• DE-Sen: Here's an amusing look back at the Delaware race, where it turns out that Christine O'Donnell raised $7.3 million over the course of the campaign (a somewhat large improvement on her $63K from her previous Senate bid) and then proceeded to lose by 16 points. O'Donnell apparently had the same problem that I suspected that Sharron Angle did (though we don't have any confirmation on Angle yet)... there weren't any media outlets with available slots to pour all that late-breaking money into.
• MO-Sen: Jim Talent has offered his timeline on publicly deciding whether or not to run for Senate (which has seemed to get less likely over the last few days, if you believe the scuttlebutt). He won't decide until the New Year, and possibly won't announce anything until the state GOP's Lincoln Day festivities in mid-February.
• MT-Sen: PPP offered some GOP Senate primary numbers, although I'm not sure how useful they are given that Marc Racicot, the former Governor and RNC chair, eats up a lion's share despite not having really ever been associated with the race. (Although, who knows... maybe this will suddenly prompt him to get interested.) At any rate, the two guys with name rec, Racicot and Rep. Denny Rehberg, are at 40 and 37, respectively. The two little-known guys who are actually the ones running (so far), Steve Daines and Neil Livingstone, are at 5 and 4.
• RI-Sen: Although John Robitaille seems to be getting all the attention in terms of the GOP's pick to challenge Sheldon Whitehouse, Warwick mayor Scott Avedisian is still stoking the fires of vague interest. Avedisian is a moderate and an ally of newly-elected Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
• WA-Sen: The race against Maria Cantwell seems to already be a casualty write-off for the GOP, seeing as how the state's entire viable GOP bench (aka Rob McKenna) will most likely be running for Governor. The state GOP's usual M.O. in such situations is to turn to some random rich guy as a place-holder (see Mike McGavick, Cantwell's 2006 opponent, or oft-threatened but never-happened candidate John Stanton), but it may turn out that Clint Didier, the tea partier whose GOP primary bid against Dino Rossi didn't go anywhere and who's now interested in trying again, gets left holding the bag this time. Didier, who refused to endorse Rossi and castigated him at every turn, isn't likely to be able to count on much NRSC or even state GOP goodwill this time, though.
• MN-Gov: Nothing like a little post-electoral cat fud, even if it means exiling pretty much your entire pantheon of elder statesmen. The state GOP just excommunicated more than a dozen key moderate Republicans who had jumped ship to support Independence Party candidate Tom Horner in view of Tom Emmer's extremism. These aren't just run-of-the-mill PCO-types, either: the list includes an ex-Senator (David Durenberger) and two ex-Govs (Arne Carlson and Al Quie). And if you're wondering how Emmer is faring in the court of public opinion amidst the recount non-drama, PPP's out with a snap poll: by a 68-22 margin, voters think it's time for Emmer to give up (which matches the 68-21 margin of people who think that Mark Dayton was the election's rightful winner).
• OH-17: Wondering who the third-party candidate who fared the best was, in this year's House races? It was none other than ex-con ex-Rep. Jim Traficant, who picked up 16.1% of the vote against Tim Ryan, the best showing of any indie with both Dem and GOP opponents (and he did it without spending a penny). He fared better than Randy Wilkinson in FL-12, who ran a more credible campaign and was widely viewed as a potential spoiler. In fact, Wilkinson finished 3rd at 10.7%; some random conservative, Dan Hill, got 12% in NE-03 by running to Adrian Smith's right, although that was a race that Dems barely contested. What about MI-01's Glenn Wilson, who made waves for approximately one day with his pledge to spend $2 million of his own money (although it's dubious if he spent more than a fraction of that)? He barely registered, at 7%.
• WV-01: Here's an unexpected comeback, and probably one that's not a good idea. Alan Mollohan, who couldn't survive a Dem primary and most likely wouldn't have won the general even if he'd gotten over the first hurdle, is publicly expressing his interest in running in 2012 for his old seat. He's opened an FEC account for '12 and has been reaching out behind the scenes.
• NY-St. Sen.: This is basically a Hail Mary at this point, but when it's the chance to tie the state Senate, it's a chance you take. Craig Johnson officially filed an appeal yesterday of the judge's ruling certifying Jack Martins as winner in SD-7 (giving the GOP a 32-30 edge there). He's asking for a hand count, to see if any votes were missed in the state's switch this year to electronic voting machines. Given the recent abject fail in finding all the votes cast in Queens, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
• Redistricting: The Fix has another installment in its ongoing redistricting previews, this time focusing on Georgia. The GOP-controlled state legislature should have little trouble adding a GOP-friendly 14th seat in Atlanta's northern tier of exurbs, where most of the state's growth has occurred. The real question will be whether they can do anything to turf out either of the two remaining Dems in slightly lean-Dem districts in south Georgia, Sanford Bishop or John Barrow? Although neither of their seats are truly minority-majority, the VRA might be implicated if their seats get messed with too much. Bishop's GA-02 is likely to be shored up in order to make freshman Austin Scott safer in the 8th. Barrow seems like an easier target, but to do so would not only risk VRA litigation but also make Jack Kingston's 1st less safe, meaning incumbent protection might be the result.
• Demographics: There was a massive dump of U.S. Census data yesterday, although none of it is the actual hard count from 2010 (which is due by the end of the month, including state populations for reapportionment purposes). Instead, this is the Demographic Analysis (used to estimate undercounts in the actual count, although there won't be any adjustments made to the counts for redistricting purposes in this cycle). The big number was the total population estimate, ranging from 306 million to 313 million, with a midrange estimate of 308.5 million (which would put the average House district, for redistricting, at 709K). Also worth noting: Hispanics accounted for essentially the nation's growth in youth population in the last decade, and Hispanics have grown from 17% of the nation's under-20 population in 2000 to 22% now; without Hispanics, the number of young people would have actually gone down since 2000.
I've not written any diaries of my own since joining the site earlier this year, but after reading hoosierdems's excellent analysis of Indiana earlier this week, I thought I'd give it a go. Here I'll analyze each of the races in Michigan this year, including a short prediction for the State House, State Senate, Supreme Court and ballot initiatives.
WARNING: This diary will be long, so if you're looking for brevity, it may not be for you. Also, standard disclaimer that I have dogs in a couple of these fights; friends are managing Rob Steele's campaign and volunteering for many other candidates, as well as working for the Michigan Republican Party. I will do my best not to let this color my analysis, however.
I'll begin with the biggest-ticket races, and by far the most boring of the cycle.
Republican businessman Rick Snyder managed to survive a 5-way Republican primary to challenge populist Dem and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the general election. Bernero upset the more establishment choice, House Speaker Andy Dillon in the Democratic primary himself. Since then, however, he has struggled to raise money (only $2 million raised for the cycle compared to Snyder's $11 million), and to move beyond his base of progressive Dems and union activists. In no survey has he trailed by less than 12 points, and he consistently loses all regions of the state to Snyder (including Lansing-based Mid-Michigan) except for the city of Detroit. In the crucial Wayne-Oakland-Macomb tri-county area, Snyder leads by about 10. Though likely the most boring, this race could have the most far-reaching effects downticket; if depressed Dems stay home rather than vote for a likely loser in Bernero, it could be a bad night for Dems all over in Michigan.
Final Prediction: 58-41 Snyder
Because Lieutenant Governor is elected on the gubernatorial ticket, the next race in Michigan is for Attorney General. Here establishment Republican former Congressman (and MI Ag Secretary, and judge, and everything else under the sun) Bill Schuette won the GOP nomination at the Republican convention, albeit by a smaller margin than many expected after a Tea Party revolt nearly pushed Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop over the top. In a closely contested Democratic convention vote, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton edged trial lawyer and Wayne State Regent Richard Bernstein. Bernstein dropped out thereafter and decided not to contest the nomination (Democratic conventions aren't binding in MI).
This race has also been fairly boring: Democrats have attacked Schuette for allegedly being in the pocket of corporations and for being bad on the environment, while Republicans have attacked Leyton for allegedly being soft on crime. Pretty standard AG campaign. Leyton has suffered from some of the same money problems as other statewide Dems, and has been for the most part unable to respond effectively to TV ads by the Michigan Republican Party and others. Because of name recognition, money, a GOP year and Leyton's association with the city of Flint, Schuette will win this in a walk.
Final Prediction: 56-43 Schuette
The race to replace outgoing GOP Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land initially seemed to be the most interesting of the top-tier races. A slew of generic Republicans lined up to face the hard-working Democratic nominee Jocelyn Benson. Benson, a Wayne State University law professor and Jennifer Brunner disciple, had been campaigning for nearly a year before the Dem convention, hitting just about every county and local Democratic party in Michigan. She faced only token opposition at the convention and cruised to the nomination.
The outlines of this race only began to emerge after Oakland County Clerk and 2006 LG nominee Ruth Johnson got into the Republican race late, making her the most visible and well-known candidate. She ultimately prevailed at the convention on the 2nd or 3rd ballot (depending on whom you ask).
Though Benson has run a spirited campaign, and comes off much better on TV (her debate with Johnson on Tim Skubick's On the Record was uncomfortable to watch), she hasn't been able to shake either the D next to her name or the attacks leveled on her by Republican groups. Though this race has the potential to close in the last week if Benson uses some of her 500k on TV time in Metro Detroit, she likely won't be able to overcome Johnson this year. Look for her to run for something in 2012 or 2014. For now, Johnson wins comfortably.
Final Prediction: 54-45 Johnson
The dynamics of the Supreme Court races got very interesting this year when Elizabeth Weaver, the Republican-appointed swing justice on the otherwise 3-3 Court(often siding with the Democrats) cut a deal with Gov. Jennifer Granholm to retire in exchange for Granholm to appoint a judge from Northern Michigan. Weaver had had a falling out with other Republicans on the Court, particularly Robert Young. In exchange for Weaver's retirement, Granholm appointed now-Justice Alton Davis, who will be running along with Oakland Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford-Morris as the Democratic candidates for the cycle's two seats. Republicans re-nominated Robert Young for the seat he currently holds, and put up Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Mary Beth Kelly for the seat currently held by Davis. All public polling has shown the two Republicans leading the races by 5-10 point margins, and the Republicans have had the benefit of strong TV advertising on their behalf. The two Democrats have had trouble raising money, for their part, and have only been able to afford sparse TV advertising. Give the advantage in this race to the Republicans.
Final Prediction: Robert Young retained, Mary Beth Kelly elected
This would result in a 4-3 Republican court, from a 4-3 Democratic SC now.
This race appears to have tightened somewhat in recent weeks, with Democratic State Rep. Gary McDowell within single digits of Republican nominee Dan Benishek, a heart surgeon. Benishek beat out Republican State Senator Jason Allen by a very small margin in the September primary.
There is also a conservative independent in the race,Glenn Wilson, who seems to be drawing more votes from Benishek than McDowell (a point echoed by his former campaign manager, who quit for this reason). Wilson has been unable to use much of the $2 million he had hoped to dump into the race for campaign finance reasons, but has perhaps been buoyed by Democratic psy-ops. In recent weeks, the State Democratic Central Committee has sent mailers to Republican-oriented voters with messages like "Glenn Wilson has a dangerous plan to shrink size and scope of government," obviously designed to move conservative support to Wilson.
Still, the most recent polls give Benishek a small lead, while McDowell has not led this year. Notably, surveys show Benishek winning by a nearly 10-point margin in the Lower Peninsula and carrying places like Alpena (where his signs are everywhere). This is important, because counterintuitively, most of the votes in this district are actually cast in the LP. If Benishek maintains this and continues to run close in the UP, where he has a solid base in the west (McDowell's is in the east), he'll win.
Final Prediction Benishek 46-44-9
This is Michigan's most conservative district, at R+7. Though Democrats made gains here in 2008, this was largely a result of elevated African American and Hispanic turnout in Muskegon and elsewhere, coupled with McCain's abandonment of the state. Congressman Pete Hoekstra retired this year to run unsuccessfully for Governor, leading to a crowded Republican primary to replace him. In the end, State Rep. Bill Huizenga beat out Tea Party favorite Bill Cooper and others to emerge as the GOP candidate. He faces Democrat Fred Johnson in the general election. Though Johnson is a credible enough candidate, this race will not be competitive, especially with the Tea Party so active in Western and Northern Michigan this year.
Final Prediction: Huizenga 60-40
Republican Congressman Vern Ehlers retired from Grand Rapids-based MI-03 this year, leaving the seat up for grabs. Republican State Rep. Justin Amash beat out Sen. Bill Hardiman and two other establishment candidates to win the GOP primary, while the Democrats nominated attorney Pat Miles. Though some have speculated that Amash is too far to the right of the district that elected moderate GOPer Ehlers, this race won't be competitive. Ehlers endorsed Amash shortly after the primary, and he has been aided by the Club for Growth and others in his bid. Public polling places Amash ahead by 9-10, his internals have him up 19. Splitting the difference, his lead is probably in the 12-14 range. Miles has been plagued by poor name recognition and mediocre fundraising, and will need to hope for astronomical African-American turnout in Grand Rapids to keep this close. Miles will likely show up in other races soon, however. I wouldn't be surprised to see him run for a State Senate seat in the area and win soon.
Final Prediction Amash 54-44
This district winds its way from Traverse City in the north, down through Mount Pleasant to Owosso. It's GOP Rep. Dave Camp country, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. His opponent is Some Dude Jerry Campbell.
Final Prediction Camp 63-35
Democratic Rep. Dale Kildee's district takes in the plurality-black city of Saginaw and majority-black Flint. Though some Republicans in the state want to dream that this seat is "in play," Kildee is safe against Some Dude John Kupiec.
Final Prediction Kildee 59-39
Though this district is actually pretty evenly split (R+0 PVI), with ubermajority-black Benton Harbor and heavily-Dem Kalamazoo, it's also quite rural. Moderate Republican Rep. Fred Upton has held the district for a long time, and survived a Tea Party primary challenge from former State Rep. Jack Hoogendyk this year. He'll cruise to re-election over 2008 retread Don Cooney.
Final Prediction Upton 54-43
Oh, how I've come to hate this race. In 2008, Mark Schauer beat Tim Walberg by a slim margin to take this seat for Democrats. He went on to vote for the stimulus, cap and trade, and the health-care bill, which should have left him dead in the water in this moderately Republican district. But read on, me hearties.
The trouble began brewing in the Republican primary. A political newcomer, attorney and veteran Brian Rooney challenged Walberg for the right to take on Schauer. Rooney, while still a conservative, came off as much more moderate, likable, and truly sane than Walberg. Rooney raised money on par with Walberg and had a strong campaign team, but simply couldn't overcome the name recognition and Club for Growth advantages that Walberg had built in. He lost, and lost badly. Thus 2008 loser and general dickwad Tim Walberg will be the Republican nominee against Schauer again this year, making what should be a sure thing much closer.
Why, you ask? Because Walberg pissed off many Republicans in the district by primarying and beating former Republican Rep. Joe Schwarz. While ordinarily this would have been an upgrade (Schwarz was out in left field even on economic issues), the sleazy way Walberg beat him in the primary, combined with inflammatory and generally dumb statements in the general election (and in office) turned many against him. He barely beat organic farmer and liberal doormat Sharon Renier in 2006, then lost in '08. Now the GOP decides to run him again.
Meanwhile, Schauer has built a truly formidable campaign machine. He has 35 people working full-time on his re-election plus volunteers; Walberg has 2 and volunteers. Schauer has spent $2.2 million bucks in addition to money from the DCCC, SEIU, AFSCME, Sierra Club and LCV. Walberg has been forced to depend heavily on the NRCC and the Club for Growth because he's raised little (state Republicans shut their wallets after he won the primary). Democrats want Schauer in the leadership if he wins and gets a more favorable district, and he's running the campaign to do it. Public polls give Schauer a small but serviceable lead; Walberg's internals have him with a comical double-digit advantage. Walberg will also be hurt by the fake Tea Party candidate on the ballot, giving him a further obstacle to overcome (as if he couldn't create more himself). This one will come down to the wire on Nov. 2, but I'm not optimistic for my team.
Final Prediction: Schauer 49-47
Republican Rep. Mike Rogers scared off Democrat Kande Ngalamulume, and was left without a serious opponent. Not sure if Democrat Lance Enderle managed to get on the ballot after all, but it won't matter.
Final Prediction: Rogers by a bunch
Another race I'm pissed off about. None of the marquee Oakland County candidates decided to take on freshman Democrat Gary Peters (Sheriff Mike Bouchard was so certain of his gubernatorial chaces, and Majority Leader Mike Bishop just knew he'd be the next AG). Peters won this seat over corrupt old GOP bastard Joe Knollenberg in 2008 (even I didn't vote for Joe that year, I went Libertarian), and like Schauer, he also voted for just about all major Dem legislation in this swing district. In the end, Republicans nominated former State Rep. and veteran Rocky Raczkowski to challenge Peters. Though polling has shown varying leads for each candidate, the race will likely be very close. Peters has to hope for major turnout in plurality-black Pontiac, while Raczkowski needs the Tea Party voters that put him over the top in the primary to turn out in droves (and Snyder's coattails here won't hurt either). I think Peters pulls it out here, but only just; if Snyder depresses Dem turnout, he could be a casualty.
Final Prediction: Peters 49-48
It's Candice Miller, yo. Northern Macomb is strongly GOP, while the Thumb can be swingy, but is culturally very conservative. Miller will romp over Demcratic fireman Henry Yanez.
Final Prediction Miller by a bunch
Thad McCotter's an odd, odd dude. I've met him a few times, and the way he speaks (all the time) leaves you with the impression that he's just disgusted by everything. Still, this GOP rep isn't being seriously challenged this year after surviving in 2010. Luckily for him, State Sen. Glenn Anderson and State Rep. Marc Corriveau didn't decide to go for the promotion in this Western Wayne County district. He'll beat Democrat and teacher Natalie Mosher in a walk.
Final Prediction McCotter 58-40
New Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin currently holds this solidly Dem district. Anchored by majority-black Southfield, it also takes in the most Democratic parts of Macomb County, like Warren and Sterling Heights. Levin will have no trouble with Republican insurance agent Don Volaric.
Final Prediction: Levin 61-36
This Detroit and Grosse Pointes district ousted Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in the primary in favor of State Sen. Hansen Clarke. Clark will win the general, and will no doubt provide better representation for the city than another Kilpatrick. Clarke beats Grosse Pointe businessman John Hauler, no sweat.
Final Prediction: Clarke 75-25
John Conyers' wife, a former Detroit City Councilwoman, is currently in jail on bribery charges. He also misses many, many important votes, and he has been chastised for using staffers to do menial chores for him. But this is Detroit; corruption is part of the game and people love Conyers for some reason. In a just world he'd lose, but in reality, Conyers stomps Republican businessman Don Ukrainec.
Final Prediction: Conyers by I can't count that high
Democratic Congressman John Dingell is old. Like, really old. And a guy named John Dingell has held this seat since before your momma and your momma's momma were born (depending on your age, very possibly true). He's also facing a very strong challenge this year from Republican doctor Rob Steele (sounds like a Bond villain). Yet this district is anchored in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor and Downriver Detroit. Though Steele is running the campaign of his life, and comes off much better on television, in person and in debates, he won't be able to overcome the partisan lean of this district. Some polling to the contrary aside, Dingell wins by single digits.
Final Prediction: Dingell 53-46
So after this cycle, we end up with an 8-7 Republican congressional delegation, from an 8-7 Dem one now.
I won't go through these races in detail, but the GOP currently holds a 21-17 advantage in the State Senate. Based on candidates, polling and the year, I think they expand this to about 24-13. The Dems lost probably their best pickup opportunity when State Rep. Robert Jones, the Dem candidate for a Kalamazoo-based Senate seat, died unexpectedly of cancer. His replacement will probably be unable to overcome the advantage this leaves his Republican opponent, Tonya Schuitmaker with.
Republicans need 12 seats for a tie here, and 13 to take back the 110-member State House. I think there are two possible scenarios for the House: if turnout is about average and Dems come out in spite of the bloodbath at the top of the ticket, they'll maintain a 2 or 3 seat majority in the House. If turnout is lower or simply more skewed in favor of Republicans and against incumbents, Republicans take the House by a couple of seats. This one remains up in the air, though I think the massive spending by the RGA and the cash-rich Michigan Republican Party bodes well for Rs.
Proposal 1 (Constitutional Convention)
This is just about the only bipartisan initiative on the ballot ever. Both progressive and conservative, Chamber and unions alike oppose a new convention. They'll get their wish.
Final Prediction: NO 60-40
Proposal 2 (Ban felons from political office)
Public support for this proposal regularly polls in the 70s. It's a lock
Final Prediction: YES 80-20
These are, based on the polling, news and what inside information I'm able to get, the best projections I can make for now. What do you guys think?
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
Noted d-bag Mark Penn is out with ten new polls conducted for The Hill. These are all open seat races with departing Democratic incumbents, with the exception of GOP Rep. Charles Djou's race and the open seat being vacated by Mark Kirk.
Penn Schoen for The Hill (10/2-7, likely voters, MoE: ±4.9%):
One more poll for the pile with a high-single-digits lead for Barbara Boxer, this time from the very trustworthy PPIC. They also look at the Governor's race (see below) and a few initiatives: they find Prop 19 (pot) passing 52-41 and Prop 25 (simple majority budget) passing 48-35, but also finding Prop 23 (suspending greenhouse gas limits) passing 43-42.
• IN-Sen: We'd speculated that this was a possibility back around the time of the Indiana GOP primary, when Dan Coats (an unusually tepid gun supporter as far as GOPers go) won. The NRA today endorsed his Democratic opponent, Brad Ellsworth, who's pretty much walked the pro-gun line in his red House district. (I know we'd said we'd shut up about NRA endorsements of conservaDems, but this one actually has the potential to move some votes in a key race.)
• PA-Sen: Susquehanna for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Sestak (D): 42
Pat Toomey (R): 45
I wish this had come out in time for our monstrous Pennsylvania wrapup from early this morning, as it's an interesting post-script. Susquehanna (a Republican pollster, but one who've demonstrated that they know what they're doing in Pennsylvania; for instance, they got the PA-12 special pretty close to right) sees it as a surprisingly close race, finding Sestak within 3. Is this the first sign of Sestak closing, or is this just the optimistic edge of the stable mid-single-digits band that the race has usually been pegged at?
• CA-Gov: PPIC (9/19-26, likely voters, 7/6-20 in parentheses):
Jerry Brown (D): 37 (46)
Meg Whitman (R): 38 (40)
Other: 7 (-)
Undecided: 18 (14)
Unfortunately, this poll closes out the end of a run of remarkable luck for Jerry Brown of polls showing him spiking into the lead (although there's a lot of movement from both candidates to "Other," though I'm not sure who that would be). Importantly, though, the polling period ended before Meg Whitman's illegal housekeeper problem burst into public view. The SEIU is doing its part to keep the issue front and center, pumping $5 million into a Latino outreach effort that's largely field efforts but also includes an ad starting in a few days hitting Whitman on the housekeeper issue. Whitman's also doing her part to keep it in the news, saying she'll employ the scoundrel's last refuge -- a polygraph test -- to prove she was unaware.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/27-29, likely voters, 9/14-19 in parentheses):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (52)
Carl Paladino (R): 38 (33)
Rick Lazio (C): - (9)
Undecided: 8 (6)
Marist strikes back quickly with another poll following up on the news that Rick Lazio is no longer a candidate, preferring to enjoy the great prestige that comes with a trial court judgeship in the Bronx. At any rate, they don't see anything changing other than what you'd expect: most of Lazio's voters from the Conservative line gravitated over to GOP nominee Carl Paladino, with a few, unappetized by the bombastic Paladino, joining the ranks of the undecided.
• OR-Gov: One major explanation for how Chris Dudley has made a major race out of what looked like an easy Dem pickup hold a year ago is... money. (As with so many other races this year...) Dudley has raised $5.6 million all cycle long, as of Tuesday's reporting deadline, more than doubling up on John Kitzhaber's $2.6 million, the largest disparity between the two parties ever seen in an Oregon gubernatorial race. (The SEIU has been running ads on Kitzhaber's behalf, and the DGA has $750K ready to go, but that's still a big deficit.)
• RI-Gov: Fleming & Associates for WPRI-TV (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Caprio (D): 33
John Robitaille (R): 19
Lincoln Chafee (I): 30
There's been a general trend in the last month or two toward the Democrat, Frank Caprio, in this race. But the newest poll (apparently the first of this race from Fleming & Associates), on behalf of local TV stations, shows a much closer race, with Caprio up only 3 on his indie opponent, Lincoln Chafee.
• GA-08: American Viewpoint for Austin Scott (9/26-27, likely voters, late July in parentheses):
Jim Marshall (D-inc): 38 (44)
Austin Scott (R): 46 (39)
Undecided: 13 (14)
Well, there's only one alarming GOP House internal poll today, unlike yesterday's onslaught. (Also, note the hypertrophied margin of error, based on an n of 300.) Still, this is another race that's tended to be on the "Lean D" or at least "Tilt D" side of the equation, and one more juggling ball that the DCCC is going to have to keep in the air.
• ME-01, ME-02: Critical Insights, like last time, included both Maine House districts as part of their poll, so we actually have some trendlines now. In the 1st, Chellie Pingree is expanding her lead over Dean Scontras, 54-26. However, in the 2nd, Mike Michaud's lead over Jason Levesque is a little smaller, down to 44-32 (from 48-28). (In a way, that's reassuring, because that's evidence that Critical Insights didn't just stumble into a much Dem-friendlier batch, and that the flight from Paul LePage seems real.)
• DSCC: The DSCC is having to put some money into Connecticut, a race they probably thought they could avoid spending on when Richard Blumenthal got into the race. They're starting with a smallish $250K, though. Other DSCC outlays today include $720K in CO-Sen, $464K in IL-Sen, $362K in MO-Sen, and $386K in WV-Sen.
• NARAL: NARAL rolled out endorsements of twenty different Dems running in House races, almost all of whom received $5K each. You can click for the full list, but it includes Cedric Richmond, Steve Pougnet, John Hulburd, and Joe Garcia on offense (the rest are defensive picks).
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski's out with two different ads, one hitting Joe Miller as outsider, the other a PSA-type ad that verrrry slowly and carefully explains to people how to vote for her
• KY-Sen: Here's a powerful new ad from Jack Conway hitting Rand Paul on the drug issue yet again, complete with tombstone and tagline "He doesn't know us" (interestingly, though, the DSCC is following the NRSC's lead here with an ad buy cancellation for the week of the 5th) (UPDATE: Looks like the DS un-cancelled)
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt hits Robin Carnahan over the stimulus, pointing out that another member of the extended Carnahan clan got money for his wind farm
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold tries going back to firing up the base, running an ad based on the merits of health care reform
• MI-01: The NRCC weighs in with an ad in the 1st, an endless circle of meta wherein Dan Benishek attacks Gary McDowell for attacking
• WI-07: Julie Lassa goes back to the theme of Sean Duffy having prematurely abandoned his day job as DA to run for the House
• AJS: Americans for Job Security tries again in VA-09 (remember that's where their previous ad got bounced for being too egregious), as well as in CO-03 and NY-24
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 51%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 37%, Charles Grassley (R-inc) 55%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 42%, Ron Johnson 54%
• AK-Sen: The Tea Party Express is reloading in Alaska, with Lisa Murkowski having popped up again as a target. They're launching a new ad blitz starting Monday, although no word on how much they plan to spend on this go-round.
• CA-Sen: It seems like the NRSC can read the handwriting on the wall in California: they've canceled a $1.9 million ad buy on Carly Fiorina's behalf for the last week before the election (probably sensing that money's more valuable in West Virginia). They're, of course, framing it as "advancing in another direction," saying they wanted to give her flexibility to spend the money "around the state and not just in one city."
• CO-Sen: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for DSCC (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Michael Bennet (D-inc): 48
Ken Buck (R): 46
The DSCC has the first publicly-offered poll in a while giving Michael Bennet a lead, here up 2 on Ken Buck. (The last poll with a Bennet lead seems to be that joint POS/Fairbank Maslin poll from early September, which had him up by 3.)
• DE-Sen: Wow, Christine O'Donnell's resume (on her LinkedIn profile) is falling apart like it was made out of balsa wood and chewing gum. After getting called on not having actually taken any classes at Oxford yesterday, now it turns out that she never took any classes at Claremont Graduate University. And she's offering a really strange denial, the kind of thing you might expect from a first-grader rather than a 41-year old: that Linked In profile with her name on it? Yeah, she's saying she didn't put it up and doesn't know who did.
• LA-Sen: I don't know if anyone has compared this yet to that epic-length R. Kelly video that has him hiding in closet and there's a dwarf apropos of nothing? At any rate, Charlie Melancon is out with a new ad that's not the first time he's broached the issue of David Vitter's, um, personal failings... but this one goes on for two whole minutes, chronicling the whole thing in great detail. Given its remarkable length, it should be no surprise that it's only running on cable.
• NC-Sen: Public Policy Polling (pdf) (9/23-26, likely voters, late Aug. in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 36 (38)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (43)
Michael Beitler (L): (6)
Undecided: 11 (13)
The movement toward Richard Burr (thanks to his seemingly-effective advertising, paid for with his huge financial edge) shown by other pollsters is corroborated by PPP, who've tended to see a closer race here in their home state than anyone else. He leads by 13, instead of 5 like last time. One galling number, indicating this could be a real race if Elaine Marshall had any money (not forthcoming, since the DSCC is playing so much defense elsewhere), is that Marshall actually leads 47-45 among those who have an opinion of her.
• NV-Sen: Jon Ralston continues to pummel Sharron Angle, this time over her strange attempts to walk back claims that she wants to privatize the VA. "Walk back" may not even be the right word, since her seem to involve the argument that she never actually said the words that she previously said in May. Meanwhile, here's the level of message discipline they have over at Camp Angle: her own spokesperson is criticizing Angle's latest ad on immigration as "propaganda," in her side gig as chair of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus!
• WA-Sen: Who's the most popular politician in America these days? Bill Clinton, believe it or not. So it's no surprise he's in demand as Democratic surrogate, and he's even coming to Washington on Patty Murray's behalf, headlining a Boeing-themed event in Everett on Oct. 18.
• CA-Gov: This story seems to be developing as the day goes on: Meg Whitman's camp has had to cop to the fact that she once employed a housekeeper who was, gasp, an illegal immigrant. The fight... which will probably determine how much of a story this becomes (if any) over the next few days... seems to be over how much Whitman personally knew about her status (although the non-matching social security number seems like it should've been a tipoff).
• CO-Gov: Wow, this might actually help Dan Maes climb his way out of polling in the low teens! Today he offers some exculpatory evidence that he did too sorta-kinda work as an undercover officer for a small-town police department in Kansas. (Of course, it also shows that he was in fact fired for leaking information about the probe to the relative of a target.)
• OH-Gov: Benenson for Campaign for the Moderate Majority (9/25-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
You might apply a little salt as this is a poll by a Dem pollster for Dem-sounding group, but this is still the first we've seen this in a long, long while... a poll with Ted Strickland in the lead. With a trio of polls in the last few days showing Strickland down by either 1 or 2, there's some definite late closing in this race. (One strange item, though, is that "other" candidates are eating up 6% of the vote here. I'd be surprised if that continues.)
• CO-02: Magellan (9/29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Jared Polis (D-inc): 48
Stephen Bailey (R): 36
I'm not sure why Magellan fired up their crack team of robo-dialers to test this race, not really on anyone's radar screen -- maybe they're prospecting for unusual targets. As one would expect, Jared Polis isn't in particular danger in this D+11 district, although thanks to the drag of the national climate his numbers seem softer than the district's heavy lean.
• NC-07: SurveyUSA for Civitas (pdf) (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McIntyre (D-inc): 45
Ilario Pantano (R): 46
SurveyUSA takes a look at NC-07, as part of the Civitas Institute's rotating cast of pollsters. The (not very comforting) good news is that this is SurveyUSA, which has been putting out very GOP-friendly polling in House races, especially in North Carolina. (See their NC-11 polling, compared to other sources.) The bad news is that this race is pretty low on people's watch lists, although the NRCC has started to spending some money on ads here.
• VA-02: POS for Scott Rigell (9/26-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
Glenn Nye (D-inc): 35
Scott Rigell (R): 42
Kenny Golden (I): 5
On top of the NRCC internal poll leaked yesterday (giving Scott Rigell a decent if not-awe-inspiring 45-40 lead over Glenn Nye in an Ayres McHenry poll on 9/23-26), now Rigell's out with his own internal poll from POS giving him a slightly bigger lead. There's one very strange detail here, though: the voters going for tea-flavored indie Kenny Golden seem to be coming out Glenn Nye's column, as that subsample has 59/23 Obama approvals. The MoE on that subsample is probably astronomical, but still, there seems to be some message confusion here about who's who.
• WI-07: POS for Sean Duffy (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Julie Lassa (D): 43
Sean Duffy (R): 47
With Julie Lassa having released a poll yesterday showing her down by 1, Sean Duffy retaliated with a poll showing, well, not much difference: his poll has Lassa down by 4. This gets a little confusing, because the NRCC is out with a totally different internal poll today giving Duffy a better result (see below). At any rate, the polls taken in combination seem to give him a definite advantage here.
• NRSC: Here are some McCain Bucks that are actually worth something in the real world! Apparently feeling confident in his general (having survived a bigger challenge in his primary from J.D. Hayworth), John McCain just kicked $1 million over to the NRSC. (Alternate title: Good news! From John McCain!)
• NRCC: In addition to those couple candidate-released internals, the NRCC leaked five more internals of its own today to the Hotline, the majority of which confirm the expected trouble in three Midwestern open seats, but one showing a sleepy race is a live one and one with flat-out awful numbers for the Dem:
WI-08: Steve Kagen (D-inc) 39%, Reid Ribble (R) 57% (OnMessage, 9/15-16)
IL-17: Phil Hare (D-inc) 43%, Bobby Schilling (R) 44% (Tarrance Group, 9/23-25)
WI-07: Julie Lassa (D) 38%, Sean Duffy (R) 52% (Fabrizio, McLaughlin 9/15-16)
MI-01: Gary McDowell (D) 24%, Dan Benishek (R) 40% (Hill Research, 9/19-22) (um, no polling on Glenn Wilson?)
IN-08: Trent Van Haaften (D) 20%, Larry Buchson (R) 41% (OnMessage, 9/13-14)
• American Crossroads: Money's flowing out of American Crossroads as fast as it flows in, from their handful of billionaire donors: they're launching TV ad buys worth $724K in CO-Sen, $618K in IL-Sen, $346K in NV-Sen, $267K in PA-Sen, $492K in WA-Sen, $384K in MO-Sen, and also $247K in direct mail in FL-Sen. (Here's a peek at their WA-Sen ad.)
• NFIB: Committees? Who needs 'em? The National Federation of Independent Business is getting straight into the IE business, too, and in a big way. They have a new PA-Sen ad out (see the link). They're also starting to advertise in NC-Sen, WI-Sen, IN-08, WI-07, ND-AL, OH-16, NM-01, NV-03, FL-08, SC-05, VA-05, and WI-08.
• State legislatures: Louis Jacobson, writing for Governing magazine, updates his state legislature projections, with almost every move in the Republicans' favor. 25 of the 28 chambers "in play" are Democratic-controlled. The most alarming moves include moving the Dem-held Pennsylvania House and Ohio House to Lean Republican, and the North Carolina Senate and Colorado House to Tossup. The one remaining viable pickup opportunity for Dems is the Texas House.
• Polltopia: There isn't exactly anything new in this Politico piece from Maggie Haberman, but it does convey that professional pollsters and poll watchers in the Beltway are throwing up their hands in frustration about wildly vacillating, inconclusive polling this cycle as the rest of us are... showing that, really, nobody has much of a clue as to what's about to happen. Just to help everyone take a deep breath and keep things in perspective here...
• SSP TV:
• FL-Sen: The winning ad of the day comes from the Florida Democratic Party, on Kendrick Meek's behalf, letting Charlie Crist do all the talking about how he's really a conservative Republican
• WI-Sen: I actually agree with the Fix here that this is an effective Ron Johnson ad, letting him play the outsider in the same way that Russ Feingold did 18 years ago
• WV-Sen: The NRSC contrasts at-home Joe Manchin vs. Washington Joe Manchin
• FL-Gov: The FDP is also out with two different ads in the Governor's race, hitting Rick Scott on his Columbia/HCA tenure and contrasting that with Alex Sink's uncontroversial time at Bank of America
• MA-Gov: The RGA keeps hitting Tim Cahill (on the lottery this time), knowing full well that less Cahill means more Charlie Baker
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley is one politician embracing instead of fleeing Barack Obama, in a new radio ad
• FL-22: Ron Klein is out with another anti-Allen West ad, but it's back to the tax liens instead of dipping into the well of crazy
• IA-01: AFF is out with a mondo-sized ad buy against Bruce Braley in a race that no one else but them seems to be paying attention to (for $800K!) (h/t desmoinesdem)
• KS-03: Stephene Moore is finally out with her first TV spot, which is mostly an attack on Kevin Yoder (though self-narrated, which is unusual for that)
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster's out with an ad hitting Charlie Bass for wanting to "pick up where he left off"
• NV-03: Here's a link to that Dina Titus "peas in a pod" ad that we mentioned this morning, tying Joe Heck to Sharron Angle
• PA-12: Mark Critz's first ad talks about his own hardscrabble roots, and about outsourcing
• WI-07: As cool as it is to watch, how many more ads is Sean Duffy going to keep playing lumberjack in?
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 51%
FL-08: A poll for Sunshine State News, apparently by a firm called Voter Survey Service, finds GOPer Daniel Webster leading Rep. Alan Grayson 43-36. Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is at 6, and independent George Metcalfe takes 3.
IL-10: Bob Dold! must have superpowers. That's because Bob Dold! can seemingly exist in two places at once. He claimed the city of Chicago as his "primary residence" from 2004 to 2006, and received a tax credit for doing so... but somehow also claimed the town of Winnetka as his "permanent residence," enabling him to register and vote there during the same time period (which he did). So if I'm wrong and Bob Dold! is actually a mere mortal, it seems like it's either tax fraud or voter fraud. Bob Dold!
IL-11: I think this is going to be the last cycle we keep track of this whip count, because now it's becoming routine. The NRA endorsed Debbie Halvorson.
NY-20: Yep, definitely the last cycle. The NRA endorsed Scott Murphy, too.
PA-08: Yesterday we mentioned there was a Dem pol of this race, but that we lacked the toplines. Well, now we have the memo. A Harstad Research poll for the SEIU and VoteVets has Dem Rep. Patrick Murphy leading Mike Fitzpatrick 49-46 among likely voters. Interestingly, the poll shows slightly larger Murphy leads when an even tighter voter screen is applied.
VA-05: Ugh, this again? SurveyUSA's latest in VA-05 is pretty much the same as last time (and the time before that). They have Rob Hurt leading by an eye-popping 58-35 margin, a gap not seen in any other polling. Teabagger Jeffrey Clark takes 4%.
NRCC: The NRCC claims to be out with a bunch of internal polls, but they only provide the alleged toplines for races in seven districts. Forget about field dates or margins of error - they don't even bother to tell us who the pollsters are! If you want to know the numbers, you'll have to click the link.
KY-Sen: Is mockery better than scolding? Compare this Jack Conway ad, which wryly features seniors saying they "don't know what planet Rand Paul is from" when it comes to his Medicare views, with the Halvorson spot below
WV-Sen: John Raese attacks Joe Manchin for being soft on coal and buddies with Barack Obama
IL-11: A bunch of seniors scold Adam Kinzinger (on Debbie Halvorson's behalf) for his anti-Social Security views
NV-03: Grr... Dina Titus seems to have pulled her latest ad off of YouTube!
CO-07: American Future Fund drops $560K against Ed Perlmutter
• DE-Sen: One more Real World alum in the political news: that's first-season vet Eric Neis debating Christine O'Donnell in this new 90s video that's surfaced. Ooops, I'm burying the lede: the point of the video is that O'Donnell answers in the affirmative when asked if she wants to stop the whole country from having sex.
• KY-Sen: Benenson Strategy Group for DSCC (9/14-19, likely voters, early Sept. in parentheses):
Jack Conway (D): 42 (45)
Rand Paul (R): 45 (47)
Undecided: 13 (8)
The newest Benenson poll from the DSCC shows things pretty stable in the Kentucky race, with Jack Conway hanging back within striking distance of Rand Paul. They also find Conway leading 48-45 among those who actually know both candidates (and find Paul with greater name recognition: 84%, to 72% for Conway).
• MO-Sen: The DSCC is also out with an internal poll in Missouri, one of the other races where they'd like you to know they're still playing offense, courtesy of Garin Hart Yang (no mention of the dates, MoE, or any of that useful stuff, though... just a leak to the Fix). The poll has Robin Carnahan trailing Roy Blunt 45-41 (and only 41-40 without leaners). Roy Blunt, meanwhile, is engaging in typical frontrunner behavior, trying to limit debates (to avoid any grist for the negative ad mill); there will only be two debates, neither in a network TV setting.
• NC-Sen: National Research for Civitas (9/15-17, likely voters, 7/19-21 in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 29 (37)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (44)
Mike Beitler (L): 3 (3)
Undecided: 17 (15)
Thanks to a big lead with unaffiliateds (48-21), Richard Burr has a big lead in North Carolina. With a big financial disparity, unless there's some outside assistance, that lead's probably going to continue (although I'd be surprised if it's actually a full 20 points). One other interesting note: Civitas hires out third-party pollsters, and this is their first poll since they switched to Republican internal pollster National Research.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The only evidence we have of this poll is a Jon Ralston tweet, but apparently there's a poll rumbling around behind the scenes from a reputable Republican pollster that gives a 5-point lead to Harry Reid, 42-37 (among RVs). That's quite plausible; the real shock here, though, is that it also finds Rory Reid trailing only by 6 in the governor's race.
• WV-Sen: The big news here is probably that the NRSC is plowing $1.2 million into this race, hoping for the upset (as this race seems to be increasingly taking the place of Washington and California) or at least to pull DSCC fire away from elsewhere. That's just to run one new ad, tying Joe Manchin to Barack Obama; part of the expense is that the ad is running in the DC market, so it can reach the Panhandle. (You can see the IE filing here.)
One more plus, though, for Joe Manchin, is that he's getting the NRA's endorsement (one more in a seemingly endless parade of ConservaDems getting backed this week). Also, some details about John Raese are surfacing that may lead to ads that write themselves: photos of his marble-driveway Florida mansion, where it turns out his family lives full-time (presumably because of Florida's big juicy homestead exemption, but also because of the schools, as he wants a school system he "believes in")... and Raese's own description, in a radio interview yesterday, of how hard he worked for his riches:
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
• AZ-Gov: Here's a look at the financial situation in Arizona, where both gubernatorial candidates are relying on clean elections public financing in their bids. Dem Terry Goddard has about $1 million left to spend, while Jan Brewer has $860K left. Goddard also spent more in the last reporting period, spending $477K to Brewer's $291K.
• MA-Gov: If you're shedding your main campaign strategist with 40 days to go, that's probably a sign that you're not going to win. That's what happened with the Tim Cahill camp, who said goodbye to John Weaver. Having seen Cahill's share plunge into the single digits, Weaver said (in a parting shot) at this point, Cahill's candidacy is just hurting Charlie Baker's chances.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (67)
Carl Paladino (R): 34 (22)
Rick Lazio (C) : 9 (NA)
Undecided: 6 (11)
I don't know if the Marist poll exactly qualifies as a tie-breaker in the New York gubernatorial race, but it's a likely voter poll (instead of an RV poll, like Siena), and it doesn't have that outlier-ish whiff that Quinnipiac had. Also adding to its potential credibility: it's about halfway between the two, if erring somewhat on the side of Andrew Cuomo's safety. (It looks like they'll release Senate numbers later, separately.)
• CA-47: This is the first time I've ever used the scary all-caps to put words in the mouth of a Democratic candidate, but Loretta Sanchez just sent up the alarm that THE VIETNAMESE ARE COMING FOR HER SEAT!!!1!! Not just Van Tran, but apparently all of them!!! I suppose that's a dog-whistle of sorts to her Latino base in this seat that has a Latino majority (though not a lot of actual voters among them) and a politically active Asian minority, where her Republican challenger is Vietnamese. Kind of a faceplant moment for Sanchez, who has had good outreach to the Vietnamese community in the past (up until now, I'd imagine) and has relied on their votes to stay in office.
• MI-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Gary McDowell (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Gary McDowell (D): 38
Dan Benishek (R): 41
Glenn Wilson (I): 12
Here are some not-bad numbers from an internal for Gary McDowell, showing this is one of the few Republican-leaning open seats where we're still in fighting shape right now. McDowell's offering some pushback against a Dan Benishek internal that gave Benishek a 39-25 lead in a race that also includes wealthy independent Glenn Wilson.
• MI-07: It's a little late in the game for ex-Rep. Tim Walberg to be jumping on the birther train (that's so 2009...) but he just said that he doesn't know if Obama was born in the U.S. Meanwhile, his incumbent Dem opponent, Mark Schauer, is out with an internal poll in response to the Rossman Group poll that gave a 4-point lead to Walberg. Schauer's poll, taken 9/21-22 by Myers Research, finds a mirror-image 4-point lead for Schauer, 49-45 (or if you'd prefer inclusion of all third-party candidates, he's up 45-43).
• NRCC: The NRCC is wading into six more districts that they haven't been in before, with IE ad buys. Most (except for WA-03) of these districts feel like "Lean Dem" districts right now, but where the GOP thinks it can make some inroads: Ike Skelton's MO-04, Chris Carney's PA-10, Steve Kagen's WI-08, Martin Heinrich's NM-01, and the open seats in MA-10 and WA-03.
• AFF: The financially-disadvantaged NRCC can't win this all on its own, so AFF is keeping up its IEs, too. They're going on the air in four new districts, two of which overlap the above list. They're hitting SD-AL ($360K), TX-17 ($117K), NM-01 ($290K), and WA-03 ($875K).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The softer side of Ken Buck? He's out with a positive ad with testimonials from senior citizens
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist simultaneously hits both his opponents on corruption issues in one ad, hitting Kendrick Meek's real estate dealing and Marco Rubio's enthusiastic use of RPOF credit cards
• NC-Sen: It seemed to work well the first time for Richard Burr, so the rocking chair guys are back for another round
• NV-Sen: The newest ad from Harry Reid hits Sharron Angle for not supporting requiring health insurers to cover mammograms and colonoscopies
• NY-Sen-A: Chuck Schumer's running his first ad of the cycle, a bio spot, on local cable
• PA-Sen: Pat Toomey's newest ad is a hard negative one linking Joe Sestak to Barack Obama; interestingly, it's not running in the Philadelphia market
• WA-Sen: Dem group Commonsense Ten is out with an anti-Dino Rossi ad throwing the kitchen sink at him, including the foreclosure seminars
• CA-Gov: The latest Meg Whitman opus attacks Jerry Brown over Oakland schools during his tenure as mayor
• CA-47: Loretta Sanchez launches a negative ad against Van Tran, featuring him asleep on the job (during an Assembly budget all-nighter)
• LA-03: Bet you'd forgotten there's still one race where the field isn't set? (There's still a GOP runoff here.) Anyway, Hunt Downer is out with an ad full of adorable babies... to make the point that Jeff Landry is insufficiently pro-life
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper engages in some fat-cat bashing, tying Mike Kelly to Wall Street
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 40%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 41%, Tom Emmer (R) 42%, Tom Horner (I) 9%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 34%, Mary Fallin (R) 60%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 33%, Nikki Haley (R) 50%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 48%
DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell has decided to go the J.D. Salinger route: She told Sean Hannity that she's doing no more interviews, ever. Okay, well, at least as far as the national media are concerned. But it's nothing to get upset over, sports fans: Thanks to the advent of the Internet, we will hear about all her gaffes and insanities even if she's only talking to the Kent County Evening Bugle-Reporter-Sentinel. In that same interview with Hannity, she also managed to tell some nice lies about Chris Coons, claiming that he "made some very anti-American statements, apologizing for America and calling himself a bearded Marxist." Of course, the "bearded Marxist" line was a joke, though undoubtedly O'Donnell is too dense to grasp that.
CO-Gov: You know, as we were getting to know Christine O'Donnell, I had a feeling that she was so low-rent, she'd make even Dan Maes look good. Well, that appears to be all but fucking impossible, even for O'Donnell. Maes raised just $14K in the first two weeks of September and currently has $24K in the bank. Not sure there's a sack big enough fit that much sad.
MI-Gov: WLNS-TV could have saved themselves some money by just reading the Swing State Project, but they went ahead and commissioned a poll of the gubernatorial race anyway. Anyhow, the Marketing Resource Group shows exactly what you'd expect: Rick Snyder beating Virg Bernero 49-31.
AL-02: The NRA's infiltration of the Democratic Party continues apace, this time with an endorsement for Bobby Bright.
AZ-07: This smells fishy to me. A Republican operative is saying he's seen internal polls showing Some Dude Ruth McClung in a dead heat with Rep. Raul Grijalva in this 57% Obama district. But local Dem and GOP pols say they've seen nothing of the kind. McClung has only $15K on hand, but this ain't good: Grijalva, after spending half a mil so far this cycle, has just $77K in the bank.
IA-02: Evidently Mariannette Miller-Meeks did not get the Club For Growth's memo: She's now saying she opposes privatizing Social Security, ostensibly because she thinks its finances are rickety. But isn't the whole reason conservative douchewads want to private Social Security is because that's how they think they can "save" it? I'm confused!
ID-01: Heh - fucker couldn't buy a break even if Ron Popiel was selling `em. Even though the NRA gave Raul Labrador a better grade than Walt Minnick, they declined to endorse either candidate. Suckaaaaa.
WATN?: Remember this story? Last cycle, Chris Shays' former campaign manager, Michael Sohn, stole a quarter million dollars from his boss's election accounts. Now, Sohn has been sentenced to 37 months in prison. Shays must go to sleep every night wondering if that extra $250K would have meant the difference between winning and losing....
SSP TV (by James L.):
FL-Sen: Charlie Crist's new ad hits Rubio for all the pork-laden bills that he sent to the Governor's desk while serving as Speaker of the Florida House
KY-Sen: Conservative group American Crossroads spending $235K against Jack Conway (D) - no copy of ad yet
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes' new ad is a folksy spot on fiscal conservatism, including chiding Kelly Ayotte for supporting tax cuts for the rich
CO-07: Ryan Frazier wields some kind of laser pen while reciting a bunch of B.S. GOP boilerplate
FL-22: Allen West says that Ron Klein is no moderate
FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas would like you to know that she's never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down
MO-04: Ike Skelton issues a fierce but vague attack on GOPer Vicky Hartzler's support for veterans, from the mouths of veterans
NY-20: Chris Gibson says that we have to let market forces drive healthcare costs down. Yeah, like that worked the first time, moron.
PA-03: Mike Kelly and the NRCC team up to hit Kathy Dahlkemper on SPENDING OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE INTO OBLIVION!!!!11!
PA-04: Keith Rothfus' new ad takes the ice cream sandwich approach: two layers of delicious cookie crunch surrounding a mid-section of negative ice cream. I realize that makes no sense, but... God, I'm hungry.
PA-10: Tom Marino's first ad plays defense against Chris Carney's hard-hitting ads against his sleazy record
Independent Expenditures (all from the DCCC today):
• AR-Sen: Move along, nothing to see here. Talk Business, via Hendrix College, is out with another poll of the Arkansas Senate race. They find John Boozman leading Blanche Lincoln 56-29, with 5 for indie Trevor Drown. (The previous Talk Business poll, taken by Zata|3, had it at 57-32.)
• DE-Sen: Trying to put his money where his mouth is, Jim DeMint, via his Senate Conservatives Funds, is going on the air with a new cable TV spot on behalf of Christine O'Donnell. The buy is for at least $250K. As I expected, it makes very obvious hay out of Harry Reid's dumb reference to Chris Coons as his "pet."
• FL-Sen: This is a long read, but worth checking out, not just from a partisan standpoint but also as insight into the constant revolving door between politics, big law, academia, and the nebulous world of "consulting." It's a thorough going-over of Marco Rubio's finances over the years, looking at some of the already-known stuff (his foreclosure problems and overuse of state party credit cards) but also at the connections that have gradually allowed him to enrich himself.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA finds... brace yourselves... Republicans in the lead in Kansas! The Senate race appears to be out in no-man's land, with Jerry Moran leading Lisa Johnston 66-24. The Governor's race, however, remains moderately interesting, with Sam Brownback up over Tom Holland 59-32. Still not a good result, but that's a 15-point swing in Holland's favor from last time, as he now leads among self-described moderates.
• KY-Sen: This poll from last week is probably interesting enough for the front page... but it's getting more than a little stale, after our having repeatedly fumbled attempts to write it up, so we're just dropping it off here (figuring many of you have already seen it on over at Daily Kos). PPP, on behalf of Big Orange, finds that Rand Paul leads Jack Conway 49-42. On the plus side, not much of an enthusiasm gap here, thanks to Paul's polarizing nature; it's just a solidly red state.
• LA-Sen: Two different polls in Louisiana tell different stories. Dem pollster Bennett Petts & Normington, on behalf of the DSCC, sees a 10-point race, with David Vitter leading Charlie Melancon 48-38. On the other hand, Republican pollster Magellan sees it as an 18-point race: 52-34. The truth, as is often said, probably lies somewhere in between.
• UT-Sen: The Senate half of the Dan Jones poll (for the Deseret News and KSL-TV) finally showed up. In what could be called "not a surprise," the Republican is winning in Utah. Mike Lee (who turfed out Bob Bennett at the state convention) is easily beating Sam Granato, 52-25.
• WA-Sen: Here's a nice story about hypocrisy... or hypoc-Rossi, in this case. Dino Rossi made a campaign stop at a Whidbey Island shipyard last week, one that's nearly doubled its workforce from 130 to 210. Turns out, though, that the shipyard received $841K in stimulus funds, and the yard's owner says the expansion is a direct result of the stimulus. (Interestingly, Rossi, without any guidance from Admiral Ackbar, may have sailed right into A TRAP: he showed up at the invitation of the yard's owner, who has donated to Patty Murray in the past.)
• WI-Sen: If that Rossi hypocrisy story seems kind of small potatoes to you, well, don't worry, because Ron Johnson seems to have, over the last few weeks, been exposed as the absolute master of hypocrisy about engorging yourself on the government teat all the while raging against it. While he can claim that building-a-rail-spur-to-Pacur thing was in the distant past, now it comes out that in March 2009, in his role as board member of Oshkosh's Grand Opera House, he sought stimulus funds for renovations to the opera. Y'know, the stimulus bill that's KILLING US ALL AND ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS!!1!
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin has had good relations with the state-level Chamber of Commerce, who've backed him in the past. They must have put in a good word for him with the national organization, as now the US Chamber of Commerce is endorsing him too, quite the rarity for a high-profile Dem.
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's previous defense against the massive Medicare fraud problems at his former healthcare company Columbia/HCA was that he'd have stopped them if only he'd known they were going on (which, considering his job was to run the company, should have demolished his credibility right there). But now it's been revealed that his legal team was keeping him apprised, at least on the issue of trying to skirt a federal anti-kickback law.
• FL-22: They've had to call out the biggest fundraising gun of all for Ron Klein, seeing as how he's up against a nutty opponent but one with a direct line into seemingly hundreds of thousands of teabaggers' wallets in Allen West. Barack Obama will fundraise for Klein in the Miami area on Oct. 11 (at the home of former NBA star Alonzo Mourning).
• MS-01: The Tarrance Group is out with another Alan Nunnelee internal giving him a single-digit lead over Travis Childers in the 1st: this time, he's up 48-41.
• NY-23: Would you believe the NY-23 count is still going on? Although it seems like Matt Doheny is the likely victor in the GOP primary, with a 582-vote lead right now, 1,969 military and overseas ballots remain to be counted. In Friday's count, Doug Hoffman added 207 votes while Doheny added 177.
• American Crossroads: Rove, Inc., seems to be becoming the main conduit for billionaires looking to put their thumbs on the electoral scales but skeptical of the Michael Steele-helmed RNC: they raised $14.5 million in the last 30 days, almost doubling their year-to-date total.
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with a bonanza of IEs in 23 different districts (click the FEC link for specific numbers): PA-11, VA-09, PA-08, WI-07, NJ-03, PA-03, IL-14, MI-01, MI-07, PA-07, NC-07, IL-11, AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-23, VA-05, IN-02, and IL-10.
• SEIU: So, while the CoC is endorsing the Dem in West Virginia, the SEIU is endorsing the not-Dem in Rhode Island: they've thrown their backing behind indie Lincoln Chafee. (United Nurses and Allied Professionals will also endorse Chafee today, and the AFL-CIO is currently meeting about which way to go.) The SEIU is also out with a couple IEs of their own, spending $250K against Tim Walberg in MI-07 and $435K against deep-pocketed Jim Renacci in OH-16.
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with three different ads focusing on various aspects of Ken Buck's nuttery, including the 17th Amendment and opposition to common birth control methods • CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal's ad focuses on pushback against various Linda McMahon misrepresentations
• FL-22: Ron Klein calls out Allen West for his various veiled calls for armed uprising
• HI-01: Charles Djou's first ad of the general is a positive spot listing accomplishments from his short time in office
• IL-10: Bob Dold! ties Dan Seals to Nancy Pelosi in a health care-themed ad
• PA-10: Here's the winner of the day: Chris Carney quickly and effectively summarizes the nasty links between Tom Marino and Louis DeNaples
• PA-15: Charlie Dent goes after John Callahan's bookkeeping as mayor of Bethlehem
• WI-08: Steve Kagen dips into the well of 50s-era public-domain stock footage to hit Reid Ribble on his calls for Social Security phaseout
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 50%, Bob Ehrlich 47%
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski (D-inc) 54%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 48%, John Stephen (R) 46%
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 54%, Carl Paladino (R) 38%, Rick Lazio (C) 0% because Rasmussen didn't bother to include him
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 43%, Scott Walker (R) 51%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 50%, John Raese (R) 43%