NV-Sen: An interesting tidbit from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which Jon Ralston rightly knocks them for burying: Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, the first and only Republican woman to hold federal office in Nevada, says she isn't sure whether she can support Sharron Angle, and might just vote "none of the above."
WI-Sen: Former GOP candidate Terrence Wall is claiming that teabagging richie rich Ron Johnson engaged in "bribery" to win the state Republican convention in May - where "bribery" is characterized as, apparently, paying for some delegate hotel rooms. Johnson denies the allegations, and even his remaining opponent, Dave Westlake, isn't buying them either.
WV-Sen: Sen. Robert Byrd, age 92, was admitted to the hospital over the weekend and is said to be "seriously ill" by his staff. We of course extend our wishes for his recovery.
AZ-Gov: While she has some distance to go before she reaches Sharron Angle or Rand Paul levels of foot-in-mouth disease, I think Jan Brewer is going to be one of those Republicans who really helps us by not knowing how to shut up. Case in point: She said on CNN this weekend that "the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules."
CT-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is busy explaining two arrests in his past, both involving vehicular incidents. (Click the link for full details.) No charges were filed in either incident.
FL-Gov: Florida Republicans are drafting a new immigration law for their own state modeled after Arizona's. We're slotting this under the FL-Gov header because AG Bill McCollum's office is helping to write this new bill. (Florida has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country, with 21% of the state claiming Hispanic origin.) Meanwhile, the St. Pete Times takes a lengthy look at Rick Scott's tenure at Columbia/HCA, the healthcare giant which engaged in massive fraud and eventually paid a record-setting $1.7 billion fine. Scott is trying to tout his experience as a CEO, but of course keeps attempting to distance himself from his former company. Ah, but what's a little two-faced bullshit on the campaign trail?
IA-Gov: Ah, the Republican Party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. As desmoines dem chronicles at her blog, Bleeding Heartland (bookmark it), Terry Branstad was dealt a pretty ugly vote-of-not-a-lot-of-confidence at the GOP state convention this past Saturday. Even though Branstad nominated his own Lt. Gov. candidate (the largely unknown Kim Reynolds), a state rep. put Bob Vander Plaats' name into the hopper for the nod - and Branstad's pick squeaked by with just 56% of the delegate vote. (Vander Plaats, of course, ran against Branstad for the gubernatorial nomination, losing by only about 10 points despite huge disparities in name rec and money.) And just the day before, BVP said he still wasn't planning to support Brandsad, nor would he rule out an independent bid. Smell the cat fud, baby!
AR-02: I'm not really getting Joyce Elliott's messaging here. On the one hand, she's trying to tie former AG Tim Griffin to his one-time mentor, Karl Rove. On the other hand, she says she won't run a campaign against Washington, DC. So not only is her message muddled, but she's also unilaterally disarming. I hope she sees the error of her ways on this one.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeffrey Perry is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies showing him with a 41-25 lead in the GOP primary over ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Perry also claims to have favorables of 44% and unfavorables of just 1%....
VA-02: Sarah Palin is going to be in town for a wingnut event called the "Freedom Fest." But GOP nominee Scott Rigell won't attend - and his campaign is offering some made-up sounding b.s. about FEC regulations preventing him from going. Unsurprisingly, teabagger Kenny Golden is hitting Rigell for his failure to appear. Ironically, Rigell is claiming the fact that Golden wasn't offered equal time at the event is a reason he (Rigell) isn't going!
An all-House digest today - and it's an hour earlier than usual! Remember, today is primary day in IN, NC & OH, so be sure to check out SSP's handy election guide.
AL-07: Attorney Terri Sewell, who is probably the candidate ideologically closest to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis, is going up with a TV ad buy in Montgomery and Birmingham which will stay up through the primary (which is a month from now). No word on the size of the buy, though.
CT-02: Republicans are courting former television news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh to run against Rep. Joe Courtney, who has luckily skated by without much in the way of opposition this cycle. Peckinpaugh says she's considering it. She was most recently seen shilling for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads, clearly trading on her reputation as a newsreader. The company, Lend America, shut down in December after it was placed under federal investigation.
FL-12: After screwing up the establishment's efforts to clear the GOP primary field for ex-state Rep. Dennis Ross by jumping into the race, Polk County Comm'r Randy Wilkinson is bidding adieu to the Republican Party. Instead, he's going to run as the Tea Party candidate (there's an actual Tea Party in Florida, just like the Whigs). Wilkinson has raised very little money - his FEC reports are a mess, and he seems to like filing them in hand-written form, so he doesn't even appear in their electronic database.
FL-21: What a bummer - zero Dems filed in the open 21st CD, which means that Mario Diaz-Balart will automatically inherit his brother Lincoln's seat. I can't really blame folks too much, though, as Florida has especially onerous ballot access requirements. If you don't petition on, you have to pay a filing fee, which is an insane $10,000+.
HI-01: The DCCC threw down another $70K for negative ads against Charles Djou.
ID-01, OH-15: We mentioned the other day that GOPer Steve Stivers, busy with a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, said he favors repealing the 17th amendment - the one which gives citizens the right to vote for their senators (rather than having them be appointed by state legislatures). Well, after taking a lot of much-deserved heat, he's backed off that fantasy. But his would-be colleague, Vaughn Ward, is taking up the mantle. Ward, running against Rep. Walt Minnick in ID-01, offered a rationale worthy of Miss Teen South Carolina, saying "When you look at how come state's rights have been so abrogated, it's because of things like the 17th Amendment that has taken away those rights from our states." Yuh huh. Exactly.
IL-08: Just click the link and read about the greatest political implosion of the entire cycle. (Thankfully, it's the bad guys.) More here, here, and here.
KS-03: Along with Joe Garcia (see yesterday's morning digest), the DCCC added another candidate to their Red to Blue list, Stephene Moore, who is the wife of retiring Rep. Dennis Moore.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeff Perry, running for Bill Delahunt's open seat, scored an endorsement from ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney. Perry, who was also previously endorsed by Sen. Scott Brown, has a primary against ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Malone has some baggage-related cooties, which probably explains Perry's run of good fortune.
MD-01 (PDF): Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Americans for Prosperity (R) (4/25-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Kratovil (D-inc): 36
Andy Harris (R): 39
Richard Davis (L): 6
Two things about this poll: First off, in contravention of appropriate practice, POS asked all kinds of axe-grindy issue questions ("Gov. O'Malley raised taxes by $1.3 billion") before getting to the horserace question. This does damage to POS's reputation as a supposedly respectable pollster. Secondly, the weird thing is that Harris switched pollsters - and his last survey, from the Tarrance Group back in November, had him up by a whopping 52-39. While it's not a proper trendline, you gotta wonder - is Harris slipping? Or is he getting snowed by his various pollsters? (Update: D'oh! Our mistake -- this poll was not done for Harris, but actually the right-wing consortium of douches known as the Americans for Prosperity.)
MI-01: Dem state Rep. Joel Sheltrown, who got into the race to replace Bart Stupak just a few weeks ago, is bowing out.
MI-09: Self-funder Gene Goodman is dropping out of the race to take on Rep. Gary Peters, despite having loaned his campaign $450K. That leaves ex-state Rep. Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski and former Oakland County GOP Chair Paul Welday in the running, both of whom have had unimpressive fundraising - and in fact, Rocky is yet another victim (albeit a more minor one) of Base Connect.
Meanwhile, we missed a Welday internal poll from a couple of weeks ago (taken by Mitchell Research & Communications), which had Peters leading by just 44-43. The poll sampled just 300 LVs, though, and according to the Hotline, was in the field at two discontiguous times. Peters' camp attacked the poll's sample composition, but Steve Mitchell says he used the same methodology as he did in September of 2008, when (according to the article), " he declared Peters was going to defeat Joe Knollenberg." Is this hindsight proving to be 20/20? Mitchell's poll from back then had the race tied.
NY-13: Global Strategy Group (D) for Mike McMahon (4/7-11, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Allegretti (R): 24
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Grimm (R): 23
OH-09: Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who is not really on anyone's radar in terms of having a competitive race, is nonetheless facing a moneybags challenger. Former Food Town CEO Rich Iott just dumped $319,000 into his campaign. Kaptur has over a million on hand, and the 9th CD voted 62% for Obama and 58% for Kerry.
PA-12: Anzalone-Liszt (D) for the DCCC (4/27-29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Critz (D): 43
Tim Burns (R): 41
TN-08: A couple of disgusting low-lifes running for TN-08, Ron Kirkland and Randy Smith, had this delightful exchange at a candidate forum:
Kirkland, of Jackson, referred to his Army training during the Vietnam War and said: "I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can't describe to you."
Smith, a chef from Mercer who served in the Navy during the Gulf War, said: "I definitely wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said."
These sick bastards have serious issues.
SD-AL: Heh - GOP state Rep. Kristi Noem has a biographical spot up on the air, talking about her return to her family farm after her father's death. The only problem is that she shot the ad in Texas - which became apparent given that the backdrop (a grove of leafy green trees) is something you can't really find in North South Dakota this time of year. Reminds me of when Bob Schaffer ran an ad pretending that Alaska's Mount McKinley was actually Colorado's famous Pikes Peak while running for CO-Sen in 2008.
• Election results: Yesterday's big event was the special election in FL-19, the first real electoral test after the passage of HCR. The allegedly massive opposition to healthcare reform on the part of the district's many seniors never really materialized. Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch beat Republican Ed Lynch 62-35, with very little falloff from Obama's 65-34 performance in 2008. (Contrast that with John Garamendi's so-so 53-43 performance in November's CA-10 special election, a similarly 65-33 district in 2008.)
I should also pause to offer a little credit to Texas's Republicans, who voted for the less crazy candidates in the Board of Education and Supreme Court runoffs, and in a bigger surprise to me, for the Hispanic-surnamed candidates in the TX-17 and TX-23 runoffs (which, based on incumbent Victor Carrillo's trouncing in the Railroad Commissioner primary, seemed unlikely to happen). The NRCC has to be pleased to see the wealthier and less wingnutty Bill Flores and Quico Canseco emerge. Rep. Chet Edwards, however, is one guy who knows how to stand and fight, and he wasted no time hitting Flores hard and defining him as a carpetbagger in big oil's pocket.
One other leftover issue from last night: two races in California, as expected, are headed to runoffs. In Republican-held SD-12, Republican Assemblyman Bill Emmerson will face off against Democrat Justin Blake (the GOPers combined got more than 60% of the vote, so this is a likely hold), while in safely-Democratic AD-43, Democratic lawyer Mike Gatto will face off with Republican Sunder Ramani to replace now-LA city councilor Paul Krekorian. Gatto seemed to shoot the gap in this heavily Armenian-American district after the two Armenian candidates, Chahe Keuroghelian and Nayiri Nahabedian, nuked each other.
• AR-Sen: Bill Halter's primary campaign gained more momentum, as he picked up an endorsement from the Alliance for Retired Americans, pleased with his time as a Social Security Administration official. One group that really isn't getting on board with Halter, though, is the Berry family; first outgoing Rep. Marion Berry dissed Halter, and now his son, Mitch, is head of a group, Arkansans for Common Sense, that's running ads attacking Halter on the Social Security front. (Are there any Arkansans who are actually against common sense?)
• CO-Sen: Looks like GOP establishment candidate Jane Norton sees the handwriting on the wall and is taking a page from Democrat Michael Bennet's book: not able to rely on getting on the ballot via activist-dominated convention (where teabagger-fueled Ken Buck seems likely to triumph), she's making plans to qualify by finding 1,500 signatures in each of the state's seven congressional districts. Speaking of Bennet, he's still the fundraising kingpin in this race; he just announced he raised $1.4 million last quarter, well ahead of Norton's $816K.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist may have sounded Shermanesque last week in his determination not to switch to an Independent bid for Governor, but apparently now there's increasing moves within his inner circle to move in that direction. Unnamed advisors are floating the idea to the WSJ today.
• IN-Sen: Dan Coats seems to be having more trouble making the transition from the free-wheelin' world of high-stakes lobbying back to the humdrum electoral politics world, where you actually have to follow the rules and stuff. He's 10 days overdue on filing his finance disclosure reports with the FEC. One note that the Beltway press seemed to miss though: his main GOP primary opponent, ex-Rep. John Hostettler hasn't made his filing yet either. (Of course, fundraising was never Hostettler's strong suit. Or even his weak suit.)
• NC-Sen (pdf): PPP issued its latest installment in polls of the Senate general election in its home state. Maybe the biggest surprise is that incumbent Republican Richard Burr's approvals are just continuing to fall; he's currently at 32/41 (while likeliest opponent Elaine Marshall is in positive territory at 19/11). Also encouraging, I suppose, is that the actual human Democrats are starting to draw even with Generic D (while previous polls have had Generic D far outpacing them), showing they're getting better-defined. Burr leads Generic D 43-38, while he leads Marshall 43-37, and leads both Cal Cunningham and Kenneth Lewis 43-35.
• NY-Sen-B: With ex-Gov. George Pataki's phantom interest in this race finally having been dispelled, Swing State Project is removing this race from its "Races to Watch" list.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): One more poll in the rapidly-becoming-overpolled Pennsylvania Senate race, this time from Republican pollster Susequehanna. They use an LV model, and find Pat Toomey with a 48-38 lead over Arlen Specter. Of more immediate consequence, they find Specter leading Joe Sestak 42-28 in the Dem primary. They also polled both primaries in the gubernatorial race, finding Dan Onorato seeming to break away from the ill-defined pack among the Dems. Onorato is at 32, followed by Joe Hoeffel at 13, Jack Wagner at 6, and Anthony Williams at 4. Tom Corbett beats down Sam Rohrer on the GOP side, 50-7. After marshaling his resources, Specter is finally starting to open fire; he's up with his first TV ad of the cycle starting today.
• WI-Sen: The only thing that's sure is that Tommy Thompson likes to see his name in the press. There's been a lot of conflicting reporting about Tommy Thompson today, with many outlets running with the story that he's decided against running for Senate (that all traces back to one leak to a local TV station, although it sounds like Politico got some confirmation from an anonymous GOP source). Other outlets are emphasizing that Thompson's spokesperson says that Thompson hasn't made a final decision, though. Either way, Thompson will be announcing his plans at a Tea Party rally tomorrow in Madison, so our pain will be ended tomorrow one way or the other.
• MA-Gov: Here's more evidence for my expectation that Dem-turned-indie Tim Cahill will be running to the right (or at least to the incoherent-angry-working-class-Catholic-guy-position) of the Republican in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race this year. He's appearing at today's Tea Party rally on Boston Common today, the same one with Sarah Palin that Scott Brown ditched (although MA-10 candidate Joe Malone and GOP gubernatorial underdog Christy Mihos will be there). Likely GOP gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker (from the party's old-school moderate WASP tradition) decided against attending, probably out of fears that he might get jostled by some ruffian and spill some of his gin and tonic on his white Bermuda shorts.
• MN-Gov: Two blasts from the past in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. Walter Mondale weighed in in favor of Democratic state House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, while a guy I've never heard of named Al Quie, who claims to have been governor from 1979 to 1983, endorsed Republican Marty Seifert.
• NE-Gov: Via press release, the campaign for Democratic candidate Mark Lakers let us know that he took in $314K, impressive considering his late entry to the campaign.
• AL-07: State Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. got an endorsement from the United Steelworkers, a union that seems to still have a lot of clout in Birmingham, once a major steel town.
• AZ-03: Now here's some news I didn't expect: the fundraising champ in the 3rd isn't one of the many state legislators running here, but rather attorney (and vice-presidential progeny) Ben Quayle. He pulled in $550K in the first quarter, thanks no doubt to family connections. There are a couple other self-funders in the race too, but the elected officials seem to be lagging: case in point, well-known ex-state Sen. Pamela Gorman, who raised only $37K and ends with $23K CoH.
• FL-24: Rep. Suzanne Kosmas announced a haul of $260K for the first quarter. That's less than the $340K reported by her likely GOP opponent, steakhouse mogul Craig Miller (although a slab of his money was apparently carved out of his own personal funds); Kosmas has a big CoH advantage, though, sitting on more than $1 million.
• GA-07: Retiring Republican Rep. John Linder didn't look far to endorse a replacement for him: he gave his nod to his former chief of staff, Rob Woodall.
• HI-01: Sen. Dan Inouye just transferred $100K of his money to the DCCC, despite appearances that they're actively backing Ed Case, rather than Colleen Hanabusa, who has the support of Inouye (and pretty much everyone else in the local Democratic establishment). Inouye has apparently been working behind the scenes, including reaching out to Nancy Pelosi, to get the DCCC to dial back their Case support, so maybe the cash infusion will give him a little more leverage. (Inouye is sitting on $3.2 million and faces little if any opposition this year.)
• IN-03: Nice fundraising numbers from Democrat Tom Hayhurst, who ran a surprisingly close race against Rep. Mark Souder in 2006 and is back for another try. Hayhurst has racked up $234K CoH, more than Souder ($99K in the first quarter).
• IN-05: Politico has a look at Rep. Dan Burton's difficult primary in the 5th, in Indianapolis's dark-red suburbs. While Burton may actually be safer this year compared with 2008 (since he has four opponents instead of just one), the article traces the roots of the local GOP's discontent with him, and also shows the magnitude of his collapse in support: only 2 of the 11 local party organizations are supporting Burton this time.
• MO-08: Another Dem in a dark-red seat who keeps impressing everybody with his tenacity is Tommy Sowers. The veteran and college instructor, who's challenging Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, raised $295K in the first quarter and is now sitting on $675K CoH.
• NM-02: Ex-Rep. Steve Pearce can write himself his own checks if he needs to, but he may not need to at this rate. Pearce raised $277K in the first quarter, and now sits on $708K. Democratic Rep. Harry Teague hasn't reported yet, but in the duel of wealthy oil guys, he can self-fund too if need be.
• NY-14: With Democratic primary challenger Reshma Saujani having some success on the financial front, Rep. Carolyn Maloney got some top-tier help from Barack Obama, who endorsed her and sent out a fundraising appeal on her behalf.
• PA-11: If this doesn't wake up Rep. Paul Kanjorski from his nap, I don't know what will. Three-time Republican opponent Lou Barletta raised $300K in the first quarter. An important caveat: there was no mention of cash on hand, which is telling because Barletta was still saddled with a lot of debt from his 2008 campaign when he decided to run again. (UPDATE: Barletta's CoH is now $205K.)
• PA-17: Republican state Sen. David Argall raised a tolerable but not-too-impressive $125K in the first quarter. He'll need more than that to battle Rep. Tim Holden, who, if nothing else, has great survival skills (he had the worst district of any freshman who survived 1994, and then survived a 2002 gerrymander designed to rub him out). In fact, he'll need more than that just for his primary; heretofore unknown GOP opponent ex-Marine Frank Ryan raised $70K in the first quarter.
• Redistricting: Maryland beat out New York to be the first state in the nation to enact legislation that will, in terms of redistricting, treat prisoners as residents of their last known address, rather than where they're incarcerated (and thus move the center of gravity back toward the cities from the countryside). Also, on the redistricting front, if there's one group of people who are the target audience for a whole movie about redistricting (Gerrymandering), it's the crowd at SSP. The film's director has a diary up, touting its release in two weeks at the Tribeca Film Festival.
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio seemed to beat Charlie Crist to the punch on calling for repeal of the health care reform bill passed over the weekend, but now the allegedly-moderate Crist is getting in on the act too, saying he opposes the entire bill and supports the lawsuit by Republican AGs (including Florida's Bill McCollum) against the package.
• KY-Sen: I really can't decide who I'd rather have in my corner. Rand Paul has the backing of lots of crackpots with computers and open wallets, as he had another online moneybomb yesterday to the tune of $262K. Trey Grayson, on the other hand, has the backing of establishment favorite... Dick Cheney?
• NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B: Earlier in the day, there were rumors that the state GOP in New York was desperately trying to get someone from the GOP field against Kirsten Gillibrand (which doesn't have any top-tier talent, but at least has a bunch of warm bodies) to switch over to the even more unenviable task of facing off against Chuck Schumer, where they've got nobody. Their favored candidate for that job seemed to be former Bush spokesperson Dan Senor. Maybe that rubbed Senor the wrong way, or maybe there's more to the story, but either way, that changed by mid-day today, as Senor suddenly said he not only wasn't running against Schumer but not running for anything, period, saying the timing wasn't right for him. (Well, maybe they'll have better luck getting David Malpass to switch over.)
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): More up-and-down numbers from Franklin & Marshall this month, as their latest look at the Senate race finds Pat Toomey beating Arlen Specter 33-29 among RVs. Last month, Specter (currently at a terrible 30/45 favorable) led by the same 33-29 margin. (Recall that for the last couple months, F&M was releasing separate numbers for RVs and LVs. They seem to have dropped that unwieldy formulation in favor of RVs only, for now.) They find Toomey beating Joe Sestak 27-19 in the general, Specter beating Sestak 32-12, and in the forgotten GOP primary, Toomey defeating pro-life activist Peg Luksik 30-4. They do only the primaries in the slow-to-take-shape Governor's race, finding Dan Onorato leading among Dems at 11, followed by Jack Wagner at 7, Joe Hoeffel at 5, and Anthony Williams at 4. Tom Corbett leads state Rep. Sam Rohrer 28-4 on the GOP side.
• UT-Sen: Last night was caucus night in Utah, where precincts chose delegates to the state convention which may or may not be Bob Bennett's Waterloo. It's hard to gauge, at this point, how things turned out for Bennett last night; the convention, which will determine whether he can avoid (or even make it to) a primary will be real proof. With filings closed in Utah, Democrats left a lot of seats unchallenged in the dark-red legislature, leaving 15 of 75 House seats and 2 of 15 Senate seats without Ds.
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi was spotted in DC yesterday to meet with Michael Steele about a possible Senate run. He isn't expected to make a decision until close to the June 11 primary, though (which seems odd, since he'd be basically starting from scratch at that point to go against Patty Murray's mammoth war chest).
• IL-10: Bob Dold doesn't need this. Turns out that Dold, who cozied up to the teabaggers in his primary run and touted his opposition to abortion (in order to squeak past moderate state Rep. Beth Coulson), has turned on a dime and is now calling himself "pro-choice" and "a fiscal conservative and social moderate" in order to run against Dan Seals in the general in this D+6 district.
• MA-10: Republican flavor-of-the-month Scott Brown has weighed in on the GOP primary in the open seat in the 10th, not coincidentally the district where he fared the best in the special election. And he chose new over old, opting for state Rep. Jeff Perry instead of long-ago state Treasurer Joe Malone.
• MI-01: Connie Saltonstall's primary challenge to Bart Stupak may have lost some of its raison d'etre over the weekend, but it's still proceeding full speed ahead with some new supporters that may be able to make it rain money for her: Planned Parenthood and NARAL's PACs. NOW had previously endorsed Saltonstall as well.
• NJ-12: Scott Sipperelle, the random businessman running against Rush Holt in the D+5 12th, apparently has money to burn as he's already hitting the TV airwaves, with an ad blasting Holt for his health care vote. It's a cable buy, though (in case you were having visions of him blanketing the NYC and Philly markets), so it could be a tiny expenditure aimed at getting free media for all we know.
• SD-AL: Even with Scott Hildebrand having folded his hand quickly on a threatened Stephanie Herseth Sandlin primary challenge, it sounds like another less-known Dem is getting in on it. Rapid City doctor Kevin Weiland is sounding out a run.
• VA-05: "We've given the word 'mob' a bad name." The gas line at the Perriello household was mysteriously cut, after Rep. Tom Perriello's gutsy HCR vote. Um, oooops... that was the Bo Perriello household, as several local teabaggers mistakenly posted the Congressman's brother's address on their websites and urged protesters to stop by for a friendly visit. The guy who posted the address (and refused to take it down after finding out it was the wrong Perriello) is now publicly "shocked" that one of his ilk would resort to violence. Oh, and the FBI is investigating. Tom Perriello, on the other hand, displayed only sangfroid, saying "If the worst thing that happens is that special-interest groups spend millions of dollars against me and my most ardent opponents organize against me, it's hardly a 'cry me a river' moment - as long as people act civil and within the law."
• WV-01: In the choice between conservadem and even-more-conservadem in the Democratic primary in the 1st, it's becoming pretty clear which one is which: state GOP chair Douglas McKinney praised Alan Mollohan's opponent state Sen. Mike Oliverio, saying he "has always been a conservative guy. He votes with the Republican on committees. We've joked for years he needs to come over to the party who thinks like he does."
• HCR: Are some of the saner GOP members of Congress starting to come to their senses as the fog of war starts to dissipate? (Or are they just seeing the shift in the polls and engaging in some pre-emptive ass-covering?) The oft-blustery Rep. Pete King is urging his fellow GOPers to "get constructive" and "stop demonizing" health care reform and the Dems. And Chuck Grassley, almost single-handedly responsible for bogging the bill down and giving legs to the "Death Panel" lie in the August of Dems' discontent, is now happily talking up his own positive contributions to the bill, regarding tax-exempt hospitals.
• DNC: The DNC is wheeling out a seven-figure budget for running ads in the wake of health care's passage. It's two-pronged, with attack ads against vulnerable Republicans who voted "no" (I guess the "voted no" part is redundant): Mark Kirk, Jim Gerlach, Dave Reichert, Mike Castle, and Joe Cao. And "thank you" ads are planned for vulnerable Dems, tentatively including John Boccieri, Dennis Cardoza, Brad Ellsworth, Paul Hodes, Tim Walz, Bob Etheridge, Tom Perriello, Leonard Boswell, Betsy Markey, and Gerry Connolly.
• SARAH's List: Shortly after tweeting for her supporters not to retreat, but RELOAD, Sarah Palin's website posted a map with gunsights targeting 20 Representatives for her supporters to shoot. Or to work to defeat for re-election, I suppose. It's pretty much all the districts that went for McCain in 2008 and where there was a "yes" on HCR, without much regard for the race's actual vulnerability or whether it's an open seat: AR-02, AZ-01, AZ-05, AZ-08, CO-03, CO-04, FL-02, FL-24, IN-08, IN-09, ND-AL, OH-06, OH-16, PA-03, PA-10, SC-05, TN-06, VA-05, WV-01, and WV-03.
• Teabaggers: Quinnipiac released another poll showing the peril and promise of the teabagger movement for the GOP, as seen in the contrast between the basic generic ballot (44 R, 39 D) and one with a third-party element thrown in (36 D, 25 R, 15 T). Various commenters, like Ed Kilgore and TPM's Zachary Roth are paying close attention to the poll, wondering, as they've done in the past, if there really even is a new-and-different "Tea Party" movement or if it's just a new name for the most-extreme, riled-up part of the Republican Party that's always been there (through the militia movements of the 90s and the Birchers of the 60s).
• NRCC: The NRCC claims to have pulled in $7 million last night at their annual fundraising dinner. That's a lot of scratch, but bear in mind much of that's in "pledges," mostly from House members, some of whom haven't had a good track record of helping the NRCC in the past.
• Census: Two neat Census-related maps worth checking out. One is a constantly-updated real-time map at the Census website which shows the response rates by state and municipality so far. (While the national return rate so far is 16%, the best municipality return rate so far is the civic minded folks of Westside, Iowa at 74%. And despite the popular image of it being full of paranoid militia types living in the hills who would rather use fiat money than fill out a Census form, Montana has the best return rate of any state, at 33%.) The other map is much sadder, courtesy of the Prison Policy Initiative: it shows state-by-state how much distortion of districts occurs through the counting of prisoners where they're incarcerated rather than where they're actually from.
• CA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Tom Campbell is getting an endorsement that may boost his cred with the socially conservative right: from the man who couldn't even beat Gray Davis, Bill Simon. Simon hopes socially conservative voters will still take a look at Campbell's fiscal credentials.
• IN-Sen: Retiring Evan Bayh hasn't said anything specific about what he's doing with his gigantic $13 million federal war chest. But a spokesperson gives some hints: "What he has said is that you can expect him to help the Democratic Senate nominee in Indiana and to help like-minded Democrats - people who want to get things done, who are practical and who want to reach out and forge principled compromises."
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway is pointing out an important ideological fracture line, which seems to have gotten little media attention in the Democratic primary in the Bluegrass State. Conway says he supports the health care legislation passed yesterday, while Dan Mongiardo has previously said he'd "throw it out and start over."
• NH-Sen: Speaking of HCR, Kelly Ayotte was quick to abandon her previous flavorless, position-less campaign and get on the "repeal!" bandwagon. With Paul Hodes having been a "yes" in the House, this may become one of the marquee issues in this race, and by extension, the battle for the Senate.
• NY-Sen-B (pdf): Siena has a new poll out of the Empire State which includes a couple head-to-heads in the Senate race. They just won't let up on the George Pataki front, finding that he leads Gillibrand 45-39 in a hypothetical race, while Gillibrand leads actual candidate Bruce Blakeman 48-24. There are a couple other names on the "actual" candidate front they might want to try out instead -- Joe DioGuardi and David Malpass -- and now it looks like one more is poised to get in. Dan Senor apparently has enough Wall Street support behind him to go ahead and launch his bid. One other name who's now saying she won't run, though, is former Lt. Gov. and malfunctioning health insurer spokesbot Betsy McCaughey, who it turns out is backing Malpass.
• MI-Gov (pdf): It turns out there was a lot more meat to that Insider Michigan Politics/Marketing Resource Group poll than what got leaked on Friday. They also looked at the Democratic primary, finding state House speaker Andy Dillon in charge at 21, followed by Lansing mayor Virg Bernero at 9 and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith at 6. They also did a whole bunch of general election permutations, all of which were won by the GOPers by suspiciously large margins (at least when compared with other recent polls): Mike Bouchard over Dillon 41-26, Mike Cox over Dillon 44-27, Peter Hoekstra over Dillon 43-27, Rick Snyder over Dillon 42-26, Bouchard over Bernero 45-23, Cox over Bernero 45-26, Hoekstra over Bernero 43-27, and Snyder over Bernero 44-24.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Naturally, Siena also has a gubernatorial half to its poll. They find newly-minted Republican Steve Levy's entry to the field to be rather unwelcome: ex-Rep. Rick Lazio is beating him 45-16 in the GOP primary. Either way, Democratic AG Andrew Cuomo (with a 63/22 approval) seems to have little to worry about; in November, Cuomo beats Lazio and Libertarian candidate Warren Redlich 59-21-3, while beating Levy and Redlich 63-16-4.
• OH-Gov: John Kasich is still reaching out to teabagger nation as his core of backers, and consistent with that, he's having Fox gabber Sean Hannity host a Cincinnati fundraiser for him on April 15. I sure hope Kasich gets a bigger cut of the proceeds than Hannity's military charity recipients seem to.
• OR-Gov: The last big union left to endorse in the Democratic gubernatorial primary finally weighed in, and Oregon's AFSCME went with ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber rather than ex-SoS Bill Bradbury, who'd gotten the teachers' union endorsements. The AFSCME also endorsed newly appointed Treasurer Ted Wheeler in his primary bid against state Sen. Rick Metsger, and also, in an unusual step, endorsed two Republican state Reps. in rural eastern Oregon who voted "yes" on raising income taxes, probably figuring that non-wingnut GOPers is probably the best we're going to do in those districts.
• LA-02: Republican Rep. Joe Cao probably ended any hopes of hanging onto his dark-blue (and 21.7% uninsured) seat by voting against health care reform yesterday, but just in order to emphasize the way in which he slammed the door shut on himself, he also compared abortion as a moral evil comparable to slavery. Because that's a comparison just bound to go over well in his black-majority district.
• MA-10: Former Republican state Treasurer (from the 1990s) Joe Malone made it official: he's running in the 10th to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt. He'll still have to get past state Rep. Jeff Perry in the GOP primary, though.
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi and Doug Pike traded union endorsements in their Dem primary battle in the 6th. Trivedi got the backing of the Iron Workers local, while Pike got the nod from the local AFSCME.
• PA-12: Bill Russell seems like he just can't take a hint, despite the GOP uniting behind Tim Burns. Russell says he'll write himself in for the special election between Burns and Democrat Mark Critz, in addition to continuing to contest the same-day GOP primary against Burns. Meanwhile, the pro-life Critz's main opponent remaining, Navy vet Ryan Bucchanieri, got an endorsement that ought to give him a financial boost, from the National Organization for Women.
• WV-01: We've heard rumors that the local Democratic establishment wasn't very enthused about propping up Rep. Alan Mollohan, who faces both a credible primary challenge and a self-funding Republican opponent. Here's some of the first public whiff of that: the state Democratic chair, Nick Casey, says he won't be taking sides in the primary battle between Mollohan and state Sen. Mike Oliverio (although he did predict that Mollohan would be the eventual victor).
• Redistricting: Cillizza has a little more background on the Democrats' efforts to gear up for the 2012 redistricting battles, which we discussed last week in terms of the DLCC's efforts. The DGA is getting in on the act, too, with a Harold Ickes-led effort called Project SuRGe (for "Stop Republican Gerrymandering"), also focused on maximizing Dem control of state legislatures.
• Votes: Lots of slicing and dicing in the media today regarding who voted which way, and why, on yesterday's historic health care reform vote. Nate Silver has a bunch of nice charts up, which show that district lean and Reps' overall ideology was much more determinative than whether the Rep. is considered vulnerable in November in terms of a "yes" or "no" vote. And Some Dude over at Salon has a more concise look at Reps who most mismatched their districts with their votes. Finally, if you want to see the "(some) Dems are still doomed" conventional wisdom in full effect, they've got that in spades over at Politico.
• Passings: Our condolences to the Udall family, which lost family patriarch Stewart Udall over the weekend. Udall, 90, was Congressman from Arizona and then John F. Kennedy's Interior Secretary, and many of our environmental protections that we take for granted today bear his stamp.
• $$$: The fundraising quarter is almost over, and Adam B. is opening up another round of "We've Got Your Backs" over at Daily Kos (and cross-posted here), dedicated to showing some (financial) love to the House Dems in the most difficult districts who did the right thing on health care reform.
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth's new online fundraising ad actually depicts John McCain in blueface. (Click the link for a visual.) The joke, apparently, is an Avatar reference, in that McCain is being nominated for an award for "best conservative actor." Or something like that. At least he's not in blackface.
• NY-Sen-B: The GOP is still intent on mounting some sort of challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand; there's just the small problem of finding a willing sacrifice. They may have found one, although I don't know if he'd present much of an upgrade from Port Commissioner Bruce Blakeman (who's already running and has secured a number of endorsements). Scott Vanderhoef, who just got elected to a fifth term as Executive of suburban Rockland County, is publicly weighing a bid. (If his name sounds vaguely familiar, he was John Faso's running mate in 2006, en route to getting 29% of the vote against Eliot Spitzer.)
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak pulled in a potentially useful endorsement in terms of both fundraising and ground troops, from the National Organization of Women. NOW says it's more a positive endorsement of Sestak than a negative reflection on Specter (although I suspect the specter of Anita Hill still looms large in their memories). Let's hope the timing works out a little better on this one than Sestak's last endorsement -- Tuesday's endorsement from fellow Navy vet Eric Massa.
• SC-Sen: Democrats acted quickly to fill the gap left by the recent dropout of attorney Chad McGowan in the South Carolina Senate race; in fact, it may be something of an upgrade, with the entry of Charleston County Councilor and former judge Victor Rawl. Victory still seems highly unlikely, but it's good to mount a credible challenge against DeMint to keep him pinned down in the Palmetto State in the campaign's closing months instead of letting him roam the country freely.
• CT-Gov: Ned Lamont got an endorsement from a key legislative figure in his battle for the Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial nomination: Senate president Donald Williams. Lamont's main rival for the nod is former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy.
• IL-Gov: It's finally official: state Sen. Bill Brady will be the Republican nominee in the gubernatorial race. Earlier in the day, the state certified Brady as the winner, by a razor-thin margin of 193 votes, over fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard. And only moments ago, Dillard conceded, saying that he wouldn't seek a recount and offered his support to Brady. (Dillard had previously said he'd contest it only if he was within 100 votes, give or take a few.) While I'd prefer to see a long, drawn-out nightmare for the Illinois GOP, this is still a pretty good outcome: the conservative, downstate Brady isn't as good a matchup against Pat Quinn as Dillard would be. In fact, PPP's Tom Jensen is already seeing some parallels between Brady and another guy who stumbled across the finish line after the presumptive frontrunners nuked each other: Creigh Deeds.
• MA-Gov: Here's more evidence that former Democratic treasurer Tim Cahill is trying to move onto center-right turf as he forges ahead in his indie bid against incumbent Dem governor Deval Patrick. He's bringing aboard several key members of John McCain's 2008 campaign, including McCain right-hand-man Mark Salter and former chief strategist John Weaver. In fact, Reid Wilson wonders if Cahill is going to try to run to the right of the leading GOP candidate, Charlie Baker, who's a socially-liberal big-business type.
• MI-Gov: Ex-Genesee County treasurer Dan Kildee has ended his campaign for Governor. The decision seems to have been made after the political arm of the UAW decided to throw their support to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Kildee says he wanted to "avoid splitting the support of organized labor and the votes of progressives," who now seem likely to coalesce behind Bernero rather than centrist Andy Dillon (although liberal state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith also remains in the race). (J)
• NY-Gov: Quinnipiac did another snap poll on the status of David Paterson (whose downward spiral seems to be continuing, as today he lawyered up. In this installment, 46% said he should continue his term and 42% said resign; not catastrophic numbers, but ominous trendlines from only 31% saying "resign" in their previous poll, just two days earlier.
• MA-10: Contestants are already lining up in the wake of William Delahunt's not-so-surprising retirement announcement yesterday in this D+5 district (albeit one that was colored decidedly Brown in January). For the GOP, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry is already in, but he's likely to get shoved over by former state Treasurer Joe Malone, who's announcing his bid today. (Malone's statewide status may be hindrance as much as help, as he was at the helm during an embezzlement scandal involving underlings at the Treasurer's office, although he was never accused of any wrongdoing himself.) GOP state Sen. Robert Hedlund has ruled out a bid. On the Dem side, Norfolk Co. District Attorney William Keating has expressed interest, and he may have an advantage because of his high-profile role in the controversy over the Amy Bishop shooting. Other possible Dems include state Sen. Robert O'Leary, wealthy businessman Philip Edmundson, state Reps. James Murphy and Ronald Mariano, former state Rep. Phil Johnston, and state Energy and Environmental Affairs Sec. Ian Bowles. Johnston and Bowles both lost to Delahunt in the 1996 open-seat primary.
• NY-25: This seat is low on the list of Dems' worries this year, and it may get a little easier with the threat of a Republican primary battle looming. The local GOP endorsed pro-life activist candidate Ann Marie Buerkle over the occasionally NRCC-touted Mark Bitz, a political novice but a self-funder. Bitz says he'll consult with his wallet as to whether to mount a primary rather than abide by the endorsement. Buerkle, who briefly was on the Syracuse Common Council, also got the Conservative and Right-to-Life party lines.
• NY-29: This isn't promising for Corning mayor Tom Reed; he's already had to get up and confirm that he's staying in the race, despite some bigger GOP names sniffing around now that it's an open seat race. The biggest is probably Maggie Brooks, the Monroe County Executive, who's "seriously considering" and will make a decision in the next few days. On the Dem side, one other name that's bubbling up is John Tonello, the mayor of Elmira (the district's largest city).
• State legislatures: Politico's David Catanese has an interesting observation, how polling shows that there's something even less popular than Congress or individual incumbent politicians: state legislatures. That's maybe most egregious in New York, where the state Senate gets 16% positive marks according to the most recent Marist poll, although Pennsylvania (where the "Bonusgate" investigation is constantly in the news) isn't much better, where the lege has 29% approval according to Quinnipiac. While this trend might work to our advantage in red states where we're trying to make gains, it could be a pain in the butt in New York, where we need to hold the Senate to control the redistricting trifecta, and even more so in Pennsylvania, where (if we lose the gubernatorial race) we need to hold the narrowly-held House in order to stave off Republican control of the redistricting trifecta.
• Votes: There was some interesting party-line breaking in yesterday's House vote on the jobs bill. It passed pretty narrowly, but that wasn't so much because of worried votes by vulnerable Dems (Tom Perriello and Steve Driehaus voted no, but with Harry Teague, Bobby Bright, and even Walt Minnick voting yes) but rather a bloc of the most liberal members of the Congressional Black Caucus voting no, apparently from the perspective that it doesn't go far enough. Six GOPers got on board, all of the moderate and/or mavericky variety: Joe Cao, Dave Camp, John Duncan, Vern Ehlers, Tim Murphy, and Don Young.
• Blogosphere: I'm pleased to announce that, in addition to my SSP duties, I'll be writing for Salon.com's politics section several times a week, as part of their new feature "The Numerologist." Today I deconstruct National Journal ratings; please check it out (especially if you're curious what my real name is).
Representative William Delahunt will not seek re-election to Congress, the seven-term Democrat will announce tomorrow, ending a nearly 40-year career in elected office and giving Republicans hope of capturing the seat, which stretches from Cape Cod to the South Shore.
"It's got nothing to do with politics," the Quincy Democrat said today. "Life is about change. I think it's healthy. It's time."
The 68-year-old lawmaker said he has been considering leaving the House for several years, but was talked out of it two years ago by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who convinced his friend he should stay and help President Obama with his first-term agenda.
The tenth is MA's least-Democratic CD, going for Obama by just a 55-44 margin. (Kerry and Gore both posted similar numbers here.) Meanwhile, SSP numbers guru jeffmd estimates that Scott Brown absolutely dominated here, winning by about 60-40. So you can see why the GOP thinks it has a shot here. State Rep. Jeffrey Perry is already in the race, and former state Treasurer Joe Malone and state Sen. Robert Hedlund are weighing runs. Undoubtedly plenty of Dems will also give this contest some thought, and I'm sure we'll here more from the interested parties soon.
• AZ-Sen: One more endorsement for John McCain, as the GOP establishment circles the wagons around him in the face of a primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth. Today, it was former presidential rival Mitt Romney's turn to boost McCain.
• FL-Sen: Rasmussen follows up with a look at the Senate general election in Florida, and pretty consistent with its last few polls, gives double-digit leads to both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio over Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Crist leads 48-32, while Rubio leads 51-31. It's looking dicier for Crist to make it to the general, though, and that's reflected with an increasing number of staffers seeing the handwriting on the wall and bailing out. Political director Pablo Diaz announced his departure, and new media consultant Sean Doughtie is already out.
• IN-Sen, IN-08: Dem Rep. Baron Hill, still apparently mulling a Senate bid, says that he probably will make a decision "this week". Meanwhile, presumptive Dem nominee Brad Ellsworth has officially removed his name from the 8th CD Democratic primary ballot, leaving state Rep. Trent Van Haaften as the consensus Democratic choice. (J)
• MA-Sen: Unless you were under a rock yesterday, you know that the Senate jobs bill cleared the cloture hurdle with the aid of five Republicans, most notably Scott Brown, who actually seems to be thinking ahead to getting re-elected and, in doing so, has royally pissed-off his nationwide base of teabagging donors. On top of that comes another revelation that ought to further take the bloom off his status as living embodiment of angry-white-guy rage: that truck that signified he was an average blue-collar guy? Turns out he owns it in order to haul his daughter's horse.
• NV-Sen: One more data point in the Nevada Senate race, this one not looking so good for Harry Reid. Research 2000 polls the race again, this time on behalf of the PCCC, and finds Reid trailing Sue Lowden 53-39 and Danny Tarkanian 54-40. The real point of the poll, though, is to try to show him that his support would go up if he successfully got a public option into the health care reform bill, with 31% saying they'd be likelier to vote for him if so (with 15% saying less likely and 51% saying no difference). Bear in mind that this poll, unlike the interesting POS poll from yesterday, doesn't factor in the sudden emergence of a 3rd party Tea Party option.
• CT-Gov: After some brief flirtations with the idea, ex-Rep. Chris Shays has decided not to run for Connecticut governor after all, saying he couldn't make it work financially. Although he didn't address the also-rumored possibility of running again in CT-04, the same logic may apply there too.
• FL-Gov: The seeming dwindling of the Alex Sink campaign continues apace, at least if you go by Rasmussen's trendlines. Republican AG Bill McCollum is up to 13-point lead against the Democratic CFO, 48-35.
• GA-Gov: More Rasmussenny goodness in neighboring Georgia, where they take their second look at the general election in the gubernatorial race. While Democratic ex-Gov. Roy Barnes led several of the GOP contestants in the previous Rasmussen poll, trailing only Insurance Comm. John Oxendine, this time he doesn't fare as well. Barnes loses to Oxendine 45-37, to Rep. Nathan Deal 43-37, to SoS Karen Handel 45-36, and ties state Sen. Eric Johnson 37-37.
• IL-Gov: The GOP primary contestants are still waiting for the last ballots to trickle in today, the last day for counties to submit their numbers to the state. (The state has until March 5 to announce official results.) Estimates last week were that there were fewer than 2,000 votes, mostly provisional votes, to count. State Sen. Kirk Dillard, currently trailing by a little more than 200 votes, doesn't plan to make a decision on whether to concede or keep fighting until after the 5th. On the Democratic side, the search for a Lt. Governor goes on. Pat Quinn had publicly said that his top choice would be current Deputy VA Secretary Tammy Duckworth, but she has taken herself out of consideration today.
• MI-Gov: Looks like Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee is in the gubernatorial race for the Democrats; he's skipping right over the exploratory phase and filing as a candidate for governor. He joins Lansing mayor Virg Bernero and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, with state House speaker Andy Dillon likely to enter soon.
• PA-Gov: State Sen. Anthony Williams didn't meet his very high $4 million fundraising bar, but he seems to feel heartened enough by the $2 million he has to officially pull the trigger on a gubernatorial run. With Chris Doherty and Tom Knox both out of the Democratic field now, it seems like there's room for one more SE Pennsylvania candidate in the field; Williams, from Philadelphia, will be the only African-American in the race.
• WI-Gov: One more Rasmussen gubernatorial poll to look at, featuring (surprise!) the Republican in the lead. Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker leads Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett 49-40, while ex-Rep. Mark Neumann has a much smaller lead over Barrett, 44-42. That's actually a smidge better than last month's Rasmussen poll.
• AR-03: State Sen. Cecile Bledsoe got the endorsement of one of her predecessors in the 3rd, ex-Rep. and former DEA Director Asa Hutchinson. A wide cast of characters, including Rogers mayor Steve Womack, is either already in the hunt for the GOP nod or considering it, in this dark-red district.
• AZ-05: Rep. Harry Mitchell can probably consider this to be good news: another divisive Republican primary, which helped him to a comfortable victory in 2008, is brewing this year. Former state Rep. Susan Bitter Smith jumped into the GOP field yesterday, which pits her in a rematch against former Maricopa Co. Treasurer David Schweikert (who won the 2008 primary). Businessman Jim Ward and his ability to self-fund is in the mix too, as something of a wild card.
• AZ-08: State Sen. Jonathan Paton has resigned from the state Senate, in order to focus full-time on running against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the 8th. He leaves behind one piece of legislation underway that's actually a pretty cool idea: instituting "question time," a la the UK's parliament, where the Governor has to show up for a biweekly grilling in front of the legislature. Paton becomes the third Republican state Senator to resign in the span of a few weeks, with Pam Gorman and Jim Waring both having bailed out to pursue the open seat in AZ-03.
• FL-24: Former Ruth's Chris Steakhouses CEO Craig Miller went ahead and got into the GOP field in the 24th, despite already having taken on some damage from preemptive salvos fired by the DCCC over statements opposed to stronger drunk-driving laws. Potentially self-funding Miller has become the NRCC's new fave in the race, after state Rep. Sandy Adams and Winter Park city councilor Karen Diebel have floundered at fundraising.
• FL-25: Joe Garcia, the Democratic 2008 candidate who almost knocked off Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, met with the DCCC's Chris Van Hollen yesterday. This only serves to increase speculation Garcia will try again, now that the 25th is an open seat. The DCCC has also been interested in Miami-Dade Co. state's attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
• KS-03: Republican State Sen. Nick Jordan, who lost in the 3rd to Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore, looks to be on track to succeed the retiring Moore. Jordan's own internal poll from POS shows him ahead of state Rep. Kevin Yoder 27-9, with former state Rep. Patricia Lightner and Charlotte O'Hara both at 5 (leaving about half of the voters undecided). Jordan's poll didn't look at the general, but there's nothing to see there yet, seeing as how the Dems haven't, um, found an interested candidate yet.
• MA-10: In the event of a retirement by Rep. William Delahunt, state Senate majority leader Therese Murray says she won't try to succeed him. On the GOP side, possible candidate ex-Treasurer Joe Malone may come with more liabilities than were initially apparent when he first started touting himself for the race. After Malone's tenure ended in 1999, it was discovered that several of his top aides had stolen over $9 million from the state. Malone himself was never accused of being involved, but reminding voters about it will inevitably lead to questions about his judgment.
• NM-02: Ex-Rep. Steve Pearce has released an internal poll performed on his behalf by the Tarrance Group that gives him a small lead over Democratic Rep. Harry Teague, 48-44. The good news for Teague is that R beats D in a generic ballot test 47-37, showing that the conservative Teague overperforms the Democratic brand despite his vote in favor of cap and trade in this heavily oil-dependent district.
• NY-01: Despite the NRCC's seeming preferences for rich guy Randy Altschuler, he's already in a difficult primary, and now he may be facing a three-way contest with a local elected official too. State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick says he's exploring the race.
• OH-06, OH-17: Ex-Rep. Jim Traficant didn't meet the filing deadline to file as a Democrat for any race in Ohio, but now he's saying that he's planning to run as an Independent instead (which would require filing by early May). He's still not saying where he's going to run, although neither of the two possibilities look terribly promising: either the strongly-Democratic 17th (which he used to represent), or the swingy 6th, where he'd have to introduce himself to most of the voters
• PA-06, PA-07: Here's a big get for Manan Trivedi, as he seeks the Democratic nomination in the 6th. He got the endorsement of the Chester County Democrats. With Trivedi already strong in Berks County and Doug Pike strong in Montgomery County, suburban/exurban Chester County is somewhat the pivotal county in the district. (They also endorsed Bryan Lentz over his minor primary opposition in the 7th.)
• PA-12: This is another solid break for the Dems in special election in the 12th: Republican businessman Mark Pasquerilla, with deep pockets, seemed to be one of the few GOPers who could make this race competitive. Something of a John Murtha ally, though, he had previously said he wouldn't run if Joyce Murtha got in. She didn't, but Pasquerilla still didn't bite; instead, he's endorsing Murtha's district director, Mark Critz, who announced his candidacy yesterday. This basically moves the GOP back to square one, with the candidates who were already in place for the regularly scheduled election: businessman Tim Burns (who doesn't seem quite as able to self-fund), or veteran/BMW Direct frontman Bill Russell.
• WV-01, WV-03: Worries have been emanating out of West Virginia's governor Joe Manchin about the re-election prospects of Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall, who despite their no votes on cap-and-trade often get tagged as not being sufficiently pro-coal. The United Mine Workers have no trouble supporting the duo, though; they endorsed both of them this weekend.
• DSCC: There have been some rumblings about DSCC chair Bob Menendez's lackluster ways, at least by comparison to his manic predecessor, Chuck Schumer. Here's a telling quote:
"Chuck - wow - he would call all the time, three, four times a week, when he needed something, but I don't ever hear from Menendez unless I initiate the contact," said a Washington-based donor who has bundled tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to the committee. "You just don't have the same level of energy from Bob; he just doesn't push you like Chuck would," the source added. "And that makes it a lot easier to say no."
• DCCC: The DCCC is trying to get some mileage out of fanning the flames in some of the most divisive GOP primaries between the GOP establishment and teabagger-powered movement conservatives (which they're cheekily calling "Palin's primaries"). Targets include MS-01, VA-02, VA-05, NH-01, CA-11, and TN-08.
• Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal takes another look at Rasmussen, asking if they've been "flooding the zone" and thus shaping the overall narrative by sheer numeric dominance of the data that get released. (Sound familiar? He gives a shout-out to a diary here by our own spiderdem that first raised the point.) It's quite true that Rasmussen has done many more Senate polls this cycle than last (45 vs. 13 at this point in the cycle), but so too have some of the other new players (especially PPP, 21 vs. 5). (He also notices what we've noticed, that SurveyUSA is polling less this cycle; they poll only when hired to do so, and he speculates that TV stations and newspapers have cut back their polling budgets.) Interestingly, he also points to why Rasmussen is able to do so: a "major growth capital investment" from private equity firm Noson Lawen. (Noson Lawen, and what their potential agenda might be, sounds like an interesting topic for enterprising investigative bloggers...)
• CA-Sen: The latest in palace intrigue in California supposes that Meg Whitman managed to pave the way for Tom Campbell's exit from the gubernatorial race and move to the Senate race, culminating in a private appeal to Campbell from Arnold Schwarzenegger to switch (using a soft touch, instead of the alleged sledgehammer that the Steve Poizner camp accuses Whitman's camp of wielding). Campbell says no, he made the decision all on his own (helped along by some internal polling, no doubt).
• FL-Sen: Continuing his role as right-wing kingmaker, or rainmaker, or rainy kingmaker, Jim DeMint orchestrated a moneybomb over recent days for upstart Florida candidate Marco Rubio that pulled in over $140K.
• SC-Sen: Attorney Chad McGowan, as close as the Dems have to a leading candidate to take on Jim DeMint this year, ended his campaign, citing family demands. It's possible, though, that McGowan's exit may lead to a slight upgrade (although not likely the kind that puts the race into play): Charleston Co. Commissioner Vic Rawl is now contemplating making the race, and self-financing Mullins McLeod is weighing a switch over from the gubernatorial bid where he's made little headway in a better-defined Democratic field.
• TX-Sen: It's looking less and less likely that the Texas Senate special election is ever going to happen (most likely, Kay Bailey Hutchison will wind up serving out the rest of her term in ignominy). If she does resign at some point, though, it doesn't look too promising for Democrats. PPP tested a generic ballot on the race, with Generic Republican winning 53-38. Former comptroller John Sharp may be in position to overperform Generic D a bit, but it'd still be an uphill climb. For one thing, he'd be running against Barack Obama's very low 33/61 approval in Texas.
• CT-Gov: Former state House speaker Jim Amann ended his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination today. That he was even in the race may be news to most Connecticut residents, given his low-single-digits support in recent polling, and Ned Lamont and ex-Stamford mayor Dan Malloy gobbling up most of the oxygen.
• MI-Gov: In the wake of Denise Ilitch's surprising decision to stand down, a different Democrat got into the gubernatorial field: former state treasurer (from the 1980s) Bob Bowman. He's been out of state for a long time, most recently as the CEO of major league baseball's interactive media wing, but if he's willing to self-finance, he could be an interesting wildcard here.
• WI-Gov: Details are sketchy, but a Democratic internal poll by the Mellman Group finds a very tight gubernatorial race, quite in line with what other pollsters have seen. Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett leads Republican Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker 40-39. There's no word on a Barrett/Mark Neumann matchup.
• AL-05: Another catastrophic success for the NRCC, as they blasted their newest member with some friendly fire. Pete Sessions sent out a fundraising letter to AL-05 voters letting them know that their "Democrat in Congress has been falling in line with Nancy Pelosi's destructive liberal agenda.." One small problem: Parker Griffith is now, quite famously, a Republican.
• AR-01: Unlike the deeply troublesome KS-03 and LA-03, thanks to their deep Arkansas bench, Democrats don't seem to be having trouble finding a replacement to run for the seat of retiring Rep. Marion Berry. The latest to step up is state Sen. Steve Bryles, who represents Blytheville in this mostly-rural district's northeast corner.
• AZ-03: It looks like a big Democratic name may be interested in tackling the GOP-leaning open seat left behind by retiring Rep. John Shadegg, after all. Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon has opened up an exploratory committee to consider a run, and has set a three or four-week timetable for deciding. Democratic attorney Jon Hulburd is already running and has had some fundraising success as well, so it seems unlikely he'd get out of the way for the more conservative Gordon.
• CA-19: An internal poll by POS offered by state Sen. Jeff Denham shows the Republican candidate with a solid lead over his carpetbagging neighbor, ex-Rep. Richard Pombo. Denham leads Pombo 28-12 in the GOP primary, and that expands to 38-11 when voters were informed that outgoing Rep. George Radanovich has endorsed Denham.
• CA-44: Yet another internal poll, this one from Tulchin and released by Democratic challenger Bill Hedrick, who came within a few thousand votes of upsetting Rep. Ken Calvert in 2008. Calvert has lousy re-elects - 38% say 'yes' while 41% say someone else - but Calvert leads a head-to-head against Hedrick, 49-35.
• FL-21, FL-25: New names are already surfacing for potential candidates in the 25th, where Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is creating an open seat by leaving for the somewhat safer 21st, vacated by his retiring brother, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. One name moving to the forefront is termed-out Republican state Sen. Majority leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla. However, it sounds like Mario plans to endorse state Rep. David Rivera (who's currently running for state Senate) instead. Two other possible GOP names include state Sen. Alex Villalobos, and Carlos Curbelo, currently an aide to Sen. George LeMieux. Joe Garcia, who came close to taking out Mario in 2008, seems to be the Dems' preferred candidate (although he previously ruled out a re-run, he might reconsider with an open seat).
• IA-01: Republicans landed Some Dude to run against Rep. Bruce Braley in the Dem-leaning 1st, a district which hasn't been on anyone's radar so far: insurance salesman Brian Cook. The NRCC had previously touted businessman Rod Blum for the race, but he says he's leaning against a bid.
• MA-10: Yet one more internal poll, and this one's a little alarming for Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt, who nobody thought of as a target until his district went strongly for Scott Brown in the Senate special election. The McLaughlin poll on behalf of Republican former state treasurer Joe Malone gives Malone a 37-34 lead over Delahunt among likely voters. Delahunt is still in positive territory, approval-wise, at 44/33.
• MS-01: Maybe this is the oppo that insiders said would sink Fox News pundit Angela McGlowan's House bid before it got out of the gate. In a radio interview last year, she suggested that gun owners should include an inventory of their guns on their federal tax forms, and in defending the idea went on to talk about "crazies... stockpiling guns." Starting out in a probably gun-loving district with a proposal that wouldn't pass muster among House Democrats, and framing it with decidedly lefty-sounding language... well, that's probably a deal-breaker.
• NC-08: Free advice to candidates, not just Democrats but anyone: don't waste time worrying about what people are saying in the anonymous comments section of blogs. (And, yes, I realize the irony of that coming from an pseudonymous blogger.) But most of all, don't actually get so hot under the collar that you weigh in in the comments section and embarrass yourself in the process. Tim D'Annunzio seems to be the leading GOP contender in the 8th, thanks in large measure to his self-funding, but his recent foray into the comments section at the Charlotte Observer (to defend his machine-gun-shooting fundraiser) may have cast his candidacy in a decidedly amateurish light.
• OH-14: Here's a swing district that has consistently eluded Democrats, where they've finally nailed down a challenger. Retired judge Bill O'Neill is back for another whack at Rep. Steve LaTourette in the suburban 14th. O'Neill ran against LaTourette in 2008 and didn't get much traction that year, though.
• Census: Here's some good news on the redistricting front: the Census Bureau has given states the green light to decide whether to count prisons as part of the local population, or whether to count prisoners according to their previous place of residence. The Census will provide states with 'group quarters' information to help them with the process. That's an especially big deal in New York, where the legislature is considering legislation that would count prisoners by previous residence, which would decidedly tip the balance away from GOP-leaning rural areas and back toward the cities.
• Redistricting: Some bad news on redistricting, though, from South Dakota (although, with its at-large House seat, it'll really only have an impact on state legislative redistricting). A legislative committee shot down plans to switch to an independent redistricting commission. Democrats proposed the idea, and unsurprisingly, the plan died along party lines (not much incentive for the GOP to switch, as they control the trifecta and probably will for the foreseeable future).
• Dogcatcher: With Martha Coakley's announcement that she's going to attempt to run for re-election, the whole idea of getting elected dogcatcher is back on people's minds. You may recall we had an extended thread on the matter some months ago... and here's an interesting discovery. There's an actual place in America - Duxbury, Vermont - where it's an elective position. (H/t David Kowalski.) Zeb Towne's term expires in 2010, so we'll keep monitoring this race as events warrant.
• Election Results: With 99.1% of precincts reporting (97 remain, apparently mostly in Cook County), both sides of the governor's race remain too close to call. Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn has declared victory, sitting on a 7,000 vote lead (50.4%-49.6%) and with the remaining precincts in Cook County likely to go his way, although Dan Hynes hasn't conceded yet. On the GOP side, we're looking most likely at a recount, as state Sen. Bill Brady leads fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard currently by a 751-vote margin (20.3%-20.2%), as they both squeaked past the two presumed frontrunners, former state party chair Andy McKenna and former AG Jim Ryan. The fact that the remaining votes are from Cook County, however, may be poised to help the moderate suburbs-based Dillard, though, rather than the conservative downstate Brady, so this race seems likely to get even closer (Nate Silver actually projects a one-vote victory for Brady based on broader Cook County trends). Recount procedures make it sound like a protracted process - an initial vote tally won't happen until March 5, and then the process "could take months to complete" - giving Quinn a big headstart on whoever the GOP victor turns out to be.
As expected, Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk are the Senate nominees, although both won their races with somewhat underwhelming percentages (39% for Giannoulias, and 57% for Kirk, who could have been in more trouble had the teabagging right coalesced behind one person in particular). Conservatives did triumph over establishment candidates in several GOP House primaries, though, as Bob Dold! beat state Rep. Beth Coulson in the 10th, and state Sen. Randy Hultgren beat Ethan Hastert in the 14th.
In Florida, as expected, state Sen. Ted Deutch easily won the special election primary to succeed Rep. Robert Wexler, beating former Broward Co. Commissioner Ben Graber 86-15. It looks like he'll face Republican Ed Lynch (the 2008 nominee), who defeated Joe Budd by only 46 votes (but with only 8,000 total GOP votes, that's outside the margin for an automatic recount). And here's a surprise out of Kentucky: Democrats picked up a state House seat in the dark-red HD 24, which was recently vacated when Republican Jimmy Higdon got promoted to the state Senate in another special election. Terry Mills won, 54-46, based on an overwhelming edge (89-11) on his home turf of Marion County, reminding us that, at the end of the day, all politics is local.
Finally, last night was caucus and straw poll night in Minnesota. Only 80% of precincts have reported yet - I guess they go to bed early in Minnesota - but the straw poll in the Democratic governor's race points to only a lot of chaos at this point. Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak led with 21.8%, followed closely by state House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher at 20.2%. However, "uncommitted" is a solid 3rd at 15%, there are five other candidates who managed to break 5% (John Marty, Tom Rukavina, Paul Thissen, Matt Entenza, and Tom Bakk), and ex-Sen. Mark Dayton doesn't even seem to be bothering with the whole process, planning on going straight to the primary, so there's not much clarity on how the field will shake out. The GOP field seems much more clear-cut, where former state House minority leader Marty Seifert beat state Rep. Tom Emmer 50-39, with the rest of the field in the low single digits.
• AZ-Sen: With the imminent entry of ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth into the Republican primary against John McCain, we're already looking at dueling internal polls. McCain offers up a poll from POS, giving him a 59-30 lead over Hayworth. Hayworth has his own poll from McLaughlin, which, not surprisingly, shows him much closer, trailing 49-33.
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek, NASCAR dad? Meek plans to call attention to his campaign by shelling out to be the lead sponsor of Mike Wallace's car in an upcoming race at Daytona.
• IN-Sen: With the surprising announcement by ex-Sen. Dan Coats last night that he's interested in a comeback and would start seeking the signatures to qualify for the Indiana GOP nod, the oppo pretty much writes itself. For starters, Coats can't even sign his own petition - he's been a registered voter in Virginia for more than a decade, not Indiana. And what's he been doing for much of that time? Lobbying... for King & Spalding, on behalf of nice people like the Carlyle Group and Bank of America. The Plum Line also points to Coats accusing Bill Clinton of "wagging the dog" when he started going after al-Qaeda in 1998, allegedly to distract the press from his peccadilloes... and we all know how that turned out.
• ND-Sen: Democrats have, well, somebody ready to go if ex-AG Heidi Heitkamp doesn't get into the Senate race to replace retiring Byron Dorgan. State Sen. Tracy Potter, who represents Bismarck, will be announcing his candidacy on Friday. Other potential candidates seem to be holding back, waiting to see what Heitkamp does; she's been strangely silent since initially expressing interest in the seat last month.
• NY-Sen-B: Quinnipiac's first poll of the New York Senate race after the Harold Ford Jr. boomlet began finds, well, pretty much what everyone else has found: Kirsten Gillibrand beats him by a wide margin but doesn't break 50%. Gillibrand beats 36-18, with Jonathan Tasini at 4. Quinnipiac also tests general election matchups against Republican port commissioner Bruce Blakeman (they don't even bother testing ex-Gov. George Pataki, who doesn't seem to be making any moves to get into the race). Gillibrand beats Blakeman 44-27, and Ford beats him 35-26. Gillibrand is slowly gaining some more name rec, up to a 42/28 approval. Blakeman may not have the GOP primary to himself, though, as a strange blast from the past is re-emerging to say he's interested in the race: ex-Rep. Joseph DioGuardi. In case the name doesn't ring a bell, DioGuardi served in the House representing Westchester County from 1984 to 1988, when he was defeated by Nita Lowey.
• NY-Gov: The same Quinnipiac sample looks at the governor's race, finding huge approval gaps between Andrew Cuomo (54/16) and David Paterson (34/49). Cuomo wins the Democratic primary 55-23. Cuomo beats Rick Lazio 57-25, while Lazio manages to get past Paterson 40-39. There's also one other bit of good news for Cuomo (who's seemed gunshy about taking on Paterson, perhaps out of bad memories of his race against Carl McCall). The poll asked if his candidacy would be "racially divisive," and respondents answered "no" by an 80-14 margin, including 73-22 among African-Americans. Marist (pdf) also just released the gubernatorial half of its recent Senate poll, finding generally similar numbers. Cuomo wins the primary 70-23. Cuomo beats Lazio 64-27, while Lazio edges Paterson 46-43.
• TN-Gov: Add one more candidate running for higher office who's publicly copped to being birther-curious: Lt. Gov. (and GOP gubernatorial candidate) Ron Ramsey. Not having made much of an impression in terms of polling (where Rep. Zach Wamp has an edge) or fundraising (where Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam is cleaning up), this seems like the most attention Ramsey has gotten so far.
• TX-Gov: Here's more evidence that the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary may be headed for a runoff: the new Rasmussen poll of the primary doesn't have anyone coming even close to 50%. Incumbent Rick Perry leads at 44, with Kay Bailey Hutchison lagging at 29, and Paulist insurgent Debra Medina all the way up to 14 on the strength of some buzz coming out of her debate performances. KBH may be counting on a runoff as her only way left to salvage this race, but somehow it seems like, in a runoff, Medina votes are a lot likely to gravitate toward the secession-invoking Perry rather than consummate DC insider Hutchison. In the general, all three defeat Democratic ex-Houston mayor Bill White, although, as one would expect, KBH puts up the biggest margin: 49-36. Perry wins 48-39, while Medina wins by only 41-38.
• AR-02: One of the non-Tim Griffin candidates in the Republican field, David Meeks, dropped out of the race today, probably realizing he was in over his head with the kind of attention open seat races get. One other candidate, restaurant owner Scott Wallace remains, and he may well carry the teabagger flag against Beltway creature Griffin. Realizing the best way to win this is by painting Griffin as insider, the DCCC is turning their attention to Griffin's past as GOP behind-the-scenes fixer, calling attention to his efforts at voter suppression. Over in the diaries, ARDem takes a look at the developing Dem field, which currently contains state House speaker Robbie Wills, liberal state Sen. Joyce Elliott, and retiring Vic Snyder's chief of staff, David Boling. It won't contain, however, Little Rock mayor Mike Stodola, or Public Service Commissioner Paul Suskie, who had seemed to be laying the groundwork for a run.
• CA-12, CA-AG: False alarm: Rep. Jackie Speier is staying put in the 12th District, where's she been in place for only a couple years. Rumors that she was about to move over to the state AG's race had many of the state legislators on the Peninsula angling to replace her.
• GA-04: In the wake of an internal from Rep. Hank Johnson showing him crushing his three opponents in the Dem primary in this solidly-blue district in Atlanta's suburbs, one of those opponents got out of the way: DeKalb Co. Commissioner Lee May. May is an ally of former DeKalb Co. CEO Vernon Jones, so it's possible that he's getting out of the way primarily so that Jones can get a bigger share of the non-Johnson vote.
• MA-10: With the general sense that this is the most vulnerable district in Massachusetts (as seen with its votes in the Senate special election last month), Republicans are taking more of an interest in challenging Rep. William Delahunt in this usually-ignored seat. Former state treasurer Joe Malone is probably the biggest name to express interest, but at least one other credible contender, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry, is already announcing his candidacy. State Sen. Robert Hedlund is also expressing some interest.
• NJ-07: One big hole in the Dems' recruitment schedule has been the 7th, narrowly won by freshman GOP Rep. Leonard Lance in 2008. They've managed to fill the gap with Ed Potosnak, who's elevated slightly above Some Dude status by the full Rolodex he brings with him after working for a number of years as a Hill staffer for Rep. Mike Honda.
• PA-11: Lackawanna Co. Commissioner Corey O'Brien has a compelling argument for why he should win the primary in the 11th: he says Rep. Paul Kanjorski has "zero" chance of defeating Republican Lou Barletta in their third face-off, citing Kanjorski's low approval ratings. O'Brien has been fundraising well ($180K last quarter, not far from Kanjo's $237K) and recently hit the airwaves with a small cable buy for his first TV spot.
• CA-LG: Is San Francisco mayor (and gubernatorial race dropout) Gavin Newsom actually thinking about a run for the dead-end job that is California's #2? Officially he's not interested, but he hasn't said no, and a new public poll from Tulchin gives him a big lead in a hypothetical LG primary, with Newsom at 33 against the two declared candidates: Los Angeles city councilor Janice Hahn at 17 and state Sen. Dean Florez at 15. Meanwhile, the state Senate this week takes up the issue of filling the current vacancy in the LG's chair (vacated by now-Rep. John Garamendi); there's actually talk of blocking Ahnold appointee state Sen. Abel Maldonado, despite that getting the moderate Republican Maldonado out of his seat would open up his Dem-leaning district for a takeover and help push the Dem edge in the Senate toward the magic 2/3s mark.
• CT-AG: The story of Susan Bysiewicz just gets stranger and stranger; she decided that rather than run for governor, she'd prefer to run for AG, but now the job's current occupant, Richard Blumenthal, says that possibly she can't. An AG opinion interprets state law requiring ten years of legal practice as unclear and urges a declaratory ruling on Bysiewicz's case from a court. Bysiewicz, for her part, said she won't seek the declaratory ruling and is simply plowing ahead with her AG campaign, although it's possible one of the other candidates in the race might force the issue in the courts.
• Polltopia: The skepticism toward those SurveyUSA polls commissioned by Firedoglake continues to grow, this time from political science professor and frequent Pollster.com contributor Alan Abramowitz. His gravest concerns are with the leading questions in the issues portions of the poll on health care reform, but he also points to serious problems with the samples' compositions that we were quick to flag. He observes that the samples deeply underrepresent younger votes, and that the youth subsets are so small that there's no good way to "weight up" younger voters to a more proportionate level.