David Dewhurst (R): 23
Ron Paul (R): 21
Greg Abbott (R): 14
Joe Barton (R): 7
Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): 6
Ted Cruz (R): 3
Tom Leppert (R): 3
Michael Williams (R): 3
Roger Williams (R): 1
With Kay Bailey Hutchison heading off to a farm upstate, PPP does another one of their genre-busting "let's throw everyone into the pigpen and see who's Head Hog" primary polls, a format I admit I'm growing to appreciate. In these early surveys, it's always the guys with the most name rec who lead the way, so it's no surprise to see Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst slopping it up at the head of the trough, though 39% of GOP voters still don't know him. Ron Paul is next in line; PPP didn't test his favorables, but we can guess they must higher than your average congressman's - like, say, Smokey Joe Barton, dwelling in the single digits. State AG Greg Abbott occupies the "roast beef" slot, to round out the top tier.
Who are the other piglets? You've got Elizabeth Ames Jones, one of three members of the Texas Railroad Commission, all of whom are elected statewide. (Despite the name, the commission doesn't supervise railroads, but rather the all-important oil-and-gas industry.) Teabagger fave Michael Williams is also on the RRC, and Ted Cruz is the former state Solicitor General, now making rain in private practice despite his tender age. Rounding out the list are Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former TX Sec. of State Roger Williams. Whew!
Interestingly, most of these potential candidates are already in the race or taking serious steps it. Cruz just made it official, and Jones, the only woman in the mix, did the same a few days later. Bush père-endorsed Roger Williams is already in the race. Michael Williams recently announced he plans to step down from the railroad commission, so that probably means only one thing. (In fact, he'll supposedly announce today.) Leppert's sending similar signals: a couple of weeks ago he said that he wouldn't seek re-election as mayor.
Abbott's still in "rumored" territory, and Barton's saying he's unlikely to run if the mega-wealthy Dewhurst gets in, which most folks seem to expect. A lot of people also seem to think that Dewhurst, thanks to his profile and money, will have magical field-clearing powers, but at least one columnist isn't so sure. Since Dewhurst very firmly has "establishment" branded on his hide, it's not hard to imagine a teabagger-fueled toppling. Just think about how Rick Perry positioned himself against KBH last year.
An additional name not on PPP's list is Rep. Michael McCaul, who said he's not ruling out a run. McCaul probably needs a redistricting bailout if he's to survive into the next decade, and it would make the lives of Republican state legislators easier if they didn't have to worry about him seeking re-election, but a senatorial run hardly seems like a better bet.
One guy who doesn't seem likely to run is His Paulness. Ron initially said to Politico that he was "flattered" by his showing in this poll, and then told The Hill that the prospect of running for senate had "certainly crossed my mind." But a day later, he was already telling the National Journal that "I don't think it's a real possibility." Apparently, says the NJ, Paul is "waiting to see whether the strength of the nation's currency improves before deciding whether to run." It's not clear to me which direction the dollar heads will make him more likely to get in, but as Crisitunity says: "Seeing as how we're unlikely to return to the gold standard any time soon, draw your own conclusions."
• CT-Sen: Rep. Chris Murphy has been studiously avoiding saying he's running for Senate, but seems to be dancing up to the edge of it more. He tells the Hartford Courant that he's "interested" and that his decision will be "independent" of whether or not Joe Lieberman decides to run for another term. Murphy's also claiming the backing of 2010 Lt. Gov. candidate Mary Glassman. Murphy may have a large hurdle to clear even before getting to take on Lieberman, though; here's another reminder that Rep. Joe Courtney is still scoping out the Senate race too. Dem insiders and labor leaders are conflicted, with the differences between the two more stylistic than ideological, and are, at this point, mostly just hoping to avoid a divisive primary.
• FL-Sen: The Republicans have their first big-name candidate to go up against Bill Nelson, although several more seem likely to get in: state Senate president Mike Haridopolos hasn't formally announced, but unveiled his operation yesterday, kicking off his fundraising efforts and launching his website. For what it's worth (not worth much, since Nelson is a thoroughly-known statewide figure at this point) Nelson and Haridopolos share the same geographical turf on the Space Coast.
• HI-Sen: An interview with Mufi Hannemann, now decamped to the private sector, raises the question of the 2012 Senate race. Hannemann says that octogenarian Dan Akaka has indicated to him that he'll run again, and he would never run against Akaka, but would "look at it" if there were an opening instead.
• MA-Sen: We've already seen the mayors of some of Massachusetts's cities cited as potential candidates (especially Newton's Setti Warren), but here's another one to keep in mind: Salem mayor Kim Driscoll, who has been asking around about the race. Two other mayors get cited in the piece as additional down-in-the-weeds possibilities for the Dems: New Bedford's Scott Lang and Fitchburg's Lisa Wong.
• PA-Sen: The magic 8-ball is telling us that Mark Schweiker's odds of running for Senate are pretty hazy at this point. The ex-Gov. just took on a "senior advisor" role (read: lobbyist) at a major law firm, which isn't usually the action of a likely candidate for something.
• TX-Sen: The big question today seems to be who all will pile into the overstuffed clown car that will be the GOP field to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison (who announced her retirement yesterday). Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has already said he's in (which may have surprised some people who thought he was more interested in becoming Governor instead... although those who know Texas politics know that being Governor is actually a step down from being Lt. Governor). Lots of sources today have long lists of all the potential candidates, with the one from the Texas Tribune probably the most thorough, with the other "high" probability GOPers besides Dewhurst being Elizabeth Ames Jones (the mama grizzly), Michael Williams (the teabaggers' fave), Roger Williams (the business candidate), and the state's former solicitor general, Ted Cruz. One other interesting bit of news is that right-wing kingmaker Jim DeMint, who has been squarely behind Michael Williams so far, is branching out his support, also expressing an interest in Cruz (probably at the best of social conservatives, who seem particularly fond of Cruz).
As for the Dems, most of the news has been prominent potential candidates saying "I'm not touching this one." That includes former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk and former Houston mayor Bill White, both of whom have already lost statewide. While John Sharp is expected to run (though he hasn't said anything official since KBH's announcement), some Dems are already casting an eager eye toward San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, an up-and-comer who they think may be ready for prime time, calling the charismatic 30-something the Dems' "Marco Rubio." Other fallback options might include recently defeated ex-Rep. Chet Edwards, or two state Sens., Kirk Watson and Leticia van de Putte, who both were briefly speculation-subjects for last year's gubernatorial race.
• MT-Gov: Here's one more Republican candidate for the open seat gubernatorial race, where the field is dominated by ex-Rep. Rick Hill but two state Senators are also in the mix. Jim O'Hara is an elected official, although it barely gets him out of Some Dude territory: he's a Chouteau County Commissioner (population approximately 5,000).
• WA-Gov: Chris Gregoire's popularity in Washington seems to be keeping on dwindling; a recent Elway poll put her at just 38/61, worse than her position before the 2010 election. While nobody's really expecting her to run for a technically-possible third term, it's likely she won't announce her plans until after the legislative session is done in order to avoid being a lame duck and have some clout instead.
• MA-06: Rep. John Tierney's wife, Patrice, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for aiding and abetting filing of false tax returns (on behalf of her fugitive brother). This is worth a mention here only because it could weigh on Tierney in terms of retirement or drawing a legitimate challenger for 2012, although this mini-scandal has been in the news for months and didn't seem to have caused of an impression in 2010 (although Tierney's kooky opponent probably wasn't in a position to capitalize).
• WA-St. House: There's legislation afoot in Washington that could dramatically change the way the state House is set up. Currently, each of the state's 49 legislative districts elect one senator and two representatives (meaning each Washingtonian has three state legislators to keep track of, instead of two). The proposed changes would move Washington toward the more conventional system of 98 individually-districted House districts, which would give each Rep. half as many constituents and in theory make them more accessible. There's no indication, though, of whether this has the backing to go anywhere or if it's just one Rep.'s personal hobby horse.
• Mayors: One of the higher-profile mayoral races up for grabs this November will be in Las Vegas, although it's doubtful any of the contenders will have the high profile of termed-out, outgoing mayor Oscar Goodman. (Any reporter writing about Goodman is required by law to refer to him as "colorful" in the first paragraph.) It seems pretty wide open, but three candidates who are already jockeying for position include Clark Co. Commissioner Larry Brown, city councilor Steve Ross, and Chamber of Commerce president Katherine Duncan.
• Redistricting: Here's a nice promise from Pennsylvania Republican state Senate president Dominic Pileggi regarding transparency in the redistricting process this year. He says that he's planning a website that will offer "voter data, past district maps... and proposed maps when time allows." Easy access to that kind of data ought to get a whole lot of SSPers salivating, but bear in mind that, for now, simply remains a promise. (Also, bear in mind that Pennsylvania has an odd system, where state legislative boundaries are drawn by a bipartisan commission but congressional boundaries are drawn directly by the legislature, subject to the governor's veto. The GOP, rather inconveniently for us, just took over the trifecta for the first time since, oh, the last redistricting.)
• AK-Sen: This shouldn't come as a surprise and I highly doubt that Joe Miller would listen to anything Mark Begich would say even if it weren't a surprise, but Begich is now encouraging Miller to drop his pointless challenge to Lisa Murkowski so Murkowski can get sworn in on schedule and the pork can continue to flow to the Last Frontier. Meanwhile, Miller is now actually saying that he would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling Inuits. In a Washington Times column, Miller blames the Native Alaskan corporations for backing Murkowski (via the Alaskans Standing Together PAC), and even (gasp! call the Fox voter fraud hotline!) putting boots on the ground to teach people how to spell "Murkowski" and bus people to the polls!!1!
• FL-Sen: If you were wondering if there was still a flicker of possibility that Jeb Bush was going to run against Bill Nelson, that's pretty much extinguished: Bush himself acknowledged that over the weekend, admitting there's a major problem given his support for immigration reform (and opposition to Arizona's new law) that puts him at odds with the ascendant teabaggery. Mike Haridopolos is also letting everyone know that he wouldn't be running if Bush were going to run, but that he's gotten Bush's green light. (The latter article also includes a few additional GOP names that we haven't seen yet in connection with this race, like sophomore Rep. Tom Rooney and Adam Hasner, the former state House majority leader.)
• IN-Sen: State Sen. Mike Delph is waving his arms around madly trying to get the tea partiers' attention for a possible primary against GOP apostate Richard Lugar, with a widely-circulated post to his own blog saying that he's "increasingly concerned" with Lugar's actions, especially support for the DREAM Act. The real question is whether state Treasurer Richard Mourdock gets in; Lugar's best shot at getting through, like Dan Coats in the 2010 Senate primary, is to have the multiple teabaggers cannibalizing each others' votes.
• NV-Sen: Democratic Rep. Shelly Berkley is mentioning some sort of timeline for deciding on whether to run for the Senate against John Ensign (or whoever decapitates him in the GOP primary): she's saying early 2011, probably before mid-February. Worth noting: she's sitting on $1.1 million CoH, more than your average Rep. and a good head start for a Senate bid.
• WV-Sen: John Raese, who has run and lost four times statewide, is pretty much ruling out another run for office, aware that it's probably not a good investment of his family fortune. Also, he says he's "worn out" (and probably wants to spend more time with his new glass conservatory). As for who will actually run, Shelly Moore Capito is naturally at the top of the GOP's wish list, but it sounds like she's more interested in running for Governor in 2012, making a run from some other self-funding B-lister against Manchin seem likely.
• MN-Gov: Tom Emmer's legal team, over the weekend, pulled a large number of frivolous challenges: 2,600 of them, all from Hennepin County (Minneapolis). Between this token act of perceptions-management, and signals from Emmer attorney (and ex-state supreme court chief justice) Eric Magnuson that Emmer isn't likely to prevail, it looks like we may actually get some resolution on this sooner rather than later.
• CA-11: I'm not sure if anyone was still wondering if David Harmer had conceded this race, as Jerry McNerney declared victory nearly a month ago and the AP also called it a few weeks ago, but he finally pulled the plug over the weekend. Harmer says he has no plans to run again.
• VA-09: Um, oooops. Here's one veteran Dem who seems to have gotten caught with his pants down, when a late move in the polls in what had previously seemed an OK race (recall the spike in the last SurveyUSA poll of this race) seemed to come too late for him to do a last-minute ad blitz. Rick Boucher had by far the most money left over of any House Dem who lost: $699K. (Chris Carney came in second with $262K.)
• DCCC: Another changing of the guard at the DCCC: Robby Mook is taking over as executive director, from Jon Vogel. He's following the same path as Vogel, having led the DCCC's independent expenditure arm during the 2010 cycle.
• NY-St. Sen.: The last two races in the New York state Senate are more or less resolved. Suzi Oppenheimer, as expected, has been declared the victor, and GOP opponent Bob Cohen has conceded. Craig Johnson, on the other hand, has lost, or at least was on the wrong end of the recount, although he plans to appeal. Assuming nothing changes in SD-7, the GOP will control the Senate 32-30 for this session.
• Redistricting: In Massachusetts, Democratic Secretary of State Bill Galvin is floating the idea of switching to an independent redistricting commission (albeit one that would apparently be non-binding). That's odd, since if there's one state where the Dems have firm control of the trifecta, it's the Bay State. As you might expect, Dem legislative leaders are expressing little interest in the idea. They're moving full speed ahead on the 2012 process, with state Senate president pro tem Stan Rosenberg in charge just as he was in 2002. As far as tea leaves for who might get protected in the elimination of that tenth House seat: I'm not sure if Rosenberg would be considered a John Olver ally, but it's worth noting that Rosenberg is, like Olver, from Amherst, and succeeded Olver in the state Senate, taking over Olver's old seat in 1991 upon Olver's special election to the House.
• AK-Sen: A new profile of Sitka mayor Scott McAdams has him sounding unsure about using his newfound celebrity to run statewide again, as he cites the very apparent difficulty of winning statewide as a Democrat in Alaska. In the article is an interesting number that also shows just how well Lisa Murkowski did at getting moderates (and even Dems doing the game-theory thing) to fall in line behind her: Ethan Berkowitz, the Dem candidate in the standard 2-way race for Governor, picked up 96,000 votes, way more than McAdams' 67,000.
• MA-Sen: Here's a name that we haven't heard associated with the Senate race, sounding more interested than assumed (well, he's not sounding interested, but "mum" is not not interested). Barney Frank, who skipped the special election and was assumed not interested at the time because of his age and his chairmanship, is saying "ask me later" about challenging Scott Brown. Maybe being in the minority has changed his mind, since he has no gavel to give up anymore.
• ME-Sen: If there was any doubt that Olympia Snowe's main problem in 2012 will be in the GOP primary, against a teabagger-to-be-named-later, check this out: she just signed on to an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of the mandate portion of health care reform. That's, of course, the same bill that she helped vote out of committee (though she voted against it on the floor).
• MI-Sen: The GOP field to go against Debbie Stabenow hasn't really started to take shape yet, but here's one potential name that's getting some encouragement within conservative circles to run: soon-to-be-ex-Rep. Peter Hoekstra, who lost the GOP gubernatorial primary. He isn't ruling it out, but is "predisposed to say no."
• NE-Sen: While the entry of AG Jon Bruning (who has an exploratory committee) is considered pretty much an inevitability, there's already one Republican formally in the race now: investment adviser Pat Flynn, who sounds like he'll be flying the tea party flag. Flynn got 22% of the vote in the 2008 Senate GOP primary, losing to Mike Johanns.
• NM-Sen: If you're waiting on pins and needles to find out whether Jeff Bingaman will run for another Senate term, you'll need to wait a little longer. Bingaman is expected to announce his 2012 plans in March (the usual timetable he's followed for previous re-elections). The article points out he recently raised $400K at a fundraiser, certainly the actions of a man planning another run.
• NV-Sen: It would have taken the confluence of a great Harry Reid campaign and a terrible opponent's campaign for Harry Reid to win in a year like this, and it looks like that's what we got. You've all seen the post-mortems about how effective Reid's campaign was, and now here's a nice Politico piece on the amateur-hour efforts from Team Angle, focusing on her campaign manager Terry Campbell, who often seemed unaware of the timing of ad buys or even how much money they had at a given moment. Maybe most telling: the Election Day phone bank shut down at 5 pm (despite polls being open until 7) in order to go set up the victory party. Never fear, though, it sounds like yet more Angle is on tap for 2012. However, it's sounding more and more like the plan, instead of running against John Ensign in the Senate primary, will be to run for the open seat in NV-02 assuming Dean Heller runs for Senate. (Another option is running for the state Senate, as her long-time nemesis Bill Raggio will be vacating his Reno-area open seat.)
• TX-Sen: Here's a boilerplate article on the speculation as to whether Kay Bailey Hutchison runs for re-election, but there's an interesting tidbit buried within: Chet Edwards, who'll be looking for work soon and has a better profile for running statewide than for his blindingly-red district, is getting a strong push to run on the Dem side. (The Texas Tribune has more on Edwards here. Another, maybe likelier, possibility, is an Obama administration job.)
• VA-Sen: The Virginia state GOP has decided to hold a primary to nominate its Senate nominee in 2012, not a convention (as they did in 2008). This is seen as a boost to establishment fave George Allen, who, flamingly right-wing as he is, would still be vulnerable to someone even to the right at a convention, which is dominated by the hardcore faithful. (As seen by Jim Gilmore's near loss at the '08 convention to the obscure state Del. Bob Marshall, reported to be interested in another try.)
• IL-17: There's a fair number of defeated Dem House members that seem like it'd a good idea for them run again in 2012, but here's one that, well, isn't a good idea, who's still quick to state his interest. Phil Hare (who lost by a significant margin to a pizza parlor owner in his first actively-contested election) says he'd like to try again. The real question may be what district he'd even be running in, considering that the weird-looking 17th (intended as a downstate Dem vote sink, albeit not a very effective one if the Dem can't even hold it) is likely to be vaporized in redistricting.
• DCCC: It's official: Rep. Steve Israel will be running the DCCC for the 2012 cycle, as the Dems seek to get back on the offensive. Israel will still need to be approved by the larger House caucus, but having gotten the Pelosi imprimatur, it's considered a done deal.
• Polltopia: Pew is out with even more data on the cellphone polling issue, and it confirms what you probably already know, that the cellphone gap is not only real but growing. They found that in the polls they conducted in fall 2010, the landline-only surveys skewed in the Republican direction by 5.1% more than dual-frame surveys. That's up from the 2.4% cellphone gap they found in 2008 polling. They also found that dual users (both cellphone and landline) reached by cell are still significantly more Democratic than dual users reached by landline, which would explain much of the skew.
• Redistricting: Good news for Dave's App users. Having just unveiled Dave's App 2.0 a few weeks ago, now he's up to Dave's App 2.0.1, incorporating a few tweaks (such as showing all districts all the time).
Here's the last batch of 10 of the Hill House polls by Penn Schoen Berland. The sample periods were a mix of Oct. 16-19 and Oct. 19-21, with each sample with a 4.9% MoE. With previous rounds focusing on freshmen, open seats, and sophomores, this one deals with some of the most endangered veterans:
• CO-03: John Salazar (D-inc) 43%, Scott Tipton (R) 47%
• FL-02: Allen Boyd (D-inc) 38%, Steve Southerland 50%
• GA-08: Jim Marshall (D-inc) 37%, Austin Scott 50%
• IN-09: Baron Hill (D-inc) 46%, Todd Young (R) 44%
• IA-03: Leonard Boswell (D-inc) 49%, Brad Zaun (R) 37%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 44%
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski (D-inc) 43%, Lou Barletta (R) 48%
• SC-05: John Spratt (D-inc) 39%, Mick Mulvaney (R) 49%
• TX-17: Chet Edwards (D-inc) 40%, Bill Flores (R) 52%
So, 4 out of 10 isn't bad, considering the crowd we're looking at here (including the DOA-for-months Chet Edwards and Allen Boyd). Especially noteworthy is IA-03... who would have thought, even a few months ago, that chronically underperforming Leonard Boswell would be well on his way to re-election and possibly even not the most endangered Iowa Dem?
What's the overall damage? 31 of the total 42 Hill polls had Republicans in the lead, 4 ties, and 7 Dem leads. (Remember, 2 of those were GOP-held seats.) Mark Penn's take on what that means overall (remember, we're talking Mark Penn here, so take with salt as necessary):
"We didn't even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats. So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans."
(I'm wondering what 15 he's talking about? Considering that they polled NH-01, TN-08, WA-03, WI-07, MI-01, AR-01, CO-04, IL-11, MD-01, NM-02, OH-15, PA-03, VA-02, and VA-05 earlier, that means I can count only AR-02, IN-08, LA-03, TN-06, NY-29, KS-03, and OH-01 in the "too far gone" category. Either he knows something about eight other races that nobody else does, or his math is a little fuzzy. Maybe he's counting FL-08 and WI-08, but even then he'd still owe us six more.)
• AK-Sen: I thought Joe Miller (last seen praising the COMMUNISTS!!1! in East Germany for their wall-building skills) wasn't going to talk about his personal life anymore (i.e. personal stuff like his on-the-job politicking while working for the borough of Fairbanks)? Well, now he is, and he's openly admitted on CNN that he was disciplined by the borough for an ethical violation. "John, I'll admit I'm a man of many flaws," he said. Apparently one of those flaws was using his various co-workers' computers while they were away for lunch to rig an online poll intended to displace Randy Ruedrich as state GOP chair, then wiping out their caches to cover his tracks, then getting caught when the wiped caches were discovered. Miller said he was reprimanded and docked pay as a result. However he maintains the incident had nothing to do with his departure from the office a year and a half later (which others maintain was imminently before he was about to be fired). So... a guy is possibly about to go from not being able to hack it as a contract attorney for a city of about 25,000, to a Senator, in the space of about a year? Geez, only in America.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's no slouch either on the self-funding front: she loaned herself $20 million last quarter, bringing her all-cycle total to $41.5 million. (No word, of course, on how much of that $20 million actually has been or will be spent.) Meg Whitman was heard sniffing disdainfully and saying McMahon should call once she reaches the eight digits.
• DE-Sen: Sometimes, it's best to keep your mouth shut and let everyone assume you're a fool, rather than open your mouth and categorically prove it. The highlight of last night's debate:
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion....
"The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish religion," Coons said.
"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell interrupted. "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
• KY-Sen: With Aqua Buddha suddenly back dominating coverage of this race, no one's really stopped to ask Aqua Buddha lady what she thinks of all this. She thinks that Jack Conway's ad's tone is over-the-top, but agrees with the fundamentals, that it's an accurate reflection of Rand Paul's past views and that he should acknowledge that he's just changed his religious views since then (instead of playing the victim).
• MA-Sen: Wait, the 2010 election hasn't happened yet? Still not too early to talk about 2012. Rep. Mike Capuano, runner-up in the Dem primary in the special election and considered the likeliest opponent against Scott Brown in two years, is openly "mulling" the race, although his official line is "Talk to me in December."
• NV-Sen: We finally have some confirmation on what we'd suspected, regarding Sharron Angle's burn rate, thanks to Salon's crack team. She may have raised $14 million, but she also spent $5.3 million on direct mail expenses last quarter in order to get that money. $920K of that went to BaseConnect and its affiliates, with $1.5 million to somebody called Patton-Kiehl, who seemed responsible for the actual printing and postage. Another $4 million went to TV ads, leaving her with the $4 million CoH she reported.
• MD-Gov: This one looks closer and closer to being wrapped up in favor of Martin O'Malley. On top of today's Gonzales poll, there's also news that the RGA is scaling things back in Maryland, planning to spend less than $200K for Bob Ehrlich in the final two weeks. O'Malley may also benefit from an across-the-aisle endorsement (although it's from a figure who's committed his fair share of apostasies): ex-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest gave him his backing today.
• MN-Gov: Here's one more across-the-aisle endorsement (the only kind we'd bother reporting on, at this stage in the game). Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate in Minnesota, got an endorsement from Mike Ciresi, a wealthy attorney who you might remember from losing the 2000 DFL Senate primary to Mark Dayton (wonder if there are any hard feelings there?) and ran again for Senate in 2008 but dropped out pre-convention. That may make things a smidge harder for Dayton, who needs Horner to draw votes mostly from the R column.
• AL-02: This has to be one of the weirdest IEs of the cycle: Blue America is spending in AL-02 of all places, and they're spending $48K against Bobby Bright. I guess they hate Blue Dogs just that much.
• FL-22: You know, if you're fighting allegations that you have links to the outlaw biker gang conveniently known as the Outlaws, probably the best way to do that is by not having bikers providing security at your rallies. Well, that's what happened at an Allen West appearance, where bikers physically drove off a Ron Klein tracker. Video is available at the link. (At least "Sympathy for the Devil" wasn't playing in the background.)
• NC-07: Here's some interesting scuttlebutt out of the 7th, where Mike McIntyre is joining the I-won't-vote-for-Pelosi brigade but where he's also saying that he's heard that she won't be running for Speaker again. (That would, of course, presume having a majority; no word on whether he's heard if she plans on running for minority leader.) Relatedly, even Mike McMahon, who's looking like a good bet to survive his red-leaning district this year, is now sounding noncommittal but at least Pelosi-skeptical.
• OR-04: Wondering who the mysterious Concerned Taxpayers of America are, who've trained most of their advertising firepower on Peter DeFazio, turning this into at least a mildly competitive race? Well, it turns out there's a grand total of two of them, each of whom has ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of them, Robert Mercer, appears to be the one with the beef against DeFazio, probably because he's a hedge fund manager and takes issue with DeFazio's leadership on taxing major hedge-fund transactions.
• VA-05: I guess demanding the moon and the sun when you make your initial offer in a negotiating session is a good strategy, but independent teabagger Jeffrey Clark may have taken that ridiculously far in his attempts to negotiate a dropout from the race and an endorsement for GOP candidate Robert Hurt. Clark offered to drop out if he got the chance to debate Hurt one-on-one, and then if subsequent polling didn't have him at 25% of the vote! Hurt has refused to appear any at any debates where Clark is included, and doesn't seem any likelier to do so now.
• WA-08: I know it's fashionable to paint Dave Reichert as not being one of the sharpest tools in the shed, but it's hard not to do so when he gives you so much material: at a forum with opponent Suzan DelBene, confessed in response to a question that he wasn't familiar with the Glass-Steagall Act. (The resurrection of Glass-Steagall was one of the main things being debated as part of the financial reform package passed this year.)
• DCCC: Here's some activity from the D-Trip that doesn't bode well: they've started going on the air in NC-11 for Heath Shuler, previously thought safe based on most of the polling we've seen so far but has been in the crosshairs of a lot of third-party advertising from folks like Americans for Job Security. (NWOTSOTB.) They're also increasing their buys in the coming weeks in neighboring districts SC-05 (John Spratt) and NC-07 (Mike McIntyre). Also, file this under a sorta-kinda triage decision: the DCCC is cutting off ads in NM-02, on behalf of Harry Teague. Chris Van Hollen says they're leaving Teague in "great position," which (shades of Steve Kagen here) is probably code for "he's personally wealthy" and it's time for him to buy his own bandaids.
• Polltopia: PPP is letting you choose an unprecedented six states to poll in, as part of their final round of polling. They must be renting some extra robots, because they're planning to poll 18 different states the week before the election, although 12 states (basically, the most obvious ones) are already locked in. Go vote!
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: EMILY's List is out with a TV spot featuring an opera guy singing a ditty about Carly Fiorina (and her time as Hewlett-Packard CEO)
• NV-Sen: Both the DSCC and NRSC are out with ads; the DSCC says that while you're angry, don't take it out by voting for Sharron Angle, while the GOP says Harry Reid lives in a fancy hotel and parties with supermodels
• WA-Sen: One of the Dems' few big-money behind-the-scenes groups, Commonsense Ten, looks at Dino Rossi's cozy connections
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's new ad just flat out says "John Raese uses people"
• CA-Gov: Too bad this is only a Jerry Brown web ad, because it's one of the most effective ones we've seen this cycle: it ties Meg Whitman to unpopular Arnold Schwarzenegger, matching them quote for quote (UPDATE: Good news, everybody! The ad is going to be running on television, despite its one-minute length! It's that good.)
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad hits Rick Perry on his rental mansion
• SC-02: Joe "Yewwwwww Laaaaaah!" Wilson talks about dodging mortar fire in his newest ad (mortar fire that apparently landed on the other end of the airport while on what Rob Miller has been calling a Congressional junket, but that's OK)
• TX-17: Here's a sign that Chet Edwards has done something to show that he's stemmed the bleeding (or at least that he called in some serious favors), as the DCCC's back on the air here with an effective ad about bailout funds for Bill Flores' oil company
• Original recipe Rasmussen:
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 42%, Rand Paul (R) 47%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 34%, Rick Snyder (R) 54%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 37%, Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
• Extra crispy Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 43%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 40 45%, Dan Maes (R) 10%, Tom Tancredo (C) 45 40%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 46%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 45%, John Raese (R) 48%
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck is running back to the middle, or at least the far right field instead of completely out of the ballpark, as he faces a close race in the general. He's backing down on his previous support of Colorado's "personhood" amendment (granting legal rights to embryos) that's on Colorado's ballot again, saying he's against it despite loudly touting it during his primary bid.
• NV-Sen: Observers are wondering if this is Sharron Angle's true chickens-for-checkups moment (in a campaign that's already littered with quotes that contend for that honor). A video from a 2009 tea party rally by a Dem tracker shows Angle taking issue with a recently passed Nevada state law requires insurance carriers to cover "autism." (And yes, she makes exaggerated air quotes while saying "autism.") I suppose she thinks it's nothing a good massage, sauna, and some aromatherapy can't fix.
• CO-Gov: While John Hickenlooper seems to skate toward the Governor's Mansion, Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo are descending even more comically into fighting to see who can garner a smaller share of the minority. Maes just called Tancredo "an illegal immigrant" (given Tanc's fixations, probably the single worst thing he could be called) in the gubernatorial race, seeing as how he "cheated his way in the back door."
• ID-01: Another day, another endorsement for Walt Minnick from another conservative organization looking to back one token Dem as a badge of bipartisanship. Today, he became the only Dem with the seal of approval from the Citizens Against Government Waste PAC.
• KY-06: Republican challenger Andy Barr, having been on the very wrong end of a couple Democratic polls in the last few weeks (giving Ben Chandler 20 and 14 point leads), comes out with his own internal to demonstrate that he's not that dead yet. His own poll, from the Tarrance Group, gives Chandler only a 49-42 lead, in the wake of Chandler attack ads tying Barr to his previous boss, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
• PA-08: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Patrick Murphy (D-inc): 35
Mike Fitzpatrick (R): 49
It's unexpected to see Patrick Murphy, in the friendlier confines of the 8th, in worse shape than Kathy Dahlkemper in the 3rd (trailing narrowly in a different F&M poll with the same timeframe). He's down 46-36 among RVs.
• PA-11: The Realtors® ride to Paul Kanjorski's rescue yet again! I'm not sure why they have such love for Kanjo in particular among Dems, but today they're slapping down $243K on his behalf. Recall that they spent over $1.3 million saving his hide in 2008.
• TX-17: Wow, that's a big lead. Republican pollster OnMessage, on behalf of Bill Flores, gives their client a 55-36 lead over Dem incumbent Chet Edwards, over 9/19-20. I wonder if this'll motivate Edwards, who notoriously holds his cards close to his vest, to roll out a response (if he has one). The article also notes that AFF is going on the air in the district with a new ad tying Edwards to (gee, guess who) Nancy Pelosi.
• DSCC: Reid Wilson has three new big buys from the DSCC in key states: $335K in Colorado, $235K in Illinois, and $470K in Pennsylvania.
• Redistricting: Here's an interesting piece from Josh Goodman, for those of you among us who like looking at long lists of population figures. (I know I do.) It suggests that the redistricting axe is going to have to fall hardest on rural areas, which is a positive note for Dems; Census data (based on the 2009 ACS... you're going to have to wait a few more months for 2010 data!) shows that the almost all of nation's largest cities have grown (some remarkably so) or at least held steady.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina calls Barbara Boxer "arrogant," citing her notorious examination of Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo has a target-rich environment for negative ads with Carl Paladino; one hit from his new ad includes Paladino's job creation record (or lack thereof)
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland belatedly tries out "You want angry? I'll give you angry!"
• OR-Gov: The SEIU hits Chris Dudley on his proposed income tax cuts for the wealthy
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi does the jujitsu move on Jim Gerlach's hits on his residency, pointing he was busy, y'know, serving the military overseas during the years in question
• AJS: Americans for Job Securities targets four Dem-held seats with cookie-cutter neg ads: IN-08, OH-18, PA-04, and PA-07.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 45%, John Monds (L) 5%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 44%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 48%
• AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she's inviting supporters to a "campaign kickoff" tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a "good team member" and saying they'll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y'know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O'Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O'Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O'Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O'Donnell campaigns.
• IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That's better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's "Cheddarbomb" sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day's worth of contributions.
• AR-Gov: With yesterday's PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it's now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation's safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday's Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state's turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren't defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.
• CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom's behalf too) in mid-October.
• HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there's one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what's literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6'7"). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie's right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).
• NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who's increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish's behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.
• NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people's houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that "something smells" in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people's houses to intentionally physically sicken them.
• CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they're also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.
• MI-09: There's a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.
• NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who's basically been Hoffman's puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)
• TN-04: Sure, we've all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but... oh, wait. We haven't? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It's unclear how much this'll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis's behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis's pollster is.)
• Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn't a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn't sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn't anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.
• IE Tracker:
• MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt
• WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio
• NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher
• AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright
• SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt
• NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler
• MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell
• GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall
• MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer
• SSP TV:
• PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak's rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush's deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard's out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer's tongue-tied performance at last month's debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline "Is this the best Arizona can do?")
• KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero's on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway
• ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it's "good business" for Labrador's immigration law practice
• MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%
• AR-Sen: Mason-Dixon takes another look at the Arkansas Senate race, on behalf of Arkansas News Bureau. Blanche Lincoln hasn't gotten any deader than she was before: she trails John Boozman 51-34, with 4 for other minor candidates (no real change from the last time they polled, back in May pre-primary, where Boozman led 52-35). Lincoln's faves have improved a smidge: now 30/47, instead of 28/53.
• DE-Sen: Whooo, where even to begin? The national media is just starting to dig into Christine O'Donnell's gigantic and eminently mineable opposition file, with NPR and ABC detailing her history of getting fired from right-wing think tanks and her suing for discrimination in response, of IRS audits that she blamed on "thug politics" and liens that she blamed on "computer errors," of failure to pay for her college, and of using her campaign money to pay the rent on her house as it's also her campaign headquarters. We also know about her stance on AIDS prevention, thanks to helpful tipsters in the comments. At least O'Donnell's faring well in the fundraising department, raising $1 million since her victory (with Chris Coons raising only $125K, showing the harmful effects of a short-of-the-endzone victory dance). Not leaving things to chance, reports are coming in that Joe Biden will campaign for Coons "next week" and that the DSCC is starting to put money into Delaware, starting with an $85K buy in the Salisbury market.
The establishment isn't budging much on her: the state's virulently anti-O'Donnell GOP chair, Tom Ross, is staying in place (though calling for "unity"), and Karl Rove, although he sorta backed down in the face of a Rush Limbaugh broadside, is still challenging O'Donnell to be "honest" to voters about her difficulties... and again running through the list of all those difficulties in his media appearances. Meanwhile, O'Donnell strips.... her website, perhaps at the urging of the NRSC; after her nomination, all issues stuff vanished and it just became a donation ask. Still, Harry Reid seems to be doing all he can to fuck this up, issuing a strange quote that should play right into the whole "Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda!!1!" messaging, expressing enthusiasm for Chris Coons but calling him his "pet."
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov (pdf): Part of the CNN/Time onslaught yesterday was polls of Nevada (which we're relegating to the digest, as this state, as we've complained before, is veering rapidly into over-polled territory). This raised some eyebrows for showing a Sharron Angle lead over Harry Reid (42-41, with 5 for Scott Ashjian) among LVs, but that's only a point or three off from the narrow band of results that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen have been consistently generating. (Reid leads 42-34-7 among RVs.) Many people (starting with Jon Ralston) also seemed surprised by some crosstabs weirdness, showing the race a dead heat in Democratic-favorable Clark County but giving Reid a big lead in swingy Washoe County. Brian Sandoval leads Rory Reid 58-31 in the Gov race.
• CA-Gov: It's official: Meg Whitman is now the biggest self-funder in political history, having shown that piker Michael Bloomberg how it's done. She gave her campaign another $15 million, which brings her personal spending on the race to $118 million overall.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes just picked up Scott McInnis's former campaign manager, George Culpepper, so it seems like the local GOP establishment isn't totally abandoning him. The Colorado Independent has an in-depth piece, though, with a more nuanced look, based on interviews with at least a dozen county GOP chairs. Some of them fully back Maes, some grudgingly do so, some back Tom Tancredo, and some are still in a state of shock.
• GA-Gov: After doing some pushback yesterday, Nathan "Let's Make a" Deal had to admit today that, yes, he is in some personally dire financial straits, saying his debts are even bigger than the $2.3 million loan that's outstanding... but also saying that he isn't releasing any more financial records to the press. It also turns out that he never disclosed that loan to the state Ethics Commission on his financial disclosure form, which he's now scrambling to update.
• MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA's out with yet another poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race; I think we can start relegating their frequent polls of this pretty-much-out-of-reach race to the digest, too. They give Rick Snyder a 53-29 lead over Virg Bernero (a slight improvement for Snyder over 51-29 three weeks ago).
• UT-Gov: OK, what kind of a world is it when we're faring better in the Utah governor's race than we are in Michigan? Not like this is a competitive race either, but it could be a good dress rehearsal for a 2012 rematch (remember that this 2010 race is a special election). Dem Peter Corroon trails Gary Herbert by "only" 21 points, 52-31, in a poll taken by Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News and KSL. The numbers haven't really changed since their previous poll in April (where Herbert led by 20).
• CA-11: As with 2008, Jerry McNerney rolled out endorsements from some local elected Republicans, as part of a list of 16 county supervisors and mayors who are backing him. Maybe most notable is the backing from the mayor of Manteca (or, in Spanish, Lard), Willie Weatherford, who had previously backed GOP primary loser Brad Goehring.
• CO-03: Here's a boost for John Salazar, in a suddenly-tough race in this rural western district against Republican Scott Tipton: he got the backing of the National Rifle Association, with an "A" rating.
• IA-02: Another warning sign for David Loebsack: the Mariannette Miller-Meeks campaign is out with another internal poll, showing her creeping closer than her previous one. The Tarrance Group poll has her trailing Loebsack by only 1 point: 41-40 (with 6 for a Libertarian). She could do some damage her with more money.
• LA-02: Lawyer Ron Austin dropped out of the LA-02 race today, where he was an independent candidate. This is really the first I'd ever heard of him, so I can't imagine he'd have been much of a factor here; I can't glean whether he was running on the left or the right, but he is African-American, so that in itself may shift at least a handful of votes in Cedric Richmond's direction in what may yet turn out to be a close race. Two other no-name indies remain.
• MD-01: One other internal poll got leaked to the Fix today, too, and this one's a pleasant surprise for the Dems. Frank Kratovil is still claiming a lead over Andy Harris, who just won the GOP nod for a rematch. Kratovil's poll by Garin-Hart-Yang gives him a 45-39 lead. (When I say "still," Kratovil released an earlier internal with a 5-point lead. Harris has released two internals of his own giving him a lead.)
• MO-04: Here's the good news: Ike Skelton got a shared endorsement from Missouri Right to Life, along with GOP challenger Vicky Hartzler. The bad news is: Skelton has generally had that endorsement to himself in the past.
• NY-14: Give Reshma Saujani credit for one thing: she's persistent. She's already announced that she'll try again in 2012 to unseat Carolyn Maloney in the NY-14 Dem primary.
• NY-23: Local teabaggers (or at least one of them) sound pretty upset with Conservative nominee (and GOP primary loser) Doug Hoffman, meaning that he, rather than the GOP nominee, may find himself in the third-wheel position this time around. Mark Barie, chairman of a local Tea Party organization criticized Hoffman for a listless campaign run by outsiders with little familiarity with the district. He threw his support behind Matt Doheny, who appears to have narrowly won the GOP primary despite a late close by Hoffman in late counting.
• CfG: The Club for Growth launched a five-state buy in Senate races, to a total tune of $1.5 million (no word on specific allocation). The states under assault are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
• NRCC: Two different rounds of TV ad buys came from the NRCC today. The first one was in WA-03 ($900K) and NM-01 ($300K), and a second one covers PA-10 ($595K), NH-01 ($1 mil), NH-02 ($1 mil), FL-08 ($817K), FL-24 ($817K), and VA-09 ($?).
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer goes negative against Carly Fiorina in a new spot, hitting her on (what else?) her failed tenure at HP
• MO-Sen: A new spot against Roy Blunt from Dem group Commonsense Ten (never heard of 'em, either) hits his consummate insider credentials
• PA-Sen: Yet another ad from Pat Toomey, this one featuring an oppressed doctor who doesn't like HCR (who just happens to be a big Republican activist too, not the ad says that)
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi's first negative ad features him personally narrating an attack on Patty Murray (instead of using the off-camera voice of doom); he calls her "part of the problem"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid's newest TV spot, by way of fighting back against Angle's attacks on immigration issues, just goes ahead and says it: it calls Sharron Angle "crazy"
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo doesn't want to leave anything to chance despite his big lead (he has the money to burn, at any rate), and he's out with a new bio ad (not that he needs much introduction)
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato tries introducing himself to Pennsylvania again, this time with a shorter 30-second ad that helpfully lets people know how to pronounce his name
• TX-Gov: Even Rick Perry's going negative: three different ads go after Bill White, two trying to tie him to Barack Obama and one attacking his handling of Hurricane Rita
• VT-Gov: The RGA wades into Vermont with a negative ad against Peter Shumlin, hitting him on taxes
• CT-04: Jim Himes has not one but two new ads, stressing his independence and debt hawkishness
• KS-03: Stephene Moore's first ad plays up her day job as a nurse
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy has two different anti-Rick Berg ads, one of which focuses on his crazy plans to drill for oil in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster (who's now rebranded herself as "Annie Kuster") goes negative on Charlie Bass in her first ad, framing him as failed retread
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's newest spot focuses on his own personal record of job creation as businessman before entering Congress
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is out with a positive ad, touting his work on veteran's issues like VA health care
• WA-02: John Koster tries to cram both a negative ad and a positive ad into a discordant 30 seconds
• WI-07: Sean Duffy plays up his lumberjack credentials, saying he'll "take an ax" to Washington (I'll admit, that's kinda clever)
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 53%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 42%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 39%, Brian Sandoval (R) 52%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 51%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
• FL-Sen: Well, so much for the secret ballot. The Palm Beach Post deduced that Jeff Greene voted for himself... inasmuch as his vote was the only vote for himself in his entire precinct. It was a 2-to-1 vote (literally... Kendrick Meek got 2). Even his wife didn't vote for him, although that's because she isn't registered to vote in the county. (Marco Rubio got 26 votes in the same precinct.) Meanwhile, Charlie Crist seems to have lost some of his footing after a convincing Meek victory in the Dem primary; he flip-flopped on health care reform in the space of one day, saying in a TV interview that he would have voted for health care reform, then, after the Rubio camp started flagging that, saying later in the day that he actually wouldn't have voted for it. I get that he wants to appeal to both Dems and moderate GOPers, but he has to be less transparent than that.
• IL-Sen: Bad news for Alexi Giannoulias: the Constitution Party slate just got struck from the ballot, so Randy Stufflebeam won't be there to siphon right-wing votes from Mark Kirk. Libertarian candidate Mark Labno will be on the ballot, though, as a Kirk alternative (as will Green LeAlan Jones).
• IN-Sen: This is sort of pushing the outer limit of when it's a good idea to release an internal, but it looks like the Brad Ellsworth camp needed to let people know that he's still in this race. His own poll, via Garin Hart Yang, finds him trailing Dan Coats 49-38. The race is closer among those who actually know Ellsworth, but his six-week-long ad buy is about to end, so his name rec problems may persist.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway is joining Elaine Marshall on the Alan Simpson-pile-on, seconding calls for the firing of Simpson from the Social Security commission in the wake of his "milk cow" comments. Meanwhile, Rand Paul has apparently brushed up on his elementary math skills recently, as he's now backtracking on previous pledges to erase the nation's federal budget deficit in one year.
• MO-Sen, MO-04: Although this poll from Missouri State University (on behalf of TV station KY3) looks good for Robin Carnahan, it's got some methodological issues that we just aren't comfortable with. It was taken over the period of Aug. 7-22, is of registered (not likely) voters, and it also wound up with a sample that was 63% female, although they say they weighted for various demographic factors. At any rate, it shows the race a dead heat, with Roy Blunt leading Robin Carnahan 49-48. It also took looks at three House races in the Show Me State, although with MoEs in the 7% ballpark. In the 4th, Ike Skelton has a 47-35 lead over Vicki Hartzler. Two GOP-held seats look to be pretty uneventful: in the open 7th, Billy Long leads Scott Eckersley 51-23, and in the 8th, Jo Ann Emerson leads fundraising maven Tommy Sowers 64-17.
• WI-Sen: Seems like it was just this morning we were discussing the second instance of Ron Johnson's flagrant hypocrisy when it comes to railing against government involvement in the market, except when it comes to government aid for his own business... and now we're up to a third instance before the day's even out. On Wednesday it came out that in 1985 he'd gotten $2.5 million in government loans to expand his plastics business, and now it's come out that in 1983, two years earlier, he'd gotten a separate $1.5 million loan for a $4 mil total.
• NM-Gov: The DGA is out with a new ad against Susana Martinez in the gubernatorial race, hitting her for $350K in bonuses handed out in her prosecutor's office. NWOTSOTB, but we're told it's a statewide saturation buy.
• VT-Gov: The final count from the SoS office in the Dem gubernatorial primary seemed to get finished ahead of schedule, as numbers today gave Peter Shumlin a 197-vote win over Doug Racine. Racine said that he would go ahead and request a recount; state law provides for a taxpayer-funded recount for a candidate trailing by less than 2% (seems like a pretty generous recount policy compared with most states). In keeping with the primary's very civil tone, both candidates continued to praise each other and say they understood the recount choices.
• CO-07: Republican pollster Magellan (which put out an internal for Scott Tipton in CO-03 last week) is out with a poll in the 7th as well now, although this appears to be on their own, not as an internal for Ryan Frazier. At any rate, their poll gives a 40-39 lead to Republican Frazier, over incumbent Dem Ed Perlmutter. (10% opt for "some other candidate.")
• MS-04: Thanks to Haley Barbour, the previously low-dollar campaign of state Rep. Steven Palazzo just kicked into higher gear (or into gear, period). Barbour held a fundraiser for Palazzo that raised $177K, which will help his uphill campaign against Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor.
• SC-05: Another POS poll in the 5th on behalf of GOP state Sen. Mick Mulvaney has him making up ground on Rep. John Spratt; the two are now tied at 46-46. Spratt led by 2 in a previous POS poll in May. Spratt retorted to CQ that in his own polling he was ahead with "breathing room," but declined to provide specific numbers.
• Ads: Other ads for your consideration today include not one but two new ads from Roy Barnes, going negative against Nathan Deal (on the ethics issue, but also general Washington-bashing). In OH-Gov, Ted Strickland is also out with a double-shot of ads, hitting John Kasich for his free-trading past. Chet Edwards is out with an anti-Bill Flores ad in TX-17 accusing Flores of lying about having voted for GOPer Rob Curnock in 2008 (he didn't vote at all that day), while the Club for Growth is out with a PA-Sen ad that calls Joe Sestak "liberal" several hundred times in the space of 30 seconds.
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 31%, John McCain (R-inc) 53%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 36%, Rick Scott (R) 41%, Bud Chiles (I) 8%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 43%, Susana Martinez (R) 48%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 36%, Nikki Haley (R) 52%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Mark Neumann (R) 48%