FL-Sen: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Kendrick Meek (D): 22
Marco Rubio (R): 39
Charlie Crist (I): 31
FL-Gov: Suffolk (10/14-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Alex Sink (D): 45
Rick Scott (R): 38
Misc.: In the AG race, Pam Bondi (R) leads Dan Gelber (D), 38-30. Also, a poll by Voter Survey Service (aka Susquehanna) for the right-wing Sunshine State News site has Adam Putnam (R) leading Scott Maddox (D) in the Ag Comm'r race, 40-35. Tea Party candidate Ira Chester takes 14%.
Tom Barrett (D): 41 (28)
Scott Walker (R): 50 (44)
Undecided: 6 (17)
Margins & Errors: The Fix publishes an alleged WA-Sen poll without either field dates or sample size... Bill Kristol (yeah, that Bill Kristol) claims he has his hands on an OH-10 poll - he has the n, but won't say the pollster's name, who paid for the poll, or when it was taken... Pollster.com has a PDF from ccAdvertising with numbers for WV-Sen, WV-01, and WV-03 - but not only does ccA report to hundredths of a percent, they get taken to the woodshed by Mark Blumenthal for refusing to divulge the poll's sponsor
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
• LA-Sen: That ginned-up internal poll that Chet Traylor released a few days ago (showing him within 12 of David Vitter) seems to have served its intended purpose, for what its worth: the contributions have started coming in at a much greater pace over the last few days. He pulled in $30K in three days, almost doubling up on the $42K he raised over the previous duration of his campaign (and most of which he blew on his new anti-Vitter radio ad). And this can't please Vitter, either: a local paper is reporting to Vitter's troublesome ex-aide, Brent Furer, traveled back from DC to Louisiana several times on the public's dime, at points that just happened to coincide with his various trials on charges of drunk driving.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle seems to be wandering all over the map in search of a position on Social Security privatization, one that's extreme enough to satisfy her teabagging core supporters but not so extreme that it scares off, y'know, old people. She's removed the words "transitioned out" from her website (regarding Social Security) but, when pushed yesterday, said that she hasn't changed her view that that's how she feels about it (despite running ads claiming that she wants to "save" Social Security).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak, meet Raul Labrador? As you probably know, there's a common-sense rule of thumb that you don't release your internal polls unless they show you, y'know, ahead of your opponent. Nevertheless, somebody (unclear whether it was the DSCC or the Sestak camp) leaked NBC a Peter Yang internal of the race giving Pat Toomey a 2-point lead over Sestak, 46-44. Obviously, that's not designed to create a sense of Sestak's inevitable victory as most internals are designed to do, but it's pushback against this week's PPP poll, where the switch to LVs hurt Sestak's numbers, probably oriented toward letting contributors know that this race is still in play. The DSCC has also been nailing Toomey on the rather arcane issue of derivatives, which had a key role in inflating the asset bubble that popped and left all our faces covered in pink sticky goo in 2008. Somehow I doubt more than 1% of the nation can offer a cogent explanation of what derivatives (especially credit default swaps) do, but at any rate, they've tracked down three separate times when Toomey as Congressman, on the House floor, praised the use of derivatives, something he's lately tried to distance himself from.
• WA-Sen: We're up to 67% reporting in Washington, with the numbers not really having budged from Tuesday night (still 46 Patty Murray, 34 Dino Rossi, 12 Clint Didier), but more than three-quarters of the remaining precincts are in the Dem-friendly King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, so look for some future budging. Meanwhile, here's a comparison that only true politics junkies will get... remember Fred Heineman? (The one-term Republican House member from NC-04 swept in in 1994, who then said that his $183,000 salary made him "lower-middle-class" and that the middle class extended up to $750K, and promptly got swept out in 1996.) Dino Rossi has apparently decided that he should be Washington's answer to Heineman, as he essentially said that one-third of Washingtonians make over $200K per year. More specifically, he said 2.5 million Washingtonians would benefit from keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $200K/yr. (In reality, 105K households, or 1.6% of the state's population, fit that profile.)
• CA-Gov: Here's an iceberg in the way for the serene cruise of the Queen Meg: activists at a convention of state conservatives this weekend plan a rude welcome for her. They plan to lambaste her on her non-extreme positions on an Arizona-style immigration law in California, and her support for greenhouse gas-limiting Proposition 19 23. Also, here's some quantitative evidence for something that I've long suspected: Whitman has so oversaturated the airwaves with advertising that it went well past the point of having its desired effect and is now just getting people pissed off at her. A Jerry Brown staffer leaked that nugget from internal polling, finding that her own advertising has helped Whitman with 8% of voters and hurt her with 27% of voters.
• IA-03: Hot on the heels of the David Rivera story in FL-25, here's another uncomfortable blast from the past for another Republican House candidate: records reveal that Brad Zaun, the GOP's nominee against Leonard Boswell, had to be told by West Des Moines police to stay away from his ex-girlfriend after a late night visit to her house to pound on her windows and call her names.
• MO-03, MO-04: Odd little pollster We Ask America seems to be entering another period of being prolific, as now they're out with a couple House polls from the underserved state of Missouri. They find Russ Carnahan fairly comfortable against Republican challenger Ed Martin in the 3rd, leading 48-39, but find veteran Dem Ike Skelton in a tighter race in the 4th, leading Vicky Hartzler 45-42. Skelton still draws the support of 27% of Republicans and 37% of indies, crucial to surviving this dark-red district.
• CfG: The Club for Growth is starting to switch gears from primaries (where they seem to have had a more productive run this year than in previous cyles) to the general. They've endorsed four Republican challengers who all cleared the primary bar: Stephen Fincher in TN-08, Todd Young in IN-09, Mick Mulvaney in SC-05, and Tim Griffin in AR-02.
• Ads: The most attention-grabbing ad today seems to be from Indiana Dem Joe Donnelly, who already tried to distanced himself from "the Washington crowd" in his previous ad. Now he's basically thrown in the towel on trying to fight the messaging war and just start running with Republican memes, touting his opposition in his newest ad to "Nancy Pelosi's energy tax." Other ads worth checking out today include an RGA ad for Duke Aiona in HI-Gov, a Joyce Elliott ad in AR-02, a Michelle Rollins spot in DE-AL, and a Mike McIntyre ad in NC-07.
Joyce Elliott (D): 35
Tim Griffin (R): 52
Lance Levi (I): 3
Lewis Kennedy (G): 1
Oof. The story is in the favorables: Griffin, who won his two-way primary back in May without a runoff, has a net favorable rating of 53-21. Elliott, who slogged through two rough rounds of primary balloting, is underwater at 32-45. Griffin even leads in Dem-friendly Pulaski County, which was one of those rare spots in Arkansas that voted for Barack Obama back in 2008.
The NRCC is already telegraphing that they consider this race in the bag, going so far as to highlight the open seat race in Arkansas' 1st CD as a target for ad dollars this fall while signaling that they're prepared to let Griffin stand on his own.
NV-Sen: An interesting tidbit from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which Jon Ralston rightly knocks them for burying: Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, the first and only Republican woman to hold federal office in Nevada, says she isn't sure whether she can support Sharron Angle, and might just vote "none of the above."
WI-Sen: Former GOP candidate Terrence Wall is claiming that teabagging richie rich Ron Johnson engaged in "bribery" to win the state Republican convention in May - where "bribery" is characterized as, apparently, paying for some delegate hotel rooms. Johnson denies the allegations, and even his remaining opponent, Dave Westlake, isn't buying them either.
WV-Sen: Sen. Robert Byrd, age 92, was admitted to the hospital over the weekend and is said to be "seriously ill" by his staff. We of course extend our wishes for his recovery.
AZ-Gov: While she has some distance to go before she reaches Sharron Angle or Rand Paul levels of foot-in-mouth disease, I think Jan Brewer is going to be one of those Republicans who really helps us by not knowing how to shut up. Case in point: She said on CNN this weekend that "the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules."
CT-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is busy explaining two arrests in his past, both involving vehicular incidents. (Click the link for full details.) No charges were filed in either incident.
FL-Gov: Florida Republicans are drafting a new immigration law for their own state modeled after Arizona's. We're slotting this under the FL-Gov header because AG Bill McCollum's office is helping to write this new bill. (Florida has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country, with 21% of the state claiming Hispanic origin.) Meanwhile, the St. Pete Times takes a lengthy look at Rick Scott's tenure at Columbia/HCA, the healthcare giant which engaged in massive fraud and eventually paid a record-setting $1.7 billion fine. Scott is trying to tout his experience as a CEO, but of course keeps attempting to distance himself from his former company. Ah, but what's a little two-faced bullshit on the campaign trail?
IA-Gov: Ah, the Republican Party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. As desmoines dem chronicles at her blog, Bleeding Heartland (bookmark it), Terry Branstad was dealt a pretty ugly vote-of-not-a-lot-of-confidence at the GOP state convention this past Saturday. Even though Branstad nominated his own Lt. Gov. candidate (the largely unknown Kim Reynolds), a state rep. put Bob Vander Plaats' name into the hopper for the nod - and Branstad's pick squeaked by with just 56% of the delegate vote. (Vander Plaats, of course, ran against Branstad for the gubernatorial nomination, losing by only about 10 points despite huge disparities in name rec and money.) And just the day before, BVP said he still wasn't planning to support Brandsad, nor would he rule out an independent bid. Smell the cat fud, baby!
AR-02: I'm not really getting Joyce Elliott's messaging here. On the one hand, she's trying to tie former AG Tim Griffin to his one-time mentor, Karl Rove. On the other hand, she says she won't run a campaign against Washington, DC. So not only is her message muddled, but she's also unilaterally disarming. I hope she sees the error of her ways on this one.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeffrey Perry is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies showing him with a 41-25 lead in the GOP primary over ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Perry also claims to have favorables of 44% and unfavorables of just 1%....
VA-02: Sarah Palin is going to be in town for a wingnut event called the "Freedom Fest." But GOP nominee Scott Rigell won't attend - and his campaign is offering some made-up sounding b.s. about FEC regulations preventing him from going. Unsurprisingly, teabagger Kenny Golden is hitting Rigell for his failure to appear. Ironically, Rigell is claiming the fact that Golden wasn't offered equal time at the event is a reason he (Rigell) isn't going!
FL-Sen, FL-Gov: Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute and Cherry Communications (6/9-13, likely voters, no trendlines):
Rick Scott (R): 35
Bill McCollum (R): 30
Alex Sink (D): 26
Rick Scott (R): 30
Bud Chiles (I): 15
Alex Sink (D): 26
Bill McCollum (R): 31
Bud Chiles (I): 15
Kendrick Meek (D): 14
Marco Rubio (R): 31
Charlie Crist (I): 42
IL-Sen: Really gotta wonder what's going on here. The New York Times keeps digging into Mark Kirk's past and finds that the nursery school where he claimed to teach for a brief spell in 1981 "never, ever considered" Kirk a teacher, according to a leader of its affiliated church.
UT-Sen: Mike Lee has an internal poll, conducted by Wenzel Strategies, showing him with a 45-35 lead over Time Bridgewater in the GOP primary. However, an independent poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates for the Deseret News & KSL-TV has almost opposite numbers: 42 Bridgewater, 33 Lee.
IA-Gov: Chet Culver is out with his first ad of the general election campaign, attacking ex-Gov. Terry Branstad for his dodgy fiscal stewardship of the state during his long tenure in the governor's mansion. No word on the size of the buy.
AR-02: Rove acolyte Tim Griffin is out with an internal poll from OnMessage showing him with a 50-34 lead over Joyce Elliott. He also announced the endorsement of weirdo D.C. Morrison - yeah, the guy who ran in the Democratic senate primary. Not really a surprise, though, since Morrison previously said he planned to support John Boozman in that race.
NY-23: Good news, everybody! I opened up the ballot box, and Schroedinger's cat fud is very much alive! In fact, there's a 100% chance of a right-wing split in NY-23 no matter what happens now. That's because the Independence Party gave their line to Matt Doheny, who is also seeking the Republican nomination. But of course, our old friend Doug Hoffman is also vying for the GOP nod - and he already has the Conservative Party's endorsement. This means that regardless of who wins the Republican primary, at least one ballot line will remain occupied by a legitimate Republican candidate.
ID-01: This is sorta weird. You remember that Vaughn Ward ripped off an Obama speech, right? Well, it turns out that he also ganked large chunks of a speech from Pat Meehan, too, who is running in PA-07. (At least Meehan's a Republican.) What's odd, though, is why is TV news station KTVB investigating this stuff now, weeks after Ward lost the GOP primary? Aren't there actual candidates worth reporting about?
UT-02: Those same media organizations (see UT-Sen item above) also had Dan Jones poll the 2nd CD, finding Rep. Jim Matheson leading Claudia Wright 52-33 in the Democratic primary. That's good for Matheson, but by no means great, given his almost comical spending advantage.
FL-Sen: Not unexpectedly, Charlie Crist vetoed a bill (passed by Flordia's Republican state lege and supported by anti-choice groups) which would have required women seeking an abortion to first get an ultrasound. Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek both fired off press releases attacking Crist - the former for abandoning conservative principles, and the latter for trying to "run away" from his "anti-choice past."
KY-Sen: We've mentioned this before, but now the Louisville Courier-Journal has a lengthy piece looking at Rand Paul's renegade ophthalmology certification organization, called the National Board of Opthalmology. It turns out that the American Board of Medical Specialties - the meta-group which certifies this country's certifying organizations - doesn't recognize Paul's concoction. Rather, they recognize the American Board of Ophthalmology, from whom Paul used to have a certification, but which he let lapse some years ago.
SC-Sen: So now even the White House is weighing in on the mysterious primary victory of Alvin Greene, with senior advisor David Axelrod saying he thinks Green's win "doesn't appear" legitimate. This widespread establishment skepticism may enoucrage loser Vic Rawl to file a formal protest with the state Democratic Party, something he has until noon today to do. The party could void the result if it found serious flaws, but state chair Carol Fowler says something like that is "pretty rare." And Nathan Gonzales also makes a good point: Greene may have spent $0 on this race, but Rawl didn't spent a whole lot more - just $45K.
UT-Sen (pdf): Wilson Research Strategies for Mike Lee (6/10, likely voters):
Mike Lee (R): 39
Tim Bridgewater (R): 30
AL-Gov: This seems a little odd: lame duck AG Troy King (who just lost the GOP primary) issued an advisory opinion saying that the July 13th Republican gubernatorial runoff ballot should feature the names of Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley - even if third-place finisher Tim James displaces Bentley in a planned recount. King advises that another runoff take place if James's recount is successful.
MI-Gov: Fifth CD Rep. Dale Kildee endorsed Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the Democratic primary, the first member of the House from Michigan to weigh in in the gubernatorial race. His nephew Dan Kildee, who considered running himself, also got behind Bernero.
NH-Gov: Democratic Gov. John Lynch formally filed for re-election last Friday. He's seeking a fourth consecutive two-year term, something no one has won before in New Hampshire history. A piece in the Laconia Citizen looks at the challenges Lynch faces in achieving this goal.
OH-Gov: Gov. Ted Strickland reported raising $1.3 million between April 23rd and June 10th, giving him $7.7 million cash-on-hand and $11.5 million raised for the entire campaign (which his camp says is a record). Politico also says that Strickland has raised more than any other Dem governor seeking re-election, but note that only seven fall into this category. Meanwhile, Republican John Kasich raised the same amount but has $5.7 million on hand.
UT-Gov: Ah, timing is everything in politics. Just four days after Gov. Gary Hebert called for more oil drilling in Utah, a Chevron pipeline burst a leak, spilling 500 barrels oil into Salt Lake City's Red Butte Creek, forcing the closure of the city's biggest park. (Click the link for a pic. More here.)
AR-01: The link is behind a paywall, so we don't have much to go on, but apparently Tim Wooldridge is "hedging" on an endorsement of Chad Causey, the man who beat him in the runoff last week. Let's hope this changes soon.
AR-02: Also behind a paywall (at the Hotline) is this tidbit that state Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) said she "doesn't know" whether she'd support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Elliott, who has a liberal reputation, probably has some re-positioning to do to remain competitive in this race, but is acting Pelosi-agnostic really plausible? Even Mike Oliverio eventually backed down from this perch - and he's infinitely more conservative than Elliott.
CT-04: A supporter of Dan Debicella says her name fraudulently appeared on a nominating petition for rival Tom Herrmann, who is also seeking the GOP nod to take on Rep. Jim Himes in the fall. Stories like this don't tend to have much legs, though, unless there turns out to be widespread fraud.
GA-09: Representative-elect Tom Graves (R) will be sworn in to the House later today. Note that the two other remaining vacancies in the House - NY-29 and IN-03, both the product of resignations due to scandal - will not be filled until November. Also, Graves is not out of the woods yet, as he still faces a regular July 20th primary for the fall general election.
MD-01: Looks like Andy Harris has gone, at least, birther-curious. During a recent radio appearance, Harris refused to dismiss a caller's accusation that Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship is "false", saying that he doesn't know why all the details on Obama's birth certificate are "being hidden". (J)
MS-01: Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya. There seem to be no hurt feelings in this GOP primary, after all. After initially refusing to endorse primary winner Alan Nunnelee, former Fox News commentator Angela McGlowan has endorsed his campaign in an email to her supporters. Second-place finisher Henry Ross also threw his endorsement to Nunnelee, making the circle complete and activating the powers of Captain Planet. (J)
NC-08: Mountain of Crazy Tim D'Annunzio has upped his personal investment in his bid for the GOP nomination against Larry Kissell to $1.3 million. Harold Johnson, the guy whom the NRCC desperately wants to see win the primary, is getting out-gunned; he only raised $49K in the pre-runoff period, and is getting outspent by a greater than 2-1 margin. (J)
NY-24: The Oneida County District Attorney's office is investigating quid pro quo allegations surrounging a 2008 donation that Republican candidate Richard Hanna made to the Oneida County Independence Party. (J)
SC-01: Politico's Alex Isenstadt tweets that House GOP leaders are "launching [a] full scale effort for Tim Scott", the African-American state Rep. who's locked in a runoff with legacy candidate Paul Thurmond. Karl Rove himself is even cutting a check for Scott. (J)
UT-02: Dem Rep. Jim Matheson certainly doesn't appear to be taking any chances in his first-ever primary against retired teacher/activist Claudia Wright. Matheson's pre-primary FEC filing shows that his campaign has brought in $142K and spent nearly $467K since Wright shocked Matheson by forcing a primary at the May Democratic convention, leaving the incumbent with just over a million in the bank. Wright, for her part, only raised $15K during that time, and spent $17K. (J)
WA-02: Moose alert! Sarah Palin gave her latest Twitter endorsement to Snohomish County councilman John Koster, who's seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen. Koster faces absolute nutball John Carmack in the Republican primary. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of Carmack's website. (J)
Note: This digest was written entirely by DavidNYC.
AR-Sen: SEIU has a new ad out hitting Lincoln for her TARP vote and for her disloyalty during the health care debate. Props to CQ's Matthew Murray for trying to nail down the size of the buy from SEIU, which would only say that the run is "comprehensive." SEIU has gone pretty large in this race from day one, so they probably aren't going cheap on us now.
CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, in a move which will no doubt endear her to the teabaggers but embarrass her in the eyes of the state of California, has taken to decrying concerns about climate change as "worrying about the weather" in a new ad.
CO-Sen: I Do. Not. Care. about this stupid non-story. Why are journalists so damn breathless about crap like this? It's like they've never heard of politics.
NV-Sen: According to an analysis by the WaPo, Chicken Lady may have spent $100K on her primary out of funds that were designated for the general election only. Lowden bought $220K worth of ad time, but had only about $100K of primary money (mostly a loan from herself) on hand, so that extra hundred grand had to come from somewhere. God, you know, I just can't decide whom I'd rather face more: this crazy lady, or the other crazy lady. Harry Reid, you are one lucky dude. Just pray Danny Tarkanian doesn't pull an Alice Kryzan/Creigh Deeds.
NV-Gov: A district court judge enjoined a shadowy conservative group, Alliance for America's Future, from running ads until it registers with the Secretary of State, saying that voters have the right to know who is behind political advertising. The group, which has ties to Dick Cheney, had planned to spend $250K on behalf of GOPer Brian Sandoval.
AR-02: In the AR-02 runoff, state House Speaker Robbie Wills, a white male, has been arguing that he's "more electable" than state Senate Majority Leader Joyce Elliott, who is black and a woman. The chair of the Arkansas NAACP sees that a "code word for racism." Wills responded by saying that Elliott has "extreme views" which are out of step with the district. I hope this primary doesn't get much uglier, because words like that will be used by Republicans against whomever our nominee is.
CA-19: Dick Pombo is trying to win a GOP primary by reminding voters that he's a longtime creature of Washington, DC. No wonder he lost.
ID-01: Dear Vaughn Ward: socks before shoes. Also, hire publicists to get your side of the story out before election day, not after. Actually, no - we love you, don't change a thing!
MI-08: This is unfortunate. Kande Ngalamulume, the only Democrat running against GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, is dropping out of the race, just three weeks after formally announcing his candidacy. Though Ngalamulume hadn't filed any FEC reports, Obama actually won this district 53-46 (a major swing from Bush's 54-45 win over Kerry), and even being able to pin Rogers down just a bit would have been helpful. Michigan's filing deadline was May 11th, and I'm not sure if local Dems can nominate a replacement.
NH-02: Some Teabagger Andrew Hemingway says he won't get into the GOP primary in NH-02. Meh.
NY-13: It's always confusing in NY-13, but here's the deal: The state Conservative Party has given its backing to GOPer Michael Grimm, who was also endorsed by the Brooklyn wing of the party - even though the Staten Island Cons recently got behind Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. (Party chair Mike Long wasn't going to let McMahon get their nod, though.) To make things even more complicated, the SI Republican Party endorsed Grimm's primary opponent, Michael Allegretti, as we mentioned last week, and the Brooklyn GOP did as well the week before. But Grimm has at least one big player on his side: Rudy Giuliani, who did a fundraiser for him earlier this week. Anyhow, I'm sure you can sniff the cat fud: Grimm has already locked up the Conservative line, but Allegretti could definitely win the Republican primary. There's already a lot of bad blood between the two Republican Mikes, which means we could see something of an NY-23 redux here.
NY-18: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS squeezed in a fundraiser yesterday for... Nita Lowey? She has over $1.1 million on hand, and I'm not aware of any meaningful Republican challenger in this race. (Obama/Kerry: 62/58.) So what gives?
OK-02: This is interesting: Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson says he's going to launch a primary challenge to conservative Rep. Dan Boren. Wilson specifically cited Boren's opposition to the healthcare reform bill in launching his campaign. The primary here is pretty soon, July 27th, though there's also a run-off on August 24th. However, as of now, there are only two candidates in the race.
TN-08: The internal warfare continues in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner. Though the NRCC is still touting agribusiness kingpin Stephen Fincher, ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is doing a fundraiser for Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn. An establishment divided against itself... yields to a teabagger?
WI-07: Hah! We mentioned the other day that establishment efforts to clear the primary field for Dem Julie Lassa hit a snag when Some Dude Joe Reasbeck said he was going to run. Well, turns out he's run for office before: as a write-in (wait, there's more) in Texas (heh, there's still more) as a Republican (not done yet), earning 89 votes. Hold on, hold on - more! Who was he running against? Well, only the most famous write-in candidate of all time, Snelly Gibbr! Shit like this is why I love politics.
AR-Sen: The Big Dog is coming back home to stump for Blanche Lincoln, the first time he's done so this race. Meanwhile, the SEIU just tossed in another $100K for phonebanking and another $100K for field on behalf of Bill Halter. (There's also an amusing negative $100K entry for "reverse phonebanking.")
CA-Sen: Chuck DeVore is as insane as this ad. A true must-see. In news of the normal, President Obama kept to his promise to return to CA for two more Barbara Boxer fundraisers. The events raised $1.75 million, $600K of which will go to Boxer and the balance to the DSCC.
KY-Sen: Heh, that was quick. Rand Paul is already planning the dreaded "staff shakeup." The only problem is that he can't fire himself. Barring that, Mitch McConnell is telling his least-favorite fellow Kentuckian to shut the fuck up and hide under a rock - "for the time being."
PA-Sen: I agree - this is a magnanimous move. Arlen Specter introduced Joe Sestak to his Senate colleagues at their weekly lunch yesterday. Very gracious.
AL-06, AL-07: Unsurprisingly, corporate lawyer Terri Sewell is the only Democrat airing TV ads in the primary to succeed Rep. Artur Davis, spending about $200K so far. With $783K, she's far outraised her chief competitors, Earl Hilliard, Jr. ($328K) and Shelia Smoot ($100K). Sewell can also count among her contributors Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Crazily, though, ten-term GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus is also airing ads in advance of his primary in AL-06, some $70K worth. Bachus has spent an amazing $680K on his campaign so far, even though his challenger, teabagger Stan Cooke, has raised just $29K total. This is the reddest district in the nation according to Cook PVI (R+29), which may explain Bachus's anxiety, since he is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and voted in favor of the bailout.
AR-01: A similar situation in AR-01 as in AR-02 below, where first-rounder David Cook endorsed the somewhat less-conservative Chad Causey over the extremely conservative Tim Wooldridge in (you might be a little surprised to hear me say this if you don't already know the names) the Democratic runoff.
AR-02: Some runoff endorsements on both sides from the also-rans. Patrick Kennedy and John Adams (great names, huh?) both endorsed Robbie Wills in the Democratic race, while David Boling endorsed Joyce Elliott. I suspect national Dems would prefer Wills over the more-liberal Elliott, but this race is probably too touchy to get involved in.
DE-AL: Joe Biden returned home to do a fundraiser in Wilmington for John Carney. No word on whether he'll also do one for Senate candidate Chris Coons, but it's not like it's a big schlep.
FL-25: The statewide Florida AFL-CIO, following the lead of its South Fla. branch, endorsed little-known longshoreman Luis Meurice in the Democratic primary, rather than Joe Garcia. The union, Florida's biggest, backed Garcia in 2008.
IN-05: This is exactly the kind of weird that Dave Weigel specializes in. Tim Crawford, the teabagging "Democrat" who snuck to victory in the Democratic primary here, abruptly dropped out of the race after an unpleasant meeting with, you know, actual Democrats... and then wrote a long, rambly email saying he was un-dropping-out. Ah well.
IN-09: Speaking of Joe Biden, he'll also be doing a fundraiser in late June for Rep. Baron Hill in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
NC-08: I would really freakin' love to see Tim D'Annunzio pull this one off. The entire NC House GOP delegation just collectively endorsed former TV sportscaster Harold Johnson, terrified as they are of the spastic-fantastic Tim-diana Jones. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here stat.
RI-01: Scott Brown is coming to Rhode Island for a fundraiser with state Rep. John Loughlin, the GOP's candidate in this open seat. To date, Loughlin's raised about $344K, which might not seem too bad, but in fact he's been running for a long time, since well before Rep. Patrick Kennedy announced his retirement.
VA-11: Businessman Keith Fimian has a new poll from McLaughlin & Associates showing him with a 36-23 lead over Fairfax Co. Supervisor Pat Herrity in the GOP primary. A March poll had Fimian up 29-17. Herrity had his own poll out last month, though, showing him with a 42-21 lead - and pointed out that Fimian claimed his internals had him just three points behind Gerry Connolly before election day 2008, but lost by twelve.
DSCC: Uh, good, I guess. The DSCC has cancelled plans to have EPA chief Lisa Jackson headline an NYC fundraiser next week - but what a retarded idea in the first place. It seems pretty inappropriate to me to have cabinet members doing hackwork like this (can you imagine Hillary Clinton or Eric Holder shilling for dollars?), but it's even worse when you're talking about the head of the EPA in the midst of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. I also find it unctuous that the original invitation promised that the event would be "intimate, so each of you will have a real opportunity to get to know and to speak to Lisa about issues of concern to you and our nation." Pretty gross when it's our team selling access to the ultra-wealthy. Barf.
Ideology: Alan Abramowitz has a great piece up at the Democratic Strategist, looking at the correlation between ideology (as measured by DW-NOMINATE) and election performance by Republican senators. Using a modified eight-point DW-N scale, Abramowitz finds: "For every additional one point increase in conservatism, Republican incumbents lost an additional three percentage points in support relative to their party's presidential candidate." But shhh... don't tell the Republicans!
Talk Business, a multi-format Arkansas newsmagazine, is conducting a whole bunch of polling on the state's congressional primaries. They are using an outfit I'm not familiar with, with the memorable name of "The Political Firm." They look to be a Republican pollster, but I don't know if they have any skin in the game (or if Talk Business has any axe to grind).
In any event, Talk Business says all the polls were taken April 6-7th, were of registered voters (sort of an unusual choice, given that the primary is on May 18th), and are unweighted. TPF says it uses IVR (aka robopolls). Talk Business also promises two more rounds of polling before the primary.