...and that's good enough for me; I hope that's good enough for you, too!
Two quick ones today, one of New Hampshire and one of DC.
First, New Hampshire:
Green for Ayotte, red for Ovide. Binnie and Bender each won exactly one town, Binnie's down on the Massachusetts line (blue) and Bender's way up in Coos County (purple). As you can tell, Lamontagne did very well in the cluster around Manchester.
Second, DC, but let's play a game.
Pop quiz for all you hotshots - what are the following maps?
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski is still mum on the prospects of a write-in run, but this looks like a potentially important tea leaf: she isn't returning to the Beltway as the Senate goes back into session, but is remaining in Alaska attending to... something. Maybe it's the grieving process, but it's also shades of how Bob Bennett behaved while he weighed his post-primary recourse. And while this hadn't looked likely in a week, Libertarian candidate David Haase confirmed he won't step down to make way for Murkowski on the Libertarian line... so it's write-in or bust for her.
• DE-Sen: With everyone abuzz over last night's PPP poll giving Christine O'Donnell an improbable lead in the GOP primary, there's word today of a Mike Castle internal giving him a 7-point lead (it's buried deep in this Politico article, with no further details). PPP has some further thoughts on their poll, pointing out that in some ways Castle might be in worse shape than Lisa Murkowski going into the primary: his faves among GOP voters were 43/47, compared with Murk's 48/46, and 55% thought he was too liberal, compared to 47% in Alaska. At any rate, the right wing is still engaged in full court press on O'Donnell's behalf, though, with Sarah Palin cutting a radio ad for her. And if you're like me, you were spending a lot of time last night trying to mentally ballpark how big an impact on an O'Donnell win would have on overall odds of retaining the Senate... well, don't worry, because Nate Silver has already figured it out for you.
• ME-Sen: So after Murkowski and Castle, which GOPer is next on the chopping block? Looks like it's Olympia Snowe, looking ahead to 2012. PPP finds that only 29% of Republicans are committed to backing Snowe in that year's primary, with 63% saying they'll back a more conservative alternative. Snowe loses a hypothetical primary matchup with 2006 gubernatorial nominee Chandler Woodcock, 38-33.
• NH-Sen: GOP pollster Magellan is out with a last-minute pre-primary look at the GOP Senate field, and they find the closest result yet for late-surging Ovide Lamontagne. It still doesn't look likely he can pull out the upset unless somehow an extra week or two of stoppage time got added to the election's clock (based on the rate at which he's closing), but he's within 4. The poll puts it at Kelly Ayotte 35, Lamontagne 31, Bill Binnie 14, Jim Bender 10.
• CO-Gov: Could the Colorado GOP find itself a "minor party" in 2012, mostly just an embarrassment but also something that affects where they're positioned on the ballot? That's what would happen if Dan Maes somehow finds himself gaining less than 10% of the vote in November's gubernatorial race.
• MN-Gov: In a convoluted way, this is likely to help Dem nominee Mark Dayton. The former moderate Republican governor, Arne Carlson, announced that he's backing the IP nominee, Tom Horner, and will be stumping on his behalf today. That may give some a nice outlet to moderate Republican rank-and-file loath to the too-far-right-for-Minnesota Tom Emmer but who can't bring themselves to vote DFL.
• OR-Gov: Chris Dudley's attempts to game the system vis-à-vis the clashing tax structures of Washington and Oregon get dicier the more the media look into it, maybe to the extent of actual tax avoision. (It's a word. Look it up.) Long story short: he moved his primary residence from Oregon to Washington because Washington doesn't have income tax (he still had to pay tax on his Trail Blazers salary, but not on capital gains and dividends). However, it's come to light that not only did he not sell his Portland home, but he just kept on using it at least part-time for years after switching his domicile.
• TX-Gov (pdf): The Texas Tribune is out with another poll of the Texas gubernatorial race via the University of Texas, and they find that while Rick Perry has a decent lead, he's far from putting the race away yet. Perry leads Dem Bill White 39-33, with 5 for Libertarian Kathie Glass, and 1 for "Green Party" plant Deb Shafto. Dems are losing all the statewide downballot races as well, although Hank Gilbert's in striking distance in the Agriculture Commissioner race (down 33-26 to Todd Staples).
• LA-02: Despite the warm relations between Barack Obama and GOP Rep. Joe Cao, Obama isn't going easy on Cao. Obama just gave his endorsement to Dem primary winner Cedric Richmond in a statement last night.
• MD-01: Wow, still no love lost between Wayne Gilchrest and the man who teabagged him to death in the 2008 GOP primary before teabagging was fashionable, Andy Harris. Gilchrest jumped into the fray with an endorsement for Harris's self-funding primary opponent, Rob Fisher.
• NY-15: Clinton alert, times 4! Hot on the heels of support from Michael Bloomberg for Charlie Rangel ahead of tomorrow's primary, Bill Clinton (maybe the 15th's most famous commercial tenant) just cut a robocall on Rangel's behalf too. The Big Dog is also making campaign appearances in three different gubernatorial races: stumping with Dan Onorato in Pennsylvania today, Mark Dayton in Minnesota tomorrow, and Rory Reid in Nevada on Wednesday.
• DCCC: At SSP, we're all about The Size Of The Buy, and National Journal has sussed out which of the DCCC's round of 60 reservations are the biggest ones. There are at least a dozen districts where they've reserved $1 million or more: MO-04, NV-03, NH-01, AZ-01, CA-11, AL-02, AZ-05, IN-09, ND-AL, PA-03, and (no surprise here, giving Larry Kissell's fundraising fail) NC-08. Interestingly, they're also putting $1.8 million in to FL-25, where they're on the offensive, a sign of a lot of confidence in Joe Garcia's chances. (The story also details some investments in big markets where there are multiple races and it's unclear which races will get the money.)
• AFL-CIO: The AFL-CIO is spending big on a gigantic direct mail binge, hitting 2 million households of members. (They'll also be making 4 million follow-up phone calls.) The six Senate races involved are NV-Sen, MO-Sen, WI-Sen, IL-Sen, FL-Sen, and PA-Sen; the four gubernatorial races are OR-Gov, OH-Gov, IL-Gov, and MI-Gov. There are also 24 House districts (see the link for more).
• SSP TV:
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid's newest ad targets Sharron Angle's "extreme and dangerous" legislative record, focusing on voting against allowing out-of-state restraining orders to be enforced in Nevada
• FL-12: Dennis Ross goes after Dem Lori Edwards, tying her to Obama
• FL-22: Ron Klein moves past the who-cares lien stuff and gets on to the juicy stuff regarding Allen West's statements about Social Security and Medicare
• MS-01: Another Travis Childers spot goes negative on Alan Nunnelee, hitting him on the regressive "Fair Tax"
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 46%, Tom Foley (R) 39%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 50%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 28%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 57%
• AK-Sen: Wasn't that Lisa Murkowski announcement about whether she was going to pursue a write-in bid supposed to be yesterday? It never materialized, but we did get some statements from local gadfly and Murkowski ally Andrew Halcro that make it sound pretty likely.
"It's going to be the kind of campaign you should have seen in the primary," said Andrew Halcro, an Alaska political consultant who is a longtime friend of the senator. "It's going to be no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-metal stuff."
• DE-Sen: After putting out a public wish for real Sarah Palin backing instead of just a cryptic retweet, Christine O'Donnell finally got her wish yesterday. O'Donnell got added to the gigantic list of Mama Grizzlies yesterday during a Palin appearance on Sean Hannity's show. The real question, though, is it too little too late? It might help raise some funds this weekend, but it smells a little like Palin's 5 pm-on-Tuesday endorsement of "Angela McGowen." Meanwhile, O'Donnell seems to be doing everything she can to dance right up to the edge of calling Castle gay without going over it: she just blasted his campaign tactics as "unmanly" and also telling him "get your man-pants on."
• ME-Sen: PPP's poll of Maine has some buried details that should lead to some soul-searching for Olympia Snowe, who could be headed down Arlen Specter Boulevard if the right-wing decides to wade into her 2012 GOP primary. (Or she might take the opportunity to retire.) Overall, she's fairly popular at 50/40, but that's based on 59/29 among Democrats. She's only at 40/51 among Republicans, and by a 50-37 margin, Republicans say she really should be a Democrat. Susan Collins sports similar numbers, although she has until 2014 to deal with that, by which point the Tea Party thing may be a footnote in AP US History textbooks. PPP says they'll have 2012 hypothetical Senate matchups out on Monday. (One other note: they find opinions on gay marriage basically unchanged since last November's referendum: 43 in favor, 49 against.)
• NH-Sen: Once he got the Manchester Union-Leader's backing, that led to a lot of speculation that Ovide Lamontagne (as he did in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary) would close fast. It looks like that's happening: he's out with an internal poll showing himself only 10 points behind Kelly Ayotte. He trails Ayotte 34-24, with Bill Binnie (considered the real threat to Ayotte until the last couple weeks) tied at 12 with Jim Bender. It's very close to the Magellan poll that came out last week giving Ayotte a 13-point lead. I wonder if Lamontagne would actually be able to pull out the upset if the Tea Party Express had decided to weigh in here for Lamontagne, instead of in their likely-futile efforts in Delaware?
• NV-Sen: Ralston smash! The intrepid political reporter is on a rampage across the twittersphere today, after Sharron Angle previously said on Jon Ralston's TV program "Face to Face" that she wanted to debate Harry Reid there, then arranged the debate, and then yesterday abruptly canceled the Oct. 21 shindig. The two will still meet in an Oct. 14 debate, which should be one of the most popcorn-worthy events of the year.
• OH-Sen: Who let the Big Dog out? Bill Clinton, who'll be in Ohio soon shoring up Ted Strickland's gubernatorial bid, will also hold a fundraiser on behalf of another long-time ally, Lee Fisher.
• MI-Gov: Another day, another poll showing the Michigan gubernatorial race looking DOA. The newest poll by the Glengariff Group for the Detroit News gives Republican Rick Snyder a 56-36 lead over Virg Bernero.
• VT-Gov: With the numbers having barely budged after the recount in the Democratic primary (the gap between Peter Shumlin and runner-up Doug Racine widened by 6 votes, all the way up to a whopping 203-vote margin), Racine conceded today. Shumlin, the state Senate president pro tem, will face GOP Lt. Governor Brian Dubie in the general.
• CO-04: I'm tempted to put this in the "good news" file, inasmuch as she isn't getting blown out as conventional wisdom would assume: the Betsy Markey campaign rolled out an internal poll, from Bennett, Petts, and Normington, that shows her in a 38-38 tie with Republican Cory Gardner (with 7% going to assorted third-party candidates). However, feeling like you need to release your own internal that's a tie doesn't exactly seem like a big sign of confidence...
• IA-01, IA-02, IA-03: On the other hand, here's a poll, considering the source, that's pretty clear "good news" for Leonard Boswell. A poll for the conservative American Future Fund (who commissioned that avalanche of Whit Ayers polls), this time by Voter/Consumer Research, found Boswell leading Brad Zaun 48-39. That's a complete reversal from Zaun's couple of internals. Still, they have numbers from the 1st and 2nd that show that we need to keep at least one wary eye on these sleepy races: Bruce Braley leads Ben Lange 50-39 in the 1st, while David Loebsack leads Mariannette Miller-Meeks 47-39 in the 2nd (not far off from the one internal that MMM leaked).
• NH-01: This is interesting: the state Democratic party is out with two different mailers in the 1st, attacking Sean Mahoney. There's just one catch... Mahoney isn't the GOP nominee yet, and we won't know if he is or not until Tuesday, when he faces off with ex-Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. It's unclear whether they have info leading them to believe Mahoney has the nomination locked down, or if they'd trying to sandbag Mahoney pre-primary so that the heavily-baggage-laden Guinta (about whom the ads write themselves) wins.
• NY-13: With a lot of people in local GOP circles still holding ex-Rep. Vito Fossella in high esteem (despite his boo-hoo-funny fall from grace), this is one endorsement that may carry a lot of weight as we race toward the conclusion of the GOP primary in the 13th. Fossella gave his backing to Michael Allegretti. That sets up a showdown with the other big power behind the throne in this district: Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari is backing Michael Grimm.
• OK-02: If we have to worry about this race, geez, better start making camel reservations for our 40 years in the desert. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that we don't have to worry about this race. Dan Boren is out with an internal poll, via Myers Research, that gives a jumbo-sized 34-point lead over little-known GOPer Charles Thompson: 65-31.
• Mayors: In sharp contrast to yesterday's We Ask America poll of the Chicago mayoral race, today's Sun-Times poll finds Rahm Emanuel just one of the crowd, in high single digits. This poll finds Cook Co. Sheriff Tom Dart leading at 12, with state Sen. James Meeks at 10. Luis Gutierrez is at 9, Jesse Jackson Jr. is at 8, and Emanuel is at 7. "Don't know" led the way at 35.
• DSCC: Jeremy Jacobs, the man who always seems to know the Size Of The Buy, is out with a helpful breakdown of where the DSCC has made its $18 million worth of reservations so far. Right now, it's $1.6 million in Kentucky, $5.1 million in Missouri, $5.2 million in Pennsylvania, $4 million in Colorado, and $2 million in Washington.
• NRCC: The NRCC, currently only running independent expenditures ads in one district (IN-02), rolled out a list of ten more districts where it'll start paying for ads. They're staying on the air there, plus adding AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05, and WI-07. (The only "surprise," inasmuch as it wasn't on the NRCC's big list of 40 districts from last month, is AZ-01.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Not one but two ads from Mark Kirk, one touting his independence and the other attacking Alexi Giannoulias on taxes, but maybe more importantly, trying to lash him to the increasingly-anchor-like Pat Quinn
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman's new anti-Jerry Brown ad cleverly lets Bill Clinton do most of the talking, with highlights from the 1992 Democratic presidential primary campaign
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett, who's been fairly modest so far about having gotten badly beaten while intervening in a domestic dispute last year, is finally playing the "hero card" with his new ad
• NM-01: Anti-Martin Heinrich ad from American Future Fund, focusing on the Pelosi boogeyman; it's the first IE in the district and a $250K buy for four weeks
• TN-08: Dueling ads in the 8th, with two Roy Herron ads out (one a positive bio spot, the other an anti-Stephen Fincher spot aimed at his campaign finance disclosure foibles... together they're a "six-figure" buy for the next week), and an anti-Herron ad from the 60 Plus Association (the AARP's anti-HCR doppelganger), who're spending $500K on the buy.
• IE tracker:
• DE-Sen: Tea Party Express spending $72K on media buys, direct mail, and e-mail blast for Christine O'Donnell
• MO-Sen: AFSCME spending $43K on anti-Roy Blunt mailer
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending $309K on new ad against Sharron Angle
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending another $49K on another anti-Sharron Angle ad titled "Oye, Sharron" (a Spanish-language market ad, maybe?)
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 44%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 54%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 47%, Kristi Noem (R) 45%
CT-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS is going to do a fundraiser in Stamford for Dick Blumenthal on Sept. 16th, the same day he was already scheduled to do a DNC event in Greenwich. Sorry to get all emo on you again, but if even Dick Blumenthal needs Obama's help....
DE-Sen: It's the battle of the sketchy polls! The Tea Party Express is touting a survey which supposedly shows Mike Castle up just 44-38 in the Republican primary over Christine O'Donnell. (Actually, they say Castle is at "43.7%" - too many significant digits is a classic sign of sketchiness.) Meanwhile, the Fix claims that "Internal GOP polling conducted last week showed Castle with a margin of nearly 20 points over O'Donnell." Anyhow, the TPX has no plans to evacuate in their moment of... well, we'll see if it's their moment of triumph... despite a surge of new questions about O'Donnell's fitness as a candidate. Among other things: Former aides say she never paid promised salaries on her 2008 campaign against Joe Biden, and she just received her degree from Farleigh Dickinson University last week, despite having attended 17 years ago and having repeatedly described herself as a graduate. Come on, baby, hold together!
IL-Sen: Amanda Terkel has spotted a trend among Mark Kirk's public statements: He can't shut up about the economic crisis in Greece - and Terkel thinks Kirk is attempting to link Alexi Giannoulias (who is of Greek descent) to the meltdown. Perhaps most egregious is Kirk's statement that while he "wore a U.S. Navy uniform, Alexi Giannoulias wore a basketball uniform in Greece." Really? That last part is relevant? A pretty ugly example of "othering."
LA-Sen: A little bit of Cajun-flavored cat fud: Gov. Bobby Jindal won't endorse Sen. David Vitter in his re-election campaign. Jindal claims he doesn't get involved in federal races, but WDSU has two very recent examples to the contrary. Anyhow, I can't think of too many sitting governors who haven't endorsed same-party, same-state senators, can you?
NH-Sen: Finally, a survey of the severely under-polled GOP senate primary in New Hampshire - though it's from Republican pollster Magellan, who likes to do Rasmussen-style one-day samples (a methodology that I think it's fair to say is not a best practice). Anyhow, here are the results (9/1, likely voters, May in parens):
UT-Sen: The battle for Orrin Hatch's senate seat - which won't take place until 2012 - is already getting ugly. Hatch is claiming that freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who, you'll recall, already knocked off one sitting incumbent at a state convention in 2008) promised him he wouldn't challenge him next cycle. Chaffetz says he only pledged not to run against Sen. Bob Bennett, who of course already lost earlier this year. A Hatch spokesbot took off the gloves in response, saying: "Senator Hatch takes very seriously the principle of keeping his word. Of course, I suppose Jason can break it any time he wants to."
WV-Sen: Robert Byrd's family is excoriating self-funding Republican John Raese for using a photo of Dem Joe Manchin and President Obama that was taken at Byrd's memorial service earlier this year in an attack ad. Raese's campaign manager said, "That's a stock photo. We had no idea it was from the memorial service." Well, now you know.
AZ-Gov: Does this statement remind you of O.J. Simpson's ill-fated "hypothetical" book, If I Did It? Because that was the first thing I thought of:
"That was an error, if I said that," Brewer said about beheadings occurring in Arizona.
AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick is out with her first ad of the cycle, a pretty dull positive spot about how she donated 5% of her congressional salary... national treasury... opposed bailout... etc., etc. Ordinarily I'd just relegate this to our ad roundup at the bottom of the digest, but I also wanted to point out this great observation from SSP's own Johnny Longtorso: namely, the fact that the Navajo Nation (the largest Indian tribe in the United States) is holding its presidential election this fall, which may help Kirkpatrick on the turnout front. (Indians vote heavily Dem.) According to Wikipedia, some 130,000 Navajo live within the nation's boundaries in Arizona (it also includes parts of Utah and New Mexico), almost all of which is contained within the 1st CD.
AZ-08: You know how the WWF tried to become the WWE? Well, true hardcore wingnuts aren't content with (the bad kind of) SSP - they want SSE: Social Security elimination. Given how toxic this is in the real world (i.e., for the 99.999% of people who have never heard of John Galt), it's no wonder that Republican nominee Jesse Kelly now say he wants to "protect" Social Security. Good luck getting past statements like this one, from just last year: "If you have any ideas on that, I'm all ears. I would love to eliminate the program."
IA-01: This doesn't seem like a positive sign to me. Bruce Braley is going on the air with an ad (watch it here) hitting back against an outside group's attack ad - not something a candidate in an apparently "Safe D" race ordinarily feels a need to do. The group, American Future Fund, is accusing Braley of "supporting" the Park51 community center, though Braley has taken the standard "don't wanna deal with it" approach of calling it a local zoning issue for NYC. On the flipside, I'll take it as a good sign that Braley doesn't plan to get Martha Coakley'd. (Though doesn't it sound like Braley's "I approve this message" was recorded via cell phone? Does that mean the ad was rushed on to the air?) NWOTSOTB for Braley, though AAF claims it has spent $50K and plans to spend more.
IN-03: A common theme rears its head once more: A Republican rails loudly against bailouts, but it turns out he's been the beneficiary of government largesse himself. In this case, Dem Tom Hayhurst has been attacking GOPer Marlin Stutzman for accepting $180K in agricultural subsidies since 1995. But as the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports, just last month Stutzman said: "It's time to get rid of farm subsidies. The subsidies only manipulate the market."
KS-04: You know, we always love reporting on cat fud for cat fud's sake. Sometimes it's just a whiff, but other times, the cat fud can really stink up a race. Case in point: Mike Pompeo, a top competitor for GOP Dickbag of the Year, wasn't endorsed by any of the candidates he beat in the Republican primary, and even refused to return phone calls from his opponents. Now, the cats are coming home to roost, because one of those opponents, rich guy Wink Hartman, is considering re-entering the race on the Libertarian Party line. (The Lib candidate dropped out of the race for health reasons.) Hartman, who spent almost $1.6 million of his own money on the primary, notably includes among his reasons for wanting to get back in the game the fact that Pompeo "misrepresented Hartman's pro-life position and residency." The Libertarians have until Sept. 20th to decide whether to tap Hartman. In any event, this could provide a huge boost to Dem Raj Goyle, who appears to be in a surprisingly good position to stage an upset.
LA-03: In an unusual move, the Louisiana state Republican Party has formally endorsed Jeff Landry over Hunt Downer in the runoff. State parties don't typically take sides in primaries like this, but it sounds like the powers that be are eager to see Downer bail, rather than prolong the race all the way until October 3rd. I personally suspect that Downer has no chance in the second round, and I think he'll wind up playing Kevin Calvey to Landry's Jim Lankford. (Check out our OK-05 tag if the analogy isn't ringing any bells.)
NC-11: Heh - looks like Heath Shuler's suggesting he could run for Speaker of the House, clearly as a way to distance himself from Nancy Pelosi. Shuler also claimed that cats eventually turn into dogs.
NH-02: Nice - progressive fave Ann McLane Kuster raised $223K in her pre-primary report (7/1-8/25), totally kicking the asses of all the other major candidates (Katrina Swett (D): $37K, Charlie Bass (R): $57K, Jennifer Horn (R): $39K). As for cash, it goes Kuster: $450K, Swett: $798K, Bass: $312K, Horn: $32K. Even better news: Kuster is touting an internal poll from the Mellman Group showing her with a commanding 47-24 lead over Swett in the primary, which is Sept. 14th.
NY-20, NY-23: Rahm Emanuel is headlining a joint fundraiser on Sept. 19th for two upstate Dems: Scott Murphy of the 20th CD and Bill Owens of the 23rd. Murphy has $1.5 million on hand but Owens has only $600K.
PA-06: A nasty bit of racial ugliness from the campaign of Jim Gerlach. Said a spokesman about Dem opponent Manan Trivedi: "The only one who has played the race card here is him, by going to Indian-American groups to raise money."
SC-02: The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating Rep. Joe Wilson's trips abroad - at least thirty over the last eight years - and his per diem spending habits. Wilson is a prolific traveler on the taxpayer's dime, ranking 29th among current House members and 39th among 734 members who've served since 1994, according to The State. Wilson has tried to downplay prior reports of the probe, claiming it was only about $12 spent on some cheap mementos from Afghanistan, but that's evidently not the case. Meanwhile, Dem Rob Miller has a new ad out hitting Wilson for his support of CAFTA. Check it out - I think it's pretty effective.
VA-05: In a move that vaguely brings to mind Carl Mumpower, teabagger Jeffrey Clark said he'd withdraw from the race if the party or parties responsible for disseminating information about his financial history came forward to claim responsibility. Dem Tom Perriello's campaign said it wasn't them, but Republican Rob Hurt wouldn't say anything, so Clark says he's staying in the race. Feel the Mumpower!
OH-AG: Wrapping up some odds-and-ends from their recent Ohio poll, PPP find ex-Sen. Mike DeWine leading incumbent Dem AG Richard Cordray 44-40.
DCCC: Another day, another triage story. This time, the NYT claims that "party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority." And while they don't have an actual quote from him, the Times claims Chris Van Hollen "conceded" that Dems "would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground." In response, reports The Hill:
Van Hollen released a statement saying that the story "erroneously" said that the DCCC would redirect resources to two dozen viable campaigns if a review in the next two weeks showed that vulnerables weren't gaining ground.
I have to wonder: Did the NYT really get Van Hollen wrong here, or is CVH deliberately trying to send mixed messages in order to motivate his troops through fear?
• NH-Sen, NH-Gov (pdf): As PPP's Tom Jensen hinted yesterday, Kelly Ayotte may have lost some ground in the general election, but isn't suffering in the GOP primary. Ayotte has a 53/23 favorable among GOPers, and they also say that by a 38/28 margin, a Sarah Palin endorsement makes it more likely that they'd vote for the endorsee. Ayotte is polling at 47%, with Bill Binnie at 14, Ovide Lamontagne at 8, Jim Bender at 6, and a handful of Some Dudes in low single-digits. (Lamontagne's personal unpopularity seems to be keeping him from catching fire among the right wing; he's at 23/31.) They also looked at the gubernatorial primary, where establishment frontrunner John Stephen hasn't quite sealed the deal against teabagging businessman Jack Kimball and social conservative activist Karen Testerman. Stephen leads Kimball and Testerman 26-15-5.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Quinnipiac offers up polls of the major races in New York state today, and, try as they may, they just can't find anything interesting going on here, any more so than any other pollster. The main point of interest may be the GOP primaries; they find Rick Lazio leading Carl Paladino 39-23 in the gubernatorial primary, and Bruce Blakeman leading David Malpass 19-12 in the Senate primary (although Joe DioGuardi, who has submitted his petitions, really should be polled in that race too). In the general, they find Kirsten Gillibrand beating Blakeman 48-27 and Malpass 49-24. Andrew Cuomo defeats Lazio 56-26 and Paladino 55-25.
• WA-Sen: Having been on the receiving end of one of Fred Davis's abstract-expressionist attack ads, Patty Murray's out with her own first second TV spot of the election cycle, one that's relentlessly job-o-centric and focuses on her close links to the region's largest employer: Boeing. It's a panorama of Boeing workers thanking her for saving their jobs.
• FL-Gov: Bill McCollum's trailing in the polls of the GOP primary, but he got a boost from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which is endorsing him. The Chamber also gave the cash-starved McCollum a $500K transfusion, although it went to McCollum-supporting 527 Florida First Initiative rather than directly to McCollum.
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal got two presents, one good, one very bad. He got the endorsement for the runoff from fellow House member Jack Kingston, who had previously endorsed fellow Savannah resident Eric Johnson in the GOP primary. However, he also got news that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas of Georgia's Revenue Commissioner, in its investigation of whether Deal personally intervened with him to protect a state auto inspection program that was particularly beneficial to the Deal family's auto salvage business. At least Deal isn't lagging on the fundraising front; both he and rival Karen Handel have raised about $500K each in the week since the primary.
• MI-Gov: Rumors keep on resurfacing regarding Republican AG Mike Cox's presence at an out-of-control mayoral mansion party hosted by now-disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and they're back in the news again, inconveniently timed for him with the primary next week. An eyewitness has just signed an affidavit placing the religious-right Cox at the stripper-laden party. Meanwhile, Rick Snyder, who's actively trying to court Dems and indies to cross over to the GOP primary to vote for him, has rolled out an endorsement from a highly respected but long-ago GOP governor: William Milliken.
• MN-Gov: Alliance for a Better Minnesota is out with a new TV ad that's hitting Republican nominee Tom Emmer on one of his weakest spots (of which it turns out he has many). It criticizes him for voting to weaken drunk driving laws, and oh, just happening to point out that Emmer himself has twice been convicted of drunk driving. (The Alliance name is a little oblique, probably intentionally so, but they're a labor-backed 501(c)(4).)
• CO-04: Could Scott McInnis's implosion and Tom Tancredo's gubernatorial run actually help Democratic fortunes downballot, especially in the hotly-contested 4th? That's what Politico is wondering, with a piece looking at how reduced GOP turnout and/or increased interest in Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden might ultimately benefit Democratic freshman Rep. Betsy Markey.
• NH-02: If there's one competitive Democratic primary left where there's a pretty clear ideological contrast, it's in the 2nd. While Ann McLane Kuster is a netroots fave, Katrina Swett is on record as having supported the Bush-era tax cuts in 2002 (the decision of whether or not to extend said cuts is about to become an issue in Congress). Swett says she's being misrepresented, to the extent that only supported the middle-class parts of the tax cuts, although she didn't clarify whether or not she would have voted for the whole shebang.
• PA-06: Buried in a story about how Rep. Jim Gerlach has actually been giving money to the NRCC (to the tune of $44K just now, for a total of $100K all cycle) is news of an internal poll from a few weeks ago, which suggests he's not in the sort of imminent danger that would require him to horde cash. He's pointing to a Wilson Research poll from mid-July that gives him a 54-29 lead over Dem nominee Manan Trivedi.
• MI-Legislature: One state where we aren't hurting for details on the state of the state legislatures, thanks to Michigan Liberal's pbratt, is Michigan. He's out with pre-primary filing fundraising databases for both the Senate (Republican-controlled, but one of our best offensive opportunities) and the House (reliably Democratic-controlled).
• Meta: I've always wondered, if this is such an anti-incumbent year, where the losing incumbents actually are. The Fix's Aaron Blake is taking notice of the same thing, as we're on track to have not really any more of an anti-incumbent year than 2008. With really only one more House member who seems on track to lose a primary (Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick), that puts us on track for 4 primary losses for both parties in the House... exactly the same number as 2008. Winning a primary, of course, takes loads of money, and the thing that sets the successful challengers (Mike Oliverio or Mo Brooks, or Joe Sestak at the Senate level) apart from the vast array of the rabble attacking from both left and right is $$. It is worth observing, though, that the average incumbent winning percentage seems to be down this year from last cycle, with many incumbents winning ugly, in the 60-70% range. We'd need to investigate how much that average percentage has changed since 2008, though, before declaring a trend to be underway.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 43%, Mark Kirk (R) 41%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 43%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 47%
If you'd told me back in, say, January, that in late July Rasmussen would be finding Harry Reid winning and John Kitzhaber losing, I wouldn't have even laughed at you, I would have just picked up the phone and called for assistance from men in white suits with big butterfly nets.
It looks like Sarah Palin is one former point guard that you don't want an assist from... or more specifically, her endorsement is great in the GOP primary, but poison in the general. It turns out that 26% of voters say her endorsement would may it more likely that they'd vote for her endorsee, while 51% say it would make them less likely. In this race, Kelly Ayotte got the endorsement, and it seems to have had exactly that effect, in that Ayotte is the only candidate for whom the spread against Democrat Paul Hodes got tighter since April.
Moderates really seem to dominate the field (47% are moderate here, with 23% liberal and 30% conservative), and that also may explain why Bill Binnie, who's portraying himself as the most moderate of the GOP field here, is now faring the best against Hodes. (It'll be interesting to see whether he can get out of the conservative-dominated GOP primary, though, and Tom Jensen hints that he won't. Presumably PPP will release primary numbers tomorrow.) The Palin effect is particularly pronounced among moderates: 14% say more likely, 65% say less likely.
Looking into the fine print, I'm also noticing something very unusual here: Granite Staters seem to dislike every single candidate in this race (Hodes at 35/40, Ayotte 36/39, Binnie 27/33, Bender 15/28, Lamontagne 16/33), which is probably attributable to the negative ads currently filling the air. But in a marked departure from most other states, they actually approve of their elected officials (Barack Obama 49/47, Judd Gregg 44/39, Jeanne Shaheen 45/44).
• AZ-Sen: Sounds like this weekend's GOP primary, full of barbs and genuinely angry potshots between J.D. Hayworth and John McCain had only one beneficiary: random teabagger Jim Deakin, who didn't seem to suffer any collateral damge.
• DE-Sen: The Susan B. Anthony List has endorsed minor-league primary challenger Christine O'Donnell instead of the pro-choice Mike Castle in the GOP Senate primary in Delaware. Delaware isn't exactly known for its large social conservative vote share, so it remains to be seen whether this changes anything.
• MT-Sen: There have been odd rumors that Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who'll be looking for something to do starting in 2012, was considering a primary challenge to Max Baucus in 2014, motivated at least in part over their different approaches to health care reform. Schweitzer ruled out running for the Senate, though (also ruling out a possible 2012 seat-swap with Jon Tester, which also had been rumored). The possibility of what he'd do if the septuagenarian Baucus retired in 2014, though, didn't seem to get broached.
• NH-Sen: One more addition to the Mama Grizzly corral, and it's a big name who's, well, a woman, but has some competition from her right: Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire. Interesting that Sarah Palin refudiated the more teabaggish challengers (Ovide Lamontagne and Jim Bender).
• CO-Gov: Scott McInnis is not dropping out and is still in it to lose it, he vows, pressure and polling notwithstanding. He will, however, be repaying that $300K to the foundation that employed him to write and not plagiarize his research papers for them. However, it seems some of his underlings are clearly seeing the handwriting on the wall. Three key staffers (his policy director, political director, and regional director) all announced they were leaving the campaign.
• MI-Gov: A Detroit News/WDIV poll (conducted by the Glengariff Group) finds, like everybody else, a very close race in the Republican primary. They have Mike Cox and Peter Hoekstra both at 26, with Rick Snyder at 20, Mike Bouchard at 12, and Tom George at 2. They see a possible route for Snyder to win over undecideds, based on his low unfavorables (he's at 36/8). Mike Bouchard also has a couple new endorsements to his name, although they're from the spouses of two once-important politicians: the wives of ex-Gov. John Engler and ex-Sen. Spencer Abraham. The spouse endorsement, of course, is the time-honored method of boosting your behind-the-scenes friend while still not getting your hands dirty wasting political capital on a sure loss (see the Deval Patrick spousal endorsement of Mike Capuano in the MA-Sen primary).
• NE-Gov: After much speculation that the Dems were simply going to leave their ballot line blank and let Dave Heineman run unopposed to another gubernatorial term, they've found a willing victim candidate to fill the place left by Mark Lakers (who dropped out post-primary but pre-convention). It's Mike Meister, a trial attorney who lost the 2002 Attorney General's race.
• OH-Gov: John Kasich's new ad is weak. I know, I know, I'm a partisan, but if this were a Democrat running this ad, I'd be pounding my head on the desk. His first TV spot starts out with him on the defensive, pointing out that he didn't run Lehman Brothers, just profited handsomely off it.
• OR-Gov: Chris Dudley ruffled some feathers over the weekend by ducking the decades-long traditional debate that opens the campaign season in this civic-minded state, held by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Dudley said that he'd already had plans for a family vacation then, and Democrats predictably said that this was part of a bigger pattern of ducking issues. (Note: don't piss off the people who buy ink by the bucket. Newspaper e-boards across the state, even the conservative ones, have been scornful.) Then he got really busted: his family vacation just happened to be combined with a visit with the RGA, and its many donors, at an event in Aspen, Colorado. Oregonians aren't likely to begrudge him for a little downtime, but lying about what he's doing... not so much.
• WI-Gov: This seems a little too convenient. GOP Milwaukee Co. Executive Scott Walker's staff just gave a no-bid contract for emergency structural engineering inspections to Graef-USA... a contractor that just happens to be a major Walker campaign contributor.
• MI-13: There are two new polls that look at the Democratic primary in the 13th, and both give a small lead to Hansen Clarke, over Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. Clarke leads 38-30 in the Detroit News/WDIV poll, and Clarke leads 44-31 in an EPIC-MRA poll released last week. That's on top of a third poll from last week that we already mentioned that also had a Clarke lead, so I'm sensing a pattern here. There's a handful of other candidates, but they're only polling in low single digits... it seems like having only one credible challenger (Clarke, a termed-out state Senator) to Kilpatrick, instead of two like in 2008, is the key to winning the race.
• Legislatures: There are two different stories out today looking at the lay of the land in two legislative chambers that seem among the likeliest to flip to Republican control this year: the Iowa State House, and the Pennsylvania State House, with mentions of some of the most competitive seats in each case.
• NRCC: With the House GOP pretty much assured of gaining a significant number of seats this year, it's been a while since we've done one of these. But could it be time for another... Pete Sessions Deathwatch®? Texas GOPer Tom Pauken, a Rick Perry ally who was state party chair in the 1990s, has been talking Sessions down, saying he's "not up to the job" and he should be replaced by "a smart conservative who knows what needs to be done." That news comes on a day when NRCC staff are busy doing damage control, mopping up behind Sessions after his comments that "we need to go back to the exact same agenda" of the Bush years.
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 34%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 43 53%
• AK-Gov: Hollis French (D) 29%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 57%
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 36%, Ralph Samuels (R) 48%
• AK-Gov: Hollis French (D) 30%, Ralph Samuels (R) 49%
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 38%, Bill Walker (R) 46%
• AK-Gov: Hollis French (D) 32%, Bill Walker (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 38%, Pat Toomey (R) 45%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 48%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Mark Neumann (R) 43%
Also a must read today: a new piece from Nate Silver makes the point that "Hey, YouGov's internet-only polling isn't that methodologically bad," but that's by way of comparing it to Rasmussen's sampling techniques, which (no shock to SSP readers) aren't likely to produce a very accurate cross-section of the population.
• Election Results: No big surprises last night in the Alabama runoffs. Robert Bentley, who'd had the edge in the one public poll shortly before the runoff, beat Bradley Byrne in the gubernatorial GOP runoff, 56-44; he and Ron Sparks are now promising each other a positive, issues-oriented race. (Assortedwonks are trying to figure out today if Bentley, friendly - or at least friendlier - with the AEA, was helped along by Democratic crossover votes... and the answer appears to be no, not really.) In the GOP runoff in AL-02, Mike Barber is sending his gathered armies back home after losing by a 60-40 margin to Martha Roby. In the Dem runoff in AL-07, Terri Sewell beat Shelia Smoot 55-45, and is almost certain to succeed Artur Davis. Finally, the closest race of the night was the GOP Agriculture Commissioner runoff, where Dale Peterson-powered John McMillan sent Dorman Grace back to his chicken farm, 52-48.
• AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov (pdf): A new Rocky Mountain poll from the Behavior Research Center finds [insert usual "good news" joke here]. John McCain leads J.D. Hayworth (seeming DOA after the free-grant-money thing) in the GOP primary 64-19, with 5 for someone named Jim Deakin. They also polled the now-irrelevant gubernatorial primary, finding Jan Brewer at 57, with 12 for Owen Buz Mills and 9 for Dean Martin (both of whom have dropped out since the poll's completion). Matthew Jatte remains in the primary, but he polled at "less than 1%."
• FL-Sen: Here's some good news for Kendrick Meek, who seems to be counting on a last minute Democratic surge: Bill Clinton will be appearing on his behalf in August, to stump for him in August. Dem primary rival Jeff Greene has some less good news: he just lost his campaign manager Josh Morrow. (It's unclear whether he fled, or was pushed.) The St. Petersburg Times has an interesting profile of Greene today, too, that delves below the headline-grabbing superficial weirdnesses.
• KS-Sen: Tancredo sez: get a brain, Moran! (No, I'm never going to get tired of that joke.) The loudmouthed ex-Rep., last seen torpedoing ally Ken Buck, today barged back into the Kansas GOP Senate primary and admitted he had gotten it all wrong. He withdrew his earlier backing for Rep. Jerry Moran and switched over to Rep. Todd Tiahrt instead, saying that Moran had "deceived him" on his apparently inadequate hatred for teh brown people. In other news, did you know there was actually a third guy running in the primary, and he wasn't just Some Dude® but a former state Attorney General? Of course, he was AG from the years 1965 to 1969 Anno Domini, so you could be forgiven for not remembering Robert Londerholm. At any rate, Londerholm dropped out of the race today.
• LA-Sen: Bobby Jindal had previously hedged on his support for David Vitter, showing up at some fundraising events but never actually going so far as to say that he endorsed him. That's going to be more of an issue now that Vitter has some serious primary opposition from Chet Traylor, and Jindal is doubling down on his neutrality, saying he's not focused on the race. At least Vitter continues to have the NRSC in his corner.
• NC-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with another poll in NC-Sen, on behalf of WRAL. Richard Burr continues to have a lead over Elaine Marshall, currently at 46-36, with 6 to Libertarian Mike Beitler. Burr's favorables are 28/27 (with 23 neutral and 22 no opinion), while Marshall is at 25/12 (with 28 neutral and 35 no opinion), so usual caveats at Marshall's room to grow apply. Interestingly, SurveyUSA followed their WA-Sen lead and added a cellphone oversample, which in various permutations had little effect on the toplines.
• NV-Sen: No polling memo to link to, at least not yet, but Jon Ralston calls our attention to a new poll from Dem pollster Fairbanks Maslin on behalf of the Patriot Majority. If it's a quasi-internal, you can probably guess where we're going with this... it actually has Harry Reid in the lead, over Sharron Angle 44-40. Both Reid (45/52) and Angle (40/41) have net-negative favorables, though.
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott lost a court battle (though the war over the Millionaire's Amendment is no doubt not over, though). A federal district court judge denied Scott's request for an injunction against Florida's campaign finance law, which would give a truckload of money to the near-broke Bill McCollum because of Scott's aggressive self-funding.
• MI-Gov: There are two separate polls of the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary floating around today. One is a public poll from Mitchell Research & Communications; it sees a flat-out three-way tie between Mike Cox, Peter Hoekstra, and Rick Snyder, each of them at 18, with Mike Bouchard at 9 and Tom George at 2. Not quite content with that, Bouchard rolled out an internal poll (from McLaughlin & Associates) which, in marked contrast with, well, every other poll, had Bouchard tied for the lead. His poll has him and Hoekstra at 19, with Cox at 16, Snyder at 12, and George at 3. Mitchell also has numbers from the Dem primary, where they find Andy Dillon leading Virg Bernero 35-15.
• RI-Gov: This seems out of the blue, although he had been lagging in fundraising and underperforming in the polls: Democratic AG Patrick Lynch will be dropping out of the gubernatorial primary, effective tomorrow. That leaves state Treasurer Frank Caprio as de facto Dem nominee, sparing him a primary battle with the more liberal Lynch. It's the day before nominating papers are due, so maybe he'll re-up for more AGing. The main question now seems to be positioning for the general election... maybe most notably whether independent ex-GOP ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee finds himself running to the left of the generally moderate Caprio.
• WA-08: Via press release, we have fundraising numbers from Suzan DelBene, who's raising strongly despite little netroots interest so far. She raised $378K last quarter, and is sitting on $1.04 million CoH. She's raised $1.65 million over the cycle.
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 42%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 45%, Roy Blunt (R) 47%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 37%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 49%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 43%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Bill Binnie (R) 49%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 39%, Jim Bender (R) 43%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 36%, Brian Sandoval (R) 57%
• CO-Sen: Isn't this the second time this has happened in about a month? Tom Tancredo says something ridiculous, Republican candidate with an eye on the general repudiates the statement, then walks back the repudiation once he realizes that the teabaggers' widdle feewings might get hurt. This time it was Ken Buck (on whose behalf Tancredo called Barack Obama the "greatest threat to the United States today" last week); he might have been helped along in his flip-flopping after Jane Norton, who's losing the primary because Buck outflanked her on the right, started going on about how she agreed with Tancredo,.
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio's having a good day so far: he rolled out a ridiculously big fundraising number for the second quarter: $4.5 million raised. No mention of his CoH, though. (All eyes turn to Charlie Crist, though, for his first report after switching to an indie bid, to see whether that shrank or expanded his pool of donors.) Rubio's second bit of good news is an endorsement from Crist's former right-hand-man, temporary Sen. George LeMieux. (Since LeMieux reportedly has designs on Bill Nelson's seat, and he seems to prefer running as a Republican and not on the Crist For Florida line, what else is he going to do, though?)
• NH-Sen: I know, I know, straw poll, terrible gauge of broad public support, take with salt, bla bla bla. Still, here's a barometer of where the hardcore Live Free or Die crowd currently stands: Ovide Lamontagne dominated the straw poll at the Taxpayer Reunion Picnic, an annual gathering of those who were teabagging long before it was cool. He won 109 to 74 over Jim Bender, a rich guy who's going the crazy viral ad route. Establishment candidate Kelly Ayotte and moderate outsider Bill Binnie were at 23 and 10.
• WA-Sen: Clint Didier, apparently aware of the stink lines of rank hypocrisy radiating off him, said that he's swearing off farm subsidies in the future. (Seeing as how it made him look like the worst possible caricature of the teabaggers' mantra of "I hate the gub'ment! Except when it's giving me money for doing nothing!") Apparently that was enough absolution for Rep. Ron Paul's satisfaction, as he threw his backing behind Didier this weekend.
• WV-Sen: Rep. Shelly Capito Moore is at least honest about being scared about running for Senate (almost certainly against highly popular Gov. Joe Manchin), although she isn't couching it in terms of being afraid of Manchin per se, instead saying "I'm afraid to lose momentum that I think I provide for the state." At any rate, she says she'll make her (seeming unlikely) decision whether to run in the next few days, probably coinciding with the clarification on the election's when and how, to be decided in a July 15 legislative special session.
• AZ-Gov: Ain't that a kick in the head? State Treasurer Dean Martin, who was regarded as something of a frontrunner when he jumped into the GOP primary earlier this year, is suspending his campaign, ostensibly because he didn't want to be a distraction to Gov. Jan Brewer as she fights lawsuits over SB 1070. In reality, Martin never really caught fire, first when rich self-funder Owen Buz Mills grabbed the not-Brewer mantle and then, mostly, when Brewer suddenly became belle of the right-wing ball when she signed SB 1070.
• FL-Gov: Bill McCollum apparently didn't want to be touting his fundraising numbers, but they're out anyway, thanks to a court filing pertaining to Rick Scott's challenge to the state public financing system. At any rate, McCollum's sitting on a paltry $800K in cash, a mere blip compared to what Scott can pull out of his own wallet. Of course, Scott could still pull defeat out of the jaws of victory, by antagonizing pretty much the entire RPOF by trying to hang ex-state party chair Jim Greer around McCollum's neck... and by staking his pro-life credentials on a family who are loudly preferring that he shut up about them.
• GA-Gov: InsiderAdvantage, which offered its poll of the GOP primary last week, has a matching Dem poll today. The question for Dems isn't whether Roy Barnes gets the most votes but whether he avoids a runoff, and they seem to err on the side of "no runoff:" Barnes is at 59, with Thurbert Baker at 15, and Dubose Porter and David Poythress both at 2, behind someone by the name of Bill Bolton (at 3). Meanwhile, on the GOP side, it seemed like something of an oversight that this endorsement hadn't happened before, but Sarah Palin finally added Karen Handel to the ever-growing list of Mama Grizzlies. UPDATE: Thurbert Baker just got a top-tier endorsement, from Bill Clinton. It may be too late for that to matter much, though, because at this point Baker needs to not only win all the undecideds but peel away a significant number of Barnes voters. (H/t TheUnknown285.)
• MI-Gov: Motor City endorsements aplenty in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Michigan: Andy Dillon got the backing of former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer, who many observers thought would have made the strongest candidate had he run. Virg Bernero got endorsements from Detroit's two House members, John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.
• MN-Gov: Republican nominee Tom Emmer seems to have dug a large hole for himself with his proposal to start including tips toward restaurant servers' minimum wage requirement (which has the effect of slashing their hourly base pay); he's planning on doing a "listening tour" with servers as atonement. Also adding to Emmer's worries is blowback from his Sarah Palin endorsement, which helped him upset Marty Seifert at the GOP convention but is now already being used as a cudgel in general election advertising (courtesy of Matt Entenza). Meanwhile, Entenza's Democratic rival Margaret Anderson Kelliher is running her first TV spot; the total buy is for only about $50K, though.
• NE-Gov: Democrats in Nebraska seem to be actively considering just punting the ball, rather than trying to find a replacement candidate for nominee Mark Lakers. On the plus side, that would free up local Democratic money for other ventures (like the race in NE-02), in what was destined to be a thorough loss even with Lakers in the race. On the other hand, Tom White's challenge to Lee Terry would probably benefit from having, well, something at the top of the ballot.
• PA-Gov: If Tom Corbett is trying to position himself as a moderate for the general election, well, this isn't the way. He's publicly using the Sharron Angle line of argumentation that unemployment benefits cause more unemployment, because, naturally, people would rather live on their meager checks than go out and get one of those many abundant jobs that are out there. The ads write themselves... presuming the Democrats ever get around to actually writing them.
• TN-Gov: A mysterious 527 (is there any other kind?) has emerged to pour money into the Tennessee GOP primary. There's no word on who's the power behind the throne for Tennesseans for a Better Tomorrow, but they'll be advertising on behalf of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who's back in third in the polls and needs a surrogate to do the dirty work of negative advertising against Bill Haslam.
• AZ-03: Jon Hulburd's fundraising (and self-funding ability) is the main thing keeping this red-district open seat race at least somewhat on the map for the Dems; he's announcing $250K raised last quarter. (No word on CoH.)
• CO-04: Freshman Rep. Betsy Markey had a strong quarter, raising $530K and sitting on $1.5 million CoH. In this Republican-leaning district, she'll need every penny of it to get through this year.
• KS-04: Democratic State Rep. Raj Goyle, whose fundraising skills have put this dark-red open seat onto the map, is out with an introductory TV spot. Seems a little earlier for that, doesn't it? We'd guess that he's concerned about the primary (remember that there was a SurveyUSA poll a few weeks back that showed him not that far ahead of Some Dude with, well, a more 'Merican sounding name) and not wanting to go the route of historical footnote Vic Rawl.
• MO-08: Tommy Sowers, if nothing else, is showing a lot of hustle in his long-shot bid against GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson in this dark-red rural district. He says he's passed the $1 million mark for funds raised over the total cycle (nothing specific on 2Q or CoH, though).
• NJ-03: Democratic freshman Rep. John Adler seems to be putting some fundraising distance between himself and Jon Runyan. Adler raised $415K in 2Q to break the $2 million mark for CoH, while Runyan has about $500K in cash.
• NY-01: Randy Altschuler's got a whole lotta cash: he's reporting $1.8 million CoH. A lot of that is coming right of the Altschuler family piggy bank, though. He raised a decent $257K last quarter, but loaned himself another $500K on top of that.
• OH-16: Yikes! GOP nominee Jim Renacci must have some deep-pocketed connections from the high-stakes world of Arena Football, because he's reporting $725K raised last quarter. (No word on CoH.)
• PA-04: This is kind of a small haul to be touting (touting may not be the right word, actually, when even your own campaign adviser calls it "not half bad"), but maybe it's a good amount when you weren't even supposed to have won the primary in the first place. Keith Rothfus, who blasted establishment fave Mary Beth Buchanan in the GOP primary, says he has $200K CoH (up from $157K in his pre-primary report ... no word on what he actually raised).
• VA-05: Finally, here's the delicious cherry on top of the shit sundae of fundraising reports: Tom Perriello announces that he raised $660K last quarter, giving him $1.7 million CoH. No word yet from Robert Hurt, but with $121K on hand in his May 19 pre-primary report, I can imagine it's not in Perriello's ballpark. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an interesting compare-and-contrast enterprise in how Perriello and fellow vulnerable freshman Dem Glenn Nye are approaching their re-elections (Perriello emphasizing his base, Nye emphasizing his independence); clearly, based on these numbers, playing to the base can pay off, at least at the bank.
• CA-LG (pdf): We're still sweeping up from that last installment of the Field Poll. In the Lt. Governor's race, there's surprisingly good news for Dems, with Gavin Newsom looking solid against appointed GOPer Abel Maldonado, leading 43-34. The Attorney General results aren't that surprising: Republican Los Angeles Co. DA Steve Cooley has a narrow edge over SF DA Kamala Harris, 37-34.
• Illinois: It looks like we'll never have another Scott Lee Cohen scenario again (or for that matter, probably not even another Jason Plummer scenario). Pat Quinn signed into law new legislation requiring, from now on, that Governor and Lt. Governor tickets are joined together before the primary, not after.
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 30%, Dan Coats (R) 51%
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 46%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 47%
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is still trying to spin away his shilling for free-grant-money seminars, saying that, in his defense, those grants really do exist. No, they don't, say the folks at Grants.gov, who would be the ones to know. Meanwhile, the Hayworth camp is attacking John McCain for his association with Republican bundler and convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, a guy McCain has claimed not to know. The Hayworth camp unveiled video of McCain and Rothstein together at a fundraiser, while the McCain camp answers that he can't be responsible for remembering every single donor he met over the course of a presidential bid.
• KS-Sen: Here's an interesting split in the endorsements of the various right-wingers jetting around the country playing kingmaker. You might recall that Sarah Palin recently added Todd Tiahrt to her list of Mama Grizzlies in the Kansas GOP Senate primary; today comes news that Jim DeMint will be stumping on behalf of rival Jerry Moran.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon seems to finally realize he's been handed a prime opportunity to go on the offensive, in David Vitter's hiring and later defending of his repeatedly in-trouble-with-the-law aide Brent Furer. Melancon is now publicly asking why he "protected" Furer for two years.
• NH-Sen: You've gotta wonder about the sanity of a candidate, lagging in the polls and trying to capture Tea Party support, who looks at Dale Peterson and Rick Barber's viral video notoriety and thinks "Hey, that could be me!" Jim Bender, the distant fourth-wheel in the New Hampshire GOP primary, is out with a bizarre new ad that involves a crazed-looking, frosting-covered Uncle Sam actor devouring cake slices decorated like banks and cars.
• MA-Gov: Tim Cahill, currently lying in the middle of the street with RGA tire tracks all over his back, is trying to get back up on his feet. He's out with a second TV ad (his first one was back in January), a positive spot focusing on his time as state Treasurer.
• MD-Gov (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan just keeps churning out gubernatorial polls; while most of them have seemed right on the mark, this one's a little surprising. They find Republican Bob Ehrlich leading Dem incumbent Martin O'Malley 46-43. While O'Malley's approvals are plausible for a current incumbent (41/45), the fact that they have Ehrlich, who got bounced out of office in 2006, at 51/32, is perplexing. O'Malley did get one piece of welcome news today, though: you might remember that he was facing a quixotic but not entirely trivial primary challenge from the right from former state Del. George Owings. Owings dropped out of the race today, citing health problems.
• NE-Gov: Via press release, we've just learned that businessman Mark Lakers, the Democratic nominee, is dropping out of the gubernatorial race. He cites fundraising woes and family unhappiness in his decision. Apparently, there's a replacement candidate ready to be substituted by the state Dems (the uneventful primary was held May 11), although no word yet on who that is. We'll update with a link once we know more.
• NM-Gov: Fundraising numbers in New Mexico are out, courtesy of Heath Haussamen. It was a strong reporting period for GOPer Susana Martinez, who raised $611K, compared with Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who banked $188K. You might think the disparity has to do with Martinez facing a major primary while Denish was uncontested, but Denish actually spent more than Martinez in that same period. Denish still has a huge cash on hand disparity: $2.2 million, compared with $300K for Martinez. (Expect to see a whole lotta RGA money flowing Martinez's way, though.)
• WI-Gov: Here's a surprising endorsement for Milwaukee mayor and Democratic candidate Tom Barrett: he got the backing of NYC mayor and well-known independent Michael Bloomberg. Apparently the two know each other from the big-city mayors community, and Bloomberg is a fan of Barrett's attempts to stop gun violence.
• TN-08: The state GOP chairman had to step in, weary-parent-style, to the squabble between Stephen Fincher and Ron Kirkland, saying that he loves them an equal amount. Actually, Chris Devaney said that they're both, as far as he knows, bona fide Republicans. (No mention of the primary field's red-headed step-child, George Flinn?) Today the battle between Fincher and Kirkland has already moved on to TARP, each trying to hang it around each other's necks despite neither one having voted for it. For fans who want more of this decidedly drama-filled primary, Reid Wilson had a thorough history of the race yesterday, focusing on why the NRCC has buddied up with Fincher so much.
• MI-St. Sen.: We always like to see state-based bloggers handicapping their state legislative races, as that's too far down in the weeds for even us know-it-alls at SSP to make educated guesses. Michigan Liberal's pbratt looks at the Michigan Senate - one of the few places where we're on the offensive this cycle, thanks to a whole lot of open seats - and foresees Dems falling just short, with 20-18 Republican control of the chamber after November.
• DGA: Also via press release, we've just gotten fundraising numbers from the DGA. While they aren't in the same league as the RGA (who've doubled up on the DGA in terms of both this quarter and cash on hand), it shows they're revving up for a huge gubernatorial year, too, with $9.1 million in the second quarter and $22 million CoH.