• ME-Sen: The attempt to primary out Olympia Snowe by the state's various fractious Tea Party factions seems to be sputtering, partly for lack of a credible challenger to rally around (with Some Dude Scott D'Ambroise the only one officially in the race right now) but also as the various Judean People's Front and People's Front of Judea wings of the 'baggers start to increasingly turn their fire on each other rather than on Democrats and alleged RINOs.
• MI-Sen: Joining a major law firm after an electoral loss isn't, in itself, dispositive of future political runs a few years down the line. But observers are taking the decision by former AG Mike Cox (who lost last year's GOP gubernatorial primary) to join a Detroit law firm as an indicator that he isn't considering the 2012 Senate race.
• MO-Sen: There are increasing signals that Jim Talent may not run for Senate in 2012, after all. Dave Catanese talks to various Show Me State insiders who say that Talent hasn't been doing the behind-the-scenes reaching-out that one usually does at this point, and they point to him not only having got caught off guard by Sarah Steelman's abrupt early entry into the primary but also his close relationship with Mitt Romney. Talent is currently traveling with Romney in an advisory role in Afghanistan, and there's speculation his 2012 plans may involve hitching his wagon to Romney in the hopes that he's the next President and that a Cabinet role (SecDef?) may be in the offing.
• OH-Sen: With Mike DeWine having passed on a rematch against Sherrod Brown, the speculation has turned to newly-elected Lt. Gov. and former Auditor Mary Taylor. It sounds like she's game; local insiders are saying she's at "90%" in terms of likelihood of running. She may not have the field to herself even if she does, though; another newly-elected statewide GOPer, 33-year-old state Treasurer Josh Mandel has been impressing the local GOP in his first week on the job and is starting to attract some buzz for a quick promotion.
• WY-Sen: Wyoming promises to be the least dramatic state in the 2012 election, so PPP's decision to poll here this early seems a little odd. At any rate, they find Wyomingites love their politicians: outgoing Dem Gov. Dave Freudenthal gets a 71/18 approval, making him the nation's most popular governor, while the state's two GOP Senators, John Barrasso (69/25) and Mike Enzi (63/24) are the nation's two most popular Senators. Despite his popularity (and, well, despite the fact that he's never expressed any interest in running for federal office), Freudenthal loses a hypothetical 2012 matchup against Barrasso, 56-36, thanks to the GOP's huge registration advantage here.
• RI-Gov: There's already one Dem reportedly gearing up for the 2014 Governor's race: state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who's build a war chest and getting friendly with DC consultants. (Alternatively, she could also be running for Senate in 2014 instead, if Jack Reed isn't running again.) No mention of whether she'd be challenging new indie Gov. Lincoln Chafee (last seen more or less declaring war on local talk radio) from the left or the right (as Frank Caprio tried to do, and failed).
• FL-14: With Rep. Connie Mack IV looking like one of the House's likeliest retirements right now (in order to pursue a Senate bid against Bill Nelson), speculation has already begun about who'll fill his seat. One thing is pretty predictable, given the Fort Myers-area district's R+11 bent and lack of any Dem tradition or bench: it'll be a Republican. GOP names to watch include ex-state Rep. Dudley Goodlette and Lee Co. Commissioner Ray Judah. The most prominent name, though, may be former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp (though he might have trouble getting out of a GOP primary unless he can find a way to wash the stank of the Charlie Crist administration off his suit). State Sen. Garrett Richter (whose district closely overlaps the 14th) says no thanks to the race.
• HI-01: GOP ex-Rep. Charles Djou, seeming a bit testy after the abrupt end to his very short tenure in the House, seems to have thrown all that feel-good ohana crap out the window in his exit press conference, blaming Dem successor Colleen Hanabusa in advance for expected future failures. He may feel free to speak his mind as he also says he has "no plans to run for any political office ever again."
• NM-01: Rep. Martin Heinrich has already drawn some seemingly-credible Republican opposition for 2012, although he has the kind of district that seems much safer for a Dem in a presidential year than last year's narrow win. Republican Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis has formed an exploratory committee.
• State legislatures: Two state House speaker elections are in the news today. The big one may be in Texas, where an expected coup from the right against GOP speaker Joe Straus didn't ever seem to materialize. He got the support of 70 of 100 GOP House members in a pre-vote caucus, and then was easily elected to another term by the whole House. Meanwhile, in Oregon, an unusual power-sharing arrangement was cobbled together with a surprising degree of civility and equanimity, as the parties figure out how to grapple with a never-before 30-30 tie. GOPer Bruce Hanna and Dem Arnie Roblan will be co-speakers, handing the gavel to each other on alternating days.
• Special elections: Two southern states have special elections scheduled today, although there should be very little drama in any of the elections, as these are Republican-leaning districts replacing promoted Republican legislators in lightly-contested races (and icy conditions should reduce turnout to microscopic levels). In Mississippi, the races are to replace Alan Nunnelee in SD-6 and Steven Palazzo in HD-116. (With a recent party switch by state Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, the GOP is poised to tie the state Senate with today's election.) In Virginia, the races are to replace Robert Hurt in SD-19 and Morgan Griffith in HD-8.
• Primaries: In a nice bit of symmetry, two states are going in very different directions with their primary election rules. In Idaho, where the GOP seems fearful of meddling in its primaries by the state's Democrat (I think his name is Jerry), the state GOP is pushing to change from open primaries to closed primaries. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, after a period of closed primaries for federal-level offices (which was extremely confusing, since they kept using open primaries for state offices), they're expecting federal approval of a switch back to all open primaries this month. The state legislature has already approved it, but as a VRA state, they're waiting for DOJ preclearance.
• Redistricting: Finally, here's some redistricting news. Bob McDonnell has thrown a bone to fans of redistricting reform with the creation of a new redistricting commission with 11 members. It's not a very interesting bone, though, since the commission's role is purely advisory and the commission doesn't even have a budget. Meanwhile, the Hill looks at what might happen to the House districts in New Jersey, a state where the hard work is actually done by commission (which has traditionally focused on incumbent protection, but has to eliminate one seat this year). For now, everyone is waiting for more complete Census figures to see if the population stagnation was more concentrated in the state's north (which would probably hit the Dems) or the state's middle (which would hit the GOP).
• CA-Sen: Best wishes to Carly Fiorina, who's temporarily off the campaign trail and in the hospital after an infection associated with reconstructive surgery that she had over the summer after recovering from breast cancer. She's says she'll be back in action soon.
• CO-Sen: The Democrats in Colorado have filed an FEC complaint with Ken Buck, alleging illegal coordination. The coordination was between Buck and Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund (which has spent $370K here so far). This doesn't look likely to get addressed before Election Day, though.
• KY-Sen: Rand Paul eventually got around, today, to cutting ties with and condemning a volunteer involved in assaulting a MoveOn activist before last night's debate, outside the venue. An activist trying to give a fake award to Paul was shoved to the ground and kicked/trampled.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle has always been the prime example of the GOP's apparent strategy for its more troublesome candidates (which is to have them hide from the media), but this is a little extreme: all manner of sleight-of-hand was used at a Reno appearance to keep her away from about 40 reporters who were looking for her, to the extent of using a decoy to get into her official vehicle while she left through a side door. Also, here's an interesting catch, especially since Angle supposedly has a lot of cash these days: her latest filing has nothing about salaries for her staff. Oversight, or is there more of a burn rate problem than we'd been led to believe?
• WA-Sen: This CQ article is your generic this-race-is-tight-and-important piece, but it has a few interesting tidbits buried in it: one, Patty Murray's internals have her up "around 4," although that's all we get to find out. And two, this election is already effectively more-than-half over: the state SoS's office says that 50% of all voters have submitted their ballots, on track for turnout of at least 66%, which would be third-highest non-presidential turnout ever in the state. (I assume you all know which party tends to do better in higher-turnout models.) Finally, Dino Rossi's doing a little hiding from the media himself: on a conference call with reporters, Rossi actually refused to say where he was calling from, just that he was "traveling all over right now." (Maybe we should be looking for the guy in the red and white striped shirt?)
• VT-Gov: Biden alert! Here's one election where every single vote will count (seeing as how it has fewer constituents than most House districts), and the veep is trying to roust out some votes with a Burlington appearance with Dem nominee Peter Shumlin the day before the election.
• CA-47: This was a weird election even before this, with stark racial overtones, and now it's even weirder: an independent candidate, Cecilia Iglesias, is making her presence known with a TV ad buy (although just on local cable on Univision). Who will this hurt? The GOP says it'll hurt Loretta Sanchez, because it splits the Latino vote. The Dems say it'll hurt Van Tran, since Iglesias is a "known Republican."
• CT-05: Hmm, here's a novel strategy for dealing with ads from third party groups that contain blatant lies: push back against them, and TV stations just may stop running them. That's what happened in Connecticut, where the American Action Network's ads against Chris Murphy got taken down, by Fox-CT (on cable) no less. (The ad is part of the series saying that you can go to jail for not having health insurance.)
• VA-05: This is big all around: that the President is stumping on behalf of a House candidate (albeit one within a helicopter ride away from DC), and that said House candidate in a red district is welcoming him. In case you didn't guess, it's Tom Perriello, who'll be rallying UVA students with the Prez in Charlottesville.
• American Crossroads: Here's part of the Crossroads road map for the last week: at a cost of $3 million altogether, they're moving into NC-11, NY-20, and GA-02, as well as continuing their presence in HI-01 and NY-22. They're also launching ads in CA-20, IN-02, MO-03, ND-AL, TN-04, OH-16, and TX-23.
• SSP TV:
• KY-Sen: The NRSC and Rand Paul both turn the tables on Jack Conway, saying he wants to talk about Paul's checkered past (i.e. Aqua Buddha) to avoid talking about Obama
• NV-Sen: The NRSC is out with a rather incoherent ad about how Harry Reid fancies himself a superhero, while Sharron Angle's out with another border-themed ad with menacing shadowy men who, of course, aren't actually Latino
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's closing argument cites his independence
• WV-Sen: Thank God for trackers... Joe Manchin's camp strings together John Raese's greatest hits at various appearances to demonstrate his "crazy" ideas
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown wins the jujitsu black belt for his closing ad (if not the overall Zen master award for his whole campaign): unlike the very busy Manchin ad, he only needs one quote from Meg Whitman to make his own case for himself... she says she came to California 30 years ago because it back then it was a land of opportunity and it worked (uh, Meg? who was governor of California 30 years ago?)
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal's closing ad says Roy Barnes is too ambitious, and Deal is just a humble public servant
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad says 10 years is too long, playing the dread "career politician" card on Rick Perry
• MA-10: The DCCC's new ad in the 10th goes after Jeff Perry's controversial police sergeant tenure, in case anyone there was unaware of it
• OH-18: Zack Space goes after Bob Gibbs on outsourcing and immigration
• VA-05: The Sierra Club's out with an ad bolstering Tom Perriello
• CA-Init: I'm not sure I thought I'd live to see the day where there ads running in favor of the legalization of marijuana, but apparently the Yes on 19 campaign was able to scrape together enough stems and seeds for a TV buy
• Rasmussen Classic:
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 46%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 49%, John Monds (L) 5%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 42%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 58 21%, Jim DeMint (R-inc) 21 58%, Some other 15%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 53%
• New Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39%, Bill Brady (R) 44%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 43%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 43%, Rand Paul (R) 50%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 47%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
TX-Gov (University of Texas): Bill White (D) 40, Rick Perry (R-inc) 50
Bonus: UT also tested a wide range of down-ballot races.
VA-02 (Christopher Newport University): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell (R) 42
Margins & Errors: The DSCC supposedly has some internal with Alexi Giannoulias up 2 in IL-Sen, but this is some NRCC-style crap with no details other than the toplines... Some MI-Gov poll shows that the race still sucks... Frank Guinta is touting an internal in NH-01 that supposedly has him up 53-37, but there isn't even word of the pollster's name
• AK-Sen: Congrats to Scott McAdams, who just cleared the McMillion hurdle with $1 million in fundraising so far. The majority of contributions were from Alaska, with 88% contributions of $200 or less.
• KY-Sen: Matt Taibbi's new Rolling Stone article as he works the Rand Paul beat is a must-read even if it doesn't have any revelations as freaky as the "Aqua Buddha" story, although there's some vague and anonymous racism from the newsletter that his snarky secret society put out. The prize-winning quote, though, deals with the Tea Partiers don't seem terribly phased by any of this:
("Well, I used to use that cologne myself," was the response of one Tea Partier to a question I posed about "Aqua Buddha")
• MO-Sen: American Crossroads has declared victory in Missouri, and is pulling out of advertising there, where Roy Blunt has a consistent but single-digit lead. (As for the actual party committees... well, it's probably not relevant, seeing as how Crossroads and its ilk have made them basically irrelevant this year.)
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid racked up a couple endorsements from the big-in-Nevada gaming industry, including PokerPAC. He also got the endorsement of the former chair of the RNC, Frank Fahrenkopf, who warned of the threat Sharron Angle (with her ties to anti-gambling Gary Bauer) might pose to the state's gaming industry.
• PA-Sen: Ah, sweet Schadenfreude. The Club for Growth is having to plug $1 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race in order to bail out their former boss, Pat Toomey.
• WI-Sen: Yet another story with Ron Johnson with his hand in the trough he so regularly decries: he says he's not quite sure how five of his employees (and 10 dependents) at his plastics firm Pacur wound up on BadgerCare, the state's health insurance program for the poor. That would seem to contradict previous statements from the Johnson camp that all Pacur full-time employees are covered by the company's plan.
• AZ-07, AZ-08: I know John McCain has refudiated all his old mavericky ways, but did he actually have to go so far as to violate his signature piece of mavericky legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act? He recently cut spots for GOP candidates in the 7th and 8th, in which he and Jon Kyl appeared, and paid for them out of Friends of John McCain (his campaign committee). Dems have filed FEC complaints against McCain, saying that if he coordinated with the Ruth McClung and Jesse Kelly campaigns, he would've been limited to $4,800 contributions to each (they'd be legal independent expenditures if there was truly no coordination).
• CO-03, CO-04: The gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight strikes twice, in two different neighboring Old West districts. In the 3rd, an anti-abortion group has been hitting the airwaves attacking Ken Salazar. That's fine, but Ken Salazar is the Secretary of Interior. His brother (the one with the mustache) is John Salazar, the Rep. from the 3rd. OK, understandable, since they're brothers... but how do you explain the confusion in the 4th, where not just some outside group but the Cory Gardner campaign mixed up Betsy Markey with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey? They accused her of voting for the Obama budget, which she didn't; that was the other Markey.
• FL-25: I don't know how far this will get, but give local Dems in south Florida credit for audaciousness. A Joe Garcia backer filed a lawsuit trying to get David Rivera removed from the ballot. The suit alleges that Rivera should be removed because of state election finance disclosure irregularities, concerning Rivera's mysterious claims of being a contractor to USAID despite USAID saying he wasn't. While they cite a comparable case where a state senate candidate was recently stricken from the ballot from similar problems, I'm wondering if it may be too late to do anything about that even if it succeeds on the merits (although if it only serves to move the USAID deception into the spotlight, that's good too).
• MO-04: More triage news... on the Republican side? Despite news of a Vicky Hartzler internal poll yesterday that showed a tied race, the NRCC is packing up, at least from the Kansas City market. I wonder if that has more to do with feeling neighboring KS-03 is locked down, as there are other smaller media markets in the 4th where they might still spend, but I think this has to count as at least a partial pullout.
• SD-AL: This is an interesting counterpoint to the anti-Pelosi (or at least Pelosi-skeptical) tide that seems to be rising among threatened Blue Dogs, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (who's in the skeptic camp): GOP challenger Kristi Noem is saying that if she wins her race, she's not sold yet on John Boehner as Republican leader, but would like to see who else might run. Recall that Noem previously politely told Sarah Palin to stay far away from her race, so this isn't the first time she's pantomimed independence.
• Early voting: There's been some buzz today about a CBS News story that says that Dems are doing better than expected in early voting, although it's kind of shy on actual numbers. It mentions that Dems have outpaced GOPers in early voting in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Clark Co., Nevada, while there's a Republican edge in Florida and Colorado. Jon Ralston, of course, has more data on Nevada, while Politico has some Iowa tidbits, involving early ballot requests in IA-03 (where 50% of requests are from Dems, but where Dems are 36% of the electorate) and IA-02 (51% of the requests, 38% of the electorate).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund is out with a "high six-figure" buy in Colorado, with the first TV ad to take on Ken Buck's failure to prosecute that 2005 rape case (the "buyer's remorse" incident)
• KY-Sen: The DSCC hits Rand Paul on his support for the 23% sales (aka "fair") tax
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle wonders how Harry Reid made all that money in her new ad (helpful fact from Jon Ralston: he was a millionaire even before he was in the House)
• WV-Sen: Outsourcing seems to be the hot button issue coming out of focus groups that works for the Dems these days, as the DSCC keeps hitting John Raese on it with their new spot
• AZ-03: Jon Hulburd has another TV ad against Ben Quayle, poking at his values and overall maturity
• HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa's new ad has a special guest star in the form of Barack Obama
• IN-09: The SEIU goes after Todd Young on Social Security privatization
• NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter, in her own ad, also works the SSP angle against Frank Guinta
• VA-05: Is the DCCC trying to drive up indie teabagger Jeffrey Clark's numbers? They're out with a spot hitting Robert Hurt for all the tax-raising he did in the state legislature
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 45%, Rich Whit(n)ey (G) 2%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 42%, Rick Berg (R) 52%
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 54%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 38%, Nikki Haley (R) 47%
Noted d-bag Mark Penn is out with ten new polls conducted for The Hill. These are all open seat races with departing Democratic incumbents, with the exception of GOP Rep. Charles Djou's race and the open seat being vacated by Mark Kirk.
Penn Schoen for The Hill (10/2-7, likely voters, MoE: ±4.9%):
It looks like Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa are in a game of jump ball here, which is a better result than I had been expecting for Team Blue here. If turnout were at 2008 levels, as Jed L. says, Hanabusa would be leading by 54-40.
Bonus finding: In the gubernatorial race portion of this poll, Duke Aiona and Neil Abercrombie are tied at 48-48. Considering this is Abercrombie's old district, this could mean that the Governor's race is a lot closer than previous polls indicated.
FL-08: A poll for Sunshine State News, apparently by a firm called Voter Survey Service, finds GOPer Daniel Webster leading Rep. Alan Grayson 43-36. Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is at 6, and independent George Metcalfe takes 3.
IL-10: Bob Dold! must have superpowers. That's because Bob Dold! can seemingly exist in two places at once. He claimed the city of Chicago as his "primary residence" from 2004 to 2006, and received a tax credit for doing so... but somehow also claimed the town of Winnetka as his "permanent residence," enabling him to register and vote there during the same time period (which he did). So if I'm wrong and Bob Dold! is actually a mere mortal, it seems like it's either tax fraud or voter fraud. Bob Dold!
IL-11: I think this is going to be the last cycle we keep track of this whip count, because now it's becoming routine. The NRA endorsed Debbie Halvorson.
NY-20: Yep, definitely the last cycle. The NRA endorsed Scott Murphy, too.
PA-08: Yesterday we mentioned there was a Dem pol of this race, but that we lacked the toplines. Well, now we have the memo. A Harstad Research poll for the SEIU and VoteVets has Dem Rep. Patrick Murphy leading Mike Fitzpatrick 49-46 among likely voters. Interestingly, the poll shows slightly larger Murphy leads when an even tighter voter screen is applied.
VA-05: Ugh, this again? SurveyUSA's latest in VA-05 is pretty much the same as last time (and the time before that). They have Rob Hurt leading by an eye-popping 58-35 margin, a gap not seen in any other polling. Teabagger Jeffrey Clark takes 4%.
NRCC: The NRCC claims to be out with a bunch of internal polls, but they only provide the alleged toplines for races in seven districts. Forget about field dates or margins of error - they don't even bother to tell us who the pollsters are! If you want to know the numbers, you'll have to click the link.
KY-Sen: Is mockery better than scolding? Compare this Jack Conway ad, which wryly features seniors saying they "don't know what planet Rand Paul is from" when it comes to his Medicare views, with the Halvorson spot below
WV-Sen: John Raese attacks Joe Manchin for being soft on coal and buddies with Barack Obama
IL-11: A bunch of seniors scold Adam Kinzinger (on Debbie Halvorson's behalf) for his anti-Social Security views
NV-03: Grr... Dina Titus seems to have pulled her latest ad off of YouTube!
CO-07: American Future Fund drops $560K against Ed Perlmutter
AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski is seeking clarification on just how expansively the state elections board will view misspellings or variants of her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who's in charge of all this, previously said he leans "toward a liberal view" of how to count Murkowski ballots, but now he's refusing to get more specific. See you in court?
O'DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself -
MAHER: Evolution is a myth?!? Have you ever looked at a monkey!
O'DONNELL: Well then, why they - why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?
FL-Sen: Former Rep. Robert Wexler became one of the most prominent Democrats to break ranks and endorse Charlie Crist. Wexler, who has long had a close relationship with Crist, famously abandoned his party earlier this year by resigning his seat in the middle of the term, before the final votes on healthcare reform.
FL-Gov: Douchebag zillionaire Rick Scott really just out-did himself with only three words. When asked if he had forked over another million bucks to his campaign (he had), Scott responded: "I don't know." I guess it's easy to forget writing seven-figure checks when you're Rick Scott!
IA-Gov: This race has been depressing for a long while now, and the latest news is no different. A Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register shows GOPer Terry Branstad crushing Gov. Chet Culver 52-33. Just ugh.
ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rossner (D) for Libby Mitchell (9/22-24, likely voters, July in parens):
Libby Michell (D): 34 (32)
Paul LePage (R): 38 (44)
Eliot Cutler (I): 10 (8)
Shawn Moody (I): 8 (5)
Kevin Scott (I): 2 (2)
Undecided: 7 (10)
Mitchell also says her internal shows LePage's favorability weakening from 33-19 to 38-36 over the same timespan.
AZ-01: CQ got ahold of a month-old internal poll for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick by Lake Research Partners, which shows the race to be very tight. Kirkpatrick had a 43-39 lead over Republican Paul Gosar. But of course, we're talking about late August. Who knows what's changed since then.
CO-03: Nice catch by Colorado Pols. Check out Republican Scott Tipton trying to backpedal away from his earlier statements that he'd eliminate the Department of Education:
Tipton said his plan for that department is the same as his plan for the entire federal government, to cut it in half. He said he plans to do that without cutting government services....
That is some seriously lulzy shit right there, my friends. Even better is the fact, as CO Pols points out, that Tipton already tried to back away from this plan ("slice the gov't in half") a few days ago, but he's already re-un-flip-pivot-flopping back to it. Man.
CT-05: Smaller, fun-size cat fud: Mark Greenberg, who lost in the GOP primary to Sam Caligiuri, showed up on Caligiuri's hometown to make an endorsement... of the Republican running in Rosa DeLauro's district. A Caliguri endorsement sounds unlikely.
FL-22: I'm not a big fan of Politifact for a variety of reasons, but they sink their teeth into a good one here. At a recent candidate forum, Allen West claimed, "If you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background." This is obviously insane, points out Politifact, because security clearances exist because of a presidential executive order... which is signed by, uh, the president. The other possible way of viewing this (which is what West's campaign proudly says is their view) is as a birther-esque claim that grew out of right-wing email forwards. This "school of thought" holds that Obama's shaaady personal background means that he'd never have gotten security clearance by normal means (if he hadn't been elected). Yeah, okay.
MS-04: Remember when, a few weeks ago, Heath Shuler suggested that he might run for Speaker of the House? Well now Rep. Gene Taylor is the latest ConservaDem to take up residence in fantasy-land, saying that he'd prefer 78-year-old Ike Skelton for Speaker, rather than answer a question about whether he'd vote for Nancy Pelosi again. Taylor also refused to answer how he'd react if Republicans approached him about a party switch.
NV-03: In response to a claim by the Smart Media Group that the DCCC was cancelling a week-long buy on behalf of Rep. Dina Titus, the D-Trip announced that three panzer divisions were reconsolidating on the Eastern front the cancellation was actually a sign of strength. Later that same day, perhaps realizing that sounded like bullshit, the same Dem spokesman said that the party was still committed to a million-dollar ad buy.
PA-10: After an AP report cited an anonymous Dept. of Justice source on this story, the Scranton Times Tribune obtained an on-the-record statement from the DoJ confirming that the department has no record of having given approval for then-US Attorney Tom Marino to serve as a reference on a casino license application for his buddy Louis DeNaples. If you've been following this story, you know that DeNaples was a possibly-mobbed-up "businessman" who was under investigation by Marino's own office - and when Marino got busted for providing the reference, he resigned in disgrace, and then took a sinecure with DeNaples. Marino claimed back in the spring that he had received permission from the DoJ to give a reference for DeNaples, but this has clearly turned out to be bullshit. Dem Chris Carney has gotten a lot of mileage out of this so far.
While we're on the subject, Maine-based pollster Critical Insights tested this race for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. They found Marino ahead of Carney 40-36. But the n on this poll was extremely low - just 196 LVs.
PA-11: The Times Leader also polled the 11th CD. Again, with a very small sample (211 LVs), they found Republican Lou Barletta leading Rep. Paul Kanjorski by a 43-32 margin. The Kanjorski campaign blistered the poll, offering some slightly dumber lines of attack ("Makes you wonder if The Times Leader didn't cook the numbers") and some sharper ones (noting that the TL doesn't seem to be very adept at polling, given that last week they tested the Lt. Gov. race, even though Pennsylvanians don't elect the LG separately). They also questioned the partisan makeup of the sample, and its small size.
NRCC: The NRCC just made $3.2 million in expenditures on a ton of different races - too many to list here. It looks like it's mostly for paid media, as well as a bunch of polls in a number of districts. Be interesting to see if any see the light of day.
SSP TV (by James L.):
DE-Sen: Chris Coons' latest ad touts reform and fiscal conservatism
KY-Sen: Jack Conway's out with a great ad that personalizes Rand Paul's nagging hostility to federal anti-drug funding
FL-Gov: Alex Sink attacks chrome-domed creep Rick Scott for attacking her over the Florida state pension fund
CO-04: Dem Rep. Betsy Markey paints Cory Gardner as a career politician with his hand in the trough
FL-08: Dem Rep. Alan Grayson takes off the gloves... and straps on a set of brass knuckles. In his latest ad, he paints his Republican opponent as a radical religious fundamentalist, going so far as to call him "Taliban Dan Webster". In another ad, Grayson hits Webster for his Vietnam deferrals. Also worth mentioning is this ad, which came out two weeks ago but went unmentioned here, where Grayson resurrects his famous "briefcase" theme from last cycle.
HI-01: GOP Rep. Charles Djou responds to the DCCC's latest attack ad
IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell unleashes a decent ad hitting Brad Zaun on "personal responsibility" hypocrisy
IL-14: Dem Rep. Bill Foster goes after GOP state Sen. Randy Hultgren for his company's role in fueling the mortgage crisis (and profiting from it)
NY-13: Frosh Dem Rep. Mike McMahon's first ad touts his accomplishments and votes, including his vote against healthcare reform
OH-15: Dem Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy touts her votes, while, in another ad, smacks Steve Stivers over his support of a national sales tax.
OR-05: A six-pack of seniors form a chorus to sing Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader's praises, and wave their hickory walking sticks in Republican Scott Bruun's direction
PA-11: GOPer Lou Barletta responds to Paul Kanjorski's attacks
DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell has decided to go the J.D. Salinger route: She told Sean Hannity that she's doing no more interviews, ever. Okay, well, at least as far as the national media are concerned. But it's nothing to get upset over, sports fans: Thanks to the advent of the Internet, we will hear about all her gaffes and insanities even if she's only talking to the Kent County Evening Bugle-Reporter-Sentinel. In that same interview with Hannity, she also managed to tell some nice lies about Chris Coons, claiming that he "made some very anti-American statements, apologizing for America and calling himself a bearded Marxist." Of course, the "bearded Marxist" line was a joke, though undoubtedly O'Donnell is too dense to grasp that.
CO-Gov: You know, as we were getting to know Christine O'Donnell, I had a feeling that she was so low-rent, she'd make even Dan Maes look good. Well, that appears to be all but fucking impossible, even for O'Donnell. Maes raised just $14K in the first two weeks of September and currently has $24K in the bank. Not sure there's a sack big enough fit that much sad.
MI-Gov: WLNS-TV could have saved themselves some money by just reading the Swing State Project, but they went ahead and commissioned a poll of the gubernatorial race anyway. Anyhow, the Marketing Resource Group shows exactly what you'd expect: Rick Snyder beating Virg Bernero 49-31.
AL-02: The NRA's infiltration of the Democratic Party continues apace, this time with an endorsement for Bobby Bright.
AZ-07: This smells fishy to me. A Republican operative is saying he's seen internal polls showing Some Dude Ruth McClung in a dead heat with Rep. Raul Grijalva in this 57% Obama district. But local Dem and GOP pols say they've seen nothing of the kind. McClung has only $15K on hand, but this ain't good: Grijalva, after spending half a mil so far this cycle, has just $77K in the bank.
IA-02: Evidently Mariannette Miller-Meeks did not get the Club For Growth's memo: She's now saying she opposes privatizing Social Security, ostensibly because she thinks its finances are rickety. But isn't the whole reason conservative douchewads want to private Social Security is because that's how they think they can "save" it? I'm confused!
ID-01: Heh - fucker couldn't buy a break even if Ron Popiel was selling `em. Even though the NRA gave Raul Labrador a better grade than Walt Minnick, they declined to endorse either candidate. Suckaaaaa.
WATN?: Remember this story? Last cycle, Chris Shays' former campaign manager, Michael Sohn, stole a quarter million dollars from his boss's election accounts. Now, Sohn has been sentenced to 37 months in prison. Shays must go to sleep every night wondering if that extra $250K would have meant the difference between winning and losing....
SSP TV (by James L.):
FL-Sen: Charlie Crist's new ad hits Rubio for all the pork-laden bills that he sent to the Governor's desk while serving as Speaker of the Florida House
KY-Sen: Conservative group American Crossroads spending $235K against Jack Conway (D) - no copy of ad yet
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes' new ad is a folksy spot on fiscal conservatism, including chiding Kelly Ayotte for supporting tax cuts for the rich
CO-07: Ryan Frazier wields some kind of laser pen while reciting a bunch of B.S. GOP boilerplate
FL-22: Allen West says that Ron Klein is no moderate
FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas would like you to know that she's never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down
MO-04: Ike Skelton issues a fierce but vague attack on GOPer Vicky Hartzler's support for veterans, from the mouths of veterans
NY-20: Chris Gibson says that we have to let market forces drive healthcare costs down. Yeah, like that worked the first time, moron.
PA-03: Mike Kelly and the NRCC team up to hit Kathy Dahlkemper on SPENDING OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE INTO OBLIVION!!!!11!
PA-04: Keith Rothfus' new ad takes the ice cream sandwich approach: two layers of delicious cookie crunch surrounding a mid-section of negative ice cream. I realize that makes no sense, but... God, I'm hungry.
PA-10: Tom Marino's first ad plays defense against Chris Carney's hard-hitting ads against his sleazy record
Independent Expenditures (all from the DCCC today):