• AZ-Sen: Outgoing Sen. Jon Kyl says he isn't endorsing a successor - just yet. He wants to see how the field develops first.
• IN-Sen: Look who else isn't endorsing - the forgotten man, Sen. Dan Coats, says he isn't taking sides in the looming GOP primary battle, not for Lugar or anyone else. Way to stick by your colleagues, huh? I guess maybe Coats is thinking about 2016, when I'd be willing to bet dollars-to-donuts he'll get teabagged himself (if he doesn't hang up his spurs before then, something I'd also entertain action on).
Meanwhile, Mourdock is concerned about the possible entry of teabagging state Sen. Mike Delph, who Treasurer (and recently-announced candidate) Richard Mourdock says will split the vote with him if he runs. Delph previously issued the usual state legislator's incantation, saying he'd wait until the legislative sessions concludes at the end of April before deciding on a run.
• NE-Sen: Gotta say this about Don Stenberg: He has no fear of losing. He's making his fourth try for senate, having failed on his three previous attempts. Still, despite almost achieving perennial candidate status, he did have a triumphant return to statewide office last year, winning the Treasurer race by a landslide. And he served as state AG for over a decade starting in 1991, so it's not like he can't win a race. (Attentive law students might also remember him from the caption in Stenberg v. Carhart, the Supreme Court case about so-called "partial-birth abortion.") In any event, Stenberg is looking to present himself as the far-right alternative to AG and not-exactly-firmly-entrenched frontrunner Jon Bruning.
• TX-Sen: Either Tom Leppert just scored a sweet season pass to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, or he's going to dive into the crowded GOP senate race. Though he has four months to go, he's resigning (effective Friday) from his current position as mayor of Dallas, so it's gotta be one of those two. Who wants to give me ten-to-one on Hurricane Harbor?
Maybe that's not a bad idea, actually, since the University of Texas (on behalf of the Texas Tribune) didn't even test Leppert's name in their new poll (PDF) of the GOP primary. It's not especially fascinating, though, since "I dunno" leads the way at 52%, LG David Dewhurst (who hasn't yet announced) is at 27%, and no one else is above 5%. They also looked at a hypothetical Dem primary, between a bunch of guys who aren't running and no one knows. Click through the link if you insist.
• UT-Sen: What to do if you're a pollster in Utah? You've got a major potential teabagging on your hands, but it's very likely to be decided at a party convention, not in a normal primary. So what do you do? You poll it anyway! I can't blame the folks at UtahPolicy.com - it's not like you can really poll convention-goers. And there is worthwhile information you can learn from these sorts of things.
Anyhow, in a hypothetical primary, Sen. Orrin Hatch is tied with Rep. Jason Chaffetz at 42 apiece. This says to me that GOP state delegates are likely to be even more anti-Hatch than Republican voters at large, so the incumbent is probably in very serious trouble indeed. I'm not convinced Chaffetz will make the race, though - in response to this poll, he noted that he's already a subcommittee chair in just his second term, and that it would be "pretty hard to walk away" from his newfound influence in the House majority. But certainly someone will step up.
• NY-26: I've been dismissive of him so far, and I remain skeptical, but David Bellavia is at least showing that can-do spirit. The former Army staff sergeant and Iraq war veteran filed paperwork with the FEC to form an exploratory committee, and his spokesman pointed to Republican nominee Jane Corwin's support for abortion rights (at least "during the first trimester," which, guys, hasn't been the legal framework for twenty years). It'll be interesting to see if a teabagger candidacy can use a social issue likes this as its hook. Anyhow, if he doesn't score an existing third-party line, Bellavia will need 3,500 valid signatures to get on the ballot as an independent, which is a lot harder than it sounds.
• TX-15: Felicia Sonmez runs down the House members with the highest absentee rates so far - several have missed in the range of 30% of votes in the early going of the 112th Congress. But all of them have obvious excuses (mostly bereavement and health-related), except for one: Ruben Hinojosa, who has skipped over 40% of roll calls. His spokesman didn't respond to The Fix, but I'm really curious to know what's going on here. Could retirement be looming?
• DCCC: The D-Trip is doing a wave of robocalls, along with some web ads and emails, into fifty Republican districts. The Hill doesn't seem to have (or at least, have published) the entire list, and NWOTSOTB. (That's "No Word On The Size Of The Buy," in case you haven't seen that one before. Remember it, because candidates and organizations frequently launch tiny paid media campaigns with the hopes of garnering free press. If you don't see information about how much a media buy actually costs, then odds are it falls into this category. Don't let yourself get played, and always be looking for the size of the buy.)
• Census: Here's a new tidbit from the Census Bureau: 760 of the nation's 3,000+ counties are experiencing "natural decrease:" deaths are outweighing births. Although most of these counties are rural counties, it's not purely a red state phenomenon; at the state level, four states (all of which, you might notice, have not only older-than-average populations but also low Hispanic populations) also fall into this category: West Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Maine. (C)
TX-Gov (University of Texas): Bill White (D) 40, Rick Perry (R-inc) 50
Bonus: UT also tested a wide range of down-ballot races.
VA-02 (Christopher Newport University): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell (R) 42
Margins & Errors: The DSCC supposedly has some internal with Alexi Giannoulias up 2 in IL-Sen, but this is some NRCC-style crap with no details other than the toplines... Some MI-Gov poll shows that the race still sucks... Frank Guinta is touting an internal in NH-01 that supposedly has him up 53-37, but there isn't even word of the pollster's name
• AK-Sen: I hope the Alaska journalist corps is fueled up on coffee and is ready to go on a week-long dumpster diving binge, because the mother lode just got opened up. A state superior court judge just ordered that Joe Miller's Fairbanks borough personnel records get released, saying the people's right to know trumps Miller's privacy concerns. The release won't happen until tomorrow, though, to allow time for an Alaska Supreme Court decision if necessary.
• CA-Sen: The polls can't seem to decide whether the California Senate race is tightening, loosening, or staying basically the same, but it was enough to finally get Carly Fiorina to do what the NRSC had probably hoped she would have done months ago: she put $1 million of her own money into the race. (She'd spent $5 mil of her own on the primary, but nothing since then.) On top of that, the NRSC is throwing an additional $3 million into the race for the last week, while Barbara Boxer is calling the bluff with $4 million from her account for ads of her own.
• NV-Sen: As we expected, Harry Reid's been keeping up a steady drip-drip of endorsements from prominent Republicans around Nevada. The most recent one: term-limited state Sen. Dean Rhoads, who represents almost all of the state (geographically) except Clark and Washoe Counties. (H/t LookingOver.)
• FL-Gov: Wow, Bill McCollum actually ate his own cat fud. With little time left on the clock, he swallowed any remnants of his pride and endorsed primary rival Rick Scott, the guy he swore he'd never endorse.
• RI-Gov: Interesting approach from a blue state Dem: Frank Caprio just told the President to "shove it," in reaction to Barack Obama's apparent decision not to endorse him when he was in Rhode Island today. Payback for Lincoln Chafee's Obama endorsement in '08? Or reverse payback for Caprio's reported flirting with a party switch? Or elaborate theater staged for Caprio's benefit, to help distance himself from the White House?
• OH-Gov: Obama and Biden alert! The Dynamic Duo are adding yet another campaign stop in Ohio, where saving Ted Strickland seems to be one of the White House's top priorities. On Sunday, both will appear with Strickland, and then there'll be a Biden/Strickland stop later in Toledo.
• CA-47: Um, maybe someone should tell Van Tran that taking a page from the Carl Paladino playbook isn't really a good idea right now... Tran's out with foul-smelling scratch-and-sniff mailers in the district, hitting Loretta Sanchez for the "stench of Washington."
• CO-04: Add one more body on the plague wagon: the DCCC brought out Betsy Markey on Friday. They announced that they won't be spending any more on the 4th this cycle. They'd previously drawn down their efforts here, but now they're fully pulling out. (If there's a bright spot, this is probably their last triage move... with one week left, there's really no time left to cut anyone else off.)
• FL-12: Is there a growing sense of Republican worry in this district? They shouldn't lose an R+5 district in this climate, but they have probably the most credible 3rd party Tea Party challenger anywhere here, in the form of an actual county commissioner, Randy Wilkinson, who internals polls have seen taking gobbling up double-digit vote shares. They're taking the problem seriously enough to have Newt Gingrich doing robocalling on behalf of GOP nominee Dennis Ross, suggesting that Wilkinson is a plant from next door's Alan Grayson.
• IN-02: Oooops. Jackie Walorski ran footage in a web video of a South Bend neighborhood as an example of a neighborhood "in ruin" from Democratic policies. The residents of the neighborhood are now deeply offended, saying their neighborhood is hardly ruined at all, and are demanding an apology.
• KS-03: In a more normal year, this might be enough to do some serious damage in a close race: just-released police records show that Kevin Yoder (the GOP's nominee here) refused to take a breath test during a 2009 traffic stop. He pled guilty to speeding, also received a citation for not taking the test, and it was left at that.
• MS-04: Look who's in a bit of a panic, and revealing his true stripes: Gene Taylor just let his district's voters know that he isn't one of those Demmycrats at all! Why, he even voted for John McCain in 2008, he says.
• PA-11: Bill Clinton's traveling schedule takes him to three blue-collar districts that were, in the '08 Dem primaries, some of the most die-hard Clinton districts anywhere, now all home to pitched battles. He's appearing in the 11th tomorrow in support of Paul Kanjorski (who we'd expected, a few months ago, to be the first Dem incumbent we wrote off, but who seems to still be in the thick of things). On Thursday, he also visits PA-03 and PA-15.
• VA-05: If you weren't already sold on Tom Perriello's particular brand of awesome, check out the highlight reel of some of the best clips from his most recent debate with Rob Hurt.
• WA-06: Here's an internal poll that's a real head-scratcher, that requires a bit of explanation. Rob Cloud, the same doofus who runs against Norm Dicks every cycle (four times in a row now) and gets crushed, claims to have an internal poll out giving him a four-point lead over the long-time Dem. (Well, four if you do your own math. For some reason, the poll gave actual respondent totals only, 609 to 558 with 95 undecided. If that strange method doesn't by itself set off alarm bells, the polling firm is someone called Wenzel (out of Ohio), a company I'd only heard of once, when they polled OH-Gov and OH-Sen last year on behalf of Ohio Right to Life... but (h/t to quiller) it turns out have a regular gig as WorldNetDaily's pollster and have been responsible for extremely leading-question-rife polls about Barack Obama's citizenship. And on top of all that, Dicks won the Top 2 primary (the most reliable poll possible) with 57% of the vote, with a combined GOP vote share of 43% (of which Cloud got a pathetic 29%),which shouldn't imply much vulnerability. On the other hand, Dicks' district is "only" D+5, one of the least-blue districts that isn't home to an on-the-radar race... and moreover, Dicks has seemed pretty invisible as far as I can tell, compared with next-door neighbor Adam Smith who's in a similarly D+5 district but got a polling-related wake-up call and has been working his butt off lately. So, uh... who knows?
• NRCC: Eager to maximize last-minute take-over opportunities, the party of fiscal responsibility is throwing some more debt on the pile. The NRCC just took out a $20 million line of credit to fund some more late-in-the-game advertising.
• Dark Money: Just as the actual universe's mass is mostly composed of dark energy and dark matter, so too the political universe is apparently mostly composed of dark money these days. Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs has an excellent piece that pulls together all the GOP spending by shadowy third-party groups, fleshing out the IE picture greatly, and also showing a remarkable amount of avoidance of duplication of efforts in the districts. They couldn't actually be coordinating their efforts behind-the-scenes, you think? (Not that that's illegal, as far as I know.)
• IEs: Speaking of IEs, if you haven't been following spiderdem's weekly series over in the diaries regarding the back-and-forth battle of the independent expenditures between the DCCC and NRCC, you absolutely should. It rounds all the numbers up in one handy place, and puts them in the context of the probable lay of the land.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Here's that NRSC ad mentioned late last week, where they hit Scott McAdams in a preemptive attack to keep him from shooting the gap (and here's the SOTB: $75K)
• CA-Sen: No more giddy Carlyfornia Dreaming here, with a dour ad from the Fiorina camp hitting Barbara Boxer for California's dire economic straits
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio's closing statement is a plain talk-to-the-camera spot saying "Reclaim America!"
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's out with the ad that he should have run about two months ago, making fun of Ron Johnson's whiteboard and platitudes
• NM-Gov: Susana Martinez makes the Diane Denish/Bill Richardson connection about as explicit as humanly possible in her new spot
• FL-22: Ron Klein seems to have finally moved away from Allen West's homeowners association liens, with the Outlaws gang connections too juicy even for him to ignore
• ID-01: Walt Minnick cites his independence and rags on Raul Labrador for getting his own last ad pulled for its bogusness
• MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann for, well, being a "celebrity"
• VA-05: Robert Hurt goes after Tom Perriello for being a Washington insider
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 56%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 52%
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 52%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 42%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 72%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 45%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 48%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 28%, John Robitaille (R) 25%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 35%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 36%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 55%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 51%
• AK-Sen: It's never a dull moment with Joe Miller in the race. Hot on the heels of the news that he believes that federal unemployment insurance is unconstitutional, today comes the news that his wife went on unemployment after leaving a job in 2004, and that Miller did not disown his wife for betraying the Founding Fathers. But wait, it just gets more interesting: the job Miller's wife left was working for... Miller himself. He hired his wife as a part-time clerk when he was working for several years as a magistrate judge for the federal district court (y'know, for the federal government he just hates so much). Local gadfly (and Lisa Murkowski ally) Andrew Halcro is, in fact, suggesting that Miller was forced to fire his wife because the blatant nepotism may have been a violation of court policies. (Of course, Miller's response was that Murkowski's not one to talk about nepotism.)
And on top of that, now it's come out that Miller is a full-on Seventeenther. In other words, part of the new crop of right-wingers who want you to vote for him so he can take away your rights to vote for him in the future.
• HI-Sen: Term-limited GOP Gov. Linda Lingle is saying she'll "take a look" at a Senate bid in 2012. That seat's current occupant, Dan Akaka, is 86 years old, so it's not clear whether he'll run for another term or not. Lingle is probably the only Republican on the bench in Hawaii with enough juice to make a Senate race, especially an open seat one, competitive.
• IL-Sen, IL-Gov: Mark Kirk is out with an internal poll (from Fulcrum), giving him a much larger lead than, well, anyone else, considering that most pollsters have seen this within a point or two either way. His poll says he leads Alexi Giannoulias 42-33, with 2 for the Green Party's LeAlan Jones. (The same poll also shows Bill Brady leading Pat Quinn 39-27 in the Governor's race.) Sitting on a big cash advantage, Kirk has reserved most of his entire kitty ($5.2 million) on ad buys for the remaining month.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold seems determined to follow Nancy Boyda down the path of integrity/obscurity. He's telling the DSCC (who haven't advertised yet on his behalf) to back off and let him fight the election himself. Says Feingold: "I consider it to be outside help of a kind that is uncontrolled and tends to believe in a philosophy of slash-and-burn politics. That's frankly not who I am. I don't want to win that way."
• NH-Gov: Univ. of New Hampshire (9/23-29, likely voters, July in parentheses):
John Lynch (D-inc): 51 (54)
John Stephen (R): 34 (29)
Considering that UNH's sample had Paul Hodes down by 15 and Carol Shea-Porter losing too, it's pleasantly surprising to see John Lynch hanging in there with little trouble (in contrast to several other recent polls, such as UNH's in-state rival for weird results, ARG).
• WV-Gov: I guess the 2010 election is over already? Because the conversation today already seems to be changing to 2012. Republican state Sen. Clark Barnes (whom you might remember for briefly getting in and then getting out of the field in WV-01 last year) says he'll run for governor two years from now.
• NY-20: Finding himself on the very wrong end of both a Siena poll and a Scott Murphy internal, Chris Gibson offers up a POS internal of his own, taken 9/27-28, showing that he's still within striking distance. He says he trails Murphy 42-38.
• VA-05: Here's one more Dem poll from the 5th that shows Tom Perriello is narrowly trailing, but not officially dead yet. Rob Hurt leads Perriello 44-43 in a poll sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters and the SEIU (no word on who the pollster is, though). (UPDATE: The pollster is David Dougherty, and the memo is here. The sample was taken 9/20-23 with a 4.4% MoE.)
• American Crossroads: Remember back when we all laughed at American Crossroads for not raising any money, apparently because they were waiting for the million-dollar checks from their half-a-dozen billionaire donors to clear? Ha ha, boy, those were simpler times. Anyway, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center are going to the IRS to ask for an investigation of Crossroads GPS, one tentacle of the group that's organized as a non-profit "social welfare organization" or 501(c)(4). The larger Crossroads is a PAC, but GPS itself isn't supposed to participate in campaigns. Rather than take it up with the FEC, which has fallen into chaotic uselessness because of empty seats on the commission, they're going straight to the IRS, alleging tax law violations instead.
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt raised $2 million in 3Q, no CoH given
• PA-07: Pat Meehan raised $725K, giving him $1.5 million CoH
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Two different ads, one a coordinated spot between the Joe Miller camp and the NRSC that's a bio spot for Miller, the other a Tea Party Express one-minute extravaganza that calls Lisa Murkowski a liar, a fraud, and various other things
• IN-Sen: Here's a link to that Brad Ellsworth ad we mentioned yesterday, where he literally calls Dan Coats a sellout over that all-covers album he released outsourcing
• KY-Sen: The DSCC rolls out an ad hitting Rand Paul on his proposed $2,000 Medicare deductible, while Paul's newest ad returns to the Jack Conway=Obama theme
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan goes back to the theme of Roy Blunt's cozy DC insider relationships
• NY-Sen-B: Joe DioGuardi's first ad is an intro spot, as well as bemoaning the dwindling American Dream
• WA-Sen: The DSCC revisits Dino Rossi's days as a state Senator, including support for cutting unemployment benefits and the minimum wage
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold takes the GOP to task for prematurely celebrating short of the end zone
• WV-Sen: John Raese follows the NRSC's lead with his own ad doing the Joe Manchin=Obama thing
• FL-Gov: The DGA's out with a Florida ad with various law enforcement officials bashing Rick Scott's Medicare fraud
• NH-Gov: Here's the ad of the day: John Lynch leaps out of the gate and punches John Stephen in the nose over scandals at New Hampshire's HHS Dept.
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland, bedecked in camo, reminds the state's hunters who got the NRA's backing
• PA-Gov: Well, at least Tom Corbett isn't saying Dan Onorato = Obama, but he is saying Onorato = Ed Rendell
• RI-Gov: The DGA hits Lincoln Chafee from the right? Their new ad says that vulnerable Rhode Islanders can't afford all the new taxes Chafee wants
• FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas hits Sandy Adams over the Paul Ryan roadmap
• PA-04: Oh, good... more kids complaining about how their allowance isn't big enough to cover all the debt they're going to have to pay off, courtesy of Keith Rothfus
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 33%, John McCain (R-inc) 54%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 45%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 43%, Dan Maes (R) 16%, Tom Tancredo (C) 35%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 50%
• Rasmussen (appearing as Fox/Pulse):
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 47%, Tom Foley (R) 41%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Linda McMahon (R) 42%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 42%, Roy Blunt (R) 50%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 46%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 43%, John Raese (R) 48%
• CT-Sen: Remember how Linda McMahon was touting how the WWE dialed things back to "PG-rated" entertainment this decade? That didn't seem to take into account some corporate synergy between WWE and the Girls Gone Wild empire, who collaborated on a 2003 pay-per-view. My Left Nutmeg has the rundown on GGW's greatest legal hits, and also some compare and contrast with WWE's own most luridly misogynist moments from its pre-PG days.
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth, after a few weeks in the dark, is going back on the air with an ad hitting Dan Coats on outsourcing, including his lobbying ties to job-shippers and his own NAFTA vote in the early 90s. However, it looks like this ad is coming out of the Ellsworth campaign coffers, as the DSCC (contrary to a brief flurry of reports) still doesn't seem to be buying any time here.
• MD-Sen: Washington Post (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Barbara Mikulski (D): 61
Eric Wargotz (R): 29
Here's the Senate half of WaPo's last Maryland poll, with Barbara Mikulski looking like she might match the 65% she got in her 2004 re-election. Her lead is 59-24 among RVs, so Maryland, like many solidly blue states, has less of an enthusiasm gap problem than the swing states. Her opponent's problem is, naturally, name rec: he has 10/9 favorables, with 81% with no opinion.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle will be in Washington DC tomorrow, fundraising at the NRSC headquarters at a minimum-$500 event replete with many lobbyists and ex-Senators. If that causes a little head-spinning cognitive dissonance for you -- in the wake of revelations of her inexplicably tape-recorded summit with Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian in which they both agree that the GOP has been corrupt since, oh, at least 1994 -- well, then, clearly you're not a Republican.
• CA-Gov: While Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown have actually gotten down to some debating lately, tomorrow's planned debate is suddenly off... and without any explanation it's by mutual agreement, not purely a Whitman pullout (while she retrenches in the wake of her illegal employment arrangement with her housekeeper). If you're wondering what the first poll of the race taken since the story broke looks like and whether it's hurting Whitman, well, there's a box called "Rasmussen" down at the bottom of the digest...
• CO-Gov: Here's a little more info on what happens to the Colorado GOP if Dan Maes doesn't reach 10% in the gubernatorial race. You probably know they get stuck in "minor party" status, which affects their ballot position in both 2012 and 2014. But (this is new, at least to me) it also has major fundraising ramifications for state legislative candidates in those cycles, halving what they can raise from individual donors.
• MA-Gov: Tim Cahill, whose right-leaning indie campaign lost its wheels months ago and last week seems to have lost most of its chassis as well too, still plans to go on the air with $1 million worth of attack ads (his only ads so far have been positive, which may explain why he's polling in the single digits). And here's the good news... he's going after Republican Charlie Baker. If he were to join Baker in training his guns only on Deval Patrick, that could be a problem, but he won't. (Makes me wonder if he was a Patrick plant all along? Probably not, but it'd be one of the greatest stories in the history of ratfucking if true.)
• NY-Gov: Now here's one big financial disparity, at least on paper. Andrew Cuomo's warchest, as of required reports last week, is more than $19 million CoH. That contrasts sharply with Carl Paladino's $209K. Of course, Paladino can write his own checks, and has promised to spend up to $10 million of his own money if necessary. (Even if he did, that'd still be a 2:1 disadvantage, with little likelihood of 'recouping' that money in the form of a win, so don't count on it.) Cuomo spent almost $3 million on TV ads in the last few weeks, so he's leaving nothing to chance.
• AL-02: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for DCCC (9/26-28, likely voters, 8/23-26 in parentheses):
Not a typo. The numbers seem to have stayed exactly the same over the last month, since GQR's previous internal on behalf of Bobby Bright. In this climate, consistency is good.
• IA-01: If, like me, you've been wondering why AFF is pouring $800K into the race against Bruce Braley in the 1st, which no observer has taken much interest in or seen any smoke coming from, well, now you have an answer: Sandy Grenier is the head of AFF. She's also running for state Senate in her spare time... in Iowa. In other words, she's pouring money into a race that's her own personal hobby horse, at the expense of other races that are actually competitive. (And that's not even the main point of the article... it turns out that Grenier, like so many other members of the current wave of GOP candidates, is a big believer in sucker-punching the government with one hand even as you take money from it with the other. Her family has received over $935K in farm subsidies over the last 15 years.)
• NY-20: Grove Insight for DCCC (9/28-30, likely voters, no trendlines):
Scott Murphy (D-inc): 51
Chris Gibson (R): 38
We haven't seen an internal in this district until now. While the numbers are nice, this actually isn't as good as Siena's poll of the district mid-September, which put Murphy up 54-37.
• WV-03: Anzalone Liszt for Nick Rahall (9/27-29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Nick Rahall (D-inc): 59
Spike Maynard (R): 34
With the DCCC out with a poll a couple weeks ago giving Rahall a 55-37 lead (and even that round of AFF polls showing him up by 16), I think it may be time to stop discussing this race as competitive. What's most remarkable here is that the Dems manage to have a 47-37 edge on the generic ballot question, and Maynard (a controversial ex-state Supreme Court justice) still manages to underperform that low bar.
• DCCC: Now who's copping out on their DCCC dues payments? CQ finds that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been particularly remiss on making its payments, with only junior leadership member Xavier Becerra having paid all his dues as of the Aug. 24 tally. (Two more, including CHC chair Nydia Velazquez, report having paid up since then.) Some members cite failure to move immigration reform as a reason for holding out and giving directly to cooperative individual Reps instead.
• AL-St. Sen.: Despite having a 25-10 20-15 Democratic edge in the Alabama state Senate, many observers are thinking it's high on the list of legislative chambers that could flip this year, given a perfect storm of local and national dynamics. And this isn't going to help: 4 different members of the 35-person body got snared in a federal probe of a bingo operation. One is a retiring Republican, but the others are a Dem running in a tossup seat, a Dem running in a safe seat, and an independent running for re-election who was expected to caucus with Dems next session (Harri Anne Smith, whom you might remember from the AL-02 2008 GOP primary). This scandal looks like it'll drive the legislative race conversation in the state for the remaining weeks.
• NY-St. Sen.: There are four more polls from Siena of state Senate races in New York, showing two pretty safe incumbents (one from each party) but two open seats in true tossup territory. The safe-ish incumbents are Dem David Valesky in SD-40 (beating Andrew Russo 50-40) and GOPer James Alesi in SD-55 (beating Mary Wilmot 55-35). The other two races seem close mostly because of their screwy circumstances. In the Hudson Valley's GOP-held SD-40, GOPer Greg Ball (an inflammatory teabagger out of step with a district more amenable to moderate GOPers) leads Dem Michael Kaplowitz 45-44. And in Buffalo-area Dem-held SD-58, GOPer Jack Quinn (not the ex-Rep., but a relative) leads at 42, but that's because Tim Kennedy (on the Dem and Con lines) is at 39 and William Stachowski (whom Kennedy beat in the Dem primary) is at 12 on the WFP and IP lines.
• State legislatures: At SSP, we're always about finding ways for you to maximize the leverage you get out of your political contributions, and there's no better way to do that than through giving at the state legislative level, where a little money can go a long way (especially a lot of vulnerable chambers and redistricting looming.) The DLCC is out with its second list of Essential races, in the contests they consider important ones in the quest to hold important legislative chambers.
One other resource you should check out is the "Win Big By Thinking Small" ActBlue page, courtesy of Progressive Kick. They have 18 different progressives in important state legislative races all in one place. (One name you might remember is Patsy Keever, who ran in NC-11 in 2004.)
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad simply called "Bad" focusing on Linda McMahon as bad CEO of WWE; meanwhile, the McMahon camp is out with an ad calling Richard Blumenthal a liar for the nth time over his Vietnam service
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski seems to have an easy race, but is still hitting the airwaves touting her education record
• OH-Gov: John Kasich says that 400,000 Ohio jobs were lost under Ted Strickland's watch (without, of course, guessing at how many of those job losses were proximally related to the devastation of the credit market in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers)
• CA-03: Ami Bera hits Dan Lungren for using ethical loopholes to party with lobbyists in Hawaii
• FL-12: Faced with a state Rep. opponent, Dem Lori Edwards tries running against Tallahassee instead of Washington (and against big insurance, while she's at it), in what's definitely today's most cut-through-the-clutter ad
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski keeps going to the well of how bad a mayor of Hazleton Lou Barletta was
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with freakin' 27 different ads today... you can see the full list at their blog, and even watch them if you have 13½ minutes of your life you don't want to get back
• AR-Gov: Mike Beebe (D-inc) 51%, Jim Keet (R) 41%
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 37%, John Boozman (R) 55%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 49%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 41%, Susana Martinez (R) 51%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 41%, Tom Corbett (R) 53%
• WY-Gov: Leslie Peterson (D) 25%, Matt Mead (R) 61%
One more poll for the pile with a high-single-digits lead for Barbara Boxer, this time from the very trustworthy PPIC. They also look at the Governor's race (see below) and a few initiatives: they find Prop 19 (pot) passing 52-41 and Prop 25 (simple majority budget) passing 48-35, but also finding Prop 23 (suspending greenhouse gas limits) passing 43-42.
• IN-Sen: We'd speculated that this was a possibility back around the time of the Indiana GOP primary, when Dan Coats (an unusually tepid gun supporter as far as GOPers go) won. The NRA today endorsed his Democratic opponent, Brad Ellsworth, who's pretty much walked the pro-gun line in his red House district. (I know we'd said we'd shut up about NRA endorsements of conservaDems, but this one actually has the potential to move some votes in a key race.)
• PA-Sen: Susquehanna for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Sestak (D): 42
Pat Toomey (R): 45
I wish this had come out in time for our monstrous Pennsylvania wrapup from early this morning, as it's an interesting post-script. Susquehanna (a Republican pollster, but one who've demonstrated that they know what they're doing in Pennsylvania; for instance, they got the PA-12 special pretty close to right) sees it as a surprisingly close race, finding Sestak within 3. Is this the first sign of Sestak closing, or is this just the optimistic edge of the stable mid-single-digits band that the race has usually been pegged at?
• CA-Gov: PPIC (9/19-26, likely voters, 7/6-20 in parentheses):
Jerry Brown (D): 37 (46)
Meg Whitman (R): 38 (40)
Other: 7 (-)
Undecided: 18 (14)
Unfortunately, this poll closes out the end of a run of remarkable luck for Jerry Brown of polls showing him spiking into the lead (although there's a lot of movement from both candidates to "Other," though I'm not sure who that would be). Importantly, though, the polling period ended before Meg Whitman's illegal housekeeper problem burst into public view. The SEIU is doing its part to keep the issue front and center, pumping $5 million into a Latino outreach effort that's largely field efforts but also includes an ad starting in a few days hitting Whitman on the housekeeper issue. Whitman's also doing her part to keep it in the news, saying she'll employ the scoundrel's last refuge -- a polygraph test -- to prove she was unaware.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/27-29, likely voters, 9/14-19 in parentheses):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (52)
Carl Paladino (R): 38 (33)
Rick Lazio (C): - (9)
Undecided: 8 (6)
Marist strikes back quickly with another poll following up on the news that Rick Lazio is no longer a candidate, preferring to enjoy the great prestige that comes with a trial court judgeship in the Bronx. At any rate, they don't see anything changing other than what you'd expect: most of Lazio's voters from the Conservative line gravitated over to GOP nominee Carl Paladino, with a few, unappetized by the bombastic Paladino, joining the ranks of the undecided.
• OR-Gov: One major explanation for how Chris Dudley has made a major race out of what looked like an easy Dem pickup hold a year ago is... money. (As with so many other races this year...) Dudley has raised $5.6 million all cycle long, as of Tuesday's reporting deadline, more than doubling up on John Kitzhaber's $2.6 million, the largest disparity between the two parties ever seen in an Oregon gubernatorial race. (The SEIU has been running ads on Kitzhaber's behalf, and the DGA has $750K ready to go, but that's still a big deficit.)
• RI-Gov: Fleming & Associates for WPRI-TV (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 33
John Robitaille (R): 19
Lincoln Chafee (I): 30
There's been a general trend in the last month or two toward the Democrat, Frank Caprio, in this race. But the newest poll (apparently the first of this race from Fleming & Associates), on behalf of local TV stations, shows a much closer race, with Caprio up only 3 on his indie opponent, Lincoln Chafee.
• GA-08: American Viewpoint for Austin Scott (9/26-27, likely voters, late July in parentheses):
Jim Marshall (D-inc): 38 (44)
Austin Scott (R): 46 (39)
Undecided: 13 (14)
Well, there's only one alarming GOP House internal poll today, unlike yesterday's onslaught. (Also, note the hypertrophied margin of error, based on an n of 300.) Still, this is another race that's tended to be on the "Lean D" or at least "Tilt D" side of the equation, and one more juggling ball that the DCCC is going to have to keep in the air.
• ME-01, ME-02: Critical Insights, like last time, included both Maine House districts as part of their poll, so we actually have some trendlines now. In the 1st, Chellie Pingree is expanding her lead over Dean Scontras, 54-26. However, in the 2nd, Mike Michaud's lead over Jason Levesque is a little smaller, down to 44-32 (from 48-28). (In a way, that's reassuring, because that's evidence that Critical Insights didn't just stumble into a much Dem-friendlier batch, and that the flight from Paul LePage seems real.)
• DSCC: The DSCC is having to put some money into Connecticut, a race they probably thought they could avoid spending on when Richard Blumenthal got into the race. They're starting with a smallish $250K, though. Other DSCC outlays today include $720K in CO-Sen, $464K in IL-Sen, $362K in MO-Sen, and $386K in WV-Sen.
• NARAL: NARAL rolled out endorsements of twenty different Dems running in House races, almost all of whom received $5K each. You can click for the full list, but it includes Cedric Richmond, Steve Pougnet, John Hulburd, and Joe Garcia on offense (the rest are defensive picks).
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski's out with two different ads, one hitting Joe Miller as outsider, the other a PSA-type ad that verrrry slowly and carefully explains to people how to vote for her
• KY-Sen: Here's a powerful new ad from Jack Conway hitting Rand Paul on the drug issue yet again, complete with tombstone and tagline "He doesn't know us" (interestingly, though, the DSCC is following the NRSC's lead here with an ad buy cancellation for the week of the 5th) (UPDATE: Looks like the DS un-cancelled)
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt hits Robin Carnahan over the stimulus, pointing out that another member of the extended Carnahan clan got money for his wind farm
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold tries going back to firing up the base, running an ad based on the merits of health care reform
• MI-01: The NRCC weighs in with an ad in the 1st, an endless circle of meta wherein Dan Benishek attacks Gary McDowell for attacking
• WI-07: Julie Lassa goes back to the theme of Sean Duffy having prematurely abandoned his day job as DA to run for the House
• AJS: Americans for Job Security tries again in VA-09 (remember that's where their previous ad got bounced for being too egregious), as well as in CO-03 and NY-24
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 51%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 37%, Charles Grassley (R-inc) 55%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 42%, Ron Johnson 54%
• 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%
• 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%
• DE-Sen: Looks like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg had to show some of that patented post-partisanship, having endorsed Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania yesterday. He offered a counterpoint in the form of an endorsement of Mike Castle in Delaware as well, and is doing a New York-based fundraiser for him tonight.
• IN-Sen: That grinding sound you hear is old-school Republican Dan Coats shifting gears, trying to fit into the Tea Party template. Having won the Republican Senate nomination in Indiana probably with big help from the split among teabagger votes between Marlin Stutzman and John Hostettler, he's now working on outreach to that set, trying to keep the focus on financial issues.
• LA-Sen: Chet Traylor (who's been seen polling in the single digits in polls we've seen so far of the Republican Senate primary) is out with an internal poll that purports to have him within striking distance of incumbent David Vitter. The poll by Verne Kennedy gives Vitter a 46-34 lead, keeping Vitter down in runoff territory. However, there's a huge caveat: that number comes after voters were informed about Vitter's use of prostitutes and employment of sociopathic aides, and there's no word of what the non-informed toplines were. Meanwhile, Traylor seems to be gaining little momentum on the fundraising front: he's filed a fundraising report showing he's raised $42K since announcing his bid last month, and has $41K on hand.
• NH-Sen: Bill Binnie, with little time left to catch up to Kelly Ayotte in the GOP primary, is defying orders from state party boss John Sununu to keep everything positive, and is rolling out two negative ads against Ayotte. Both ads focus on her time as Attorney General and her failure to pick up on anything wrong at Financial Resources Mortgage, which engaged in large-scale fraud and then collapsed.
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin hasn't wasted any time on the fundraising front. He's raised $410K already since declaring his candidacy last month, which may not initially seem like much but will go a long way in the cheap markets in West Virginia. Likely GOP opponent John Raese has raised only $30K, although he's also poured $320K of his own money into the race.
• IA-Gov, IA-Sen: Local GOP blog The Iowa Republican commissioned some polls of Iowa through Voter/Consumer Research. In a non-surprise, the Republicans are leading. Terry Branstad leads Chet Culver 53-35 in the gubernatorial race and Chuck Grassley leads Roxanne Conlin 59-33 in the Senate race. (Down the ballot, though, things look OK for Dems in the AG, Treasurer, and Supreme Court races.)
• OH-Gov: This goes in the "nice work if you can get it" file. In further evidence of the high-dollar revolving door between politics and academia, there are more details out on John Kasich's rich-guy sinecure at Ohio State University over the last decade. For instance, during 2008 he made $50K from OSU, but worked about four hours a month there, essentially making $4,000 for each visit to campus.
• PA-Gov: While the Dems got good news yesterday in the Senate race in Pennsylvania with the dropout of the Green Party candidate, they got bad news in the gubernatorial race today with the dropout of John Krupa. Krupa was running as the Tea Party candidate, but had to pull the plug after a GOP petition challenge left him with too few signatures.
• AZ-03: It looks like Ben Quayle's week or two in the sun is pretty much over after a one-two punch of salacious website revelations and his own incompetent TV ad; conventional wisdom is treating him as having plunged out of front-runner status in the GOP primary in the open seat 3rd. Self-funding businessman Steve Moak seems to have that role now, followed by underfunded but better-known state Sen. Jim Waring. (The article alludes to polling, but irritatingly doesn't offer any specifics.)
• FL-17: The Miami Herald offers interesting profiles of all nine Democrats competing in the primary to replace retiring Rep. Kendrick Meek. This dark-blue seat may be, of all the nation's open seats, the one we're most starved for information about, so it remains to be seen whether we can get an upgrade from Meek (who voted with an eye always toward his next promotion) in this seat.
• New York: Wow, there's a serious race to the bottom going on among the New York House delegation, with regards to Cordoba House: Mike McMahon, Tim Bishop, and even non-endangered Steve Israel all offered statements saying they should look elsewhere to build. This is playing out most interestingly in NY-24, where Richard Hanna -- one of the few conspicuously moderate Republicans on the front lines this year -- offered support for the project last week. Then Dem Mike Arcuri came out in opposition... and Hanna, realized he was getting outflanked on the right, did a 180 and is now against it too. While it's nice to see a GOPer getting caught in such a transparent and ad-worthy flip-flop, is this the kind of high-ground-ceding way we want to do it?
• NRCC: Everyone seems abuzz that the NRCC is out with its list of 40 targeted districts today and its plan to spend $22 million (more than their current $17 mil CoH). It's worth noting, though, that unlike the DCCC's $49 mil list of60 districts from July, these aren't even reservations (which require deposits - or a willingness to seriously piss off television stations if you try to cancel), only a telegraphing of their plans, so things may change. (They may also roll out more in two steps, as did the DCCC.) Most of the buzzing is about what got left out. (Where are the defenses in LA-02 and HI-01? There's a grand total of one defensive buy: the open seat in IL-10.) National Journal also has an interesting analysis of the method behind the NRCC's madness, noticing that they're playing Moneyball, focusing on the cheaper media markets and letting some of the more expensive East Coast markets slide.
• Ads: Lots of ad miscellany today, starting with big buys from Karl Rove-linked GOP group American Crossroads, which is spending $425K on an anti-Michael Bennet piece in CO-Sen, and $500K on a pro-Rob Portman (doesn't he have his own money?) spot in OH-Sen. Dina Titus and Betsy Markey, freshman Dems in tough defenses in NV-03 and CO-04, are both on the air with new spots with a similar strategy: go negative on TARP (they're inoculated from it, not having been in Congress in the previous cycle). Finally, Scott Murphy is dipping into his huge cash stash with his first ad in NY-20, a feel-good piece featuring his enormous family that (like Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's ad) traffics in the metaphor that Washington sometimes eats too much (although luckily this ad doesn't show anyone pooping).
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 45%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 37%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%