• IN-Sen: Chris "Count" Chocola, head of the Club for Growth and himself a Hoosier, says his organization may step in to help oust apostate Sen. Dick Lugar. The CFG has already talked to Treasurer Richard Mourdock, and if they get involved, they could make up for his lackluster fundraising so far.
• MA-Sen: Remember when ThinkProgress busted Scott Brown for sucking up to David Koch for donations while he was publicly saying he wasn't even thinking about 2012? His pitch worked, I guess: Koch Industries coughed up a $2,500 donation to Brown's campaign last quarter.
In other MA-Sen news, why does Barney Frank keep doing this? On Monday, he repeated his remarks that he thinks Newton Mayor Setti Warren shouldn't run for Senate, this time to local blog Newton TAB. I honestly think this is a bit embarrassing for Frank, and makes him look like a jackass. It's an admission that his private suggestions to Warren haven't been well-received, and that he's had to take to the press to accomplish what he apparently doesn't have the power to do on his own. It's ugly, and what's more, I don't even see the percentage in it. Why does Frank care so much whether Warren runs? Really, just enough.
• MN-Sen: Former state Sen. and unsuccessful 2010 SoS candidate Dan Severson says he might seek the Republican nod to challenge Amy Klobuchar, who so far has drawn no opponents. Severson says he'll decide by May. Also, attorney Chris Barden, another unsuccessful statewide candidate last year (he ran for AG), says he may attempt a Senate race, too.
• MO-Sen: It's getting' mighty crowded in here... well, maybe. Wealthy businessman John Brunner (who can at least partially self-fund) says he might join the GOP field to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Reps. Todd Akin and Blaine Leutekemeyer are also still weighing bids, while former Treasurer Sarah Steelman and teabagger fave Ed Martin are already in the race.
• TX-Sen: This is just weird. Ashwin Madia (who you may remember as the Dem candidate in MN-03 back in 2008) is also chair of the progressive veterans group VoteVets. His organization put out a statement the other day in which he said it was "encouraging" to see Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez considering the Texas Senate race as a Dem. It's strange, as Adam Serwer points out, because Sanchez had a very suspect record on torture during his tenure as US commander in Iraq, while VoteVets has been very critical of torture. Another spokesman for the group hurried to say that VoteVets was not issuing a formal statement of endorsement, just an attaboy for a fellow servicemember.
• VA-Sen: Teabagger Jamie Radtke raised just $55K in Q1 and has only $47K on hand. I'm betting that if George Allen does wind up dealing with a serious speed bump on his way to the GOP nomination, it's going to take the form of Del. Bob Marshall, not Radtke. Still a big if.
• VT-Sen, VT-AL: Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $770K in Q1 (not bad for the 49th-largest state in the nation) and has over a million in the bank. The Burlington Free Press pegs an uptick in donations to Sanders after his now-famous eight-hour speech on the Senate floor in which he blasted tax cuts for the wealthy. Meanwhile, Rep. Peter Welch now has a million on hand.
• NJ-Gov, NJ-Sen: Chris Christie's starting to smell like a plate of scungilli left out in the sun after a July picnic. His job approval has dropped to 47-46, according to Quinnipiac, from 52-40 just a couple of months ago. Sen. Bob Menendez isn't doing so hot either, 42-40, but those sorts of numbers are nothing new for him (and are actually better than what he was getting last year). In news of more immediate importance, Dems improved to 47-39 on the generic legislative ballot, up from 43-41. (Thanks to andgarden for spotting that question, tucked away at the very end of the poll.) Also fun: Q asked respondents for an unprompted, open-ended one-word description of Christie. The number one response, by far? "Bully," with 140 mentions.
• AL-05: This is just odd. Freshman Republican Mo Brooks cancelled a town hall and replaced it with one-on-one meetings with constituents-by appointment only. What makes this extra-weird is that these meetings are scheduled to take place across the state line in... Tennessee. Reminds me of this infamous incident from the classic MS-01 special back in 2008.
• IA-04: Some great number-crunching from G-squared: The new 4th CD went for Terry Branstad 59-37 in 2010, 50-48 for GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle in 2006, and 49-48 for Tom Vilsack in 2002. I'll go one further and tell you that Vilsack lost the new 4th in 1998, 47-52. Greg also says that Rep. Steve King currently represents 47% of new CD.
• IL-03: Politico has a profile of John Atkinson, the Democratic businessman who may challenge Rep. Dan Lipinski from the left. Atkinson, who has already raised a boatload, hasn't formally declared yet (and may be waiting on redistricting), but a main theme for him is Lipinski's vote against healthcare reform.
• NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon, recently speaking to the Bay Ridge Democratic Club, definitely sounds like he's leaning toward a comeback. The linked piece from the Brooklyn Eagle contains McMahon's ruminations on why he lost last year, but I'm not sure I understand what he thinks the reasons are. On the one hand, he says "[t]here was a drop-off in progressive voters." On the other hand, he cited a memo from Third Way (ugh, but what do you expect) which polled Obama "switchers" and "dropouts." The memo claims that "[s]witchers were eager to vote in this election, whereas droppers didn't come out for a multitude of reasons, none of them being they were upset with Democrats."
What this misses out on, of course, is that Democratic organizations who were pissed with McMahon's vote against healthcare reform were less inclined to bust their asses for him and drag apathetic voters to the polls on his behalf-something members and officials of the Bay Ridge club made plain to him. (The article says some attendees used "harsher language," so since this is Brooklyn we're talking about, enjoy a moment or two imagining what this sounded like.) I'm not sure what McMahon thinks the solution is for next year, if he runs again, but it doesn't sound like he's ready to take back his anti-HCR vote. I think he'd be wise to do so.
• RI-01: Former Republican state Rep. John Loughlin, who lost by six points to now-Rep. David Cicilline last year, says he's considering a rematch, but first he's serving another tour of duty in Iraq. I wonder if Cicilline's self-inflicted wounds regarding the financial woes of Providence (the city of which he used to be mayor) will make him vulnerable-if not next year (which of course is a presidential year), then at some point in the near future... or in a primary.
• WI Recall: Republicans say they will file recall petitions against three Democrats today: Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch. Meanwhile, Greg Sargent says that Dems will file petitions against a fifth Republican, Alberta Darling, also today.
• WI Sup. Ct.: Yesterday, JoAnne Kloppenburg asked for a recount, which will come at state expense since the final margin of 7,316 votes was less than 0.5%. I'm pretty surprised at the decision, since overturning that kind of result seems almost inconceivable.
• Alaska (PDF): Dave Dittman, a pollster and former aide to the late Sen. Ted Stevens, tested Alaskans' feelings about local pols last month. Sen. Mark Begich, up for re-election in 2014, has a 57-33 job approval rating, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski is at 71-27 and Rep. Don Young is at 63-32. Joe Miller, who says he might run against Young next year or against Begich next cycle, has a hilariously awful favorability rating of 18-73. (FWIW, Sarah Palin is at 36-61.) Note that the poll had oddly long field dates: March 3 through March 17.
• Demographics: Aaron Blake has another good piece looking at the changing demographics of majority-black districts.
• House Majority PAC: The new Dem "super PAC" is out with its first-ever media buy (which they claim is "substantial"-you better be telling the truth), hitting ten GOP freshmen who voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan with radio ad. You can listen to a sample spot against Sean Duffy here. Click the first link for the other nine names.
• DCCC: Speaking of ad buys, props to Dave Catanese for busting what turned out to be a comically bullshit media "blitz" by the DCCC. I groused about this one yesterday, complaining that the size of the buy was sure to be "quite small," but I had no idea that it would be this comically small: The total purchase was just $6,000 across twenty-five districts, with just $40 (yes, $40!) spent against Larry Buchson in IN-08. Of course, it was the NRCC which provided this info to Catanese, which I'm not sure is such a smart move, since they play this stupid game, too. But my bigger concern is whether local reporters who wrote about these ads will be insulted by the joke dollar values and ignore the D-Trip in the future. I sure as hell would.
• Colorado: After instantly descending into a whole bunch of acrimony (mostly, it seemed to me, from the GOP side) after the first batch of maps were produced, both parties agreed to go back to the drawing board and start with a clean slate. Republicans sound a lot more excited about the prospect than Dems, but we'll see if this actually produces any kind of agreement... or if a stalemate eventually leads to court-drawn maps.
• Pennsylvania: No surprise here: The Republican majority on the PA Supreme Court picked a Republican superior court judge to serve as a tiebreaker on the panel which will re-draw Pennsylvania's state legislative maps. This is a direct consequence of a shameful loss of an open Dem-held seat on the court in 2009.
• Texas: A new plan for the Texas state House passed a House committee yesterday. The map increases the number of Latino districts from 28 to 30, but Democrats seem convinced that there are serious VRA issues with it.
That's the difficulty of a campaign. I mean, it's easy to just say, "Seal the border and enforce the law." What does that really mean? What does that entail? And when you're able to explain it, then they're alright. And I think for those who don't agree with my position-think that it ought to be something different-at least I think they give me a little credit for sticking with my position because I've always believed this is what we need and I continue to believe regardless of the political environment.
In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform - increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do. I've been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable, given the current leadership.
In other AZ news, the subscription-only Arizona Guardian says that ex-Rep. Matt Salmon may endorse Rep. Trent Franks, rather than his old buddy Flake (who succeeded him in Congress when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002), something they characterize as a "snub" on their home page. Franks of course hasn't announced a run yet, but Dave Catanese claims he'll do so this Saturday. Just hope whoever told Dave this is more truthful than the dipshit who dissembled about Connie Mack last week. (And I still maintain that Dave had every right-if not an obligation-to burn that source.)
• FL-Sen: Adam Hasner has to be feeling pretty good about himself these days. Rep. Connie Mack inartfully bowed out of the race, and Mike Haridopolos has already scored a few own-goals. So the former state House Majority Leader took to his Facebook to declare that "this election still needs a proven limited government leader, who is solid across the board on the conservative principles." Why golly, that sounds just like Hasner, doesn't it?
• IN-Sen, IN-02: Rep. Joe Donnelly sure sounds like he's interested in running for Senate. He told Robert Annis, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, that he thinks his "experience is best served in the Senate." Annis also characterized Donnelly as "leaning toward" a run. A different reporter at the same event characterized him as "leaning strongly toward" a Senate bid if the GOP makes his current district redder.
• MI-Sen: PPP has the remainders from their Michigan poll last week, a kitchen sink GOP primary:
Pete Hoekstra is the clear first choice of Republicans in the state for who they'd like as their nominee to take on Debbie Stabenow next year. 38% say he'd be their pick compared to 18% for Terri Lynn Land. No one else cracks double digits, with Saul Anuzis at 5%, Justin Amash, Randy Hekman, and Tim Walberg at 4%, Chad Dewey at 3%, and Tim Leuliette with the big egg at 0%.
Speaking of The Hook, he said he'll decide whether to challenge Stabenow in two weeks. In an amusing side note, Hoekstra admitted he got all butthurt when MI GOP chair Bobby Schostak said in a recent interview that he expects a candidate to emerge who is " head and shoulders" above the current crop of potentials-a group which obviously includes Hoekstra. Of course, Schostak also said of this mystery candidates: "I don't know who it is. They haven't met with me yet, if they're out there." We don't know who they are either!
• NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, presumably trying to scare off would-be primary opponents, raised a pretty massive $125K in a single event in Vegas on Monday night.
• OH-Sen, OH-12: This is... getting strange. Top-tier Ohio Republicans have all pretty much taken a pass on challenging Sherrod Brown, or at least seem to be leaning against a run. But one guy all of a sudden put his name into the hopper: Rep. Pat Tiberi, who sits in the very swingish 12th CD. Tiberi's spokesman made sure to remind Dave Catanese that he's on Ways & Means, though, so that's a pretty tasty perch to give up. Catanese also notes that state Sen. Kevin Coughlin is preparing a run.
• RI-Sen: I guess rich guy Barry Hinckley is running against Sheldon Whitehouse? The founder of a software company called Bullhorn ("the global leader in On Demand, integrated front office software for the staffing and recruiting industry"), Hinckley is apparently trying to burnish his Republican credentials by holding some fundraisers at California yacht clubs. (Not joking about that.)
• LA-Gov: 2010 Lt. Gov. nominee Caroline Fayard is starting to sound very much like a gubernatorial candidate... that is, if you can hear her over her foot-stuffed-in-mouth. She didn't do much to help her cause by declaring at a recent even that she "hates Republicans" because they are "cruel" and "eat their young." (Uh, I talk a lot of shit about the GOP, but what does "eat their young" even mean?) Fayard later tried to wiggle her way out of this by claiming "I'm against the president, but I don't need to see his birth certificate." So she's managed to kill her crossover vote and her support among African Americans in one fell swoop. Well, uh, she sure is getting some free media out of this. (Hat tip: Daily Kingfish)
• CT-05: I guess I thought that former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had already announced she was running for Chris Murphy's seat, but apparently she's only just formed an exploratory committee.
• MN-06: It's not particularly meaningful, since the funds can be transferred to another federal account, but Michele Bachmann did just file to run for re-election yesterday.
• NY-25, VA-02: Dan Maffei apparently says he'll decide on a rematch "in the next two months," while Glenn Nye (I'd forgotten he was still considering) will wait until "sometime in the summer." (That's how The Hill phrased it in both cases.)
• RI-01: With the city of Providence's finances imploding, freshman Rep. David Cicilline is taking a beating over his stewardship of the city he used to be mayor of. Among other things, a new Brown University poll finds him with a statewide approval rating of just 17-49. Could Cicilline be vulnerable in the general election? I doubt it, but he could underperform annoyingly and require help that could best be expended elsewhere, like a Paul Kanjorski. I think he might be more at risk in a primary.
• Wisconsin Recall: In just the last two months, the Wisconsin Democratic Party reports raising $1.4 million-or, a quarter million more than it did in all of 2010. In other news, a coordinator of the petition drive against Randy Hopper seems to have gone off-message with his intimation that volunteers would have "closer to 30,000 than 15,000" signatures by Tuesday (a month before the deadline). 15,269 sigs are needed for the recall to happen, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party told the Journal Sentinel that these figures (such as they are) "are not accurate" and wouldn't say more. Quite understandably, t's pretty much been the policy of the party not to talk about where things stand.
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: JoAnne Kloppenburg is out with TV and radio ads that tout her independence.
• WATN?: Artur Davis, douchebag from beyond the grave. This is actually the same link as the NY-25/VA-02 item above; Davis did an event with Maffei and Nye at which he said that President Obama would bear the brunt of the blame for any government shutdown. Davis's claim: "I think that voters always focus on the executive as the responsible officer." That's why Bill Clinton lost so badly in 1996, right?
In other WATN? news, I'm guessing that ex-Rep. Bart Gordon (D) is probably ruling out a run for the seat he voluntarily gave up last year (TN-06), or a Senate bid - he just took a job at the law firm of K&L Gates. (The "Gates" is Bill Gates, Sr., the Microsoft founder's dad, who is now retired.)
• Indiana: Have an idea for an Indiana state Senate map? Sen. Tim Lane (D) wants to hear from you! (Seriously!) Contact information is at the link.
• Louisiana: Even though he had said he'd stay out of it, Gov. Bobby Jindal's been weighing in on the redistricting process-and Dems, as you might guess, aren't happy about it. Click through the article to learn more about the exact nature of the dispute. Ultimately, though, it sounds as though Jindal will get his way, which more or less preserves the status quo.
• Funnymanders: What happens when a very careful redistricting job blows up in your face because the state Senate Majority Leader's son being groomed for the new seat tells the media he can't even remember being arrested for getting into a dispute over chicken fingers at Applebee's? Well, I'm calling that a funnymander. Nathan Gonzales has the details on that story, and a few other anecdotes as well, about redistricting gone awry.
• Dark Money: On the darker side of redistricting is all the unregulated cash flooding into various coffers, which Politico takes a look at. A big reason is an FEC decision last year which allowed members of Congress to raise unlimited soft money for redistricting groups, and both Dems and Republicans are, of course, going at it full bore.
CT-Sen: It feels as thought we've been partying like it's 1994 in more ways that one this cycle. One major throwback has been Republicans who can't control teh crazy and insist, Newt Gingrich-style, on calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. In fact, Linda McMahon did `em one better, telling some teabaggers that she would also consider getting rid of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't understand whatever cultural bug Republicans have up their ass about the Dept. of Education, but suffice it to say that when you say you want to get rid of it, it sounds like you want to cut education funding, period. So please, keep saying that.
DE-Sen: A GOP source tells Politico that Mike Castle is fielding a poll to test his chances as a write-in. Castle has until Sept. 30th to file a statement with the elections board, something a spokesman said is an "under 5%" chance.
AL-Gov: We've seen all kinds of unexpected touting of seemingly sucky internal polls this cycle, but this may be one of the roughest. Dem Ron Sparks is saying that a poll by Capital Survey Research Center showing him down 52-39 to Republican Robert Bentley is "good news," because a July survey had Sparks behind by 22. (Technically this isn't an internal, but rather was produced by Dem-allied teachers union Alabama Education Association.)
FL-22: Allen West is out with what the Palm Beach Post is terming a "brushfire" poll (n=300) from Wilson Research Strategies that has him up 48-42 over Ron Klein. A recent Klein internal had almost opposite numbers, 48-40 for the Dem.
NC-04: This is a couple of weeks old, but repeat Republican candidate B.J. Lawson claims to have an internal poll from robopollster Action Solutions, purporting to show him up 47-46 over Rep. David Price. But, cautions Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report: "This isn't your standard polling outfit. This is an outfit that most in Washington would not consider reputable." Lawson only has $50K on hand (though Price only has $300K), and got crushed last time out, 63-37. His fundraising also seems to be off from his 2008 pace, when he took in half a million (he's raised just $150K this cycle).
RI-01: Dem David Cicilline is out with a comforting poll from the Feldman Group, showing him up 53-38 over Republican John Loughlin.
VA-05: I'm almost getting tired of keeping track of these, but anyhow... the NRA is expected to endorse Dem Tom Perriello.
NY-AG: A couple of pollsters also took a look at the AG's race in their recent New York polling packages. Quinnipiac, unsurprisingly, finds a close race: Dem Eric Schneiderman is at 37 while Republican Dan Donovan is at 36. Siena (PDF) paints a somewhat different picture, showing Schneiderman up 45-32 over Donovan. Both men have very low name rec in both polls, and the both hold voters of their own parties equally well. Donovan has small leads among independents in both surveys.
• AK-Sen: If anything makes clear the depth of the NRSC's change of allegiance from Lisa Murkowski to Joe Miller, check out the list of five different NRSC-organized, Senator-filled fundraisers that'll be held on Miller's behalf next week. Murkowski, meanwhile, is shrugging off the loss of her leadership post (which went to John Barrasso) and ranking committee position, seeming more focused on the mechanics of her write-in bid. She's going to have to do a little better than this, though (although Alaska doesn't require precise spelling of write-ins): the original version of the ad telling people about her write-in bid directed people to a URL that misspelled her name (LisaMurkwski.com). (I wonder if some cybersquatter has already grabbed that URL by now?)
• AR-Sen: Ipsos, on behalf of Reuters, is out with a look at Arkansas, a Senate race that's hardly worth looking at anymore. Nevertheless, they show a closer race than anybody else has lately: Blanche Lincoln trails John Boozman by "only" 14, a 53-39 gap among LVs. Lincoln's favorables seem to be improving a bit too, but time's running out for a full-fledged comeback.
• CO-Sen: Here's a tantalizing tidbit, although it doesn't have any bearing on the current race, just likely to exacerbate the seemingly-escalating war between the NRSC and Jim DeMint. It turns out the NRSC gave the maximum $42K to Jane Norton, just four days before the GOP primary. Not much of a vote of confidence in Ken Buck, is it?
• NH-Sen: Unfortunately, where many Republican primaries have dissolved into acrimony afterwards, we're seeing lots of unity in New Hampshire. Ovide Lamontagne is helping to raise funds for narrow victor Kelly Ayotte at a DC fundraiser scheduled for Sep. 27.
• WA-Sen: Considering the play this has gotten in the local press, this small comment on a parochial issue looks to be a major faceplant for Dino Rossi... he dared depart from the party line on the mighty Boeing. He suggested that Boeing should get no favorable treatment from the Pentagon in its competition with Airbus (whose efforts are subsidized by European governments) over who gets to build the next-generation Air Force tanker. (To put that in context, that would be like a candidate going to Iowa and dissing ethanol, or going to West Virginia and dissing coal.) Boeing had already explicitly endorsed Patty Murray, but now she has a nuclear-grade weapon to use against Rossi in the Boeing-dependent swingy suburbs.
And here's a hat tip to Horsesass's Goldy, who spots some interesting details in the fine print of that Elway Poll from last week. People were surprised when that CNN/Time poll found a reverse enthusiasm gap for the Dems in Washington (with Murray faring better among LVs than RVs), but Elway actually shows something similar. The 50-41 topline was LVs, but pushed leaners. Include only the "definite voters" and that pushes up to a 13-pt lead for Murray (43-30). I don't have one good explanation for this phenomenon, but I'd guess it's a combination of a) Dems being more diehard liberal in Washington and less swingy and/or sporadic than in other states, b) the economy being somewhat better in Washington than many other places, and c) teabagger ennui after Clint Didier lost the primary to establishment leftover Dino Rossi.
• NM-Gov: We've got dueling banjos internals in the Land of Enchantment. Susana Martinez whipped it out first, rolling out a POS poll from last week with a 50-40 lead for her. Not to be outdone, Diane Denish pulled out her own poll from GQR from the same timeframe, showing that Martinez is leading "only" 49-44. Um... take that?
• NY-Gov: Rick Lazio is hedging on what exactly he's going to do with his spot on the Conservative Party line, sounding like he wants to wait and see how Carl Paladino fares before making up his mind. Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo got a pretty significant endorsement, from NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, which may sway a few moderate indies but is probably mostly helpful from a GOTV organizational standpoint within the city. Meanwhile, you might have also heard something about a poll of this race today? I've heard a few rumblings. Anyway, we're deferring discussion of today's Quinnipiac poll until the Siena and SurveyUSA polls, due tomorrow, also come out, offering us a better yardstick.
• RI-Gov, RI-01: Quest for WJAR-TV (9/15-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 36
John Robitaille (R): 13
Lincoln Chafee (I): 24
Ken Block (M): 2
David Cicilline (D): 49
John Loughlin (R): 26
This is probably the biggest lead we've seen for Frank Caprio in the Governor's race, and also the first post-primary poll of the race in the 1st, which looks to be an easy race for Providence mayor David Cicilline despite being an open seat in a dangerous year. The poll also finds the Dems easily winning the LG, AG, SoS, and RI-02 races.
• TN-Gov: Crawford Johnson and Northcott for WSMV-TV (registered voters, trendlines from early July):
Mike McWherter (D): 24 (34)
Bill Haslam (R): 55 (60)
Undecided: 19 (6)
I'm not going out on a limb by saying we can expect Bill Haslam to win the Tennessee governor's race. The only odd thing here is that this is WSMV's second poll of the race, and the number of undecideds has shot up dramatically since July (of course, it's a mystery how there were so few back then).
• FL-22: Anzalone-Liszt for Ron Klein (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 40
While this isn't an awe-inspiring lead for Klein in his own internal, it's a good topline and there are some interesting numbers in the fine print. Most notably, West's unfavorables have tripled (to 26%) since May as people have started paying attention.
• MA-04: OMG, even Barney Frank's in trouble! (In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.) (Or was I?) Anyway, the Republican candidate running against Frank, Sean Bielat, is out with a poll from GOP pollster On Message giving Frank a 48-38 lead over Bielat. I suppose a ceiling of 38% is plausible for a no-name GOPer in this part of Massachusetts, which went 63% for Obama but includes a lot of exurbs and went narrowly for Scott Brown in the special election, but I'm unclear on how he gets much further than that.
• PA-03: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, registered voters, no trendlines):
Kathy Dahlkemper (D-inc): 38
Mike Kelly (R): 44
This seems to be the first truly independent poll of this race, although we've seen various internals and Republican third-party polls all showing Dahlkemper in trouble, though not always losing. Franklin & Marshall opts for the "losing" side, although it's slightly less severe among RVs (42-38).
• VA-05: Benenson Strategy Group for Tom Perriello (9/14-16, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Perriello (D): 44
Rob Hurt (R): 46
Jeff Clark (I): 4
Not much difference here than that DCCC poll by Global Strategy Group a few weeks ago that also saw Perriello down by 2. Again, not the most appetizing numbers for rolling out when it's your own internal, but at least it's some pushback against those SurveyUSA numbers.
• WA-09: Benenson Strategy Group for Adam Smith (9/18-20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Adam Smith (D): 54
Dick Muri (R): 35
Hmmm, speaking of pushback against SurveyUSA numbers, here's an internal from the Adam Smith camp (who were seen as being in a close race in a public poll from over the weekend). Now these are the kind of internal poll numbers we like to see... although the very fact that Adam Smith should have to be releasing internal polls in the first place is, well, a sign of the times.
• DCCC: Here's some interesting money shuffling from the DCCC, which might portend an increased focus on GOTV. A CQ piece detailing some miscellany from their report this month included a number of transfers from the DCCC to state Democratic party committees. That includes $196K to Ohio, $142K to Arizona, and $132K to Arizona.
• American Crossroads: Wasn't the "Crossroads" myth about selling your soul to the devil? At any rate, Politico is out with a nauseating story that's a stark counterpoint to the normal old committee numbers that we released this morning: while the Dems have advantages at the committee level, they're getting crushed in outside TV spending by third-party groups, to the tune of $23.6 million for GOP ads to $4.8 million for Dem ads. (Of course, some of that is money that in previous cycles would have gone to the RNC, which is way out of whack (or "wack," as Michael Steele might say) and unable to do much with its usual task of helping state committees... making the GOP more reliant than ever on hoping that their air saturation can overcome disadvantages in the ground game.)
The largest of these groups, of course, is American Crossroads, which is out with six new attack ads in different Senate races: Illinois ($482K), Kentucky ($235K), Nevada ($320K), New Hampshire ($643K), Ohio ($260K), and Pennsylvania ($226K). I know the teabaggers like to think that when the 2010 election is written in the history books, the story will be about some sort of populist uprising, but more likely, their useful idiocy will be long forgotten and the story will be about the uprising of a dozen or so billionaires, leveraging tens of millions on ads in order to save themselves hundreds of billions in taxes.
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: The state Democratic party goes after Linda McMahon, looking at job cuts she oversaw at WWE
• MO-Sen: The DSCC wades back into Missouri, looking at how Roy Blunt keeps his corruption all in the family
• MD-Gov: A DGA-allied group hits Bob Ehrlich for being in the pocket of utilities during and after his gubernatorial term
• IL-10: Dan Seals goes negative against Bob Dold!, hitting him on social security and abortion rights
• IL-14: Nancy Pelosi's coming for you! Booogetyboogetyboogety! (or so says Randy Hultgren's second ad)
• NC-02: Renee Elmers found the money to run an ad? Well, it is cable only... Anyway, it's about the Burlington Coat Factory mosque, despite that Bob Etheridge says he doesn't support it
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski again goes negative on Lou Barletta on the bread and butter stuff, hitting for him opposition to a State Department security forces training center for the district
• PA-17: Even Tim Holden's hitting the airwaves with two different ads, one that's a soft bio spot for himself, and then an attack on his opponent's role in legislative pay raises
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's second ad is against negative against Dave Reichert, especially for opposing financial reform
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 34%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 54%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 47%, Meg Whitman (R) 46%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 27%, Paul LePage (R) 45%, Eliot Cutler (I) 14%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 38%, Rick Snyder (R) 51%
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D-inc) 58%, Jay Townsend (R) 36%
• AK-Sen: Wow, now we've got Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin working in harmony in at least one place: Huckabee just endorsed Joe Miller, the little-known right-wing challenger to Lisa Murkowski in the GOP Senate primary.
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is out with a new ad in a last-ditch effort to make up some ground on John McCain, and he's relying on time-honored tradition of pulling a few of his opponents' words out of context. In this case, he swipes the passage "I chose lying" from McCain's 2002 audiobook, although in the book it was talking about the South Carolina confederate flag controversy, and Hayworth just slaps it down in an ad about immigration. The ad buy is for $365K.
• CA-Sen: This isn't a surprise in terms of which of the candidates they endorsed, but it might be interesting that the Chamber of Commerce decided there was enough of a shot in this race for them to weigh in. They're backing Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race, based on, y'know, her long track record of success at Hewlett-Packard.
• FL-Sen: A Mason-Dixon poll released late last week gives some hope to Kendrick Meek, who other polls had shown had fallen behind billionaire weirdo Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary. Their poll (conducted for "Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association") gives Meek a 33-29 lead. Greene's main problem seems to be that the press keeps on doing stories about, well, all those things that Greene has been doing for the last couple decades; yesterday the St. Petersburg Times looked at Greene's involvement in a California condo deal that belies his claims that he was a high-level investor and not involved in any of the myriad ground-level predatory lending transactions that, when all added together, helped create the real estate asset bubble. Greene's defense? "I don't follow what happens after the sale.... All I care about is that I get my money." Finally, whether Greene or Meek wins the primary, one more problem they'll have to deal with is the movement of prominent Democratic money to indie Charlie Crist. Pollster Mark Penn hasn't been anyone's image of a reliable or useful Democrat lately, but he is at least a prominent Democrat; he's now raising for Crist.
• KY-Sen: Will "I worship you, Aqua Buddha" become the newest political catchphrase that sweeps the nation? GQ has a hilarious (if somewhat disturbing) look back at Rand Paul's hellraising days at an undergrad at Baylor (a school from which, by the way, he doesn't have a bachelor's degree). It'll be interesting to see if this actually creates any blowback for Paul.
• WA-Sen: Interesting: another endorsement for the once-moderate Dino Rossi from another celebrity on the right in the Senate. Unlike Jim DeMint (whose backing he got last week), who has something of a fundraising network that comes with his endorsement, Tom Coburn (who just announced his support) just has cachet with right-wing fanboys. More evidence that Rossi, while publicly pretending to be focused only on the general, is scrambling to shore up his right flank before the Top 2 primary where he faces competition from various teabaggers, most significantly Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier.
• FL-Gov: That Mason-Dixon poll had a Republican gubernatorial portion as well, and they do provide some confirmation for the sense that Bill McCollum is worming his way back into this thing, with not much time left on the clock. Rick Scott leads McCollum only 37-31. Worth noting: it doesn't seem to have anything to do with people taking notice of Scott's legacy of Medicare fraud at Columbia/HCA, but rather, McCollum consolidating the Republican Hispanic vote (where he leads 3-1), probably thanks to Scott's demagoguery on the immigration issue and McCollum's more even-handed stance. Meanwhile, not that Bud Chiles was gaining much momentum, but explaining this could be a big distraction: his former leadership of innocuous-sounding charity HOPE Worldwide, which it turns out is an arm of the cultish International Churches of Christ.
• IA-Gov: Social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats ran a surprisingly close race against Terry Branstad in the GOP gubernatorial primary and then threatened an independent run when he didn't receive the proper amount of fealty post-primary. However, he announced last Friday that he won't attempt a third-party bid (which would probably give the advantage in the race back to Chet Culver). He'll focus his energies on defeating members of the Iowa Supreme Court, in retaliation for its gay marriage ruling.
• MN-Gov: If there's one campaign out there in need of a shakeup, it's Tom Emmer's, as polls have made clear that the GOP gubernatorial nominee's trajectory post-nomination has been aimed almost straight down. Old campaign manager Tom Mason departed for a farm upstate, replaced by former '08 Norm Coleman CM Cullen Sheehan.
• PA-Gov: Remember Sam Rohrer, the socially conservative state Rep. who persisted in the GOP primary against AG Tom Corbett (and lost big)? His supporters still haven't given up hope, and, although Pennsylvania law prohibits him from a ballot line in November, are now launching an independent write-in campaign for Rohrer. (Rohrer hasn't endorsed the idea, but isn't dissuading them either.) The write-in campaign is a particularly difficult beast, though, meaning that it's likely that Rohrer wouldn't pick up more than a couple percent, and the race would have to get closer than it currently is for that to harm Corbett's odds against Dem Dan Onorato.
• RI-Gov: Brown University is out with a poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race, and one thing is clear: no current Republican is going to win the race. Democratic state Treasurer Frank Caprio leads independent ex-Republican ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee, by a bare 28-27 margin. For some reason, they seemed to poll the two Republicans jungle-style, but it really doesn't matter as both are non-factors: former Don Carcieri communications director John Robitaille is at 7 and ex-state Rep. Victor Moffitt is at 2.
• FL-08: Jeb! backs Web! Ex-gov. Jeb Bush cut an ad in support of ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, who, with his dithering, managed to blow his early shot at consolidating GOP establishment support in the primary. Instead, he's one of many guys stuffed in the clown car, fighting for the right to oppose Rep. Alan Grayson.
• ID-01: The omission of Raul Labrador from the NRCC's Young Guns, which seems to admit any Republican who has enough opposable digits to successfully operate a telephone and call donors, seemed like it was becoming too embarrassing for even the NRCC's skilled writers to spin away. Labrador says he "changed his mind" and is now willing to join the entourage. Labrador, who has $69K, is only entering at the "On the Radar" level, though, the bottom of the pyramid.
• IL-14: State Sen. Randy Hultgren thought he struck some electoral gold when he found a contribution to Rep. Bill Foster from fellow Dem Maxine Waters for $1,000, which then demanded Foster give back. Unfortunately, there's something to be said for basic reading skills: the contribution wasn't to Bill Foster, but rather to former music industry exec Gary Foster, who's now head of a charitable org called Upliftment Jamaica. Naturally, the Hultgren camp blamed the FEC for forcing them to screw up.
• LA-02: Sen. Mary Landrieu announced her backing for state Rep. Cedric Richmond in the Dem primary in the 2nd, more evidence that the Dem establishment is trying to unite behind Richmond and put the squeeze on primary rival state Rep. Juan LaFonta.
• MI-09: As part of the transition from primary to general election, one item that's high on GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski's to-do list is to walk back his previous birtherism. After telling Politico in a post-primary interview that he'd "love" to see Obama's birth certificate, he's now out with a statement that Politico took his out of context... without, of course, explaining what context such a comment should be taken in.
• OH-18: Stop the presses! (And hide the women!) Bill Clinton adviser turned Fox News talking head Dick Morris has announced he'll be making appearances on behalf of at least 40 Republican candidates this year. That includes a fundraiser for Rep. Zack Space's opponent, state Sen. Bob Gibbs, later this month.
• RI-01, RI-02: That Brown gubernatorial poll also looked at the Democratic primaries in the 1st and 2nd, although the margin of error is terribly high (7.4% in RI-01). In the 1st, Providence mayor David Cicilline is in command of the Dem field, leading former state party chair William Lynch 32-11 15, with 11 for businessman Anthony Gemma and 5 for state Rep. David Segal (who just got the local SEIU's backing, by the way). In the 2nd, Rep. Jim Langevin looks likely to weather his primary challenge with ease; he leads state Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan 55-12.
• SBA List: Anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List has come out with polls of one open Senate race and three House races featuring Dem incumbents (where the common thread seems that all the Dems are anti-abortion), courtesy of that Republican pollster with the oh-so-creative name, The Polling Company. They find Dan Coats leading Brad Ellsworth 50-35 in the Indiana Senate race. The House races are an interesting mix of the good, the bad, and the so-so. For the good, Rep. Joe Donnelly seems to start on solid ground in IN-02, where he leads state Rep. Jackie Walorski 52-35. For the bad, Rep. Steve Driehaus may just be the most DOA of any House Democrat, as this is one more poll giving him a double-digit deficit against ex-Rep. Steve Chabot (51-41). And for the so-so, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (last seen losing in a too-good-to-be-true internal from GOP opponent Mike Kelly) is leading Kelly by a pretty plausible 46-42.
• Blue Dogs: The Blue Dogs handed out a load of endorsements to Dem candidates, looking to replenish their soon-to-be-depleted ranks (thanks to a number of retirements, as well as many of their members being in many of the nation's most competitive races). Endorsees are Steve Raby in AL-05, Chad Causey in AR-01, Roy Herron in TN-08, Trent van Haaften in IN-08, and Stephene Moore in KS-03.
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 46%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 36%, Terry Branstad (R) 52%
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland (D) 34%, Sam Brownback (R) 57%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Bill Binnie (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 27%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 59%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 42%, Kristi Noem (R) 51%
• CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff, who's had seeming trouble articulating a motivation for his primary campaign against appointee Michael Bennet (other than "it was my turn"), still seems like he's confident in his chances of winning the primary. He just doubled down by selling his house and lending the $325K proceeds to his campaign (or maybe he was just eager to sell the dump, anyway). Romanoff had $464K CoH on June 30, but most of that has been gobbled up by ad buys. Also on the ad front in Colorado, the shadowy, Ken Buck-backing 501(c)(4) Americans for Job Security is out with another anti-Jane Norton ad, attacking her over her support for anti-TABOR Proposition C.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell, the forgotten right-winger in the Delaware GOP primary against Rep. Mike Castle, keeps hitting wingnut paydirt. Having already secured the Susan B. Anthony List endorsement, she's now getting backing from two more of the engines pulling the crazy train: the Tea Party Express (the corporate astroturf umbrella org for the teabaggers), and Concerned Women for America (Phyllis Schlafly's group). The Politico article includes a litany of O'Donnell's baggage as rattled off by Delaware's GOP state party chair, so it seems like the establishment is taking note and starting to push back.
• FL-Sen: Well, that was fast; I guess when you have a few hundred million dollars at your disposal, you can whip up ads pretty quickly (or just have a couple extra sitting in the can, ready to go). With Kendrick Meek having launched his first Dem primary ad yesterday, a negative ad against Jeff Greene, today Greene hit back with two different anti-Meek ads. One focuses on Meek's family connections to a corrupt developer, and the other focuses on the cigar-maker carveout from SCHIP. As always, NWOTSOB.
• KY-Sen: The Jack Conway camp has leaked Daily Kos an internal from Benenson giving them a 44-44 tie with Rand Paul, and a 48-46 lead over Paul with leaners pushed. The poll's a little stale, having been taken June 26-29, but it's good news; if nothing else, it's confirmation for the most recent PPP poll, which also saw a tie. We have a copy of the full memo here. Another small reason for optimism in the Bluegrass State: there's word of a new (and apparently nameless, for now) 527 headed by former progressive Democratic '08 Senate candidate Andrew Horne, that will be playing in the Kentucky race. They have $2 million pledged by various business leaders to work with, and they've lined up Anzalone Liszt and Zata|3 to work for them.
• FL-Gov: Taking a page from Raul Labrador, Bill McCollum's out with an internal. His own poll from McLaughlin & Associates finds him trailing Rick Scott 37-31. (The polling memo actually has the audacity to ask, "Why hasn't Rick Scott done better?")
• MD-Gov: Local pollster Gonzales Research is out with their second look at the Maryland gubernatorial race; they find a 45-42 lead for Martin O'Malley over Robert Ehrlich, which very closely echoes the PPP poll from a few weeks ago. Their trendlines go back to January, when a Ehrlich re-run was only vaguely being discussed; then, O'Malley had a 9-point lead.
• MN-Gov: Fundraising reports in Minnesota were due yesterday. GOPer Tom Emmer might well need to use that giant jar of pennies he had dumped on his table in order to buy some ad time, as he's lagging on the financial front. Emmer has less than $300K CoH and raised under $800K in the first six months of the year, while DFL endorsee Margaret Anderson Kelliher has $385K CoH and raised about $1 million. Kelliher, however, still might not get out of her primary against two rich guys: Matt Entenza raised $360K during that period but also loaned himself $3.5 million (and spent $3.9 million, mostly on TV ads). Mark Dayton hasn't filed yet.
• OR-Gov: Republican Chris Dudley is padding his financial advantage over John Kitzhaber in Oregon's gubernatorial race: he's raised $850K since the May 18 primary, compared with $269K for Kitzhaber. Dudley has raised $2.6 million all cycle long, compared with Kitz's $1.7 million. (One historical note, though: Ted Kulongoski was easily re-elected in 2006 despite being outspent by opponent Ron Saxton and his $7 million.) Much of Dudley's money seems to be coming in from out-of-state, as the former NBA player and current financial advisor is getting a lot of Wall Street and sports industry money. Interestingly, the timber industry, usually a Republican force in the state, is staying largely on the sidelines this election, as they're fairly friendly with Kitzhaber.
• TN-Gov: Having nowhere to go in the GOP primary polls but up, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is going the out-and-proud Islamophobe route. Spurred on by the ongoing controversy over the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Ramsey, in response to a question at an appearance, said, "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion or is it a nationality, way of life or cult, whatever you want to call it."
• ID-01: Raul Labrador, a conspicuous absence from the NRCC's anyone-with-a-pulse Young Guns program, says that he "opted out" of the Young Guns. (Yeah... just like I "opted out" of junior prom.) He didn't give a specific reason why, although tensions between him and the NRCC have been high.
• MN-03: I'm not exactly sure why Jim Meffert thought it was a good idea to release this internal, but I guess he needed to let people know that he's actually contesting this thing. His poll (no mention of the pollster in the article) finds him trailing freshman GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen 44-27, with 7% for an IP candidate. The number he'd probably like us to focus on is that Paulsen has only a 33% re-elect (although only 12% say they're a definite "no").
• MN-06: Seems like Johnny Law doesn't like Michele Bachmann's particularly freaky brand of law and order: the state's police union, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, just gave its endorsement to Dem Tarryl Clark in the 6th.
• RI-01: The American Federation of Teachers, having just endorsed indie Lincoln Chafee instead of Dem Frank Caprio, also went for unconventional with their 1st District endorsement. They went for young up-and-comer state Rep. David Segal, who's tried to stake out the most progressive turf in the Dem primary, instead of Providence mayor and presumed frontrunner David Cicilline.
• TN-09: On top of having gotten SSP's annual John Hostettler Award for outstanding performance at filing quarterly reports (for failing to electronically file his FEC report on time, despite having only $19K CoH), Willie Herenton got a much worse piece of news: the Congressional Black Caucus either doesn't think much of his chances, or think much of him. Although they wouldn't let Steve Cohen join their club in 2007, they did just endorse him, and sent $5,000 his way.
• AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 29%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 59%
• AZ-Sen (D): Rodney Glassman (D) 15%, Cathy Eden (D) 11%, Randy Parraz (D) 10%, John Dougherty (D) 7%
• CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 40%, Jane Norton (R) 44%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 39%, Jane Norton (R) 48%
• CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 38%, Charlie Baker (R) 32%, Tim Cahill (I) 17%
• FL-Sen: As much as Charlie Crist seems to have benefited from his switch to an independent bid, he still has to deal with blowback from a lot of ticked-off Republicans. A group of GOPers, led by state Rep. Tom Grady, has filed a class action lawsuit against Crist to get back their contributions which they thought would be used to support a Republican. Meanwhile, with Crist running around looking gubernatorial amidst the oil spill crisis, and the media having lost interest with the Republican primary settled, Marco Rubio now finds himself in an unusual position (which may be reflected in recent polls): the guy who isn't getting any attention.
• IL-Sen: Well, it took Mark Kirk a couple months to do what Richard Blumenthal took a few days to do, but he finally got around to apologizing today in a press conference for his various "careless" embellishments of his military and teaching records.
• KS-Sen: SurveyUSA (6/24-27, likely voters, 5/21-23 in parens):
SurveyUSA also looks at the Democratic Senate primary (where little-known college professor Lisa Johnston is the surprise leader, at 24, followed by somewhat higher-profile candidates like former newspaper editor Charles Schollenberger at 16 and state Sen. David Haley at 11), and at the Republican gubernatorial primary (where I didn't even know there was a contest anymore, but where Sam Brownback leads Joan Heffington 76-17).
• KY-Sen: With the primary resolved and with Rand Paul having gone into media-related hiding, his fundraising seems to have dwindled accordingly. He held another online moneybomb yesterday, which used to be his bread and butter, but the bomb was more of a dud this time: he banked only $90K by yesterday evening. That's was off from the $400K generated by his largest one last August.
• NJ-Sen: A couple items of good news for Frank Lautenberg: first, he's announced that, after having been treated for lymphoma, his cancer is now in remission. And today, he got Robert Byrd's gavel for the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle, in contrast to Rand Paul, is at least temporarily breaking her media silence tonight... and she's doing it not exactly the friendliest environment either, going on local reporter Jon Ralston's TV show. (Ralston is one of the best left of the dying breed of state-level political reporters; his Twitter feed is highly recommended.) Meanwhile, Nevada Dems are hitting Angle for her decidedly extreme position on abortion (legal under absolutely no circumstances), while the once-thought-ominous Karl Rove 527 American Crossroads is out with a new ad attacking Harry Reid over unemployment.
• WV-Sen: There's quite a long list of potential temporary appointees developing in West Virginia, but ex-Gov. (and current College Board president) Gaston Caperton won't be one of them; he took his name out of the running. In addion to former state party chair Nick Casey and current chair Larry Puccio, other names, all of whom are well-connected with Gov. Joe Manchin, bubbling up today include former Manchin counsel Carte Goodwin, businessman Perry Petropolis, former state Supreme Court justice Richard Neely, and first lady Gayle Manchin.
• AL-Gov: Robert Bentley is touting an internal poll from Dresner Wicker & Associates giving him a substantial lead over Bradley Byrne in the GOP runoff; Bentley leads 46-27, and has 59/9 favorables. Bentley has also pledged no negative ads from his camp, which may be a relief to many Alabamians (and which may have been the secret to Bentley's surprise success in the primary, as he dodged the heavy crossfire between Byrne and Tim James).
• CA-Gov: There's a clear difference in strategy in California's governor's race, with Jerry Brown (who needs to draw Meg Whitman out into the open) agreeing to ten debates and Whitman (who needs to hide behind her ads) agreeing to one. New ads run by Brown surrogates seem to be taking increasing aim at Whitman's tendency to hide behind her large piles of money, too.
• RI-Gov, RI-01, RI-02: The Rhode Island Democratic party issued its endorsements yesterday, and the results weren't good for the party's former state chair (or his brother). Bill Lynch lost the RI-01 endorsement to Providence mayor David Cicilline, while AG Patrick Lynch lost the RI-Gov endorsement to state Treasurer Frank Caprio. In the 2nd, incumbent Jim Langevin got the endorsement over primary challenger state Rep. Betsy Dennigan.
• TX-Gov: The situation with the Texas Greens ballot line isn't quite going away yet. A lower court decided last week to block them from the ballot because their petition drive was illegally funded with an in-kind corporate contribution (with roots tracing back to Rick Perry's former chief of staff). The decision, however, was just appealed to the Texas Supreme Court (which, of course, is Republican-controlled and not averse to the occasionally nakedly political decision).
• ID-01: Here, maybe, is another instance of the Chamber of Commerce realizing that conservative Democrats do a better job of addressing big business's needs for a functioning physical and educational infrastructure than do the group of anarchists who seem to have seized control of the GOP? The US Chamber of Commerce just gave freshman Dem Walt Minnick their endorsement.
• LA-02: Rep. Joe Cao has had to back down on a fundraising letter that strongly implies that the local Catholic diocese and Archbishop Gregory Aymond backed his candidacy. Cao apologized for taking Aymond's praise for him out of context.
• MI-03: Well, at least we now know who to cheer against in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers. The Club for Growth announced yesterday that they're backing state Rep. Justin Amash, meaning that Amash must have impressed the far-right group with his level of disdain for public spending. (JL)
• PA-07: Philly's just a short Amtrak ride from Washington DC, and Joe Biden will be there July 19 to host a combined fundraiser for the DCCC and for the Dem candidate in the 7th, state Rep. Bryan Lentz.
• TX-17: Here's an article that's an interesting reminder of how all politics is, in the end, local, and how it can turn on stuff that's a million miles away from inside-the-Beltway concerns. Politico looks at the race in the 17th, which is very much a Waco/Baylor (Chet Edwards) vs. College Station/Texas A&M (Bill Flores) contest, with the recent (now irrelevant, though) proposal to break apart the Big 12 a key flashpoint.
• WV-01: Old man yells at cloud? Initially, the idea of a legendary West Virginia Democratic politician setting up a PAC with the pure intent of stopping Democratic nominee Mike Oliverio from winning in November sounds like a game-changing impediment. From the backstory, though, it sounds like former SoS Ken Hechler may not have that much oomph behind his vendetta, which seems mostly motivated by Oliverio's 2004 failed primary challenge to him in the SoS primary, where Oliverio's entire argument seemed predicated on the fact that Hechler was 89. (If you do the math, that makes him 95 now. I guess the secret to longevity is to become a Democrat in West Virginia!)
• CA-Init: Don't count on California making the switch to the Washington-style top-two primary just yet, despite the passage of Proposition 14 earlier this month. The major and minor parties are weighing legal challenges to it, and they're watching with interest the latest round of litigation on the matter in Washington. (The US Supreme Court has already upheld a state's authority to switch to a top-two primary, but there's a new suit pending on new grounds.)
• Tonight's Preview: Tonight's something of a small palate-cleanser in between the meaty primaries of last Tuesday and next Tuesday. The main event is WV-01, where there are competitive primaries on both sides of the aisle. Most of the attention is focused on the Democratic side, though, where Rep. Alan Mollohan could be the first House incumbent to get bounced out this cycle. Despite already being rather conservative, he's been challenged from the right by state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who's attacking Mollohan over not fighting hard enough against cap and trade, and for his earmarking. Both camps have released internal polls giving them the lead. On the GOP side, there's a three-way fight between the establishment fave, former state Rep. and state GOP chair David McKinley, former state Sen. Sarah Minear, and businessman Mac Warner. Warner has gotten nailed for tax liens on his businesses, but may benefit from the infighting between the two others. Polls in WV close at 7:30 pm ET.
The special election to replace Nathan Deal in GA-09 is also tonight. With Democrats a non-factor in this R+28 district, but a crowded field of various Republicans, the likeliest outcome is a June 8 runoff between the top two conservative Republicans, most likely former state Rep. Tom Graves (the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks pick) and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins (who seems to generate less enthusiasm on the ground but who has some geographical advantages). TheUnknown285 also points out a handful of other legislative special elections in Georgia today, all of which are very unlikely to change hands; the most interesting may be in SD-42, where Jimmy Carter's grandson may be able to take over a blue seat in Atlanta's suburbs.
Finally, two other things you might watch, if you want to get way down in the weeds: Nebraska is the only other state with regularly scheduled primaries for today, although the only one worth a look is the GOP side in NE-02, where Rep. Lee Terry faces a teabagger with some money, Matt Sakalosky. Terry is likely to win, but the margin will be worth watching, as he's one of the Dems' few offense targets this year. And New Jersey has a host of mayoral elections today. The big name here is Newark's Cory Booker, expected to face no trouble with re-election; an open seat in Trenton may provide some interest, though.
UPDATE: Marcus in comments points out a big miss on my part: the state Senate seat in Massachusetts left vacant by Scott Brown is up for special election tonight, too. (Rather than a boring number, it has a name: "Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex." Still not quite as mellifluous as a lot of the British constituencies that we all got a crash course in last week though... especially "Vale of Glamorgan.") Democratic physician Peter Smulowitz (a netroots fave who won an upset in the primary) faces off against GOP state Rep. Richard Ross. There's also a safe blue seat up tonight that will shortly belong to Dem Sal DiDomenico.
• NH-Sen: It looks like those missing Kelly Ayotte e-mails, which are at the center of the growing questions surrounding the collapse of Financial Resources Mortgage and what the AG's office did (or didn't) do, may be retrievable after all via backup systems. State legislative hearings into the matter are beginning on Friday, so this issue could get bigger in coming weeks.
• NY-Sen, NY-Gov (pdf): Marist has a slew of data out of New York, all of it good for the Dems. Kirsten Gillibrand breaks 50% against all of her GOP contenders, leading Joe DioGuardi 50-30, Bruce Blakeman 52-28, and David Malpass 52-28. DioGuardi leads the GOP primary at 31, to 13 for Blakeman and 12 for Malpass. Chuck Schumer also has little trouble with his one announced opponent, Jay Townsend; he leads 66-27. On the gubernatorial side, Andrew Cuomo wins just as convincingly. He leads Rick Lazio 65-25, Steve Levy 63-25, and Carl Paladino 67-22.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): Today's Muhlenberg tracker sustains the Joe Sestak lead over Arlen Specter, at 47-43. In the gubernatorial race, Anthony Williams seems to be emerging as the closest rival to Dan Onorato; Onorato still has a big edge, though, leading Williams 33-15 with Joe Hoeffel at 10 and Jack Wagner at 9. Word is that Franklin & Marshall will also have a poll out tomorrow giving Sestak the edge. Barack Obama appears in the newest TV ad on Specter's behalf, but it sounds less likely that Obama, always careful about overextending his political capital, will be actually showing up to campaign for Specter. Finally, if you haven't already, it's worth a look at Chris Bowers' analysis of Specter vs. Sestak on general election electability (as you might expect, it boils down to Specter being universally-known and Sestak having the upside).
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett still isn't ruling out a write-in candidacy in November, and will continue to weigh his options. Bob, for what it's worth, everyone here at SSP agrees that a write-in candidacy would be pure awesome.
• WA-Sen: Some more investment sleaze-by-association for Dino Rossi. He was one of the initial investors who established the Eastside Commercial Bank in 2001, a bank that's currently teetering on the edge after the FDIC required it to raise another $3 million in the wake unsound lending practices. He didn't have any managerial control over the bank, but it's one more paper cut for Rossi.
• CT-Gov: Former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy announced his running mate choice today: state Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Rival Ned Lamont chose Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman (Malloy's 2006 running mate) last week.
• OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with a whole new gubernatorial primary poll (the one that got released last week was taken nearly a month ago; I'm not sure what the delay was about). Although the number of undecideds is dropping, the margins between the candidates is staying pretty much the same. For the Dems, John Kitzhaber is leading Bill Bradbury 59-25. On the GOP side, Chris Dudley leads Allen Alley 42-24 (while hopeless third and fourth wheels John Lim and Bill Sizemore are at 8 each). They also threw in Senate primary numbers, finding that Ron Wyden is pulling in 80% against some nobodies on the Dem side while the GOP side is a big question mark. Law professor Jim Huffman (the establishment's choice to be sacrificial lamb) is at 20, while some dude Tom Stutzman isn't that far behind at 13.
• FL-02: Here's a race that wasn't on anyone's competitive list that's suddenly bursting into view. An NRCC internal poll (by the Tarrance Group) that's from mid-April but just got leaked to Chris Cillizza has no-name funeral home director Steve Southerland leading Rep. Allen Boyd, and not just squeaking it out, but up by a 52-37 margin. Boyd has a huge cash edge ($1.5 mil to Southerland's $157K), although he'll need to spend some first fighting a primary challenge against Al Lawson.
• HI-01: With news that the DCCC is pulling out, and polls giving a small but consistent edge to Charles Djou in the f'd-up jungle-style special election, SSP is moving our rating of this race to "Leans Republican" from "Tossup."
• MI-01: Amidst all the hullaballoo over Connie Saltonstall's dropout yesterday (wait, what's the opposite of "hullaballoo?" how about "yawning?"), we missed another detail in the Democratic primary to succeed Bart Stupak: so too did Matt Gillard. That leaves state Rep. Gary McDowell as the only candidate left in the field, on this the last day of Michigan filings. That was easy.
• MN-06: We at SSP love us some taxes, but we're also big fans of a certain something called "optics," and state Senate DFLers created a mammoth screwup that, appearance-wise, really harms Taryl Clark's chances against Michele Bachmann. Clark got stuck holding the Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky bag after she wound up casting the deciding vote in favor of a deficit-closing package that includes an income tax increase, after the vote was held open for her for 20 minutes deadlocked at 33-33. It may be a moot point as Tim Pawlenty has promised to veto, but still... (In her defense, Clark says she was delayed by a phone call with her son's doctor.)
• NJ-03: Jon Runyan is getting accused of a "Rose Garden" strategy of campaigning in the GOP primary, sitting still and trading on his inevitability instead of, y'know, actually going out and debating with conservative opponent Justin Murphy. The John Adler camp is noticing too, and is out with their own "Where's Jon?" video.
• RI-01: There's a third contender in the Democratic primary to take over the 1st from retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy. State Rep. David Segal is getting into the race, joining Providence mayor David Cicilline and former state Dem party chair William Lynch.
• WA-03: You keep hearing from Beltway media that state Rep. Jaime Herrera is the person to beat in the GOP primary for this open seat, but other than ex-Sen. Slade Gorton and her ex-boss, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, I'm hard-pressed to think of any endorsements of consequence for her. David Castillo has lined up most of the local support within the 3rd, and now he got endorsements from a variety of local leaders in the evangelical community, including Joe Fuiten (probably the most prominent Christian right leader in Washington) and ex-Rep. Randy Tate (who briefly led the national Christian Coalition after getting bounced out of office).
• WI-07: Here's another primary in the north woods where the Dems seem to have coalesced and it's all over but the shouting. At the same time as state Sen. Julie Lassa was officially announcing that she'd run to succeed retiring Rep. David Obey, fellow state Sens. Russ Decker and Pat Kreitlow announced they wouldn't run. Perhaps making the difference: Lassa's seat isn't up for re-election this year, so it's a freebie for her, while Decker and Kreitlow's seats are up. With Dems holding an 18-15 margin in the Senate and the GOP on the offensive, it's the safe choice not to open up seats in the Senate too.
• NRSC: Hmmm, speaking of optics, the NRSC is hosting an "intimate" (Hotline's words; I don't know if that's how the NRSC billed it) fundraiser with the under-investigation John Ensign as host. No word yet on whether anyone plans to show up.
• DE-AG: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Beau Biden, who's currently hospitalized today after a minor stroke. The 41-year-old Biden, who passed on a Senate race this year, is expected to fully recover.