• NE-Sen: After a few months in exploratory committee purgatory (and after screwing up many of the documents associated with said committee), Republican AG Jon Bruning has made it official. He's now upgraded to Candidate, against Ben Nelson in the 2012 Senate race.
• TX-Sen: Local insiders seem to think that Kay Bailey Hutchison is increasingly moving toward another run for Senate in 2012 (after having postponed her resignation a number of times amidst the gubernatorial race, and then having dropped the subject altogether). That speculation seems based mostly on her sheer silence on the issue, though.
• IA-Gov: On his way out the door, outgoing Gov. Chet Culver talked up state Sen. majority leader Mike Gronstal as a possible 2014 gubernatorial candidate for the Dems. Culver said Gronstal won't suffer for his reluctance to put gay marriage up for a statewide vote, which seems to be one of the state's big flashpoints right now.
• WA-Gov, WA-08: This is very unexpected, considering that GOP AG Rob McKenna has had the 2012 gubernatorial nomination staked out for about six years now, but Rep. Dave Reichert is publicly expressing some (or at least not ruling out) interest in a gubernatorial run (a race he'd been encouraged to run in 2004 back when he was King Co. Sheriff, although he ran for House instead). I'm sure local GOPers would prefer he run for Senate, where no viable GOP nominee seems to be on the horizon, rather than creating a fractious gubernatorial primary that might hobble their best shot in decades at winning the governorship. Actually, I'm sure they'd prefer he continue to hold down WA-08 rather than open up the 8th while embarking on a fool's errand against Maria Cantwell, and with redistricting likely to give him a safer district in Seattle's southeastern exurbs while opening up a solid-blue WA-10 on the true Eastside, that's probably what he'll keep on doing.
• CO-03: New Gov. John Hickenlooper just appointed recently-defeated Rep. John Salazar as the state's agriculture commissioner. Salazar has already said he was open to a rematch with Scott Tipton; the question is whether this makes a rematch less likely or if it's designed to keep him in the public spotlight. (Speaking of Hickenlooper, if you haven't read the NYT Magazine section's long profile of him, it's worth a read.)
• FL-25: Add one more mysterious bit of financial information to the mounting pile of sleaze that's engulfing David Rivera in his first week on the job: he sold a condominium to his mother's marketing company (the same company that's under criminal investigation for its relationship to the Flagler Dog Track) in November, shortly before he paid off $137K in undisclosed loans... also to that same marketing company.
• IA-03: Buried in an article on the Iowa redistricting conundrum, which will see the state compacted to four House districts, is an important piece of unexpected news: septuagenarian Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, who's been a prime candidate for retirement for a number of cycles now, tells Roll Call that he will be running again in 2012, regardless of what district he gets stuck into. Tom Latham, Bruce Braley, and Dave Loebsack all plan to "plow ahead" as well; only Steve King didn't comment, although his district, by virtue of geography (having the state's western half pretty much to itself) seems least likely to get messed with. A collision between Des Moines-based Boswell and Ames-based GOPer Latham seems likeliest to me, but with a commission making the decisions, almost any configuration seems possible.
• NC-07: Rep. Mike McIntyre -- already in the news today as one of only two Dems who voted against HCR to also say that he'd go ahead and support Republican repeal efforts -- is now about to draw a Democratic primary challenger from the left, although one who seems kind of on the Some Dude end of the spectrum. Business counselor Del Pietro says he'll take on McIntyre.
• California: This piece is mostly about House redistricting in the Golden State, but has some thoughts about potential retirements too, given the possibility that redistricting via commission may result in less incumbent protection and various House members getting stuck together (and also given the advanced age of many of California's long-timers). Jerry Lewis and Pete Stark are listed as most noteworthy possibilities, along with Elton Gallegly (who's waffled about retirement before), Lois Capps, Gary Miller, and Howard Berman... and Bob Filner is mentioned as a possible San Diego mayor candidate in 2012.
• House: This Roll Call piece is mostly a grab-bag of vague quotes and speculation (of course, what article in the Beltway press isn't), but it does do some useful handicapping on which sought-after House members are likely or unlikely to make the jump to running for Senate in 2012. New York's Peter King says "I really don't expect it," Pennsylvania's Charlie Dent says he hasn't "been actively pursuing it," and Ohio's Jim Jordan is "leaning against it." Wisconsin's Paul Ryan didn't comment, but has repeatedly said he isn't looking for higher office anytime soon (and here's some further confirmation on that from today), while Florida's Connie Mack IV seems to be moving definitely moving in a Senate direction and Montana's Denny Rehberg remains studiously vague.
• DCCC: DCCC head Steve Israel announced his team of lieutenants for the 2012 cycle, which includes the two other likeliest chairs who got passed over, Joseph Crowley (in charge of fundraising) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (incumbent retention and redistricting). Also on board are Allyson Schwartz (recruitment), Keith Ellison (community partnerships), and Puerto Rico's Pedro Pierluisi (constituency mobilization).
• Mayors: State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (last seen barely hitting the double-digits in the Democratic gubernatorial primary) has a new gig in mind: he's publicly expressing his interest in running for Philadelphia mayor, one of the many mayoral races up in November. The only other person to have actively looked into challenging fairly-popular incumbent Michael Nutter is wealthy businessman Tom Knox, who also made a brief appearance in last year's governor's race Dem primary.
• Twitter: We made it over the 4,000 mark on Twitter; thanks to all our new followers. We're still taking new applications, though, so we encourage any other fans of microscopic bits of political wisdom to sign on, too.
• AK-Sen: Tomorrow is now the expected date for the ruling from a state superior court judge on Joe Miller's suit contesting 8,000 ballots (over spelling) and also alleging various instances of voter fraud. There's an injunction in place that keeps the race from being certified until this case (which started in federal court and got moved) has been decided, although the judge is conceding that whatever he decides, it's likely to get immediately appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.
News also comes today that Joe Miller wound up finishing the Alaska Senate race with over $900K still in hand, an outrageous sum given how cheap the Alaska media market is. Much of that was intended to go toward post-game legal expenses, and some of that may have been the same problem that plagued other teabagger fundraising dynamos (like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle), of not being able to find any ad slots to spend the money. Also worth a read: a wrapup over at Daily Kos from the Scott McAdams campaign's media guy, especially his recounting of the adventure he went through to find the Incredible Hulk tie that appeared in McAdams' TV spot. Finally, we'll let Kagro X get the last word in on the state of the Alaska race:
Joe Miller keeps fighting on, like a 90 year old Japanese commando on a forgotten island...
• FL-Sen: The Florida GOP primary is looking like it's going to be a very crowded affair after all: Adam Hasner, the former state House majority leader, has suddenly bubbled up over the last few days as a possible if not likely candidate. If the name sounds familiar, he considered and decided against a run in FL-22 this year; he's one of the few Republicans from the Gold Coast and, in addition to being a key Marco Rubio ally, could tap quickly into Jewish Republican fundraising circles.
• PA-Sen: It's looking more and more like Bob Casey Jr.'s challenger is going to come not from the U.S. House but the ranks of the state Senate; the question, though, is which one? The newest name to surface is Kim Ward, who says she's starting to test the waters. She's from Westmoreland County, maybe the most conservative of the once-blue, now-swingy collar counties around Pittsburgh, giving the GOP hopes they might eat into Casey's strong backing in SW PA.
• RI-Sen: Don't rule out soon-to-be-ex-Gov. Don Carcieri (who'd probably be the only Republican who could make this an interesting race here) from Senate race consideration. The 68-year-old two-termer says he isn't ruling it out, but wants to take some time off before thinking about it.
• VA-Sen: George Allen is definitely acting candidate-ish now; having laid down markers against possible primary challenger Corey Stewart, now he's moving on to direct attacks on Jim Webb (who, of course, may or may not be running for re-election), over voting against the earmark ban and the horrible sin of supporting collective bargaining rights for public safety officers.
• LA-Gov: Still no word on whether a strong Dem will get into the Louisiana governor's race, but The Daily Kingfish takes a very interesting look at the field of possible challengers to Bobby Jindal, whose numbers indicate he's popular but not bulletproof. They handicap the odds on a collection of possible challengers; interestingly, the guy they give the greatest odds to is ex-Dem John Kennedy (who presumably would take on Jindal while still wearing the "R" badge, although I guess anything's possible in Louisiana, where party labels seem to get taken on and off like so much laundry). They also float the possibility of a Mary Landrieu run, in that she may be eager to bail out of Washington before her next re-election in 2014.
• WV-Gov: With a pileup of half a dozen Dems interested in the 2012 (or 2011?) gubernatorial race, who's running for the GOP? The Beltway rumor mill seems, this week, to have Shelly Moore Capito more interested in going for the Gov race than the Senate or staying in the House. While she'd be the undisputed heavyweight, a few other second-tier GOPers are making their interest known (although it's unclear whether they'd bother if Capito got in). Most prominent is ex-SoS Betty Ireland, one of the few GOPers around who's held statewide office, and who had briefly considered running for Senate this year. State Sen. Clark Barnes is the only Republican who has committed to the race so far.
• CO-03, VA-11: Republican Keith Fimian, who came within a thousand votes of Gerry Connolly, is publicly saying he's interested in another run. He wants to wait and see what the district looks like after redistricting before committing one way or the other, though. One other rematch that may or may not be on the table is Dem John Salazar in Colorado's 3rd, who narrowly lost the reddish district to Scott Tipton and "is open" to a rematch.
• House: Politico takes a quick look at the Republicans that Democrats in the House are most likely to target in 2012. I don't think any of the names (mostly surprise victors in Dem-leaning swing districts) will surprise any devoted SSP readers: in order, they discuss Chip Cravaack, Ann Marie Buerkle, the Illinois Five (especially Bobby Schilling), Blake Farenthold, Renee Ellmers, and Allen West.
• Votes: The DREAM Act passed the House today (although it looks like, so many other pieces of legislation, its next stop is a slow Senate death by neglect). It's an interesting vote breakdown, with 38 Dems voting no (mostly Blue Dogs, and mostly ones on their way out the door) and 8 Republicans voting yes (almost all the non-white GOPers, along with the newly-liberated Bob Inglis). Most puzzling "no" vote may be Dan Lipinski, whose safe blue IL-03 is significantly Latino, and getting more so every day.
• Census: This is a strange video to go viral, but I've been seeing lots of links to this new video from the Census Bureau today, a catchy little explanation of what reapportionment is and how it works. Also a helpful Census Bureau release today: a release schedule of all the various parts and pieces that will be necessary for the redistricting process. The big enchilada, of course, is the reapportionment breakdown, which will be released at some point before the end of the year, although they're still not specifying which date. According to today's release, state numbers on race (down to the block level) will be out in February, so I'm sure there'll be flurry of activity with Dave's Redistricting App at that point.
Here's the last batch of 10 of the Hill House polls by Penn Schoen Berland. The sample periods were a mix of Oct. 16-19 and Oct. 19-21, with each sample with a 4.9% MoE. With previous rounds focusing on freshmen, open seats, and sophomores, this one deals with some of the most endangered veterans:
• CO-03: John Salazar (D-inc) 43%, Scott Tipton (R) 47%
• FL-02: Allen Boyd (D-inc) 38%, Steve Southerland 50%
• GA-08: Jim Marshall (D-inc) 37%, Austin Scott 50%
• IN-09: Baron Hill (D-inc) 46%, Todd Young (R) 44%
• IA-03: Leonard Boswell (D-inc) 49%, Brad Zaun (R) 37%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 44%
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski (D-inc) 43%, Lou Barletta (R) 48%
• SC-05: John Spratt (D-inc) 39%, Mick Mulvaney (R) 49%
• TX-17: Chet Edwards (D-inc) 40%, Bill Flores (R) 52%
So, 4 out of 10 isn't bad, considering the crowd we're looking at here (including the DOA-for-months Chet Edwards and Allen Boyd). Especially noteworthy is IA-03... who would have thought, even a few months ago, that chronically underperforming Leonard Boswell would be well on his way to re-election and possibly even not the most endangered Iowa Dem?
What's the overall damage? 31 of the total 42 Hill polls had Republicans in the lead, 4 ties, and 7 Dem leads. (Remember, 2 of those were GOP-held seats.) Mark Penn's take on what that means overall (remember, we're talking Mark Penn here, so take with salt as necessary):
"We didn't even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats. So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans."
(I'm wondering what 15 he's talking about? Considering that they polled NH-01, TN-08, WA-03, WI-07, MI-01, AR-01, CO-04, IL-11, MD-01, NM-02, OH-15, PA-03, VA-02, and VA-05 earlier, that means I can count only AR-02, IN-08, LA-03, TN-06, NY-29, KS-03, and OH-01 in the "too far gone" category. Either he knows something about eight other races that nobody else does, or his math is a little fuzzy. Maybe he's counting FL-08 and WI-08, but even then he'd still owe us six more.)
• AK-Sen: Congrats to Scott McAdams, who just cleared the McMillion hurdle with $1 million in fundraising so far. The majority of contributions were from Alaska, with 88% contributions of $200 or less.
• KY-Sen: Matt Taibbi's new Rolling Stone article as he works the Rand Paul beat is a must-read even if it doesn't have any revelations as freaky as the "Aqua Buddha" story, although there's some vague and anonymous racism from the newsletter that his snarky secret society put out. The prize-winning quote, though, deals with the Tea Partiers don't seem terribly phased by any of this:
("Well, I used to use that cologne myself," was the response of one Tea Partier to a question I posed about "Aqua Buddha")
• MO-Sen: American Crossroads has declared victory in Missouri, and is pulling out of advertising there, where Roy Blunt has a consistent but single-digit lead. (As for the actual party committees... well, it's probably not relevant, seeing as how Crossroads and its ilk have made them basically irrelevant this year.)
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid racked up a couple endorsements from the big-in-Nevada gaming industry, including PokerPAC. He also got the endorsement of the former chair of the RNC, Frank Fahrenkopf, who warned of the threat Sharron Angle (with her ties to anti-gambling Gary Bauer) might pose to the state's gaming industry.
• PA-Sen: Ah, sweet Schadenfreude. The Club for Growth is having to plug $1 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race in order to bail out their former boss, Pat Toomey.
• WI-Sen: Yet another story with Ron Johnson with his hand in the trough he so regularly decries: he says he's not quite sure how five of his employees (and 10 dependents) at his plastics firm Pacur wound up on BadgerCare, the state's health insurance program for the poor. That would seem to contradict previous statements from the Johnson camp that all Pacur full-time employees are covered by the company's plan.
• AZ-07, AZ-08: I know John McCain has refudiated all his old mavericky ways, but did he actually have to go so far as to violate his signature piece of mavericky legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act? He recently cut spots for GOP candidates in the 7th and 8th, in which he and Jon Kyl appeared, and paid for them out of Friends of John McCain (his campaign committee). Dems have filed FEC complaints against McCain, saying that if he coordinated with the Ruth McClung and Jesse Kelly campaigns, he would've been limited to $4,800 contributions to each (they'd be legal independent expenditures if there was truly no coordination).
• CO-03, CO-04: The gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight strikes twice, in two different neighboring Old West districts. In the 3rd, an anti-abortion group has been hitting the airwaves attacking Ken Salazar. That's fine, but Ken Salazar is the Secretary of Interior. His brother (the one with the mustache) is John Salazar, the Rep. from the 3rd. OK, understandable, since they're brothers... but how do you explain the confusion in the 4th, where not just some outside group but the Cory Gardner campaign mixed up Betsy Markey with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey? They accused her of voting for the Obama budget, which she didn't; that was the other Markey.
• FL-25: I don't know how far this will get, but give local Dems in south Florida credit for audaciousness. A Joe Garcia backer filed a lawsuit trying to get David Rivera removed from the ballot. The suit alleges that Rivera should be removed because of state election finance disclosure irregularities, concerning Rivera's mysterious claims of being a contractor to USAID despite USAID saying he wasn't. While they cite a comparable case where a state senate candidate was recently stricken from the ballot from similar problems, I'm wondering if it may be too late to do anything about that even if it succeeds on the merits (although if it only serves to move the USAID deception into the spotlight, that's good too).
• MO-04: More triage news... on the Republican side? Despite news of a Vicky Hartzler internal poll yesterday that showed a tied race, the NRCC is packing up, at least from the Kansas City market. I wonder if that has more to do with feeling neighboring KS-03 is locked down, as there are other smaller media markets in the 4th where they might still spend, but I think this has to count as at least a partial pullout.
• SD-AL: This is an interesting counterpoint to the anti-Pelosi (or at least Pelosi-skeptical) tide that seems to be rising among threatened Blue Dogs, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (who's in the skeptic camp): GOP challenger Kristi Noem is saying that if she wins her race, she's not sold yet on John Boehner as Republican leader, but would like to see who else might run. Recall that Noem previously politely told Sarah Palin to stay far away from her race, so this isn't the first time she's pantomimed independence.
• Early voting: There's been some buzz today about a CBS News story that says that Dems are doing better than expected in early voting, although it's kind of shy on actual numbers. It mentions that Dems have outpaced GOPers in early voting in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Clark Co., Nevada, while there's a Republican edge in Florida and Colorado. Jon Ralston, of course, has more data on Nevada, while Politico has some Iowa tidbits, involving early ballot requests in IA-03 (where 50% of requests are from Dems, but where Dems are 36% of the electorate) and IA-02 (51% of the requests, 38% of the electorate).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund is out with a "high six-figure" buy in Colorado, with the first TV ad to take on Ken Buck's failure to prosecute that 2005 rape case (the "buyer's remorse" incident)
• KY-Sen: The DSCC hits Rand Paul on his support for the 23% sales (aka "fair") tax
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle wonders how Harry Reid made all that money in her new ad (helpful fact from Jon Ralston: he was a millionaire even before he was in the House)
• WV-Sen: Outsourcing seems to be the hot button issue coming out of focus groups that works for the Dems these days, as the DSCC keeps hitting John Raese on it with their new spot
• AZ-03: Jon Hulburd has another TV ad against Ben Quayle, poking at his values and overall maturity
• HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa's new ad has a special guest star in the form of Barack Obama
• IN-09: The SEIU goes after Todd Young on Social Security privatization
• NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter, in her own ad, also works the SSP angle against Frank Guinta
• VA-05: Is the DCCC trying to drive up indie teabagger Jeffrey Clark's numbers? They're out with a spot hitting Robert Hurt for all the tax-raising he did in the state legislature
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 45%, Rich Whit(n)ey (G) 2%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 42%, Rick Berg (R) 52%
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 54%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 38%, Nikki Haley (R) 47%
• CA-Gov: Another few weeks go by, and Meg Whitman keeps smashing the barriers on over-the-top self-funding: she's spent $140 million out of pocket over the entire cycle now. Here's the number that's gotta suck for her, though: Jerry Brown, having spent all of $10 million so far this cycle, is sitting on $22 million in reserves for the remaining month, allowing him to compete on perhaps an even financial footing for the last month. Whitman's cash reserves are $9 million, but even if she cuts herself the biggest check of all to re-up, there's only a finite amount of TV time left for her to buy. Truly the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
• NM-Gov: The Diane Denish camp keeps up the onslaught of internal polls showing her behind but within arm's length of Susana Martinez. This time, the poll is from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and gives Martinez a 49-46 lead. That still feels kind of "meh" to me, but there's an interesting kernel in the fine print: Martinez has fallen into net negative favorables for the first time (39/42, down from 42/31 in August), suggesting the ad war is having its effect.
• OH-Gov: I'm going to wait until I start seeing these kind of numbers in public polls before I start getting too optimistic about whether Ted Strickland's comeback really has legs, but here's another strong internal from his camp. The Feldman Group poll taken 10/3-5 gives Strickland a 46-42 lead over John Kasich, and finds Strickland with 47/40 favorables.
• CA-03: Ami Bera continues to be a fundraising force among Democratic challengers (not that he has much high-profile competition on that front); he raised $550K in 3Q, and $2.1 million raised over the cycle. He beat incumbent Dan Lungren yet again, who raised $480K for a $1.7 mil total.
• FL-02: We still haven't seen any public polling of this race, but here's a second GOP poll for challenger Steve Southerland giving him a double digit lead over Allen Boyd (the first one was an NRCC poll from the Tarrance Group way back in May, giving Southerland a 52-37 lead). This one's from National Research (presumably on Southerland's behalf?), taken 9/29-30, giving Southerland a 46-30 lead.
• VA-05: The US Chamber of Commerce gave its backing to Robert Hurt, not much of a surprise as he's the kind of non-threatening establishment conservative that wing of the GOP tends to like. Tom Perriello picked that up and is using it as a cudgel that seems to combine various elements that have apparently polled well for Dems (outsourcing and Citizens United), saying that the endorsement means "foreign money" is pouring into the race now, citing companies in Bahrain, Russia, and China that give money to the US Chamber.
• DCCC: Here's some more detail on the various ways in which the DCCC is, um, advancing in other directions (we told you about their pullout in AZ-08 last night, which probably has to do with Gabby Giffords having enough money to pull her own weight). They've also reduced buys for one week in a few other districts: a mix of ones where they seem genuinely hosed (CO-04, TX-17, FL-24, and the KS-03 and IN-08 open seats), one that seems a true tossup but where our guy has money (Harry Teague in NM-02), and one that's looking like a pickup (LA-02). The DCCC will be using at least some of that money putting out a new brushfire that popped up in NY-23, where Doug Hoffman's ceasing and desisting makes the race a tossup, and where they're spending $500K.
• NRCC: Speaking of CO-04 and being hosed, here's some additional evidence: the NRCC is taking $700K out of the 4th, and moving it next door to another race that's looking decidedly tossup-ish: John Salazar's CO-03.
• Redistricting: This may be the single best use of money anywhere by Dems this cycle: they're finally putting some money into Florida's redistricting amendments that purport to make the process less subject to gerrymandering. Over $1 million has flowed from Democratic groups to Fair Districts Florida, who are behind the measures. Fair Districts is ostensibly nonpartisan, but obviously the net effect of a less partisan map would be to dismantle one of the most effective Republican gerrymanders anywhere.
• Polltopia: With dramatically different results (especially in the generic ballot tests, but also in head-to-head polls) popping up that often seem to have very different definitions of "likely voter," Mark Blumenthal looks at the various ways pollsters cobble together their LV models. There's a marked difference between the way academic pollsters and partisan pollsters do it, revealing major disparities. If you haven't seen it already, this should be required reading.
• Independent expenditures: The folks at Zata|3 have put together a very useful table, adding up and comparing DCCC and NRCC independent expenditures in all the districts where they've weighed in. (The NRCC has spent a lot more so far, despite their cash shortfall vs. the DCCC. The D-Trip seems to be saving up for a massive blast in the final weeks. Or maybe just saving up for 2012.) They also have charts for the DCCC and NRCC that break down each district's expenditures by category (media buys, production, internet, etc.).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC hits Ken Buck for his enthusiasm for privatizing everything he can get his hands on
• CT-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce has a fairly boilerplate ad against Richard Blumenthal for being too anti-(big) business
• KY-Sen: There are six different ads embedded in this Inquirer article, several of which you've already seen (including the DSCC ad on Medicare deductibles), but including a new Rand Paul campaign ad on the "Conway = Obama" theme; separately, the NRSC has a new ad here on Conway waffling on extending Bush tax cuts
• MO-Sen: The DSCC has yet another ad about Roy Blunt and his lobbyist friends
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand's out with a second bio ad that seems specifically aimed at the upstate market, pointing out her roots in that part of the state
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad points to what we junkies have long known, that Pat Toomey's free market fundamentalism has given him aggregator ratings even more conservative than Rick Santorum
• WI-Sen: A second cookie-cutter ad from the Chamber of Commerce, this one targeting Russ Feingold
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland's out with his first ad of the cycle, a comparison spot that's half negative against Sam Brownback, half positive intro of Holland
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad rebuts some of Rick Perry's claims about his mayoral leadership and lists his various commendations
• AZ-05: The National Education Association gets into the ad war in a big way, hitting David Schweikert for being anti-public education (this buy is part of a $15 million initiative on the NEA's part, also including TV in OH-13 and mailers in NC-08)
• CO-04: EMILY's List is still sticking around in the 4th, bolstering Betsy Markey with an anti-Cory Gardener spot that's a mother of a child with autism addressing Gardener not wanting to require insurers to cover that
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 39%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 55%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 54%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 38%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 45%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 49%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 41%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 30%, John Robitaille (R) 22%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 33%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 44%, John Raese (R) 50%
• AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she's inviting supporters to a "campaign kickoff" tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a "good team member" and saying they'll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y'know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O'Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O'Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O'Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O'Donnell campaigns.
• IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That's better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's "Cheddarbomb" sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day's worth of contributions.
• AR-Gov: With yesterday's PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it's now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation's safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday's Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state's turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren't defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.
• CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom's behalf too) in mid-October.
• HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there's one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what's literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6'7"). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie's right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).
• NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who's increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish's behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.
• NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people's houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that "something smells" in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people's houses to intentionally physically sicken them.
• CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they're also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.
• MI-09: There's a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.
• NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who's basically been Hoffman's puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)
• TN-04: Sure, we've all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but... oh, wait. We haven't? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It's unclear how much this'll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis's behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis's pollster is.)
• Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn't a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn't sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn't anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.
• IE Tracker:
• MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt
• WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio
• NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher
• AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright
• SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt
• NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler
• MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell
• GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall
• MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer
• SSP TV:
• PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak's rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush's deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard's out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer's tongue-tied performance at last month's debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline "Is this the best Arizona can do?")
• KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero's on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway
• ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it's "good business" for Labrador's immigration law practice
• MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%
• AR-Sen: Mason-Dixon takes another look at the Arkansas Senate race, on behalf of Arkansas News Bureau. Blanche Lincoln hasn't gotten any deader than she was before: she trails John Boozman 51-34, with 4 for other minor candidates (no real change from the last time they polled, back in May pre-primary, where Boozman led 52-35). Lincoln's faves have improved a smidge: now 30/47, instead of 28/53.
• DE-Sen: Whooo, where even to begin? The national media is just starting to dig into Christine O'Donnell's gigantic and eminently mineable opposition file, with NPR and ABC detailing her history of getting fired from right-wing think tanks and her suing for discrimination in response, of IRS audits that she blamed on "thug politics" and liens that she blamed on "computer errors," of failure to pay for her college, and of using her campaign money to pay the rent on her house as it's also her campaign headquarters. We also know about her stance on AIDS prevention, thanks to helpful tipsters in the comments. At least O'Donnell's faring well in the fundraising department, raising $1 million since her victory (with Chris Coons raising only $125K, showing the harmful effects of a short-of-the-endzone victory dance). Not leaving things to chance, reports are coming in that Joe Biden will campaign for Coons "next week" and that the DSCC is starting to put money into Delaware, starting with an $85K buy in the Salisbury market.
The establishment isn't budging much on her: the state's virulently anti-O'Donnell GOP chair, Tom Ross, is staying in place (though calling for "unity"), and Karl Rove, although he sorta backed down in the face of a Rush Limbaugh broadside, is still challenging O'Donnell to be "honest" to voters about her difficulties... and again running through the list of all those difficulties in his media appearances. Meanwhile, O'Donnell strips.... her website, perhaps at the urging of the NRSC; after her nomination, all issues stuff vanished and it just became a donation ask. Still, Harry Reid seems to be doing all he can to fuck this up, issuing a strange quote that should play right into the whole "Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda!!1!" messaging, expressing enthusiasm for Chris Coons but calling him his "pet."
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov (pdf): Part of the CNN/Time onslaught yesterday was polls of Nevada (which we're relegating to the digest, as this state, as we've complained before, is veering rapidly into over-polled territory). This raised some eyebrows for showing a Sharron Angle lead over Harry Reid (42-41, with 5 for Scott Ashjian) among LVs, but that's only a point or three off from the narrow band of results that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen have been consistently generating. (Reid leads 42-34-7 among RVs.) Many people (starting with Jon Ralston) also seemed surprised by some crosstabs weirdness, showing the race a dead heat in Democratic-favorable Clark County but giving Reid a big lead in swingy Washoe County. Brian Sandoval leads Rory Reid 58-31 in the Gov race.
• CA-Gov: It's official: Meg Whitman is now the biggest self-funder in political history, having shown that piker Michael Bloomberg how it's done. She gave her campaign another $15 million, which brings her personal spending on the race to $118 million overall.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes just picked up Scott McInnis's former campaign manager, George Culpepper, so it seems like the local GOP establishment isn't totally abandoning him. The Colorado Independent has an in-depth piece, though, with a more nuanced look, based on interviews with at least a dozen county GOP chairs. Some of them fully back Maes, some grudgingly do so, some back Tom Tancredo, and some are still in a state of shock.
• GA-Gov: After doing some pushback yesterday, Nathan "Let's Make a" Deal had to admit today that, yes, he is in some personally dire financial straits, saying his debts are even bigger than the $2.3 million loan that's outstanding... but also saying that he isn't releasing any more financial records to the press. It also turns out that he never disclosed that loan to the state Ethics Commission on his financial disclosure form, which he's now scrambling to update.
• MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA's out with yet another poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race; I think we can start relegating their frequent polls of this pretty-much-out-of-reach race to the digest, too. They give Rick Snyder a 53-29 lead over Virg Bernero (a slight improvement for Snyder over 51-29 three weeks ago).
• UT-Gov: OK, what kind of a world is it when we're faring better in the Utah governor's race than we are in Michigan? Not like this is a competitive race either, but it could be a good dress rehearsal for a 2012 rematch (remember that this 2010 race is a special election). Dem Peter Corroon trails Gary Herbert by "only" 21 points, 52-31, in a poll taken by Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News and KSL. The numbers haven't really changed since their previous poll in April (where Herbert led by 20).
• CA-11: As with 2008, Jerry McNerney rolled out endorsements from some local elected Republicans, as part of a list of 16 county supervisors and mayors who are backing him. Maybe most notable is the backing from the mayor of Manteca (or, in Spanish, Lard), Willie Weatherford, who had previously backed GOP primary loser Brad Goehring.
• CO-03: Here's a boost for John Salazar, in a suddenly-tough race in this rural western district against Republican Scott Tipton: he got the backing of the National Rifle Association, with an "A" rating.
• IA-02: Another warning sign for David Loebsack: the Mariannette Miller-Meeks campaign is out with another internal poll, showing her creeping closer than her previous one. The Tarrance Group poll has her trailing Loebsack by only 1 point: 41-40 (with 6 for a Libertarian). She could do some damage her with more money.
• LA-02: Lawyer Ron Austin dropped out of the LA-02 race today, where he was an independent candidate. This is really the first I'd ever heard of him, so I can't imagine he'd have been much of a factor here; I can't glean whether he was running on the left or the right, but he is African-American, so that in itself may shift at least a handful of votes in Cedric Richmond's direction in what may yet turn out to be a close race. Two other no-name indies remain.
• MD-01: One other internal poll got leaked to the Fix today, too, and this one's a pleasant surprise for the Dems. Frank Kratovil is still claiming a lead over Andy Harris, who just won the GOP nod for a rematch. Kratovil's poll by Garin-Hart-Yang gives him a 45-39 lead. (When I say "still," Kratovil released an earlier internal with a 5-point lead. Harris has released two internals of his own giving him a lead.)
• MO-04: Here's the good news: Ike Skelton got a shared endorsement from Missouri Right to Life, along with GOP challenger Vicky Hartzler. The bad news is: Skelton has generally had that endorsement to himself in the past.
• NY-14: Give Reshma Saujani credit for one thing: she's persistent. She's already announced that she'll try again in 2012 to unseat Carolyn Maloney in the NY-14 Dem primary.
• NY-23: Local teabaggers (or at least one of them) sound pretty upset with Conservative nominee (and GOP primary loser) Doug Hoffman, meaning that he, rather than the GOP nominee, may find himself in the third-wheel position this time around. Mark Barie, chairman of a local Tea Party organization criticized Hoffman for a listless campaign run by outsiders with little familiarity with the district. He threw his support behind Matt Doheny, who appears to have narrowly won the GOP primary despite a late close by Hoffman in late counting.
• CfG: The Club for Growth launched a five-state buy in Senate races, to a total tune of $1.5 million (no word on specific allocation). The states under assault are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
• NRCC: Two different rounds of TV ad buys came from the NRCC today. The first one was in WA-03 ($900K) and NM-01 ($300K), and a second one covers PA-10 ($595K), NH-01 ($1 mil), NH-02 ($1 mil), FL-08 ($817K), FL-24 ($817K), and VA-09 ($?).
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer goes negative against Carly Fiorina in a new spot, hitting her on (what else?) her failed tenure at HP
• MO-Sen: A new spot against Roy Blunt from Dem group Commonsense Ten (never heard of 'em, either) hits his consummate insider credentials
• PA-Sen: Yet another ad from Pat Toomey, this one featuring an oppressed doctor who doesn't like HCR (who just happens to be a big Republican activist too, not the ad says that)
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi's first negative ad features him personally narrating an attack on Patty Murray (instead of using the off-camera voice of doom); he calls her "part of the problem"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid's newest TV spot, by way of fighting back against Angle's attacks on immigration issues, just goes ahead and says it: it calls Sharron Angle "crazy"
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo doesn't want to leave anything to chance despite his big lead (he has the money to burn, at any rate), and he's out with a new bio ad (not that he needs much introduction)
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato tries introducing himself to Pennsylvania again, this time with a shorter 30-second ad that helpfully lets people know how to pronounce his name
• TX-Gov: Even Rick Perry's going negative: three different ads go after Bill White, two trying to tie him to Barack Obama and one attacking his handling of Hurricane Rita
• VT-Gov: The RGA wades into Vermont with a negative ad against Peter Shumlin, hitting him on taxes
• CT-04: Jim Himes has not one but two new ads, stressing his independence and debt hawkishness
• KS-03: Stephene Moore's first ad plays up her day job as a nurse
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy has two different anti-Rick Berg ads, one of which focuses on his crazy plans to drill for oil in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster (who's now rebranded herself as "Annie Kuster") goes negative on Charlie Bass in her first ad, framing him as failed retread
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's newest spot focuses on his own personal record of job creation as businessman before entering Congress
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is out with a positive ad, touting his work on veteran's issues like VA health care
• WA-02: John Koster tries to cram both a negative ad and a positive ad into a discordant 30 seconds
• WI-07: Sean Duffy plays up his lumberjack credentials, saying he'll "take an ax" to Washington (I'll admit, that's kinda clever)
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 53%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 42%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 39%, Brian Sandoval (R) 52%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 51%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
AK-Sen: As of Friday, Lisa Murkowski was saying that she still hasn't made a decision about whether to pursue a write-in bid. At least one major Republican is opposed to the idea: Sen. John Cornyn says that Murkowski would have to quit her job as vice chair of the NRSC if she goes the third-party route. I also wonder if her Senate committee spots might be in jeopardy, too. Anyhow, Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota's excellent Smart Politics blog has a good post on the history of write-in campaigns in the Land of the Midnight Sun. In eight statewide contests, the best-ever score in a senate race was 17%, and 26% in a gubernatorial race. I actually think those numbers aren't bad at all!
DE-Sen: While everyone's still abuzz about last night's poll numbers, there's some other DE-Sen news worth reporting. For one, the NRA endorsed Christine O'Donnell. For another, so did Sen. Jim DeMint, Kingmaker of Loons. For yet another, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for O'Donnell, playing up their shared sense of victimhood.
Meanwhile, The Hill says that the Tea Party Express has spent some $300K on radio and TV ads on O'Donnell's behalf, but it's a little hard to double-check that since TPX's FEC filings seem to use, shall we say, "new math." Finally, a reporter asked Mike Castle if he'd pursue an independent bid if he lost the primary. (DE's laws are apparently similar to Alaska's in this regard.) Castle was surprisingly non-committal, saying he'd "have to give it thought."
GA-Sen: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton was in Atlanta late last week to do a fundraiser for Labor Comm'r Michael Thurmond, the Dem senate nominee challenging GOPer Johnny Isakson. Thurmond, as you'd expect, was a big-time Hillary Clinton supporter.
IA-Sen: Chuck Grassley, making a play for the dirty old man vote, had this to say when asked why he didn't once look at opponent Roxanne Conlin during a recent debate:
"I wish you had told me because I would have been very happy to look at her. She's a very nice looking woman."
NH-Sen: The New Hampshire Union Leader has been combing through a batch of emails released by the NH attorney general's office pursuant to a freedom of information request, and they've turned up a doozy: Then-AG Kelly Ayotte used her official email account to discuss campaign strategy with a guy who later became one of her consultants. In better news for Ayotte, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for her, too (see DE-Sen item above), but man is this imagery getting crazy: She calls Ayotte a "Granite Grizzly." Zuh? Anyhow, Jim DeMint's also decided to get involved here (again, see DE-Sen), endorsing surging wingnut Ovide Lamontagne.
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston has the complete tick-tock on how he got Harry Reid and Sharron Angle to agree to a debate on his show - only to have Angle, in a spasm of campaign dysfunction, pull out, despite being the one to throw down the challenge to Reid in the first place.
AK-Gov: Anchorage attorney Bill Walker, who drew about 30% in his primary against Gov. Sean Parnell (thanks to $300K in self-funding), says he's still waiting to see if either the Alaskan Independence Party or Libertarian Party candidates withdraw from the race. If there's a drop-out by Wednesday, Walker could take that spot for the general election.
HI-Gov: A new robopoll by Aloha Vote (taken for online news service Civil Beat) shows ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie beating Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann by 48-31 in the Democratic primary. That's a pretty different picture from a Ward Research survey a few weeks ago which had Abercrombie leading just 49-44.
NY-Gov: It's been a long time since anyone has come out with any interesting statewide poll numbers in New York, but with just days to go before the primary, Siena has finally managed to surprise us (well, sorta): They show scuzzbucket businessman Carl Paladino in a dead heat with ex-Rep. Rick Lazio, trailing just 43-42. In mid-August, Lazio had a 43-30 lead, so this is all Paladino surge. The rest of the numbers (which test the senate races) are all meh - click the link if you want `em.
In other NY-Gov news, the Working Families Party decided to endorse Andrew Cuomo, and Cuomo - who had kept the WFP at arms' length for a long time - accepted. A federal investigation of the WFP was recently dropped, which seemingly helped smooth things. The party was in a very tough spot, though, as without Cuomo on their ballot spot, there was no real path for them to get the 50,000 votes they needed to avoid losing their ballot line. So I'm guessing there may be more to this story.
"John Salazar, it's time to come home," Tipton said as he opened the debate. "It's 9/11. Let's roll."
FL-25: Another mystery teabagger has (not really) come out of the woodwork. Roly Arrojo is running on the Florida Tea Party line, and it seems no one knows a thing about him, except for the fact that he hasn't filed any FEC reports - except for a Statement of Candidacy in which he identified himself as a Democrat. Republicans are suggesting this is a Dem put-up job, but Joe Garcia's camp is of course denying any knowledge of this guy. Interestingly, so is the head of the FL Tea Party!
ND-AL: I know, it sounds like parody, but Republican Rick Berg has a great idea: Drill for oil in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park! Not only is it, of course, illegal to do so, but it's also a fucking national park!
NY-13: Republican Michael Allegretti just got bounced from the new teabaggish Taxpayers Party line, thanks to a lack of sufficient signatures. Rival Mike Grimm already has the Conservative line, come hell or high water.
NY-15: Of all people, Mayor Mike Bloomberg wound up recording a robocall for Rep. Charlie Rangel.
PA-08 (PDF): Yikes. Sophomore Dem Patrick Murphy just put out an internal from the Global Strategy Group showing him up by a mere 47-43 margin over the man he beat in 2006, Republican Mike Fitzpatrick. This is scary.
VA-05: The Weiner Watch continues: Republican Rob Hurt has already skipped two debates, and now he's announced he's skipping a third. Weiner!
Chicago-Mayor: Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he won't make an endorsement in the race to succeed him.
NY-AG (PDF): Siena also released some final attorney general numbers, finding Eric Schneiderman narrowly in the lead at 25, with Kathleen Rice nipping his heels at 23. Sean Coffey is at 13, Richard Brodsky at 7, and Eric Dinallo at 4. The race has continued to get nasty in its final days, with Rice putting out a TV ad trying to link Schneiderman to scumbag state Sen. Pedro Espada, while a Schneiderman spot hits Rice for only becoming a Democrat in 2005.
DCCC: Blah blah blah, Dems not paying their DCCC dues. It's old news, and I'm beyond sick of these stories, but not (only) for the reason you might expect. Oh yeah, I'm pissed at the schmucks who are holding out on their party for no discernible reason, but I'm also frustrated with the DCCC. We've repeatedly told them we want to help them raise money from their members - the netroots is not all-powerful, but we can bring some pressure on stingy Dems. But the DCCC steadfastly refuses to share their dues spreadsheet with us - even though they have no problem sharing it with the likes of Politico, and even though they actually promised to give us a copy at Netroots Nation. Not just obnoxious, but weirdly self-defeating.
KY-06: NRCC ($96K on anti-Ben Chandler ads and polls from two different firms)
More generally, the NRCC's IE arm said that it would go up with anti-Dem ads in eight districts (though no IE reports have yet been filed): AZ-01, AL-02, FL-02, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05 & WI-07. A representative ad is available at the link.
AR-Sen: Quelle surprise: The AFL-CIO, which was a major supporter of Bill Halter, won't endorse Blanche Lincoln in the general.
NV-Sen: Your daily dose of Angle Crazy comes courtesy Greg Sargent:
MANDERS: We have domestic enemies. We have home-born homegrown enemies in our system. And I for one think we have some of those enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress.
ANGLE: Yes. I think you're right, Bill.
PA-Sen: Karl Rove's gang of ne'er-do-wells is out with an ad attacking Joe Sestak. NWOTSOTB.
WI-Sen: Weirdo Ron Johnson has a new ad out, trying to sell himself as just a reg'lar guy. NWOTSOTB, but the "ad is airing statewide on cable and broadcast TV starting Tuesday, according to a campaign spokeswoman." Meanwhile, the new right-wing group American Action Network is dropping a $325K ad buy against Russ Feingold. Some background on the group (whose backers include Nixon hatchet man Fred Malek - whataguy!) here.
HI-Gov: Wow. Former Rep. (and recent special election loser) Ed Case went somewhat against type and endorsed Neil Abercrombie over Mufi Hannemann in the Dem gubernatorial primary. The "centrist" Case seemingly had more in common with Hannemann, the urbane mayor of Honolulu, than Abercrombie, the septuagenarian progressive. And Case didn't just issue some anodyne statement - he utterly lambasted Hannemann:
Case called him "the most dangerous politician in a generation," adding that Hannemann governs "by fear and intimidation."
"He is the product and clear choice of a political machine that must end. While professing unity, he's practiced the politics of division, exploiting rather than healing differences of race, origin and economic status," Case said.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is touting an internal poll from Magellan, showing him with a 49-43 lead over Rep. John Salazar. Salazar says his own internals have him leading. One FYI about this (and most other) Magellan polls: It's a one-day sample, much like Rasmussen, and - I would guess - does not include callbacks. Nate Silver previously laid out in great detail how a lack of callbacks can negatively affect poll quality.
KS-04: Raj Goyle is up with a positive bio spot touting his "Kansas values." NWOTSOTB, though this district is centered around Wichita, which is a pretty cheap media market.
Meanwhile, Dem Rob O'Leary is out with his first TV ad, which interestingly enough calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan. NWOTSOTB, and WARNING - AUTOPLAYING YOUTUBE. Very annoying.
MI-07: AFSCME has a new ad out hitting Republican retread Tim Walberg for his votes in Congress, though I think the messaging is a little muddled. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB just yet, but presumably the union will have to file an IE report soon.
NJ-12: GOPer Scott Sipprelle claims he's launching his "third positive, issue-based cable television commercial this summer." First off, check out the ad (which attacks "Washington politicians right at the start") and then tell me if you think it's "positive." Secondly, I'm guessing that this ad is much closer to a "video press release" (as Nathan Gonzales calls them) than a real buy, given that this district lies mostly in the #1-most expensive media market in the country (and the rest is in Philly, which ain't exactly cheap), and that Sipprelle acknowledges it's a cable-only buy.
NY-14: It seems like a long time ago now, but remember when Carolyn Maloney came oh-so-close to primarying appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand? Well, it's an old memory indeed, seeing as Gillibrand is hosting a breakfast fundraiser in Manhattan for Maloney next week.
OH-16: Jim Renacci is up with his first ad of the general election campaign - which I can only assume is targeted at his race against me for NYC Zoning Board. But it's weird that he keeps talking about Ohio, no? Anyhow, a spokesman says the ad "is part of a $250,000 two-week buy" on both broadcast and cable. Do you think it's running on New York 1?
OH-17: Jim Traficant missed the deadline to file as a write-in candidate, but his supporters are still hoping for a favorable ruling from SoS Jennifer Brunner on whether Traficant can appear as an independent. If not, they are supposedly threatening to go to court.
PA-04: Great, another one of these. Much like Joe Donnelly, Jason Altmire has a new ad up claiming he that he's "not afraid to stand up to the president - and Nancy Pelosi." Lovely. NWOTSOTB.
PA-10: It's nice when Republican delusions help us win campaigns. Here's Tom Marino's latest:
"My generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say," he said. "We are not going to get Social Security," he said. "But we are going to pay into it to get this debacle squared away. So if I have to sacrifice my Social Security to get it squared away ... because we can't take Social Security away from people that are on it now.
• CO-Sen (D): The Democratic heavyweights are out in this marquee race on our side in Colorado, splitting between appointed incumbent and former Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet and Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff. Obama's recorded a robocall for Bennet, while the Big Dog's been stumping for Romanoff (who, yes, endorsed Hillary in 2008). While Romanoff's bid seemed quixotic at first, he's managed to gain some traction, with the most recent polling in the race offering a split decision, with PPP saying Bennet 49-43 and SurveyUSA saying Romanoff 48-45. Much hay was made about Bennet's accidental incumbency, and the newest scuttle in the race takes the form of Bennet's financial dealings while Superintendent. While that news may have broken a little late, Romanoff still has the momentum -- but will it be enough? (JMD)
• CO-Sen (R): The Devil Wears Prada! Or, perhaps more appropriately, former Lt. Gov Jane Norton wears high heels, according to her rival, Weld County DA Ken Buck. The two have been duking it out for the conservative mantle. Buck's been endorsed by GOP would-be kingmaker Jim DeMint and has had some airpower in the form of shady 501(c)(4) group Americans for Job Security; Norton's earned the endorsements of both John McCain and the star of Saved By The Xenophobia, Jan Brewer. Norton and Buck remain close in polling, with PPP giving Norton a narrow edge at 41-40 and SurveyUSA giving Buck some more breathing room at 50-41. All of this remains in complete flux though, and any result tonight could be rendered moot by a switcheroo with the Governor's race, should the Colorado GOP somehow manage to cast off their albatross in Scott McInnis. (JMD)
• CO-Gov (R): Former Rep. Scott McInnis was at one time considered a major get for the GOP, and the strength of his candidacy was such that he helped push incumbent Dem Gov. Bill Ritter out of the race after just one term. No more. While some initially dismissed McInnis's plagiarism scandal as a minor white-collar affair that wouldn't interest average voters, his transgressions in fact proved unusually potent, leading to his campaign's utter ruin. Polls now show a dead heat between McInnis (whose fundraising has dried up) and crazy fringer Some Dude Dan Maes (who never raised squat to begin with). The primary may be completely moot, though: Rumors have abounded that if McInnis were to win, he'd step down in favor of a less-damaged candidate. We should probably be rooting for Maes, though, who has explicitly said he'd do no such thing. (D)
• CO-03 (R): Former state Rep. Scott Tipton, who represented a large swath of Southwestern Colorado before running against incumbent Dem. John Salazar in 2006, looked like he would easily earn the right to challenge Salazar a second time, but was held to only 45% at the state nominating against the teabaggish Bob McConnell, who also earned 45%. As a result, the two square off tonight, with McConnell running to Tipton's right, even boasting a Sarah Palin endorsement. Both candidates have some cash to play with, Tipton having spent $213k and McConnell having spent $132k so far. Given the relative low profile of this race - Salazar bested Tipton with 62% in 2006 and seems to be more entrenched than most vulnerable Dems - the race remains unpredictable. (JMD)
• CO-07 (R): The primary field in this suburban Denver district is also down to two after the convention, with Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier having earned 49% and carpetbagging former Democrat Lang Sias having earned 43%. Frazier is winning the money race by quite a distance, $252k to Sias's $89k cash-on-hand. Sias -- who lives in CO-02 and became a Republican in 2007, however, boasts endorsements from both former 7th CD Rep. Bob Beauprez, the one and only Tom Tancredo, and John McCain, who Sias campaigned for (but didn't vote for). Again, Perlmutter doesn't seem particularly vulnerable, leading to a lower-profile -- and less predictable -- race tonight. (JMD)
• CT-Gov (D): Connecticut Democrats are hungry for a win this November -- which would be their first gubernatorial win since William O'Neill's re-election in 1986 -- but they'll have to get through a fast-closing primary tonight to see who their nominee will be. '06 Senate nominee and Lieberman primary-slayer Ned Lamont is facing off against former 14-year Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, and this race looks like it's going down to the wire. After lagging in the polls behind Lamont for months, Malloy has used some well-timed punches to turn Lamont's business experience against him, releasing TV ads criticizing Lamont for layoffs at his telecommunications company. The latest Q-poll shows that Lamont's lead has eroded to a mere three points -- certainly not a margin to bet the farm on tonight. (JL)
• CT-Gov (R): While technically this one is a three-way decision, the only candidates with a shot at winning the Republican nomination tonight are ex-Ambassador Tom Foley and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele. Like Lamont, Foley has used his personal fortune to catapult himself to an early lead. Fedele has had a rough time keeping pace, highlighted by his failures to secure endorsements from Gov. Jodi Rell and the state GOP convention. Still, Fedele has swung back at Foley with TV ads drawing attention to layoffs at one of Foley's textile factories in Georgia. The latest Q-Poll shows some juice for Fedele, but he still lags behind Foley by 38-30. (JL)
• CT-Sen (R): Little Bobby Simmons announced that he was taking his ball and going home, but it turns out that he was just lingering behind the bleachers until he could muster up the courage to take another at-bat. The results aren't pretty: a 50-28 lead for controversial WWE Queen Linda McMahon in the latest Q-Poll. Next! (JL)
• CT-02 (R): Now this one's getting down in the weeds, but Republicans are trying to prod as many Dem-held seats for potential weakness as possible. The crop of candidates going up against two-term Rep. Joe Courtney, however, leaves much to be desired. After their most well-funded recruit, former Hebron Board of Finance vice chairman Matthew Daly, dropped out in May, Republicans are picking between former TV anchorwoman Janet Peckinpaugh, former State Department official Daria Novak, and farmer/attorney Douglas Dubitsky. Peckinpaugh, the most "hyped" of the trio, failed to raise more than $50K for her campaign, and her candidacy drew early fire for her most recent employment stint as a shill for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads. As much success as Republicans have had in expanding the map this year, this race stacks up as a glaring recruiting failure. (JL)
• CT-04 (R): State Sen. Dan Debicella is the clear front-runner in the race to take on Rep. Jim Himes. He faces a couple of Some Dudes who, as befits their Some Dude status, haven't raised squat: Rick Torres and Rob Merkle. (A more credible opponent, Tom Herrmann, dropped out in June after petition fraud meant he couldn't qualify for the ballot.) Debicella won his party's backing at the state convention earlier this year. (D)
• CT-05 (R): Though the 5th district would seem to be a tougher GOP target than the 4th, the Republican primary here has attracted quite a bit more money, and a larger number of credible candidates. Another state senator, Sam Caligiuri, is also the presumed front-runner here, having won 70% of the delegate vote at his party's nominating convention. But Afghanistan vet Justin Bernier, who was running in this race (and got some favorable notice) before Caligiuri dropped down from the senate contest last November, has raised a creditable sum and hasn't given up. Like many others in his position, though, it seems he's had a chip on his shoulder ever since Caligiuri hopped into the race, and that's usually not very appealing. Wealthy businessman Mark Greenberg actually leads the money race, with over a million raised (most of that from his own pockets), but most of the media attention devoted to this contest has seemed to focus on the Caligiuri-Bernier matchup. The winner, whomever he may be, gets to challenge sophomore Rep. (and all-time SSP hero) Chris Murphy in the fall. (D)
• GA-Gov (R): The big ticket race in Georgia is the Republican gubernatorial runoff, between Karen Handel, the former SoS who finished a dominant first in the primary, and Nathan Deal, the former U.S. Rep. who was second. The Beltway media tends to emphasize that this is a proxy fight between possible presidential candidates (with Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney backing Handel, and Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee backing Deal), but the important post-primary endorsements here may have been the NRA, and third-place finisher state Sen. Eric Johnson (who has a strong base in the Savannah area), which both seemed to have consolidate conservative and rural Johnson and John Oxendine votes behind Deal. With that, Deal has pulled into a polling tie with Handel, promising a down-to-the-wire race tonight. (C)
• GA-07 (R): With the surprising third-place finish of state Rep. Clay Cox (who'd had the backing of the Club for Growth and many local endorsers), meaning he's not in the runoff, it's anybody's guess as to who has the upper hand tonight in the Republican runoff in the dark-red open seat 7th and be the district's next Rep. (Actually, this part of Atlanta's northern suburbs is going through a lot of demographic change that will be beneficial to Democrats in the long run, but this isn't going to be the year to capitalize on that.) John Linder's former CoS, Rob Woodall, faces off against radio talk show host Jody Hice. (C)
• GA-09 (R): Few candidates are as well acquainted with each other as newly-minted Rep. Tom Graves and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins, who, thanks to a special election, special election runoff, and primary, are now poised to face each other for the fourth time this year. Graves has won the first three rounds, and barely missed winning the primary outright (with 49% of the vote), so it would be a pretty monumental turnaround for Hawkins to finally win it, on the time it really counts (as November will be of little import in this dark-red district). Maybe having been in Congress for five months is enough to give Graves the unacceptable taint of incumbency, though. The county to watch is Hall, where Hawkins has his geographic base and which tends to report late. (C)
• GA-12 (R): Democratic Rep. John Barrow -- who overcame his main challenge this year, a challenge from the left from former state Sen. Regina Thomas, in the primary -- will be watching with some interest tonight to see who his Republican opponent will be: nuclear power plant project manager Ray McKinney, or former fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, Carl Smith? Neither one is particularly well-funded or has an imposing profile, but this race could be competitive if the Republican wave is particularly large. (C)
• MN-Gov (D): Minnesota Democrats will finally have a chance to participate in some real democracy today, rather than having their gubernatorial nominee chosen for them by a bunch of elites at a party convention. State House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher did in fact win the endorsement of state delegates, but former Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza forged on with primary challenges regardless. It was probably a wise move for the wealthy Dayton, seeing as recent polls have all shown him to be in first place, with MAK in second and Entenza (who also has access to family money) in third. While this race may not wind up being very exciting, in a low turnout three-way with one woman and two men, the outcome could be unexpected. (D)