AK-Sen: Right now, write-ins account for 41% of the vote in Alaska, while Joe Miller has 34% and Scott McAdams 24%. State election officials have bumped up the start of the write-in count to Nov. 10th (from Nov. 18th). Murkowski is one of 160 declared write-in candidates, but obviously quite a few write-ins ballots would have to be spoiled, or for other candidates, for her to lose.
WA-Sen: Patty Murray's lead widened to 1.6% as votes were counted in the populous Democratic stronghold of King County. The trends look poor for Dino Rossi, who took 40% here in 2004 (when he almost tied Christine Gregoire in the gubernatorial race), but is now at 37% this year.
CT-Gov: Yikes - the AP withdrew its call for Dem Dan Malloy. This one could get seriously topsy-turvy. Whatever the hell is going on here might also impact Jim Himes (vs. Dan Debicella) in CT-04. Not good.
MN-Gov: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Mark Dayton holds an 8,854-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer, within the half-percent margin which would prompt an automatic recount. No recount can start until after Nov. 23rd, when the vote is certified. Note that Norm Coleman's election-day lead was just 725 votes in 2008. So even though GOP lawyers are already laying in a supply of amphetamines, it's possible the Republicans will abandon what looks like a futile effort.
IL-Gov: Man, did anyone dig a mangier rabbit out of a shabbier hat than Pat Quinn? After a day of counting more votes in Cook County (Chicago), Quinn's lead has expanded to 19,000 votes, and Republicans are getting ready to throw in the towel on behalf of Bill Brady. Pretty amazing, for a guy who seemed DOA just a couple of months ago.
OR-Gov: As we noted yesterday, various media sources have called the race for Dem John Kitzhaber over Chris Dudley.
AZ-07: As we noted yesterday, Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva has declared victory over Ruth McClung, with a 3% lead. A Grijalva spokesman said that the remaining ballots are in Pima County, which favors Dems.
AZ-08: Dem Rep. Gabby Giffords leads by 2,349 votes over Jesse Kelly, but again, Pima - they have some 47,000 votes still outstanding. Pima was one of only four counties to go for Kerry - and for Obama, too.
CA-11: With an unclear number of votes left to be counted, Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney has inched into a 121-vote lead over David Harmer. It'll take four weeks for the vote to get certified, at which point the loser can seek a recount (at his own expense).
CA-20: Dem Rep. Jim Costa trails Andy Vidak by almost 2,000 votes, but there may be something like 30,000 uncounted ballots from Fresno County, which Costa won on e-night by a 2-to-1 margin. So maybe we'll get lucky here.
IL-08: With 100% of the vote in, Dem Rep. Melissa Bean is trailing in a shocker to Jim Walsh by 553 votes. She isn't conceding yet, though.
KY-06: With 100% of votes counted, Dem Rep. Ben Chandler has a 619 vote lead over Andy Barr. Barr has until next Tuesday to request a "recanvass," which would be completed by Nov. 12th. Barr could then ask for a formal recount, but he'd have to foot the bill.
NY-25: Really barfy: As we noted yesterday, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has moved into the lead, after late results from Wayne County came in. She's now up by 659 votes. Some 8,300 absentee ballots have been returned so far (out of 11,600 requested), though more are trickling in. Maffei would have to pull in something like 54% or so out of the absentees to pull this one out.
TX-27: It's looking pretty bad for Dem Rep. Solomon Oritz, who trails Blake Farenthold by 799 votes with 100% in. Farenthold has declared victory, but Ortiz claims his legal team is conducting a review and that he may seek a recount - which he would have to pay for (unless it changes the final results). And check out how far the apple has fallen from the tree:
Farenthold is grandson of Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, a Democrat who served two terms in the state House and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1972. That same year, she finished second in balloting to become George McGovern's vice presidential candidate at the Democratic convention.
VA-11: With 100% of precincts reporting, Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly leads Keith Fimian 111,621 to 110,696. The vote will get certified on Nov. 22nd, at which time Fimian can seek a recount if the margin remains less than half a percent (recounts are not automatic).
WA-02, WA-09: As we noted yesterday, a number of media outlets have called the 9th CD race for Dem Rep. Adam Smith over Dick Muri. Meanwhile, Rick Larsen has taken his first lead over John Koster, albeit a narrow one (30% of votes remain to be counted).
• AK-Sen: As is often the case, Alaska dominates our headlines today. Perhaps biggest in its implications is a hot-off-the-grill ruling from a judge that says that the state can't provide a list of possible write-in candidates for people in the voting booth. Obviously, that hurts the cumbersome-named Lisa MukroskyMorkoskiGibr Murkowski. Also, in the good news (well, maybe not, considering how far her star has fallen in-state) column for Joe Miller: Sarah Palin will be returning to the Last Frontier to stump for him tomorrow.
On the bad news front for Miller, though, first, he had to shout "I LIE!" yet again. That's a confession from his own work e-mails, over his now-well-known reprimand for hijacking (and covering up his tracks) of co-workers' computers to rig a local Republican online straw poll. That's at the core of his Fairbanks personnel files, released last evening after he declined to appeal their release to the state supreme court. On top of that, now the Army is investigating his use of its soldiers from Fort Richardson to act as his personal paramilitary force during their off-hours; in addition to rules prohibiting active military members from involvement in political campaigns, it's unclear whether they had their commander's permission to seek outside employment.
• CA-Sen: Here's some good news; Carly Fiorina bounced back quickly from her hospitalization yesterday for an infection associated with her breast cancer recovery, and left the hospital today. She'll be back on the trail tomorrow, says her campaign.
• CO-Sen: Would you believe this is the biggest-money Senate race anywhere in the country? It is, if you go by outside group expenditures. 27 different IE groups have spent nearly $25 million in Colorado, with the NRSC leading the way. (Nevada will still probably wind up the most expensive overall, factoring in the candidates' own accounts.) Meanwhile Ken Buck is in the news for two other reasons, first, his questioning of the separation of the church and state... handled more elegantly than Christine O'Donnell's palm-to-forehead method, but still probably a liability as he seeks to downplay his extremism. And also, he's now agnostic on whether he'll support Mitch McConnell for GOP leader (Buck, of course, owes Jim DeMint big-time for getting him as far as he's gotten).
• WV-Sen: Wow, this stuff literally writes itself. John Raese, under fire from Joe Manchin and the DSCC for his Florida mansion (and, for all practical purposes, residency), is now going to have to put some spin on this. The current item on the agenda for the Palm Beach planning commission: approval for Raese to replace a six-by-eight-foot "giant dollhouse" on his property with a fourteen-by-fifteen-foot "glass conservatory," perfect for those real-life Clue re-enactments. I know that's a problem that most West Virginians grapple with on a day-to-day basis.
• AZ-Gov: Now here's an October Surprise that's pushing the envelope (close to a November Surprise). Old documents reveal that Jan Brewer, a state Senator at the time, was involved in a 1988 auto accident where she was suspected at the time of driving under the influence. While she was immune from arrest at the time because the legislature was in session, it's not clear why the case wasn't pursued after that.
• MS-04: This might provide a small boost (dozens of votes?) to Gene Taylor: the Republican who lost the primary to state Rep. Steven Palazzo threw his backing to Taylor. Joe Tegerdine, interestingly, was the Tea Party candidate in the GOP race (with Palazzo the establishment pick), and finished with 43% of the vote; Tegerdine seemed to frame his decision very much in terms of pissing off the Republican establishment, in fact.
• Dark Money: If you look at only one link today, it should be this one, where a picture is worth way more than 1,000 words. It shows the octopus tentacles linking all the various shadowy outside groups that have poured in hundreds of millions of undisclosed dollars, and how they all kind of link back to Republican leadership. It's almost worthy of Glenn Beck's blackboard (well, if it had Woodrow Wilson and Diego Rivera on there somewhere).
• DNC: To quote Don Brodka, "if I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd be at home with a pack of cigarettes and short length of hose." Nevertheless, the DNC is out with a memo today showing in various ways how the Republican wave hasn't materialized, at least not in the form of early voting patterns so far, that's worth a look-see (especially the graphs).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC has two spots in Colorado, both with citizens reciting the litany of why they can't vote for Ken Buck • IL-Sen: The DSCC links Mark Kirk to George W. Bush, while Alexi Giannoulias trots out the Obamas in his own ad
• MO-Sen: I seriously can't summon up anything interesting to say about the last ads from Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan; it's been that sort of race
• NV-Sen: The DSCC finishes in Nevada by pointing out how Sharron Angle consistently brings teh crazy
• PA-Sen: The DSCC hits Pat Toomey on outsourcing yet again, while Pat Toomey goes blandly autobiographical for his closing spot
• WA-Sen: The DSCC's parting shot is to hit Dino Rossi over his web of connections to unsavory real estate and lending partners
• WI-Sen: Both candidates close by ragging on each other; Ron Johnson hits Russ Feingold for only being fake "mavericky," while Feingold asks why Johnson is being so vague and cagey about his agenda
• WV-Sen: The DSCC's newest ad hits John Raese on the Florida residency issue yet again
• ND-AL: This may be the most interesting ad of the day: Earl Pomeroy faces the camera and says "I'm not Nancy Pelosi, and I'm not Barack Obama" (yeah, that's pretty evident by looking at you); he pivots off people's anger to say they'll be even angrier, though, if Republicans go against the farm bill, Social Security, and so on
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's last ad beats the 'change' drum, and focuses on the Seattle Times endorsement again
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 42%, Mark Kirk (R) 46%, LeAlan Jones (G) 5%
• MD-Sen: Barb Mikulski (D-inc) 56%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 35%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 46%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 52%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 49%, John Raese (R) 46%
(ooops, time for Scotty to get in line with everyone else on this one!)
TX-Gov (University of Texas): Bill White (D) 40, Rick Perry (R-inc) 50
Bonus: UT also tested a wide range of down-ballot races.
VA-02 (Christopher Newport University): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell (R) 42
Margins & Errors: The DSCC supposedly has some internal with Alexi Giannoulias up 2 in IL-Sen, but this is some NRCC-style crap with no details other than the toplines... Some MI-Gov poll shows that the race still sucks... Frank Guinta is touting an internal in NH-01 that supposedly has him up 53-37, but there isn't even word of the pollster's name
• AK-Sen: Where even to start in Alaska? With vague reports of Joe Miller in "free fall" in private polling, both the NRSC and his own personal kingmaker, Jim DeMint, are having to step in with advertising in order to back him up. The NRSC's buy is for $162K, which I'm sure they'd rather spend putting out fires in Pennsylvania and Kentucky instead of on a should-have-been-sure-thing... and the ad (which focuses on Barack Obama, not Lisa Murkowski or Scott McAdams) can be seen here. DeMint's ad is for $100K and touts Miller's pro-life credentials.
Meanwhile, the drip-drip of unsavory stuff from Miller's past keeps coming. It turns out he worked for one of Alaska's top law firms after graduating from Yale, prior to sliding down the food chain to working for the borough of Fairbanks; while they wouldn't elaborate because of personnel policies, a firm partner said they were "not eager" to have him stay on and "relieved" when he left after three years. Also, a CPA with commercial property knowledge should double-check a look at this story before we start alleging wrongdoing, but it's an interesting catch: Miller may have been paying himself ridiculously-above-market rents on the law office he owned, in order to game his taxes. And finally, with the damage already done, it looks like no charges will be filed in the "irrational blogger" handcuffing incident, either against Tony Hopfinger or Miller's hired goons.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway succeeded in getting an NRSC ad pulled from a local TV station, seeing as how the whole premise was based on a lie (that Conway has supported cap-and-trade). WHAS-TV pulled the ad after the NRSC was unable to provide convincing sources for the alleged quotes.
• MO-Sen: This might be too little too late, but Roy Blunt is the third Republican candidate in the last month to get a bad case of housekeeper-itis. State Democrats released documents yesterday showing that in 1990 Blunt hired an "illegal worker" and then tried to expedite the citizenship process for her. Blunt's campaign says she never worked directly for them, only for some church events, but the documents say she had "done some work" for Blunt's wife at the time.
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer, one of the few people anywhere routinely polling over 60%, has decided to dole out more of his gigantic war chest to other Democrats rather than spending it on himself. (It may not be entirely altruistic, as he may still have a Majority Leader battle in mind if Harry Reid can't pull it out.) In recent weeks, he gave an additional $1 million (on top of a previous $2 mil) to the DSCC. He's also given widely to state parties, including $250K in both New York and Nevada, as well as smaller amounts in 11 other states.
• PA-Sen: Before you get too excited about the major shift in polling in the Pennsylvania Senate race, absentee ballot numbers out of the Keystone State should be considered a dash of cold water. Of the 127,000 absentee ballots requested, Republicans have requested 50% and Dems have requested 42%, and also returning them at a faster clip. (I'm sure you could parse that by saying that Republican voters are likely to be older and thus less likely to want to vote in person, but either way it's not an encouraging figure.)
• WV-Sen: Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of John Raese last week -- apparently predicated on the fact that they have lockers near each other at an expensive private country club in Palm Beach, Florida -- may have done more damage to Raese beyond the obvious problem of making him look like a rich, entitled carpetbagger. After a little digging, it turns out that the Everglades Club is an all-white affair. Although it doesn't have specific membership requirements, it's never had a black member, and only one Jewish member. (In fact, remember that membership in this club was considered one of the disqualifying factors when Limbaugh was making noises about buying the St. Louis Rams several years back.)
• CO-Gov: Credit Dan Maes for entrepreneurial spirit: when he needed a job, he created one for himself... running for Governor. In the last year, Maes' campaign has reimbursed his family $72K. That's actually his campaign's second-biggest expense, and nearly one-third of the paltry $304K he's raised all along. Maes says much of that money was "mileage," though.
• OR-Gov: Here's something that we've been seeing almost nothing of this cycle, even though we saw a lot of it in 2008 (especially in Oregon, with Gordon Smith): kissing up to Barack Obama. But that's what Chris Dudley did in an open letter published as a print ad in the Oregonian this week, saying that while they might have their differences he'll work together with him on educational issues (one area where Dudley's been making some Democratic-sounding promises, albeit without any discussion of how to do that and pay for his tax cuts at the same time). With Barack Obama more popular in Oregon than much of the nation, and about to host a large rally with John Kitzhaber, the timing is not surprising.
• MA-04: I don't know if Barney Frank knows something that his own internals aren't telling us, or if he just believes in not leaving anything to chance, but he's lending himself $200K out of his own wallet to fund the stretch run in his mildly-interesting House race.
• MA-10: The illegal strip search issue (where Jeff Perry, then a police sergeant, failed to stop an underling from strip searching two teenage girls) is back in the media spotlight in a big way today, with one of the victims ending her silence and speaking to the press. Perry has defended himself saying it wasn't "in my presence," but she says he was a whole 15 feet away, and that he tried to cover up the incident.
• NJ-03: It seems like every day the honor of dumbest person running for office changes, and today the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Jon Runyan. When asked in a debate what Supreme Court case of the last 10 or 15 years he disagrees with, Runyan's answer was Dred Scott. As TPM's David Kurtz says, given the crop of GOPers this year, maybe we should just be grateful that he disagrees with Dred Scott.
• VA-05: If Tom Perriello loses this cycle, he's one guy who can walk out with his head held high:
In return, Hurt asked Perriello if he was willing to admit his votes on stimulus funding, health care and energy were mistakes.
Perriello stood behind his votes and the positive impact he says they have had or will have on the district....
"Leadership is about making tough decisions," he said.
• IA-St. House: The Iowa state House is one of the most hotly contested (and likeliest to flip to the GOP) chambers in the nation this cycle, and here's a Des Moines Register analysis of the 23 biggest races to watch in that chamber. (Bear in mind, though, that although Iowa is on track to lose a House seat, it uses independent commission redistricting, so the state legislature is not pivotal in that aspect.)
• DNC: The DNC somehow raised $11.1 million in the first 13 days of October, putting them on track for one of their best months ever for a midterm election. Wondering what's happening with that money? The DNC is out with a new TV ad of their own, saying don't go back to failed Republican policies and decrying the flow of outside money into this election. I have no idea where it's running, but the non-specificness of the pitch leaves me wondering if it'll run in nationwide contexts. (The DNC is also running $3 million in radio ads on nationally syndicated programs, particularly targeted to black audiences.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Someone called WFUPAC (funded by SEIU and AFT) hits Mark Kirk for being buddy-buddy with George W. Bush in the bad ol' days
• NH-Sen: Kelly Ayotte's out with a boilerplate litany of everything Dems have done wrong
• WV-Sen: The NRSC returns to the "Manchin's a good governor, keep him here, and send a message to Obama" theme
• MN-01: The DCCC has to push the playing field boundaries a little further with their first ad in the 1st, hitting Randy Demmer on Social Security privatization
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster has two different ads out, both on outsourcing and job creation, one hitting Charlie Bass and one positive • PA-03: Here's that AFSCME ad (see above for the IE) hitting Mike Kelly
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi says Washington hasn't been listening to you
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's fourth ad touts her as "smart moderate" and wields her Seattle Times endorsement
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 20%, Marco Rubio (R) 43%, Charlie Crist (I) 32%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 43%, John Raese (R) 50%
Jim Rogers (D): 22
Tom Coburn (R-inc): 62
Other results here find the GOP leading for all statewide offices: 40-28 for LG, 50-30 for Attorney General, 41-35 for Insurance Commissioner, 45-31 for Treasurer, 35-32 for State Superintendent, 44-33 for Labor Commissioner, and 41-35 for Auditor/Inspector. Dems had held most of these offices, if you'll recall.
OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA for KATU-TV (10/12-14, likely voters, 9/12-14 in parens):
John Kitzhaber (D): 46 (43)
Chris Dudley (R): 45 (49)
Greg Kord (C): 4 (3)
Wes Wagner (L): 3 (2)
Ron Wyden (D-inc): 56 (54)
Jim Huffman (R): 34 (38)
Bruce Cronk (WF): 2 (3)
Marc Delphine (L): 2 (1)
Rick Staggenborg (P): 2 (0)
PA-Gov: Magellan (10/10, likely voters, 9/21 in parens):
Dan Onorato (D): 38 (38)
Tom Corbett (R): 48 (50)
VT-Sen, VT-Gov, VT-AL: Mason-Dixon for Vermont Public Radio (10/11-13, registered voters):
Patrick Leahy (D-inc): 62
Len Britton (R): 27
Peter Shumlin (D): 43
Brian Dubie (R): 44
Peter Welch (D): 61
Paul Beaudry (R): 25
• CO-Sen: This probably doesn't count as an October Surprise since it made a big media impression five years ago, but it's suddenly popped back into view, and making things dicier for Ken Buck, already on the wrong end of a sizable gender gap in the polls. Buck refused to prosecute a rape case as Weld Co. DA five years ago (despite the police having recommended charges), and the alleged victim is now back in the news. She has a taped recording of their meeting (transcript available at the link) in which he seems to blame the victim and suggest that the case wouldn't pass muster with a jury.
• FL-Sen: Mason-Dixon (10/4-6, likely voters, 9/20-22 in parens):
Kendrick Meek (D): 21 (23)
Marco Rubio (R): 42 (40)
Charlie Crist (I): 27 (28)
With Marco Rubio way ahead, it looks like a Kendrick Meek dropout (rumored on Friday) and a cobbling-together of some sort of Meek/Crist hybrid cyborg would be the only way for the non-Rubio forces to get an advantage in this race. However, Meek's definitely not acting like a man who's dropping out, if getting the president of the United States to cut a radio ad for you is any indication.
• WV-Sen: Remember that "hicky" ad that the NRSC ran, and then promptly got apologetic over, once the casting call instructions got leaked? (I know, that was last week, a lifetime ago in politics...) Now it sounds like it just kept running anyway, through last Friday for several days after the story broke, despite promises to take it down.
• NM-Gov: Yep, this is definitely the most over-polled, or at least over-internal-poll-leaked, race around. Today it's Diane Denish's turn to retaliate, and she's out with another poll from one of her apparently two pollsters, Third Eye Strategies, with a 46-46 tie (a little stale, taken 9/21-23). I think we get the general idea, already: Denish sees a tie, Susana Martinez sees a high-single-digits lead for herself, public pollsters see something in between. (UPDATE: That's odd... we reported this poll several weeks ago. Not sure why it's back in the news today.)
• CA-47: This is the kind of unity that Loretta Sanchez (last seen alienating her district's small but politically active Vietnamese community with an ill-advised remark) probably doesn't like to see: apparently there was a major rift with the Vietnamese Republican community that just got sealed up, as long-time Van Tran rival Janet Nguyen (an Orange County councilor) gave a late-game endorsement to Tran.
• CT-02, CT-03: Merriman River Group hits the quinella in Connecticut, with polls of the two House races in the Nutmeg State that aren't interesting. In the 2nd, despite getting some touting when she got in the race, GOPer Janet Peckinpaugh is making little impression against Joe Courtney, trailing 55-41. And in the 3rd, Rosa DeLauro is the state's safest Dem, leading Jerry Labriola 58-37.
• FL-22: Endorsements from primary challengers, especially at this stage in the game, are interesting only when they go to the guy from the other party. But that's what's happening in the 22nd, where the guy who lost to Allen West, David Brady, gave his backing to Democratic incumbent Ron Klein today. (So too did several minor-league local elected GOPers, including Palm Beach mayor Jack McDonald.) Says Brady, apparently from the sane wing of the GOP (to the extent that the Palm Beach Post endorsed him in the primary): "I ran against Allen West. I debated him and I can tell you: Allen West is too extreme for this community."
• MS-04: Dueling polls in the 4th, where everything still averages out to a Democratic lean but unfortunately this is looking like one more real race. GOP state Rep. Steven Palazzo offered a poll a few weeks ago saying incumbent Gene Taylor led by only 4, and now Taylor says, no, he's leading by 8 (without giving us any other useful information, like the toplines, let alone the pollster or dates). Hmmm, that's only a difference of four points, so why show your hand, especially in such haphazard fashion? Somehow I don't think Taylor would be a very good poker player.
• NY-22, NY-25: Bill Clinton showing up in upstate New York to stump on behalf of Dan Maffei, that's not a surprise, as this race seems to be competitive. But also Maurice Hinchey in the 22nd? We haven't gotten any smoke signals out of that district before, but that's an indication that something may bubbling under here. (It's a D+6 district, and Hinchey barely won in '94.)
• OH-01: One more unfortunate though unsurprising triage decision to report: Steve Driehaus seems to have run out of time at the DCCC, who are canceling their remaining ad buy in the Cincinnati market for the next two weeks. The deadline for reservations cancellations is coming up soon, so we'll soon know who else gets the shortest straw drawn for them.
• PA-10: After seeing a incumbent Chris Carney up by single digits in a recent public poll from Lycoming, GOP challenger Tom Marino rummaged around in his poll drawer and pulled out one from the Tarrance Group giving him a 47-42 lead on Carney. (No word from the Fix on the dates, though.)
• TN-04: One last GOP internal to throw into the mix: a POS survey (from 9/27-28) on behalf of Scott DesJarlais shows him tied with Dem incumbent Lincoln Davis, 42-42. We haven't seen any public polling of this race (and may not, as the NRCC doesn't seem to be pushing this one hard, maybe on the off chance that it's the kind of district that'll flip in a wave regardless of what they do), but Davis claimed an 11-point lead in a late August internal.
• House: If you're thinking that it seems like there are a lot more races in the "Tossup" and "Lean" categories this year, you're not alone. Nate Silver quantifies various ways in which there are way more competitive races this year than in other recent cycles, including number of races where there are polls within single-digits, where there are polls period, and where there are major financial contributions.
• Redistricting: This is an interesting, if counterintuitive, piece from HuffPo on redistricting, which proposes that we'll be in better shape in 2010 redistricting than 2000 redistricting because (based on projected gubernatorial and state legislative outcomes) we'll have more control over the process in more important states: oddly he leaves out California, but also including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia (all states where there was a GOP trifecta last time), and Minnesota and New York (where we might get the trifecta this time)... while the states where the GOP will improve its position aren't as large (Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee... with Georgia the most significant one). The article also gets into the nitty-gritty of where the population growth within the fast-growing states has occurred (i.e. among minorities).
• Polltopia: You might have noticed that Political Wire briefly had some Senate polls up today from somebody I've never heard of before, called "TCJ Research." Those polls mysteriously vanished after Nate Silver, vanquisher of bogus pollsters, showed up on the scene with a simple tweet:
A Wordpress blog getting ~500 hits a day on posts like "October Giveaway: 32 Gigabyte Apple iPad!" suddenly commissions 5 polls? Not likely.
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Two different ads from the DSCC attacking Mark Kirk, hitting him for his House voting record and also revisiting Kirk's misrememberment of his military record
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall's finally out with a TV spot, going after Richard Burr for helping to break the economy
• WV-Sen: While John Raese nods to the 'hick' ad semi-apologetically before changing the subject back to Washington Dems, Joe Manchin seems to be trying to out-hick the hick ad by touting his pro-gun and anti-environment credentials in one fell swoop by (I kid you not) shooting a copy of the cap-and-trade bill
• IL-Gov: The most famous Illinoisian, Barack Obama, cuts a radio spot on behalf of Pat Quinn
• RI-Gov: The DGA pounds Lincoln Chafee one more time from the right, accusing him of being a tax-hiking hippy
• FL-22: Ron Klein moves past the boring fixation on Allen West's tax liens and onto the really juicy stuff about 2nd Amendment remedies
• MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann on Social Security
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper touts her pro-life credentials in her new ad, explaining her siding with the Stupak bloc on health care reform
• VA-02: The DCCC's IE unit points the "hypocrite" arrow at Scott Rigell, for making hundreds of thousands of dollars off "Cash for Clunkers"
• WI-08: Ditto the DCCC ad in the 8th, where they hit Reid Ribble for making hundreds of thousands of dollars for his roofing business off stimulus projects
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 44%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 47%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 19%, Marco Rubio (R) 50%, Charlie Crist (I) 25%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 50%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 38%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 53%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 38%, Tom Horner (I) 15%
• NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 24%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 66%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 43%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 48%, Chris Dudley (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 33%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 57%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 53%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 49%
• Angus-Reid: Some of you might have gotten excited about the California numbers offered up today by Angus-Reid (a well-established Canadian pollster, but apparently making their first foray into the States). Well, don't, because they're using an RV model, and more importantly, it's an Internet sample. (Now presumably there's some scientific selection behind it, not just a "click here!" banner ad, but we're highly skeptical nonetheless, especially since that seemed to produce notably pro-Dem results in California.)
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 55%, Carly Fiorina (R) 39%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 46%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
• CT-Sen: I hope Joe Lieberman has a nice lobbying firm picked out for a job starting in 2013. PPP threw in some Lieberman-related questions in their Connecticut sample, and he generates genuine bipartisan support in terms of the desire to replace him with someone else (72% of Dems, 63% of indies, and 61% of GOPers say "someone new"). He has 31/57 approval, including 20/69 among Dems. In a three-way with Dem Chris Murphy and GOPer Jodi Rell, Lieberman finishes 3rd, with Murphy winning 37-29-17. Substitute Peter Schiff for Rell and it's about the same: 39-25-19. If Lieberman goes the full GOP, he still loses a head-to-head with Murphy, 47-33.
• IL-Sen: Barack Obama's coming to town today, on behalf of Alexi Giannoulias. No stumping though, just two fundraisers. (On a related note, though, Obama will be in Oregon on Oct. 20 to appear with gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber.)
Dan Onorato (D): 36 (37)
Tom Corbett (R): 47 (46)
These races just don't seem to budge. Muhlenberg's newest numbers are just where they were a few weeks earlier, and they're pretty much at the median for all pollsters' averages in these races.
• VA-Sen: More looking ahead to 2012: George Allen is probably figuring that 'macaca' has faded into the mists of time, and he's starting to publicly let it be know that he's interested in a rematch with the man who beat him, Jim Webb. No formal preparatory activities, but it seems like he's engaging in some pre-emptive GOP field-clearing.
• WA-Sen: Here's something we haven't seen in a while: a poll with a lead for Dino Rossi. Of course, it's a Republican poll (from Fabrizio & Associates, on behalf of American Action Forum (that's AAF, not AFF)), so take it with some salt, but it's a reminder that this race is far from a done deal and that things may have tightened since that polling bulge for Patty Murray a few weeks ago. Rossi leads Murray 48-42 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• WV-Sen: You've probably already heard about this story: the NRSC has pulled an ad that it had started running in West Virginia featuring stereotypically blue-collar guy sitting around a diner grousing. Well, if they seem a little stereotypical, it's because they were intended to be, if you read the details from the NRSC's casting call for the ad that was shot in Philadelphia, asking for a "'hicky' blue collar look" and listing the various blue-collar clothing items that they should wear, including "John Deer [sic] hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)."" Somehow, I'm not hopeful this flap will become a game-changer in the race, but maybe it'll help West Virginians see what Beltway Republicans really think of them. The NRSC is in fact distancing itself from the ad, throwing the talent agency under the bus.
Meanwhile, this seems like a richer vein to mine: the ongoing and seemingly growing controversy of John Raese's residence. He owns a Florida mansion, where his wife and kids spent most of their time. But Dems are trying to raise questions about whether Raese is a West Virginia resident at all, and are asking whether he's filed West Virginia income taxes (Florida, as you might know, doesn't impose income taxes).
• NM-Gov: Can a race have too much internal poll leaking? There seems to be more tit-for-tat in this race than any. In response to yesterday's Diane Denish internal showing a 3-point race, today Susana Martinez brandishes a POS internal from 10/3-5 giving her a 51-42 lead over Denish.
Andrew Cuomo (D): 55 (49)
Carl Paladino (R): 37 (43)
Undecided: 6 (7)
Either Carl Paladino had a huge primary bounce that quickly faded, people who hadn't been paying close attention a few weeks ago suddenly found out that Paladino is a sputtering rage volcano who'd be a huge liability in office, or Quinnipiac put up a big stinky outlier a few weeks ago. (Probably a little of all three.)
• WI-Gov: Marist for McClatchy (9/26-28, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Barrett (D): 43
Scott Walker (R): 51
Ooops, we missed that there was a gubernatorial half to that Marist poll from a few days ago.
• AL-02: I don't know which is a bigger story here: that Bobby Bright is the first Democratic incumbent to announce, pre-election, that he won't vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, or that he's trailing in a Martha Roby internal after having, for most of the cycle, seemed safer than a lot of other incumbents in less hostile districts... although the announcement seems pretty clearly motivated by the polling trends here. He says he certainly won't vote for John Boehner, though, saying he wants to vote for a centrist "more like me." Roby's poll comes from POS, giving her a 45-43 lead (with the memo saying their July poll gave Bright a 49-41 lead). Bright still overperforms the generic ballot by a wide margin, which is 51-32 for the GOP in this R+16 district.
• CT-01: Merriman River Group (who put up a surprising poll finding Chris Murphy trailing in CT-05 yesterday) are out with another poll that should give some pause: they find John Larson only ahead by 7 against no-namer Ann Brinkley, 52-45, in what's Connecticut's bluest (D+13) congressional district. For what it's worth, this district is eleven points bluer than D+2 CT-05, so the spread (Murphy was down 5) is consistent... but also remember that Merriman was about five points to the right of where everybody else was seeing the statewide races in that big pile of CT polls from the last couple days, so feel free to adjust accordingly.
• IL-17: Yep, we've definitely got a real race here this time, after Phil Hare got away unopposed in 2008. He's up only slightly over Bobby Schilling in a POS internal (which I assume is on behalf of the Schilling camp, as the NRCC has been using Tarrance in this district), leading 38-37 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• IN-02: EPIC-MRA for WSBT (10/1-3, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Donnelly (D): 48
Jackie Walorski (R): 39
Mike Vogel (I): 6
These numbers (which include leaners) look pretty good for Donnelly, in the first public poll of the race (although he's seemed to fare OK in partisan polls of the race, compared with many other vulnerable Dems, leading in both AFF and Susan B. Anthony List polls). Donnelly has 47/32 faves, while Walorski is at 32/35.
• NY-23: Here's one more Republican internal, that was taken before Doug Hoffman officially pulled the plug on his Conservative Party bid, but suggesting that he wasn't having much of an effect this year anyway. In the POS poll taken for the NRCC 9/22-23, Matt Doheny leads Dem incumbent Bill Owens 51-37. (Somehow they didn't leak what percentage Hoffman was getting... obviously it couldn't be more than 12%... but they do tell us 68% of Hoffman supporters would, in the alternate, support Doheny.)
• PA-07: Monmouth (10/4-6, likely voters, no trendlines):
Believe it or not, this is the first public poll of this race, and it's definitely better than the conventional wisdom on this race would dictate: although Bryan Lentz is still losing, it's by a 4-point margin. It's a seat that leans Dem-enough that even with a strong GOP candidate and a strong GOP tailwind it looks like it'll still be at least close. (That conventional wisdom seems founded largely on a June Meehan internal giving him a 21-point lead.) One other interesting tidbit: Joe Sestak, the district's current Rep., is leading Pat Toomey 49-46 within the district in the Senate race. He'd need to be cleaning up by a much wider margin than that, here, to be competitive statewide.
• WA-08: Let's throw in a Democratic internal poll to break up the monotony. It's from one of the few Dem challengers who seem to be keeping things within striking distance, Suzan DelBene. She trails GOP incumbent Dave Reichert by only 48-44 in a Fairbank Maslin poll taken 10/4-5 (where they gave Reichert a 9-point lead in August). That coincides, perhaps not coincidentally, with Dave Reichert finally having to come out and say "no, I don't have brain damage." Reichert, you may remember, had to have emergency surgery after getting hit in the head by a tree branch in March. Reichert's fitness had been the subject of increasing whispers and question marks in recent months, some of which may have rubbed off on his poll numbers.
• Early voting: Fun fact of the day: early voting is up 50% over this point in time over the 2006 midterm, with nearly 6 million votes already having been cast. This, of course, is in large part because states have, in the intervening years, made it easier to vote early. (Nearly 30% of votes were cast early in 2008; officials don't expect this year's numbers to reach that peak, though.) At any rate, it looks like early voting is increasingly here to stay, and campaigns will have to adjust their strategies accordingly. (I.e. planning for the "September Surprise" instead?)
• Demographics: Now these are some interesting numbers: a chart breaking down the "voting-eligible" (not just "voting age") population by percentage in each state, eliminating non-citizens as well as prisoners and ineligible felons. And here's an interesting statistic: despite the fact that we haven't completed the dang fence, the percentage of non-citizens in the U.S. has actually dropped from 2006 (8.6%) to 2010 (8.3%), partly because the government has processed a backlog in citizenship cases and partly because the lousier economy has made the U.S. a less attractive destination.
• SSP TV:
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln uses Bill Clinton as surrogate to talk about John Boozman's privatization mania
• PA-Sen: The Club for Growth does some stimulus act cherry-picking to portray Joe Sestak as a sockpuppet for the sockpuppet lobby
• WV-Sen: The DSCC hits John Raese on outsourcing
• ND-AL: The NRCC attacks Earl Pomeroy for taking money from the insurance industry
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's newest ad focuses on her work on parochial issues, while Kristin Noem's ad says Sandlin's gone Washington
One more poll for the pile with a high-single-digits lead for Barbara Boxer, this time from the very trustworthy PPIC. They also look at the Governor's race (see below) and a few initiatives: they find Prop 19 (pot) passing 52-41 and Prop 25 (simple majority budget) passing 48-35, but also finding Prop 23 (suspending greenhouse gas limits) passing 43-42.
• IN-Sen: We'd speculated that this was a possibility back around the time of the Indiana GOP primary, when Dan Coats (an unusually tepid gun supporter as far as GOPers go) won. The NRA today endorsed his Democratic opponent, Brad Ellsworth, who's pretty much walked the pro-gun line in his red House district. (I know we'd said we'd shut up about NRA endorsements of conservaDems, but this one actually has the potential to move some votes in a key race.)
• PA-Sen: Susquehanna for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Sestak (D): 42
Pat Toomey (R): 45
I wish this had come out in time for our monstrous Pennsylvania wrapup from early this morning, as it's an interesting post-script. Susquehanna (a Republican pollster, but one who've demonstrated that they know what they're doing in Pennsylvania; for instance, they got the PA-12 special pretty close to right) sees it as a surprisingly close race, finding Sestak within 3. Is this the first sign of Sestak closing, or is this just the optimistic edge of the stable mid-single-digits band that the race has usually been pegged at?
• CA-Gov: PPIC (9/19-26, likely voters, 7/6-20 in parentheses):
Jerry Brown (D): 37 (46)
Meg Whitman (R): 38 (40)
Other: 7 (-)
Undecided: 18 (14)
Unfortunately, this poll closes out the end of a run of remarkable luck for Jerry Brown of polls showing him spiking into the lead (although there's a lot of movement from both candidates to "Other," though I'm not sure who that would be). Importantly, though, the polling period ended before Meg Whitman's illegal housekeeper problem burst into public view. The SEIU is doing its part to keep the issue front and center, pumping $5 million into a Latino outreach effort that's largely field efforts but also includes an ad starting in a few days hitting Whitman on the housekeeper issue. Whitman's also doing her part to keep it in the news, saying she'll employ the scoundrel's last refuge -- a polygraph test -- to prove she was unaware.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/27-29, likely voters, 9/14-19 in parentheses):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (52)
Carl Paladino (R): 38 (33)
Rick Lazio (C): - (9)
Undecided: 8 (6)
Marist strikes back quickly with another poll following up on the news that Rick Lazio is no longer a candidate, preferring to enjoy the great prestige that comes with a trial court judgeship in the Bronx. At any rate, they don't see anything changing other than what you'd expect: most of Lazio's voters from the Conservative line gravitated over to GOP nominee Carl Paladino, with a few, unappetized by the bombastic Paladino, joining the ranks of the undecided.
• OR-Gov: One major explanation for how Chris Dudley has made a major race out of what looked like an easy Dem pickup hold a year ago is... money. (As with so many other races this year...) Dudley has raised $5.6 million all cycle long, as of Tuesday's reporting deadline, more than doubling up on John Kitzhaber's $2.6 million, the largest disparity between the two parties ever seen in an Oregon gubernatorial race. (The SEIU has been running ads on Kitzhaber's behalf, and the DGA has $750K ready to go, but that's still a big deficit.)
• RI-Gov: Fleming & Associates for WPRI-TV (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 33
John Robitaille (R): 19
Lincoln Chafee (I): 30
There's been a general trend in the last month or two toward the Democrat, Frank Caprio, in this race. But the newest poll (apparently the first of this race from Fleming & Associates), on behalf of local TV stations, shows a much closer race, with Caprio up only 3 on his indie opponent, Lincoln Chafee.
• GA-08: American Viewpoint for Austin Scott (9/26-27, likely voters, late July in parentheses):
Jim Marshall (D-inc): 38 (44)
Austin Scott (R): 46 (39)
Undecided: 13 (14)
Well, there's only one alarming GOP House internal poll today, unlike yesterday's onslaught. (Also, note the hypertrophied margin of error, based on an n of 300.) Still, this is another race that's tended to be on the "Lean D" or at least "Tilt D" side of the equation, and one more juggling ball that the DCCC is going to have to keep in the air.
• ME-01, ME-02: Critical Insights, like last time, included both Maine House districts as part of their poll, so we actually have some trendlines now. In the 1st, Chellie Pingree is expanding her lead over Dean Scontras, 54-26. However, in the 2nd, Mike Michaud's lead over Jason Levesque is a little smaller, down to 44-32 (from 48-28). (In a way, that's reassuring, because that's evidence that Critical Insights didn't just stumble into a much Dem-friendlier batch, and that the flight from Paul LePage seems real.)
• DSCC: The DSCC is having to put some money into Connecticut, a race they probably thought they could avoid spending on when Richard Blumenthal got into the race. They're starting with a smallish $250K, though. Other DSCC outlays today include $720K in CO-Sen, $464K in IL-Sen, $362K in MO-Sen, and $386K in WV-Sen.
• NARAL: NARAL rolled out endorsements of twenty different Dems running in House races, almost all of whom received $5K each. You can click for the full list, but it includes Cedric Richmond, Steve Pougnet, John Hulburd, and Joe Garcia on offense (the rest are defensive picks).
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski's out with two different ads, one hitting Joe Miller as outsider, the other a PSA-type ad that verrrry slowly and carefully explains to people how to vote for her
• KY-Sen: Here's a powerful new ad from Jack Conway hitting Rand Paul on the drug issue yet again, complete with tombstone and tagline "He doesn't know us" (interestingly, though, the DSCC is following the NRSC's lead here with an ad buy cancellation for the week of the 5th) (UPDATE: Looks like the DS un-cancelled)
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt hits Robin Carnahan over the stimulus, pointing out that another member of the extended Carnahan clan got money for his wind farm
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold tries going back to firing up the base, running an ad based on the merits of health care reform
• MI-01: The NRCC weighs in with an ad in the 1st, an endless circle of meta wherein Dan Benishek attacks Gary McDowell for attacking
• WI-07: Julie Lassa goes back to the theme of Sean Duffy having prematurely abandoned his day job as DA to run for the House
• AJS: Americans for Job Security tries again in VA-09 (remember that's where their previous ad got bounced for being too egregious), as well as in CO-03 and NY-24
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 51%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 37%, Charles Grassley (R-inc) 55%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 42%, Ron Johnson 54%
John Kitzhaber (D): 43 (44)
Chris Dudley (R): 49 (46)
Other: 5 (7)
Undecided: 3 (4)
Ron Wyden (D-inc): 54 (53)
Jim Huffman (R): 38 (35)
Other: 4 (9)
Undecided: 3 (3)
SurveyUSA's newest poll of the Oregon governor's race continues to have Republican Chris Dudley leading Dem John Kitzhaber, this time by 6 points. It's superficially easy to take this poll with a grain of salt, seeing as how SurveyUSA has wound up significantly in outlier territory in the states that bookend Oregon (in CA-Sen and WA-Sen) and the crosstabs offer the usual confounding details (like a 48-48 tie between the two in the Portland area). Even if you think this race is closer to a tie, though, geez, what a missed opportunity... John Kitzhaber spent a year trying to occupy the intellectual high ground, completely foregoing the opportunity to define Dudley early as a dilettanteish empty vessel, and all he got for his good intentions was a completely avoidable Tossup.
John Kitzhaber (D): 40
Chris Dudley (R): 39
This has been a woefully underserved race, with SurveyUSA and Rasmussen left to set the story (with the only other poll I can think of, from well-respected local pollster Tim Hibbitts, showing the race a tie in early summer). So it's good to get a second opinion from someone who's a local pollster and not an auto-dialer (even if it's one I'm not familiar with). They see this as a much closer race, giving Kitzhaber a tiny lead, although with a much bigger share of undecideds. Maybe most interestingly, Kitzhaber actually leads among indies (38-29); the problem here seems to be that Dudley fares much better among GOPers (79%) than Kitzhaber does among Dems (69%).