ($12 mil so far), followed by the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.
• Polltopia: You may have already seen the new Pew study on cellphone use, but it's a real eye-opener, one that should cast some measure of doubt on the accuracy of current polls or even the whole sense that polls can tell us anything. Pew, which in 2008 found a certain amount of pro-Republican bias in polls because of the exclusion of cellphone-only users, is out with a new round of polling showing that bias has only increased. At this point, nearly 25% of adults are "cell-only." Pew finds a 5-point Republican increase would have occurred in their most recent generic ballot test if they hadn't polled cellphones.
Also, on the polling front, Daily Kos is taking a page from PPP and asking where readers what gubernatorial and House race they'd like to see polled in the coming weeks.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: This is actually kind of funny: Joe Miller spoofs Old Spice ads in an attempt to get voters to not write in Lisa Murkowski
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck's out with a base-rallying ad using speech footage of him getting teabaggers fired up about how they got ignored for the last two years and are now out for blood; the NRSC is also on the air, hitting Michael Bennet over his support for the stimulus
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan's new TV spot pushes back against various Roy Blunt negative ads, especially on the subject of an extended family member's wind farm
• PA-Sen: This may be an interesting tea leaf that those Dem internals yesterday may be showing some actual tightening: the NRSC, after letting surrogate orgs do all the work here, is finally having to step in with its own IE ad (a basic HCR/stimulus/cap-and-trade troika)
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese again over the minimum wage
• CA-Gov: What is this, the 80s? Meg Whitman's new ad hits Jerry Brown for being soft on crime
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad goes after Rick Perry's seeming habit of steering state contracts to cronies
• AK-Sen: Scott McAdams (D) 27%, Joe Miller (R) 35%, Lisa Murkowski (WI-inc) 34%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 40%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 4%, Rich Whitney (G) 2%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 52%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 51%