• AK-Sen: There's yet another lawsuit coming out of the Joe Miller camp, this one filed in state court. It essentially rehashes claims he's already made at the federal level, but adds two new allegations: voters without identification were allowed to take ballots in some precincts, and that in a few precincts handwriting samples suggest that the same person completed multiple ballots. Miller's ultimate goal is a hand count of the entire race, which could delay Lisa Murkowski's swearing-in past January. The question, however, is starting to arise: who's paying for all this? None of Miller's former friends seem interested any more: the NRSC has gone silent, and the Tea Party Express still offers verbal support but isn't ponying up any money. Only Jim DeMint continues to offer any financial support (with a Joe Miller fundraising button on his Senate Conservatives website).
• MT-Sen: This could complicates matters for Denny Rehberg, turning this primary into an establishment vs. teabagger duel. Two right-wing groups, Concerned Women PAC and Gun Owners of America, have already lent their support to businessman Steve Daines, who has already announced his bid for the GOP nod here.
• NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand has to do it all over again in 2012 (this one was just a special election), and rumors are that former Bush administration official Dan Senor, who spurned a run this time, is interested in a run next time. It's hard to imagine, if Gillibrand could top 60% in a year as bad as this, that Senor could somehow overperform that in a presidential year.
• MN-Gov: The recount is officially on. The State Canvassing Board, whom you all got to know really well in early 2009, ruled that the 8,770 vote lead for Mark Dayton is less than one-half of a percentage point and that an automatic recount is triggered. The count starts on Monday and should end in mid-December, allowing time for swearing in on Jan. 3 (unless things really go haywire). This comes after a variety of legal maneuvering from both sides, including a fast Minnesota Supreme Court ruling against Tom Emmer, in response to his desire to force counties to comb through voter rolls and eliminate votes that were "excessively cast." No word yet on whether the Board will honor Dayton's request for ways to streamline the process (and minimize Emmer's chances for challenges).
• MT-Gov: There had been rumors that Democratic ex-Rep. Pat Williams would seek the Dem gubernatorial nomination (potentially setting up a match with his successor, ex-Rep. Rick Hill), despite being 72 years old. He's now saying that he won't. Williams is so old-school that he used to represent MT-01, before the state got smooshed together into one at-large district.
• CT-05: Random rich guy Mark Greenberg, who finished third in the GOP primary in the 5th this year (although with nearly 30% of the vote), says he'll be running again in 2012. Added incentive: he says he expects this to be an open seat as Chris Murphy runs for Senate.
• FL-17: Newly elected Frederica Wilson is already challenging the old ways of the House... going after the long-standing prohibition against wearing hats on the House floor. She says it's "sexist," saying that women's indoor hat use is different from men's. Wilson owns at least 300 hats, she says. (If Regina Thomas ever makes it to the House, maybe the Hat Caucus can gain some momentum.)
• MD-01: Recently-defeated Frank Kratovil seems like one of the likeliest losses to run again in 2012, especially since the Dem-controlled Maryland legislature is likely to serve him up a much Dem-friendlier district (as many of our in-house mapmakers have suggested). He isn't saying yes yet, but says he will "consider" it.
• NH-02: Another possible re-run is Ann McLane Kuster, who performed pretty well in a narrow loss to Charlie Bass in the open 2nd. There have been lots of Beltway rumors that her run is imminent, and some are pointing to encouragement straight from the White House for her to try again.
• NY-01: We've essentially finished the absentee ballot count, and the news is very good here: Tim Bishop, after leading by only 15 last night, is now leading by a comparatively-gargantuan 235 with all absentees counted. However, we're nowhere near a resolution, as attention now turns to the court battle over 2,000 challenged ballots (Randy Altschuler has challenged 1,261, while Bishop has challenged 790). Still, Bishop's spokesperson is saying they're "very confident" that they've won this one.
• NY-23: Yeesh, Bill Owens is actually saying he might vote for John Boehner for Speaker or abstain instead of Nancy Pelosi when it comes to a floor vote, saying Pelosi is too liberal. (This despite saying he voted for her, rather than Heath Shuler, in the caucus vote.) Also, not that it matters at this point, but this race wound up being closer than the Election Day count indicated: Matt Doheny picked up 1,982 previously-unknown votes in the recanvass of Fulton County, taking Owens' margin down to 1,795 overall, and making it all the clearer that we owe this victory entirely to 3rd-party bearer-of-cat-fud Doug Hoffman.
• Odds and ends: The Fix has a massive list of people considering rematches in 2012, most of which we've already dealt with before (including Kuster and Kratovil, above). Other names that we haven't listed include Brad Ellsworth (either for Gov, Senate, or his old IN-08), Christine O'Donnell in Delaware (not unexpected, since she runs every 2 years anyway), Glenn Nye, and Allen Boyd (despite his losing very thoroughly to Steve Southerland).
• AL-St. House: The inevitable realignment at the legislative level in Alabama finally happened, and happened all at once instead of slow drips. Four conservative Democrats in the state House changed to the GOP, bringing the GOP numbers up to not just a majority but a supermajority in one fell swoop. The Madison County (Huntsville) Clerk also announced her switch, too.
• CA-AG: At this point, it's all over but the shouting in the AG race, as Kamala Harris now leads Steve Cooley by 43,000 votes (with 500K votes still left to count). While the AP hasn't called it, LA Weekly has decided it's a done deal.
• Chicago mayor: Roland Burris has aparently thrown his well-traveled hat into the ring for the Chicago mayoral race, as he'll need a new job in a week or so. Supporters filed his candidate paperwork yesterday, the deadline for filing (although he has yet to officially say that he's running). Somehow, I can only see this helping Rahm Emanuel, by further splitting the African-American vote (already divided between Danny Davis and another ex-Senator, Carol Mosely Braun).
• Redistricting: There's been some sudden buzz about switching North Carolina to an independent redistricting commission (which, of course, has to do with the GOP seizing control of the state legislature). In what is not a surprise, though, the GOP has no interest in giving up its newfound power, saying that (despite a recent PPP poll showing wide support for such a commission) there isn't any time to move on the constitutional amendment that would create a commission (something that they generally supported up until, y'know, this month). Also on the redistricting front, check out the Fix's latest installment in its state-by-state series, focusing today on Indiana, where GOP control over the trifecta is likely to make things worse for IN-02's Joe Donnelly (just how much worse, we have yet to find out)... and, if they wanted to experiment with dummymanders, possibly IN-07's Andre Carson, too.
• Demographics: Here's some interesting demographic slice-and-dice from the Washington Post: Dems increased their vote share in big counties (500K+) from 49% in 1994 to 54% this year, but lost even further in smaller counties, from 43% in 1994 to 39% this year. The districts the GOP won were disproportionately older, whiter, and less educated. And on a related note, check out these maps and the interesting ways they represent population density around the U.S. Note any similarities between these maps and where Democratic votes are concentrated?
• AK-Sen: Nothing has really changed with the overall trajectory of the Alaska Senate race, but this is the first day that Lisa Murkowski has been able to claim a "lead" over Joe Miller (even though her victory has become increasingly clear each day). At the end of yesterday's counting, she had 92,164 votes to Miller's 90,448. 7,601 were subject to challenge but counted for her anyway (and, if Miller's lawsuit succeeds, could get reversed), but based on Murkowski's success at avoiding write-in challenges, is on track to win with or without those challenged ballots.
• FL-Sen: George LeMieux, whose year-and-a-half in the Senate is about to expire, is leaving with more of a whimper than a bang, if PPP is to be believed: his approvals are 11/28 (with 61% with no opinion), including 14/24 among Republicans. He's not looking like he'd have much impact in a challenge to Bill Nelson in 2012, which he's threatened (which isn't to say that Nelson is out of the woods, as a stronger Republican will no doubt come along). Among all the appointed Senators, he's still faring better than Roland Burris (18/57) but worse than Carte Goodwin (17/22) and Ted Kaufman (38/33). (Oh, and if you're still feeling like we lost out by not having Charlie Crist win the Senate race, guess again: Bob Dole! is reporting that Crist promised him he'd caucus with the GOP if he won the 3-way race. This comes after leaks in the waning days of the race that he'd caucus with the Democrats. Somehow, I expect any day now that Ralph Nader will reveal that Crist promised him that he'd caucus with the Green Party if he won the race.)
• IN-Sen: Richard Lugar made it official; he's running for re-election one more time. Lugar, who'll be 80 in 2012, probably has more to worry about in the Republican primary than he does in the general election, where aspiring Democrats would probably be more interested in the open gubernatorial seat.
• OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown will probably have a tougher re-election than his initial election, but it's unclear which Republican he'll face. The two who've gotten the most press are Mary Taylor, the current Auditor and newly-elected Lt. Governor, or Rep. Jim Jordan (a religious right fave from the state's rural west), but another possibility that the article broaches is long-time Rep. Steve LaTourette, one of the House's more moderate GOPers left. Either way, if Jordan or LaTourette were to try for the promotion, that would help the state GOP decide which of their seats to vaporize in the redistricting process (although LaTourette's, in the northeast corner and surrounded by Dem seats, would be much harder to work with). Ohio's losing two seats, though, and one more Dem seat is on the chopping block, especially since the biggest population losses have come in the northeast -- the likeliest outcome seems to be consolidation of districts that sets up either a Dennis Kucinich/Marcia Fudge or Dennis Kucinich/Betty Sutton mash-up.
• PA-Sen: The GOP feels like they have a shot against Bob Casey (who won by a near-overwhelming margin in 2006), given the state's turn toward the red this year. The big question, though, is who? If Tom Ridge didn't do it this year when it would have been a gimmee, he certainly isn't any likelier to do it in 2012. Hotline mentions a couple current suburban Reps., Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent, both of whom have tenaciously held down Dem-leaning districts that would be prime open seat battles if they left. Failing that, the bench looks pretty empty; they cite state Sen. Jake Corman as interested, as well as talk radio host and behind-the-scenes player Glen Meakem, who cited interest in running for 2010 but decided against it.
• MN-Gov: Minnesota's SoS (a Dem, Mark Ritchie) has laid out the timeline for the recount process. The race will be canvassed starting Nov. 23, and presuming a recount is necessary (which it will be unless something weird happens with the canvass, as Dem Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer by less than one-half of a percent, triggering the automatic recount provision), the recounting will begin on Nov. 29.
• MD-01: Nothing like teabagger hypocrisy at work: freshly elected with a mandate to destroy the federal government, Andy Harris's first act in Washington was to demand all the free goodies from the federal government that he's entitled to, so long as other people are paying for them. At freshman orientation, Harris was observed expressing dismay that his gold-plated health care plan takes a month to kick in.
• NY-01, NY-25: Here are a couple more updates from overtime. In the 1st, Randy Altschuler's lead over Tim Bishop is currently 383, but there are more than 11,000 absentees to be counted starting today, and since they're all from one county (Suffolk), your guess is as good as mine how they break. In NY-25, Ann Marie Buerkle gained a tiny bit of ground as two GOP-leaning counties reported their absentees; she's now up 729. Dan Maffei's base, Dem-leaning Onondaga County, is about to start counting its 6,000 absentees. He should make up some ground, but he'll need to average 56% among the remaining absentee ballots, while he's only got 54% in Onondaga so far, though.
• DSCC: Dianne Feinstein told the press that Michael Bennet is, despite his previous demurrals, going to be the next DSCC chair. Does Michael Bennet know this? He's still saying no. The rest of the Dem leadership in the Senate (and the GOP, too) was elected without a hitch today, but the DSCC job still stands vacant.
• CA-AG: Things keep looking up for Kamala Harris in California, after a torrent of new votes yesterday from Alameda County (where the Dem stronghold of Oakland is). That batch broke 18,764 for Harris, and only 5,099 for Steve Cooley, which may be a decisive moment in the count.
• Chicago mayor: Rahm Emanuel is certainly looking like the early favorite in the Chicago mayoral race, courtesy of an Anzalone-Liszt poll commissioned by the Teamsters local (who haven't endorsed yet). Emanuel is at 36, with Danny Davis at 14, Carol Mosely Braun at 13, Gery Chico at 10, James Meeks at 7, and Miguel del Valle at 4. Now you may be noticing what I'm noticing, that there's significant splitting of the African-American vote here, and if you added Davis, Braun, and Meeks up into one super-candidate, they'd be in a dead heat with Emanuel. Well, don't forget that this election uses a runoff, so chances are good we'll see a head-to-head between Emanuel and one of the African-American challengers, and the poll finds Emanuel winning both those contests convincingly too: 54-33 versus Davis and 55-32 against Braun.
TX-Gov (University of Texas): Bill White (D) 40, Rick Perry (R-inc) 50
Bonus: UT also tested a wide range of down-ballot races.
VA-02 (Christopher Newport University): Glenn Nye (D-inc) 41, Scott Rigell (R) 42
Margins & Errors: The DSCC supposedly has some internal with Alexi Giannoulias up 2 in IL-Sen, but this is some NRCC-style crap with no details other than the toplines... Some MI-Gov poll shows that the race still sucks... Frank Guinta is touting an internal in NH-01 that supposedly has him up 53-37, but there isn't even word of the pollster's name
Rather unusually, Suffolk included Blumenthal & Malloy twice in their head-to-head questions: once as the Dem candidate, and once as the Working Families Party candidate. Each got about 3-4% as the WFP candidate. I've never seen a pollster do this in New York, where the practice of fusion voting is best known.
IL-Gov (PPP): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 41 (35), Bill Brady (R) 42 (42)
FL-22 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Ron Klein (D-inc) 44, Allen West (R) 47
MA-04 (Fleming & Associates for WPRI): Barney Frank (D-inc) 49, Sean Bielat (R) 37
MD-01 (Monmouth): Frank Kratovil (D-inc) 42, Andy Harris (R) 53
MI-03 (EPIC/MRA): Pat Miles (D) 37, Justin Amash (R) 46
MN-01 (Grove Insight (D) for Project New West): Tim Walz (D-inc) 50, Randy Demmer (R) 34
MS-04 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steven Palazzo): Gene Taylor (D-inc) 41, Steven Palazzo (R) 43
NC-11 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for DCCC): Heath Shuler (D-inc) 54, Jeff Miller 39
NM-02 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steve Pearce): Harry Teague (D-inc) 41, Steve Pearce (R) 50
NY-20 (Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Chris Gibson): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42, Chris Gibson 44
OR-05 (SurveyUSA for KATU-TV): Kurt Schrader (D-inc) 41, Scott Bruun (R) 51
Note: Among the 10% who have already voted, Schrader leads 47-46. This continues a pattern we've seen in other SUSA polls (and also some, but not all, of the early voting numbers by party registration).
PA-06 (Monmouth): Manan Trivedi (D) 44, Jim Gerlach (R-inc) 54
PA-17 (Susquehanna for ABC27 News): Tim Holden (D-inc) 58, Justin Argall (R) 28
• AK-Sen: The elections officials in Alaska are out with some further guidance on just how stringent they'll be about misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name: "Murkowsky," for instance, will probably be OK, but misspellings of "Lisa" (hard to misspell, but anything's possible in a state that elected Sarah Palin, I guess) won't. Also, are MurkStrong bracelets on the horizon? They've said it's acceptable for voters to wear wristbands with Murkowski's name printed on them into the ballot booth, as long as they don't show them to other people.
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias offers up an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, taken Oct. 10-12, giving him a 44-41 lead over Mark Kirk (with 4 for LeAlan Jones and 3 for Mike Labno). I don't know how much confidence to get filled with here (especially in view of Nate Silver's seeming ratification of the +5 rule on internal polls, in fact saying it's more like a +6)... but with most public pollsters, even Rasmussen, showing this race to be a game of inches, maybe this is truly worth something.
• NV-Sen: Here's a clear illustration of burn rate, especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me... I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday). Despite her $14 million 3Q haul, her CoH is $4.1 million. That's almost exactly the CoH that Harry Reid just announced ($4 mil, based on raising $2.3 mil in 3Q).
• FL-Gov: Wow, the next Alex Sink attack ad writes itself. It turns out that Rick Scott was actually sued by the state of Florida (the same state, of course, that he's vying to lead) in the late 90s for insider trading at the same time that the FBI was investigating assorted malfeasance at Columbia/HCA. (The case never went to trial, getting subsumed into the larger federal case.)
• RI-Gov: This is pretty late in the game to fall into this state of disarray: Lincoln Chafee's campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini just resigned. It wasn't over any sort of disagreement (or, Tim Cahill-style, over the candidate's hopelessness), though, but rather because of the impropriety of having received unemployment benefits at the same time as working on the Chafee campaign (which he attributes to a payroll snafu). With or without Pagliarini, though, there's already a cloud of disarray hanging overhead, as seen by how little attention the Chafee camp seems to have drummed up surrounding their own internal poll giving them a 34-30 lead over Frank Caprio (with John Robitaille at 15).
• CA-11: It was just yesterday that I was pointing out how clownish OR-04 candidate Art Robinson was a big proponent of eliminating public education altogether. Well, now it's turned out that David Harmer, certainly a "serious" candidate by standard media definitions, is of essentially the same mind, having made the same argument in a 2000 op-ed article in the widely-read San Francisco Chronicle.
• FL-02: At this point I don't expect to see Allen Boyd back in Congress next year, but this poll seems weird even if you feel the same. It's from someone called P.M.I. Inc., only mentioned in a rather sketchily-reported article from the right-leaning Sunshine State News site (complete with a tasteless headline that sounds like something I would write) that doesn't make it clear whether this is an independent poll or taken on someone's behalf (and doesn't include dates or MoE). It shows Steve Southerland leading Allen Boyd 56-30, with two independent conservative candidates pulling in an additional 14 percent of the vote.
• GA-02: With Mike Keown having released a poll showing him trailing Sanford Bishop by only 1, Bishop is rather predictably out with a poll of his own today. The Oct. 7-10 poll from Lester & Assocs. gives Bishop a 50-40 lead. (Keown's poll was taken several weeks earlier, before the DCCC started running ads here.)
• MN-07: Here's one more race where there were "rumors" (without an actual piece of paper) about a competitive race, where the incumbent Dem whipped out an internal to quash that. This is one of the more lopsided polls we've seen lately: Collin Peterson leads Lee Byberg 54-20 in the Sept. 28 poll from Global Strategy Group.
• NY-17: And here's one more mystery poll (expect to see lots more of these bubble up in the coming weeks): it shows Eliot Engel at 31 but leading his split opponents: Conservative York Kleinhandler at 25 and Republican Tony Mele at 23. The poll is from somebody called "YGSBS." Considering that "YG" is the initials of the proprietor of the blog where this poll first emerged (yossigestetner.com), and the "forthcoming" crosstabs still don't seem to have arrived, color me a little suspicious.
• WV-03: Yet another internal poll in the why-are-we-still-talking-about-it WV-03 race: Dem Nick Rahall leads Spike Maynard by 19, in an Anzalone-Liszt poll from Oct. 10-12.
• Fundraising: Here are some fundraising tidbits: via e-mail press release, Taryl Clark just announced $1.8 million last quarter, giving her $1 million CoH. (In any other House race, that'd be huge, but she's up against Michele Bachmann.) Two other fundraising machines who are sort of the polarizing ideological bookends of Florida also reported: Alan Grayson reports $967K last quarter while Allen West reports $1.6 mil (although no CoH numbers, important as his campaign relies heavily on direct-mail churn). Finally, CQ has some assorted other numbers, including $626K for Rick Boucher in VA-09, $700K for Dan Debicella in super-expensive CT-04, and $507K for Andy Harris in MD-01.
• RGA: And here's the biggest number of all: yesterday the RGA reported $31 million in the 3rd quarter, which gives them a lot of leverage in the closing weeks in the tight races. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of that would have gone to the RNC instead in a more competent year.)
• Polltopia: Nate Silver adds some thoughts on the cellphone debate, reignited by new Pew findings that we discussed yesterday. His main takeaway, one that I agree with whole-heartedly, is don't just go start adding 5 points in the Dem direction on every poll you see, simply because the cellphone effect isn't likely to apply uniformly in every population and in every pollster's method.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski finally, as promised, rolls out Ted Stevens dancing with a vacuum cleaner endorsing her from beyond the grave, in a one-minute ad
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is still pouring money into Kentucky (consider that good news), with another boilerplate Conway = Obama ad
• NV-Sen: The Harry Reid team must have spent all last night in the editing suite, as they're already using Sharron Angle's words from last night's debate, on health insurance coverage exemptions, against her
• PA-Sen: If internal polling and press release content are any indication, they've finally something that works against Pat Toomey: China, and outsourcing more in general (which explains why the DSCC is out with another ad on the topic, and also pointing out that in Toomey's last ad that, during the period where he was being a "small businessman" by owning a restaurant, he was really an absentee owner while being a large businessman in Hong Kong)
• WA-Sen: Ditto the DSCC's new ad in Washington, up against Dino Rossi (which, I'll admit, is a strange tack in Washington, one of the most pro-trade states you'll see, and where Patty Murray is a regular vote in favor of trade agreements)
• MO-04: Vicky Hartzler's ace in the hole? She has an ad up with footage of Ike Skelton telling fellow Rep. Todd Akin where to stick it, with repeated obscenities bleeped out (hmmm, that would just make me want to vote for Skelton more)
• NRA: The NRA is out with a planned $6.75 million buy in a number of statewide races, including a few of their Dem friends, but mostly on behalf of GOPers; you can see a variety of their TV ad offerings at the link
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickelooper (D) 42%, Dan Maes (R) 12%, Tom Tancredo (C) 38%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 51%, Linda McMahon (R) 46%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 51%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%
• HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) 49%, Duke Aiona (R) 47%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 55%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 54%
• AK-Sen: The story of how his employment with the city of Fairbanks ended is one of the key reasons why Joe Miller suddenly clammed up and said he wouldn't answer questions about his personal background anymore. Now the city's former mayor, Jim Whitaker, is offering his version of the story, saying Miller is "not truthful" about it. Whitaker says Miller's use of borough resources for political purposes (namely, for gaming an online vote for state party chair in a Sarah Palin-orchestrated party coup) was a violation of borough ethics policy and it would have been a cause for termination if they hadn't been so understaffed. Miller eventually resigned in 2009 anyway, partly because his request to go elk hunting got denied.
• FL-Sen: There are so many Kennedys I really can't keep track which one is allied with who, but any time one leaves the reservation it's interesting. Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that he's backing Charlie Crist for Senate, saying that Kendrick Meek can't win and the most important thing is blocking Marco Rubio. Meanwhile, with the current race not looking very interesting anymore, PPP has its eye on 2012 (which seems like it could be close, especially if Jeb Bush gets involved). They ran two other hypotheticals, one not very likely: Bill Nelson beats Rush Limbaugh 50-36 (if Limbaugh for whatever reason decided to take the huge pay cut). More plausibly, he also beats Rep. Connie Mack IV by 42-33.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon is out with an internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt. Public pollsters have generally seen this as a double-digit race, but his poll, taken over Oct. 9-12, gives David Vitter a not-overwhelming 49-42 lead. The campaign says that's a major improvement (no specific numbers, though) over their September poll.
• FL-Gov: The Florida Education Association (obviously a Democratic-leaning organization) polled the gubernatorial race, and found numbers very close to PPP's results yesterday. The poll from Tom Eldon, taken Oct. 9-12, gives Alex Sink a 47-41 lead over Rick Scott. Scott's faves are down to 33/50.
• IL-Gov: This is quite the screwup: Green candidate Rich Whitney's name will appear as "Rich Whitey" on electronic voting machines in nearly two dozen wards in Chicago (half of which are predominantly African-American). And that leads inevitably to the question (to quote the Illinois Nazi Party): "Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey?" Apparently, he can't do much, as there isn't adequate time left to reprogram and test the machines, although he's looking into various legal options.
• AZ-07: I don't know if there's any hard evidence other than a Magellan poll and a McClung internal to prove there's a real race here, but judging by efforts by some organizations on both sides, something's going on. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee had members make 21,000 phone calls to the district to shore up Raul Grijalva, while Americans for Tax Reform is going to spend $230K on advertising in the district, hitting Grijalva with an ad for encouraging a boycott of his state in the wake of SB 1070.
• CA-44: Like CA-03, this is one offense opportunity in California that still seems to be alive and kicking. The Bill Hedrick campaign, short on cash but facing an underwhelming opponent that he nearly knocked off last time, is out with a Zata|3 internal poll showing Hedrick trailing GOP incumbent Ken Calvert by only a 48-43 margin (improved a 49-38 showing in September).
• GA-08: He made it implicit with his most recent ad (distancing himself from Nancy Pelosi, even going so far as to show 60s-era San Francisco hippies), but Jim Marshall is now explicitly joining Bobby Bright in the camp of incumbents saying they won't support Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress (if they're there for it).
• IA-03: I didn't think I'd be saying this a few months ago, but Leonard Boswell is starting to look like he's in healthy shape for the election, thanks in large part of a variety of damaging details about Brad Zaun that went public. Boswell leads Zaun 47-38 in an internal from his campaign, taken Oct. 3-5 by Anzalone-Liszt.
• IL-10: Bob Dold sure can rake in the fundraising dollars, even if Bob Dold can't seem to come up with a lead in the polls, in what's looking like one of the Dems' few pickups this cycle. Bob Dold raised $843K in the third quarter and is sitting on $979K CoH, enough to start running two broadcast ads this week, while Bob Dold's opponent Dan Seals has yet to release any numbers. Bob Dold!
• MD-01, VA-02, VA-05: Another testament to the unpredictability of elections: even a few months ago, who'd have thought, that at this point, the DCCC would have cut loose Debbie Halvorson and Steve Kagen, but would be keeping on pumping money into the races of Frank Kratovil and Tom Perriello? Those two, along with Glenn Nye, are among the survivors of the triage process and will receive continued ad buys.
• NH-02: This race is also turning out to be close, and this can't help Charlie Bass this close to the election: questions are emerging about a stock buy (in New England Wood Pellet, his nephew-in-law's company) that he made while in Congress the previous time. He then set up a meeting between company officials and Bush administration officials, which is a potential House ethics violation.
• OH-01: Credit Steve Driehaus for having some fire in the belly. After having gotten thrown onto the bring-out-your-dead cart by the DCCC, instead of just shrugging and starting to look for a lobbying job, he's doubling down on his fundraising efforts, using it as an incentive to ask for more from his supporters. In particular, he's pissed that the DCCC let him go even while giving money to various Reps. who voted "no" on health care reform.
• OR-04: Well, here's one more race to add to the watch list. Peter DeFazio hasn't faced credible opposition in... well, ever. And he's still not facing credible opposition this year (Art Robinson is kind of a clown; his main action item seems to be the elimination of public schooling, which would kind of help him out considerably, since his day job is selling curriculum supplies for home schoolers). Nevertheless, the mysterious group Concerned Taxpayers (who've also made a six-digit ad buy against DeFazio) is out with an internal poll from Oct. 4-5 from Wilson Research showing a single-digit race, with DeFazio leading Robinson 48-42. (MoE is a hefty 5.6%.)
• PA-10: Chris Carney is on the wrong end of a Critical Insights poll of his district (which will be in our Poll Roundup later), but he's already getting out in front of it with an internal poll. The Oct. 12-13 poll from Momentum Analysis has Carney leading Tom Marino 48-41. With both candidates able to point to leads not just in internal polls but public polls too, this is quite definitely a "Tossup."
• TN-08: Whew! One last internal. Not much surprise here... GOPer Stephen Fincher has an internal out giving him a double-digit lead in the open seat race against Roy Herron, very similar to yesterday's 47-37 Penn/Hill poll. The Tarrance Group poll from Oct. 11-12 gives Fincher a 47-36 lead (with 3 to indie Donn James).
• FL-AG: This is one of the higher-profile downballot races around, and it gets a fair amount of polling attention too. This time, it's Susquehanna's turn (on behalf of Sunshine State News), and they give a lead to Republican Hillsborough Co. Prosecutor Pam Bondi, who leads state Sen. Dan Gelber 50-42.
• Money: Zata|3 is out with more of their super-helpful charts on the behind-the-scenes money game, which is where the Republicans are really winning this cycle, even more so than the polls. Compared with 2008, spending on Senate races (from both sides) has nearly doubled, and it's up more than 50% on House races. And Republican groups are leading the way: the top 5, and 8 of the top 10, outside groups, spending-wise are GOP-leaning. That starts with the cash-flush RGA ($12 mil so far), followed by the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.
• Polltopia: You may have already seen the new Pew study on cellphone use, but it's a real eye-opener, one that should cast some measure of doubt on the accuracy of current polls or even the whole sense that polls can tell us anything. Pew, which in 2008 found a certain amount of pro-Republican bias in polls because of the exclusion of cellphone-only users, is out with a new round of polling showing that bias has only increased. At this point, nearly 25% of adults are "cell-only." Pew finds a 5-point Republican increase would have occurred in their most recent generic ballot test if they hadn't polled cellphones.
Also, on the polling front, Daily Kos is taking a page from PPP and asking where readers what gubernatorial and House race they'd like to see polled in the coming weeks.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: This is actually kind of funny: Joe Miller spoofs Old Spice ads in an attempt to get voters to not write in Lisa Murkowski
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck's out with a base-rallying ad using speech footage of him getting teabaggers fired up about how they got ignored for the last two years and are now out for blood; the NRSC is also on the air, hitting Michael Bennet over his support for the stimulus
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan's new TV spot pushes back against various Roy Blunt negative ads, especially on the subject of an extended family member's wind farm
• PA-Sen: This may be an interesting tea leaf that those Dem internals yesterday may be showing some actual tightening: the NRSC, after letting surrogate orgs do all the work here, is finally having to step in with its own IE ad (a basic HCR/stimulus/cap-and-trade troika)
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese again over the minimum wage
• CA-Gov: What is this, the 80s? Meg Whitman's new ad hits Jerry Brown for being soft on crime
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad goes after Rick Perry's seeming habit of steering state contracts to cronies
• AK-Sen: Scott McAdams (D) 27%, Joe Miller (R) 35%, Lisa Murkowski (WI-inc) 34%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 40%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 4%, Rich Whitney (G) 2%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 52%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 42%, Scott Walker (R) 51%
CO-Sen: Clinton alert! The Big Dog is doing a rally for Sen. Michael Bennet in Denver on Oct. 18th. Interestingly, Bill had endorsed Andrew Romanoff in the primary.
CT-Sen: Open seat fans, start getting ready for the 2022 cycle! In a weird attempt to channel 1994, Linda McMahon says she will serve a maximum of two terms. Uh, okay.
NY-Gov: The Carl Paladino charm offensive continues:
Flame-throwing Republican Carl Paladino erupted again, declaring yesterday that being gay is "not the example that we should be showing our children."
"I don't want [children] brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option - it isn't," Paladino said to applause at a meeting with Hasidic Jewish leaders in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section.
In a version of the speech distributed by a rabbi, the anti-gay rant went further, charging there is "nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual."
Getting less play, but likely to damage him among the very community he was trying to reach out to, were Paladino's remarks attacking Orthodox Jewish "power brokers" who supposedly have conned key rabbis.
AZ-07: While my feeling is that Raul Grijalva probably does have a competitive race on his hands, I'm not sure this Politico piece really adds much in the way of new news. All we have is that one Magellan poll which showed the race tight, and a lot of whispers. It's almost like Politico is holding up a mirror at the edge of a rippling pond and - lo and behold! - making the ripples appear to be twice as broad as they actually are. The only real tidbit here is that Rep. Xavier Becerra, a member of leadership, recently exhorted Congressional Hispanic Caucus members to give to Grijalva.
MI-07: Former Rep. Joe Schwarz once again endorsed Mark Schauer, the man who beat Tim Walberg - aka the man who beat Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary in 2006. Schwarz also backed Schauer in 2008 (and previously backed Walberg's opponent Brian Rooney in this year's Republican primary).
NJ-03: This is the kind of thing which makes the bedwetters at newspaper editorial boards wring their hands like mad men, but as far as I'm concerned, it's just good politics. The Courier-Post has a detailed story explaining how Democrats helped mysterious teabagger Peter DeStefano get on the ballot. No one except us junkies care about process stories, so I think Dems should be doing a lot more of this kind of thing.
NY-02: NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg heads outside city and party lines to endorse Democratic Long Island Rep. Steve Israel.
SC-05: Yet another Republican hypocrite. John Spratt's been hitting Mick Mulvaney for his involvement in a real estate development deal that received a $30 million loan from Lancaster County and then went south - but not before Mulvaney flipped the property for a profit. Now Mulvaney says, "I believe small business needs government to get out of the way." Spratt fired back: "When he needed $30 million, he didn't go to his bank, he didn't go to private sources, he went to county government." Spratt's also been running an ad on this issue.
TX-17: Man, yet another similar story. Here Dave Michaels of the Dallas Morning News' lede says it all: "The Republican challenger who has assailed Rep. Chet Edwards for supporting taxpayer bailouts once led his company through a bankruptcy that let it avoid a $7.5 million debt to the U.S. government." The piece goes on to note that (predictably) Flores "insists that private companies shouldn't rely on the government for subsidies or financing." Of course he does.
Chamber of Commerce: The LA Times has a piece noting that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been digging deep to help a bunch of Blue Dogs late this cycle, including TV ads on behalf of Jim Marshall (GA-08), Glenn Nye (VA-02), Frank Kratovil (MD-01), Travis Childers (MS-01), and Bobby Bright (AL-02). These spots are taking the form of "issue" ads so as to avoid election-related regulations - you can see one example here.
DGA: The DGA says it raised $10 million in the third quarter and has $13 million on hand. Allied groups have some $3 million in cash. Politico says the RGA is expected to top these numbers.
DE-Sen: A shadowy third-party group has a funny new ad out supporting Zerata the Enchantress... uh, I mean, Christine O'Donnell
IL-Sen: A new spot from MoveOn hits a topic Dems nationwide have been making a big issue of recently: foreign money being used to potentially support Chamber of Commerce election activities
KY-Sen: Another Jack Conway ad hitting Rand Paul for his $2,000 Medicare deductable scheme - and his desire to increase payments to doctors
LA-Sen: Wow. This must-see ad from David Vitter takes the cake as by far the most racist ad of the 2010 cycle
WV-Sen: Joe Manchin attacks John Raese for the "hicky" ad casting call - and the fact that Raese wife is registered to vote in Florida and can't even vote for her husband. A second ad could have been written and produced by Republicans
SC-Gov: Vince Sheheen goes after Nikki Haley for double-speak on economic issues, though I think it tries to cram too many things in, and the drum-beat kind of interferes with the audio
IL-17: The conservative American Future Fund says they're dropping half a million bucks on a new ad campaign targeting Rep. Phil Hare - here's what they're spending it on
LA-02: Joe Cao has a pretty good ad hitting Cedric Richmond on ethical issues
MA-10: Dem Bill Keating has a good ad nailing Jeff Perry for the illegal strip-search business that took place on his watch as a police sergeant
MN-01: GOPer Randy Demmer has a comparison spot, going after Tim Walz for the usual (healthcare, cap-n-trade, etc.) and then finishing with some positive bio-ish crap
PA-08: Patrick Murphy attacks Mike Fitzpatrick for raising property taxes
SC-02: Rob Miller goes after Joe Wilson for spending taxpayer money on travel to Hawaii and France
IL-Sen: My god, Mark Kirk is an asshole. The excellent ArchPundit catches Kirk bragging about funding "the largest voter protection" operation in 15 years in "key vulnerable precincts" where "the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat." And pray tell which precincts are those? Says Kirk: "South and West Side of Chicago, Metro East, Rockford." Those aren't just Dem strongholds - they happen to be the places where almost all of the African Americans in Illinois live. What a fucker. "Jigger," huh.
KY-Sen: Clinton Alert! The Big Dog is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Jack Conway on Monday.
OH-Sen: Quinnipiac (9/29-10/3, likely voters, 9/9-14 in parens):
Lee Fisher (D): 36 (35)
Rob Portman (R): 55 (55)
Undecided: 8 (9)
OH-Gov: Quinnipiac (9/29-10/3, likely voters, 9/9-14 in parens):
IL-14: A Randy Hultgren internal from the Tarrance Group shows him leading Dem Rep. Bill Foster 44-38, with 4 points going to Green Party candidate Daniel Kairis.
MD-01: Clinton Alert 2.0! The Big Dog is holding a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. this Sunday for Rep. Frank Kratovil. Man, after all the work he's done this cycle, I hope Clinton has a phat vacation planned for after election day.
SC-02: Rob Miller says he won't vote to retain Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. He also said that he plans to draft Joe DiMaggio in his fantasy baseball league next year and that he's getting his wife a jetpack for Christmas.
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio, $5 million raised (a new record)
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick hits Charlie Baker for raising premiums as a healthcare CEO (while noting that he capped them as governor)
FL-Gov: Rick Scott tries to paint Alex Sink as a hypocrite on various financial goings-on during her tenure as state CFO
FL-08: A new spot from Alan Grayson hits Webster on women's issues
MA-04: Republican Sean Bielat is out with two ads (apparently cable only): the first attacks Barney Frank on the bailout (and features someone calling Bielat "a reasonable guy" - such praise!); the second is basically the same low production values, faux man-on-the-street shtick, and also has a dude saying, "If you don't like the new guy, get rid of him in two years!"
Crossroads GPS: CO-Sen: $780K on media against Michael Bennet (D); FL-Sen: $350K on media for Marco Rubio (R); IL-Sen: $1 mil on media against Alexi Giannoulias (D); KY-Sen: $100K on media against Jack Conway
EMILY's List: CO-04: $160K on TV against Cory Gardner (R); WI-07: $20K on mail against Sean Duffy (R)
NEA: OH-13: $550K on TV against Tom Ganley (R); AZ-05: $650K on TV against David Schweikert (R)
NRCC: $111K on various media expenditures (they look radio-sized) in AZ-08, MA-10 & MO-04
NRSC: $1.3 million on various media expenditures (these look more TV-sized) in CO-Sen, KY-Sen, WA-Sen & WV-Sen
AK-Sen: Another great catch by the Mudflats, and I'm ashamed I missed this one myself. In trying to explain why he applied for an indigent hunting license (for people making less than $8200/yr), Joe Miller claimed he was on a merit scholarship at Yale. Fortunately, Mudflats catches something about my alma mater that managed to slip my mind: Yale doesn't offer merit scholarships. What lie will come next from the Miller camp?
CT-Sen: Heartless bastard Linda McMahon said she wants to lower the minimum wage - and even admitted she didn't fucking know what the current minimum wage is! I love it when zillionaire assholes think that the guys on the bottom rung should be shoved down a rung further. Eh, fuck you, Linda McMahon.
Connecticut's Working Families Party also took this opportunity to slam McMahon and endorse Dem Richard Blumenthal, who will benefit from having the WFP line. (Connecticut, like New York, allows fusion voting.) In case you were wondering, all five of CT's Congressmembers have the WFP's backing, as does gubernatorial nominee Dan Malloy.
DE-Sen: When called on the fact that her LinkedIn page made the extremely lulzy claim that she'd studied at Oxford, Christine O'Donnell claimed someone else had posted the profile. Now a different version has been uncovered at ZoomInfo (which says the profile was claimed - presumably by O'Donnell - through a "double opt-in process"), and it, too, has the Oxford bullshit. I'd say "busted!", but is this even remotely a surprise?
KY-Sen: Have you seen Jack Conway's excellent new ad about Kentucky's drug problem? Well, Rand Paul thinks it's "kind of tacky and really dishonest and kind of creepy." Mike Donta, the man featured in the ad who lost his son to drug addiction, said Paul's childish reaction is an "insult," both to him and other families battling this problem.
And one other important note: The ad buy that the DSCC supposedly cancelled here has been "bought back," according to Aaron Blake.
OH-Sen: The Cleveland Plain Dealer obtained an internal Lee Fisher finance document, which lays out a bunch of different scenarios for keeping the campaign financially afloat in the final month of the race. It's not a pretty picture - one nuclear option involves laying off ten staff members to pay for TV time. And worst of all, Fisher apparently raised less than a million bucks in the quarter. Sigh.
WV-Sen: Despite John Raese's efforts to paint him as weak on coal, Dem Gov. Joe Manchin secured the endorsement of the West Virginia Coal Association, which "represents 90 percent of the state's coal producers."
HI-Gov: He doesn't sound quite like an anti-vax nutter, but Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona is refusing to get a flu shot himself, saying he's "not convinced that vaccines are more beneficial that harmful," despite encouraging state residents to get vaccinated. Yeah, that's helpful.
CO-04: If I had my dream job, newspaper writers would refer to me as "Democratic ratfucker DavidNYC," because really, I love nothing more than a good ratfuck. So kudos to "Our Community Votes," which is running a radio ad "attacking" a conservative independent candidate, ostensibly in the hopes of raising his profile and making him more appealing to wingers. It's not clear who's behind the group, but "public records shows that it shares Washington, D.C., office space with other groups tied to Steve Rosenthal, a longtime labor movement and Democratic strategist and former political director of the AFL-CIO." And there's real money behind this buy, too: $100,000 worth.
CO-07: The douchebags at the American Future Fund are spending $560K trying to unseat Ed Perlmutter, and apparently in a first for them, this includes a canvass operation, not just ad buys.
IL-10: Another day, another legal hassle for Bob Dold! The FEC dinged him for failing to report a $17,000 expenditure for "a motor coach that was used in Dold's ads as part of a bus tour." Dold submitted amended reports which showed several other expenditures and debts that somehow went missing from his earlier filings. How do you just forget about $17,000? Bob Dold!
WA-08: Ugh - this is pathetic. Evidently the League of Conservation Voters - another one of those ostensibly liberal groups that loved to endorse so-called "moderate" Republicans - enjoys getting abused. Earlier this year, Dave Reichert admitted that he occasionally votes a pro-environment line simply to remain in office. Despite this, the LCV is endorsing Reichert on account of his cap-and-trade vote. Glad to see they admire sincerity so much.
Site News: The Swing State Project just enjoyed its biggest month ever, with over 700,000 pageviews and more than 350,000 visitors. Here's hoping the trend continues!
MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan attacks Roy Blunt for being a "prodigious pork-meister." Does anyone else think this is as lame and boring as when Republicans try to pin this on us?
NV-Sen: Harry Reid has led the way with relentless, hard-hitting, and just plain good attack ads this cycle. Yeah, Sharron Angle provides a lot of fodder, but all Republicans have weak spots. This ad nails her for trying to repeal a law which requires insurance companies to cover mammograms
WV-Sen: Joe Manchin hits John Raese with his own words, including Raese's infamous "I made money the old-fashioned way - I inherited it" gem
CO-Gov: Dan Maes (yeah, I know!!) has a really boring minute-long intro ad. No word on the size of the "buy," but I doubt he could even afford to run Google ads on SSP
FL-25: Two ads from GOPer David Rivera - the first a boring spot about cutting government spending (check out the weird artifacts bouncing off his shirt at 27 seconds - you think YouTube? or is the broadcast version also messed up?); the second, a litany of attacks on Joe Garcia (and the production values are weak here, too). Meanwhile, Garcia has a much better ad hitting Rivera for the infamous "ramming a truck off the road" incident
IL-10: Bob Dold! thinks that Dan Seals is a job killer
ME-02: Fuck, these veteran ads always make me well up a bit. Another good one on VA health clinics, from Mike Michaud (his first in four years)
Concerned Taxpayers: $92K for GOPer Art Robinson (OR-04) and $47K against Frank Kratovil (MD-01)
FIRST!... Amendment Alliance: $117K against Harry Reid (NV-Sen) (Topic: The First Amendment Alliance doesn't care about the first amendment or alliances. Discuss)
Realtors: $1.3 million spread among Bill Foster (IL-14), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Ken Calvert (CA-44), and Dave Reichert (WA-08), including polls
Revere America: George Pataki's band of fuckwits is spending over $400K on ads against Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and over $350K against John Hall (NY-19) (note second buy was made 9/17 but report filed 9/30 in violation of FEC rules)