• CT-Sen: Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy is sounding very likely to challenge Joe Lieberman in 2012, at least if this WSJ piece primarily on Lieberman's re-election chances is any indication. It quotes Murphy as "definitely considering" the race and says his decision may be only weeks away, given the nature of permanent campaigning these days. Meanwhile, Paulist economist Peter Schiff (whose rather quixotic bid wound up with him deep in third place in the GOP primary in 2010) is saying he'd like to run for office again, but 2012 won't be the year, citing the likelihood of a Linda McMahon run and his inability to compete against her money. Finally, Lieberman himself has his mind on his money and his money on his mind, too... he's hungry enough for money that he's reaching out to his new friends from the No Labels movement and asking them to consider donating to politicians they don't necessarily agree with. Interesting argument (especially considering that the No Labels people are probably the likeliest people out there to agree with Lieberman).
• MA-Sen: Long-time Boston mayor Tom Menino has occasionally gotten some coverage as a possible opponent to Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate race, but he's taking his name out of consideration, saying he'll never run for anything but even more terms as mayor. Menino also offered some warnings to potential Dem candidates about the race, saying "There's nobody that can beat him." (Recall that Menino caught some flak for not really deploying the Boston Dem machine full-force on Martha Coakley's behalf during the special election, so it's unclear whether he's truly fearful of Brown or just engaging in a little concern trolling on Brown's behalf.)
• MI-Sen: Here's another indicator (after last month's PPP poll that had her mired in the 40s) that Debbie Stabenow could have a tough race in 2012, given the right GOP opponent. A Glengariff Group poll for the Detroit News doesn't include any head-to-heads, but gives her 37/39 approvals, and a 23% definite re-elect (vs. 43% someone new). Of course, the GOP will need to cough up someone more imposing than Tim Leuliette, the only publicly interested candidate so far.
• MN-Sen: I hadn't heard Rep. John Kline (the GOP Rep. in MN-02, who labors in right-wing anonymity thanks to a lot of cover from noisy neighbor Michele Bachmann) get associated with the 2012 Senate race before, and after today, he probably won't again. He told a talk radio interview over the weekend that his "plate was full."
• MT-Sen: There's been an uptick in speculation that Denny Rehberg may not run for Senate after all, given that he just landed a slot as not just one of the Appropriations cardinals (regarded by Beltway insiders as the uppermost tier in the House pantheon) but the subcommittee chair in charge of HHS, letting him carry the banner on any HCR repeal efforts. However, he's still being coy about his 2012 plans (and in fact getting a little meta about the endless Beltway media parsing of political career planning), saying a decision is "down the road... which is similar to around the corner."
• NE-Sen: This has been pretty clearly telegraphed for a while now, but Republican state treasurer Don Stenberg is saying he's "quite likely" to get into the Senate race. That, of course, would set up a high-profile primary with another statewide GOPer already a formal candidate, AG Jon Bruning. Meanwhile, GOP state party chair Mark Fahnelson removed an image from his personal blog of Ben Nelson inside a red bullseye. In good Republican fashion, he reaffirmed that he himself, in fact, was the victim in all this.
• NV-Sen: Hoping for Sue Lowden to be the 2012 Senate nominee for the GOP? Don't count your chickens before they hatch, because she's saying she won't consider running if Dean Heller is going to run (she would do it only if both John Ensign and Heller didn't run). Rather candidly, she admitted that she had no shot of beating Heller in a GOP primary. Meanwhile, Sharron Angle has decided that, having had a shot at the big time, another run for the state Senate would just be chicken feed at this point. She says that she won't seek the seat being vacated by resigning former GOP floor leader Bill Raggio (to whom she lost in a 2008 primary), although without saying anything more about another NV-Sen run or a NV-02 run if Heller runs for Senate.
• TX-Sen: Here's another poll showing a Senator who may have a rough go of it in 2012, although in Kay Bailey Hutchison's case, the real hurdle is likely to be the GOP primary. A Blum & Weprin poll for various Texas newspapers found Hutchison with a 46% approval among all registered voters, and only 56% among Republicans. Hutchison, of course, has not given any indication whether she's running for another term or not.
• LA-Gov: That gubernatorial election is only 10 months away, and Louisiana Democrats still seem to standing around scratching their heads wondering who their nominee will be. With GOP incumbent Bobby "Kenneth the Page" Jindal sitting on a $7.2 million war chest and, while not super-humanly popular anymore, still in positive territory, willing victims do not seem forthcoming. Dems seem most interested in somebody who can self-finance, which would probably be oft-rumored Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard, although other more remote possibilities include losing Lt. Gov. candidate Caroline Fayard, PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell (who finished 3rd in the 2007 primary), retired Gen. Russell Honore (who was briefly the subject of speculation for a GOP primary challenge to David Vitter last year), and even a return engagement from ex-Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
• AZ-08: Best wishes to Gabby Giffords for what will no doubt be a long, slow recovery after this weekend's shooting. Physicians say that she is rapidly improving and may be removed from her breathing apparatus in several days if progress continues.
• ND-AL: This has implications for North Dakota's House seat, but also potentially for the Senate seat in 2012, if Kent Conrad (last seen ramping up to start advertising already) does a sudden turnaround and opts for retirement. Ex-Rep. Earl Pomeroy (who's 58) is joining DC law firm Alston & Bird and says "I don't see myself running for office again."
• NM-02: Similarly, Harry Teague has announced that he won't run again for his old seat or anything else, saying he has no plans to seek another office. The 61-year-old (and independently wealthy) Teague plans to return to his family oilfield business.
• Mayors: Another day, another poll showing Rahm Emanuel way in the lead (albeit not out of runoff territory yet). This one's from Anzalone-Liszt on behalf of the Teamsters, and while it shows Carol Mosely Braun gaining ground (thanks to dropouts from Danny Davis and James Meeks), she's still far behind. It's Emanuel 42, Mosely Braun 26, Gerry Chico 10, and Miguel Del Valle 7. (November's Teamster poll was Emanuel 36, Mosely Braun 13, Chico 10.) Meanwhile, Chico can now boast an endorsement from Rep. Luis Gutierrez, which seems like a bit of a thumbed-nose at Emanuel (who used to be Gutierrez's neighbor in the House). And on the other side of the country, San Francisco has a newly-minted interim mayor: city administrator Ed Lee, who will fill in for the next 10 months as Gavin Newsom becomes Lt. Governor. The main thing that clinched it for Lee (who will be the city's first Asian-American mayor) was his promise not to run for the job in the November election. One of Newsom's last acts was to appoint a new DA in San Francisco, too (to replace the state's new AG, Kamala Harris): he promoted police chief George Gascon to that job.
• WATN?: Where are they now? On the prison bus, that's where. At least that's the case with former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay, just sentenced this morning to three years on conspiracy charges associated with laundering corporate money into campaign donations.
Rather unusually, Suffolk included Blumenthal & Malloy twice in their head-to-head questions: once as the Dem candidate, and once as the Working Families Party candidate. Each got about 3-4% as the WFP candidate. I've never seen a pollster do this in New York, where the practice of fusion voting is best known.
IL-Gov (PPP): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 41 (35), Bill Brady (R) 42 (42)
FL-22 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Ron Klein (D-inc) 44, Allen West (R) 47
MA-04 (Fleming & Associates for WPRI): Barney Frank (D-inc) 49, Sean Bielat (R) 37
MD-01 (Monmouth): Frank Kratovil (D-inc) 42, Andy Harris (R) 53
MI-03 (EPIC/MRA): Pat Miles (D) 37, Justin Amash (R) 46
MN-01 (Grove Insight (D) for Project New West): Tim Walz (D-inc) 50, Randy Demmer (R) 34
MS-04 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steven Palazzo): Gene Taylor (D-inc) 41, Steven Palazzo (R) 43
NC-11 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for DCCC): Heath Shuler (D-inc) 54, Jeff Miller 39
NM-02 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steve Pearce): Harry Teague (D-inc) 41, Steve Pearce (R) 50
NY-20 (Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Chris Gibson): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42, Chris Gibson 44
OR-05 (SurveyUSA for KATU-TV): Kurt Schrader (D-inc) 41, Scott Bruun (R) 51
Note: Among the 10% who have already voted, Schrader leads 47-46. This continues a pattern we've seen in other SUSA polls (and also some, but not all, of the early voting numbers by party registration).
PA-06 (Monmouth): Manan Trivedi (D) 44, Jim Gerlach (R-inc) 54
PA-17 (Susquehanna for ABC27 News): Tim Holden (D-inc) 58, Justin Argall (R) 28
• AK-Sen: I thought Joe Miller (last seen praising the COMMUNISTS!!1! in East Germany for their wall-building skills) wasn't going to talk about his personal life anymore (i.e. personal stuff like his on-the-job politicking while working for the borough of Fairbanks)? Well, now he is, and he's openly admitted on CNN that he was disciplined by the borough for an ethical violation. "John, I'll admit I'm a man of many flaws," he said. Apparently one of those flaws was using his various co-workers' computers while they were away for lunch to rig an online poll intended to displace Randy Ruedrich as state GOP chair, then wiping out their caches to cover his tracks, then getting caught when the wiped caches were discovered. Miller said he was reprimanded and docked pay as a result. However he maintains the incident had nothing to do with his departure from the office a year and a half later (which others maintain was imminently before he was about to be fired). So... a guy is possibly about to go from not being able to hack it as a contract attorney for a city of about 25,000, to a Senator, in the space of about a year? Geez, only in America.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's no slouch either on the self-funding front: she loaned herself $20 million last quarter, bringing her all-cycle total to $41.5 million. (No word, of course, on how much of that $20 million actually has been or will be spent.) Meg Whitman was heard sniffing disdainfully and saying McMahon should call once she reaches the eight digits.
• DE-Sen: Sometimes, it's best to keep your mouth shut and let everyone assume you're a fool, rather than open your mouth and categorically prove it. The highlight of last night's debate:
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion....
"The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish religion," Coons said.
"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell interrupted. "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
• KY-Sen: With Aqua Buddha suddenly back dominating coverage of this race, no one's really stopped to ask Aqua Buddha lady what she thinks of all this. She thinks that Jack Conway's ad's tone is over-the-top, but agrees with the fundamentals, that it's an accurate reflection of Rand Paul's past views and that he should acknowledge that he's just changed his religious views since then (instead of playing the victim).
• MA-Sen: Wait, the 2010 election hasn't happened yet? Still not too early to talk about 2012. Rep. Mike Capuano, runner-up in the Dem primary in the special election and considered the likeliest opponent against Scott Brown in two years, is openly "mulling" the race, although his official line is "Talk to me in December."
• NV-Sen: We finally have some confirmation on what we'd suspected, regarding Sharron Angle's burn rate, thanks to Salon's crack team. She may have raised $14 million, but she also spent $5.3 million on direct mail expenses last quarter in order to get that money. $920K of that went to BaseConnect and its affiliates, with $1.5 million to somebody called Patton-Kiehl, who seemed responsible for the actual printing and postage. Another $4 million went to TV ads, leaving her with the $4 million CoH she reported.
• MD-Gov: This one looks closer and closer to being wrapped up in favor of Martin O'Malley. On top of today's Gonzales poll, there's also news that the RGA is scaling things back in Maryland, planning to spend less than $200K for Bob Ehrlich in the final two weeks. O'Malley may also benefit from an across-the-aisle endorsement (although it's from a figure who's committed his fair share of apostasies): ex-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest gave him his backing today.
• MN-Gov: Here's one more across-the-aisle endorsement (the only kind we'd bother reporting on, at this stage in the game). Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate in Minnesota, got an endorsement from Mike Ciresi, a wealthy attorney who you might remember from losing the 2000 DFL Senate primary to Mark Dayton (wonder if there are any hard feelings there?) and ran again for Senate in 2008 but dropped out pre-convention. That may make things a smidge harder for Dayton, who needs Horner to draw votes mostly from the R column.
• AL-02: This has to be one of the weirdest IEs of the cycle: Blue America is spending in AL-02 of all places, and they're spending $48K against Bobby Bright. I guess they hate Blue Dogs just that much.
• FL-22: You know, if you're fighting allegations that you have links to the outlaw biker gang conveniently known as the Outlaws, probably the best way to do that is by not having bikers providing security at your rallies. Well, that's what happened at an Allen West appearance, where bikers physically drove off a Ron Klein tracker. Video is available at the link. (At least "Sympathy for the Devil" wasn't playing in the background.)
• NC-07: Here's some interesting scuttlebutt out of the 7th, where Mike McIntyre is joining the I-won't-vote-for-Pelosi brigade but where he's also saying that he's heard that she won't be running for Speaker again. (That would, of course, presume having a majority; no word on whether he's heard if she plans on running for minority leader.) Relatedly, even Mike McMahon, who's looking like a good bet to survive his red-leaning district this year, is now sounding noncommittal but at least Pelosi-skeptical.
• OR-04: Wondering who the mysterious Concerned Taxpayers of America are, who've trained most of their advertising firepower on Peter DeFazio, turning this into at least a mildly competitive race? Well, it turns out there's a grand total of two of them, each of whom has ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of them, Robert Mercer, appears to be the one with the beef against DeFazio, probably because he's a hedge fund manager and takes issue with DeFazio's leadership on taxing major hedge-fund transactions.
• VA-05: I guess demanding the moon and the sun when you make your initial offer in a negotiating session is a good strategy, but independent teabagger Jeffrey Clark may have taken that ridiculously far in his attempts to negotiate a dropout from the race and an endorsement for GOP candidate Robert Hurt. Clark offered to drop out if he got the chance to debate Hurt one-on-one, and then if subsequent polling didn't have him at 25% of the vote! Hurt has refused to appear any at any debates where Clark is included, and doesn't seem any likelier to do so now.
• WA-08: I know it's fashionable to paint Dave Reichert as not being one of the sharpest tools in the shed, but it's hard not to do so when he gives you so much material: at a forum with opponent Suzan DelBene, confessed in response to a question that he wasn't familiar with the Glass-Steagall Act. (The resurrection of Glass-Steagall was one of the main things being debated as part of the financial reform package passed this year.)
• DCCC: Here's some activity from the D-Trip that doesn't bode well: they've started going on the air in NC-11 for Heath Shuler, previously thought safe based on most of the polling we've seen so far but has been in the crosshairs of a lot of third-party advertising from folks like Americans for Job Security. (NWOTSOTB.) They're also increasing their buys in the coming weeks in neighboring districts SC-05 (John Spratt) and NC-07 (Mike McIntyre). Also, file this under a sorta-kinda triage decision: the DCCC is cutting off ads in NM-02, on behalf of Harry Teague. Chris Van Hollen says they're leaving Teague in "great position," which (shades of Steve Kagen here) is probably code for "he's personally wealthy" and it's time for him to buy his own bandaids.
• Polltopia: PPP is letting you choose an unprecedented six states to poll in, as part of their final round of polling. They must be renting some extra robots, because they're planning to poll 18 different states the week before the election, although 12 states (basically, the most obvious ones) are already locked in. Go vote!
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: EMILY's List is out with a TV spot featuring an opera guy singing a ditty about Carly Fiorina (and her time as Hewlett-Packard CEO)
• NV-Sen: Both the DSCC and NRSC are out with ads; the DSCC says that while you're angry, don't take it out by voting for Sharron Angle, while the GOP says Harry Reid lives in a fancy hotel and parties with supermodels
• WA-Sen: One of the Dems' few big-money behind-the-scenes groups, Commonsense Ten, looks at Dino Rossi's cozy connections
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's new ad just flat out says "John Raese uses people"
• CA-Gov: Too bad this is only a Jerry Brown web ad, because it's one of the most effective ones we've seen this cycle: it ties Meg Whitman to unpopular Arnold Schwarzenegger, matching them quote for quote (UPDATE: Good news, everybody! The ad is going to be running on television, despite its one-minute length! It's that good.)
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad hits Rick Perry on his rental mansion
• SC-02: Joe "Yewwwwww Laaaaaah!" Wilson talks about dodging mortar fire in his newest ad (mortar fire that apparently landed on the other end of the airport while on what Rob Miller has been calling a Congressional junket, but that's OK)
• TX-17: Here's a sign that Chet Edwards has done something to show that he's stemmed the bleeding (or at least that he called in some serious favors), as the DCCC's back on the air here with an effective ad about bailout funds for Bill Flores' oil company
• Original recipe Rasmussen:
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 42%, Rand Paul (R) 47%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 34%, Rick Snyder (R) 54%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 37%, Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
• Extra crispy Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 43%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 40 45%, Dan Maes (R) 10%, Tom Tancredo (C) 45 40%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 46%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 45%, John Raese (R) 48%
Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 48 (47)
Jon Barela (R): 41 (41)
Undecided: 11 (12)
Harry Teague (D-inc): 45 (45)
Steve Pearce (R): 46 (42)
Undecided: 9 (13)
Here's another state where things are staying pretty consistent over the last month. Over the course of September, Susana Martinez's lead over Diane Denish has remained at 7, as they've both made gains from undecided, but Martinez is getting dangerously close to 50. (The basic story of this election is: what sounds better on your resume, "district attorney" or "Bill Richardson's #2?")
Likewise, things barely budged in the 1st, where Martin Heinrich added one point to his already decent-but-not-decisive lead. (It's looking more and more like that SurveyUSA poll that gave a lead to Jon Barela a few months ago was quite the outlier.) The needle moved only a little more in the 2nd, where the polls have shown a true tossup... but the movement was enough to drop Dem incumbent Harry Teague from a surprising 3-point lead to a 1-point deficit (exactly where he was in a PPP poll a few weeks ago, too).
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
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
AK-Sen: On the topic of Lisa Murkowski's declaration that she's "still in this game" and her outreach efforts to a polite but seemingly unenthused Alaska Libertarian Party, The Mudflats sums up the situation pretty well:
* She's not technically in the race right now
* She's not out of the race
* She's not a quitter
* She is who she is
* She will likely not run as a Libertarian
* She will likely not run as a write-in
* She doesn't know what she's doing
NH-Sen: Businessman Bill Binnie is throwing down another $500K of his own money, with the GOP primary just a week in the way. Though ex-AG Kelly Ayotte leads in what little polling there's been, I think this race is still up for grabs.
NV-Sen: The LVRJ has a detailed profile on Sharron Angle's tumultuous years in the state Assembly, where votes in the 42-member body were often "41 to Angle."
CO-Gov: Some Colorado Republicans are suing to try to knock Tom Tancredo off the ballot, saying his candidacy violates the American Constitution Party's bylaws. Even if they're right, I wonder if they have standing.
FL-08: Alan Grayson claims he raised half a million bucks in August, and says he has more than a million on hand, despite prepaying for a bunch of television advertising.
FL-24: GOPer Sandy Adams (and the NRCC, apparently) are touting a Public Opinion Strategies internal which has her leading Rep. Suzanne Kosmas 49-37.
HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa outraised Rep. Charles Djou in the pre-primary fundraising period, $330K to $206K. But Djou has slightly more cash on hand, $428K to $404K.
NY-14: Some Democrat she is. When asked by a reporter if she would vote for her opponent - not even endorse, just vote - in the general if she lost the primary, Reshma Saujani said she "didn't know" whether she would pull the lever for Rep. Carolyn Maloney. I've been adamantly opposed to Saujani's candidacy since I first learned about her, and with good reason. But this may be the most disgusting thing she's said so far. How can I possibly trust the Democratic bona fides of someone who can't even say if she'll vote Democrat in her own district? And no, her campaign's belated attempt to claim she'll "vote a straight ticket" does not assuage me in the least. When the cameras were rolling and the pressure was on, Saujani admitted she wasn't a team player. We don't need people like her in Congress.
Turnout (PDF): According to data compiled by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, the "average percentage of eligible citizens who voted in the primaries of each major political party" shows more a greater share of Republicans voting in primaries this year than Dems for the first time since 1930. Of course, 1930 was a pretty good year for Dems... but the trendlines are not inspiring.
GA-Sen: GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, not a guy you traditionally think of as being endangered (if you've ever even heard of him) touts his conservative record
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes compares Washington to... a hot dog eating contest
NV-Sen: Harry Reid continues to produce some of the best negative ads of the cycle
OH-Sen: We mentioned this ad in yesterday's digest, wherein Lee Fisher sez: "Congressman Rob Portman knows how to grow the economy... in China!" Our update is that a GOPer says the buy is for $1.4 million and that the ad is running in Columbus and northern OH
FL-Gov: Alex Sink responds to Rick Scott's attack ads, which she says are all about Obama, not Florida
CA-11: Jerry McNerney's first ad, touting his support for veterans' causes (I like that he has an actual veteran do the talking - much better than the usual candidate bragging or hackneyed voiceover)
CA-45: Dem Steve Pougnet is on the air with his first ad, kicking off a reported $100K/week TV & radio ad blitz from now through election day
Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 47
Jon Barela (R): 41
The good news is: Heinrich is in the lead, unlike his performance in that nasty SUSA poll from a month ago. The bad news is that this is a real race, and one that Democrats cannot afford to take for granted. After pasting the extremely hyped Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White by 11 points in 2008, few thought that Heinrich would be in trouble this cycle against a lesser-known foe. But you can't ignore the numbers -- this is what some would call "striking distance".
Barela beats Heinrich among independents by 51-45 and takes 33% of the Hispanic vote. Unlike SurveyUSA, though, the unimaginatively-named Research & Polling finds Heinrich up on Barela by 20 points among 18-to-34 year-olds. If you recall, SUSA had Barela running ahead by three points among that demographic.
Harry Teague (D-inc): 45
Steve Pearce (R): 42
I say "amazing" because the general vibes I've been getting from from this race haven't been particularly strong for Teague. Teague trailed Pearce by two points in a PPP poll back in February, but the national (and local) mood has not improved since then. Teague did release an internal poll claiming a one-point lead on Pearce back in April (up from a 10-point Pearce lead a year ago), but we haven't seen any additional polls until now.
Perhaps one factor moving the numbers for Teague is the $325K ad buy against Pearce by the Defenders of Wildlife. (The New Mexico Independent has their latest ad, if you'd like to watch it.) The fact that Teague is apparently hanging in there while so many frosh Dems are struggling to tread water is pretty remarkable.
MO-Sen: AFSCME just threw down another hefty hunk of cash, pouring $700K into radio ads attacking Roy Blunt for voting against minimum wage hikes. According to The Hill, the union says that the ad is airing "statewide on over 200 radio stations outside the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets."
NH-Sen: Despite leading in the polls, AG Kelly Ayotte is joining third-party groups and launching a TV ad of her own attacking rival Bill Binnie as a "liberal." This comes in response to Binnie's new ad attacking Ayotte for her handling of the FRM scandal. NWOTSOTB, though Binnie's latest purchase is reportedly for some $430K.
WI-Sen: It's hard to keep up with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, but really, the lamestream media is being unfair to Ron Johnson, who definitely deserves a starting spot on the Wingnut 9. Watch him bash this stand-up double into deep right field:
There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now.
FL-22: Absolute fucking maniac - and absolute fucking whiner - Allen West has been decrying the "Gestapo-like intimidation tactics" he fantasizes have been deployed by Ron Klein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama. What are his dark Orwellian warnings about? The fact that the Klein campaign has been sending a video tracker to West's events. Yep, exactly like the Holocaust. Good comparison to be making in Palm Beach.
IA-01: The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)4, claims it's preparing to spend "six figures" against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), not a guy generally considered to be vulnerable. Part of that is because Braley leads his opponent, lawyer and former congressional staffer Ben Lange, $630K to $110K in cash-on-hand. Let's see if they actually follow through, though.
MO-04: For the first time since the mid-90s, the Missouri Farm Bureau's political arm, FARM-PAC, is not endorsing Ike Skelton - and in fact, they're supporting Republican Vicky Hartzler. FARM-PAC cited Skelton's vote in favor of cap-and-trade as the main reason for their change of heart. The Skelton campaign did, however, announce they received the backing from another agricultural group, the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
ND-AL: Rep. Earl Pomeroy is out with a new ad attacking Republican Rick Berg for his long (28-year) tenure in the North Dakota state lege, as well as his support for privatizing Social Security. NWOTSOTB.
NM-02: Defenders of Wildlife has re-upped its ad buy against Steve Pearce, who is attempting a comeback bid against Rep. Harry Teague, throwing down another $125K. It's not clear whether this is the same ad from a couple of weeks ago, which one station refused to air.
NJ-03: Props to Jane Roh of the Courier-Post, a paper which serves southern New Jersey. She exposes Republican Jon Runyan's first television ad for the video press release that it is, reporting that it's a mere $8,400 (on FOX News and CNN), but notes - do I detect a touch of mockery here? - that it's "expected to swell to $12,500 this week." This is pretty much a joke buy anywhere, but in the NYC media market, this doesn't even rate with late-night infomercials.
NY-13: Rudy Giuliani's lent all kinds of support to Mike Grimm in his primary against Michael Allegretti, and now he's cut an ad for him as well, touting Grimm's experience with terrorism as a "9/11 first responder." I wonder if that's the tie that binds these two men, or if Rudy is making some long-term play against the entrenched GOP interests on Staten Island which, for whatever reason, have been backing Allegretti. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, and incidentally, the FBI (and the Marines) have expressed displeasure with similar Grimm ads in the past.
NY-29: Teabagger Janice Volk failed to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent... but now says she'll run as a write-in. Whatever. Anyhow, has anyone heard anything - anything at all - about Dem Matthew Zeller?
OH-18: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled late last week that Rep. Zack Space made false statements about Republican opponent Bob Gibbs in an attack ad, but is issuing no penalty - not even a letter of reprimand. Sort of makes you wonder why this commission exists in the first place. I also find it weird that Ohio even has some body that tries to act as a referee for political campaigns. Isn't that what voting is for?
Redistricting: Redistricting geeks, rejoice! Thanks to some key volunteer help, Dave's Redistricting App now has partisan data for North Carolina and New Mexico. But more help is needed to get the remaining states online. Check out Dave's diary to see how you can help.