TX-Gov (University of Texas): Bill White (D) 40, Rick Perry (R-inc) 50
Bonus: UT also tested a wide range of down-ballot races.
VA-02 (Christopher Newport University): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell (R) 42
Margins & Errors: The DSCC supposedly has some internal with Alexi Giannoulias up 2 in IL-Sen, but this is some NRCC-style crap with no details other than the toplines... Some MI-Gov poll shows that the race still sucks... Frank Guinta is touting an internal in NH-01 that supposedly has him up 53-37, but there isn't even word of the pollster's name
One more poll for the pile with a high-single-digits lead for Barbara Boxer, this time from the very trustworthy PPIC. They also look at the Governor's race (see below) and a few initiatives: they find Prop 19 (pot) passing 52-41 and Prop 25 (simple majority budget) passing 48-35, but also finding Prop 23 (suspending greenhouse gas limits) passing 43-42.
• IN-Sen: We'd speculated that this was a possibility back around the time of the Indiana GOP primary, when Dan Coats (an unusually tepid gun supporter as far as GOPers go) won. The NRA today endorsed his Democratic opponent, Brad Ellsworth, who's pretty much walked the pro-gun line in his red House district. (I know we'd said we'd shut up about NRA endorsements of conservaDems, but this one actually has the potential to move some votes in a key race.)
• PA-Sen: Susquehanna for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Sestak (D): 42
Pat Toomey (R): 45
I wish this had come out in time for our monstrous Pennsylvania wrapup from early this morning, as it's an interesting post-script. Susquehanna (a Republican pollster, but one who've demonstrated that they know what they're doing in Pennsylvania; for instance, they got the PA-12 special pretty close to right) sees it as a surprisingly close race, finding Sestak within 3. Is this the first sign of Sestak closing, or is this just the optimistic edge of the stable mid-single-digits band that the race has usually been pegged at?
• CA-Gov: PPIC (9/19-26, likely voters, 7/6-20 in parentheses):
Jerry Brown (D): 37 (46)
Meg Whitman (R): 38 (40)
Other: 7 (-)
Undecided: 18 (14)
Unfortunately, this poll closes out the end of a run of remarkable luck for Jerry Brown of polls showing him spiking into the lead (although there's a lot of movement from both candidates to "Other," though I'm not sure who that would be). Importantly, though, the polling period ended before Meg Whitman's illegal housekeeper problem burst into public view. The SEIU is doing its part to keep the issue front and center, pumping $5 million into a Latino outreach effort that's largely field efforts but also includes an ad starting in a few days hitting Whitman on the housekeeper issue. Whitman's also doing her part to keep it in the news, saying she'll employ the scoundrel's last refuge -- a polygraph test -- to prove she was unaware.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/27-29, likely voters, 9/14-19 in parentheses):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (52)
Carl Paladino (R): 38 (33)
Rick Lazio (C): - (9)
Undecided: 8 (6)
Marist strikes back quickly with another poll following up on the news that Rick Lazio is no longer a candidate, preferring to enjoy the great prestige that comes with a trial court judgeship in the Bronx. At any rate, they don't see anything changing other than what you'd expect: most of Lazio's voters from the Conservative line gravitated over to GOP nominee Carl Paladino, with a few, unappetized by the bombastic Paladino, joining the ranks of the undecided.
• OR-Gov: One major explanation for how Chris Dudley has made a major race out of what looked like an easy Dem pickup hold a year ago is... money. (As with so many other races this year...) Dudley has raised $5.6 million all cycle long, as of Tuesday's reporting deadline, more than doubling up on John Kitzhaber's $2.6 million, the largest disparity between the two parties ever seen in an Oregon gubernatorial race. (The SEIU has been running ads on Kitzhaber's behalf, and the DGA has $750K ready to go, but that's still a big deficit.)
• RI-Gov: Fleming & Associates for WPRI-TV (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 33
John Robitaille (R): 19
Lincoln Chafee (I): 30
There's been a general trend in the last month or two toward the Democrat, Frank Caprio, in this race. But the newest poll (apparently the first of this race from Fleming & Associates), on behalf of local TV stations, shows a much closer race, with Caprio up only 3 on his indie opponent, Lincoln Chafee.
• GA-08: American Viewpoint for Austin Scott (9/26-27, likely voters, late July in parentheses):
Jim Marshall (D-inc): 38 (44)
Austin Scott (R): 46 (39)
Undecided: 13 (14)
Well, there's only one alarming GOP House internal poll today, unlike yesterday's onslaught. (Also, note the hypertrophied margin of error, based on an n of 300.) Still, this is another race that's tended to be on the "Lean D" or at least "Tilt D" side of the equation, and one more juggling ball that the DCCC is going to have to keep in the air.
• ME-01, ME-02: Critical Insights, like last time, included both Maine House districts as part of their poll, so we actually have some trendlines now. In the 1st, Chellie Pingree is expanding her lead over Dean Scontras, 54-26. However, in the 2nd, Mike Michaud's lead over Jason Levesque is a little smaller, down to 44-32 (from 48-28). (In a way, that's reassuring, because that's evidence that Critical Insights didn't just stumble into a much Dem-friendlier batch, and that the flight from Paul LePage seems real.)
• DSCC: The DSCC is having to put some money into Connecticut, a race they probably thought they could avoid spending on when Richard Blumenthal got into the race. They're starting with a smallish $250K, though. Other DSCC outlays today include $720K in CO-Sen, $464K in IL-Sen, $362K in MO-Sen, and $386K in WV-Sen.
• NARAL: NARAL rolled out endorsements of twenty different Dems running in House races, almost all of whom received $5K each. You can click for the full list, but it includes Cedric Richmond, Steve Pougnet, John Hulburd, and Joe Garcia on offense (the rest are defensive picks).
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski's out with two different ads, one hitting Joe Miller as outsider, the other a PSA-type ad that verrrry slowly and carefully explains to people how to vote for her
• KY-Sen: Here's a powerful new ad from Jack Conway hitting Rand Paul on the drug issue yet again, complete with tombstone and tagline "He doesn't know us" (interestingly, though, the DSCC is following the NRSC's lead here with an ad buy cancellation for the week of the 5th) (UPDATE: Looks like the DS un-cancelled)
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt hits Robin Carnahan over the stimulus, pointing out that another member of the extended Carnahan clan got money for his wind farm
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold tries going back to firing up the base, running an ad based on the merits of health care reform
• MI-01: The NRCC weighs in with an ad in the 1st, an endless circle of meta wherein Dan Benishek attacks Gary McDowell for attacking
• WI-07: Julie Lassa goes back to the theme of Sean Duffy having prematurely abandoned his day job as DA to run for the House
• AJS: Americans for Job Security tries again in VA-09 (remember that's where their previous ad got bounced for being too egregious), as well as in CO-03 and NY-24
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 51%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 37%, Charles Grassley (R-inc) 55%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 42%, Ron Johnson 54%
• AK-Sen: The Tea Party Express is reloading in Alaska, with Lisa Murkowski having popped up again as a target. They're launching a new ad blitz starting Monday, although no word on how much they plan to spend on this go-round.
• CA-Sen: It seems like the NRSC can read the handwriting on the wall in California: they've canceled a $1.9 million ad buy on Carly Fiorina's behalf for the last week before the election (probably sensing that money's more valuable in West Virginia). They're, of course, framing it as "advancing in another direction," saying they wanted to give her flexibility to spend the money "around the state and not just in one city."
• CO-Sen: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for DSCC (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Michael Bennet (D-inc): 48
Ken Buck (R): 46
The DSCC has the first publicly-offered poll in a while giving Michael Bennet a lead, here up 2 on Ken Buck. (The last poll with a Bennet lead seems to be that joint POS/Fairbank Maslin poll from early September, which had him up by 3.)
• DE-Sen: Wow, Christine O'Donnell's resume (on her LinkedIn profile) is falling apart like it was made out of balsa wood and chewing gum. After getting called on not having actually taken any classes at Oxford yesterday, now it turns out that she never took any classes at Claremont Graduate University. And she's offering a really strange denial, the kind of thing you might expect from a first-grader rather than a 41-year old: that Linked In profile with her name on it? Yeah, she's saying she didn't put it up and doesn't know who did.
• LA-Sen: I don't know if anyone has compared this yet to that epic-length R. Kelly video that has him hiding in closet and there's a dwarf apropos of nothing? At any rate, Charlie Melancon is out with a new ad that's not the first time he's broached the issue of David Vitter's, um, personal failings... but this one goes on for two whole minutes, chronicling the whole thing in great detail. Given its remarkable length, it should be no surprise that it's only running on cable.
• NC-Sen: Public Policy Polling (pdf) (9/23-26, likely voters, late Aug. in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 36 (38)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (43)
Michael Beitler (L): (6)
Undecided: 11 (13)
The movement toward Richard Burr (thanks to his seemingly-effective advertising, paid for with his huge financial edge) shown by other pollsters is corroborated by PPP, who've tended to see a closer race here in their home state than anyone else. He leads by 13, instead of 5 like last time. One galling number, indicating this could be a real race if Elaine Marshall had any money (not forthcoming, since the DSCC is playing so much defense elsewhere), is that Marshall actually leads 47-45 among those who have an opinion of her.
• NV-Sen: Jon Ralston continues to pummel Sharron Angle, this time over her strange attempts to walk back claims that she wants to privatize the VA. "Walk back" may not even be the right word, since her seem to involve the argument that she never actually said the words that she previously said in May. Meanwhile, here's the level of message discipline they have over at Camp Angle: her own spokesperson is criticizing Angle's latest ad on immigration as "propaganda," in her side gig as chair of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus!
• WA-Sen: Who's the most popular politician in America these days? Bill Clinton, believe it or not. So it's no surprise he's in demand as Democratic surrogate, and he's even coming to Washington on Patty Murray's behalf, headlining a Boeing-themed event in Everett on Oct. 18.
• CA-Gov: This story seems to be developing as the day goes on: Meg Whitman's camp has had to cop to the fact that she once employed a housekeeper who was, gasp, an illegal immigrant. The fight... which will probably determine how much of a story this becomes (if any) over the next few days... seems to be over how much Whitman personally knew about her status (although the non-matching social security number seems like it should've been a tipoff).
• CO-Gov: Wow, this might actually help Dan Maes climb his way out of polling in the low teens! Today he offers some exculpatory evidence that he did too sorta-kinda work as an undercover officer for a small-town police department in Kansas. (Of course, it also shows that he was in fact fired for leaking information about the probe to the relative of a target.)
• OH-Gov: Benenson for Campaign for the Moderate Majority (9/25-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
You might apply a little salt as this is a poll by a Dem pollster for Dem-sounding group, but this is still the first we've seen this in a long, long while... a poll with Ted Strickland in the lead. With a trio of polls in the last few days showing Strickland down by either 1 or 2, there's some definite late closing in this race. (One strange item, though, is that "other" candidates are eating up 6% of the vote here. I'd be surprised if that continues.)
• CO-02: Magellan (9/29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Jared Polis (D-inc): 48
Stephen Bailey (R): 36
I'm not sure why Magellan fired up their crack team of robo-dialers to test this race, not really on anyone's radar screen -- maybe they're prospecting for unusual targets. As one would expect, Jared Polis isn't in particular danger in this D+11 district, although thanks to the drag of the national climate his numbers seem softer than the district's heavy lean.
• NC-07: SurveyUSA for Civitas (pdf) (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McIntyre (D-inc): 45
Ilario Pantano (R): 46
SurveyUSA takes a look at NC-07, as part of the Civitas Institute's rotating cast of pollsters. The (not very comforting) good news is that this is SurveyUSA, which has been putting out very GOP-friendly polling in House races, especially in North Carolina. (See their NC-11 polling, compared to other sources.) The bad news is that this race is pretty low on people's watch lists, although the NRCC has started to spending some money on ads here.
• VA-02: POS for Scott Rigell (9/26-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
Glenn Nye (D-inc): 35
Scott Rigell (R): 42
Kenny Golden (I): 5
On top of the NRCC internal poll leaked yesterday (giving Scott Rigell a decent if not-awe-inspiring 45-40 lead over Glenn Nye in an Ayres McHenry poll on 9/23-26), now Rigell's out with his own internal poll from POS giving him a slightly bigger lead. There's one very strange detail here, though: the voters going for tea-flavored indie Kenny Golden seem to be coming out Glenn Nye's column, as that subsample has 59/23 Obama approvals. The MoE on that subsample is probably astronomical, but still, there seems to be some message confusion here about who's who.
• WI-07: POS for Sean Duffy (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Julie Lassa (D): 43
Sean Duffy (R): 47
With Julie Lassa having released a poll yesterday showing her down by 1, Sean Duffy retaliated with a poll showing, well, not much difference: his poll has Lassa down by 4. This gets a little confusing, because the NRCC is out with a totally different internal poll today giving Duffy a better result (see below). At any rate, the polls taken in combination seem to give him a definite advantage here.
• NRSC: Here are some McCain Bucks that are actually worth something in the real world! Apparently feeling confident in his general (having survived a bigger challenge in his primary from J.D. Hayworth), John McCain just kicked $1 million over to the NRSC. (Alternate title: Good news! From John McCain!)
• NRCC: In addition to those couple candidate-released internals, the NRCC leaked five more internals of its own today to the Hotline, the majority of which confirm the expected trouble in three Midwestern open seats, but one showing a sleepy race is a live one and one with flat-out awful numbers for the Dem:
WI-08: Steve Kagen (D-inc) 39%, Reid Ribble (R) 57% (OnMessage, 9/15-16)
IL-17: Phil Hare (D-inc) 43%, Bobby Schilling (R) 44% (Tarrance Group, 9/23-25)
WI-07: Julie Lassa (D) 38%, Sean Duffy (R) 52% (Fabrizio, McLaughlin 9/15-16)
MI-01: Gary McDowell (D) 24%, Dan Benishek (R) 40% (Hill Research, 9/19-22) (um, no polling on Glenn Wilson?)
IN-08: Trent Van Haaften (D) 20%, Larry Buchson (R) 41% (OnMessage, 9/13-14)
• American Crossroads: Money's flowing out of American Crossroads as fast as it flows in, from their handful of billionaire donors: they're launching TV ad buys worth $724K in CO-Sen, $618K in IL-Sen, $346K in NV-Sen, $267K in PA-Sen, $492K in WA-Sen, $384K in MO-Sen, and also $247K in direct mail in FL-Sen. (Here's a peek at their WA-Sen ad.)
• NFIB: Committees? Who needs 'em? The National Federation of Independent Business is getting straight into the IE business, too, and in a big way. They have a new PA-Sen ad out (see the link). They're also starting to advertise in NC-Sen, WI-Sen, IN-08, WI-07, ND-AL, OH-16, NM-01, NV-03, FL-08, SC-05, VA-05, and WI-08.
• State legislatures: Louis Jacobson, writing for Governing magazine, updates his state legislature projections, with almost every move in the Republicans' favor. 25 of the 28 chambers "in play" are Democratic-controlled. The most alarming moves include moving the Dem-held Pennsylvania House and Ohio House to Lean Republican, and the North Carolina Senate and Colorado House to Tossup. The one remaining viable pickup opportunity for Dems is the Texas House.
• Polltopia: There isn't exactly anything new in this Politico piece from Maggie Haberman, but it does convey that professional pollsters and poll watchers in the Beltway are throwing up their hands in frustration about wildly vacillating, inconclusive polling this cycle as the rest of us are... showing that, really, nobody has much of a clue as to what's about to happen. Just to help everyone take a deep breath and keep things in perspective here...
• SSP TV:
• FL-Sen: The winning ad of the day comes from the Florida Democratic Party, on Kendrick Meek's behalf, letting Charlie Crist do all the talking about how he's really a conservative Republican
• WI-Sen: I actually agree with the Fix here that this is an effective Ron Johnson ad, letting him play the outsider in the same way that Russ Feingold did 18 years ago
• WV-Sen: The NRSC contrasts at-home Joe Manchin vs. Washington Joe Manchin
• FL-Gov: The FDP is also out with two different ads in the Governor's race, hitting Rick Scott on his Columbia/HCA tenure and contrasting that with Alex Sink's uncontroversial time at Bank of America
• MA-Gov: The RGA keeps hitting Tim Cahill (on the lottery this time), knowing full well that less Cahill means more Charlie Baker
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley is one politician embracing instead of fleeing Barack Obama, in a new radio ad
• FL-22: Ron Klein is out with another anti-Allen West ad, but it's back to the tax liens instead of dipping into the well of crazy
• IA-01: AFF is out with a mondo-sized ad buy against Bruce Braley in a race that no one else but them seems to be paying attention to (for $800K!) (h/t desmoinesdem)
• KS-03: Stephene Moore is finally out with her first TV spot, which is mostly an attack on Kevin Yoder (though self-narrated, which is unusual for that)
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster's out with an ad hitting Charlie Bass for wanting to "pick up where he left off"
• NV-03: Here's a link to that Dina Titus "peas in a pod" ad that we mentioned this morning, tying Joe Heck to Sharron Angle
• PA-12: Mark Critz's first ad talks about his own hardscrabble roots, and about outsourcing
• WI-07: As cool as it is to watch, how many more ads is Sean Duffy going to keep playing lumberjack in?
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 51%
• DE-Sen: One more Real World alum in the political news: that's first-season vet Eric Neis debating Christine O'Donnell in this new 90s video that's surfaced. Ooops, I'm burying the lede: the point of the video is that O'Donnell answers in the affirmative when asked if she wants to stop the whole country from having sex.
• KY-Sen: Benenson Strategy Group for DSCC (9/14-19, likely voters, early Sept. in parentheses):
Jack Conway (D): 42 (45)
Rand Paul (R): 45 (47)
Undecided: 13 (8)
The newest Benenson poll from the DSCC shows things pretty stable in the Kentucky race, with Jack Conway hanging back within striking distance of Rand Paul. They also find Conway leading 48-45 among those who actually know both candidates (and find Paul with greater name recognition: 84%, to 72% for Conway).
• MO-Sen: The DSCC is also out with an internal poll in Missouri, one of the other races where they'd like you to know they're still playing offense, courtesy of Garin Hart Yang (no mention of the dates, MoE, or any of that useful stuff, though... just a leak to the Fix). The poll has Robin Carnahan trailing Roy Blunt 45-41 (and only 41-40 without leaners). Roy Blunt, meanwhile, is engaging in typical frontrunner behavior, trying to limit debates (to avoid any grist for the negative ad mill); there will only be two debates, neither in a network TV setting.
• NC-Sen: National Research for Civitas (9/15-17, likely voters, 7/19-21 in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 29 (37)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (44)
Mike Beitler (L): 3 (3)
Undecided: 17 (15)
Thanks to a big lead with unaffiliateds (48-21), Richard Burr has a big lead in North Carolina. With a big financial disparity, unless there's some outside assistance, that lead's probably going to continue (although I'd be surprised if it's actually a full 20 points). One other interesting note: Civitas hires out third-party pollsters, and this is their first poll since they switched to Republican internal pollster National Research.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The only evidence we have of this poll is a Jon Ralston tweet, but apparently there's a poll rumbling around behind the scenes from a reputable Republican pollster that gives a 5-point lead to Harry Reid, 42-37 (among RVs). That's quite plausible; the real shock here, though, is that it also finds Rory Reid trailing only by 6 in the governor's race.
• WV-Sen: The big news here is probably that the NRSC is plowing $1.2 million into this race, hoping for the upset (as this race seems to be increasingly taking the place of Washington and California) or at least to pull DSCC fire away from elsewhere. That's just to run one new ad, tying Joe Manchin to Barack Obama; part of the expense is that the ad is running in the DC market, so it can reach the Panhandle. (You can see the IE filing here.)
One more plus, though, for Joe Manchin, is that he's getting the NRA's endorsement (one more in a seemingly endless parade of ConservaDems getting backed this week). Also, some details about John Raese are surfacing that may lead to ads that write themselves: photos of his marble-driveway Florida mansion, where it turns out his family lives full-time (presumably because of Florida's big juicy homestead exemption, but also because of the schools, as he wants a school system he "believes in")... and Raese's own description, in a radio interview yesterday, of how hard he worked for his riches:
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
• AZ-Gov: Here's a look at the financial situation in Arizona, where both gubernatorial candidates are relying on clean elections public financing in their bids. Dem Terry Goddard has about $1 million left to spend, while Jan Brewer has $860K left. Goddard also spent more in the last reporting period, spending $477K to Brewer's $291K.
• MA-Gov: If you're shedding your main campaign strategist with 40 days to go, that's probably a sign that you're not going to win. That's what happened with the Tim Cahill camp, who said goodbye to John Weaver. Having seen Cahill's share plunge into the single digits, Weaver said (in a parting shot) at this point, Cahill's candidacy is just hurting Charlie Baker's chances.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (67)
Carl Paladino (R): 34 (22)
Rick Lazio (C) : 9 (NA)
Undecided: 6 (11)
I don't know if the Marist poll exactly qualifies as a tie-breaker in the New York gubernatorial race, but it's a likely voter poll (instead of an RV poll, like Siena), and it doesn't have that outlier-ish whiff that Quinnipiac had. Also adding to its potential credibility: it's about halfway between the two, if erring somewhat on the side of Andrew Cuomo's safety. (It looks like they'll release Senate numbers later, separately.)
• CA-47: This is the first time I've ever used the scary all-caps to put words in the mouth of a Democratic candidate, but Loretta Sanchez just sent up the alarm that THE VIETNAMESE ARE COMING FOR HER SEAT!!!1!! Not just Van Tran, but apparently all of them!!! I suppose that's a dog-whistle of sorts to her Latino base in this seat that has a Latino majority (though not a lot of actual voters among them) and a politically active Asian minority, where her Republican challenger is Vietnamese. Kind of a faceplant moment for Sanchez, who has had good outreach to the Vietnamese community in the past (up until now, I'd imagine) and has relied on their votes to stay in office.
• MI-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Gary McDowell (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Gary McDowell (D): 38
Dan Benishek (R): 41
Glenn Wilson (I): 12
Here are some not-bad numbers from an internal for Gary McDowell, showing this is one of the few Republican-leaning open seats where we're still in fighting shape right now. McDowell's offering some pushback against a Dan Benishek internal that gave Benishek a 39-25 lead in a race that also includes wealthy independent Glenn Wilson.
• MI-07: It's a little late in the game for ex-Rep. Tim Walberg to be jumping on the birther train (that's so 2009...) but he just said that he doesn't know if Obama was born in the U.S. Meanwhile, his incumbent Dem opponent, Mark Schauer, is out with an internal poll in response to the Rossman Group poll that gave a 4-point lead to Walberg. Schauer's poll, taken 9/21-22 by Myers Research, finds a mirror-image 4-point lead for Schauer, 49-45 (or if you'd prefer inclusion of all third-party candidates, he's up 45-43).
• NRCC: The NRCC is wading into six more districts that they haven't been in before, with IE ad buys. Most (except for WA-03) of these districts feel like "Lean Dem" districts right now, but where the GOP thinks it can make some inroads: Ike Skelton's MO-04, Chris Carney's PA-10, Steve Kagen's WI-08, Martin Heinrich's NM-01, and the open seats in MA-10 and WA-03.
• AFF: The financially-disadvantaged NRCC can't win this all on its own, so AFF is keeping up its IEs, too. They're going on the air in four new districts, two of which overlap the above list. They're hitting SD-AL ($360K), TX-17 ($117K), NM-01 ($290K), and WA-03 ($875K).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The softer side of Ken Buck? He's out with a positive ad with testimonials from senior citizens
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist simultaneously hits both his opponents on corruption issues in one ad, hitting Kendrick Meek's real estate dealing and Marco Rubio's enthusiastic use of RPOF credit cards
• NC-Sen: It seemed to work well the first time for Richard Burr, so the rocking chair guys are back for another round
• NV-Sen: The newest ad from Harry Reid hits Sharron Angle for not supporting requiring health insurers to cover mammograms and colonoscopies
• NY-Sen-A: Chuck Schumer's running his first ad of the cycle, a bio spot, on local cable
• PA-Sen: Pat Toomey's newest ad is a hard negative one linking Joe Sestak to Barack Obama; interestingly, it's not running in the Philadelphia market
• WA-Sen: Dem group Commonsense Ten is out with an anti-Dino Rossi ad throwing the kitchen sink at him, including the foreclosure seminars
• CA-Gov: The latest Meg Whitman opus attacks Jerry Brown over Oakland schools during his tenure as mayor
• CA-47: Loretta Sanchez launches a negative ad against Van Tran, featuring him asleep on the job (during an Assembly budget all-nighter)
• LA-03: Bet you'd forgotten there's still one race where the field isn't set? (There's still a GOP runoff here.) Anyway, Hunt Downer is out with an ad full of adorable babies... to make the point that Jeff Landry is insufficiently pro-life
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper engages in some fat-cat bashing, tying Mike Kelly to Wall Street
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 40%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 41%, Tom Emmer (R) 42%, Tom Horner (I) 9%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 34%, Mary Fallin (R) 60%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 33%, Nikki Haley (R) 50%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 48%
• AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she's inviting supporters to a "campaign kickoff" tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a "good team member" and saying they'll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y'know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O'Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O'Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O'Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O'Donnell campaigns.
• IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That's better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's "Cheddarbomb" sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day's worth of contributions.
• AR-Gov: With yesterday's PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it's now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation's safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday's Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state's turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren't defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.
• CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom's behalf too) in mid-October.
• HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there's one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what's literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6'7"). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie's right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).
• NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who's increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish's behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.
• NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people's houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that "something smells" in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people's houses to intentionally physically sicken them.
• CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they're also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.
• MI-09: There's a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.
• NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who's basically been Hoffman's puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)
• TN-04: Sure, we've all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but... oh, wait. We haven't? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It's unclear how much this'll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis's behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis's pollster is.)
• Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn't a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn't sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn't anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.
• IE Tracker:
• MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt
• WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio
• NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher
• AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright
• SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt
• NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler
• MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell
• GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall
• MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer
• SSP TV:
• PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak's rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush's deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard's out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer's tongue-tied performance at last month's debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline "Is this the best Arizona can do?")
• KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero's on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway
• ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it's "good business" for Labrador's immigration law practice
• MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball
• DE-Sen: Despite all the hullabaloo about the late-breaking surge by Christine O'Donnell (which, if you look at fundraising and ad spending, seems like it might not have been that much of a surge at all), both parties seem to be reconciled to a Chris Coons/Mike Castle race, according to CQ. O'Donnell seems to be hanging her hopes on a last-minute Sarah Palin endorsement, which, according to intense semantic analysis by Twitterologists, didn't really happen with her recent retweety-hashtaggy thing.
• HI-Gov: Hawaii's the last primary in the nation, and that also means it's the last for pre-primary financial reporting. Neil Abercrombie, who'd been lagging Mufi Hannemann on the fundraising front previously, shot ahead for the months of July and August. Abercrombie raised $768K while Hannemann raised $330K. Hannemann still has the CoH edge, $792K to $275K.
• NM-Gov: GOPer Susana Martinez has led narrowly in most polls here, but the RGA isn't taking this race for granted: they're moving $500K to the Martinez campaign. The DGA is also continuing to fight here, and they seem to think they have something here with their own little Bonusgate story here (where Martinez allegedly spent border security money on staff bonuses instead); they're running their second attack ad here, and it (like the first ad) focuses on the bonuses.
• RI-Gov: There had been rumors of this way, way back, but the RNC is revisiting them today, saying that Democratic candidate Frank Caprio talked to them about a possible party switch in February (back when he was still facing the more-liberal Patrick Lynch in the Dem primary). It's unclear what the GOP's angle is in releasing this now... their chances are pretty much DOA, so are they just hoping to deny the DGA a victory here (for post-election talking points purposes) by driving Caprio votes to Lincoln Chafee (the indie who seems to be running, for the most part, to Caprio's left)?
• VT-Gov: The recount has begun for the ultra-close Democratic primary in the Vermont gubernatorial race, but instead of lobbing grenades at each other, 197-vote leader Peter Shumlin and runner-up Doug Racine are touring the state together in an RV, stumping along with the other three candidates. In fact, Racine is urging his donors to get behind Shumlin, despite having requested the recount. (So far, Shumlin's lead has edged up by 9, with 10 of the state's 14 counties having completed the recanvass.)
• WI-Gov: Here's a good development, that a lot of other outgoing Dem incumbents might take a lesson from: Jim Doyle, with $1.8 million sitting around in his campaign funds as he ends his gubernatorial run, is transferring $1 million of that money to the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which has aired both anti-Scott Walker and anti-Mark Neumann ads.
• CT-05: Here's one House GOP internal that's getting a little stale, but somehow eluded us until just now: Sam Caligiuri put out a late-August internal from National Research showing him right on Chris Murphy's heels, trailing 40-39.
• Committees: Jim Doyle's not the only guy with money to burn who's emptying out the piggy banks. Barack Obama will be transferring $4.5 million from his campaign fund, divvying it up three ways with $1.5 million each to the DCCC, DSCC, and DNC.
• Mayors (pdf): Two mayoral polls are out today. One is more timely, with the DC primary only days away: Clarus finds Vincent Gray ready to oust incumbent Adrian Fenty in the Dem primary, 45-38. We Ask America also pounces on the Chicago mayor question, despite a thoroughly unclear field, and finds Rahm Emanuel would be starting in the pole position out of 10 names they gave. Emanuel's at 30, followed by Tom Dart at 14, and both Luis Gutierrez and Jesse Jackson Jr. at 13.
• Massachusetts: Here's an interesting set of numbers out of the Bay State: despite the election of Scott Brown and running a competitive gubernatorial race, Republicans have actually lost ground lately in terms of registration. The GOP has lost more than 9,000 voters over the last two years, and are down to 11% of all registrations. Dems held almost even at 37%, while the ranks of the unenrolled grew (by 187K since 2006), up to 51% of the electorate.
• SSP TV:
• IN-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce is out with an anti-Brad Ellsworth ad hitting the usual "trillions of government spending" points
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's first TV ad attacks John Raese for running attack ads
• OH-Gov: The SEIU attacks John Kasich on his Wall Street days, with a "significant six-figure" buy
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato's first TV ad of the general is a 60-second extravaganza focusing on the revitalization of Pittsburgh
• IL-14: Randy Hultgren talks jobs
• MI-01: Gary McDowell's first ad has testimonials from locals saying he's just like them, only "better dressed"
• OH-18: Americans for Job Security is out with four anti-Dem House ads, in IN-08, PA-04, and PA-07 as well as the 18th... and we have actual numbers ($124K in OH-18, $415K in PA-04, $293 in PA-07, and $318K in IN-08)
• SC-05: John Spratt's first TV ad of the cycle focuses, unsurprisingly, on his constituent service reputation and attention to local issues
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 37%, John McCain (R-inc) 51%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 34%, Mark Kirk (R) 37%, LeAlan Jones (G) 12%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 53%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 50%, John Raese (R) 45%
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's gotta be wondering why all those former employees couldn't wait until after the November election to up and die. With the death two weeks ago of Lance McNaught still in the news, another WWE star, Luna Vachon, died over the weekend. An autopsy is scheduled, but the WWE paid for rehab for substance abuse for Vachon last year.
• KY-Sen: Democrat Jack Conway's out with his first TV ad for the general election. The ad buy, touting Conway's work against prescription drug abuse and child pornography as AG, is for about $150K. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is out with a doozy of a legislative proposal: to audit the nation's gold reserves. As with many things that come out of the gray area between ultra-libertarianism and black helicopters-territory, the "huh? why?" part is best answered by reading the comments on the article, which apparently suggest that our nation's gold supply actually been given away as collateral on all our debt to commercial banks/our Chinese overlords/the UN/the Bavarian Illuminati. Why is this getting filed under KY-Sen? Partly because those reserves are (allegedly!!!!1!) in Kentucky at Fort Knox, but also because at some point Rand Paul is going to inevitably get called on the carpet to say whether he agrees with dad's latest scheme.
• NC-Sen: Civitas is out with a new poll of the Senate race in the Tar Heel State, but it's an odd little critter, only polling "unaffiliated" voters. They seem to mirror the larger split statewide, with Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 39-32 (with 7 for Libertarian Michael Beitler). 34% of respondents had still never heard of Marshall. Burr is also out with his first TV ad of the cycle, focusing on his down-home-ness, presumably to ward off the "gone Washington" problem that sank Elizabeth Dole two years ago. The buy is for $578K (click the link to see the breakdown among the state's many media markets).
• NH-Sen: Ovide Lamontagne just got a big score: the endorsement of the Manchester Union-Leader, the state's largest newspaper and also one of the most consistently right-wing editorial pages anywhere. Newspaper endorsements can usually be shrugged off, but the Union-Leader's endorsement of Lamontagne in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary helped him pull of the surprise upset of Rep. Bill Zeliff. Can this help him in a four-way split, though, instead of just a two-way, especially when Kelly Ayotte and Bill Binnie have dramatically outspent him so far? Lamontagne is also finally hitting the airwaves with his first TV ad, with the primary approaching in just a couple weeks. (No dollar figure given, but it's only a one-week cable buy.)
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle just keeps handing gift after gift to Harry Reid, this time unfortunately timed to coincide with Katrina's 5th anniversary: video has surfaced from Angle's 2006 NV-02 bid in which she says she would have voted against Katrina relief funds. One other minor Nevada point, also courtesy of Jon Ralston: Clark County's GOP chair just resigned, leaving more disarray in the local Republican hierarchy as far as staying organized and disciplined for November.
• OH-Sen: The national Chamber of Commerce is out with a new positive ad touting Rob Portman, which is odd since Portman has enough money in the bank that he can pay his own way and then some. (The establishment, free-tradin' Portman is definitely their kind of guy, though, much more so than the teabaggers cluttering a number of other close Senate races.) NWOTSOTB.
• AL-05: Republican Mo Brooks (who blew out party-switching Parker Griffith in the GOP primary) has a decent, but not overwhelming, lead over Dem Steve Raby, at least according to his own internal courtesy of POS. Brooks leads 48-37; taking into consideration that it's an internal, this race isn't a likely pickup but certainly still on the table.
• KY-06: One other ad to consider today: Ben Chandler's out with another spot, this time going negative against local attorney Andy Barr, hitting him on the issue of the bad kind of SSP (social security privatization).
• MI-01, MI-03, MI-07: We Ask America is out with a trio of House district polls in Michigan. As is their usual modus operandi, the Republicans are in the lead. In the Dem-held open seat 1st, Dan Benishek leads Gary McDowell 45-29 (even WAA admits they expect that to tighten a lot, based on Benishek's name being in the news from the ultra-close GOP primary). In the reddish open-seat 3rd being vacated by GOPer Vern Ehlers, Justin Amash leads Patrick Miles 51-30. And the state's most vulnerable Dem incumbent, Mark Schauer trails ex-Rep. Tim Walberg in a rematch, 45-37.
• OH-17: "Trafican't" just got turned into "Trafican." Although there's no official word, supporters of ex-con ex-Rep. Jim Traficant are saying that re-canvassing of petitions has yielded enough valid signatures to get him on the ballot as an independent. He was only 20 shy, and they've found at least 27 new valid signatures. Traficant isn't likely to be much of a factor against incumbent Rep. Tim Ryan in this solidly blue district, though.
• AGs: I know I can rely on Louis Jacobson to go even deeper into the weeds than we here at SSP ever will. Writing for Governing magazine, he handicaps and encapsulates the nation's many state Attorney General races. He finds the Dems (who currenly have a 32-18 edge in AG positions) in danger of losing at least six seats this year, including Dem-held open seats in California, Arizona, and Georgia. One of the Dems' best (if only) offensive opportunities is Bill McCollum's old post in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times has a deeper profile of the race between Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber, and the Sarah Palin-backed Hillsborough Co. prosecutor Pam Bondi.
• Mayors: Here's a second poll in a week's time showing current Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty significantly trailing in his bid for re-election, against Democratic primary opponent Vincent Gray. The Washington Post finds Gray leading Fenty 53-36 among likely voters, or 49-36 among registered voters.
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 38%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 57%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 44%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 37%, Mary Fallin (R) 52%
• OK-Sen: Jim Rogers (D) 24%, Tom Coburn (R-inc) 67%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 19%, Jim DeMint (R) 63%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 48%, John Raese (R) 42%
• AK-Sen: Joe Miller has two things going for him in the Alaska GOP Senate primary: the endorsements of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. On the other hand, Lisa Murkowski has the backing of about 1.9 million dead presidents behind her. That's her cash on hand, based on $300K raised in July and early August. Miller raised only $68K in that span and now has $84K CoH.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA, no stranger to Republican-friendly samples lately, comes up with quite the GOP wipeout in Kansas. They find Republican Rep. Jerry Moran leading Lisa Johnston in the Senate race, 69-23, and find Sam Brownback leading state Sen. Tom Holland in the gubernatorial race, 67-25. They even find several Dem incumbents losing to GOP challengers in downballot races. It may be worth, noting, however, the disparity in self-described ideology between this sample and the 2008 exit polls: this poll is 49 conservative, 37 moderate, 9 liberal, compared with 2008's 45 moderate, 38 conservative, 16 liberal.
• NV-Sen: With her endorsement percentage starting to trend steeply downward (with last night's losses by Rita Meyer and Clint Didier), Sarah Palin's trying out a new angle, literally. She's backing Sharron Angle in Nevada, saying she'll "actively help" her and that Angle "is putting up with more crap than she deserves." Palin avoided getting involved in the primary, probably in large part because of other family members' support for Danny Tarkanian.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov (pdf): Siena's out with another look at the big-ticket races in New York, finding the same-old same-old. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Bruce Blakeman 55-28, Joe DioGuardi 54-29, and David Malpass 55-27. DioGuardi is on track to win the GOP Senate primary, leading Blakeman and Malpass 19-8-5. And Andrew Cuomo is even more dominant, leading Rick Lazio 60-26 and Carl Paladino 60-27. Lazio leads Paladino 43-30 in the GOP primary, much closer than previous months. Further down the ballot, they find incumbent Dem comptroller Tom DiNapoli leading Harry Wilson 46-28, and Dems leading a generic ballot-type question about the state legislature, 33-27.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes picked his running mate: former state Rep. and former Dept. of Regulatory Agencies head Tambor Williams. Williams seems to actually be something of a moderate by today's GOP standards, which is an interesting act of ticket-balancing by the wackadoodle Maes (although you have to wonder how "moderate" someone willing to be joined at the hip to Maes can be). Meanwhile, Tom Tancredo is focusing most of his fire on Maes, not on John Hickenlooper, attacking Maes', well, utter lack of qualifications. Tancredo seems to realize that the only path to viability in this election as an indie is reducing Maes to the Alan Schlesinger-style single-digits role. And guess who's throwing up their hands and walking away? The RGA, which according to several local Republicans, has confirmed it won't be spending money in Colorado.
• ID-Gov, ID-01: We've gotten an inkling that the Idaho gubernatorial race (where GOP incumbent Butch Otter was elected with lackluster numbers in 2006) was possibly a real race, and these poll numbers seem to confirm it. I don't know whether to call this a Republican poll (it's taken by a local pollster who usually works for Republicans, Greg Strimple, on behalf of the Idaho Hospital Association) or an independent one, but either way, it's not good news for the GOP. Otter leads Dem Keith Allred by only 47-36. Also good news: that Raul Labrador internal poll that had him losing by double digits was actually pretty optimistic, on his part. This sample sees Dem Walt Minnick beating Labrador by a startling 52-29 margin. Maybe all that chatter about the NRCC moving to write off this seat has some real roots.
• VT-Gov: Lone Republican Brian Dubie is the fundraising leader in the decidedly small-dollar gubernatorial race in Vermont. Dubie has raised the most over the course of the campaign (slightly more than $1 million). (Maybe if Meg Whitman can't win in California, she should consider moving to Vermont and buying the gubernatorial race here. In fact, maybe she should just consider buying the entire state of Vermont, which would still be cheaper than buying the gubernatorial race in California.) The Dems are all closely bunched, with Peter Shumlin and Deb Markowitz more or less tied for most raised. But all five major Dems are low on cash, each reporting less than $100K CoH (Matt Dunne has the most, at $83K). For some reason, the article doesn't tell us Dubie's CoH.
• GA-08: GOP state Rep. Austin Scott (following hot on the heels of fellow legislator and GA-02 candidate Mike Keown's internal poll release) is out with an internal showing a competitive race against Rep. Jim Marshall. Marshall leads Scott 44-39 in the poll conducted in late July by American Viewpoint.
• MI-01: This has the potential to mightily reshuffle things in the open seat race in the 1st... or it could turn out to be so much wind in sails, as promises of massive self-funding usually are. Random teabagger and indie candidate Glenn Wilson is promising to spend $2 million of his own money in order to defeat Gary McDowell and Dan Benishek, the Dem and GOP nominees. In this rural seat with dirt-cheap media markets, that could go a long way toward blanketing the airwaves... but without the organizational backing that the party apparatuses provide, that seems like it still might not translate into actual votes.
• TN-08: Humble farmer/gospel singer and, in his spare time, director of Fight Club, Stephen Fincher is out with an internal poll from the Tarrance Group that gives him a lead over Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron in this open seat race. He claims a 47-37 lead, with conservative indie Donn James at 5, in a poll taken immediately post-primary. Herron, who avoided much trouble in the primary and was able to bank a lot of money, is already hitting Fincher with TV ads, though.
• RGA: One nice thing about the post-Citizens United universe is that it lets us see everything in the open that we've only just suspected in the past. Case in point: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (the Fox News and WSJ parent corporation) just gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. Insert obvious snarky comment about "Fair and Balanced" here.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 40%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 38%, Tom Corbett (R) 48%
• NV-Sen: It really seems Sharron Angle is trying to "soften" her image... maybe? For starters, she's reversed course on attending a Tea Party rally this weekend on the U.S./Mexico border (probably not wanting to be photographed in proximity to the signs that attendees are going to be waving at such an event), despite having confirmed her appearance there last week. And her newest TV ad also focuses on how she wants to "save" Social Security, although her definition of "save" might vary considerably from yours or mine. Harry Reid's out with his own TV ad, too, calling her "dangerous" and "crazy" over her now-infamous "2nd Amendment remedies" line.
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown just got $20,000 from a very unusual source: Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers and usually a staunch Republican donor (as well as a real estate developer who has recently clashed with Brown, as AG, over land-use laws). Spanos hasn't contributed to Meg Whitman's campaign. Apparently Spanos and the Brown family go way back; Spanos was a financial backer for Brown's first gubernatorial campaign in 1974.
• MA-Gov: There's a new poll of the governor's race out, from somebody called Mass Insight (taken by Opinion Dynamics): since the only place I can find a link to the poll is Red Mass Group (not even Mass Insight's own site?) and their site describes themselves as a consulting and research firm that focuses on "market-driven solutions," I think it's safe to call this a Republican-ish poll. At any rate, they find Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick leading GOPer Charlie Baker and independent Tim Cahill 30-25-16. And in a two-way race (which, of course, would require Cahill to drop out), Baker leads Patrick 42-37. The poll also reports that 54% of respondents are either "somewhat or very likely" to vote against their incumbent Congressman (all of whom are Democrats, of course) this year.
• MI-Gov (pdf): The Detroit News is out with its first poll of the gubernatorial race after the primary elections, conducted by the Glengariff Group. GOPer Rick Snyder leads Democrat Virg Bernero 51-32, leading in all parts of the state except Detroit proper. Snyder's faves are 41/15, pretty remarkable considering he just got out of a heated four-way primary, while Bernero's are 21/27.
• ID-01, OH-18, PA-04: The NRCC is pushing back today after the New York Times, as part of a longer piece talking about Dem House incumbents, said that Walt Minnick, Zack Space, and Jason Altmire were "no longer seen by Republicans as easy targets." I guess one can quibble over what "easy" means, which is different from saying the GOP has cut these districts loose, but still, to talk with that level of specificity, the NYT had to have gotten that idea from somewhere.
• MA-10: Well, this open seat race just keeps getting weirder and weirder, with the entry of yet another sorta-prominent former Dem running as an indie. Former state Rep. (and way back in the mists of time, aide to Tip O'Neill) Maryanne Lewis will run as a moderate independent. (Recall that former Quincy mayor James Sheets is already running as an indie, too.) I understand the desire to circumvent the Dem primary in this district, which already has two heavyweights in it, but too many indie cooks could spoil the broth here in November.
• MI-01: This photo-finish race in the GOP primary has been outstanding for almost two weeks now, but the state board of canvassers is preparing to certify the election tomorrow. According to physician Dan Benishek's camp, he leads by 15 votes over state Sen. Jason Allen. Allen is taking a wait-and-see attitude, though a recount sounds likely (which will be cumbersome, in this 31-county district... something I'm sure Dem nominee Gary McDowell doesn't mind, I'm sure).
• MS-01: Rep. Travis Childers, in for a tough fight against Alan Nunnelee, is out with his first TV ad. As one would expect, in his dark-red district, he's talking up how he's one of the "most independent" members of the House, and name-drops his NRA and National Right to Life endorsements. NWOTSOTB.
• VA-09: One last ad to report, and it's from a very strange source: the Some Dude in the Bloody 9th, running as an independent, is actually hitting the airwaves. I'm not sure with what money, as he's raised $20K over the cycle (almost all self-funded) and at the end of June had $88 CoH. (There's not a K missing. That's literally $88.) Anyway, he wants you to know that he's never taken money from special interests (which should be abundantly clear from his fundraising report) and never will.
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 41%, Ken Buck (R) 46%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 35%, Bill Brady (R) 48%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 50%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 41%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 43%, Mark Neumann (R) 45%