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SSP Daily Digest: 7/27 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Tue Jul 27, 2010 at 4:04 PM EDT

CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff, who's had seeming trouble articulating a motivation for his primary campaign against appointee Michael Bennet (other than "it was my turn"), still seems like he's confident in his chances of winning the primary. He just doubled down by selling his house and lending the $325K proceeds to his campaign (or maybe he was just eager to sell the dump, anyway). Romanoff had $464K CoH on June 30, but most of that has been gobbled up by ad buys. Also on the ad front in Colorado, the shadowy, Ken Buck-backing 501(c)(4) Americans for Job Security is out with another anti-Jane Norton ad, attacking her over her support for anti-TABOR Proposition C.

DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell, the forgotten right-winger in the Delaware GOP primary against Rep. Mike Castle, keeps hitting wingnut paydirt. Having already secured the Susan B. Anthony List endorsement, she's now getting backing from two more of the engines pulling the crazy train: the Tea Party Express (the corporate astroturf umbrella org for the teabaggers), and Concerned Women for America (Phyllis Schlafly's group). The Politico article includes a litany of O'Donnell's baggage as rattled off by Delaware's GOP state party chair, so it seems like the establishment is taking note and starting to push back.

FL-Sen: Well, that was fast; I guess when you have a few hundred million dollars at your disposal, you can whip up ads pretty quickly (or just have  a couple extra sitting in the can, ready to go). With Kendrick Meek having launched his first Dem primary ad yesterday, a negative ad against Jeff Greene, today Greene hit back with two different anti-Meek ads. One focuses on Meek's family connections to a corrupt developer, and the other focuses on the cigar-maker carveout from SCHIP. As always, NWOTSOB.

KY-Sen: The Jack Conway camp has leaked Daily Kos an internal from Benenson giving them a 44-44 tie with Rand Paul, and a 48-46 lead over Paul with leaners pushed. The poll's a little stale, having been taken June 26-29, but it's good news; if nothing else, it's confirmation for the most recent PPP poll, which also saw a tie. We have a copy of the full memo here. Another small reason for optimism in the Bluegrass State: there's word of a new (and apparently nameless, for now) 527 headed by former progressive Democratic '08 Senate candidate Andrew Horne, that will be playing in the Kentucky race. They have $2 million pledged by various business leaders to work with, and they've lined up Anzalone Liszt and Zata|3 to work for them.

CT-Gov: This is one of my favorite headlines since "Lamborn Primaried by Local Crank": "Looney Backs Malloy in Governor's Bid." (Martin Looney is the state Senate majority leader.)

FL-Gov: Taking a page from Raul Labrador, Bill McCollum's out with an internal. His own poll from McLaughlin & Associates finds him trailing Rick Scott 37-31. (The polling memo actually has the audacity to ask, "Why hasn't Rick Scott done better?")

MD-Gov: Local pollster Gonzales Research is out with their second look at the Maryland gubernatorial race; they find a 45-42 lead for Martin O'Malley over Robert Ehrlich, which very closely echoes the PPP poll from a few weeks ago. Their trendlines go back to January, when a Ehrlich re-run was only vaguely being discussed; then, O'Malley had a 9-point lead.

MN-Gov: Fundraising reports in Minnesota were due yesterday. GOPer Tom Emmer might well need to use that giant jar of pennies he had dumped on his table in order to buy some ad time, as he's lagging on the financial front. Emmer has less than $300K CoH and raised under $800K in the first six months of the year, while DFL endorsee Margaret Anderson Kelliher has $385K CoH and raised about $1 million. Kelliher, however, still might not get out of her primary against two rich guys: Matt Entenza raised $360K during that period but also loaned himself $3.5 million (and spent $3.9 million, mostly on TV ads). Mark Dayton hasn't filed yet.

OR-Gov: Republican Chris Dudley is padding his financial advantage over John Kitzhaber in Oregon's gubernatorial race: he's raised $850K since the May 18 primary, compared with $269K for Kitzhaber. Dudley has raised $2.6 million all cycle long, compared with Kitz's $1.7 million. (One historical note, though: Ted Kulongoski was easily re-elected in 2006 despite being outspent by opponent Ron Saxton and his $7 million.) Much of Dudley's money seems to be coming in from out-of-state, as the former NBA player and current financial advisor is getting a lot of Wall Street and sports industry money. Interestingly, the timber industry, usually a Republican force in the state, is staying largely on the sidelines this election, as they're fairly friendly with Kitzhaber.

TN-Gov: Having nowhere to go in the GOP primary polls but up, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is going the out-and-proud Islamophobe route. Spurred on by the ongoing controversy over the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Ramsey, in response to a question at an appearance, said, "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion or is it a nationality, way of life or cult, whatever you want to call it."

ID-01: Raul Labrador, a conspicuous absence from the NRCC's anyone-with-a-pulse Young Guns program, says that he "opted out" of the Young Guns. (Yeah... just like I "opted out" of junior prom.) He didn't give a specific reason why, although tensions between him and the NRCC have been high.

MN-03: I'm not exactly sure why Jim Meffert thought it was a good idea to release this internal, but I guess he needed to let people know that he's actually contesting this thing. His poll (no mention of the pollster in the article) finds him trailing freshman GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen 44-27, with 7% for an IP candidate. The number he'd probably like us to focus on is that Paulsen has only a 33% re-elect (although only 12% say they're a definite "no").

MN-06: Seems like Johnny Law doesn't like Michele Bachmann's particularly freaky brand of law and order: the state's police union, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, just gave its endorsement to Dem Tarryl Clark in the 6th.

RI-01: The American Federation of Teachers, having just endorsed indie Lincoln Chafee instead of Dem Frank Caprio, also went for unconventional with their 1st District endorsement. They went for young up-and-comer state Rep. David Segal, who's tried to stake out the most progressive turf in the Dem primary, instead of Providence mayor and presumed frontrunner David Cicilline.

TN-09: On top of having gotten SSP's annual John Hostettler Award for outstanding performance at filing quarterly reports (for failing to electronically file his FEC report on time, despite having only $19K CoH), Willie Herenton got a much worse piece of news: the Congressional Black Caucus either doesn't think much of his chances, or think much of him. Although they wouldn't let Steve Cohen join their club in 2007, they did just endorse him, and sent $5,000 his way.

Rasmussen:
AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 29%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 59%
AZ-Sen (D): Rodney Glassman (D) 15%, Cathy Eden (D) 11%, Randy Parraz (D) 10%, John Dougherty (D) 7%
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 40%, Jane Norton (R) 44%
CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 39%, Jane Norton (R) 48%
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 38%, Charlie Baker (R) 32%, Tim Cahill (I) 17%

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SSP Daily Digest: 2/1

by: Crisitunity

Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 4:59 PM EST

CA-Sen (pdf): The Public Policy Institute of California takes a look at the California Senate race, and find it a fairly close-looking race if ex-Rep. Tom Campbell survives the primary against wealthy Carly Fiorina and teabagger-powered Chuck DeVore. Unfortunately, it looks like he's poised to that, leading Fiorina and DeVore 27-16-8. Barbara Boxer leads Campbell 45-41 in the general, while she leads Fiorina by a more comfortable 48-40 and DeVore 47-39. (By comparison, Boxer leads Campbell by 10 in the most recent sample by the widely-respected Field Poll, who found Campbell leading Fiorina 35-25-6.) Another bit of bad news for Fiorina: apparently people at her former company doesn't think that much of her. Boxer has received the maximum $10K from Hewlett-Packard's PAC, while Fiorina has gotten nothing.

IL-Sen: I don't know if anyone was banking on Jacob Meister and the 1% of voters he was pulling in, but the wealthy attorney running a quixotic bid folded his hand and threw his backing behind Alexi Giannoulias with only a day to go before the primary. He cited David Hoffman's negative ads and that Hoffman is "more conservative" than he lets on. PPP's Tom Jensen also has some thoughts on the Republican primary, wondering why Patrick Hughes fizzled while other tea party-fueled insurgent candidates (Rand Paul) have caught a spark; basically, it has to do with money, and not just one's own money (with Hughes has lots of) but institutional money (from folks like the Club for Growth) instead.

KY-Sen: Speaking of Rand Paul, he got a top-drawer endorsement today, from Sarah Palin, as the common cause between teabaggers and Paulists now seems fully stitched-together. (Of course, whether that endorsement translates into dollars is another question, especially with today's revelation that SarahPAC spent more money buying copies of "Going Rogue" to push it up the best-seller lists than on contributions to actual candidates.)

NV-Sen: While he hasn't taken any official steps, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is souding more and more like a Republican candidate for the Senate, publicly saying "I can beat Senator Reid." (And, the implication probably is, that the second-tier odds and ends currently cluttering the race can't, once the gloves come off.) With Krolicki being courted by the John Cornyn at the NRSC, that's just arousing the wrath of the anti-establishment set, though, and even some local bigwigs, like ex-Gov. (and current RNC committee member) Bob List, who's telling Cornyn to back off.

NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B (pdf): No particular surprises in Marist's new poll of the Senate landscape in New York, finding that a hypothetical George Pataki challenge, rather than Harold Ford Jr., is the biggest threat to Kirsten Gillibrand. She wins the primary against Ford and Jonathan Tasini 44-27-4. Gillibrand loses to Pataki 49-43, while easily beating the only announced Republican, Port Authority commissioner Bruce Blakeman, 52-30. Ford also loses the general to Pataki, 52-35, while getting past Blakeman 39-35. They even test out the other Senate race, the one no one has been thinking about but that talk show host Larry Kudlow has made some noises about joining. Charles Schumer mops the floor with Kudlow, 67-25.

WA-Sen: I don't know if this is going to strike much fear in the heart of Patty Murray, who has flattened three prominent Republican U.S. Representatives over the course of her career, but a poll from Moore Insight (a Republican polling firm in Oregon) clearly designed to lure 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial loser Dino Rossi into the race finds Rossi leading, 45-43. Rossi says "I never say never," but also says he has "no plans to run for any office at this point."

CA-Gov: That same PPIC poll has gubernatorial numbers as well, finding that Jerry Brown shouldn't take his race for granted either. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has moved into commanding position in the GOP primary, between her outrageous spending and the disappearance of Tom Campbell from the race; she leads Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner 41-11 (an improvement from 32-8 in December). Brown leads Whitman by five, 41-36 (he led by 6 in December), while he leads Poizner 44-29. Calitics has some advice on how Brown should engage the race if and when he emerges from his Fortress of Solitude, and also some details on how Poizner isn't going down without a fight, calling for federal investigation into Whitman's efforts to push him out of the race.

MD-Gov: Ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich seems to be moving closer to a rematch with the man who defeated him in 2006, Democrat Martin O'Malley. He's been lining up fundraisers and a statewide "listening tour," although he says he wants to hear what people actually say on said tour before making a decision one way or the other on the race. Another indicator that Ehrlich is likely to run: the only Republican in the race right now, Larry Hogan, a close Ehrlich friend who said he's get out of the way for Ehrlich and was in the race as something of a placeholder, has ended his campaign, saying that he's convinced Ehrlich is getting in.

MI-Gov: Lt. Gov. John Cherry's withdrawal from the gubernatorial race is certainly different from what we saw Connecticut and Colorado: instead of leading to an instant upgrade, we're just seeing a lot of confusion, with none of the options seeming that much better. The newest EPIC-MRA poll of the race finds pizza magnate Denise Ilitch in the best position in the scrambled Dem primary, leading state House speaker Andy Dillon and Lansing mayor Virg Bernero 23-8-5, with a majority undecided. AG Mike Cox leads the Republican field, beating Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard 32-25-16. Specific head-to-head numbers aren't reported, but Ilitch reportedly trails Cox by 18 and Hoekstra by 7, with Dillon and Bernero faring even worse. (UPDATE: Thanks to RCP, those toplines are: Cox 48, Ilitch 30; Cox 47, Dillon 30; Cox 50, Bernero 28; Hoekstra 42, Ilitch 35; Hoekstra 40, Dillon 32; Hoekstra 45, Bernero 27.)

PA-Gov: With rich guy Tom Knox suddenly out of the governor's race, another Philadelphian is looking to fill his void in a Democratic primary dominated by western Pennsylvania figures. State Sen. Anthony Williams has been sounding out the race; he'd be the only African-American in the field.

AR-03: We've already dissected the possible fields in Arkansas' 1st and 2nd districts, but now that it looks like the 3rd will be vacant too, let's see who might step up. One top name is John Arthur Hammerschmidt, the son of the guy who held the seat for more than 20 years (and who notably beat a young Bill Clinton many years ago). A possible return engagement by ex-Rep. and ex-DEA head Asa Hutchinson is also mentioned. Other names for the GOP include former US Attorney Bob Balfe, state Rep. Jonathan Barnett, former state Sen. Dave Bisbee, state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, former state Sen. John Brown, state Rep. Rick Green, city councilor Kurt Maddox, former state Rep. Doug Matoyo, former state Rep. Daryl Pace, current Senate candidate Buddy Rogers, retired general Bernard Skoch, and Rogers mayor Steve Womack. Fayetteville city attorney David Whitaker seems to be the lone Democrat interested in this dark-red district.

CA-12: Nothing sets off a stampede like an open U.S. House seat in California, where term limits keep people cycling in and out of the state legislature. With Rep. Jackie Speier sounding likely to run for state AG, state sen. Leland Yee, state Assemblyman Jerry Hill, and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma also have said they're revving up for a run in the Democratic primary in this safely-blue seat.

LA-02: Rep. Joe Cao seems to have gotten sucked into the downward spiral of direct mail marketing. He raised a pretty good $248K during the last quarter, but somehow managed to spend $283K, meaning he burned $35K and is sitting on only $316K CoH anymore.

MN-03: Bad news in the 3rd: state Sen. Terri Bonoff, who probably should have been our candidate there in 2008, isn't going to run there in 2010, instead going for another term in the state Senate. Maureen Hackett and Jim Meffert are facing off for the Democratic nod, but neither of them has Bonoff's stature in the swingy suburban district.

NY-15: The Memphis newspaper has an interesting profile of one of the candidates seeking to knock off increasingly-sketchy Rep. Charlie Rangel in the Democratic primary, Harlem community banker Vincent Morgan. What's the Memphis angle on all this? Morgan is really a Ford; he's the estranged son of currently imprisoned former state Sen. John Ford, and the cousin of former TN-09 Rep. and current possible NY-Sen candidate Harold Ford Jr. Morgan isn't close with the family, and prefers to downplay the link.

PA-08: The minor GOP candidates in the 8th seem to be bailing out, in the wake of the entry of a relative heavyweight, in the form of ex-Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, back to reclaim his seat. Attorney and Iraq vet Dean Malik, who seemed to be as close to a frontrunner as the GOP had pre-Fitzpatrick, dropped out last week and endorsed Fitzpatrick. The self-proclaimed teabagger in the race, Rob Mitchell, also pulled out and threw his support to Fitzpatrick.

TN-04: Rep. Lincoln Davis had previously made it clear that he was running again, but it's official today: he filed his paperwork for another run. That's gotta be a relief for the DCCC, already trying to plug two holes in TN-06 and TN-08.

TX-23: Former Bexar Co. Commissioner Lyle Larson, who torpedoed the GOP's preferred candidate (Quico Canseco) in the 2008 primary and then went on to get swamped by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in the general, won't be running again this year. Instead, he's getting into an open seat race for a Texas state House seat instead, giving Canseco a clearer shot this time.

WV-01: A last-minute primary challenge to Rep. Alan Mollohan sneaked in, and it's a rather serious one, from long-time state Sen. Mike Oliverio. Oliverio is giving up his Senate seat this year, maybe in hopes that Mollohan would retire; when Mollohan filed for re-election anyway, he may have figured he had nothing to lose by running anyway (although with Mollohan's ethical cloud having been recently lifted, I'm not sure what Oliverio's angle would be anymore). Also worth noting: state Sen. Clark Barnes, considering a leading GOP challenger, didn't even file to run, apparently thinking better of it after the party started touting former state Rep. (and more importantly, potential self-financer) David McKinley instead. (You can check out all the Kentucky and West Virginia filings action in benawu's new diary.)

Facebook: Which political website are you? If you answered "Swing State Project," you can become a fan of us on Facebook and get regular updates in a largely quiz-free environment.

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SSP Daily Digest: 1/4

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 3:46 PM EST

KY-Sen: I've never heard of Bill Johnson before, but bringing six figures to the table is bound to gain some attention. The western Kentucky businessman, who's running in the Republican Senate primary, said he's loaning himself $250,000 to try and garner some notice in the big-$ primary between Trey Grayson and Rand Paul.

LA-Sen: I never thought I'd see the day when urea formaldehyde would become a campaign issue, but Democrats are hoping to use it against David Vitter in the Bayou State. Vitter (who has the backs of Louisiana's large chemical industry) has been placing a hold on a new EPA administrator's nomination, partly over concerns that the EPA will more heavily regulate formaldehyde. Unfortunately for Vitter, more than 34,000 Louisiana residents have first-hand experience with urea formaldehyde, outgassing from the paneling of their FEMA-provided post-Katrina trailers.

MA-Sen: Republican State Sen. Scott Brown has an uphill fight in this month's special election to overcome the state's Dem lean and perhaps sentimental desires to keep Ted Kennedy's seat in Democratic hands. Still, he got an endorsement from the state's most popular conservative: Red Sox great Curt Schilling.

NH-Sen: Salt shaker at the ready? ARG has a new poll out of general election matchups in the New Hampshire Senate race, showing a single-digit edge for Republican AG Kelly Ayotte over Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes, 43-36 (their last poll, from September, also gave Ayotte a 7-pt edge). They also poll Hodes against conservative upstart Ovide Lamontagne for the first time, and, in a bit of a head-scratcher, find a similar margin for the less-known and, one would think, less electable Lamontagne, who leads Hodes 37-31.

MI-Gov: Here's a Rasmussen poll that slipped our notice over the holidays; as one might expect, Santa Rasmussen had a big lump of coal for John Cherry's stocking. All three Republicans lead the Democratic Lt. Governor, as other pollsters generally find, but Rasmussen still manages to depart from the other pollsters' findings: AG Mike Cox, who has generally polled the best against Cherry, here has the smallest edge over him (only 39-34), while loudmouthed right-wing Rep. Pete Hoekstra has the biggest edge (46-32). (This poll was taken before Hoekstra's grandstanding over the attempted plane bombing, which would serve to raise his name rec outside his western Michigan home turf.) Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard leads Cherry 42-32. One hope for Cherry, though, is that, in terms of favorables, he still has higher unknowns than any of the Republicans, giving him room to grow.

RI-Gov: Jan. 4 has been penciled in as the official launch date for Lincoln Chafee's independent campaign for Rhode Island for a while now. With it comes news that (against a backdrop of mediocre fundraising so far) he'll be dipping into the family fortune to propel his race; he just lent his campaign another $200K after starting it off with a previous $110K. Compared with Dem state Treasurer Frank Caprio's $1.5 million, Chafee has a lot of ground to make up. Meanwhile, Republicans would still like a candidate... any candidate.

AL-05: Looks like recent turncoat Parker Griffith is having a busy day today, answering his own phones and making his own coffee. Almost his entire staff resigned en masse today, unwilling to join him on his foray into the Republican fold.

CA-19: Another sort-of-well-known Republican is scoping out the new open seat in the 19th: former SoS, former Assembly minority leader, and 2004 Senatorial loser Bill Jones is considering the race. Fresno city councilor Larry Westerlund is also looking at the race, which already has state Sen. Jeff Denham and former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson in the GOP field... and, as of this afternoon, former CA-11 Rep. Dick Pombo. (I wonder if Tom McClintock is interested in running here? He's gotta be feeling restless again, having represented CA-04 for a full year now.)

MN-01, MN-02, MN-03: We might actually wind up with a Democratic former elected official running in John Kline's 2nd but not in the theoretically more-vulnerable 3rd next door. Former state Rep. Shelly Madore of Apple Valley (who was defeated by a Republican in 2008) has decided to get into the race in Minneapolis's southern suburbs. (H/t Andrew.) Speaking of the 3rd, Democratic challenger Maureen Hackett is the first to hit the airwaves with a new radio spot; she faces a primary fight with state PTA president Jim Meffert, and the winner takes on freshman Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen. Finally, as expected, it only took Republican ex-state Rep. Allen Quist a few weeks to start bringing the crazy over in the 1st, as seen in recent comments that beating "radical" Democrats in Washington is a bigger battle than beating terrorism.

NY-20, NY-Comptroller: Republican John Faso (the former Assembly minority leader and 2006 gubernatorial loser) was getting touted for a number of different races: for a run for Comptroller, against Rep. Scott Murphy in the 20th, or maybe even for NY-Sen-B if no other Kirsten Gillibrand challenger stepped up. It looks like he won't be doing any of those things, saying it's "doubtful" he'll run for anything this year. State party chair Ed Cox is pushing Emil Henry Jr. for the GOP's Comptroller slot now (Henry, a former Lehman Bros. exec, had earlier been trying to generate some interest for a gubernatorial run, apparently to little avail).

PA-04: Insiders are leaking that former W.D. Pa. US Attorney (and loyal Bushie) Mary Beth Buchanan is increasingly likely to run against Rep. Jason Altmire this year, although the word is she'll make her decision "soon." On the flipside, this may mean the likelihood of state House minority whip Mike Turzai running for the GOP is going down.

TN-08: Jackson-area physician Ron Kirkland will be joining the GOP field, now that this seat is a more tempting target with the retirement of long-time Democratic Rep. John Tanner. Kirkland joins "farmer" (or agribusiness kingpin, if you prefer)/gospel singer Stephen Fincher, who's already off to a big fundraising start.

TX-10: With a nasty hole in the lineup looming with the departure of promising candidate Jack McDonald, here's a big-time save by veteran Ted Ankrum, who'll file to take McDonald's place in the 10th. Ankrum, you might recall, was our 2006 nominee in the 10th, and his strong performance with almost no funding is what drew a lot of Dem attention to the potential winnability of this rapidly-bluening seat. (Speaking of filing, the filing deadline in Texas is today. Primaries are soon, too - March 2nd, with potential run-offs on April 13th. Check out SSP's full sortable primary calendar, if you haven't before.)

GA-SoS: With current Secretary of State Karen Handel resigning midterm in order to pursue her gubernatorial bid, Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue got the chance to hand-pick a successor. 38-year-old state Rep. Jim Cole, a member of the House's leadership, will serve out the remaining year of her term and then run for a full term in 2010. (UPDATE: Or not. Cole has already turned down Perdue's offer; former state Sen. Brian Kemp now sounds likely to be offered the job. H/t RuralDem.)

Mayors: Lt. Gov Mitch Landrieu's path to be the next mayor of New Orleans looks even easier now. His main opposition, state Sen. Ed Murray, opted to drop out, acknowledging that he didn't want to suffer through an expensive and racially-divisive (Murray is African-American) campaign.

NRCC: Looks like we're not the only ones taking notice of the NRCC's cash-on-hand problems, as the legacy media start to take notice: Politico observes that right now the NRCC has enough money to fund about one big-name House race, not the dozens they're trying to put into play with various recruiting successes.

RNC: Reid Wilson has an interesting catch: the RNC is sending money ($20K) to the local party in the Northern Mariana Islands (popu. 86,000), which, of course, don't have a voting member of the House or any electoral votes. It looks like it may be a little payback from Michael Steele, who owes his chairmanship to votes from the NMI and other insular territories.

Polltopia: Politico also belatedly picks up on another favorite theme in the liberal blogosphere: what the hell is up with Rasmussen's numbers? Nate Silver judiciously examined the issue too, over the weekend, pointing out that Rasmussen's well-documented "house effects" aren't necessarily indicative of bias per se. Rasmussen's defenders, of course, will point to Nate's ratings of Rasmussen's accuracy, which are high; fitting, as their numbers do tend to converge with reality in a race's final weeks (as we saw last November in NJ and VA). Still, one question wasn't raised in either of these pieces over the weekend: how to hold Rasmussen to account for showing out-of-whack numbers long before the election, before they start to fall in line with everyone else (and when they, by virtue of Rasmussen's frequent polling, can play a large role in shaping the conventional wisdom about who's up and who's down)?

Maps: A denizen of the forums at Dave Leip's site has put together an even better set of maps of presidential election results by county, dating back to 1840. (H/t metstotop333.)(D)

Redistricting: A reminder - if you post an entry in the redistricting contest, please e-mail your .DRF.XML file to jeffmd [at] swingstateproject [dot] com. (Instructions for finding your file are here.) This will make it a lot easier for Jeff to judge entries. And the deadline to submit your entry is fast approaching - Sunday, January 10th at midnight Eastern time. (D)

Also, on the redistricting front, Politics Magazine has a lengthy piece on Democrats' efforts to avoid getting out-hustled by the GOP in both congressional and state-level redistricting. Hint to Bill Burke's Foundation for the Future and Brian Smoot's Democratic Redistricting Trust: Reach out to the redistricting geeks here at the Swing State Project. We're a great untapped resource. One interesting note: This is the first time since the passage of the Voting Rights Act that the White House (and thus the Department of Justice) will be in Democratic hands during the start-to-finish redistricting process. (D)

Census: The Census Bureau is rolling out a $340 million ad blitz over the next few months to make sure that everyone knows about the Census and that they need to participate. The rollout includes two ads (directed by Christopher Guest and starring Ed Begley Jr., which ought to get the right-wingers a-foamin' at the mouth) during the Super Bowl, but also $80 million in ad outreach to non-English-speaking populations. Talking Points Memo also has a neat observation about Rep. Michele Bachmann, once the Census's greatest foe but who's been surprisingly quiet in her criticisms of it lately: she may need to rely on huge Census turnout by Minnesotans to keep Minnesota at 8 seats, and thus, keep her own seat (the likeliest target for elimination if the state needs to drop to 7 and Dems exclusively control the process).  

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SSP Daily Digest: 11/10 (Part II)

by: Crisitunity

Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 4:59 PM EST

CT-Sen: Rumors are popping up that ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, still the GOP Senate primary's frontrunner by most people's estimation but financially outgunned on a variety of different fronts, may switch to the now-open gubernatorial race. Simmons, however, says his plans are "unchanged," and touts his foreign policy background, saying that's much more useful in the Senate. Meanwhile, an interesting CQ piece looks at pro wrestling svengali Linda McMahon's role in the race, and wonders whether her vast fortunes will really help her that much in a state where a convention attended by party insiders (where Simmons would be favored) is decisive in shaping the field. (Although even if she doesn't win the convention outright or meet the 15% threshold for getting on the ballot, she can still get on the ballot by collecting enough signatures -- certainly an expensive process, but one she could pay for with whatever change she finds under her couch cushions.)

FL-Sen: Here's about as close as you can get to a Jeb Bush endorsement without his lips actually moving. Bush's sons, Jeb Bush Jr. and George P. Bush, are headlining a Marco Rubio fundraiser in mid-December.

CT-Gov: Ned Lamont is already staffing up, and a familiar face is going to be one of his key advisors: Howard Wolfson. Wolfson was adviser to Lamont in 2006, but is better known for his lead role in Hillary Clinton's campaign last year, as well as Michael Bloomberg's campaign this year.

MN-Gov: Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak ran into a snafu with his campaign still on the launching pad, as the state's campaign finance board ruled that he spent money on his campaign before he'd filed the campaign paperwork. Rybak paid for a message-testing poll, although it didn't directly ask questions about the governor's race. If you want to see the whole polling memo (not something you usually get to see with internal polls), check it out.

WI-Gov: Politics abhors a vacuum, and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett is acting quickly to fill the vacuum that has formed on the Democratic side of the gubernatorial race. He says he'll make a decision "one way or the other" by the week's end.

CO-04: Although state Rep. Cory Gardner is clearly the NRCC's favorite in the Republican field, that didn't deter former Ft. Collins city councilor Diggs Brown, who will be announcing his candidacy on Saturday. He had been considered a likely candidate all year, but was on a year-long Army deployment and unable to announce until now. Univ. of Colorado Regent Tom Lucero rounds out the trio of GOPers seeking to take on first-term Dem Rep. Betsy Markey.

FL-13: James Golden, an African-American minister, attorney and former Bradenton city councilor, launched his campaign last week against Rep. Vern Buchanan. Golden will face an uphill fight against the self-funding Buchanan -- unless Buchanan, facing ongoing scrutiny over mysterious campaign finance machinations, goes down in a legal implosion.

ID-01: This may be a surprise, or may not -- state House majority leader Ken Roberts withdrew from the GOP primary race to take on freshman Dem Rep. Walt Minnick. Roberts cited health reasons. Roberts initially would have seemed to have a leg up based on name recognition, but veteran and former McCain campaign official Vaughn Ward seemed to be capturing most of the buzz, including a good fundraising start and NRCC touting.

IN-03: Democrats have taken notice in the last few cycles of Rep. Mark Souder's decidedly lackadaisical approach to re-election in this dark-red district, but now someone from the teabaggy right is taking notice too, and launching a primary campaign. Republican Attorney Phil Troyer (a former staffer to Dick Lugar and Dan Coats) announced his campaign today. (This seems less like an ideological challenge, as Souder is down-the-line conservative, as just opportunistic, taking advantage of his sloth.) Tom Hayhurst, who narrowly lost in 2006, is on track to the Democratic nod again.

MN-03: Add a second Democratic challenger to the list in the 3rd: Minnesota PTA president, and executive director of the Minnesota Optometrists Association, Jim Meffert filed to run. He joins psychiatrist Maureen Hackett; they may still both be joined by state Sen. Teri Bonoff, although Meffert says that Bonoff has hinted to him that she's likely to take a pass.

NJ-03: Best wishes to state Sen. Diane Allen, who is entering treatment for an aggressive form of cancer. The moderate Allen, who lost the 2002 Senate primary and was short-listed for Lt. Governor this year, had been considered a possible candidate against Rep. John Adler in the 3rd.

NV-02: We've got another Democrat lined up to go against Rep. Dean Heller in the 2nd (after Cindy Trigg dropped out several months ago), and he has a strong resume. Jack Schofield is a member of the state's Board of Regents, and is a former state Senator. Unfortunately, he may not be running the most vigorous campaign in the world, as he was a state Senator in the 1970s, and is a World War II veteran (do the math).

NY-23: The Washington Post has a nice, human-level retrospective on Dede Scozzafava's collapse in the special election and the difference in how the GOP and the Dems treated her, leading to her Bill Owens endorsement. Meanwhile, things continue to play out, as Scozzafava either stepped down from or was stripped of her leadership role in the Assembly Republicans, depending on who you believe. Start counting down to her party switch (not that the Assembly Dems need the help, what with their 109-41 margin).

OH-02: What's with all these former Apprentice contestants thinking that's somehow a stepping stone to political office? Surya Yalimanchili is now planning to run as an independent in the 2nd, currently held by GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt. He's sounding centrist notes so far rather than sounding teabaggy, though, so he may not help the Dems too much by siphoning off far-right Republican votes.

PA-07: One more Democrat is getting into the open seat field in the 7th, although it's unclear whether she'll get much traction against state Rep. Bryan Lentz. Environmental lawyer Gail Conner, an Obama convention delegate last year, threw her hat into the ring.

PA-11: Third time's the charm? It looks like Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta will give crusty Dem incumbent Paul Kanjorski another challenge next year. Barletta fell just a few points shy of knocking off Kanjorski last year, prompting Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien to enter the Democratic primary for the seat. With pressure from both sides, one has to wonder if Kanjo will hit the eject button. (J)

PA-17: Here's an example of how voting against health care reform does Blue Dogs a fat lot of good: Rep. Tim Holden got about two days of peace before a Republican state Senator started making noises about a campaign against him anyway. Holden has had little in the way of opposition recently, but now he may face David Argall, who represents Holden's coal-country turf of Schuylkill County. Relatedly, over in Ohio's 16th, a Cleveland Plain Dealer profile of fellow anti-HCR vote John Boccieri shows how he managed to win over exactly no Republicans while ticking off his base.

PA-19: With Republican Rep. Todd Platts looking to bail on the House and head over to the GAO, candidates are already scoping out the potential special election. Although it's a dark-red district (R+12), one good-sounding Dem is gearing up: Ryan Sanders, real estate developer, president of the Red Lion Area Business Association, and most usefully, an organizer for the Obama campaign in York County.

UT-02: More fallout from the health care reform vote: Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson (one of the 'no' votes) may, as a result, be facing a primary challenge from the left from state Sen. Scott McCoy (Utah's only gay state Senator and one of its few liberals). The Salt Lake City-based district is still strongly Republican, although it hasn't presented Matheson with much trouble lately.

MI-St. Sen.: Here's an interesting look at the fight by Dems to reclaim the state Senate in Michigan (currently held 22-16 by the GOP, but where the majority of seats are open next year), which would give them the redistricting trifecta. Even if they don't pick it up (or do while losing the gubernatorial race), the state Supreme Court breaks any logjam, making next year's Supreme Court elections paramount too. The article also contains a map of the Dems' preferred redistricting plan, to turf out Rep. Vern Ehlers by creating a Dem-leaning 3rd District linking Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

NH-St. Sen.: A special election will be happening in New Hampshire, giving the Dems the chance to add to their narrow lead in the state Senate there (they currently have a 14-10 edge). Republican state Sen. Ted Gatsas is poised to resign after having been elected Manchester mayor. Democratic state Rep. Jeff Goley is set to get into the race, though several other state House Dems are looking at it too.

Mayors: The Seattle mayor's race has finally come to an end, with as late-breaking ballots are going more toward former local Sierra Club leader Mike McGinn. Joe Mallahan conceded after McGinn's lead pushed up to nearly 5,000, for a 51-49 edge.

Ads: In the wake of this weekend's health care vote, the DNC is planning to target 32 House Republicans in Obama districts who voted 'no.' They aren't planning on using paid media yet, but will use the OFA campaign e-mail lists to organize in those districts. Meanwhile, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is promising ads against 10 'no' votes, saying it's "payback" time: Barrow, Shuler, Herseth Sandlin, Murphy, Altmire, Nye, Kissell, Adler, Kosmas, and Ross.

Demographics: If you're like me, you may spend a lot of time wondering how Scandinavian-Americans got so liberal and Dutch-Americans got so conservative. Dreaminonempty takes a look at ancestry and voting patterns in a very interesting diary at Open Left.

Discuss :: (100 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 10/20

by: Crisitunity

Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 3:44 PM EDT

FL-Sen: Marco Rubio continues to rack up goodwill among the far right, pulling in an endorsement from Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe. Rubio has already gotten a Jim DeMint endorsement; can Tom Coburn be far behind?

LA-Sen: Southern Media and Opinion Research has a poll (conducted on behalf of local businessman Lane Grigsby, a big Republican donor -- you might remember he personally dumped a ton of money into LA-06 last year) of the LA-Sen race that shows numbers remarkably similar to what else we've seen. They have David Vitter beating Charlie Melancon 48-36 (while Rasmussen had it at 46-36 a couple weeks ago, and a Melancon internal from last month was 47-37).

NC-Sen: Erskine Bowles, the guy so pathetic he managed to lose to both carpetbagger Liddy Dole and anonymous Richard Burr, now has nothing but praise for his one-time opponent, saying "I've had a chance to work with this guy for four full years and nobody works harder or smarter for North Carolina than Richard Burr does." At least the DSCC remembers how the game is played, taking Burr to task for voting against the stimulus and now touting his delivery of $2 million in grant money to a local fire department from the stimulus funds that he didn't vote for.

NV-Sen: In an indication of just how deep the non-aggression pact between Harry Reid and John Ensign goes, now John Ensign's parents (who apparently just love to bail out troubled politicians) both contributed the maximum amount to Reid in the third fundraising quarter. Meanwhile, Ensign himself says he's still willing to campaign on behalf of the Republican nominee against Reid, if he or she just asks. (My advice to Ensign: don't sit by the phone waiting for those calls.)

SC-Sen: This is the kind of praise you might not really want: two Republican party chairs from rural counties wrote an op-ed in the Times and Democrat defending Jim DeMint from charges that he didn't bring enough pork back to South Carolina, saying that Jews got wealthy by watching their pennies and that DeMint was doing the same. The authors later apologized, and, to his credit, DeMint deplored the remark.

WA-Sen: Here's some help from Joe Biden for someone who probably doesn't need the help: Patty Murray, who's facing very little in the way of opposition and is sitting on more than $4 million CoH. Biden will be appearing at a Seattle fundraiser on Nov. 6. (If you're wondering who's stepped up to go against Murray so far, it seems like the GOP's best prospect right now is Chris Widener, a motivational speaker and president of personal development company Made for Success who's currently exploring the race. He'll have to sell a whole lot of Successories posters to be able to compete financially.)

FL-Gov: Fresh off a disappointing third fundraising quarter, Florida AG Bill McCollum may be facing another dose of bad news -- state Sen. Paula Dockery says she is now "leaning very heavily" toward challenging McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. (J)

MN-Gov: One more name on the already excruciatingly-long list of gubernatorial candidates in Minnesota: former DFL state Sen. Steve Kelley (who lost the 2000 Senate primary to Mark Dayton in an almost-as-large field). It sounds like he's trying to brand himself as the "green" candidate this time.

NJ-Gov (pdf): One more New Jersey poll to add to the pile today, from Monmouth University. They find the race a flat-out tie, with 39 for Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, and 14 for Chris Daggett. (Christie led 43-40-8 one month ago.) In terms of favorables, they both suck: Corzine is at 37/51 and Christie is at 40/41. Corzine did make at least one new friend, though: Michael Kenneth Williams (better known as Omar from The Wire) offers his endorsement.

Meanwhile, Christie now is suffering from a further expansion of the Michele Brown story (remember, she's the one who got an undisclosed $46K loan from Christie), and, already losing ground in the polls, the timing couldn't be worse. The New York Times revealed today that, despite their claims otherwise, Brown in fact used her position as Christie's deputy at least two times to aid the campaign, taking control of a FOIA request about Christie's stint as US Attorney and pushing up the schedule on the arrests for the 40-person corruption sting so that the arrests would occur before Christie's permanent successor took over, so he could get the credit.

NY-Gov, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Yet another Siena poll shows David Paterson in deep doo-doo. The most noteworthy thing about this poll may be that Rudy Giuliani seems to be improving his lot, although he still isn't taking any steps toward running for anything; Giuliani trails Andrew Cuomo only 50-43 (and beats Paterson 56-33, naturally), and also matches up well against Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate race, winning that one 53-36. (Other matchups: Cuomo beats Paterson 70-20 in the primary. Cuomo and Paterson both beat Rick Lazio, 66-21 and 39-37. And George Pataki beats Kirsten Gillibrand, 46-41.)

SC-Gov: Could the end of the road finally be approaching for Mark Sanford? (Assuming that Sarah Palin suddenly shows up and does something else stupid yet captivating, probably not.) A resolution of impeachment will be introduced in the GOP-held legislature during a special session next week. However, actual proceedings, if any, won't occur until the full session in January.

VA-Gov (pdf): Two new polls are out in Virginia, and neither one offers Creigh Deeds much cause for optimism. Clarus finds a 49-41 advantage for Bob McDonnell (up from a 42-37 edge last month). And Christopher Newport University for WVEC and the Virginian-Pilot finds, in their first poll of the race, a 45-31 lead for McDonnell (with a lot of undecideds). Meanwhile, former governor Doug Wilder continues to somewhat less than useless in this race, saying that Virginia "won't sink into the seas" if McDonnell wins.

AL-07: An internal poll from state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. gives us our first insight into the Democratic field in the open seat in this dark-blue district. Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot leads the field with 24, followed by Hilliard at 17, former Selma mayor James Perkins Jr. at 9, and attorney Terri Sewell at 4. Smoot, who may be the most progressive candidate in the field, benefits from high name recognition (68%), thanks to also being a radio talk show host. Sewell has much lower name recognition (32%) but a big fundraising advantage over everyone else; she's probably the most moderate option, as seen in her close links to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis and her connections to Birmingham's business community.

CA-44: There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the FBI is investigating GOP Rep. Ken Calvert. Calvert's investment group apparently bought land that had been slated for development as a public park, which a grand jury found was in violation of state law. Whether or not the FBI is now involved, it's the kind of publicity that can't be good for Calvert, who's facing a tricky rematch against Bill Hedrick in California's Inland Empire.

KS-04: One other internal poll to discuss, this time in the Republican field in the 4th. State Sen. Dick Kelsey (who paid for the poll) leads the field at 17, trailed by state Sen. Jean Schodorf at 15, businessman Wink Hartman at 8, and RNC member Mike Pompeo at 6. Whoever wins faces off against Democratic state Rep. Raj Goyle, who's been on a fundraising tear all of a sudden.

MN-03: State Sen. Terri Bonoff, who lost the endorsement to Ashwin Media in 2008, is still "open" to running against freshman Republican Erik Paulsen in 2010, which would boost this race back into the top tier. Other Democrats interested in the race include Jim Meffert and Maureen Hackett.

ME-Init (pdf): PPP polls Maine on Question 1 (the gay marriage initiative) and finds the state evenly split. 48% are in favor, and 48% are against. With a clear party line vote set, it looks like it'll come down to independents, and they're currently 50-44 in favor of the initiative (and thus against gay marriage).

NJ-St. Ass.: While everyone has been focused on the governor's race, there are also races for all the state Assembly seats in New Jersey in a few weeks as well. Republicans need to pick up eight seats in order to tie the Assembly (with a current Democratic advantage of 48-31). However, the fundraising advantage falls to the Democrats: taken together, Assembly Democrats have raised $6.8 million and spent $4 million, while Republicans have raised $2.9 million and spent $1.2 million. The financial disparity is especially pronounced in the "sleeper" districts where Republicans are counting on being able to make gains.

Fundraising: There's an interesting CQ piece on the sudden burst of fundraising among the Indian-American community, as that affluent and educated group gradually becomes more politically engaged. As you might have guessed, strong nationwide fundraising among Indian-Americans is what's driving the surprisingly strong hauls from Ami Bera in CA-03, Manan Trivedi in PA-06, and Raj Goyle in KS-04.

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