• AZ-Sen: So what the heck happened with Trent Franks? The Arizona Guardian is reporting that the Republican Congressman had been promising people jobs on his pending Senate campaign, and that his people had even gone so far as to ensure proper media risers were available at the hotel where Franks was supposed to make his big announcement. Yet it all vanished in a heartbeat when Franks unexpectedly pulled the plug. Says the Guardian: "The good thing is, there's still another year-and-a-half to get the full story before the 2012 elections." Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, Dave Catanese penned a piece explaining the backstory on how he got burned by Franks' consultant. It just adds to all the weirdness.
• FL-Sen: Tucked inside that Quinnipiac poll which showed tough numbers for Obama was this nugget:
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who like Obama is on the 2012 ballot, is in better shape, with a 47-26 percent approval rating, a 43-39 percent lead over an unidentified Republican and voters saying 43-35 percent that he deserves another term in the Senate.
• MI-Sen (PDF): A week or so ago, Republican-affiliated pollster Market Research Group offered some better-than-everyone-else approval ratings for Gov. Rick Snyder. Apparently, they also polled the Senate race at the same time, pitting Dem Debbie Stabenow against Some Dude Randy Hekman. Amusingly, the polling memo says the Senator has a "slim" 11-point lead over Hekman, 45-34. But the real problem is the sample, which is 26 R, 26 D, 43 I - in other words, nothing like reality.
MRG also polled a hypothetical state Supreme Court matchup between incumbent Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, which had Zahra up 38-33. (Moving from the statehouse to the high court is not unheard of in Michigan.) Speaking of Granholm, she was supposedly under consideration to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Board but says she withdrew her name (and likes Elizabeth Warren for the job). It sounds like Granholm is keeping pretty busy, and the article notes she's teaching at UC Berkeley, so perhaps she's enjoying the weather out in Cali a bit more than back home. But Granholm is a former state AG and was even supposedly a possible Supreme Court pick, so perhaps a judicial run is plausible.
• PA-Sen: Sam Rohrer, the teabaggy ex-state Rep. who got pounded by Tom Corbett in the PA-Gov GOP primary last year, says he's "50-50" on running against Bob Casey this cycle. Rohrer has the perfect pedigree: He runs the Pennsylvania chapter of the malevolent David Koch front group Americans for Prosperity.
NBC 4's reporter-anchor Craig Melvin is a tall African-American. Which apparently led to this exchange with former Sen. George Allen, according to Melvin's Twitter account Tuesday night:
"For the 2nd time in 5 months, fmr. gov. and sen candidate George Allen asks me,"what position did you play?" I did not a play a sport."
Actually, I changed my mind. If you still don't think George Allen is a racist fuck, read this coda from ThinkProgress writer Lee Feng. And no, Allen didn't apologize - he offered a classic bullshit "I'm sorry if I offended you" response. That's bullshit.
Anyhow, Roanoke College released a poll of the race, showing Allen leading Tim Kaine by 45-32 - a rather different picture than what we saw from PPP. However, the WaPo ran an above-the-item update warning readers to be "cautious" about this survey because "[r]esults were adjusted only for gender, and the resulting sample is not representative of Virginia's racial composition, its age structure or regional population densities." It also looks like the horserace question was asked after about a bajillion issue-related questions (PDF), some of them kind of weird.
Finally, in Some Dude news... some other Some Dude (an African-American minister named Earl Jackson) decided to get into the GOP primary, a race with a lot of Some Dudes already in it.
• GA-Gov: PPP did a re-do poll in Georgia, too, and found Dem ex-Gov. Roy Barnes would edge actual Gov. Nathan Deal by a single point today, 46-45. Tom says that this isn't a case of voter disgust with Deal (he has pretty meh ratings, not downright radioactive ones like Scott Walker), but rather a clear sign of last year's enthusiasm gap that will forever haunt us. There's also a smorgasbord of other Peach State odds-and-ends at the link.
• KY-Gov: Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is out with his first radio ads of the campaign, touting his small-town roots, a week after his likely Republican opponent, David Williams, also went up on radio. Unlike Beshear, Williams faces a primary on May 17th, so he's also going up on cable TV with a new ad you can watch here. NWOTSOTB for any of these.
• MS-Gov: Turns out PPP did in fact test the Republican gubernatorial primary in Mississippi. Click through if you really, really care. (Hint: You won't.)
• UT-Gov: State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, a teabagger fave to challenge immigration apostate Gary Herbert for the governor's mansion, says on Facebook that he has "no plans or intentions to run." (Yes, it would be more awesome if his name were Stephen Sandstorm.)
• WV-Gov: In case you weren't sure where all the players in the Democratic primary field stand on the ideology spectrum (something we'll be rectifying with a more in-depth post shortly), this is a helpful guidepost: Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was endorsed by the WV Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also endorsed the only two legit Republicans running, Betty Ireland and Bill Maloney.
• CA-26, CA-06: Assemblyman Anthony Portantino is getting some high-profile fundraising help: Steve Israel is coming out to Pacific Palisades this weekend for a breakfast event. The same piece also notes that Assemblyman Jared Huffman raised $120K for a federal account in Q1; Huffman is interested in 73-year-old Rep. Lynn Woolsey's seat, if she retires. Woolsey apparently will decide whether to seek another term by June.
• IL-08: I'm not exactly broken up by this news: Ex-Rep. Melissa Bean, whose race was the closest in the nation last year (she lost by 290 votes to a real piece of work), says she won't run again. She's now CEO of something called the Executives Club of Chicago, which doesn't really give off a man-of-the-people vibe, now does it?
• MI-09: If there's one guy repeatedly written off as a redistricting victim who I'd really love to see find a way to survive, it's Rep. Gary Peters. Despite what must have been an exhausting last several years raising money, the Michigan Dem wasted no time getting right back into the game, pulling in over $400K in Q1. He has half a mil on hand.
• NM-01: This Roll Call piece (also linked below in a redistricting item) mentions a few Dem names we hadn't discussed here before: state Rep. Al Park, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, who lost the 2008 primary for this seat.
• NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon will join the "government relations" (i.e., lobbying) group at a mid-sized NYC law firm. He's apparently being brought on as "counsel" status, rather than as a partner, so this could just be a way-station to allow him to pay the bills as he weighs a re-match... but of course, he risks getting hit with the lobbyist taint.
• PA-17: Activist Sheila Dow-Ford confirms the rumors that she's considering another run against Rep. Tim Holden, against whom she took 35% in the Democratic primary last year. Holden could get a bluer district when all is said and done, so a challenge from the left is a real possibility - but as Dow-Ford herself notes, others are interested, and I wouldn't be surprised if some bigger-name candidates got in if the seat became markedly more Dem.
• UT-02: Huh - I can't exactly accuse the Salt Lake Tribune of burying the lede, since they put this in the second graf, but Rep. Jim Matheson says he's waiting to see what the new district lines look like before deciding whether to run again, or instead if he'll seek statewide office. A statewide run doesn't seem like a particularly appealing escape hatch, but both Gov. Gary Herbert (see item above) and Sen. Orrin Hatch could wind up damaged by teabaggers, so you never know. A couple of other statewide offices Matheson could see (Treasurer, Auditor) are up as well.
Also, Some Dude Chuck Williams, an Air Force vet who lost a couple of GOP primaries for Congress... in California... says he plans to challenge Matheson for his House seat, and that he'll run regardless of where the lines get drawn.
• VA-11: Via FEC Kenobi, Some Dude Christopher Perkins just filed as a Republican to challenge Gerry Connolly. That's a pretty un-Google-able name, so I can't tell you much about him... though I do know his home is worth $743,130!
• WV-01: Freshman Rep. David McKinley (R), who won a close race last year, says he's raised over half a mil in the first quarter. Note, though, that he still has $670K in campaign debt from last cycle.
• Allegheny Co. Exec.: PoliticsPA, via Municipoll, has a race out on the Allegheny, PA County Executive's race. I'm gonna admit straight off the bat that I don't know the players here, but click through for details.
• IN-SoS: So a judge allowed a Dem challenge to SoS Charlie White's eligibility to serve in office to proceed, but really, you just need to read Bob Bobson's summary of where things stand - and where things will head now. (Bob's been doing an awesome job of staying on top of this oftentimes-complicated story, so pay attention to him.)
• Champaign, IL Mayor: Here's a nice little election result that we otherwise missed: The avowedly teabagging mayor of Champaign, Illinois was narrowly defeated by a political newcomer on Tuesday night, the first time, in fact, that he'd ever been opposed in 12 years in office. I'm a little surprised that the university town of Champaign would have elected such a wingnut in the first place, but this is still good news.
• Specials: Johnny Longtorso:
Democrat Kevin Johnson won a 5-point victory over Republican Sonny Sanders in South Carolina's HD-64.
[On whether this seat was supposedly a Dem stronghold:]
I took another look at it; it's almost all of a county that Obama got around 56% in along with one or two precincts of an adjacent county, and it's about 50/50 white/black, so black turnout may have been low. So he just did a few points worse than Obama's numbers in 2008.
• Wisconsin Recall: Dems filed over 22,000 signatures to recall state Sen. Randy Hopper yesterday. Republicans claim they are close to filing petitions for Sen. Robert Wirch, one of the more endangered Dems on the list.
• WATN?: Ethan Hastert, son of ex-Speaker Denny the Hutt and victim of a genuinely impressive teabagger-fueled anybody-but-Ethan movement to deny him the GOP nomination in IL-14 last year, has managed to win elective office this year. He earned a council seat in the village of Elburn, IL, which has a population that is actually a few thousand smaller than my census tract. Don't call it a comeback!
• Arkansas: Total impasse: The state House rejected the state Senate's congressional redistricting plan, complementing the Senate's recent rejection of the House plan. Some procedural maneuvers may be used to try to get things moving forward again, which lawmakers are probably eager to do, since the legislative session was scheduled to end over a week ago.
• California: Look, it's basically impossible to find a law firm that knows anything about redistricting which has never had any prior political involvement. So I don't understand why it's coming as a surprise that Gibson Dunn, the firm hired by the redistricting commission, has a political fund and has used it to make donations. Oh wait, I think I do - it's because most (but by no means all) of those donations were made to Democrats, so the GOP is continuing its plan to do everything it can to "discredit" the entire process. It's especially silly, because the firm specifically tasked one Dem attorney and one Republican attorney to lead the effort... but then again, the GOP is especially silly.
• Louisiana: Nathan Gonzales has a good piece untangling the wreck that is Louisiana redistricting, and offering some insight into the behind-the-scenes process. I strongly encourage you to click through the link for the full flavor. (As an inducement, there's a bowl full of cat food inside.) Apparently, a compromise plan is in the works, but Nathan says that if an agreement isn't reached by next week, the lege will have to wait until next year to finish its work. (They can't call a special session?) Anyhow, like I say, read the whole thing.
• New Mexico: Though legislators won't hold a special session on redistricting until the fall, apparently a plan is brewing among Democrats to excise GOP-leaning Torrance County from the 1st CD. The problem, though, is that while Dems control the lege, Gov. Susana Martinez is, of course, a Republican - a very similar situation to the last round of map-drawing in 2001, which eventually ended up in court.
• Texas: You can play with various Texas map proposals at the link.
• Virginia: Two Virginia items. First, the House of Delegates approved the Republican gerrymander for that body, though most Democrats were actually stupid enough to vote in favor of the plan. (Hasn't anyone ever heard of a symbolic protest vote to at least signal to your supporters that you know you're getting the shaft, even if it's for the greater good?) Second, a (the?) congressional plan was released, and it's potentially not as bad as it could be. Have a look-see.
• FL-Sen: Mike Haridopolos is starting to look like one of those guys who just seems to track muck wherever he goes - or has been. How do you like this for both ridiculous and corrupt? He received an astounding (a) $152K (b) in taxpayer money to (c) write a book that (d) no one would ever read - and that (e) never got published because (f) the manuscript was too shitty to print. Getting that much (a) to do (c) is remarkable in any environment, but particularly when (a) is in the form of (b), and (d) ensures that the whole venture will be a major money-loser. (E) and (f) are really just the punch line - which makes Haridopolos the joke (and Florida taxpayers the serious losers here).
• MA-Sen: I get the sense that Deval Patrick's decision to blab to the National Journal about the candidates he's talked to who might run for senate must either have been deliberately planned or really unappreciated. Patrick said that 2010 special election candidate Alan Khazei and Newton Mayor Setti Warren told him they are "in, for sure" - leading Warren to tell Wicked Local Newton that he's merely considering the race and has no timetable for an announcement. Was Patrick fluffing Warren in a helpful way, or was he just cracking out of turn?
• MT-Sen, MT-Gov: Was this even a thing? Dave Catanese asked Gov. Brian Schweitzer if he and Sen. Jon Tester might trade places - the term-limited Schweitzer running for senate and the flat-topped Tester running for governor. Schweitzer said nuh-uh.
• TN-Sen: I won't call it a "must-read," but a strong "should-read" piece in the Tennesean gives some good background on Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who may be one of the strongest (only?) Dem options to take on Sen. Bob Corker in 2012. Dean has a Phil Bredesen-like "moderate" background, has been largely successful as mayor, and also has a very wealthy wife. But the article notes that Dean first has to win re-election as mayor this August (though he's the favorite) - and more importantly, he hasn't express any particular interest in running for senate. Maybe a run against freshman Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014 might be a better choice.
• VT-Sen: Republican state Auditor Tom Salmon says he'll decide on whether to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders this week. He has a conference planned for noon Thursday.
• IN-Gov: Mike Pence, a very likely gubernatorial candidate, offered quite a bit less than a full-throttled defense of Gov. Scott Walker's attempts at union busting, perhaps in an effort to avoid a rift with the man he's hoping to replace, Gov. Mitch Daniels. But given that Daniels' decision not to follow Walker's lead engendered a ton of teabagger vitriol, I'm wondering if Pence's move to go soft here might cause him trouble in a potential GOP primary.
• ME-Gov: Speaking of Scott Walker, Gov. Paul LePage, elected with 38% of the vote, says that he, too, will pursue his lifelong dream of destroying collective bargaining rights. LePage may run into static from the GOP legislature, though, before he has the chance to fully transform himself into Kochbot 2.0.
• MS-Gov: It's always a little tricky when someone is referred to as a businessman of some sort, but I'm going to guess that newly-announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Williams, "owner of Pascagoula-based Hazmat Services Inc.," is a lot closer to the Some Dude end of the spectrum than the zillionaire kapitalist side.
• WI-Gov: Speaking of Scott Walker yet again, the RGA has a new ad coming out in support of said governor, but of course, NWOTSOTB. Meanwhile, a fellow who says he did "micro-targeting" for Obama in 2008, Ken Strasma of Strategic Telemetry, has a poll out which he says supports the idea that Walker could be vulnerable to a recall. And through the use of un-revealed "micro-targeting models," Strasma also thinks that there would be more than enough people willing to sign a petition in each of the eight Republican state senate districts where senators are currently exposed to the legal possibility of a recall.
• WA-Gov: Show of hands - does anyone here think Gov. Christine Gregoire will actually seek a third term? Hey, maybe we're all wrong, but the very fact that she's even been entertaining the idea has already been a big enough surprise. Anyhow, Gregoire says she'll decide by "early summer."
Meanwhile, Democratic King County Executive Dow Constantine, whose name proverbially "came up" last December (see SSP Amazing Daily Digest, Issue #44) as Rep. Jay Inslee was seen to be holding his fire, sounds largely like a "no." Constantine said he might "at some point be interested in an opportunity," but "I have on my plate a few matters in King County government and I'm going to remain focused on that this year." Of course, with Gregoire now fogging in the control tower, everyone else is probably going to be put in a holding pattern.
• CA-36: This may not be a huge surprise, but Janice Hahn said that now ex-Rep. Jane Harman was querying her about her future political plans when she was a guest of Harman's at the State of the Union address in January (going so far as to ask Hahn whether she'd be interested in running for CA-36), then tipped Hahn about her resignation announcement hours before she made it. This helps explain Hahn's particularly energetic burst out of the gates, but it doesn't explain - or excuse - Debra Bowen's anemic start. Two weeks after announcing, Bowen's website is still nothing more than a splash page with a big "Contribute" button, and I haven't seen a single announcement of any high-profile endorsements. Does a sitting Secretary of State really have that few friends in high places?
• FL-25: When you've lost Eric Cantor... the no. 2 Republican in the House was in Miami for a fundraiser, but already-doomed Rep. David Rivera was pointedly asked to stay away. Worse, Cantor said he has "concerns" about Rivera, and worse still, he was seen meeting with former state Rep. Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a possible replacement for Rivera. (Diaz de la Portilla, who served just one term in the state House a decade ago, is the brother of former state Sen. Alex, who was touted as a possible FL-25 candidate last cycle, and current state Sen. Miguel.)
• NY-13: Rep. Mike Grimm is obviously doing the sensible thing here, working with Democrats (and somewhat less-insane-than-usual Republicans) to secure funding for government programs that actually matter to New Yorkers. Money for cops = popular! Of course, "the sensible thing" has pissed off local teabaggers, which could prove a problem for Grimm as he seeks re-election.
• NY-25: The namejacking anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List is running an ad thanking Ann Marie Buerkle for her vote to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Kudos to Dave Catanese, who says the size of the buy (which includes online ads) is $75,000, and that the ad itself is expected to run 182 times. It sounds like SBA is also planning to spend another $125K running radio ads in a number of other GOP-held districts: IL-08, IL-14, NH-01, PA-07, and PA-08.
• OR-01: Another GOP name has surfaced as a possible challenger to David Wu: State Sen. Bruce Starr says he's considering a run. I think it would be more interesting to get a sense of which Dems are likely to succeed Wu, though, since odds seem slim that a Republican will hold this seat. But of course, most Democrats aren't saying much, and that includes DCCC chair Steve Israel. When your own party's re-election chief says "no comment" about your future, you're long past the point where you should be stepping aside.
• Census: The good folks at the Census Bureau will have redistricting data this week for DE, KS, NE, NC, and WY. In other census news, be very glad that Robert Groves is the director of the bureau and the guy he replaced is long-gone. Steve Murdock told the Houston Chronicle that "it's basically over for Anglos" in Texas and that it's a "terrible situation." Wow.
• Crossroads GPS: Karl Rove's dark money front organization says it's already spent a million bucks on House race ads this year, which the DCCC "has been unable to come close to matching," according to The Hill. The article makes reference to the David Brock-Kathleen Kennedy Towsend (oy) group that's supposed to be the Dem answer to Crossroads, but has anyone heard a peep from "American Bridge" yet?
• Las Vegas Mayor: Diarist atdleft has a good roundup of ads currently in rotation in the Las Vegas mayoral race. If you haven't been following this one, current mayor Oscar Goodman is term-limited out, and a field including two Dems (Larry Brown and Chris Giunchigliani), one Republican (Victor Chaltiel), and one independent (Goodman's wife Carol) is vying to replace him. There's a top-two primary on April 5th and a run-off (if no one gets 50%) on June 7th.
• Teabaggers: Even though 84 Republican freshman joined the House this January, just 11 have joined Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus - and the caucus is now actually smaller than it was when it first started. Anyhow, at least a few of these (click the link for the article) are probably sitting in blue enough territory that this decision will cause heartburn for them on the campaign trail. (But see the classic rock-and-hard-place conundrum faced by Mike Grimm in the NY-13 bullet above.)
• Twitter: The Fix compiled a list of their favorite Twitterers in all fifty states. I haven't checked it out yet, though, so I don't even have an opinion. But enjoy!
By a miniscule margin of 292 votes, GOP challenger Joe Walsh emerged Tuesday as the apparent winner over U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean in their nail-biting 8th District congressional race.
Walsh, a Tea Party-backed conservative, led the three-term Democrat by 347 votes at the beginning of the day, but absentee and provisional ballots tallied Tuesday by election officials narrowed that margin even further.
There's no word on whether Bean will seek a recount, but she has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow. Walsh, whose campaign was most noted before election day for its dramatic implosion, looks primed to be a one-term wonder before he meets the buzz-saw of the Democratic-controlled redistricting machine in Illinois.
Recounts: The Hill reports that the DCCC has sent staffers to assist with recount efforts in California, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Washington state. One state is notably not on the list, and I think that says a lot: Texas. Check out our TX-27 item below for more.
AK-Sen: Here's the schedule: Absentee ballots (30,500) will start getting counted today. Tomorrow, write-ins (83K) will be talled. And provisional ballots (12,000) will be opened on Friday. Joe Miller needs to find a way to disqualify over 13,000 write-ins to have a shot (as things stand now) - or pray that people wrote in someone other than Lisa Murkowski. Interestingly, the NRSC is still backing Miller's play, with Big John Cornyn and Jim "Crème" DeMenthe both sending fundraising emails on his behalf to help with recount efforts. Meanwhile, for her part, Murkowski has brought in notorious GOP hatchet man Ben Ginsburg. You may remember Ginsburg from such recounts as "Florida 2000: The Brooks Brothers Riot" and "Dickface Norm Coleman's Dickfaced Adventure: The Whinening." A little late-breaking cat fud!
MN-Gov: Though he trails Dem Mark Dayton by more than 8,700 votes, Tom Emmer (through his lawyer) says he won't forego a recount. Cynical (i.e., sensible) observers imagine that Emmer will pursue even a hopeless recount just to give GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty some more time in office. With the state lege having just flipped to the Republicans, this would give the right-wing wrecking crew some unfettered time at the controls. The incoming state House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, says that even if this scenario came to pass, the Republicans would not "rush to ram something right through." Of course, you trust him, right?
CA-11: Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney's lead over David Harmer has now climbed to 804 votes. A judge also rejected GOP demands that the elections chief for Contra Costa County allow observers to "compare signatures on vote-by-mail ballots with voter affidavit signatures on file in the office." (The Contra Costa portion of the 10th CD went for Obama 56-43.)
CA-20: Republican Andy Vidak has seen his lead shrivel to just 145 votes... but it's Dem Rep. Jim Costa who is in the driver's seat. Huge numbers of ballots remain to be counted in Fresno County (perhaps 50 to 70K), and the Fresno part of this district went for Obama by a two-to-one ratio. Hard to see how Vidak hangs on.
IL-08: Though she picked up 188 votes last week, Rep. Melissa Bean (D) still trails Jim Walsh by 350. According to the AP, "hundreds of provisional and absentee ballots are still being counted in Cook, McHenry and Lake counties," but the count won't be finalized any sooner than Nov. 16th, the deadline for absentees to arrive. Provisional ballots will get counted after that date. In related barf-inducing news, unnamed sources (aka "buzz," according to Politico) are supposedly floating Bean's name to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Board if she doesn't pull this one out. Gack!
KY-06: Andy Barr is down 649 votes to Rep. Ben Chandler (D), but he won't concede until after a recanvass (scheduled for Nov. 12th) is complete. Barr vaguely sounded like he might be interested in a rematch, saying ""the cause will continue... and you can count on me whether I'm in Congress, a citizen, or a candidate for Congress."
NC-02: A lot of roundups keep forgetting this race, but Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge has not conceded to Renee Ellmers - and in fact, he's already filed a request for a recount. As long as the margin stays under 1% (as it is now), Etheridge is automatically entitled to have the votes tallied a second time. Even so, the gap right now is quite wide - 1,646 votes - but it seems like Dems are pinning their hopes on more errors like the one on election night, where Samson County failed to report votes from three of four early voting sites. Once these were added to the tally, Etheridge gained 453 votes. Still, he's got a long way to go.
NY-01: Dem Rep. Tim Bishop's lawyers are apparently headed to court today, seeking a full hand recount of all the ballots cast in this race. (And he's raising money for the cause, too.) As you will recall, Bishop had a 3,400-vote lead on election night, but somehow that has since swung all the way to a 383-vote advantange for Randy Altschuler. New York finally moved to a modern, scantron-type ballot system this year; problems with the transition are being blamed for all kinds of issues. As for absentees, Hotline says: "There are approximately 10,000 absentee ballots still to be counted; 4,200 from voters of parties that endorsed Altschuler and 3,900 from voters of parties that endorsed Bishop."
NY-25: Dem Rep. Dan Maffei trails Ann Marie Buerkle by 659 votes, but the AP says that "more than 7,000 absentee and other ballots remain outstanding and most won't be counted until Nov. 15." Also note that military and overseas ballots have until Nov. 24th to come in, which could be a factor if the race tightens. However, an analysis in AuburnPub.com suggests that if the absentees follow the same pattern as votes cast on election day, Buerkle's lead will actually increase a bit.
TX-27: Dem Rep. Solomon Ortiz is gearing up to request a recount, but this one looks pretty hopeless. There are fewer votes remaining to be counted (and this includes provisionals, which are subject to getting tossed) than separate Ortiz from Blake Farenthold. Oritz is alleging irregularities at the polls, but local officials haven't heard any such reports.
VA-11: As we mentioned yesterday, Republican Keith Fimian is conceding the race to Rep. Gerry Connolly.
WA-02: As we mentioned yesterday, the AP has called the race for Dem Rep. Rick Larsen over John Koster.
AK-Sen: Right now, write-ins account for 41% of the vote in Alaska, while Joe Miller has 34% and Scott McAdams 24%. State election officials have bumped up the start of the write-in count to Nov. 10th (from Nov. 18th). Murkowski is one of 160 declared write-in candidates, but obviously quite a few write-ins ballots would have to be spoiled, or for other candidates, for her to lose.
WA-Sen: Patty Murray's lead widened to 1.6% as votes were counted in the populous Democratic stronghold of King County. The trends look poor for Dino Rossi, who took 40% here in 2004 (when he almost tied Christine Gregoire in the gubernatorial race), but is now at 37% this year.
CT-Gov: Yikes - the AP withdrew its call for Dem Dan Malloy. This one could get seriously topsy-turvy. Whatever the hell is going on here might also impact Jim Himes (vs. Dan Debicella) in CT-04. Not good.
MN-Gov: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Mark Dayton holds an 8,854-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer, within the half-percent margin which would prompt an automatic recount. No recount can start until after Nov. 23rd, when the vote is certified. Note that Norm Coleman's election-day lead was just 725 votes in 2008. So even though GOP lawyers are already laying in a supply of amphetamines, it's possible the Republicans will abandon what looks like a futile effort.
IL-Gov: Man, did anyone dig a mangier rabbit out of a shabbier hat than Pat Quinn? After a day of counting more votes in Cook County (Chicago), Quinn's lead has expanded to 19,000 votes, and Republicans are getting ready to throw in the towel on behalf of Bill Brady. Pretty amazing, for a guy who seemed DOA just a couple of months ago.
OR-Gov: As we noted yesterday, various media sources have called the race for Dem John Kitzhaber over Chris Dudley.
AZ-07: As we noted yesterday, Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva has declared victory over Ruth McClung, with a 3% lead. A Grijalva spokesman said that the remaining ballots are in Pima County, which favors Dems.
AZ-08: Dem Rep. Gabby Giffords leads by 2,349 votes over Jesse Kelly, but again, Pima - they have some 47,000 votes still outstanding. Pima was one of only four counties to go for Kerry - and for Obama, too.
CA-11: With an unclear number of votes left to be counted, Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney has inched into a 121-vote lead over David Harmer. It'll take four weeks for the vote to get certified, at which point the loser can seek a recount (at his own expense).
CA-20: Dem Rep. Jim Costa trails Andy Vidak by almost 2,000 votes, but there may be something like 30,000 uncounted ballots from Fresno County, which Costa won on e-night by a 2-to-1 margin. So maybe we'll get lucky here.
IL-08: With 100% of the vote in, Dem Rep. Melissa Bean is trailing in a shocker to Jim Walsh by 553 votes. She isn't conceding yet, though.
KY-06: With 100% of votes counted, Dem Rep. Ben Chandler has a 619 vote lead over Andy Barr. Barr has until next Tuesday to request a "recanvass," which would be completed by Nov. 12th. Barr could then ask for a formal recount, but he'd have to foot the bill.
NY-25: Really barfy: As we noted yesterday, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has moved into the lead, after late results from Wayne County came in. She's now up by 659 votes. Some 8,300 absentee ballots have been returned so far (out of 11,600 requested), though more are trickling in. Maffei would have to pull in something like 54% or so out of the absentees to pull this one out.
TX-27: It's looking pretty bad for Dem Rep. Solomon Oritz, who trails Blake Farenthold by 799 votes with 100% in. Farenthold has declared victory, but Ortiz claims his legal team is conducting a review and that he may seek a recount - which he would have to pay for (unless it changes the final results). And check out how far the apple has fallen from the tree:
Farenthold is grandson of Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, a Democrat who served two terms in the state House and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1972. That same year, she finished second in balloting to become George McGovern's vice presidential candidate at the Democratic convention.
VA-11: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly leads Keith Fimian 111,621 to 110,696. The vote will get certified on Nov. 22nd, at which time Fimian can seek a recount if the margin remains less than half a percent (recounts are not automatic).
WA-02, WA-09: As we noted yesterday, a number of media outlets have called the 9th CD race for Dem Rep. Adam Smith over Dick Muri. Meanwhile, Rick Larsen has taken his first lead over John Koster, albeit a narrow one (30% of votes remain to be counted).
CA-Sen: Moose lady endorses sheep lady. Is chicken lady next?
KY-Sen: With the primary less than two weeks away, Jack Conway's throwing in another $300K of his own money.
OH-Sen: Gov. Ted Strickland thinks that Jennifer Brunner might be getting ready to endorse Lee Fisher after all. If she wants to have a future in Democratic politics, she has to do this. If she fails to come through, this will be the kind of thing people remember forever.
CO-Gov: A challenging name for challenging times: Businessman Joe Gschwendtner is joining the GOP gubernatorial field, and he says he'll seed his campaign with $100K of his own scrilla.
OH-Gov: Dems keep making John Kasich feel the pain over his refusal to make public all of his tax returns. Now, a couple of state legislators are proposing a bill which would require all political candidates to disclose their returns as a condition of running for office. Kasich, you'll recall, briefly displayed a summary of his 2008 returns to reporters (who weren't allowed to photocopy it); he made $1.1 million for doing mostly nothing, including helping to drive Lehman Brothers into the ground.
CA-19, CA-20: Two stones, one bird: It looks like two GOP congressional hopefuls in neighboring districts broke federal election laws by taking a flight on a private corporate jet with none other than Karl Rove. That could turn out to be one expensive ride for State Sen. Jeff Denham of Atwater (CA-19) and cherry farmer Andy Vidak (CA-20).
DE-AL: Wilson Research Strategies did a poll of the GOP primary for developer Glen Urquhart, who is facing off against possibly rich businesswoman Michele Rollins. (I've heard she may have only inherited an income interest from her late - and exceedingly wealthy - husband's estate.) The poll showed Rollins leading 27-11 (with 60%) undecided.
FL-02: This is a little unexpected: Blue Dog Allen Boyd is running ads against his absurdly underfunded primary opponent, state Sen. Al Lawson. (Boyd has 29 times the cash that Lawson does.) Once again, though (say it with me), no word on the size of the buy.
FL-11: A fridge too far? NRCC honcho Pete Sessions is holding a fundraiser later this month in Tampa for one Mike Prendergast. Yeah, I ain't never heard o' him neither, but I guess he did raised about $100K in Q1, and incumbent Kathy Castor only has about $350K on hand. Still, this was a 66% Obama/58% Kerry district.
GA-09: In these dark-red districts, the most you can hope for is some hot wingnut-on-wingnut violence - and it looks like we're finally seeing some. The Club for Growth is running ads targeting ex-state Sen. Lee Hawkins, alleging (what else?) that he's not conservative enough and wouldn't sign a pledge to repeal healthcare reform. Hawkins fired back with a press release, charging that the CFG supports illegal immigration and that their favored candidate, ex-state Rep. Tom Graves, is their stooge.
IL-08: Local Republican leaders met with the already-imploded Joe Walsh to see what the eff was going on with his campaign... and they've decided to stick with him. While running into the Melissa Bean buzzsaw might not be that enticing (even in a cycle like this), several other candidates ran against Walsh in the primary, so a replacement ought to be possible. (Read here if you need background on the Walshsplosion.)
MO-06: Local businessman Clint Hylton will run as a Democrat against GOP Rep. Sam Graves. Graves obliterated one of our most highly-touted recruits last cycle, former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes.
NM-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Martin Heinrich (4/28-5/2, likely voters, no trendlines):
Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 55
Jon Barela (R): 38
Heinrich leads among Hispanics 68-24, who make up 35% of this sample. These are very nice numbers. Heinrich has over $1 million cash-on-hand, while Barela has under $400K.
MA-09: SEIU political director Mac D'Alessandro submitted 5,000 signatures as part of his nominating papers, but still needs an additional 2,000 by June 1 to qualify for the ballot. He's aiming to take on Rep. Stephen Lynch, who earned lifetime douchebag status by infamously switching from "yes" to "no" on the healthcare reform bill.
OH-18: 2008 loser Fred Dailey trails establishment fave Bob Gibbs by 164 votes after Tuesday's GOP primary, but there are still ballots left to be counted. In fact, provisionals and absentees, as long as they were postmarked on time, will still be accepted up until ten days after the election. No one knows how many ballots are outstanding, though. If the final margin is less than one half of one percent, there will be an automatic recount. Still, the odds have to be against Dailey - though a prolonged fight is probably good for Rep. Zack Space.
PA-06: While NARAL doesn't usually endorse in primaries, their former president, Kate Michelman, is backing Manan Trivedi over Doug Pike. Pike, in the past, has written columns that suggested he has wobbly views on reproductive choice. Other pieces of his have made very questionable remarks about women - click the link if you want the exact quotes. Pike says he "apologizes" for these columns, about the 99th time he's had to apologize for something on this campaign.
PA-12: Public Opinion Strategies (R) Tim Burns (5/4-5, likely voters, 3/15 in parens):
Mark Critz (D): 41 (41)
Tim Burns (R): 43 (45)
Undecided: 14 (13)
An all-House digest today - and it's an hour earlier than usual! Remember, today is primary day in IN, NC & OH, so be sure to check out SSP's handy election guide.
AL-07: Attorney Terri Sewell, who is probably the candidate ideologically closest to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis, is going up with a TV ad buy in Montgomery and Birmingham which will stay up through the primary (which is a month from now). No word on the size of the buy, though.
CT-02: Republicans are courting former television news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh to run against Rep. Joe Courtney, who has luckily skated by without much in the way of opposition this cycle. Peckinpaugh says she's considering it. She was most recently seen shilling for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads, clearly trading on her reputation as a newsreader. The company, Lend America, shut down in December after it was placed under federal investigation.
FL-12: After screwing up the establishment's efforts to clear the GOP primary field for ex-state Rep. Dennis Ross by jumping into the race, Polk County Comm'r Randy Wilkinson is bidding adieu to the Republican Party. Instead, he's going to run as the Tea Party candidate (there's an actual Tea Party in Florida, just like the Whigs). Wilkinson has raised very little money - his FEC reports are a mess, and he seems to like filing them in hand-written form, so he doesn't even appear in their electronic database.
FL-21: What a bummer - zero Dems filed in the open 21st CD, which means that Mario Diaz-Balart will automatically inherit his brother Lincoln's seat. I can't really blame folks too much, though, as Florida has especially onerous ballot access requirements. If you don't petition on, you have to pay a filing fee, which is an insane $10,000+.
HI-01: The DCCC threw down another $70K for negative ads against Charles Djou.
ID-01, OH-15: We mentioned the other day that GOPer Steve Stivers, busy with a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, said he favors repealing the 17th amendment - the one which gives citizens the right to vote for their senators (rather than having them be appointed by state legislatures). Well, after taking a lot of much-deserved heat, he's backed off that fantasy. But his would-be colleague, Vaughn Ward, is taking up the mantle. Ward, running against Rep. Walt Minnick in ID-01, offered a rationale worthy of Miss Teen South Carolina, saying "When you look at how come state's rights have been so abrogated, it's because of things like the 17th Amendment that has taken away those rights from our states." Yuh huh. Exactly.
IL-08: Just click the link and read about the greatest political implosion of the entire cycle. (Thankfully, it's the bad guys.) More here, here, and here.
KS-03: Along with Joe Garcia (see yesterday's morning digest), the DCCC added another candidate to their Red to Blue list, Stephene Moore, who is the wife of retiring Rep. Dennis Moore.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeff Perry, running for Bill Delahunt's open seat, scored an endorsement from ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney. Perry, who was also previously endorsed by Sen. Scott Brown, has a primary against ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Malone has some baggage-related cooties, which probably explains Perry's run of good fortune.
MD-01 (PDF): Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Americans for Prosperity (R) (4/25-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Kratovil (D-inc): 36
Andy Harris (R): 39
Richard Davis (L): 6
Two things about this poll: First off, in contravention of appropriate practice, POS asked all kinds of axe-grindy issue questions ("Gov. O'Malley raised taxes by $1.3 billion") before getting to the horserace question. This does damage to POS's reputation as a supposedly respectable pollster. Secondly, the weird thing is that Harris switched pollsters - and his last survey, from the Tarrance Group back in November, had him up by a whopping 52-39. While it's not a proper trendline, you gotta wonder - is Harris slipping? Or is he getting snowed by his various pollsters? (Update: D'oh! Our mistake -- this poll was not done for Harris, but actually the right-wing consortium of douches known as the Americans for Prosperity.)
MI-01: Dem state Rep. Joel Sheltrown, who got into the race to replace Bart Stupak just a few weeks ago, is bowing out.
MI-09: Self-funder Gene Goodman is dropping out of the race to take on Rep. Gary Peters, despite having loaned his campaign $450K. That leaves ex-state Rep. Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski and former Oakland County GOP Chair Paul Welday in the running, both of whom have had unimpressive fundraising - and in fact, Rocky is yet another victim (albeit a more minor one) of Base Connect.
Meanwhile, we missed a Welday internal poll from a couple of weeks ago (taken by Mitchell Research & Communications), which had Peters leading by just 44-43. The poll sampled just 300 LVs, though, and according to the Hotline, was in the field at two discontiguous times. Peters' camp attacked the poll's sample composition, but Steve Mitchell says he used the same methodology as he did in September of 2008, when (according to the article), " he declared Peters was going to defeat Joe Knollenberg." Is this hindsight proving to be 20/20? Mitchell's poll from back then had the race tied.
NY-13: Global Strategy Group (D) for Mike McMahon (4/7-11, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Allegretti (R): 24
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Grimm (R): 23
OH-09: Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who is not really on anyone's radar in terms of having a competitive race, is nonetheless facing a moneybags challenger. Former Food Town CEO Rich Iott just dumped $319,000 into his campaign. Kaptur has over a million on hand, and the 9th CD voted 62% for Obama and 58% for Kerry.
PA-12: Anzalone-Liszt (D) for the DCCC (4/27-29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Critz (D): 43
Tim Burns (R): 41
TN-08: A couple of disgusting low-lifes running for TN-08, Ron Kirkland and Randy Smith, had this delightful exchange at a candidate forum:
Kirkland, of Jackson, referred to his Army training during the Vietnam War and said: "I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can't describe to you."
Smith, a chef from Mercer who served in the Navy during the Gulf War, said: "I definitely wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said."
These sick bastards have serious issues.
SD-AL: Heh - GOP state Rep. Kristi Noem has a biographical spot up on the air, talking about her return to her family farm after her father's death. The only problem is that she shot the ad in Texas - which became apparent given that the backdrop (a grove of leafy green trees) is something you can't really find in North South Dakota this time of year. Reminds me of when Bob Schaffer ran an ad pretending that Alaska's Mount McKinley was actually Colorado's famous Pikes Peak while running for CO-Sen in 2008.
• CA-Sen (pdf): The apparently nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California has put out another statewide poll, and the numbers look very similar to those in the Field Poll last week. Barbara Boxer is in a dead heat with Tom Campbell, down 44-43, and not faring much better against Carly Fiorina, where Boxer leads 44-43. (She led Campbell by 4 and Fiorina by 8 two months ago.) Boxer's doing better against Chuck DeVore, with a 46-40 edge. The big change from the Field Poll is that PPIC finds Fiorina actually in the lead in the GOP primary, the first pollster to see that in a while; she's up 24-23-8, an improvement from January's 27-16-8 Campbell edge. Are reluctant social conservatives getting off the fence and behind Fiorina, sensing DeVore isn't gaining traction? Or did the Demon Sheep ad actually sway some ovinophobic voters?
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway's on the air with a TV spot in the wake of the health care vote, trying to get some mileage out of Democratic primary opponent Dan Mongiardo's stated opposition to the bill that passed.
• NY-Sen-B: Wall Street exec David Malpass, fresh off his smashing success as chief economist of Bear Stearns, looks like he's doubling down on trying to be the GOP nominee to go against Kirsten Gillibrand. He's promising $1 million of his own money to kick-start his campaign, where he first needs to get out of a primary against Bruce Blakeman and Joe DioGuardi.
• UT-Sen: It's all still anecdotal, but the preliminary reports for how caucus night went for Bob Bennett sound pretty bad. Observers report strong anti-Bennett sentiment in general, although what might save him is that there was no coalescing behind any of his particular challengers. Turnout was maybe twice that of caucuses two years ago, suggesting a highly-motivated anti-Bennett base.
• CA-Gov (pdf): PPIC also has California gubernatorial numbers, again similar to the last Field poll. Meg Whitman's outspending of Jerry Brown by a 200:1 margin or so is definitely paying temporary dividends, as she's leading the gubernatorial race 44-39 (up from a 41-36 Brown lead two months ago). Brown leads Steve Poizner 46-31, basically unchanged from two months ago, suggesting this change is pretty Whitman-specific and not an across-the-boards phenomenon; Whitman leads Poizner 61-11.
• GA-Gov: Republican Governor Sonny Perdue is engaging in a remarkable end-run around Democratic AG Thurbert Baker, appointing a "special attorney general" to join in the suit against the health care reform brought by Republican AGs after Baker refused to do so and called it "political gamesmanship." If nothing else, the fireworks between Perdue and Baker ought to raise Baker's profile (who's currently lagging in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but might be poised to make an impact if he switched to the mostly-vacant Senate race).
• MA-Gov: Here's some trouble for independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill: the SEC has charged that John Kendrick, an executive with Southwest Securities, won $14 billion in bond deals after co-sponsoring a fundraiser for Cahill. That's a violation of federal rules against contributions to officials who oversee bond sales. The SEC says that the Cahill campaign (which is returning the contributions) didn't break any laws by accepting the money, though.
• OH-Gov, TX-Sen: Two more GOPers who still seem to be charging full speed ahead on "repeal" are Ohio's John Kasich and, more interestingly, John Cornyn, who'd been cited in Ezra Klein's piece yesterday, on the GOP's rapidly dialed-down rhetoric, as supporting only piecemeal tinkering but now seems to be reversing course again.
• WY-Gov: Whoops, that was a short-lived candidacy-to-be. Wyoming Democrats looking for a gubernatorial candidate are back to square one after attorney (and gubernatorial progeny) Paul Hickey reversed course and said "no" to a run.
• CO-07: Tom Tancredo weighed in with an endorsement in the Republican primary field in the 7th and, guess what... he endorsed the white guy. He gave the nod to former John McCain campaign official Lang Sias, despite Tancredo's general antipathy toward all things McCain.
• HI-01: State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa is finally making some moves in the special election to replace resigned Rep. Neil Abercrombie. She's out with her first TV ads, for the all-mail-in election with a May 22 deadline.
• NY-13: More blowback for Rep. Mike McMahon for his "no" vote on HCR, which could cost him the Working Families ballot line and/or get him a primary opponent. NYC council speaker Christine Quinn has backed out of a previously planned fundraiser for McMahon, citing his vote.
• SC-05: The NRCC seems to be feeling confident about state Sen. Mick Mulvaney, their challenger to Rep. John Spratt in the reddish 5th. They've promoted him to the 2nd level ("Contender") in their 3-tiered fundraising pyramid scheme for challengers.
• Illinois: We Ask America seems to be taking great pains to confirm that, yes, they really are a legitimate pollster. I don't know if they're helping their case by releasing results with two significant digits, but they have a lot of Illinois House race data; we'll leave it to you to decide how much salt you want to apply. Perhaps weirdest, they have teabagging businessman Joe Walsh leading Melissa Bean in IL-08 by 38.33%-37.61%. They also have leads for GOPers in the 11th (Adam Kinzinger leads Debbie Halvorson 42-30, way worse than Kinzinger's own recent internal) and the 14th (Randy Hultgren leads Bill Foster 38-36), while Dems lead in the 10th (Dan Seals beats Bob Dold 40-37) and the not-on-the-radar 17th (Phil Hare leads pizza parlor owner Bobby Schilling 39-32).
• CA-Init: It's been confirmed that the initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in California has qualified for the ballot in November. A 2009 Field Poll shows such an initiative could actually pass, with 56% of Californians supporting such an initiative. Of course, it's unclear how such a change in state law would mesh with federal law, but if nothing else, it may help motivate a lot of bong-toting slackers to get off their couches to vote in November who otherwise might not vote (and cast votes for Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer while they're at it).
• DCCC: Freshman Rep. Jared Polis has been a strong fundraiser (and has his own fortune, too), and he's looking to spread the wealth. His joint fundraising committee, the Jared Polis Majority Fund, has already distributed $400K this spring to the DCCC, to vulnerable incumbents (Frank Kratovil, Betsy Markey, Scott Murphy, Bill Owens, Tom Perriello, Harry Teague, Dina Titus), and to four up-and-comers (Ami Bera, Steve Pougnet, John Carney, and David Cicilline).
• DNC: I guess the DNC is feeling its oats these days, or just figuring that the best defense is a good offense: they've doubled the number of GOPers on the receiving end of pro-HCR attack ads for their "no" votes. They've added Pat Tiberi, Lee Terry, Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, and Charlie Dent.
• Census: Remember the Census? It's back! In Pog form!
What we demonstrated then to Democrats in vulnerable districts that when they stand with our party and for progressive causes, the netroots will have their backs. And they noticed. Several of them called or emailed me personally to thank all of you for your efforts, including Members who have never had anything to do with the netroots before then. And last night, almost all of them went back and voted for health care again.
Listed below are the twenty Democrats (plus one) who have cast the toughest votes for health care reform -- for HCR last night, and against the Stupak Amendment in November. A few of them voted "no" the first time around (Boyd, Markey, Kosmas, Murphy), but we should welcome them into the fold and thank them for supporting health care reform now.
These are the Democrats whose districts are most likely to oppose them for what they have done to make health care affordable for all. It's up to us to demonstrate to these often-moderate candidates that when they stand up for progressive causes, progressives will stand behind them.
I believe it's especially important for those of us who've decided to turn the spigot off when it comes to Democratic party institutions based on their multitude of failures to take this opportunity to demonstrate what we're capable of doing for specific candidates who are taking risks to make progress happen.
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln is up with her first ad, as she runs for the Republican nomination for the Senate race. Wait... what? She's running as a Democrat? Hmmm, that's not what her ad says, as it's a list of every which way she's bucked the Democratic party line in the last year (and closing by saying "I don't answer to my party, I answer to Arkansas"). That'd make sense if she were running in the general election, but there's a little matter of her having to get out of the primary first... Meanwhile, the base continues to abandon Lincoln; today it was EMILY's List, who say they won't be lifting a finger to help Lincoln. She may still get a lifeline from Bill Clinton, though, who's continuing to back her. And Bill Halter better be committed to seeing this Senate primary thing through, because state Sen. Shane Broadway just filed to run to keep the Lt. Governor spot in Democratic hands.
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov: Republican polling firm Magellan (apparently not working on behalf of any candidates) issued more polls of the two Republican primaries in California. The polls are pretty much in line with what everyone else is seeing: on the Senate side, Tom Campbell leads at 33, followed by Carly Fiorina at 20 and Chuck DeVore at least cracking double-digits at 11. For the gubernatorial race, Meg Whitman is cruising, beating Steve Poizner 63-12.
• CT-Sen: When it comes to the Connecticut senate race, Dick Blumenthal is the Superfly TNT. Hell, he's the Guns of the Navarone. In fact, he lays a massive mushroom cloud on Linda McMahon (60-31), Rob Simmons (58-32) and Peter Schiff (57-27) alike -- and yes, this is according to Rasmussen. (D)
• IL-Sen: In an interview with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board, Alexi Giannoulias said he believes his family's bank is likely to get EATED (as Atrios would say) by the FDIC in the coming months. Perhaps worse, the Trib says that Giannoulias isn't being forthcoming about what he knew about the bank's loans to convicted bookmaker and pimp (i.e. mobster) Michael "Jaws" Giorango. Ugh. (D)
• KY-Sen: If the Dems are seeing a bit of an uptick in selected polls lately, they aren't seeing it in Kentucky yet, at least not if Rasmussen has anything to say about it. Rand Paul leads Jack Conway 46-38 and Dan Mongiardo 49-35, while Trey Grayson leads Conway 45-35 and Mongiardo 44-37. Not much change in the trendlines, except for, oddly, Mongiardo's standing vis-à-vis Grayson improves while Conway's slips. Meanwhile, Conway is hitting the airwaves with a new TV spot, wisely taking Jim Bunning's one-man crusade against unemployed people and hanging it around the necks of Paul and Grayson.
• NJ-Sen: Apparently the 2010 elections are just too boring. Farleigh Dickinson University tested Sen. Bob Menendez versus his 2006 opponent, Tom Kean, Jr., finding a tie (39-38 for Kean, with 17% undecided). Seriously, though, testing horserace numbers this far out just seems silly. Can you imagine what similar polls would have shown for the GOP in 2004? (D)
• NV-Sen: Jon Ralston sits down for a chat with erstwhile Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian, a.k.a. the only man who can inadvertently save Harry Reid. Ashjian, a wealthy contractor (whose company has more than its share of complaints and liens), plans to fund his own way, and discounts claims that he's somehow being put up to it by the Reid camp as a vote-splitter.
• NY-Sen-B: Sigh, what could have been... Harold Ford Jr. met with Karl Rove in 2004 to discuss the possibility of running for Senate in Tennessee in 2006... as a Republican. Ford isn't denying the meeting, but, in his, um, defense? says that it was Rove's idea.
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett keeps on being a punching bag for the GOP's right wing, and today the Club for Growth weighed in with an anti-Bennett ad, airing on (where else?) the Fox News Channel in Utah. It's targeted purely at state GOP insiders, urging them to send anti-Bennett delegates to the state nominating convention. The CfG hasn't settled on one particular candidate they're for; all they know is who they're against.
• GA-Gov: PPP follows up its Georgia general election numbers from yesterday with a look at the Republican gubernatorial primary. (The Democratic primary seems to look like an adequately foregone conclusion to them.) No surprises: Insurance Comm. John Oxendine leads at 27, followed by Karen Handel at 19, Nathan Deal at 13, Austin Scott and Eric Johnson at 3, and Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry at 2.
• MD-Gov: There's been lots of focus on the leaked RNC strategy document today, mostly for its rather shameless descriptions of its fundraising plans. There are a few noteworthy strategic items here, though -- maybe most interestingly, they've totally left Michael Steele's home state of Maryland off the list of gubernatorial races they're pushing. It remains to be seen whether it's because Bob Ehrlich isn't getting in after all, they don't think he has a ghost of a chance, or just general RNC bungling. (Also interesting: on the Senate side, they're even targeting Charles Schumer, but they've left off Patty Murray, which may suggest it isn't getting any better for the GOP than Don Benton in Washington.)
• MI-Gov: Two endorsements in the pipeline in the Michigan gubernatorial race. Mike Huckabee weighed in on the GOP side, picking AG Mike Cox, calling him the "pro-life, pro-gun" candidate over the probably more right-wing Rep. Peter Hoekstra. (I'm not sure how much pull Huckabee has in Michigan. As for me, I'm waiting to see who Ted Nugent endorses.) On the Dem side, this is still purely rumor, but the word is that the United Auto Workers plan to endorse Lansing mayor Virg Bernero (who showed he had their backs with his passionate televised defenses of the auto bailout). The stamp of the state's most powerful union would go a long way toward uniting union backing behind one Dem.
• NY-Gov: The clock seems to be ticking even louder for David Paterson, as today one of his top aides, spokesperson Peter Kauffmann, resigned and distanced himself. Kauffmann said that, in light of the ethics ruling about the World Series tickets, he could no longer "in good conscience continue."
• OH-Gov, OH-01: VPOTUS Watch: Joey Joe Joe Biden Shabadoo will visit Cleveland on March 15 to do a fundraiser for Gov. Ted Strickland. He'll also be doing a separate event for Rep. Steve Driehaus. (D)
• AR-01: The fields for both sides in the open seat left behind by Rep. Marion Berry are slow to take shape, but it looks like the Democrats found a decent-sounding candidate who can bring some of his own money with him. Terry Green, an orthopedic surgeon with his own practice, has filed, sounding some populist notes in his first comments to the press.
• IL-08: Ah, the party of fiscal responsibility. Joe Walsh, the GOP's candidate in the 8th, stopped making mortgage payments on his Evanston condominium in May 2009 and lost it to foreclosure in October. Putting a positive spin on it, Walsh says "This experience helped me gain a better appreciation for the very real economic anxieties felt by 8th District families."
• MI-03: Here's a positive development: Democrats are actually lining up to contest the R+6 open seat in Grand Rapids left behind by retiring GOP Rep. Vern Ehlers. Former Kent Co. Commissioner Paul Mayhue is about to enter the Dem field, where he'll join attorney Patrick Miles.
• MI-06: Ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who was badly beaten by Carl Levin in 2008's Senate race, is now setting his sights on knocking off incumbent Rep. Fred Upton in the Republican primary. Hoogendyk, who has yet to make a decision on the race, sent out an email to supporters blasting Upton for his votes in favor of TARP, No Child Left Behind, and S-CHIP. Upton's district has an even PVI, and went for Bush twice by seven-point margins before Obama won the district by a comfy 54-45 spread in '08. (J)
• NH-01: A run in the 1st by RNC committee member Sean Mahoney is now looking much likelier, even though he'd scoped out the race and decided against it last year. Last year, it was looking like former Manchester mayor Frank Guinta had the nomination to himself, but Guinta's bad fundraising and bad press have lured a few other contenders into the GOP field.
• NY-15: With Charlie Rangel's position looking increasingly precarious, CQ takes a look at some possible names who might replace him, should he decide not to seek another term (including state Sen. Bill Perkins, Assemblymen Keith Wright and Adriano Espaillat, and city councilors Inez Dickens and Robert Jackson). He already has a few primary challengers - former aide Vincent Morgan and possibly Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV. Meanwhile, the chairmanship of Rangel's Ways & Means Committee has hopscotched around in the last few days, to California's Pete Stark and today to the less-controversial Michigan's Sander Levin. The chair of this powerful committee (which oversees tax laws) tends to rake in tons of campaign contributions - and dole them out to fellow caucus members, so it's worth keeping an eye on who actually replaces Rangel on a permanent basis. (This is also why so many peeps have returned money to Rangel - because he's given out so much.) (D)
• New York: Could he really be eyeing a comeback? According to Time Magazine, Eliot Spitzer is "bored out of his mind" these days, but also says he doesn't want to subject his family to the inevitable ugliness that would ensue if he ran for something again. Meanwhile, former Spitzer confidante Lloyd Constantine, the man Spitzer called right before the news of his involvement with prostitutes broke, has turned on his former mentee with a new tell-all book. The stars are definitely not aligned for Spitz, if they ever were. (D)
• Maps: You know you love them (otherwise you wouldn't be at SSP). And jeffmd has a whole new bunch of 'em, looking at the results of the Texas Republican gubernatorial primary and how they might translate into the general.
• Healthcare: The Wall Street Journal has a chart laying out how members of the House might vote on the next iteration of the healthcare reform bill, listing public statements (if any) they've made since the last vote. This really should be in wiki form, though - for instance, they don't have Mike Arcuri's remarks (see Morning Digest). (D)
• Redistricting: The NYT takes a look at the people who applied for a spot on California's state legislative redistricting commission. Fourteen spots have been set aside for ordinary citizens... and 31,000 people (including probably at least a few SSPers!) applied. Progress Illinois also has a detailed look today at the new proposals underway to make the redistricting process fairer (or at least less random).
• Blogosphere: Finally, we're sad to see one of our favorite blogs apparently calling it quits. Over the last two years, Campaign Diaries became a must-read, both for insightful analysis and for making sure that no comings-and-goings in any races fell through the cracks. We wish Taniel well in his next endeavors.