• DE-Sen: Here's an amusing look back at the Delaware race, where it turns out that Christine O'Donnell raised $7.3 million over the course of the campaign (a somewhat large improvement on her $63K from her previous Senate bid) and then proceeded to lose by 16 points. O'Donnell apparently had the same problem that I suspected that Sharron Angle did (though we don't have any confirmation on Angle yet)... there weren't any media outlets with available slots to pour all that late-breaking money into.
• MO-Sen: Jim Talent has offered his timeline on publicly deciding whether or not to run for Senate (which has seemed to get less likely over the last few days, if you believe the scuttlebutt). He won't decide until the New Year, and possibly won't announce anything until the state GOP's Lincoln Day festivities in mid-February.
• MT-Sen: PPP offered some GOP Senate primary numbers, although I'm not sure how useful they are given that Marc Racicot, the former Governor and RNC chair, eats up a lion's share despite not having really ever been associated with the race. (Although, who knows... maybe this will suddenly prompt him to get interested.) At any rate, the two guys with name rec, Racicot and Rep. Denny Rehberg, are at 40 and 37, respectively. The two little-known guys who are actually the ones running (so far), Steve Daines and Neil Livingstone, are at 5 and 4.
• RI-Sen: Although John Robitaille seems to be getting all the attention in terms of the GOP's pick to challenge Sheldon Whitehouse, Warwick mayor Scott Avedisian is still stoking the fires of vague interest. Avedisian is a moderate and an ally of newly-elected Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
• WA-Sen: The race against Maria Cantwell seems to already be a casualty write-off for the GOP, seeing as how the state's entire viable GOP bench (aka Rob McKenna) will most likely be running for Governor. The state GOP's usual M.O. in such situations is to turn to some random rich guy as a place-holder (see Mike McGavick, Cantwell's 2006 opponent, or oft-threatened but never-happened candidate John Stanton), but it may turn out that Clint Didier, the tea partier whose GOP primary bid against Dino Rossi didn't go anywhere and who's now interested in trying again, gets left holding the bag this time. Didier, who refused to endorse Rossi and castigated him at every turn, isn't likely to be able to count on much NRSC or even state GOP goodwill this time, though.
• MN-Gov: Nothing like a little post-electoral cat fud, even if it means exiling pretty much your entire pantheon of elder statesmen. The state GOP just excommunicated more than a dozen key moderate Republicans who had jumped ship to support Independence Party candidate Tom Horner in view of Tom Emmer's extremism. These aren't just run-of-the-mill PCO-types, either: the list includes an ex-Senator (David Durenberger) and two ex-Govs (Arne Carlson and Al Quie). And if you're wondering how Emmer is faring in the court of public opinion amidst the recount non-drama, PPP's out with a snap poll: by a 68-22 margin, voters think it's time for Emmer to give up (which matches the 68-21 margin of people who think that Mark Dayton was the election's rightful winner).
• OH-17: Wondering who the third-party candidate who fared the best was, in this year's House races? It was none other than ex-con ex-Rep. Jim Traficant, who picked up 16.1% of the vote against Tim Ryan, the best showing of any indie with both Dem and GOP opponents (and he did it without spending a penny). He fared better than Randy Wilkinson in FL-12, who ran a more credible campaign and was widely viewed as a potential spoiler. In fact, Wilkinson finished 3rd at 10.7%; some random conservative, Dan Hill, got 12% in NE-03 by running to Adrian Smith's right, although that was a race that Dems barely contested. What about MI-01's Glenn Wilson, who made waves for approximately one day with his pledge to spend $2 million of his own money (although it's dubious if he spent more than a fraction of that)? He barely registered, at 7%.
• WV-01: Here's an unexpected comeback, and probably one that's not a good idea. Alan Mollohan, who couldn't survive a Dem primary and most likely wouldn't have won the general even if he'd gotten over the first hurdle, is publicly expressing his interest in running in 2012 for his old seat. He's opened an FEC account for '12 and has been reaching out behind the scenes.
• NY-St. Sen.: This is basically a Hail Mary at this point, but when it's the chance to tie the state Senate, it's a chance you take. Craig Johnson officially filed an appeal yesterday of the judge's ruling certifying Jack Martins as winner in SD-7 (giving the GOP a 32-30 edge there). He's asking for a hand count, to see if any votes were missed in the state's switch this year to electronic voting machines. Given the recent abject fail in finding all the votes cast in Queens, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
• Redistricting: The Fix has another installment in its ongoing redistricting previews, this time focusing on Georgia. The GOP-controlled state legislature should have little trouble adding a GOP-friendly 14th seat in Atlanta's northern tier of exurbs, where most of the state's growth has occurred. The real question will be whether they can do anything to turf out either of the two remaining Dems in slightly lean-Dem districts in south Georgia, Sanford Bishop or John Barrow? Although neither of their seats are truly minority-majority, the VRA might be implicated if their seats get messed with too much. Bishop's GA-02 is likely to be shored up in order to make freshman Austin Scott safer in the 8th. Barrow seems like an easier target, but to do so would not only risk VRA litigation but also make Jack Kingston's 1st less safe, meaning incumbent protection might be the result.
• Demographics: There was a massive dump of U.S. Census data yesterday, although none of it is the actual hard count from 2010 (which is due by the end of the month, including state populations for reapportionment purposes). Instead, this is the Demographic Analysis (used to estimate undercounts in the actual count, although there won't be any adjustments made to the counts for redistricting purposes in this cycle). The big number was the total population estimate, ranging from 306 million to 313 million, with a midrange estimate of 308.5 million (which would put the average House district, for redistricting, at 709K). Also worth noting: Hispanics accounted for essentially the nation's growth in youth population in the last decade, and Hispanics have grown from 17% of the nation's under-20 population in 2000 to 22% now; without Hispanics, the number of young people would have actually gone down since 2000.
The lone spot of good news in all this for Dino Rossi? Now he won't have all those Senatorial duties cluttering up his planning activities for his 2012 gubernatorial run.
Sen. Patty Murray pulled further ahead this afternoon , taking 68 percent of the nearly 70,000 votes counted in King County on Thursday.
The King County boost widened Murray's statewide lead to more than two percentage points -- nearly 50,000 votes -- over Republican Dino Rossi statewide even as Rossi-leaning counties began to report new totals. The biggest Rossi counties, Spokane and Clark, both reported results today but his gains there were swamped by King County.
Also worth noting: Rick Larsen in WA-02 seems to be moving into healthier shape against John Koster. He's now up more than 1,400 according to the SoS, suggesting that Dem-friendly precincts are late to report in the 2nd too.
AK-Sen: Right now, write-ins account for 41% of the vote in Alaska, while Joe Miller has 34% and Scott McAdams 24%. State election officials have bumped up the start of the write-in count to Nov. 10th (from Nov. 18th). Murkowski is one of 160 declared write-in candidates, but obviously quite a few write-ins ballots would have to be spoiled, or for other candidates, for her to lose.
WA-Sen: Patty Murray's lead widened to 1.6% as votes were counted in the populous Democratic stronghold of King County. The trends look poor for Dino Rossi, who took 40% here in 2004 (when he almost tied Christine Gregoire in the gubernatorial race), but is now at 37% this year.
CT-Gov: Yikes - the AP withdrew its call for Dem Dan Malloy. This one could get seriously topsy-turvy. Whatever the hell is going on here might also impact Jim Himes (vs. Dan Debicella) in CT-04. Not good.
MN-Gov: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Mark Dayton holds an 8,854-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer, within the half-percent margin which would prompt an automatic recount. No recount can start until after Nov. 23rd, when the vote is certified. Note that Norm Coleman's election-day lead was just 725 votes in 2008. So even though GOP lawyers are already laying in a supply of amphetamines, it's possible the Republicans will abandon what looks like a futile effort.
IL-Gov: Man, did anyone dig a mangier rabbit out of a shabbier hat than Pat Quinn? After a day of counting more votes in Cook County (Chicago), Quinn's lead has expanded to 19,000 votes, and Republicans are getting ready to throw in the towel on behalf of Bill Brady. Pretty amazing, for a guy who seemed DOA just a couple of months ago.
OR-Gov: As we noted yesterday, various media sources have called the race for Dem John Kitzhaber over Chris Dudley.
AZ-07: As we noted yesterday, Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva has declared victory over Ruth McClung, with a 3% lead. A Grijalva spokesman said that the remaining ballots are in Pima County, which favors Dems.
AZ-08: Dem Rep. Gabby Giffords leads by 2,349 votes over Jesse Kelly, but again, Pima - they have some 47,000 votes still outstanding. Pima was one of only four counties to go for Kerry - and for Obama, too.
CA-11: With an unclear number of votes left to be counted, Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney has inched into a 121-vote lead over David Harmer. It'll take four weeks for the vote to get certified, at which point the loser can seek a recount (at his own expense).
CA-20: Dem Rep. Jim Costa trails Andy Vidak by almost 2,000 votes, but there may be something like 30,000 uncounted ballots from Fresno County, which Costa won on e-night by a 2-to-1 margin. So maybe we'll get lucky here.
IL-08: With 100% of the vote in, Dem Rep. Melissa Bean is trailing in a shocker to Jim Walsh by 553 votes. She isn't conceding yet, though.
KY-06: With 100% of votes counted, Dem Rep. Ben Chandler has a 619 vote lead over Andy Barr. Barr has until next Tuesday to request a "recanvass," which would be completed by Nov. 12th. Barr could then ask for a formal recount, but he'd have to foot the bill.
NY-25: Really barfy: As we noted yesterday, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has moved into the lead, after late results from Wayne County came in. She's now up by 659 votes. Some 8,300 absentee ballots have been returned so far (out of 11,600 requested), though more are trickling in. Maffei would have to pull in something like 54% or so out of the absentees to pull this one out.
TX-27: It's looking pretty bad for Dem Rep. Solomon Oritz, who trails Blake Farenthold by 799 votes with 100% in. Farenthold has declared victory, but Ortiz claims his legal team is conducting a review and that he may seek a recount - which he would have to pay for (unless it changes the final results). And check out how far the apple has fallen from the tree:
Farenthold is grandson of Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, a Democrat who served two terms in the state House and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1972. That same year, she finished second in balloting to become George McGovern's vice presidential candidate at the Democratic convention.
VA-11: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly leads Keith Fimian 111,621 to 110,696. The vote will get certified on Nov. 22nd, at which time Fimian can seek a recount if the margin remains less than half a percent (recounts are not automatic).
WA-02, WA-09: As we noted yesterday, a number of media outlets have called the 9th CD race for Dem Rep. Adam Smith over Dick Muri. Meanwhile, Rick Larsen has taken his first lead over John Koster, albeit a narrow one (30% of votes remain to be counted).
Two new polls out today both show tightening, of either two or three points in the last two weeks, in the Washington Senate race. This race has become increasingly pivotal in the last few weeks as well... quite literally, in that Nate Silver calls it the Senate's entire pivot point for control -- where, in the simulations he runs where the GOP gets a 10-seat pickup, Washington is most frequently the last race across the line. (Of course, it's worth considering that as West Virginia seems to be getting better for Joe Manchin, there are increasing chances that Dems could lose Washington and keep the majority regardless of the Washington outcome, which is why overall odds of keeping the Senate are still hovering near 90%.)
What the closing of the gap means is quite debatable, though, depending on what method you use. For the Univ. of Washington, it's still a Murray victory, as she's already over 50 (at a point when, presumably, most people have sent in their ballots); her 8-point lead is down to 6. (They also find the reverse-enthusiasm-gap that seems unique in Washington, finding only a 4-pt edge among RVs.)
For SurveyUSA, it drops her into a tie, though. There are a couple odd things with the SurveyUSA poll, though; first, it's strange that undecideds would shoot up in the closing stages of the race, particularly since the state SoS office reports that a majority of ballots have been sent in. Maybe those who haven't sent ballots yet are still trying to decide; it's hard to gauge, SUSA doesn't include the vote breakdown among people who have already voted, which is an odd choice since they've done that in some other races, and it's even more relevant in the (almost) all-mail-in Washington. Also (h/t to Taniel for pointing this out), there's a steep dropoff in the Dem/GOP makeup of this sample from the last sample from two weeks ago: 33D-29R today, versus 36D-27R before. There's no party registration in Washington so this is just self-identification, but it's an abrupt switch.
One other consideration is the cellphone user gap, which has seemed particularly pronounced in Washington of all states (as seen by the wide split between live-calling Elway, UW, and CNN/Time, vs. auto-dialing SurveyUSA, Rasmussen, and PPP). I'm not a fan of mindlessly applying corrective formulas to poll data, but Nate's most recent post on the "house effects" generated by the different categories of pollsters may be instructive here: all robocallers have an R+2.0 lean, while live polls have a D+0.7 lean (although that may have to do simply with the sheer weight on the R-side of the spectrum brought by Rasmussen's massive volume of polling). In particular, SUSA has the most pronounced house effect this year, of R+4.0, even more than Rasmussen at R+2.1.
One major caveat, though: SurveyUSA used a live-caller overlay on this particular poll, and find that while the cellphone users they reached did tend to lean Democratic, it doesn't matter much for the final totals. They'd done this once before on a Washington poll over summer, and come to much the same conclusion. That seemed odd at the time and still does, as it would tend to contrast with recent Pew research that showed a 5-point difference between cellphone-inclusive and non-cellphone samples in the generic ballot. With that in mind, I'll leave it to you just how much special sauce you want to add to make sense of the results... or you can just average them out to 3, which is pretty close to where Murray's leaked internals (+4) from a few days ago put the race.
• AK-Sen: As is often the case, Alaska dominates our headlines today. Perhaps biggest in its implications is a hot-off-the-grill ruling from a judge that says that the state can't provide a list of possible write-in candidates for people in the voting booth. Obviously, that hurts the cumbersome-named Lisa MukroskyMorkoskiGibr Murkowski. Also, in the good news (well, maybe not, considering how far her star has fallen in-state) column for Joe Miller: Sarah Palin will be returning to the Last Frontier to stump for him tomorrow.
On the bad news front for Miller, though, first, he had to shout "I LIE!" yet again. That's a confession from his own work e-mails, over his now-well-known reprimand for hijacking (and covering up his tracks) of co-workers' computers to rig a local Republican online straw poll. That's at the core of his Fairbanks personnel files, released last evening after he declined to appeal their release to the state supreme court. On top of that, now the Army is investigating his use of its soldiers from Fort Richardson to act as his personal paramilitary force during their off-hours; in addition to rules prohibiting active military members from involvement in political campaigns, it's unclear whether they had their commander's permission to seek outside employment.
• CA-Sen: Here's some good news; Carly Fiorina bounced back quickly from her hospitalization yesterday for an infection associated with her breast cancer recovery, and left the hospital today. She'll be back on the trail tomorrow, says her campaign.
• CO-Sen: Would you believe this is the biggest-money Senate race anywhere in the country? It is, if you go by outside group expenditures. 27 different IE groups have spent nearly $25 million in Colorado, with the NRSC leading the way. (Nevada will still probably wind up the most expensive overall, factoring in the candidates' own accounts.) Meanwhile Ken Buck is in the news for two other reasons, first, his questioning of the separation of the church and state... handled more elegantly than Christine O'Donnell's palm-to-forehead method, but still probably a liability as he seeks to downplay his extremism. And also, he's now agnostic on whether he'll support Mitch McConnell for GOP leader (Buck, of course, owes Jim DeMint big-time for getting him as far as he's gotten).
• WV-Sen: Wow, this stuff literally writes itself. John Raese, under fire from Joe Manchin and the DSCC for his Florida mansion (and, for all practical purposes, residency), is now going to have to put some spin on this. The current item on the agenda for the Palm Beach planning commission: approval for Raese to replace a six-by-eight-foot "giant dollhouse" on his property with a fourteen-by-fifteen-foot "glass conservatory," perfect for those real-life Clue re-enactments. I know that's a problem that most West Virginians grapple with on a day-to-day basis.
• AZ-Gov: Now here's an October Surprise that's pushing the envelope (close to a November Surprise). Old documents reveal that Jan Brewer, a state Senator at the time, was involved in a 1988 auto accident where she was suspected at the time of driving under the influence. While she was immune from arrest at the time because the legislature was in session, it's not clear why the case wasn't pursued after that.
• MS-04: This might provide a small boost (dozens of votes?) to Gene Taylor: the Republican who lost the primary to state Rep. Steven Palazzo threw his backing to Taylor. Joe Tegerdine, interestingly, was the Tea Party candidate in the GOP race (with Palazzo the establishment pick), and finished with 43% of the vote; Tegerdine seemed to frame his decision very much in terms of pissing off the Republican establishment, in fact.
• Dark Money: If you look at only one link today, it should be this one, where a picture is worth way more than 1,000 words. It shows the octopus tentacles linking all the various shadowy outside groups that have poured in hundreds of millions of undisclosed dollars, and how they all kind of link back to Republican leadership. It's almost worthy of Glenn Beck's blackboard (well, if it had Woodrow Wilson and Diego Rivera on there somewhere).
• DNC: To quote Don Brodka, "if I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd be at home with a pack of cigarettes and short length of hose." Nevertheless, the DNC is out with a memo today showing in various ways how the Republican wave hasn't materialized, at least not in the form of early voting patterns so far, that's worth a look-see (especially the graphs).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC has two spots in Colorado, both with citizens reciting the litany of why they can't vote for Ken Buck • IL-Sen: The DSCC links Mark Kirk to George W. Bush, while Alexi Giannoulias trots out the Obamas in his own ad
• MO-Sen: I seriously can't summon up anything interesting to say about the last ads from Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan; it's been that sort of race
• NV-Sen: The DSCC finishes in Nevada by pointing out how Sharron Angle consistently brings teh crazy
• PA-Sen: The DSCC hits Pat Toomey on outsourcing yet again, while Pat Toomey goes blandly autobiographical for his closing spot
• WA-Sen: The DSCC's parting shot is to hit Dino Rossi over his web of connections to unsavory real estate and lending partners
• WI-Sen: Both candidates close by ragging on each other; Ron Johnson hits Russ Feingold for only being fake "mavericky," while Feingold asks why Johnson is being so vague and cagey about his agenda
• WV-Sen: The DSCC's newest ad hits John Raese on the Florida residency issue yet again
• ND-AL: This may be the most interesting ad of the day: Earl Pomeroy faces the camera and says "I'm not Nancy Pelosi, and I'm not Barack Obama" (yeah, that's pretty evident by looking at you); he pivots off people's anger to say they'll be even angrier, though, if Republicans go against the farm bill, Social Security, and so on
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's last ad beats the 'change' drum, and focuses on the Seattle Times endorsement again
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 42%, Mark Kirk (R) 46%, LeAlan Jones (G) 5%
• MD-Sen: Barb Mikulski (D-inc) 56%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 35%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 46%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 52%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 49%, John Raese (R) 46%
(ooops, time for Scotty to get in line with everyone else on this one!)
• CA-Sen: Best wishes to Carly Fiorina, who's temporarily off the campaign trail and in the hospital after an infection associated with reconstructive surgery that she had over the summer after recovering from breast cancer. She's says she'll be back in action soon.
• CO-Sen: The Democrats in Colorado have filed an FEC complaint with Ken Buck, alleging illegal coordination. The coordination was between Buck and Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund (which has spent $370K here so far). This doesn't look likely to get addressed before Election Day, though.
• KY-Sen: Rand Paul eventually got around, today, to cutting ties with and condemning a volunteer involved in assaulting a MoveOn activist before last night's debate, outside the venue. An activist trying to give a fake award to Paul was shoved to the ground and kicked/trampled.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle has always been the prime example of the GOP's apparent strategy for its more troublesome candidates (which is to have them hide from the media), but this is a little extreme: all manner of sleight-of-hand was used at a Reno appearance to keep her away from about 40 reporters who were looking for her, to the extent of using a decoy to get into her official vehicle while she left through a side door. Also, here's an interesting catch, especially since Angle supposedly has a lot of cash these days: her latest filing has nothing about salaries for her staff. Oversight, or is there more of a burn rate problem than we'd been led to believe?
• WA-Sen: This CQ article is your generic this-race-is-tight-and-important piece, but it has a few interesting tidbits buried in it: one, Patty Murray's internals have her up "around 4," although that's all we get to find out. And two, this election is already effectively more-than-half over: the state SoS's office says that 50% of all voters have submitted their ballots, on track for turnout of at least 66%, which would be third-highest non-presidential turnout ever in the state. (I assume you all know which party tends to do better in higher-turnout models.) Finally, Dino Rossi's doing a little hiding from the media himself: on a conference call with reporters, Rossi actually refused to say where he was calling from, just that he was "traveling all over right now." (Maybe we should be looking for the guy in the red and white striped shirt?)
• VT-Gov: Biden alert! Here's one election where every single vote will count (seeing as how it has fewer constituents than most House districts), and the veep is trying to roust out some votes with a Burlington appearance with Dem nominee Peter Shumlin the day before the election.
• CA-47: This was a weird election even before this, with stark racial overtones, and now it's even weirder: an independent candidate, Cecilia Iglesias, is making her presence known with a TV ad buy (although just on local cable on Univision). Who will this hurt? The GOP says it'll hurt Loretta Sanchez, because it splits the Latino vote. The Dems say it'll hurt Van Tran, since Iglesias is a "known Republican."
• CT-05: Hmm, here's a novel strategy for dealing with ads from third party groups that contain blatant lies: push back against them, and TV stations just may stop running them. That's what happened in Connecticut, where the American Action Network's ads against Chris Murphy got taken down, by Fox-CT (on cable) no less. (The ad is part of the series saying that you can go to jail for not having health insurance.)
• VA-05: This is big all around: that the President is stumping on behalf of a House candidate (albeit one within a helicopter ride away from DC), and that said House candidate in a red district is welcoming him. In case you didn't guess, it's Tom Perriello, who'll be rallying UVA students with the Prez in Charlottesville.
• American Crossroads: Here's part of the Crossroads road map for the last week: at a cost of $3 million altogether, they're moving into NC-11, NY-20, and GA-02, as well as continuing their presence in HI-01 and NY-22. They're also launching ads in CA-20, IN-02, MO-03, ND-AL, TN-04, OH-16, and TX-23.
• SSP TV:
• KY-Sen: The NRSC and Rand Paul both turn the tables on Jack Conway, saying he wants to talk about Paul's checkered past (i.e. Aqua Buddha) to avoid talking about Obama
• NV-Sen: The NRSC is out with a rather incoherent ad about how Harry Reid fancies himself a superhero, while Sharron Angle's out with another border-themed ad with menacing shadowy men who, of course, aren't actually Latino
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's closing argument cites his independence
• WV-Sen: Thank God for trackers... Joe Manchin's camp strings together John Raese's greatest hits at various appearances to demonstrate his "crazy" ideas
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown wins the jujitsu black belt for his closing ad (if not the overall Zen master award for his whole campaign): unlike the very busy Manchin ad, he only needs one quote from Meg Whitman to make his own case for himself... she says she came to California 30 years ago because it back then it was a land of opportunity and it worked (uh, Meg? who was governor of California 30 years ago?)
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal's closing ad says Roy Barnes is too ambitious, and Deal is just a humble public servant
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad says 10 years is too long, playing the dread "career politician" card on Rick Perry
• MA-10: The DCCC's new ad in the 10th goes after Jeff Perry's controversial police sergeant tenure, in case anyone there was unaware of it
• OH-18: Zack Space goes after Bob Gibbs on outsourcing and immigration
• VA-05: The Sierra Club's out with an ad bolstering Tom Perriello
• CA-Init: I'm not sure I thought I'd live to see the day where there ads running in favor of the legalization of marijuana, but apparently the Yes on 19 campaign was able to scrape together enough stems and seeds for a TV buy
• Rasmussen Classic:
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 46%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 49%, John Monds (L) 5%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 42%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 58 21%, Jim DeMint (R-inc) 21 58%, Some other 15%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 53%
• New Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39%, Bill Brady (R) 44%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 43%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 43%, Rand Paul (R) 50%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 47%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• KY-Sen: The Beltway chattering class seems to have either moved on from "Aqua Buddha," or taken it as a given that it just backfired on Jack Conway. Josh Green at the Atlantic does some actual, y'know, reporting on what's happening on the ground, though, and finds that the ad (and its rebuttal), and their aftermath, are still completely driving the conversation in Kentucky. Local GOP pols still seem to think that Rand Paul will squeak by in the end, but it's thrown him deeply off message and the refusal to debate again doesn't look good on him. (UPDATE: Actually, Greg Sargent just reported that the Conway camp is taking down the Aqua Buddha ad. To clarify "taking down," though, this was a planned move, as it reached the end of its original run, to be replaced by this sales tax ad.)
• PA-Sen: Barack Obama will be making a four-state swing through the east coast and midwest over the weekend prior to the election; one of the stopping spots will be Philadelphia, where he'll be doing a canvassing event. He'll also be doing rallies in Chicago, Cleveland, and Bridgeport, Connecticut (indicating they're still leaving nothing to chance with Richard Blumenthal).
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman breaking self-funding records has become something of a dog-bites-man story around here, but one more for old times sake: she spent $23 million in the first half of October, bringing her all-cycle total to $163 million. Jerry Brown, by contrast, spent $14.6 million in that period, bringing his all-cycle spending to $25 million.
• CO-Gov: I doubt this is much of a game-changer, but it may help flip a few more Colorado Springs area votes in Tom Tancredo's direction (if there were any Dan Maes supporters left there). Rep. Doug Lamborn became perhaps the most prominent elected Republican in Colorado to publicly come out in support of Tancredo, rather than Maes.
• MN-Gov: The RGA must be seeing something the polls aren't telling them, because they're still fighting till the end in Minnesota. (Of course, if one committee has money to throw at unlikely races and see what sticks, it's the RGA.) They just gave $1 million to third party group Minnesota Future to run more anti-Mark Dayton (and probably anti-Tom Horner) ads. (You may remember Minnesota Future from the whole Target contribution controversy. Interestingly, Hubbard Broadcasting, owner of local TV station KSTP, also was just identified as having given $25K to Minnesota Future. Y'know, because they're part of that liberal lamestream media.)
• FL-24: And here I'd thought we'd dodged something of a bullet when Karen Diebel got sent packing to spent more time guarding her swimming pool. Sandy Adams, who seems likely to be the next Representative for the Space Coast, has come out in favor of the "biblical teachings" rather than the theory of evolution. I look forward to hearing her proposals for a faith-based space program next.
• ID-01: The Tea Party Express finally endorsed Raul Labrador in the 1st. However, that comes only after they tried to endorse Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick as their token Dem fig-leaf and he rejected the endorsement (over racist statements by one of their, at the time, key members).
• Early voting: Ohio Democrats are pointing to an edge in early voting, where they're leading 44 percent to 34 percent for Republicans in votes cast so far. The Republicans are claiming the edge after three days of early voting in Florida, with a 148,000 vote edge, although Dems pointed out that was about where the numbers were in the 2006 election.
• Redistricting: Here's a good counterpoint to several articles that have shrugged off the possible large Republican advantage on the redistricting front coming out of this election, one that actually looks at the actual number of House seats that are likely to be influenced. Extrapolating likely control of state governorships and legislatures, the GOP will have "untrammeled" control over 125 House seats while Dems will control only 62, a worse outcome than 1990 or 2000. (43 are in commission-based states or at-large states, with 205 drawn by divided governments.)
• Chamber of Commerce: This article was been making the rounds, but it's a must-read if you haven't already done so and you're interested in the "dark money" that's swamping the transparent money, this cycle more than ever. The NYT digs into what corporations are using the national Chamber of Commerce as a pass-through for their contributions, including Prudential, Dow Chemical, and Dutch insurer Aegon.
• SSP TV:
• AZ-Sen: This looks like John McCain's last ad, as it's a soft-focus closing argument type of spot
• CO-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters hits Ken Buck on environmental issues
• DE-Sen: Here's the first Chris Coons ad to take on Christine O'Donnell directly, saying she lives in the "Twilight Zone"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid rolls out endorsements from various local business leaders in his newest ad
• WA-Sen: Waiting until the end to go after Dino Rossi for his anti-abortion stance seems to be tradition now, in order to swing any last-minute moderate women who haven't decided, and the DSCC piles on
• HI-Gov: Barack Obama, fresh off his Colleen Hanabusa spot, also cuts an ad touting Neil Abercrombie
• RI-Gov: The DGA keeps pounding on Lincoln Chafee over the tax hikes he'd like (I've also heard the RGA is buying an ad here on behalf of John Robitaille, though I haven't seen a link)
• WV-03: Ewwww... Spike Maynard plays the terrorist card against Arab-American Rep. Nick Rahall
• MoveOn: MoveOn seems to have saved their powder for one huge blast at the end, running ads in eight Senate races and 20 House races (here's their WI-08 ad), helping only Dems who voted in favor of HCR
• Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is out with ads boosting Democratic incumbents in FL-22, MI-07, and AZ-08 • 60+ Assoc.: The AARP's evil doppelganger is running two spots, a two-fer in Arizona hitting both Raul Grijalva and Gabby Giffords, and... here's a new one... Solomon Ortiz in TX-27
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 44%, Tom Emmer (R) 41%, Tom Horner (I) 10%
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 51%, Carl Paladino (R) 37%
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D-inc) 59%, Jay Townsend (R) 31%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 44%, Kristi Noem (R) 49%
Scott McAdams (D): 23 (22)
Joe Miller (R): 37 (38)
Lisa Murkowski (I): (37) 36
Undecided: 2 (2)
Look at this crap question wording:
If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Scott McAdams, the Democrat and Joe Miller, the Republican, who would you be more likely to vote for or would you write in the name of Lisa Murkowski, who is also running?
• AK-Sen: I thought Joe Miller (last seen praising the COMMUNISTS!!1! in East Germany for their wall-building skills) wasn't going to talk about his personal life anymore (i.e. personal stuff like his on-the-job politicking while working for the borough of Fairbanks)? Well, now he is, and he's openly admitted on CNN that he was disciplined by the borough for an ethical violation. "John, I'll admit I'm a man of many flaws," he said. Apparently one of those flaws was using his various co-workers' computers while they were away for lunch to rig an online poll intended to displace Randy Ruedrich as state GOP chair, then wiping out their caches to cover his tracks, then getting caught when the wiped caches were discovered. Miller said he was reprimanded and docked pay as a result. However he maintains the incident had nothing to do with his departure from the office a year and a half later (which others maintain was imminently before he was about to be fired). So... a guy is possibly about to go from not being able to hack it as a contract attorney for a city of about 25,000, to a Senator, in the space of about a year? Geez, only in America.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's no slouch either on the self-funding front: she loaned herself $20 million last quarter, bringing her all-cycle total to $41.5 million. (No word, of course, on how much of that $20 million actually has been or will be spent.) Meg Whitman was heard sniffing disdainfully and saying McMahon should call once she reaches the eight digits.
• DE-Sen: Sometimes, it's best to keep your mouth shut and let everyone assume you're a fool, rather than open your mouth and categorically prove it. The highlight of last night's debate:
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion....
"The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish religion," Coons said.
"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell interrupted. "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
• KY-Sen: With Aqua Buddha suddenly back dominating coverage of this race, no one's really stopped to ask Aqua Buddha lady what she thinks of all this. She thinks that Jack Conway's ad's tone is over-the-top, but agrees with the fundamentals, that it's an accurate reflection of Rand Paul's past views and that he should acknowledge that he's just changed his religious views since then (instead of playing the victim).
• MA-Sen: Wait, the 2010 election hasn't happened yet? Still not too early to talk about 2012. Rep. Mike Capuano, runner-up in the Dem primary in the special election and considered the likeliest opponent against Scott Brown in two years, is openly "mulling" the race, although his official line is "Talk to me in December."
• NV-Sen: We finally have some confirmation on what we'd suspected, regarding Sharron Angle's burn rate, thanks to Salon's crack team. She may have raised $14 million, but she also spent $5.3 million on direct mail expenses last quarter in order to get that money. $920K of that went to BaseConnect and its affiliates, with $1.5 million to somebody called Patton-Kiehl, who seemed responsible for the actual printing and postage. Another $4 million went to TV ads, leaving her with the $4 million CoH she reported.
• MD-Gov: This one looks closer and closer to being wrapped up in favor of Martin O'Malley. On top of today's Gonzales poll, there's also news that the RGA is scaling things back in Maryland, planning to spend less than $200K for Bob Ehrlich in the final two weeks. O'Malley may also benefit from an across-the-aisle endorsement (although it's from a figure who's committed his fair share of apostasies): ex-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest gave him his backing today.
• MN-Gov: Here's one more across-the-aisle endorsement (the only kind we'd bother reporting on, at this stage in the game). Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate in Minnesota, got an endorsement from Mike Ciresi, a wealthy attorney who you might remember from losing the 2000 DFL Senate primary to Mark Dayton (wonder if there are any hard feelings there?) and ran again for Senate in 2008 but dropped out pre-convention. That may make things a smidge harder for Dayton, who needs Horner to draw votes mostly from the R column.
• AL-02: This has to be one of the weirdest IEs of the cycle: Blue America is spending in AL-02 of all places, and they're spending $48K against Bobby Bright. I guess they hate Blue Dogs just that much.
• FL-22: You know, if you're fighting allegations that you have links to the outlaw biker gang conveniently known as the Outlaws, probably the best way to do that is by not having bikers providing security at your rallies. Well, that's what happened at an Allen West appearance, where bikers physically drove off a Ron Klein tracker. Video is available at the link. (At least "Sympathy for the Devil" wasn't playing in the background.)
• NC-07: Here's some interesting scuttlebutt out of the 7th, where Mike McIntyre is joining the I-won't-vote-for-Pelosi brigade but where he's also saying that he's heard that she won't be running for Speaker again. (That would, of course, presume having a majority; no word on whether he's heard if she plans on running for minority leader.) Relatedly, even Mike McMahon, who's looking like a good bet to survive his red-leaning district this year, is now sounding noncommittal but at least Pelosi-skeptical.
• OR-04: Wondering who the mysterious Concerned Taxpayers of America are, who've trained most of their advertising firepower on Peter DeFazio, turning this into at least a mildly competitive race? Well, it turns out there's a grand total of two of them, each of whom has ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of them, Robert Mercer, appears to be the one with the beef against DeFazio, probably because he's a hedge fund manager and takes issue with DeFazio's leadership on taxing major hedge-fund transactions.
• VA-05: I guess demanding the moon and the sun when you make your initial offer in a negotiating session is a good strategy, but independent teabagger Jeffrey Clark may have taken that ridiculously far in his attempts to negotiate a dropout from the race and an endorsement for GOP candidate Robert Hurt. Clark offered to drop out if he got the chance to debate Hurt one-on-one, and then if subsequent polling didn't have him at 25% of the vote! Hurt has refused to appear any at any debates where Clark is included, and doesn't seem any likelier to do so now.
• WA-08: I know it's fashionable to paint Dave Reichert as not being one of the sharpest tools in the shed, but it's hard not to do so when he gives you so much material: at a forum with opponent Suzan DelBene, confessed in response to a question that he wasn't familiar with the Glass-Steagall Act. (The resurrection of Glass-Steagall was one of the main things being debated as part of the financial reform package passed this year.)
• DCCC: Here's some activity from the D-Trip that doesn't bode well: they've started going on the air in NC-11 for Heath Shuler, previously thought safe based on most of the polling we've seen so far but has been in the crosshairs of a lot of third-party advertising from folks like Americans for Job Security. (NWOTSOTB.) They're also increasing their buys in the coming weeks in neighboring districts SC-05 (John Spratt) and NC-07 (Mike McIntyre). Also, file this under a sorta-kinda triage decision: the DCCC is cutting off ads in NM-02, on behalf of Harry Teague. Chris Van Hollen says they're leaving Teague in "great position," which (shades of Steve Kagen here) is probably code for "he's personally wealthy" and it's time for him to buy his own bandaids.
• Polltopia: PPP is letting you choose an unprecedented six states to poll in, as part of their final round of polling. They must be renting some extra robots, because they're planning to poll 18 different states the week before the election, although 12 states (basically, the most obvious ones) are already locked in. Go vote!
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: EMILY's List is out with a TV spot featuring an opera guy singing a ditty about Carly Fiorina (and her time as Hewlett-Packard CEO)
• NV-Sen: Both the DSCC and NRSC are out with ads; the DSCC says that while you're angry, don't take it out by voting for Sharron Angle, while the GOP says Harry Reid lives in a fancy hotel and parties with supermodels
• WA-Sen: One of the Dems' few big-money behind-the-scenes groups, Commonsense Ten, looks at Dino Rossi's cozy connections
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's new ad just flat out says "John Raese uses people"
• CA-Gov: Too bad this is only a Jerry Brown web ad, because it's one of the most effective ones we've seen this cycle: it ties Meg Whitman to unpopular Arnold Schwarzenegger, matching them quote for quote (UPDATE: Good news, everybody! The ad is going to be running on television, despite its one-minute length! It's that good.)
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad hits Rick Perry on his rental mansion
• SC-02: Joe "Yewwwwww Laaaaaah!" Wilson talks about dodging mortar fire in his newest ad (mortar fire that apparently landed on the other end of the airport while on what Rob Miller has been calling a Congressional junket, but that's OK)
• TX-17: Here's a sign that Chet Edwards has done something to show that he's stemmed the bleeding (or at least that he called in some serious favors), as the DCCC's back on the air here with an effective ad about bailout funds for Bill Flores' oil company
• Original recipe Rasmussen:
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 42%, Rand Paul (R) 47%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 34%, Rick Snyder (R) 54%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 37%, Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
• Extra crispy Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 43%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 40 45%, Dan Maes (R) 10%, Tom Tancredo (C) 45 40%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 46%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 45%, John Raese (R) 48%
• IL-Sen: Serial exaggerator Mark Kirk has a new one on his hands: he was previously claiming that he was the driving force behind a bill that cracked down on companies that do business with Iran (but that got turned into a Howard Berman bill so it could pass the Democratic House, says Kirk). Berman says that's not the case at all, and that his committee didn't even consider the Kirk version of the bill.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle had possibly the weirdest ever visit to a group of Latino high school students, first telling them that those weren't supposed to be Latinos in her ad featuring scary-looking dark-skinned persons crossing the border. Maybe those are actually Arabs, and maybe they're crossing the Canadian border, she mused? She then turned the tables back on the students, saying that "I don't know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me." Asian like... Middle Eastern terrorists, maybe? With Sharron Angle speaking, who even knows?
• IL-Gov: Whitey no more? Green Party candidate "Rich Whitey" will apparently get ballots in select Chicago wards changed back to his actual (and preferred) name, Rich Whitney. Apparently there was enough time to reprogram all the machines if crews work overtime.
• SC-Gov: I'm not sure whose side to take here: on the one hand, it's good to see the DNC putting money into the late-breaking South Carolina governor's race, where internals see it as a mid-single-digits race and a real opportunity now. On the other hand, South Carolina Dems just sound pissed, saying the $100K expenditure is too little too late (which is probably true).
• CA-03: Here's an eye-catching independent expenditure: American Crossroads (aka Rove, Inc.) is pouring $682K into a TV buy against Ami Bera in the 3rd. That would tend to support the idea that Dan Lungren, who's lost the fundraising game to Bera every quarter, is also putting up some middling internals too.
• PA-07: Now this isn't good, especially this late in the game: the Pennsylvania state Teamsters suddenly revoked their endorsement of Bryan Lentz. There's no official word on what caused the rift, but it seems to relate back to Lentz's sponsorship of a bill that cracks down on construction firms that misclassify workers to avoid paying taxes.
• OH-St. House: The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a good profile of 10 of the most important races in one of our most important legislative chambers, where Dems have a small edge (53-46) and need to hold it for redistricting purposes. It's a mix of suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, and the rural southern part of the state.
• AFL-CIO: Here's an interesting memo out from the AFL-CIO's political director today suggesting that they've made a lot of under-the-radar progress in the last few weeks, redirecting members who weren't engaged or were flirting with the Republicans. In particular, Pennsylvania stands out, where they're finding that Joe Sestak now has a 55-26 lead among union members, up from only 45-39 at the start of September. They also point out that Joe Manchin now has a 40-point lead among union members in another union-heavy state, West Virginia.
• Early voting: Early voting gets underway today in Florida and Texas, along with five other smaller states. Adding in the states where voting has already started, that means the election is truly afoot in nearly half of all states.
• Debates: We're adding a new component to our digests: courtesy of our friends at C-SPAN, a list of all the debates that are on tap and on the air each night on C-SPAN. Because if you're reading this, we know you can't get enough politicking:
8 pm ET: WV-Sen
9 pm ET: WI-07
10 pm ET: IL-11
11 pm ET : AZ-05
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski may be the only Republican running a pro-pork campaign, with her new ad talking about how Joe Miller will cut off the flow of federal funds to Alaska
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet hits Ken Buck on Social Security privatization and his hardcore pro-life positions
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway moves quickly along from the 'Aqua Buddha' ad, turning the conversation back to mine safety, while Rand Paul continues to whine about it, spending an ad touting his Christian faith
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt tries out a little Medicare sleight-of-hand (the whole HCR-cut-Medicare!!1! line)
• NH-Gov: The DGA, via local group Citizens for Strength and Security, hits John Stephen for retaining his campaign manager even after he received a restraining order for stalking
• NRCC: If you've ever wanted to watch 40+ Republican House ads in one sitting, here's your chance
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 39%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 52%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 45%
• HI-Sen: Dan Inouye (D-inc) 53%, Cam Cavasso (R) 40%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 50%
• UT-Gov: Peter Corroon (D) 29%, Gary Herbert (R-inc) 66%
• UT-Sen: Sam Granato (D) 29%, Mike Lee (R) 54%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 49%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%