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CO, CT, GA, and MN Primary Results

by: Crisitunity

Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM EDT

Colorado: What looked like a hotly contested race on the Democratic side of the Senate race (thanks to a mixed bag of poll results, including an Andrew Romanoff lead according to SurveyUSA) turned into a fairly comfortable win for Michael Bennet in the end. Propped up by Obama and DSCC help, and weathering a last-minute patented hit job from the New York Times, Bennet won 54-46. Maybe this'll help put to sleep two memes that are getting very very tiresome: that it's an "anti-incumbent year," and that Obama endorsees all lose. Bennet will face off against Ken Buck, who defeated Jane Norton in the GOP primary 52-48. Polls haven't been conclusive in terms of whether Dems should have wanted to face off against Buck or Norton. Buck gets lumped in with Sharron Angle and Rand Paul because of his teabagger proclivities, but he's considerably more skilled than they are; nevertheless, he still seems gaffe-prone and irritable, so I'll take him.

Dan Maes won the GOP gubernatorial nod, 51-49. The only way things could have gone better for Dems in the GOP gubernatorial race would be if Maes' margin had been small enough to force a recount. The risk here was that irreparably-damaged Scott McInnis would win and then, being a good GOP team player, promptly drop out, allowing a better Republican (Jane Norton?) to take his place, which would then drive Tom Tancredo out of his indie bid. Maes has vowed to fight on, though, and his underwhelming presence is likely to keep Tancredo in the race, meaning not one but two guys not just spewing the crazy, but splitting the crazy vote and ensuring Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Finally, in Colorado, the GOP House primaries were uneventful wins for establishment candidates, with Ryan Frazier beating Lang Sias 64-36 in CO-07 and Scott Tipton beating Bob McConnell (Sarah Palin's other losing endorsee yesterday) winning 56-44 in CO-03.

Connecticut: Probably the biggest surprise of the night was the 58-42 victory by former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy over Ned Lamont in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, seeing as how Lamont had led all polls (although polls did capture a late and rapid Malloy surge). The lesson here mostly boils down to one more race where the organizational power of the local political establishment was able to overcome the money of a rich outsider, but there's one other story here that Dem message-setters will hopefully notice. Judging by when polls saw the race tigthen, the wheels seemed to come off Lamont's campaign with a late round of attack ads that focused on layoffs at Lamont's company. Taking not just that but the air war in the PA-12 special in mind (where Mark Critz won in large measure by hammering Tim Burns over outsourcing), it really seems like, despite this year's overarching CW, voters will go for a "career politician" over a self-described job-creating outsider businessman, once it's made clear that said businessman's interest in jobs only extends as far as his own bottom line.

Malloy will face a flawed Tom Foley in November, and based on general election polling recently should be considered a slight favorite. Foley won the GOP primary narrowly over Lt. Governor Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel 42-39-19. Also, for the GOP, Linda McMahon unsurprisingly won the GOP primary in the face of Rob Simmons' half-assed comeback-type-thing. Simmons and Paulist economist Peter Schiff did keep her under 50% though: 49-28-23. McMahon faces Richard Blumenthal in November, who already launched his first TV ad this morning, shirking a no-doubt-tempting smackdown in favor of... what's that thing that McMahon doesn't have... oh, yeah. Dignity. The three GOP House primaries led to expected victories for Janet Peckinpaugh in CT-02 (43-38 over Daria Novak), Dan Debicella in CT-04 (60-24 over Rob Merkle), and Sam Caligiuri in CT-05 (40-32-28 over Justin Bernier and Mark Greenberg).

Georgia: The main event in Georgia was the GOP gubernatorial runoff, and hoo boy, did it live up to its billing. The two candidates finished in recount territory at 50-50, with Nathan Deal leading Karen Handel by 2,500 votes. Unfortunately, Handel just conceded this morning rather than following through with the recount, so Dem nominee Roy Barnes doesn't get to spend weeks watching them keep fighting it out. Pundits will no doubt focus on the proxy war aspects of the battle ("Huck beats Palin!"), but the outcome seems to have more to do with Deal consolidating conservative votes outside the Atlanta area, where Handel's anti-corruption, anti-good-ol'-boyism message may have fallen flat.

We also had outcomes in three GOP House primaries, one to determine the nominee in a Likely Dem race, and the others to determine who's the next Rep. in dark-red districts. In GA-07, establishment-backed former John Linder CoS Rob Woodall beat teabagging radio talker Jody Hice, 56-44. In GA-09, Rep. Tom Graves won his fourth (and probably final) faceoff against Lee Hawkins, 55-45. And in GA-12, Ray McKinney beat Carl Smith 62-38 for the right to take on Rep. John Barrow. If you want to argue that this year's crop of Republican candidates is radioactive, you don't need to look any further than McKinney; he's a nuclear power plant project manager by day.

Minnesota: Finally, there was only one race worth watching last night in Minnesota, and it turned out to be a barnburner: the DFL gubernatorial primary. State House speaker (and DFL endorsee) Margaret Anderson Kelliher led most of the night based on her strength in the Twin Cities, but as results trickled in from the rest of the state, ex-Sen. Mark Dayton crept into the lead. In the end, despite having convincing pre-primary poll leads, Dayton won 41-40-18 over Kelliher and Matt Entenza. Dayton pretty clearly benefited not only from his statewide familiarity, but also from picking a running mate from Duluth, where he cleaned up, late in the game. With a 7,000 margin separating them, Kelliher didn't concede last night... but she did this morning, meaning Dayton faces the increasingly woeful GOP nominee Tom Emmer in November. The most recent spate of polls has given Dayton double-digits advantages in that matchup.

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Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Minnesota Primary Previews

by: Crisitunity

Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 1:35 PM EDT

CO-Sen (D): The Democratic heavyweights are out in this marquee race on our side in Colorado, splitting between appointed incumbent and former Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet and Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff. Obama's recorded a robocall for Bennet, while the Big Dog's been stumping for Romanoff (who, yes, endorsed Hillary in 2008). While Romanoff's bid seemed quixotic at first, he's managed to gain some traction, with the most recent polling in the race offering a split decision, with PPP saying Bennet 49-43 and SurveyUSA saying Romanoff 48-45. Much hay was made about Bennet's accidental incumbency, and the newest scuttle in the race takes the form of Bennet's financial dealings while Superintendent. While that news may have broken a little late, Romanoff still has the momentum -- but will it be enough? (JMD)

CO-Sen (R): The Devil Wears Prada! Or, perhaps more appropriately, former Lt. Gov Jane Norton wears high heels, according to her rival, Weld County DA Ken Buck. The two have been duking it out for the conservative mantle. Buck's been endorsed by GOP would-be kingmaker Jim DeMint and has had some airpower in the form of shady 501(c)(4) group Americans for Job Security; Norton's earned the endorsements of both John McCain and the star of Saved By The Xenophobia, Jan Brewer. Norton and Buck remain close in polling, with PPP giving Norton a narrow edge at 41-40 and SurveyUSA giving Buck some more breathing room at 50-41. All of this remains in complete flux though, and any result tonight could be rendered moot by a switcheroo with the Governor's race, should the Colorado GOP somehow manage to cast off their albatross in Scott McInnis. (JMD)

CO-Gov (R): Former Rep. Scott McInnis was at one time considered a major get for the GOP, and the strength of his candidacy was such that he helped push incumbent Dem Gov. Bill Ritter out of the race after just one term. No more. While some initially dismissed McInnis's plagiarism scandal as a minor white-collar affair that wouldn't interest average voters, his transgressions in fact proved unusually potent, leading to his campaign's utter ruin. Polls now show a dead heat between McInnis (whose fundraising has dried up) and crazy fringer Some Dude Dan Maes (who never raised squat to begin with). The primary may be completely moot, though: Rumors have abounded that if McInnis were to win, he'd step down in favor of a less-damaged candidate. We should probably be rooting for Maes, though, who has explicitly said he'd do no such thing. (D)

CO-03 (R): Former state Rep. Scott Tipton, who represented a large swath of Southwestern Colorado before running against incumbent Dem. John Salazar in 2006, looked like he would easily earn the right to challenge Salazar a second time, but was held to only 45% at the state nominating against the teabaggish Bob McConnell, who also earned 45%. As a result, the two square off tonight, with McConnell running to Tipton's right, even boasting a Sarah Palin endorsement. Both candidates have some cash to play with, Tipton having spent $213k and McConnell having spent $132k so far. Given the relative low profile of this race - Salazar bested Tipton with 62% in 2006 and seems to be more entrenched than most vulnerable Dems - the race remains unpredictable. (JMD)

CO-07 (R): The primary field in this suburban Denver district is also down to two after the convention, with Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier having earned 49% and carpetbagging former Democrat Lang Sias having earned 43%. Frazier is winning the money race by quite a distance, $252k to Sias's $89k cash-on-hand. Sias -- who lives in CO-02 and became a Republican in 2007, however, boasts endorsements from both former 7th CD Rep. Bob Beauprez, the one and only Tom Tancredo, and John McCain, who Sias campaigned for (but didn't vote for). Again, Perlmutter doesn't seem particularly vulnerable, leading to a lower-profile -- and less predictable -- race tonight. (JMD)

CT-Gov (D): Connecticut Democrats are hungry for a win this November -- which would be their first gubernatorial win since William O'Neill's re-election in 1986 -- but they'll have to get through a fast-closing primary tonight to see who their nominee will be. '06 Senate nominee and Lieberman primary-slayer Ned Lamont is facing off against former 14-year Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, and this race looks like it's going down to the wire. After lagging in the polls behind Lamont for months, Malloy has used some well-timed punches to turn Lamont's business experience against him, releasing TV ads criticizing Lamont for layoffs at his telecommunications company. The latest Q-poll shows that Lamont's lead has eroded to a mere three points -- certainly not a margin to bet the farm on tonight. (JL)

CT-Gov (R): While technically this one is a three-way decision, the only candidates with a shot at winning the Republican nomination tonight are ex-Ambassador Tom Foley and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele. Like Lamont, Foley has used his personal fortune to catapult himself to an early lead. Fedele has had a rough time keeping pace, highlighted by his failures to secure endorsements from Gov. Jodi Rell and the state GOP convention. Still, Fedele has swung back at Foley with TV ads drawing attention to layoffs at one of Foley's textile factories in Georgia. The latest Q-Poll shows some juice for Fedele, but he still lags behind Foley by 38-30. (JL)

CT-Sen (R): Little Bobby Simmons announced that he was taking his ball and going home, but it turns out that he was just lingering behind the bleachers until he could muster up the courage to take another at-bat. The results aren't pretty: a 50-28 lead for controversial WWE Queen Linda McMahon in the latest Q-Poll. Next! (JL)

CT-02 (R): Now this one's getting down in the weeds, but Republicans are trying to prod as many Dem-held seats for potential weakness as possible. The crop of candidates going up against two-term Rep. Joe Courtney, however, leaves much to be desired. After their most well-funded recruit, former Hebron Board of Finance vice chairman Matthew Daly, dropped out in May, Republicans are picking between former TV anchorwoman Janet Peckinpaugh, former State Department official Daria Novak, and farmer/attorney Douglas Dubitsky. Peckinpaugh, the most "hyped" of the trio, failed to raise more than $50K for her campaign, and her candidacy drew early fire for her most recent employment stint as a shill for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads. As much success as Republicans have had in expanding the map this year, this race stacks up as a glaring recruiting failure. (JL)

CT-04 (R): State Sen. Dan Debicella is the clear front-runner in the race to take on Rep. Jim Himes. He faces a couple of Some Dudes who, as befits their Some Dude status, haven't raised squat: Rick Torres and Rob Merkle. (A more credible opponent, Tom Herrmann, dropped out in June after petition fraud meant he couldn't qualify for the ballot.) Debicella won his party's backing at the state convention earlier this year. (D)

CT-05 (R): Though the 5th district would seem to be a tougher GOP target than the 4th, the Republican primary here has attracted quite a bit more money, and a larger number of credible candidates. Another state senator, Sam Caligiuri, is also the presumed front-runner here, having won 70% of the delegate vote at his party's nominating convention. But Afghanistan vet Justin Bernier, who was running in this race (and got some favorable notice) before Caligiuri dropped down from the senate contest last November, has raised a creditable sum and hasn't given up. Like many others in his position, though, it seems he's had a chip on his shoulder ever since Caligiuri hopped into the race, and that's usually not very appealing. Wealthy businessman Mark Greenberg actually leads the money race, with over a million raised (most of that from his own pockets), but most of the media attention devoted to this contest has seemed to focus on the Caligiuri-Bernier matchup. The winner, whomever he may be, gets to challenge sophomore Rep. (and all-time SSP hero) Chris Murphy in the fall. (D)

GA-Gov (R): The big ticket race in Georgia is the Republican gubernatorial runoff, between Karen Handel, the former SoS who finished a dominant first in the primary, and Nathan Deal, the former U.S. Rep. who was second. The Beltway media tends to emphasize that this is a proxy fight between possible presidential candidates (with Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney backing Handel, and Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee backing Deal), but the important post-primary endorsements here may have been the NRA, and third-place finisher state Sen. Eric Johnson (who has a strong base in the Savannah area), which both seemed to have consolidate conservative and rural Johnson and John Oxendine votes behind Deal. With that, Deal has pulled into a polling tie with Handel, promising a down-to-the-wire race tonight. (C)

GA-07 (R): With the surprising third-place finish of state Rep. Clay Cox (who'd had the backing of the Club for Growth and many local endorsers), meaning he's not in the runoff, it's anybody's guess as to who has the upper hand tonight in the Republican runoff in the dark-red open seat 7th and be the district's next Rep. (Actually, this part of Atlanta's northern suburbs is going through a lot of demographic change that will be beneficial to Democrats in the long run, but this isn't going to be the year to capitalize on that.) John Linder's former CoS, Rob Woodall, faces off against radio talk show host Jody Hice. (C)

GA-09 (R): Few candidates are as well acquainted with each other as newly-minted Rep. Tom Graves and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins, who, thanks to a special election, special election runoff, and primary, are now poised to face each other for the fourth time this year. Graves has won the first three rounds, and barely missed winning the primary outright (with 49% of the vote), so it would be a pretty monumental turnaround for Hawkins to finally win it, on the time it really counts (as November will be of little import in this dark-red district). Maybe having been in Congress for five months is enough to give Graves the unacceptable taint of incumbency, though. The county to watch is Hall, where Hawkins has his geographic base and which tends to report late. (C)

GA-12 (R): Democratic Rep. John Barrow -- who overcame his main challenge this year, a challenge from the left from former state Sen. Regina Thomas, in the primary -- will be watching with some interest tonight to see who his Republican opponent will be: nuclear power plant project manager Ray McKinney, or former fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, Carl Smith? Neither one is particularly well-funded or has an imposing profile, but this race could be competitive if the Republican wave is particularly large. (C)

MN-Gov (D): Minnesota Democrats will finally have a chance to participate in some real democracy today, rather than having their gubernatorial nominee chosen for them by a bunch of elites at a party convention. State House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher did in fact win the endorsement of state delegates, but former Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza forged on with primary challenges regardless. It was probably a wise move for the wealthy Dayton, seeing as recent polls have all shown him to be in first place, with MAK in second and Entenza (who also has access to family money) in third. While this race may not wind up being very exciting, in a low turnout three-way with one woman and two men, the outcome could be unexpected. (D)

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Georgia Primary Election Preview

by: Crisitunity

Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM EDT

  • GA-Gov (D): Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes has held commanding leads in every credible poll of this primary, so the question tonight isn't who finishes first, but rather, will Barnes capture the Democratic nomination without needing a runoff? Four out of the five pollsters who have released polls of this contest in July have pegged Barnes' support in the mid-to-high 50s, while the fifth, Public Policy Polling, had Barnes at 49%. Barnes has dominated the airwaves at the expense of his next closest competitor, state AG Thurbert Baker, but Baker recently picked up the support of Bill Clinton, the most recent Democrat to win Georgia at the Presidential level. Baker may have also earned some favor with base voters by refusing to challenge the constitutional validity of Congress' healthcare reform legislation passed earlier this year -- a move that earned him the full wrath of sitting Gov. Sonny Perdue and the GOP-dominated state legislature. Rounding out the field are House Minority Leader DuBose Porter and ex-SoS/Labor Commissioner/GA National Guard Adjutant-General David Poythress, both of whom have failed to gain much traction in the polls. (J)

  • GA-Gov (R): What a difference a few weeks makes. One month ago, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine was a mortal lock to make the runoff (with just too many candidates for anyone to win outright), and looking likely to advance to the general election thanks to his financial advantages. A few ethical allegations and Sarah Palin endorsements later, former SoS Karen Handel has pulled into a dominant lead, with Oxendine struggling to even make the runoff. The most recent spate of polls has seen the Ox neck-and-neck with almost-as-sleazy former Rep. Nathan Deal for the 2nd runoff spot, and even, in one poll, sinking into 4th behind state Sen. Eric Johnson, who aired a last-minute TV ad blitz and might (a la Robert Bentley in Alabama) sneak into the runoff by virtue of not being any of the other candidates.

  • GA-04 (D): Incumbent Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson faces a serious primary challenge from ex-DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes. Jones, as you may recall, was last seen losing the 2008 Democratic Senate nomination to Jim Martin after admitting that he voted for George W. Bush not once but twice. (Furthermore, the man also carries around some pretty ugly baggage.) Jones has been aggressively hitting Johnson, who disclosed last December that he's been battling Hepatitis C for years, for supposedly being an absentee representative, and drawing attention to Johnson's curious comments that the island of Guam may someday "capsize". An internal poll for Johnson released in January had Johnson up by a 47-19 margin over Jones, with 5% for Stokes. And after a slow fundraising start to the year, Johnson has been raising and spending at a rate unmatched by Jones and Stokes. Johnson has also earned the endorsements of Barack Obama and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. Still, in this summer of discontent, it's worth watching races like this one. (J)

  • GA-07 (R): The Republican derby to replace retiring long-time wingnut Rep. John Linder is overloaded with candidates and likely to head to a runoff, but state Rep. Clay Cox seems to be in the driver's seat, with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and several prominent state Senators having taken passes or bailed out of the race. Cox's main opposition seems to be Linder's former CoS, Rob Woodall. Interestingly, all eight candidates in the field have sworn fealty to Linder's pet crackpot scheme, the so-called "Fair Tax" (a plan to replace the graduated income tax with a gigantic, and massively regressive, national sales tax).

  • GA-09 (R): They've already faced off two times in the last few months, so what's one more time between friends? Former state Rep. Tom Graves won the special election to fill the seat left empty by Nathan Deal's one-step-ahead-of-the-law resignation and is just settling in as a newly-minted U.S. Rep. However, now he has to face off once again against the man he defeated in the special primary and runoff: state Sen. Screamin' Lee Hawkins. It'll be an uphill fight for Hawkins, but Hawkins has a strong base in Hall County, and Graves may be further damaged by revelations about his attempts to dodge a lawsuit over an unpaid loan (which hadn't fully broken when the special runoff happened).

  • GA-12 (D/R): The duel in the GA-12 Democratic primary between Rep. John Barrow and Regina Thomas seemed to catch some netroots attention in 2008; it pitted one of House Dems' most conservative members (a particularly bad mismatch with his D+1 district) against an African-American former state Senator with a delightful array of hats. Her underfunded campaign barely captured a quarter of the vote, though, and the rematch this year seems to have inspired a netroots-wide 'meh.' Despite more of a head start this year, Thomas's campaign is even more underfunded this time, and Barrow has been spending like mad to mitigate his constituents' discontent with his 'no' vote on HCR. Barrow correctly understands that Thomas is his main opposition this year; with widely-self-touted Wayne Mosely sidelined last year by lawsuit-related financial woes, the NRCC doesn't seem to have a prize pick in this primary. Former Thunderbolt fire chief Carl Smith seems to come closest to being the GOP's establishment candidate here, while nuclear power plant safety inspector project manager Ray McKinney fancies himself the teabaggers' choice.

    Have any predictions for tonight? Please share with us in the comments.

    Polls close at 7 pm ET.

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    SSP Daily Digest: 6/14 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 7:50 AM EDT

  • FL-Sen: Not unexpectedly, Charlie Crist vetoed a bill (passed by Flordia's Republican state lege and supported by anti-choice groups) which would have required women seeking an abortion to first get an ultrasound. Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek both fired off press releases attacking Crist - the former for abandoning conservative principles, and the latter for trying to "run away" from his "anti-choice past."
  • KY-Sen: We've mentioned this before, but now the Louisville Courier-Journal has a lengthy piece looking at Rand Paul's renegade ophthalmology certification organization, called the National Board of Opthalmology. It turns out that the American Board of Medical Specialties - the meta-group which certifies this country's certifying organizations - doesn't recognize Paul's concoction. Rather, they recognize the American Board of Ophthalmology, from whom Paul used to have a certification, but which he let lapse some years ago.
  • SC-Sen: So now even the White House is weighing in on the mysterious primary victory of Alvin Greene, with senior advisor David Axelrod saying he thinks Green's win "doesn't appear" legitimate. This widespread establishment skepticism may enoucrage loser Vic Rawl to file a formal protest with the state Democratic Party, something he has until noon today to do. The party could void the result if it found serious flaws, but state chair Carol Fowler says something like that is "pretty rare." And Nathan Gonzales also makes a good point: Greene may have spent $0 on this race, but Rawl didn't spent a whole lot more - just $45K.
  • UT-Sen (pdf): Wilson Research Strategies for Mike Lee (6/10, likely voters):

    Mike Lee (R): 39
    Tim Bridgewater (R): 30
    Undecided: 31
    (MoE: ±5.7%)
  • AL-Gov: This seems a little odd: lame duck AG Troy King (who just lost the GOP primary) issued an advisory opinion saying that the July 13th Republican gubernatorial runoff ballot should feature the names of Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley - even if third-place finisher Tim James displaces Bentley in a planned recount. King advises that another runoff take place if James's recount is successful.
  • MI-Gov: Fifth CD Rep. Dale Kildee endorsed Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the Democratic primary, the first member of the House from Michigan to weigh in in the gubernatorial race. His nephew Dan Kildee, who considered running himself, also got behind Bernero.
  • NH-Gov: Democratic Gov. John Lynch formally filed for re-election last Friday. He's seeking a fourth consecutive two-year term, something no one has won before in New Hampshire history. A piece in the Laconia Citizen looks at the challenges Lynch faces in achieving this goal.
  • OH-Gov: Gov. Ted Strickland reported raising $1.3 million between April 23rd and June 10th, giving him $7.7 million cash-on-hand and $11.5 million raised for the entire campaign (which his camp says is a record). Politico also says that Strickland has raised more than any other Dem governor seeking re-election, but note that only seven fall into this category. Meanwhile, Republican John Kasich raised the same amount but has $5.7 million on hand.
  • UT-Gov: Ah, timing is everything in politics. Just four days after Gov. Gary Hebert called for more oil drilling in Utah, a Chevron pipeline burst a leak, spilling 500 barrels oil into Salt Lake City's Red Butte Creek, forcing the closure of the city's biggest park. (Click the link for a pic. More here.)
  • AR-01: The link is behind a paywall, so we don't have much to go on, but apparently Tim Wooldridge is "hedging" on an endorsement of Chad Causey, the man who beat him in the runoff last week. Let's hope this changes soon.
  • AR-02: Also behind a paywall (at the Hotline) is this tidbit that state Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) said she "doesn't know" whether she'd support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Elliott, who has a liberal reputation, probably has some re-positioning to do to remain competitive in this race, but is acting Pelosi-agnostic really plausible? Even Mike Oliverio eventually backed down from this perch - and he's infinitely more conservative than Elliott.
  • CT-04: A supporter of Dan Debicella says her name fraudulently appeared on a nominating petition for rival Tom Herrmann, who is also seeking the GOP nod to take on Rep. Jim Himes in the fall. Stories like this don't tend to have much legs, though, unless there turns out to be widespread fraud.
  • GA-09: Representative-elect Tom Graves (R) will be sworn in to the House later today. Note that the two other remaining vacancies in the House - NY-29 and IN-03, both the product of resignations due to scandal - will not be filled until November. Also, Graves is not out of the woods yet, as he still faces a regular July 20th primary for the fall general election.
  • MD-01: Looks like Andy Harris has gone, at least, birther-curious. During a recent radio appearance, Harris refused to dismiss a caller's accusation that Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship is "false", saying that he doesn't know why all the details on Obama's birth certificate are "being hidden". (J)
  • MS-01: Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya. There seem to be no hurt feelings in this GOP primary, after all. After initially refusing to endorse primary winner Alan Nunnelee, former Fox News commentator Angela McGlowan has endorsed his campaign in an email to her supporters. Second-place finisher Henry Ross also threw his endorsement to Nunnelee, making the circle complete and activating the powers of Captain Planet. (J)
  • NC-08: Mountain of Crazy Tim D'Annunzio has upped his personal investment in his bid for the GOP nomination against Larry Kissell to $1.3 million. Harold Johnson, the guy whom the NRCC desperately wants to see win the primary, is getting out-gunned; he only raised $49K in the pre-runoff period, and is getting outspent by a greater than 2-1 margin. (J)
  • NY-24: The Oneida County District Attorney's office is investigating quid pro quo allegations surrounging a 2008 donation that Republican candidate Richard Hanna made to the Oneida County Independence Party. (J)
  • SC-01: Politico's Alex Isenstadt tweets that House GOP leaders are "launching [a] full scale effort for Tim Scott", the African-American state Rep. who's locked in a runoff with legacy candidate Paul Thurmond. Karl Rove himself is even cutting a check for Scott. (J)
  • UT-02: Dem Rep. Jim Matheson certainly doesn't appear to be taking any chances in his first-ever primary against retired teacher/activist Claudia Wright. Matheson's pre-primary FEC filing shows that his campaign has brought in $142K and spent nearly $467K since Wright shocked Matheson by forcing a primary at the May Democratic convention, leaving the incumbent with just over a million in the bank. Wright, for her part, only raised $15K during that time, and spent $17K. (J)
  • WA-02: Moose alert! Sarah Palin gave her latest Twitter endorsement to Snohomish County councilman John Koster, who's seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen. Koster faces absolute nutball John Carmack in the Republican primary. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of Carmack's website. (J)
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    SSP Daily Digest: 6/10 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM EDT

    AR-Sen: Here's a non-surprise. Americans for Job Security, who poured $1.8 million into anti-Bill Halter ads during the primary, say they probably aren't going to be doing any further work on behalf of Blanche Lincoln. The anti-labor group already got what it wants (two anti-labor candidates), so its work is done. Also worth noting, Nate Silver points out what a tough lift a Bill Halter victory would have been, revealing something called the 'blogginess' index (a factor of being white, liberal, and college-educated), on which Arkansas scores very low and Pennsylvania scores pretty high (by way of explaining how Pennsylvania was more responsive to a labor/netroots primary challenge -- although I'd point out that actual labor and netroots support wasn't the main factor in pushing Joe Sestak past Arlen Specter, whereas it was the driving force in Halter's bid). I'm not sure if he noticed or not, but the rank ordering of the states on that index is quite similar to the graph of most liberal-to-conservative Democratic electorates that Andrew Gelman introduced last week.

    CO-Sen: Jane Norton is making a rhetorical rush to the right, if her new advertising is any indication: it's all about stopping "Obamacare" and "yanking it out by the roots," and it's playing mostly in the dark-red Colorado Springs market. Wondering why? She's probably seeing the same thing in her polling as what Republican pollster Magellan (who are getting quite active in offering public polls of Republican primaries where they don't have a horse in the race) is seeing. They have a poll out today showing Weld County DA Ken Buck leading Norton, 42-32.

    IL-Sen: Worse to worst for Mark Kirk? It looks like frustration with his constant politicizing of his military service was present even within the Department of Defense, as a DoD memo has surfaced that expressed "concerns arising from his partisan political activities during his last two tours of active duty." Kirk was required to get a waiver before deploying to Afghanistan in 2008, which required him to write out "an acknowledgment of limitations required for all candidates on active duty."

    NC-Sen: This is kind of an out-of-the-blue endorsement, but it may help Elaine Marshall gain a little traction with the national netroots. Ohio SoS Jennifer Brunner is apparently OK with endorsing outside her own state's boundaries, as she offered her support to Marshall.

    NV-Sen: Echoes of Rand Paul's still-in-progress post-primary makeover? Jon Ralston notices that Sharron Angle's wacky website just got scrubbed, with no discussion of her positions at this point (no mention of Social Security elimination, for instance). Meanwhile, the GOP signals that they're going to actively get involved in breaking out the message massage oil and work on rehabbing Angle: RNC head Michael Steele has pledged his support. RNC funds will go to the Nevada GOP rather than directly to Angle, whose campaign actually was in the red ($139K CoH, $179K debt) on May 19. (Compare that to Harry Reid's $9.1 million.) And Angle's reaching out to the GOP establishment, too, to the extent that she says she's willing to accept campaign help from John Ensign, a flip-flop from her pre-primary position. Fitting, though, since she's been a big proponent of embracing radioactive waste in Nevada. (And while I don't ordinarily like to honk my own horn, after looking back through the SSP attic, I have to remind everybody that I forecasted an Angle primary victory back in October.)

    SC-Sen: There's a growing sense that something's amiss with Alvin Greene's entry to the race, to the extent that Jim Clyburn explicitly called him a "plant" today and asked for a probe. The real puzzle is the timeline on Greene's obscenity arrest, obtaining a public defender because of his indigence, and then his filing for the race:

    The South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, which operates the state's public defender program, makes clear that courts take into account "the number of people in your household, whether you own any real estate, or have money in the bank" when deciding whether to assign a public defender to a defendant.
    Greene has claimed that he paid the $10,400 filing fee out of his savings from his military pay. But he was discharged from the Army in August 2009 and says he hasn't held a job since then.
    So, in economic terms, the timeline goes like this: Greene's military paychecks stopped in August. Three months later, he filed an affidavit with a South Carolina court claiming to be indigent. And four months after that he walked into the South Carolina Democratic Party headquarters with a personal check for $10,400.

    Losing gubernatorial candidate Robert Ford (who's African-American) also sheds some light on how Greene might have won despite his complete unknownness: apparently, in South Carolina, "Greene" (as opposed to "Green") is understood to be an African-American last name. With South Carolina's Democratic electorate with a black majority, voters with no other information about the two choices might vote based purely on that.

    UT-Sen: After previously having had some nice things to say about him, 4th place finisher Cherilyn Eagar went the whole way and endorsed Tim Bridgewater for the GOP Senate primary against Mike Lee.

    WI-Sen: Republican businessman Ron Johnson, who has some personal wealth to draw on in his bid against Russ Feingold, is launching his first television ads. A source tells SSP that this is a one-week statewide ad buy for about $350K.

    AL-Gov: Second-place finisher Robert Bentley is out with an internal poll (by Dresner Wicker) giving him a big lead in the runoff against Bradley Byrne, 45-29. That's somewhat plausible, since Bentley seems likelier to consolidate the votes for the most conservative options, Roy Moore and Tim James, than is "moderate" Byrne. (Of course, since James is paying for a recount, it's not a done deal that Bentley's in the runoff.)

    CO-Gov: Scott McInnis, facing a primary from teabagger Dan Maes (who pulled even with him at the state convention), now says he "doesn't remember" serving on the board of pro-choice group Republicans for Choice. However, paperwork filed with the FEC lists him on the group's letterhead as a board member from 1996 to 2005... that's ten years.

    SC-Gov: Nikki Haley is out with an internal poll giving her a big lead heading into the runoff against Gresham Barrett, 62-28 (suggesting she's gotten the majority of the gains from the primary, where she led 49-22). Barrett's staying in (despite a sandbagging by the RGA), and he's already out with a TV ad, where he appears with a drill sergeant who calls him "a Christian family man who won't embarrass us." I'm not sure if that cringeworthy line is supposed to be an anti-Mark Sanford dogwhistle or an anti-Haley dogwhistle; maybe it's intended to do double-duty.

    GA-09: Despite losing the runoff in the special election in the 9th, Lee Hawkins is continuing to fight on; he'll also challenge Rep.-elect Tom Graves in the regularly scheduled July primary. Hawkins didn't fare as poorly as expected, staying within 56-44, and may be counting on the late-breaking news about Graves's attempts to dodge a lawsuit over an unpaid business loan continuing to be a story in coming months.

    ID-01: Greg Smith & Associates released a poll (apparently not on any candidate's behalf), showing Raul Labrador leading Democratic freshman Walt Minnick, 36-24. Recall, though, that this is the same pollster that found Minnick leading "the Republican" candidate 50-20 before the primary (and the link also helpfully provides a list of other times Smith has been way off the mark).

    VA-05: This should put to rest any notions that ex-Rep. Virgil Goode was considering a third-party independent teabagger-powered run in the 5th, or that he might throw his backing to one of the minor-league third-partiers running. Goode endorsed establishment Republican Rob Hurt to go against Rep. Tom Perriello.

    Discuss :: (122 Comments)

    June 8th Primary Roundup

    by: jeffmd

    Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 3:07 PM EDT

    A super Tuesday of primaries means a super-sized Primary Roundup the day after!

    Arkansas:

    • AR-Sen (D): Blanche Lincoln's 52-48 victory in the runoff over Bill Halter is being spun as a comeback, but she did, y'know, win the primary too, by a similar margin. A series of R2K polls plus the incumbent rule were the main reason most people mentally gave Halter the edge going into the runoff, but in the end, a pretty similar universe of voters showed up the second time, while the D.C. Morrison voters either split evenly or just stayed away. (C)

    • AR-01 (D): Chad Causey, the former CoS to retiring Rep. Marion Berry, eked out a 51-49 runoff victory over former state Sen. Tim Wooldridge in a battle of conservadem vs. very-conservadem. Causey's late endorsement by Bill Clinton may have helped push him over the top. (C)

    • AR-02 (D): In another Dem runoff, liberal African-American state Sen. Joyce Elliott won a 54-46 victory over state House speaker Robbie Wills. They went hard negative on each other, meaning a lot of damage control before facing well-financed GOPer Tim Griffin in November. (C)

    • AR-03 (R): In the dark-red 3rd, Rogers mayor Steve Womack won the GOP runoff against state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, 52-48; Womack is almost certain to win in November. Bledsoe was the only Sarah Palin endorsee to lose last night (but then, Fiorina and Branstad were gimmees). (C)

    California:

    • CA-Gov (R): With only one outlier poll to the contrary, the primary between former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and current Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner wasn't expected to be close. Poizner's attempts to outflank Whitman on the right netted him only a 64-27 defeat; Whitman now goes on to face former Governor and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown. (JMD)

    • CA-Sen (R): Yesterday wasn't a dream for Carly Fiorina, who romped to a victory with 56% of the vote over former San Jose congressman Tom Campbell and Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. CarlyFornia gets to take on three-term incumbent Barbara Boxer. (JMD)

    • CA-Lt. Gov (D): In just one of yesterday's showings of the Northern California dominance of the California Democratic Party, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom beat LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn 55-32, winning all but six counties. (JMD)

    • CA-Lt. Gov (R): Incumbent Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado, appointed to replace now-Rep. John Garamendi, beat back a conservative challenge from term-limited State Senator Sam Aanestad by a 43-31 margin. Aanestad won the counties in his district and the OC, but not much else. (JMD)

    • CA-Att. Gen (D): In this seven-way primary for the Dem nod to replace Jerry Brown who's running for governor, San Francisco DA Kamala Harris withstood an aerial assault from Facebook Chief "Privacy" Officer Chris Kelly. Harris ended up more than doubling Harris' vote totals, 33-16. Behind them were East Bay Assemblyman Alberto Torrico at 15%, LA County Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Santa Barbara Assemblyman Pedro Nava, and LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo at 10 apiece. All three Assemblyman were term-limited - better luck next time at musical chairs, guys. (JMD)

    • CA-Att. Gen (R): Los Angeles County DA Steve Cooley, the lone moderate in the field of three, scores a convincing 47-34-19 victory over his more conservative opponents, Chapman University Law School dean John Eastman and Orange County Assemblyman Tom Harman. This sets up yet another NorCal-SoCal matchup for AG in November, LA County DA Steve Cooley against San Francisco (City and County) DA Kamala Harris. (JMD)

    • CA-Sec. of State (R): O, RLY? No, not really. Some insiders were worried that Birther Queen Orly Taitz would inexplicably earn the GOP nod for Secretary of State, but she ended up getting thoroughly pasted by ex-NFLer Damon Dunn 74-26. While Dunn's busy facing off against incumbent Dem SoS Debra Bowen, Orly can go back to getting thoroughly pasted (and fined) in court for filing frivolous suits. (JMD)

    • CA-Init: The good news: Props 16 and 17 -- pet projects for the private utilities and insurance companies, respectively -- have both failed, both losing 52-48 after leading much of the night. The bad news (well, as far as most blogosphere chatter goes; as a Washingtonian with first-hand experience with the 'top two' system, my own feelings are a firm 'meh'): Prop 14 passed 54-46, meaning California switches to a 'top two' primary system. (C)

    • CA-02 (R): Longtime Republican incumbent Wally Herger survived an attempted teabagging from retired Air Force Col. Pete Siglich by a 65-35 spread. Siglich criticized Herger for his TARP bailout vote, earmarks, and, going all the way back to 2003, his support for Medicare Part D, but only spent $45,000 on the race. (JL)

    • CA-11 (R): Attorney David Harmer, who carpetbagged across the border from the 10th after establishing his GOP bona fides in the special election there, captured the GOP nomination with a middling 36%. The publicity Brad Goehring got over his lib'rul huntin' remarks seemed to catapult him into 2nd place, ahead of the other two more normal candidates, Tony Amador and Elizabeth Emken. (C)

    • CA-19 (R): As in the 11th, the establishment GOPer (here, state Sen. Jeff Denham) was the victor with 36% against a fractured field. Denham, who got the backing of retiring Rep. George Radanovich, beat former Fresno mayor (and Club for Growth guy) Jim Patterson and slimy former CA-11 Rep. Richard Pombo. (C)

    • CA-33 (D): Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, who's LA-based 47th AD overlaps quite a bit with CD-33, beat out some minor opposition with 85% of the vote to win the Democratic nomination to succeed outgoing Dem. Diane Watson. Bass faces minor GOP opposition in November and will almost certainly be the next Congresswoman from this D+35 district. (JMD)

    • CA-36 (D): Marcy Winograd's second challenge to Jane Harman was better organized than her first run in 2006, and Jane Harman's had her share of scandal since then, but the needle barely moved. Harman scored 58.8%, down from 62.5% in 2006, but Harman never looked like she was in any real danger last night. (JMD)

    • CA-37 (D): In another case of an incumbent under 70%, scandal-ridden Laura Richardson scored a suprisingly weak 68% against three miscellaneous Democratic opponents in this Long Beach based district. (JMD)

    • CA-42 (R): Who (other than Swing State Project, of course) would've guessed that out of all the dozens of incumbent House members up for re-election, the night's second worst performance after Bob Inglis would come from Orange County's Gary Miller? With problems including war record embellishment, ethical clouds, and a pro-TARP vote, Miller beat Phil Liberatore only 49-37. (C)

    • CA-47 (R): Despite the presence of another Vietnamese candidate on the ballot, Garden Grove Assemblyman Van Tran still got a majority of the vote to challenge incumbent Democrat Loretta Sanchez in this majority-Hispanic district that went for Bush in 2004, but also went by 20% for Obama. (JMD)

    • CA-50 (D): If Francine Busby takes another run after this one, she's in serious danger of landing the kiss of death of being called "perennial candidate" in the press. Nevertheless, she won the booby prize of the Democratic nod against GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray over attorney Tracy Emblem with two thirds of the vote. This marks her fourth run for this seat, and her third against Bilbray (counting two races in 2006). It's not quite Sodrel-esque, but it's getting close. (JL)

    Georgia:

    • GA-09 (Special): Tom Graves was hit with some late scuttle in this race to succeed retiring GOPer Nathan Deal who resigned to run for Governor. Despite some weakness in Gainesville (Hall County), the former state Rep. beat out fellow Republican former state Senator Lee Hawkins by a 56-44 margin. The House now stands at 255 D, 178 R and 2 vacancies. (JMD)

    Iowa:

    • IA-Gov (R): Terry Branstad, to no one's surprise, won the GOP primary for a fifth (!) term as Governor. The only surprise was the tepid margin; he beat social conservative Bob Vander Plaats 50-41 (with 9 for Rod Roberts). Unfortunately for Chet Culver (who may be ruing not trying some Gray Davis-style manipulation in the GOP primary), a weak Branstad win is still a Branstad win. (C)

    • IA-02 (R): Move over Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and M. Myers Mermel, because Mariannette Miller-Meeks is back in town. The ophthalmologist and 2008 nominee against David Loebsack won the GOP primary surprisingly easily (with 51%), considering she was against NRCC pick Rob Gettemy and two former Senate candidates. (C)

    • IA-03 (R): The NRCC also hit the Fail jackpot in the 3rd, where their pick, former wrestling coach Jim Gibbons, lost decisively to the better-organized state Sen. Brad Zaun (who won with 42% to Gibbons' 28%) in a race that had been expected to go to convention to be decided. desmoinesdem has a good diary up detailing the NRCC's Iowa double-faceplant. (C)

    Maine:

    • ME-Gov (D): State Senate president Libby Mitchell seems on track to becoming Maine's first female governor, winning the Democratic primary with 35%; a Bill Clinton endorsement may have helped her stand out from the ho-hum pack. She was followed by former AG Steve Rowe at 23, businesswoman Rosa Scarcelli at 22, and former state Conservation director (and former Avengers star) Patrick McGowan at 20. (C)

    • ME-Gov (R): Waterville mayor Paul LePage, the Republican who'd been most closely associated with local Tea Partiers, won the GOP nomination with 38%. He finished ahead of a gaggle of moderates, including businessman Les Otten at 17, state Sen. Peter Mills at 15, ex-Collins CoS Steve Abbott at 13. Will a race between the very liberal Mitchell and very conservative LePage give a legitimate opening to centrist independent Eliot Cutler in November? (C)

    New Jersey:

    • NJ-03 (R): Former Eagles offensive lineman and establishment favorite Jon Runyan dispatched Tabernacle Township Committeeman and insurgent Justin Murphy by a 60-40 margin for the right to take on freshman Dem John Adler in this Burlington County-based R+1 district. (JMD)

    • NJ-06 (R): Back in the egg-on-NRCC's-face department, one of their "on the radar" candidates, Monmouth County GOP Vice Chair Diane Gooch, finds herself 61 votes behind Highlands mayor Anna Little. Winner takes on 11-term Dem Frank Pallone. (JMD)

    • NJ-07 (R): Frosh GOP Rep. Leonard Lance was held to only 56% in his primary against a four-pack of underfunded teabaggers. His closest foe, businessman David Larsen, received 31% of the vote. (JL)

    • NJ-12 (R): NRCC favorite Scott Sipprelle had a surprisingly close call (59-41) against the teabaggish David Corsi for the right to take on Dem Rush Holt in this central Jersey district. (JMD)

    Nevada:

    • NV-Gov (R): A pathetic end for a pathetic man: GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons claimed only 27% in his primary against ex-AG Brian Sandoval, who won the nod with 56%. Sandoval will try to take on Rory Reid's lunch money in the fall. (JL)

    • NV-Sen (R): Harry Reid must be doing the Angle Dance tonight, as the Dirty Harry Hand Cannon-packing, crypto-Scientologist, prohibitionist, Club for Growth-backed nutcake Sharron Angle trounced former NV GOP Chair Sue Lowden and ex-SoS candidate Danny Tarkanian by an absurd 40-26-23 spread. Harry Reid, you are one lucky bastard. (JL)

    South Carolina:

    • SC-Gov: State Sen. Vincent Sheheen easily claimed the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina with 59% of the vote against the briefly-hyped SC School Superintendent Jim Rex (23%). He'll have some time to replenish his reserves by the Republican race goes to a runoff, as state Rep. Nikki Haley weathered her recent controversies in fine form with 49% of the vote to TARP-loving US Rep. Gresham Barrett's 22%. (JL)

    • SC-Sen (D): This is just embarrassing. South Carolina Democrats had been hyping the candidacy of Charleston County councilman and ex-state Rep. Vic Rawl for months, but Rawl ended up losing to Alvin Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed ex-military guy who lives with his dad and somehow found the ten grand necessary to file for office. (And it wasn't even close, either, at 59-41.) Do we have another Scott Lee Cohen on our hands? The morning-after news seems to suggest so, with court records confirming that Greene was charged with showing obscene pictures to a college student. This is now the second cycle in a row where SC Dems have nominated the less-than-ideal choice for Senate. (JL)

    • SC-01: Oy. This is pretty damn embarrassing, too. Perennial candidate Ben Frasier (0 for 19!) upset the mildly touted Robert Burton, a former member of the Board of Commissioners of the State Housing Finance and Development Authority, for the Democratic nomination in this open seat. For the Republicans, we're looking at a run-off between state Rep. Tim Scott (the Club for Growth's choice), who won 31% of the vote, and legacy candidate Paul Thurmond, who placed second with 16%. (JL)

    • SC-03 (R): This was a bit of a surprise. In the race to succeed Gresham Barrett in the House, businessman Richard Cash finished first with 25%, with state Rep. Jeff Duncan also advancing to the run-off with 23%. That's something of an upset, as state Rep. Rex Rice, who placed third at 19%, was seen as a strong bet to make the run-off. (JL)

    • SC-04 (R): Bob Inglis is utterly doomed. The increasingly sane GOP incumbent only won 28% of the vote in his primary against Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy and other teabag also-rans. Gowdy ended the night with 39%, meaning that these two are headed for a run-off, but it's hard to imagine how Inglis can survive this one. (JL)

    South Dakota:

    • SD-Gov (R): Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard easily sowed up the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 50% of the vote in a five-person field. He'll face state Senate Minority Leader Scott Scott Heidepriem in November. (JL)

    • SD-AL (R): This was always a hard race to fit into the usual Republican primary template, since all three of the GOP candidates (SoS Chris Nelson, and state Reps. Blake Curd and Kristi Noem) were establishment types, despite some teabaggish behavior (most notably Nelson, who'd been birther-curious). In the end, Noem prevailed, beating Nelson and Curd without a runoff, 42-35-23. Did Noem's advertising make the difference, or did Nelson's birtherism cost him his early frontrunner status? (C)

    Virginia:

    • VA-02 (R): Auto dealer Scott Rigell wrapped up the Republican nomination to face Dem Rep. Glenn Nye the Freshman Guy with 40% of the vote. Businessman Ben Loyola placed second with 27%. (JL)

    • VA-05 (R): Despite being absolutely despised by the teabagging base in the district thanks to his vote for the tax hiking Mark Warner budget many moons ago, state Sen. Robert Hurt easily won the GOP nod against Democrat Tom Perriello with 48% of the vote. Hurt will have to look out on his right flank, though, as Danville businessman Jeff Clark has said that he would run as an independent if Hurt wins the nod. (JL)
    Discuss :: (80 Comments)

    SC, VA & GA-09 Results Thread

    by: James L.

    Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 6:31 PM EDT

    8:34pm: This thread is getting a bit portly, so time to head on over to our new party scene.
    8:27pm: For a while there, it was looking like Bob Inglis might lose outright tonight, with Trey Gowdy over the 50% mark. Now we're looking like a runoff, with Gowdy at 34 and Inglis at 31 with 20% reporting. That's not good news for Inglis either, as Gowdy's likely to consolidate the anti-sanity vote.
    8:25pm: Huh, I'd totally forgotten that John Adler (the Dem in NJ-03) was getting a challenge from the left over his HCR vote. He's at 75%, against Bob Bendar.
    8:24pm: We're starting to see some New Jersey numbers trickling in. Most notably, in NJ-03, establishment meathead Jon Runyan is leading teabagger Justin Murphy 64-36, with 2%.
    8:22pm: OK, go ahead and put that check mark next to Graves after all. The AP just called GA-09 in his favor.
    8:17pm: Don't quite put that check mark next to Tom Graves' name in the GA-09 special just yet. He's losing some ground, now leading Lee Hankins 59-41 with about half in. He's crushing in every county except Hall (presumably Hankins' home), which is keeping Hankins in the game.
    8:13pm: In the GOP primary in the 3rd, all I can tell you is that we're going to a runoff and CfG fave Jeff Duncan will be one of them. Three other guys are bunched around 15-19%, and right now the previously unheralded "R. Cash" is on track to make the runoff at 19%. (10% reporting.)
    8:11pm: The AP has called it for Keith Fimian in VA-11, so we're pretty much done in Virginia. That's probably good news for Gerry Connolly; the more moderate Herrity would seem to match up better.
    8:10pm: Looks like some asses finally got in gear in SC, as they're suddenly up to 8% reporting. For the Rs, it's still a Haley (40)/Barrett (28) runoff. McMaster's at 17, Bauer's at 14. Looks like the last-minute polygraph thing didn't pan out. For the Ds, Sheheen is at 54, with Rex a surprisingly weak 26 and Robert Ford a surprisingly strong 20.
    8:08pm: As far as actual numbers, in the 2nd, it's Rigell 41, Loyola 24, Mizusawa 20, with 48% in. Not a dominant performance, but a win's a win, and no runoffs in VA. In the 11th, it's Fimian 61, Herrity 39, with 58% in.
    8:06pm: AP has called it for Scott Rigell in VA-02.
    8:05pm: Polls have closed in Maine and New Jersey, so we're adding links for those below. Let's see if anyone showed up in Maine.
    8:00pm: Ticker tape is spewing out from the SSP Lab mainframes, and we're feeling like we're at a place where we can call both VA-02 for Scott Rigell and VA-11 for Keith Fimian. It would require massive turnarounds to go a different way at this point.
    7:54pm: Still less than 1% in in SC-04, but Trey Gowdy is whomping Bob Inglis, and everybody else; he has 66 to Inglis's 17. Of course, these are coming from Spartanburg, which is Gowdy's home county, so expect that to tighten.
    7:49pm: Things also seem to be going according to plan for the NRCC in the 2nd, where establishment pick Scott Rigell has 41%, ahead of Ben Loyola at 23, who just pulled ahead of Bert Mizusawa, at 21. We're at 37% reporting.
    7:46pm: Hmm, the twittersphere is saying that Rob Hurt has been declared the winner in VA-05. He's up to 46% of the vote, with 65% reporting. McKelvey's still in 2nd at 26%. If McKelvey follows through with threats to support the 3rd-party teabagger indie in November, he could probably move a bunch of votes with him.
    7:44pm: We can probably expect a call soon in the GA-09 special. With about 23% reporting, CfG fave Tom Graves still leads Lee Hawkins 65-35.
    7:42pm: In SC-Gov (R), it's looking like a two-person race to make the runoff, between Haley (37) and Barrett (32). Still less than 1% reporting, though. (Also good for a laff: Trey Gowdy is winning 100% of the vote in SC-04. Out of a total of 2 votes, all from the 1 precinct out of 265 that's reported.)
    7:37pm: Things not looking so hot for Pat Herrity, the more establishment choice in VA-11. With 15% in, he's still trailing Keith Fimian 61-39. Also worth noting he's ahead only 50.1-49.9 in his home county of Fairfax, where he's a county supervisor (granted, Fairfax Co. takes up about 2/3ds of the district, so maybe the Herrity areas haven't reported yet).
    7:34pm: Dang, more seesawing in VA-02. Rigell's back in front at 40, with Mizusawa at 29. We're at 26% reporting.
    7:31pm: The AP is finally dribbling out some SC details. With a whopping 3 precincts out of 2,109, Nikki Haley's just above the runoff-avoidance mark at 51%. Gresham Barrett's in 2nd at 30. On the Dem side, Vince Sheheen is at 52 with Jim Rex at 41.
    7:28pm: I might have been hasty about VA-02; check it out. Bert Mizusawa has actually pulled ahead of Scott Rigell, with 17% reporting. Bert's up 37-33, with Ben Loyola at 18. Maybe Rigell's insufficient purity caught up with him after all.
    7:27pm: In VA-05, we're up to 33% in. Hurt's just moving sideways, still at 40%, but McKelvey is losing ground as other teabaggers' local strongholds seem to be trickling in. McK is at 31, with McPadden up to 11.
    7:26pm: Things are closing a lot in VA-11; maybe they started with Keith Fimian's precinct. Fimian still has a big lead over Herrity, though: 63-37, with 6% in.
    7:24pm: The AP has already called the GOP primary in VA-01 for incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman. Not that he was expected to lose to Cathy "Bullet Box" Crabill, but it wasn't close.
    7:21pm: Early outlook in GA-09, with 1% reporting, is a big lead for Tom Graves. He's leading Lee Hawkins 65-35. Looks like that whole construction lien story didn't damage him much.
    7:19pm: Things are actually moving fast in VA-05. We're up to 20% reporting. And things are tightening up between Hurt and McKelvey. It's now Hurt 40, McKelvey 36. Remember, though, that VA doesn't have runoffs.
    7:17pm: Hmmm, I wonder if this a geographical blip or a sign of things to come? In VA-11's GOP primary, 2008 nominee Keith Fimian is pounding Pat Herrity, by a surprising 80-20 margin. 1% is in.
    7:15pm: There's 1% in in the 2nd, and as expected, Scott Rigell, the wealthy guy/establishment choice, has a large lead. He's at 57%, with Bert Mizusawa at 18%.
    7:12pm: No preliminary ganja break in Virginia; they're hitting the ground running. (These results are only at the BOE, not at the AP yet.) Maybe most significantly, with 4% reporting in the GOP primary in VA-05, Robert Hurt is in first place at 47%. Jim McKelvey seems to have consolidated much of the teabagger vote; he's not too far back at 37%, with everyone else in single digits.
    Polls are set to close in half an hour in South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, and we'll be using this thread to follow the returns. We'll put up new threads throughout the night as polls close in other states. Grab your Pop Secret and let's go!

    RESULTS:

    Discuss :: (100 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/31 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Mon May 31, 2010 at 8:00 AM EDT

    Even the mailman takes off today. But not SSP....

  • AR-Sen: Mitch Berry, the son of retiring Dem Rep. Marion Berry, is stepping up his fight against Bill Halter's purported war on common sense. Berry's PAC, Arkansans For Common Sense, just filed a $150,000 media buy against Halter, bringing their total expenditures in this race to nearly $350K. (J)
  • NV-Sen: Salon notes that hard-charging teabagger Sharron Angle has been handing out her own newspaper-style pamphlet at campaign events, titled "The Angle Examiner." Underneath eye-grabbing headlines like "Reid Waterboarding the Economy" are photos of Angle in various action poses, including one in which she's firing her .44 Magnum, which she calls her "Dirty Harry Hand Cannon." Salon editorializes that "the breathless tone of its writing, and the very un-slick design, makes it seem like one more piece of evidence that Angle may not be quite ready for prime time."
  • Ready or not, Angle is getting some big help in the closing days of her insurgent campaign. The Club for Growth filed a half-million dollar expenditure report with the FEC, the bulk of which is being spent on direct mail and attack ads hitting front-runner Sue Lowden. At the same time, the Tea Party Express has upped their media buys supporting Angle by another $50K. (J)

  • AZ-Gov: Get a load of this tyranny. GOP Gov. Jan Brewer says that she "has removed" state AG Terry Goddard, a Democrat running against her this fall, from defending the state against possible litigation by the federal Department of Justice surrounding the state's "papers please" immigration law. Apparently, Brewer thinks that Goddard is "colluding" with the DoJ after learning that he met with DoJ lawyers shortly before they met with the governor's legal advisors. This is a routine practice for Justice Department attorneys when considering legal action against a state, but Brewer will have none of it. Goddard, for his part, insists that he will be "definitely defending the state" in any challenges to the law. (J)
  • NY-Gov: Ex-Rep. Rick Lazio scored the Conservative Party's endorsement, but he didn't exactly do it in fine fashion. Chairman Mike Long pushed the party convention a week ahead of the GOP confab, in the hopes of pressuring the Republicans to nominate Lazio instead of recent ex-Dem Steve Levy. But this move ruffled quite a few feathers, it seems, and supporters of Levy and ultra-creepbag Carl Paladino conspired to also put Erie County Conservative chair Ralph Lorigo on the ballot as well. This means that if Lorigo sees it through, Lazio could face a contested primary for the Conservative line. That would mean two different primaries for two different parties with two different sets of opponents for Lazio at the same time! I also have to wonder whether Long will also face backlash over his continued meddling in NY-23 as well. Ah, the Republicans: They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
  • CA-36: Not taking any chances, Dem Rep. Jane Harman is out with an incendiary ad against her primary opponent, activist Marcy Winograd. The ad, which began airing on local cable stations and FIOS last Thursday, hits Winograd for wanting to "kill the defense budget" and to "destroy Israel."  Kudos to the Politico's Alex Isenstadt for inquiring about the size of the ad buy, but shame on the Harman campaign for declining to provide details. (J)
  • CA-42: Teabagging accountant Phil Liberatore pumped another $375K of his own cash into his race against GOP Rep. Gary Miller. Liberatore has now spent half a million trying to unseat Miller, who has spent "only" $337K. There are also a couple of Some Dudes in this race. The primary is June 8th.
  • FL-10: Even though the House ethics office cleared Bill Young in the PMA lobbying scandal back in February, a criminal investigation is apparently underway at the Justice Department. (You may recall that several lawmakers were accused of steering defense-related earmarks to PMA clients, in exchange for campaign donations.) Dem Charlie Justice seems to be overplaying his hand here (if he even has one), calling for Young to resign from office.
  • GA-09: Sure, anyone can file a lawsuit, but banks aren't Orly Taitz, and they usually only sue debtors when they mean it. So it's a bit startling to see that a local bank is suing Tom Graves, the leading candidate in the GA-09 runoff, to recover an unpaid $2.25 million business loan. They're also accusing him of fraudulently transferring some property in order to frustrate the bank's collection efforts. This sounds pretty serious, and could be a real game-changer. The second round of this special election is on June 8th, where Graves, a former state rep., faces Lee Hawkins, a former state senator. (Graves led 35-23 in the first round.)
  • ID-01: Walt Minnick just rolled out a list of 100 key supporters across his district, including a bunch of prominent Republican donors and elected officials, like some county commissioners and the former head of the National Cattleman's Beef Association. Whoo-eee!
  • IL-10: Biden alert! The VPOTUS will do a fundraiser for Dan Seals on June 21st in Chicago.
  • NC-08: It's always the sign of a successful campaign when the candidate starts threatening to sue members of his own party for defamation. That's what SSP fave Tim D'Annunzio is doing, claiming that the state GOP chair is spreading lies about him. Oh, and he wants $5 million. God speed, little Timmy!
  • NY-01: Bill Clinton will be doing a $2,400-a-head fundraiser for Rep. Tim Bishop in Manhattan this Thursday, while Henry Kissinger will be doing the same for Republican Chris Cox. (Cox is the grandson of Richard Nixon, who of course was BFF with Kissinger back in the day.) P.S. Note to CQ-Roll Call: There is no "furor" about this dumb Sestak job non-story.
  • SC-02: GOP Rep. Joe Wilson raised an unbelievable amount of cash after his infamous State of the Union outburst, and he's spending at an equally prodigious clip, too. Wilson's pre-primary fundraising report, filed with the FEC, indicates that his campaign brought in $190,000 in a six-week period following the end of March, but he also spent over $450,000 out of his war chest, leaving him with under $1.9 million cash-on-hand. All told, Wilson has spent a whopping $2 million on his re-election campaign already, despite not facing any primary opposition. (J)
  • UT-02: Rep. Jim Matheson scored the backing of the 18,000-strong Utah Education Association teachers union. It so happens that his primary opponent, Claudia Wright, has been a teacher for 30 years.
  • NRCC: A good observation by Steve Benen, who points out that the NRCC has recently begun lowballing expectations. While Republicans had for months been acting as though they were sure to retake the House, NRCC recruitment chair Kevin McCarthy has reduced his oddly specific takeover from 45 to 37 - just short of what the GOP would need for the majority. Benen wonders if the NRCC is playing a deep game here, trying to goad supporters into giving their all, lest they become complacent. But in the wake of PA-12 and other embarrassments in primaries, maybe the Republicans really have dialed back their hopes a bit.
  • Discuss :: (30 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/19

    by: Crisitunity

    Wed May 19, 2010 at 4:36 PM EDT

    CA-Sen: Good news for Tom Campbell, in the form of the Senate half of M4's poll of the California GOP primary: he leads Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore, 33-28-15. (Of course, with his plans to briefly go dark to conserve funds, that gives Fiorina a chance to play catchup when the margin's not that big.) Bad news for Campbell, though: the NRA has him in its metaphorical crosshairs, sending out a mailer to members attacking Campbell and, while not endorsing, offering kind words for Fiorina and DeVore.

    CT-Sen: This is going to make it a lot easier for Richard Blumenthal to make the case that the "in Vietnam" controversy is something of a cheap shot. A longer-form video release of the appearance (provided, ironically, by the Linda McMahon campaign, undercutting their own hatchet job) where the offending phrase occurred have him correctly referring to having "served in the military, during the Vietnam era" in the very same speech. That's not stopping Vietnam vet Rob Simmons, who, sensing an opening, has rolled out web advertising with "Blumenthal Lied About Vietnam" in very large letters.

    Blumenthal is getting more explicit backing from Democratic bigwigs now, as his mea culpa/attempt to get back on the offense seems to have had the desired effect. Rep. Chris Murphy, the likeliest guy to pick up the pieces if Blumenthal had to bail out, offered his unqualified support; so too did Howard Dean. And here's one thing that's actually good about Rasmussen's one-day, no-callback samples: they can strike fast. They polled Connecticut, and while the trendlines aren't appealing, they find Blumenthal still beating McMahon even in the heat of the moment before the story has had time to digest, and beating the other, unmoneyed GOP opponents by pretty wide margins. Markos has some really nice pushback against Rasmussen in general, today, asking why they always poll quickly when there's the potential for a good Republican narrative but not when the narrative doesn't fit (as seen in their failure to poll the Sorta Super-Tuesday primaries).

    FL-Sen: Charlie Crist has been trying to woo union support, starting with a speech at the state AFL-CIO convention this weekend. It's another indication that he's trying to move squarely onto Kendrick Meek's turf and monopolize as much of the left-of-center vote as he can, now that he's free from his GOP shackles. Meanwhile, quixotic Democratic candidate Jeff Greene has apparently been seen wooing Ukrainian strippers, in 2005 on his 145-foot yacht while cruising the Black Sea. Not so, claims his campaign spokesperson; he was busy traveling with his rabbi at the time instead.

    KY-Sen: In case you needed one more data point on how thin-skinned Rand Paul and how likely a meltdown from him is at some point before November, here's an anecdote from last night: he refused to take the customary concession call from Trey Grayson, at least according to the Grayson camp.

    NC-Sen: Here's a big score for Elaine Marshall: Third-place finisher Kenneth Lewis gave his backing to Marshall in her runoff against Cal Cunningham. This move isn't so surprising, given that Lewis's supporters, like Rep. Eva Clayton, were already gravitating toward Marshall, but it ought to steer much of Lewis's African-American and youth base in her direction as well.

    NV-Sen: Three items, all of which are very, very bad for Sue Lowden. First, the Club for Growth finally weighed into the Senate primary, and they backed right-winger Sharron Angle (maybe not that surprising, since they backed her in the 2006 primary for NV-02). That ought to give Angle a further shot of adrenaline, though, on top of her Tea Party Express endorsement and polling momentum. Lowden is also still bogged down in controversy over her luxury bus, doubling-down on her claims that use of the $100K vehicle was leased despite also having stated elsewhere that the bus was "donated" (which means it would have needed to be reported as an in-kind contribution). That's nothing, though, compared to the (by my count) quintupling-down on Chickens-for-Checkups, simultaneously trying to fight top Nevada journo Jon Ralston on the fact that, yes, people are bartering for health care while trying to claim that she never actually said anything about Chickencare at all.

    NY-Sen-B: The only GOP big name left who hadn't said anything definitive about participating in the GOP Senate primary for the right to get creamed by Kirsten Gillibrand finally said a public "no." Orange County Executive Ed Diana said he'll stick with his current job, to which he was elected in November to a third term.

    UT-Sen: Looks like that teabaggers' victory in Utah might be short-lived. Bob Bennett seems to be more interested than before in running as a write-in in the general (where, despite the complex dynamics of a write-in campaign, he faces better odds with the broader electorate than with the narrow slice of extremists running the GOP convention). We may know tomorrow what his plans are, as he emphasized "Stay tuned tomorrow."

    WA-Sen: If Dino Rossi really is still interested in running for Senate, this isn't a particularly good way of showing it. Rossi is scheduled to make a blockbuster appearance on May 25... to give opening remarks at a dinnertime seminar for local real estate investors focusing on strategies for profiting off foreclosures. Because nothing says "I'm a man of the people" than knowing all the ins and outs of how to profit off the people's misery.

    AL-Gov: Artur Davis is out with an internal poll, that seems mostly oriented toward countering the sense that he's losing ground among his African-American base. The poll shows Davis leading Democratic primary rival Ron Sparks 46-33. It also shows Davis leading 50-25 among African-Americans (despite the defections of some prominent local black groups), while trailing Sparks 42-41 among whites.

    FL-Gov: Bill McCollum is going to have to start taking moneybags Rick Scott seriously, and he's striking hard, sending out a press release calling him an "embarrassment" and a "fraud," presumably in reference to allegations leveled against Scott's health care firm. Scott's ginormous introductory ad buy is now estimating at $6.3 million.

    KS-Gov: Sam Brownback is drawing some heat for taking things out of context. Now, politicians take things out of context all the time, but his sleight-of-hand in attempting to fight efforts to more tightly regulate the business of car loans to military members may be a fridge too far.

    "CNN Money on May 13 reported that 'Raj Date ... agreed that the additional (Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection) regulation might cause some dealers to stop arranging loans," Brownback said in the letter.
    But Brownback's letter did not include the rest of Date's comment, which was this, "There will be some dealers who say, 'If I have to play by an honest set [of] rules, then I can't be in this business anymore.' I'm not going to shed any tears for these dealers."

    MA-Gov: You may recall last week's Rasmussen MA-Gov poll where, in an effort to find some sort of good news, they found that, if liberal activist Grace Ross somehow beat incumbent Dem Deval Patrick in the primary, she would lost to GOPer Charlie Baker. Well, it's looking like Ross is in danger of not even making it onto the ballot. The state SoS says she has only a little more than half of the 10,000 signatures she needs; Ross promises an announcement tomorrow morning on her next step. (The upside for Patrick, if Ross qualifies for the primary though, would be $750K in public financing for his campaign, which he wouldn't be entitled to if he were running unopposed.)

    ME-Gov: There's been some ongoing controversy in the sleepy Maine governor's race about how Republican candidate Steve Abbott (former CoS to Susan Collins) wound up with GOP voter lists, but this is a strange turn: the state Republican party chair, Charlie Webster, is now saying that Abbott's camp flat-out "stole" it.

    GA-09: The special election to replace Nathan Deal (where GOPers Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins are in a runoff) seems to have winnowed the Republican field for the regularly-scheduled GOP primary, too. Former state Senate majority leader Bill Stephens has dropped out of contention in that field.

    HI-01: Even if something incredibly dramatic happens between now and Saturday's drop-dead date in the special election in the 1st, things are still pretty much cast in stone. In the all-mail in election, now 43% of all ballots sent out have been returned.

    IN-03: State Sen. Marlin Stutzman (whose name rec is sky-high right now after running fairly well in the GOP Senate primary against Dan Coats) says that he's going to strike while the iron is hot, and get into the race to replace resigning Rep. Mark Souder. Other GOPers confirming that they'll run include state Rep. Randy Borror, Ft. Wayne city councilor Liz Brown, and recent primary loser Phil Troyer. Another recent primary loser, Bob Thomas, is a potential candidate.

    OH-16: After having found an excuse to hide behind the door the last time Barack Obama came to Ohio, Rep. John Boccieri was proudly with him when he visited Youngstown yesterday. Perhaps he can sense a bit of a turning of the tide? Troublingly, though, Senate candidate Lee Fisher wasn't present.

    PA-12: PPP digs through the data from their last pre-election poll in the 12th and finds what may really have done the Republicans in. There's one entity in the district even more unpopular than Barack Obama (who had 30% approval), and that's Congressional Republicans, who were at a miserable 22/60. In nationalizing the election, Tim Burns tied himself to the nation's least favorite people of all.

    PA-19: After having surviving his primary last night despite publicly seeking another job, it looks like Rep. Todd Platts exposed himself to all that danger for no reason at all. Platts announced yesterday that the Obama administration had let him know that he wasn't going to be selected for the Government Accountability Office job he'd been angling for.

    CT-AG: Here's one of the weirdest career crash-and-burns I've seen lately: SoS Susan Bysiewicz went in a few months from likely next Governor to somehow not even eligible to run for the lower-tier job she dropped down to. Connecticut's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that she didn't meet the criteria for legal experience required to become AG, reversing a lower court's decision. Former Democratic state Sen. George Jepsen now has the AG job pretty much to himself. At any rate, with Bysiewicz now combing the "Help Wanted" section, that gives the Connecticut Dems a fallback plan for the Senate if Richard Blumenthal does need to bail out (although Bysiewicz may be seriously damaged at this point too).

    OR-St. House: Here are a couple races with interesting implications that I forgot to watch last night: two Republican state Reps. from the high-desert parts of Oregon (the state's Republican stronghold) committed the unthinkable heresy of not only bipartisanship but supporting tax increases to close the state's budget gap. Both Bob Jenson and Greg Smith survived their primaries, though, after teabaggers, right-to-lifers, and even their state House minority leader turned their wrath against them.

    Arizona: One other election result from last night that most people, us included, seemed to overlook was Proposition 100 in Arizona. In a surprise, at least to those people who think that it's a rabidly anti-tax year (which would be those people who didn't pay any attention to Measures 66 and 67 earlier this year in Oregon), the people of this red state voted by a fairly wide margin for a temporary sales tax increase as part of a package of changes to close the budget gap. It's a victory for Jan Brewer, actually, who backed the plan (perhaps feeling safer to do so, having solidified her position with her support for the "papers please" law).

    1994: When you have a wave, a lot of dead wood washes up on the beach. Prompted by '94 alum Mark Souder's mini-scandal and resignation, Dana Milbank looks back at the wide array of scoundrels and rogues who were swept in in 1994.

    History: History's only barely on the side of Blanche Lincoln when it comes to runoffs. It turns out that the person who finishes first in a runoff wins 72% of the time, but when that's limited only to runoffs in primaries, the success rate is only 55%... and Lincoln's victory over Bill Halter last night was a particularly close one.

    Discuss :: (68 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/14 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Fri May 14, 2010 at 3:31 PM EDT

    AK-Sen: Moose man endorses Some Dude. That's SSP shorthand for: Todd Palin just endorsed Joe Miller, the right-wing lawyer who's taking on Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Senate primary. Recall that Mr. Palin has had some fairly fringey politics in the past (as with his membership in the Alaskan Independence Party), so I wonder if this was done with his wife's approval (or, given her busy schedule these days, whether he was even able to block out some time with her to get her say-so). Given her rumored brief interest in taking on Murkowski in the primary herself (back when she was still Governor rather than itinerant book-selling motivational-speaking grifter), and her long-standing beef with all things Murkowksi, I'd suppose yes.

    CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, trying to make up last-minute ground in the GOP primary against Tom Campbell, has thrown $1.1 million of her own money into her campaign. On top of previous loans to her campaign, that brings her total self-contributions to $3.6 million. Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner were both heard scoffing loudly.

    CT-Sen: Chalk this one up to bad, bad timing. Linda McMahon just sent out a mailer proposing to "put Connecticut back to work" by "increasing offshore drilling and production" (um, in Long Island Sound?). The mailer features a large, lovely picture of a (non-burning) offshore oil rig.

    NH-Sen: Has Kelly Ayotte just given up on any pretense of trying to look moderate? She's appearing at a Susan B. Anthony List (the anti-abortion group) fundraiser today, headlined by Sarah Palin, along with a supporting cast like Rep. Steve King. I know that she still needs to survive her GOP primary, but her main opposition these days is looking like moderate Bill Binnie, not right-wing Ovide Lamontagne.

    NV-Sen: Steve Kornacki looks at the Nevada Senate race and the "what if" scenario if Sharron Angle somehow wins the primary. History indicates that Harry Reid can't pin too many hopes on winning just because the GOP puts forth its most extreme candidate... maybe the biggest case in point, the Carter camp's hopes that wacko Ronald Reagan would make it out of the GOP primary in 1980.

    NY-Sen: Wow, there's actually going to be a GOP primary for the right to get mulched by Chuck Schumer! Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who's only been on the job half a year, is already looking to move up. He'll still have to get past political consultant Jay Townsend in the primary.

    UT-Sen: She stopped short of a formal endorsement, but fringey activist Cherilyn Eagar, who finished fourth at the GOP convention, said that Tim Bridgewater would be "an excellent senator" and complimented him on a "clean, honest race." Eagar is back to her day job fighting the menace posed by gnomes.

    AL-Gov: I'm losing track of all the weird outside groups popping up to play dirty pool in the Alabama governor's race. Today's entrant is the mysterious New Sons of Liberty, whose main agenda seems to be Barack Obama's birth certificate. They've reserved $1.1 million in TV airtime, although it's unclear what they'll be advertising about or on behalf of whom. The leader of a group, Basics Project, affiliated with the New Sons is mystified at where they would have gotten that kind of money, so it seems like they're being used as a conduit for... well, somebody.

    There's also a new poll out of the Republican primary, by Republican pollster Baselice (on behalf of local PR firm Public Strategy Associates... there's no word on whether any of the candidates are their client). They find Bradley Byrne barely leading Tim James 24-23. Roy Moore, who many thought would be the man to beat, is lagging at 18, with Robert Bentley at 12 and Bill Johnson at 2. The juicier numbers might be down in the AG race, where GOP incumbent Troy King is in all kinds of trouble. He's losing 50-25 to challenger Luther Strange. There are three Dems in the AG field, most prominently James Anderson, ready to try to exploit the cat-fud fight.

    AR-Gov: One thing we didn't mention in our writeup of Research 2000's AR-Sen poll from yesterday is that they were the first pollster to throw the Arkansas Governor's race into the mix. Incumbent Dem Mike Beebe routinely sports some of the highest favorables of any politician (64/24 here), and he seems immune from Arkansas' reddish trend and the nation's overall anti-incumbent fervor. He leads Republican former state Sen. Jim Keet, 62-19.

    CT-Gov: Former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy picked up another potentially useful endorsement today as we make our way toward Connecticut's endorsing conventions. He got the nod from Rep. John Larson, the #4 man on the House totem pole. UPDATE: On the GOP side, ex-Rep. Chris Shays has an endorsement of his own: Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele.

    NY-Gov: It's kind of more meta than we'd like, to report on an announcement about an announcement (about an announcement), but it sounds like we're getting closer to pinning down a date from Andrew Cuomo. It's being reported that he'll announce his gubernatorial candidacy on or around May 25, the start of the state Democratic convention.

    AL-05: Rep. Parker Griffith is already up with a negative ad hitting one of his Republican primary opponents, Madison Co. Commissioner Mo Brooks, calling him a "career politician" and "big spender." Brooks observed, perhaps correctly (although the Alabama primary is fast approaching), that an incumbent attacking a challenger is a big-time sign of weakness.

    GA-09: Former state Rep. Tom Graves, in the runoff for the special election in this seat against fellow Republican Lee Hawkins, got the endorsement from nearby Rep. Lynn "Uppity" Westmoreland. In a district this red, that may actually be a plus.

    MN-06: An unaffiliated independent, Troy Freihammer, may appear on the ballot, in addition to Independence Party nominee Bob Anderson. He needs 1,000 signatures by month's end, though, so he may not make that hurdle. Getting him on might be a net plus for the Dems, as his website makes pretty clear he's a Tenther and he's only likely to take votes away from Michele Bachmann.

    OR-01: SurveyUSA is way down in the weeds here (although that's because the poll where they get paid to do so, in this case by local TV affiliate KATU), with a look at the primaries in the 1st. In a four-way field on the GOP side, the NRCC's preferred candidate, sports-industry consultant Rob Cornilles, leads at 31, beating mortgage broker John Kuzmanich at 19. The other guy whose name you hear in connection with this race, Stephan Brodhead (mostly because he somehow summoned up $298K CoH) is polling at all of 3, probably because his main campaign activity seems to be trolling the online comment sections of local newspapers and people have ascertained thusly that he's a wackjob. Rep. David Wu is at 75% against token opposition on the Dem side.

    PA-04: What was supposed to be a victory lap for former US Attorney and loyal Bushie Mary Beth Buchanan has turned into a real dogfight with attorney Keith Rothfus, seemingly helped along by her apparent ineptitude at electoral politics. She's currently drawing fire for a "deceitful" mailer which uses the National Rifle Association logo without its permission. Things have actually been going badly enough on the message-control front that improbable rumors have her dropping out of the race (with days to go), although her camp is saying her "major political announcement" is just a press conference to go on the offensive against Rothfus.

    Census: An interesting article from Stateline looks at what various states are doing to amp up Census participation. The real interest, here, is a neat map they've put together rating the states not on their overall participation percentages, but on the overall shifts in participation percentage from 2000 to 2010. Intriguingly, the biggest improvements in participation were clustered in the Deep South (especially North and South Carolina, both of which are on the cusp of adding another seat), while the Mountain West states suffered the most. California also seemed to fall off a bit, as budget limitations kept them from doing much outreach this time around, which could conceivably hurt their hopes of staying at 53 seats.

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