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?
• KY-Sen: The Beltway chattering class seems to have either moved on from "Aqua Buddha," or taken it as a given that it just backfired on Jack Conway. Josh Green at the Atlantic does some actual, y'know, reporting on what's happening on the ground, though, and finds that the ad (and its rebuttal), and their aftermath, are still completely driving the conversation in Kentucky. Local GOP pols still seem to think that Rand Paul will squeak by in the end, but it's thrown him deeply off message and the refusal to debate again doesn't look good on him. (UPDATE: Actually, Greg Sargent just reported that the Conway camp is taking down the Aqua Buddha ad. To clarify "taking down," though, this was a planned move, as it reached the end of its original run, to be replaced by this sales tax ad.)
• PA-Sen: Barack Obama will be making a four-state swing through the east coast and midwest over the weekend prior to the election; one of the stopping spots will be Philadelphia, where he'll be doing a canvassing event. He'll also be doing rallies in Chicago, Cleveland, and Bridgeport, Connecticut (indicating they're still leaving nothing to chance with Richard Blumenthal).
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman breaking self-funding records has become something of a dog-bites-man story around here, but one more for old times sake: she spent $23 million in the first half of October, bringing her all-cycle total to $163 million. Jerry Brown, by contrast, spent $14.6 million in that period, bringing his all-cycle spending to $25 million.
• CO-Gov: I doubt this is much of a game-changer, but it may help flip a few more Colorado Springs area votes in Tom Tancredo's direction (if there were any Dan Maes supporters left there). Rep. Doug Lamborn became perhaps the most prominent elected Republican in Colorado to publicly come out in support of Tancredo, rather than Maes.
• MN-Gov: The RGA must be seeing something the polls aren't telling them, because they're still fighting till the end in Minnesota. (Of course, if one committee has money to throw at unlikely races and see what sticks, it's the RGA.) They just gave $1 million to third party group Minnesota Future to run more anti-Mark Dayton (and probably anti-Tom Horner) ads. (You may remember Minnesota Future from the whole Target contribution controversy. Interestingly, Hubbard Broadcasting, owner of local TV station KSTP, also was just identified as having given $25K to Minnesota Future. Y'know, because they're part of that liberal lamestream media.)
• FL-24: And here I'd thought we'd dodged something of a bullet when Karen Diebel got sent packing to spent more time guarding her swimming pool. Sandy Adams, who seems likely to be the next Representative for the Space Coast, has come out in favor of the "biblical teachings" rather than the theory of evolution. I look forward to hearing her proposals for a faith-based space program next.
• ID-01: The Tea Party Express finally endorsed Raul Labrador in the 1st. However, that comes only after they tried to endorse Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick as their token Dem fig-leaf and he rejected the endorsement (over racist statements by one of their, at the time, key members).
• Early voting: Ohio Democrats are pointing to an edge in early voting, where they're leading 44 percent to 34 percent for Republicans in votes cast so far. The Republicans are claiming the edge after three days of early voting in Florida, with a 148,000 vote edge, although Dems pointed out that was about where the numbers were in the 2006 election.
• Redistricting: Here's a good counterpoint to several articles that have shrugged off the possible large Republican advantage on the redistricting front coming out of this election, one that actually looks at the actual number of House seats that are likely to be influenced. Extrapolating likely control of state governorships and legislatures, the GOP will have "untrammeled" control over 125 House seats while Dems will control only 62, a worse outcome than 1990 or 2000. (43 are in commission-based states or at-large states, with 205 drawn by divided governments.)
• Chamber of Commerce: This article was been making the rounds, but it's a must-read if you haven't already done so and you're interested in the "dark money" that's swamping the transparent money, this cycle more than ever. The NYT digs into what corporations are using the national Chamber of Commerce as a pass-through for their contributions, including Prudential, Dow Chemical, and Dutch insurer Aegon.
• SSP TV:
• AZ-Sen: This looks like John McCain's last ad, as it's a soft-focus closing argument type of spot
• CO-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters hits Ken Buck on environmental issues
• DE-Sen: Here's the first Chris Coons ad to take on Christine O'Donnell directly, saying she lives in the "Twilight Zone"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid rolls out endorsements from various local business leaders in his newest ad
• WA-Sen: Waiting until the end to go after Dino Rossi for his anti-abortion stance seems to be tradition now, in order to swing any last-minute moderate women who haven't decided, and the DSCC piles on
• HI-Gov: Barack Obama, fresh off his Colleen Hanabusa spot, also cuts an ad touting Neil Abercrombie
• RI-Gov: The DGA keeps pounding on Lincoln Chafee over the tax hikes he'd like (I've also heard the RGA is buying an ad here on behalf of John Robitaille, though I haven't seen a link)
• WV-03: Ewwww... Spike Maynard plays the terrorist card against Arab-American Rep. Nick Rahall
• MoveOn: MoveOn seems to have saved their powder for one huge blast at the end, running ads in eight Senate races and 20 House races (here's their WI-08 ad), helping only Dems who voted in favor of HCR
• Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is out with ads boosting Democratic incumbents in FL-22, MI-07, and AZ-08 • 60+ Assoc.: The AARP's evil doppelganger is running two spots, a two-fer in Arizona hitting both Raul Grijalva and Gabby Giffords, and... here's a new one... Solomon Ortiz in TX-27
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 44%, Tom Emmer (R) 41%, Tom Horner (I) 10%
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 51%, Carl Paladino (R) 37%
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D-inc) 59%, Jay Townsend (R) 31%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 44%, Kristi Noem (R) 49%
MO-Sen: Republican media trackers tell Politico that the DSCC has cancelled $1.3 million worth of ad buys in Kansas City and St. Louis for the final week before the election. The DS tried to push back, saying that "decisions are made on a week-to-week basis," but as Swingnuts well know, cancelling early reservations now subjects you to forfeiting deposits - and means you have to pay higher rates if you decide to go back in later. In other words, late cancellations are not made lightly.
WV-Sen: John Raese has one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
NV-Sen: So maybe some of that cash earmarked for Missouri is going to Nevada instead. On the heels of Sharron Angle's eye-bursting $14 million haul, the DSCC is making its first ad reservations in the Silver State, apparently for a million bucks a week.
GA-Gov: Wow, Nathan Deal really is the epitome of the corrupt scumbag who thinks the purposes of getting elected to public office is to use his position for personal gain. As the AP explains: "While in Congress, Republican Nathan Deal lobbied Georgia's attorney general and top state environmental officials to allow the development of a landfill that he and his business partner wanted next to their auto salvage yard...." Note that though this involves Deal's auto salvage business, this is actually a different scandal from the one which inspired him to resign from Congress (there, he had lobbied the state from his perch in the House to preserve a questionable vehicle inspection program from which he profited immensely).
NY-Gov: For the trouble of offering a half-assed, bullshit, "I'm sorry if you were offended" non-apology, Carl Paladino has now lost the backing of the right-wing rabbi, Yehuda Levin, who helped pen the anti-gay speech which got Paladino into such hot water to begin with.
Relatedly, a truly awesome catch by Politico's Maggie Haberman: She digs waaay deep to link a story at the Orthodox-oriented news blog Voz Iz Neias (Yiddish for "What's News?") about Paladino's flubbed outreach in the Orthodox community. Though it's getting far less play than his homophobic outburst, Paladino also attacked a bunch of big-time rebbes (Hasidic leaders) for supposedly being suckered into going soft on the libruhl Andrew Cuomo (who had also done the ritual meet-and-greets in Hasidic communities). Several prominent rabbis are now rebuking Paladino for waltzing on to their turf and making such presumptuous accusations against some of their own. So not only did Paladino piss off half the state thanks to this trip, he pissed off the very people he was trying to win over! In a word: fail.
CA-03: There aren't a whole lot of bright spots these days, but one of them is definitely Dan Lungren. The former state AG managed to win in 2008 against a badly underfunded opponent with less than 50% of the vote, and has been getting his ass kicked in fundraising literally every quarter this cycle by Ami Bera. So with his back against the wall, Karl Rove is coming to the rescue. American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS is launching ads in the district on Friday, but NWOTSOTB as yet.
CA-45: You know I'm a ratfucking fetishist, so of course it warms my heart to hear that Dem Steve Pougnet is doing his best to prop up teabagger Bill Lussenheide. He's targeting Republicans with robocalls that say Lussenheide is the "true conservative" - but he's also sending out mailers to the same households describing him as "extreme" and "dangerous" while calling Rep. Mary Bono Mack a "raging liberal." I imagine the idea is that what's "extreme" and "dangerous" to normal people is actually appealing to crazies. I also love the fact that Bono Mack's people whined that this was a "dirty trick" - just shows they are a bunch of weenies who don't know how to fight.
LA-02: Man, it seems like most pols in Louisiana care about party loyalty as much as the writers of LOST cared about not pissing off their fans after six fucking years of slavishly watching that goddamn... uh, where was I? Oh yeah, state Rep. Juan LaFonta, who got pasted in the Democratic primary by Cedric Richmond, has decided to endorse Republican Rep. Joe Cao for re-election. This does not seem like the winning move to me. (And screw you, J. J. Abrams!)
OH-09: This comment has the flavor of Star Trek nerds debating whether Captain Picard ever wore the Federation dress uniform while on the bridge of the Enterprise D during season 4... only, except, you know, this guy is actually trying to be serious. Rich Iott's spokesbot pleaded with Politico to understand that no, it was an SS uniform, not a NAZI uniform! I'm sure that will please John Boehner, who, as it turns out, gave $5,000 to Iott last month. Think he wants his Reichsmarks back?
PA-03: Paging Mark Twain... Mark Twain to the white courtesy phone. The AFSCME evidently thinks that rumors of Kathy Dahlkemper's demise are at least somewhat exaggerated, since they're dropping $350K on ads on her behalf. Triage is a tricky business.
WI-08: Aaron Blake tweets that the DCCC is "pulling out" of the 8th CD, but as is often the case, the picture is more nuanced. First off, AFSCME just dropped $750K here (to which Blake alludes). Secondly, Kagen is personally wealthy. In fact, in 2008, he was the 28th-richest member of the House, with a net worth of anywhere between $7 and $20 million. Hopefully his investments haven't taken too bad of hit the last couple of years and he can still afford to spend large (he gave his campaign almost $900K last cycle).
GA-08: Jim Marshall's anti-Pelosi ad actually has hippies in it - for reals
NY-20: Fuck yes - Scott Murphy's latest lacerates Chris Gibson for supporting repeal of the healthcare reform bill. Murphy, like Earl Pomeroy, knows the only way to win is to go loud and proud
TN-04: Lincoln Davis lacerates Scott DesJarlais for reportedly threatening his ex-wife with a gun - and threatening to kill himself. Stories like this were a big reason why Don Sherwood and Randy Kuhl both lost
ID-01: On behalf of Walt Minnick, the mother of a woman murdered by her abuser hits Raul Labrador for his failure to support laws that would protect women in abusive relationships
MA-06: Republican Bill Hudak hits Rep. John Tierney on a story we've been somewhat remiss in covering here: namely, his wife's recent guilty plea for tax fraud. By referring to "Tierney's family," the ad makes it sound like Tierney himself was involved, but Hudak gets away with this legerdemain because the wife's brother (family by marriage, I suppose) was also involved. The ad is only running on cable (Hudak had less than $100K on hand at the end of August)
America's Families First Action Fund: Sounds like a GOP group, but it's actually Dem to the bone: $80K against David Schweikert (AZ-05); $403K against David Rivera (FL-25); $94K on mail against Bob Dold! (FL-25); $200K against Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
EMILY: $520K against Tom Ganley (OH-13); $212K against Cory Gardner (CO-04); $20K against Frank Guinta (NH-01)
NEA: $1.4 million against Ken Buck (CO-Sen); $306K against Harold Johnson (NC-08)
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
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
• AK-Sen: Daily Kos just added Scott McAdams to its Orange to Blue list, so if you're still looking to throw some money in his direction, you can do so via Big Orange. Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is trying to gear up her write-in campaign, and with Ted Stevens having been laid to rest this week, she's mulling whether to roll out those ads featuring Stevens that she had ready to go pre-primary but pulled because of his death. This can't be good news for Murkowski, though: Rep. Don Young, more from the Murkowski/Stevens wing of the local GOP than the teabagger wing, is having a bout of self-preservation and is staying neutral, not endorsing anyone in the race. Finally, here's one more page in Joe Miller's ongoing saga of milking the system that he hates so darn much: when new to Alaska (but after he'd bought his expensive house and started working as an attorney), he obtained an indigent hunting/fishing license that required an income of less than $8,200/yr.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell says she attended Oxford. Oh, no, wait, she took a course from something called the Phoenix Institute that "rented space from" Oxford. Why am I not surprised?
• FL-Sen: I always figured that the early love affair between the local teabaggery and Marco Rubio wouldn't last; he seemed more from the mainstream Jeb Bush camp and it seemed more a marriage of convenience based on his charisma but mostly on the fact that he wasn't Charlie Crist. Anyway, he's pretty much severed the relationship and making a break for the establishment with his latest revelation, that he decided several months ago against privatizing Social Security after concluding the idea "doesn't work." (If Ken Buck gets elected, I wonder how long it'll take him to make the same move?)
• IL-Sen: The DSCC is keeping on pouring money into the Land of Lincoln, bolstering Alexi Giannoulias. They're adding another $400K to the pile, for another week on the air.
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is taking the opposite tack, engaging in a little advertisus interruptus and pulling out for a week from Kentucky. (They claim they're doing so from a position of strength, naturally.) Meanwhile, this is kind of small ball ($1,400 in contributions from three guys), but it's still the kind of headline you probably don't want to see if you're Rand Paul, especially once you've made your feelings on the Civil Rights Act clear:
Conway camp calls on Paul to return money from white separatists
• NY-Sen-B: Marist (9/19-22, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parentheses):
Marist gives you a buffet of different numbers of choose from, as it's 54-42 for Gillibrand when leaners are pushed, or it's 55-36 when polling just registered voters (meaning there's an enthusiasm gap worth 8 points here). They also find Chuck Schumer having no problems in the other Senate race, leading Jay Townsend 58-37 among LVs (and 63-32 among RVs).
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson's one act of political participation prior to this year -- testifying before the state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan-supported Wisconsin Child Victims Act -- is getting a second look in the press. His main interest in opposing the bill was that it could lead to corporations or other business entities being held liable for acts of employees, worried about the "economic havoc" it would create (and worried that those meddling "trial lawyers" would benefit). Think Progress has video of the testimony.
• WV-Sen: This seems like a new one to me... John Raese is actually paying people to write letters to the editor on his behalf. Not just offering them McCain Bucks that can't be redeemed for anything in the real world, but running an actual contest giving money to people who get the most letters published. Also, I'll give John Raese credit for being himself even when he's being followed around by reporters. Here's his reaction to finding out that the NRA endorsement went to Joe Manchin:
Raese speaks angrily into the phone, his words full of threat: "Tell them that I have an A plus rating with them, and that if they are fair they should include that. Tell them about the polling. Tell them I'm riding an elephant." Raese pulls the cell phone away from his ear, hands it back to Patrick the driver, and says "That has made it a lot harder."
• CT-Gov: Little known fact: did you know that Jodi Rell still hasn't endorsed Tom Foley yet, despite only weeks to go? Foley's camp is saying it's imminent, but it looks like Rell has summoned up even less enthusiasm in the general as she did for her Lt. Gov., Michael Fedele, in the GOP primary.
• FL-Gov: Here's an interesting endorsement for Alex Sink: she got the backing of term-limited Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Villalobos is also backing Charlie Crist (and even Dan Gelber in the AG race), so this exactly a sign of the Republican edifice collapsing, though.
• IA-Gov, SD-AL: Add one more to the long list of Dems who are getting a nice NRA endorsement as their box-of-Rice-a-Roni-and-can-of-Turtle-Wax-style parting gift on their way out the studio door. Chet Culver just got the backing of the gun lobby. (One state to the north, they also just backed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today.)
• CA-44: PPP for Democrats.com (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bill Hedrick (D): 38
Ken Calvert (R-inc): 49
Despite being woefully underfunded, Bill Hedrick's keeping the race competitive in his rematch against Ken Calvert (recall that he almost won, out of nowhere, in 2008). How he makes up that last 12 points in this climate, though, I'm not sure.
• FL-22: Harstad Research Group for Project New West (9/20-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 43
There's lots of back-and-forth in the polling of the 22nd, with each side sporting their own internal with a lead in the last week. Dem pollster Harstad weighs in with another one going in Ron Klein's column.
• KS-03: Moore money, Moore problems? Retiring Rep. Dennis Moore is still busy emptying out his campaign coffers, transferring $100K more to the Kansas Democratic party (on top of a previous $100K in June). That's probably with the understanding that the money will be used to pay for their newest mailer in support of Stephene Moore, running to succeed her husband.
• NH-01, NH-02: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 40
Frank Guinta (R): 50
Ann McLane Kuster (D): 36
Charlie Bass (R): 38
Here are some unusual results from ARG! (although should we expect anything else?): they find Carol Shea-Porter getting keelhauled in the 1st, while the open seat battle in the 2nd is a swashbuckling battle (contrary to other polls we've seem of these races, where the 1st has been a tossup or a narrow CSP advantage while the 2nd has looked bad).
• PA-08: I've been patiently waiting here for actual toplines for more than a day, but it seems like they aren't forthcoming... so I'll just let you know there's a Harstad Research Group poll (on behalf of SEIU and VoteVets, not the Patrick Murphy campaign) out in the 8th that gives Murphy a 3-point lead over Mike Fitzpatrick and an 8-point lead among voters who voted in 2006. It was taken Sept. 20-22.
• WI-07: Garin Hart Yang for Julie Lassa (9/26-27, likely voters, in parentheses):
Julie Lassa (D): 41
Sean Duffy (R): 42
Gary Kauther (I): 7
I don't know how good a sign this is, releasing an internal where you're still trailing in a Democratic-leaning district. Lassa needs to let the donors know she's still in this, I suppose.
• WV-03: Global Strategy Group for DCCC (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Well, here's one district where all the polls (even the one from AFF) are consistent in showing a nearly-20 point edge for long-time Dem Nick Rahall.
• NY-St. Sen.: Four polls from Siena of key New York State Senate races have, on the balance, bad news for the Democrats: Darrell Aubertine, the first Democrat in several geological epochs to hold SD-48 in the North Country, is trailing GOP opponent Pattie Ritchie for re-election, 48-45. Brian Foley, in Long Island-based SD-4, is also in a tough race, leading Lee Zeldin 44-43. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents are looking fairly safe: Frank Padavan, who barely survived 2008 in Dem-leaning Queens-based SD-11, leads ex-city councilor Tony Avella 56-32, while in SD-44, Hugh Farley leads Susan Savage 55-37. (I'd rather see them poll the open seat races; that's where the Republicans are at more risk.)
• Mayors: There aren't a lot of big-city mayoral races where the decisive vote is in November (most were wrapped up in the primaries), but one interesting one is Louisville, where the longtime Dem incumbent Jerry Abramson is leaving in order to run for LG next year. Dem Greg Fischer (who you may remember from the 2008 Senate primary) is beating Republican city councilor Hal Heiner 48-42, according to SurveyUSA.
• DLCC: You probably saw yesterday that the DLCC is out with a first round of 20 "essential races" for controlling key state legislative chambers. Well, over in diaries, now they're soliciting suggestions for further additions to the list, so please add some suggestions from races that are near and dear to your own hearts.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce, trying to salvage this dwindling race, tries to hang the "career politician" tag on Barbara Boxer
• CO-Sen: The DSCC goes after Ken Buck on Social Security again
• CO-Sen: The NRSC runs an anti-Michael Bennet ad, hitting him on his support for health care reform
• DE-Sen: The DSCC crams as much Christine O'Donnell insanity as it can into 30 seconds
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk goes back to where he began, with another bio spot of small town boy made good
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's newest ad keeps on trying to tie Pat Toomey to Wall Street
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese for supporting eliminating the minimum wage and his own ooopses at his own company
• CT-Gov: The DGA hits Tom Foley on outsourcing in his former career as textile magnate
• MI-Gov: The RGA hits Virg Bernero on spending as mayor (OMG! he spent $1,277 on pencils!)
• NM-Gov: Another Susana Martinez attack ad hits Diane Denish for some bungled solar power thingamajig
• TX-Gov: Here's a mindblowing stat: the DGA has never paid for advertising in Texas... until now. They're out with an attack on Rick Perry, calling him what nobody wants to be called this cycle ("career politican")
• KY-03: Todd Lally's out with two ads, one a bio spot, the other a pretty funny attack on John Yarmuth using the K-Tel greatest hits album motif
• MI-07: Tim Walberg has to call on his mom for help: not to do any polling on his behalf, just to appear in an ad about Social Security
• NC-02: This was probably inevitable... AJS weighs into the 2nd with an ad using Bob Etheridge going apeshit on a poor innocent little tracker
• NC-11: Repent now or Jeff Miller will forever cast you into the fiery pits of Nancy Pelosi's hell!
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy touts how well he cooperated with George W. Bush! (on Medicare Part D, though, which probably plays well among North Dakota's aging population)
• PA-08: Outsourcing must be polling well for the Dems these days, as Patrick Murphy hits Mike Fitzpatrick on that
• VA-05: Indie candidate Jeff Clark scrounged up enough money to advertise? And he's attacking GOPer Robert Hurt? That's good enough for me
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 50%, Tom Foley (R) 40%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• Fox/Pulse (aka Rasmussen):
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 44%, Dan Maes (R) 15%, Tom Tancredo (C) 34%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 8%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 42%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 45%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%
• 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%