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SSP Daily Digest: 4/19

by: DavidNYC

Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 8:01 AM EDT

HI-Sen: Both Rep. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have confirmed to Roll Call that they are looking at the Dem primary to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka, and Hanabusa says she's meeting with the DSCC, presumably soon. She also says that the DS "has made it known it wants to speak with anyone interested in running, but it is not actively recruiting any one candidate" (Roll Call's phrasing).

IN-Sen: So GOPer Richard Mourdock raised $157K, not much better than the $125K or so he predicted (in an obvious attempt to ensure he "exceeded analysts' estimates," as they might say after a Wall Street earnings call). But I flag this item because Roll Call says Mourdock plans to "raise money from a national donor base starting next year." Does this mean he's going the Sharron Angle/Michele Bachmann/Allen West BMW Direct-type direct mail scammery? (See related bullets below.) If so, then perhaps Dick Lugar is in better shape than he might have hoped.

MO-Sen: This is news to me: Sophomore GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer is apparently thinking about a Senate bid, and has reportedly even met with the NRSC about his intentions. Dave Catanese says that "uncertainty about redistricting" is spurring Luetkemeyer to consider other options, but I'm not sure I buy that, seeing as the new maps being considered by the Republican-held legislature offer him a very comfy seat. The real puzzler is why he's doing this when six-term Rep. Todd Akin seems to be gearing up for a Senate run, since there's almost no way the two would want to fight it out in a primary. Maybe Lute thinks he can be Plan B if Akin demurs.

Another reason cited by Catanese (which applies equally well to both congressmen) is ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman's crappy fundraising. She pulled in just $186K in Q1, which would be unimpressive for a supposedly serious candidate in almost any state. If Akin gets in, I think there's a non-zero chance that she'd drop out.

MT-Sen: Nice: Sen. Jon Tester (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $1.5m on hand. His Republican opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, raised less than half that, $580K, but has $932K in the bank.

NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson raised $1 million in Q1 and has $2.3 mil on hand. His chief Republican rival, AG Jon Bruning, raised $1.5 million and has $1.2 in the bank, but Nelson pointed out that $600K was transferred from Bruning's 2008 Senate account (when he briefly sought to primary Chuck Hagel; after Hagel announced his retirement, Bruning was squeezed out by former Gov. Mike Johanns).

OH-Sen: Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, whom we'd mentioned previously as a possible candidate, has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee, joining Treasurer Josh Mandel in this in-limbo category in the GOP primary.

TN-Sen: I feel like there's an alternate universe not too dissimilar from our own where a Republican dude named Bob Corker is also freshman in the U.S. Senate, and he's also up for re-election, except Corker Prime is actually vulnerable. Here on Earth, though, it really seems like Corker is well out of reach for us. He raised an impressive $1.9 million in Q1 and has over $4 million in the bank - and there are no Democratic candidates on the horizon.

Gubernatorial:

MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon lapped his likely Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, on the fundraising circuit, pulling in over twice as much money over the last six months, $1.7 million to $770K. Nixon also has a big cash-on-hand edge, $2.1 mil to $900K.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show? Well, pretty terrible, actually - Kinder's had just an awful few weeks in the press. After the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed his penchant for spending taxpayer money to stay in luxury hotels to attend baseball games and society balls, Kinder promised to reimburse the state $35K... but two weeks later, he still hasn't. That nimbus definitely isn't moving anywhere just yet, and it's his own damn fault. Let's hope he runs the rest of his campaign the same way.

NC-Gov: This just doesn't seem good. Gov. Bev Perdue, whose public image has already suffered enough damage, was out-of-state Saturday afternoon when a series of deadly tornadoes touched down in North Carolina. She was attending a horse race in Kentucky and didn't make a public appearance back home until 11pm that night. I'm not going to predict what this will mean for Perdue, but it can't be helpful.

WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant's first ad is a hokey spot set on a farm, in which she decries politicians wasting money... and a cow can be heard to moo. (Or a bull. I don't know. It has horns. But small ones. So maybe still a cow? Do bulls moo? I'm from the city - sue me.) Tennant is generally seen as the candidate with the greatest appeal to liberals (yes, there are some in West Virginia), so she's clearly trying to play against type here.

House:

AZ-08: Rep. Gabby Giffords raised $358K in Q1 and has $556K in the bank.

CA-19: Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Denham (I admit it - I had already forgotten who he was and had to Google him) is already making a name for himself. That name is "idiot." He staged a mega-lavish DC fundraiser in January when he was sworn in which featured singer Leann Rimes and spent an amazing $212,250 on the event. Total raised? $212,900 - which means he netted exactly $650. That's quite the feat. It's even more amazing when you consider it was all supposed to benefit a joint fundraising committee for 11 GOP frosh. To rub it in, Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee archly observes: "If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59."

CA-36: Janice Hahn outraised Debra Bowen in Q1, $273K to $195K, and has about double the cash-on-hand, $171K to $93K. Surprisingly, Marcy Winograd managed to raise $50K. (And if you care, Republican Craig Hughey lent his campaign $250K.)

Bowen also put out an internal from the Feldman Group. In a test of apparently all the candidates who have filed, she and Hahn tie for 20, with Republican Mike Gin the next-closest at 8 and Winograd at 6. The memo also says that in a two-way runoff, Bowen leads 40-36 with 16% undecided. The poll also claims that Hahn's unfavorability rating is "double that of Bowen," but a self-respecting pollster really shouldn't include such tripe, because the refusal to release actual numbers means we're talking about something like a 12-to-6 comparison (i.e., meaningless). As mi hermano G.O.B. Bluth would say, "COME ON!"

FL-08: Hah! Does Daniel Webster want to lose? The GOP freshman raised just $30K in Q1, but the really funny part is that the guy he defeated, Alan Grayson, raised more! Grayson took in $38K, apparently from small donors who hope he'll make a comeback bid.

FL-22: Allen West raised a seemingly-impressive $434K in Q1, but as you know, he's a major practitioner of the churn-and-burn style of shady direct-mail fundraising, and it really shows in his burn rate. He spent an amazing $266K last quarter, which both as a raw total and a percentage rate is exceedingly high... but see the MN-06 and NV-02 items below.

IA-04: Interesting, though not surprising: Politico says that DCCC chair Steve Israel warned Christie Vilsack off of challenging Dave Loebsack in the new 2nd CD, assuring her that the D-Trip would back the incumbent. He also apparently promised to support her if she took on Rep. Steve King (as she supposedly might do), though who knows what kind of $ that might translate into.

IL-03: Insurance exec John Atkinson, who is apparently challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary, raised $535K in Q1, including $312K from his own pockets. Lipinski raised just $138K but has $637K on hand.

MN-08: Freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack raised just $121K in Q1 - so why are we having such a hard time finding a Dem willing to take this guy on?

MN-06: Michele Bachmann raised a MIND-OBLITERATING $1.7 million in the first quarter... and yes, I'm being sarcastic, because she also managed to spent $756K. Of course, netting a million bucks ain't bad (and she has $2.8 mil on hand), and if she truly pulls the trigger on a presidential run, I'll bet the spigots will open even wider. But that's still quite the burn rate.

NV-02: Sharron Angle makes Allen West look as parsimonious as Scrooge by comparison. Everyone's favorite nutter (okay, it's a multi-way tie, but you know you love her) raised an amaaaaaaaaazing $700K in Q1, but spent an actually amazing $550K, mostly to BaseConnect, the scam artists formerly known as BMW Direct. She has only $176K in the bank.

NY-26: Republican Jane Corwin is not fucking around: She raised just $102K in Q1, but gave her own campaign a whopping million dollars. Yow. Meanwhile, Crazy Jack Davis has raised zilch, but has loaned himself $1.5 mil and already spent $1.4 mil.

Other Races:

Denver Mayor: SSP commenter Kretzy has a really good run-down on the May 3rd Denver mayor's race, necessitated by John Hickenlooper's ascension to the governor's mansion. I won't try to summarize it - you should just click through. Timely, too, because SUSA has a poll out on the race, showing James Mejia and Chris Romer tied at 22, with Michael Hancock next at 18. Again, read Kretzy's summary if you want to know more about these people.

Wisconsin Recall: Signatures were filed yesterday to force a recall election for a third Republican state senator, Luther Olsen, and Dems expect to file petitions for Sheila Harsdorf today. (Number of Dem state sens who've had petitions filed against them so far: 0.) Also, the state's Government Accountability Board says it will try to consolidate the recalls into as few elections as possible.

Grab Bag:

DSCC: In an item about Herb Kohl raising $0 last quarter (he can cut himself a fat check any time he pleases, so this isn't meaningful), Dave Catanese says that DSCC chair Patty Murray said "she was confident all of the remaining incumbents were running for reelection." Kohl is the most obvious candidate for retirement, and of course Murray could be wrong, but maybe this is it.

Fundraising: The NYT has a list of fundraising by freshman Republicans, and also notes that IN-08 Rep. Larry Bucshon took in just $45K. Not really wise for a guy whose district is likely to be made at least a bit more competitive. The Fix also has a fundraising roundup.

LCV: The League of Conservation Voters is launching a $250K radio ad campaign targeted at four members of the House who voted in favor of a bill that would bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The ads are hitting two Republicans running for Senate, Denny Rehberg and Dean Heller, as well as Energy Cmte Chair Fred Upton (R) and Jason Altmire (D). Here's a sample ad (targeted at Heller), which I actually find kinda weird and confusing.

Passings: Former Rep. Harold Volkmer, who represented mostly rural northeastern Missouri's 9th CD for ten terms, passed away at the age of 80.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Now this at least is a fight that makes sense: Republicans control the Colorado House, while Dems control the Senate - and tempers have already exploded with the release of proposed redistricting plans from both sides. (See yesterday's digest for the maps.) Speaker of the House Frank McNulty flipped out, accusing Democrats of drawing districts that would benefit two legislators in particular: Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Sen. Morgan Carroll.

However, Carroll said she has no plans to run for Congress, while the Dem point-man on redistricting, Sen. Rollie Heath, pointed out that the new 4th CD (which McNulty thinks Shaffer wants to run in) has a 10 percent GOP registration edge... in other words, not the kind of seat you'd drawn for yourself if you were an ambitious Democrat. So either McNulty is just a garden-variety moran, or he's just trying to cast fact-free aspersions against the other side. We've seen a lot of this kind of crap from Colorado Republicans already, so door number two is a definite possibility (but of course, it's not mutually exclusive of door number 1).

Missouri: Trying to unlock a stalemate that seems remarkably picayune to outsiders such as myself, Republican power brokers in Missouri met yesterday to talk things over. Among the participants were most of the Republicans in the state's congressional delegation, the heads of the state House and Senate, and the chair of the MO GOP. No sort of deal has been announced as yet.

Virginia: Hah - so much for lawmakers racing back to work to deal with Gov. Bob McDonnell's veto of their redistricting plans. Legislators had planned to be off this week, so rank-and-file members declined leadership's entreaties to show up.

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SSP Daily Digest: 3/30

by: DavidNYC

Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM EDT

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Jeff Flake then:

That's the difficulty of a campaign. I mean, it's easy to just say, "Seal the border and enforce the law." What does that really mean? What does that entail? And when you're able to explain it, then they're alright. And I think for those who don't agree with my position-think that it ought to be something different-at least I think they give me a little credit for sticking with my position because I've always believed this is what we need and I continue to believe regardless of the political environment.

Jeff Flake now:

In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform - increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do. I've been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable, given the current leadership.

In other AZ news, the subscription-only Arizona Guardian says that ex-Rep. Matt Salmon may endorse Rep. Trent Franks, rather than his old buddy Flake (who succeeded him in Congress when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002), something they characterize as a "snub" on their home page. Franks of course hasn't announced a run yet, but Dave Catanese claims he'll do so this Saturday. Just hope whoever told Dave this is more truthful than the dipshit who dissembled about Connie Mack last week. (And I still maintain that Dave had every right-if not an obligation-to burn that source.)

FL-Sen: Adam Hasner has to be feeling pretty good about himself these days. Rep. Connie Mack inartfully bowed out of the race, and Mike Haridopolos has already scored a few own-goals. So the former state House Majority Leader took to his Facebook to declare that "this election still needs a proven limited government leader, who is solid across the board on the conservative principles." Why golly, that sounds just like Hasner, doesn't it?

IN-Sen, IN-02: Rep. Joe Donnelly sure sounds like he's interested in running for Senate. He told Robert Annis, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, that he thinks his "experience is best served in the Senate." Annis also characterized Donnelly as "leaning toward" a run. A different reporter at the same event characterized him as "leaning strongly toward" a Senate bid if the GOP makes his current district redder.

MI-Sen: PPP has the remainders from their Michigan poll last week, a kitchen sink GOP primary:

Pete Hoekstra is the clear first choice of Republicans in the state for who they'd like as their nominee to take on Debbie Stabenow next year. 38% say he'd be their pick compared to 18% for Terri Lynn Land. No one else cracks double digits, with Saul Anuzis at 5%, Justin Amash, Randy Hekman, and Tim Walberg at 4%, Chad Dewey at 3%, and Tim Leuliette with the big egg at 0%.

Speaking of The Hook, he said he'll decide whether to challenge Stabenow in two weeks. In an amusing side note, Hoekstra admitted he got all butthurt when MI GOP chair Bobby Schostak said in a recent interview that he expects a candidate to emerge who is " head and shoulders" above the current crop of potentials-a group which obviously includes Hoekstra. Of course, Schostak also said of this mystery candidates: "I don't know who it is. They haven't met with me yet, if they're out there." We don't know who they are either!

NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, presumably trying to scare off would-be primary opponents, raised a pretty massive $125K in a single event in Vegas on Monday night.

OH-Sen, OH-12: This is... getting strange. Top-tier Ohio Republicans have all pretty much taken a pass on challenging Sherrod Brown, or at least seem to be leaning against a run. But one guy all of a sudden put his name into the hopper: Rep. Pat Tiberi, who sits in the very swingish 12th CD. Tiberi's spokesman made sure to remind Dave Catanese that he's on Ways & Means, though, so that's a pretty tasty perch to give up. Catanese also notes that state Sen. Kevin Coughlin is preparing a run.

RI-Sen: I guess rich guy Barry Hinckley is running against Sheldon Whitehouse? The founder of a software company called Bullhorn ("the global leader in On Demand, integrated front office software for the staffing and recruiting industry"), Hinckley is apparently trying to burnish his Republican credentials by holding some fundraisers at California yacht clubs. (Not joking about that.)

Gubernatorial:

LA-Gov: 2010 Lt. Gov. nominee Caroline Fayard is starting to sound very much like a gubernatorial candidate... that is, if you can hear her over her foot-stuffed-in-mouth. She didn't do much to help her cause by declaring at a recent even that she "hates Republicans" because they are "cruel" and "eat their young." (Uh, I talk a lot of shit about the GOP, but what does "eat their young" even mean?) Fayard later tried to wiggle her way out of this by claiming "I'm against the president, but I don't need to see his birth certificate." So she's managed to kill her crossover vote and her support among African Americans in one fell swoop. Well, uh, she sure is getting some free media out of this. (Hat tip: Daily Kingfish)

House:

CT-05: I guess I thought that former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had already announced she was running for Chris Murphy's seat, but apparently she's only just formed an exploratory committee.

MN-06: It's not particularly meaningful, since the funds can be transferred to another federal account, but Michele Bachmann did just file to run for re-election yesterday.

NY-25, VA-02: Dan Maffei apparently says he'll decide on a rematch "in the next two months," while Glenn Nye (I'd forgotten he was still considering) will wait until "sometime in the summer." (That's how The Hill phrased it in both cases.)

RI-01: With the city of Providence's finances imploding, freshman Rep. David Cicilline is taking a beating over his stewardship of the city he used to be mayor of. Among other things, a new Brown University poll finds him with a statewide approval rating of just 17-49. Could Cicilline be vulnerable in the general election? I doubt it, but he could underperform annoyingly and require help that could best be expended elsewhere, like a Paul Kanjorski. I think he might be more at risk in a primary.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Recall: In just the last two months, the Wisconsin Democratic Party reports raising $1.4 million-or, a quarter million more than it did in all of 2010. In other news, a coordinator of the petition drive against Randy Hopper seems to have gone off-message with his intimation that volunteers would have "closer to 30,000 than 15,000" signatures by Tuesday (a month before the deadline). 15,269 sigs are needed for the recall to happen, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party told the Journal Sentinel that these figures (such as they are) "are not accurate" and wouldn't say more. Quite understandably, t's pretty much been the policy of the party not to talk about where things stand.

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: JoAnne Kloppenburg is out with TV and radio ads that tout her independence.

Remainders:

WATN?: Artur Davis, douchebag from beyond the grave. This is actually the same link as the NY-25/VA-02 item above; Davis did an event with Maffei and Nye at which he said that President Obama would bear the brunt of the blame for any government shutdown. Davis's claim: "I think that voters always focus on the executive as the responsible officer." That's why Bill Clinton lost so badly in 1996, right?

In other WATN? news, I'm guessing that ex-Rep. Bart Gordon (D) is probably ruling out a run for the seat he voluntarily gave up last year (TN-06), or a Senate bid - he just took a job at the law firm of K&L Gates. (The "Gates" is Bill Gates, Sr., the Microsoft founder's dad, who is now retired.)

Redistricting Roundup:

Indiana: Have an idea for an Indiana state Senate map? Sen. Tim Lane (D) wants to hear from you! (Seriously!) Contact information is at the link.

Louisiana: Even though he had said he'd stay out of it, Gov. Bobby Jindal's been weighing in on the redistricting process-and Dems, as you might guess, aren't happy about it. Click through the article to learn more about the exact nature of the dispute. Ultimately, though, it sounds as though Jindal will get his way, which more or less preserves the status quo.

Funnymanders: What happens when a very careful redistricting job blows up in your face because the state Senate Majority Leader's son being groomed for the new seat tells the media he can't even remember being arrested for getting into a dispute over chicken fingers at Applebee's? Well, I'm calling that a funnymander. Nathan Gonzales has the details on that story, and a few other anecdotes as well, about redistricting gone awry.

Dark Money: On the darker side of redistricting is all the unregulated cash flooding into various coffers, which Politico takes a look at. A big reason is an FEC decision last year which allowed members of Congress to raise unlimited soft money for redistricting groups, and both Dems and Republicans are, of course, going at it full bore.

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SSP Daily Digest: 3/2

by: DavidNYC

Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 8:11 AM EST

FL-Sen: A group of Holocaust survivors - now very elderly, of course - plan to protest Sen. Bill Nelson's fundraiser with Barack Obama this week. The survivors say that Nelson promised to push legislation which would allow them to directly sue insurance companies who have withheld payments on life insurance policies sold before World War II. Nelson claims he only promised to hold a hearing on such a bill (which has been introduced in the House in the past).

MA-Sen: I really have to believe Deval Patrick just shot his mouth off in that National Journal interview, and has probably earned himself a few glares from would-be Democratic challengers to Sen. Scott Brown the next time they see him. Now Alan Khazei, whom Patrick said was "for sure" in the race, is - like Newton Mayor Setti Warren - saying that he's merely "looking at it carefully" but hasn't made a decision yet. Meanwhile, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll tells the Boston Phoenix that she is at least several weeks away from a decision, and that a Warren entry wouldn't impact her.

And speaking of another Warren, some top Republicans have been saying kinder things about Elizabeth Warren's chances of becoming the permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Of course, House Financial Services chair Spencer Bachus doesn't get a vote, but he thinks that "the Senate may approve" a Warren nomination (if one were to be made). If this came to pass, it would almost certainly remove Warren from any possibility of running for the senate.

ND-Sen, ND-AL:  Freshman Rep. Rick Berg hasn't ruled out a run for Kent Conrad's now-open senate seat, and Eric Cantor seems to think he might make the leap. The House's no. 2 Republican said of Berg: " "I'm trying to convince him to make sure he stays in the House right now."

NM-Sen: From the horse's mouth - which is where I prefer to get my news: Dem state Auditor Hector Balderas confirmed reports that he is looking at Jeff Bingaman's open senate seat, saying he's been talking to the DSCC and is "strongly considering entering" the race.

VA-Sen: Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (god that is a mouthful) sounds like he's dialing himself out of any possible senate run. He says he's going to seek re-election to his current post this fall, and will "possibly" make a decision on whether to seek Jim Webb's open seat "early next year." He's seriously going to enter a competitive primary against Felix Allen no earlier than January of 2012? Shah.

NC-Gov: Tom Jensen tells me something I always love to hear: an establishment Republican might have tea-related problems. In particular, PPP's latest poll has 43% of GOPers saying they'd prefer someone more conservative than former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, while 29% firmly support him. Of course, I think probably 20% of Republicans would say they want someone more conservative than Republican Jesus. But McCrory does have something of a libruhl track record (like I've said, it's hard to be a super-conservative mayor), including support for socialist, freedom-destroying light rail for his hometown. Tom points out that McCrory won his 2008 primary with less than 50% of the vote "against a weak field" - but this time around, no one's really emerged from the woodwork to challenge him. Yet.

WI-Gov: Tom also has the rest of the goods on PPP's WI-Gov poll, which consistently shows small pro-labor margins on a variety of unions vs. Walker questions (and larger margins on questions of general collective bargaining rights). On the question of recall, it's an exact 48-48 split.

AZ-06: We missed the news a couple of weeks ago that former GOP state senate majority leader Chuck Gray said he was entering the race to succeed Jeff Flake (who of course is running to succeed Jon Kyl). One other Republican name considering the race is the current Speaker of the state House, Kirk Adams.

CA-36: AFSCME's California political arm, called "California PEOPLE," is endorsing Janice Hahn, making them the latest in a string of labor unions to do so. Meanwhile, Debra Bowen tweeted that she could fit into her daughter's jeans.

IL-01: Roll Call takes a detailed look at the personal finances of Rep. Bobby Rush, who has been the defendant in nearly two dozen mostly debt-related lawsuits since the 1980s - and who has somewhat questionably left off all of these cases and debts from the financial disclosure forms he's obligated to file as a member of Congress. While this isn't the first time the media has examined Rush's finances, this strikes me as the sort of thing that could make the incumbent vulnerable to a primary challenge, especially since his district will have to take on a bunch of new territory to compensate for population loss.

NY-10: The New York Observer offers an interesting profile of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who hasn't ruled out a primary challenge to Rep. Ed Towns (D), and who apparently has been ramping up his political activity of late.

OR-01: Steny Hoyer (still the no. 2 Dem in the House) says it's "premature" to talk about a David Wu resignation. But surely he wants this problem to go away, right? Also of note, The Hill observes that Wu only had $7,500 in campaign cash at the start of the year, versus $61K in debt. Can't imagine he's finding a lot of willing donors these days.

PA-04: PA state Dem chair Jim Burn says he thinks Rep. Jason Altmire could face a primary challenge from the left next year, but admits he hasn't heard of any actual, you know, names being circulated. Anyhow, who even knows what this district will look like.

Las Vegas Mayor: Jon Ralston has obtained a poll taken for a group of realtors showing Carolyn Goodman (I) at 30%, Larry Brown (D) at 17%, and Chris Giuchigliani (D) at 11%, with other candidates in the single digits. Note that this poll asked a TON of issue-y questions before finally getting to the horserace in Q15. Also, as Ralston pointed out on the Tweeter, this poll was taken a few weeks ago, before the TV air wars were joined.

Census: Couple of cool census-related mapping widgets. The Journal Star of Nebraska lets you drill down to see population change by county for each state where data's been released so far. The Chicago Tribune offers a Google Maps-based interface which lets you drill down to see individual census blocks across the entire state of Illinois.

Crossroads: Announcing fundraising goals is easy, which is why I usually don't remark on them. But when Crossroads GPS/American Crossroads, the satanic spawn of Karl Rove, says it plans to raise $120 million to destroy America, I pay attention - and I worry, because they probably really, really mean it.

Votes: There've been a couple of interesting votes with Republican outliers in the House recently. One was the stopgap spending bill that cut $4 billion in spending over the next two weeks; six Republicans defected on that one, including freshman teabagger Justin Amash, Michele Bachmann, and a few other true believers. (Walter Jones was probably the exception there.) On the flipside, seven GOPers voted against denying funding for Planned Parenthood - click the link for the list.

On the same topic, Politico has an interesting-looking vote study out on the GOP freshman, seeing how often they vote together as a group. Unfortunately, as per usual with the likes of Politico and similar organizations, I can't see that they've posted the full list anywhere - they just offer a few tidbits. (Why go to all that trouble if you don't even want to share all your numbers?) Anyhow, the aforementioned Justin Amash, who I guess really wants to take teabagging to new heights, has voted against his class more often than anyone else, 30% of the time. But the next three guys on the list are all semi-moderate New Yorkers - Chris Gibson, Mike Grimm, and Richard Hanna.

WATN?: Sometimes I just need to channel my inner Holden Caulfield and declare: what a phony. After flatly saying the one thing he wouldn't be doing after retiring from the senate was lobbying, ex-Sen. Chris Dodd just took a job as... a lobbyist, for everyone's second-favorite intellectual property goliath, the MPAA. (I'm gonna assume the RIAA is still first.) Anyhow, check out the amusing Twitter hashtag #ChrisDoddMovies for some lulz.

Polltopia: Go tell PPP where to poll. Don't let the Paultards win!

Redistricting: A Columbia Law School class is trying to create "an internet depository for nonpartisan congressional maps for the entire country." I thought the SSP diaries section already was one! Anyhow, click the link if you are interested in submitting your work.

NJ-12: I have seen the last, best hope of mankind, and his name is Rush Holt. In a major blow against Skynet Watson, the rocket scientist-turned-congressman defeated the Jeopardy-playing robot by a score of $8,600 to $6,200. The losing contestant, Rep. Jim Himes, was seen being turned into fuel to power the Matrix.

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SSP Daily Digest: 2/18

by: Crisitunity

Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM EST

AZ-Sen: After some rumors yesterday that she wasn't getting much traction with her phoning around, DHS Sec./ex-Gov. Janet Napolitano confirmed today that she wasn't going to run for the open Senate seat in Arizona, preferring to remain in the Obama administration. (Roll Call has a list of some of the weedier Dem possibilities, beyond the top tier of Rep. Gabby Giffords and Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon: Rep. Ed Pastor, Board of Regents vice chair Fred DuVal, former state party chair Don Bivens, 2010 AG candidate Felicia Rotellini, and current state party chair/2010 Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny.) On the GOP side, Rep. Jeff Flake seems already positioning himself for the general while opening himself up for a challenge from the nutty right, telling the birthers to "accept reality." Flake also just picked up an endorsement from a similar budget-focused, social-issues-downplaying prominent House member, Paul Ryan.

IN-Sen: State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who plans to soon announce his GOP primary challenge to Richard Lugar (with next Tuesday the more-or-less official launch date), leaked a few poll numbers from an internal. He says that "just over half" of GOP primary voters are inclined to re-elect Lugar, while Lugar pulls in only 27% support among self-described tea-partiers. The poll didn't "include" a head-to-head between Mourdock and Lugar, which I'll assume means they aren't reporting results that were pretty heavily in Lugar's favor, rather than that they just accidentally forgot to poll that particular question. Here's new one piece of ammo that tea partiers can use against Lugar to make their point that he's gone Washington, though: a revelation that Lugar stays in a hotel when he visits Indiana (Lugar owns a farm in-state, but conditions there are "rustic").

PA-Sen: Quinnipiac is out with another Pennsylvania poll, one that finds Bob Casey Jr. in better shape than their previous poll, where he was in decent shape too. He beats a Generic R 45-35 (up from 43-35 in December), and his approvals are up to 44/24 (from 39/29). Voters approve of Barack Obama (51/44) and Pat Toomey (41/21) as well, in another indication of ebbing anger.

VA-Sen: Tell the ground crew to break out the tarps, because we've got a Kaine delay. Ex-Gov. Tim Kaine, at the top of the Dem establishment's wish list for the open Senate seat, is announcing that he won't have anything to announce when he addresses tomorrow's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. He still sounds genuinely conflicted; expect an announcement "later in the month or early next month."

VT-Sen: He stopped well short of actually announcing anything, but Dem-turned-Republican state Auditor Tom Salmon seems to be moving apace toward an uphill challenge against Bernie Sanders, saying he'll announce his decision on March 4 or 5. He's looking more committed in that he's leaving his day job: he also just announced he won't run for another term as Auditor.

WV-Gov: The overcrowded (and likely low-turnout) Democratic primary in West Virginia may be decided by a few thousand votes, so any possible advantage counts here. And here's one for SoS Natalie Tenannt, the only Dem woman running: she just got the endorsement of EMILY's List.

CA-36: The Republicans have managed to scrape up at least one credible candidate for the special election in the dark-blue 36th, where the main battle in the top 2 primary will be fought between Democrats Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen but conceivably he could sneak into the final round if he consolidates all the district's GOP votes. Mike Webb is City Attorney for Redondo Beach (popu. 63K).

MN-06, MN-08: This is an interesting possibility for ex-state Sen. Tarryl Clark, who lost last year to Michele Bachmann in the GOP-leaning 6th... although it's entirely dependent on the redistricting pen. There's the possibility that her town of St. Cloud (to the west of the Twin Cities) may get appended to the 8th, which starts in the metro area's northern exurbs and heads up to Duluth. A run against vulnerable GOP frosh Chip Cravaack in a Dem-leaning district in a presidential year would be a much better bet for her. The question would be, though, whether Clark would have much luck in the DFL primary if she has to run against someone from the Iron Range, which tends to be insular-minded and would still be the bulk of the district's population.

SD-AL, FL-02: I don't know how many of you were pining for a 2012 rematch from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (about which there were some rumors this week), and I really can't imagine that any of you were hoping for a return engagement from ur-Blue Dog Allen Boyd, but it's looking like neither one is on track to happen. Both are rumored to be about to take on K Street lobbying jobs instead, which is, of course, not the usual comeback path.  

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SSP Daily Digest: 1/5

by: Crisitunity

Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 4:10 PM EST

IN-Sen: Richard Lugar and local leaders in the tea party movement had a sitdown at an Indianapolis hotel last month. I'm not sure if it was actually intended by Lugar to try to deter a GOP primary challenge, but it seemed to have none of the desired effect if so; the net result seemed to have been cordial but with a sense of "game on," with the main question left being who the challenger will be.

WI-Sen: With this his first day out of the Senate, Russ Feingold will be, instead of heading for the K Street gravy train, taking a position at Marquette University's law school. When asked about his 2012 plans in the event of a Herb Kohl retirement, Feingold simply said that he hopes Kohl runs again and would support him if so.

IN-Gov: Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel looks poised to become the first entrant in the Indiana gubernatorial race. He's announced that he won't seek another term as mayor of Evansville (which would require running for re-election this year), and says that he'll take a "good, hard look at" the governor's race and make a decision sooner rather than later." Meanwhile, after the Beltway collectively decided yesterday that Mike Pence was going to run for Gov. on the GOP side, there's yet more conflicting evidence today, as seen in his plans to appear with other GOP presidential hopefuls at a conference in Georgia, just across the border from pivotal South Carolina.

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick is vowing today that he'll serve out his full second term (something that a Massachusetts governor hasn't done in decades, not since Mike Dukakis), but won't seek a third term in 2014. That would seem to (at least for now) put the kibosh on any speculation that he might look to challenge Scott Brown in 2012.

MN-06: The news that produced spit-takes all across America this morning: Michele Bachmann is floating her name for president in 2012. Obviously a failed vanity presidential bid is no deterrent to a return engagement in the House if you hit the ejector seat early enough (just ask still-Rep. Ron Paul), but this bit of laughable presidential weirdness could have some major downballot implications if it truly leads to an open seat (especially if Tarryl Clark is indeed looking to run again).

WI-07: It looks like we might already have a serious contender in the on-deck circle in the 7th, which at D+3 is one of the bluest districts that the GOP picked up thanks to David Obey's retirement. Former state Sen. Kevin Shibilski was one of the short-list of candidates to run in Obey's stead (state Sen. Julie Lassa eventually became the consensus pick), and is now saying he's seriously interested in a 2012 run. Shibilski owns two resorts and apparently has serious self-funding capacity. Shibilski still sounds a little wary, though, preferring to wait and see whether new Rep. Sean Duffy stays a boilerplate Republican or turns into the sort of moderate who's been able, in the past, to hold down a rural Wisconsin seat (a la Steve Gunderson, or Mel Laird, if you want to go way back to Obey's predecessor). (H/t alphaaqua.)

IA-St. Sen.: The year's barely started and the Dems have already lost their first special election! I don't think anybody had particularly high hopes for last night's fight, though: it was a GOP-leaning seat in Iowa's rural southwestern corner, held to replace Kim Reynolds, who just became Iowa's Lt. Governor. Montgomery County auditor Joni Ernst held the seat for the GOP, beating Dem nominee Ruth Smith, with 67% of the vote. The Dems still control the state Senate 26-23, with one more formerly-GOP-held special election pending.

NV-St. Sen.: This is big news by Nevada standards: state Sen. Bill Raggio, the state GOP senate leader for decades but deposed recently from his perch in a tea party-ish palace coup (in the wake of his endorsement of Harry Reid), has announced that he's resigning later this month rather than completing his term. This may have Sharron Angle's antennae twitching, as you might remember she tried and failed to primary out Raggio in his Reno-area seat in 2008, and she might be interested in trying that again, adding the state Sen. to the list of her myriad other possibilities like another NV-Sen run or an NV-02 run if Dean Heller vacates (although it's worth noting this won't lead to a fast special election, as Nevada, like several other western states, fills legislative vacancies temporarily via appointment).

NY-St. Sen.: This seems like strange posturing that will probably vaporize once the Democrats are back in the majority in the state Senate, but four of New York's Senate Democrats just broke off from the Dem caucus and formed their own little club, the Independent Democrat Caucus (meaning the breakdown is either 32-30 or 32-26-4, depending on how you want to view it). Interestingly, it's not the usual most-uncooperative Dems (Ruben Diaz, anyone?), but a clutch of reform-minded Dems (led by the barely-re-elected David Valesky, and also including the newly-elected David Carlucci) who apparently didn't want to get boxed into voting for John Sampson as Dem leader.

PA-St. Sen.: The special election to replace long-time Democratic state Sen. Michael O'Pake in the light-blue SD-11 has been set for March 15. As I've mentioned before, this could turn into an interesting bellwether on where Pennsylvania's southeastern suburbs are headed.

Votes: Today's attention-getting vote was the number of defections against Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker vote: 19 Democrats voted for someone else (or present). Heath Shuler led the way with 11, while other votes included Steny Hoyer, John Lewis, and even neighbors Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa voting for each other.

Redistricting: Two news stories concern the independent commissions that will be in charge of redistricting in two states gaining seats, Arizona and Washington. In Arizona, they're already litigating the issue of who even gets on the commission in the first place; new state Sen. president and all-around jackass Russell Pearce is suing on the basis that three of the people nominated to serve are technically ineligible. (Interestingly, two of the three are Republicans, although maybe the problem is they weren't hardliners enough for Pearce's tastes.) Meanwhile, in Washington, Skeletor has re-emerged from a decade of suspended animation: evil genius and ex-Sen. Slade Gorton will be one of the two designated Republicans on the commission. Luckily, the lead Dem going up against Gorton will be Tim Ceis, the former Seattle deputy mayor who's well-known for his own elbow-throwing abilities.

Finally, the Fix has its latest installment in its state-by-state redistricting look, and I agree with both their conclusions about Ohio: that, mostly because of geography, Betty Sutton is the likeliest Dem to get squeezed rather than Dennis Kucinich (since she faces pressure from other Dems from the north, west, and east), and that, because of depopulation in the state's Appalachian southeast and the fact that they're both obscure freshmen, Bob Gibbs and Bill Johnson are the GOPers likeliest to get pitted against each other for the state's other lost seat.

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SSP Daily Digest: 10/29 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM EDT

FL-Sen: File this under half a year too late and a few million dollars too short. Charlie Crist, as quietly as possible through an advisor making a leak to the Wall Street Journal, says he'd caucus with the Democrats if elected. If he'd said that many months ago, he would have probably had a clearer shot consolidating the Democratic vote and turning it into a two-man race. This comes shortly after a day of conflicting reports on whether or not Bill Clinton tried to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race, as recently as last week. Clinton and Meek have offered partial rebuttals, but at any rate, it's kind of a non-story at this point with only a few days left.

LA-Sen: Too bad there isn't time left in the cycle to turn this into an ad: David Vitter's verbal gymnastics at the last debate as to direct questions as to whether or not he actually broke the law when he was engaging in "very serious sin," apparently for pay. The short answer is, of course, yes (assuming that his involvement with a prostitution ring occurred in Washington DC and not Reno).

NV-Sen: Those of you following Jon Ralston's tweets of the early voting in Nevada with bated breath probably already know this, but thanks to the movement of the mobile voting booths into some Dem-friendly areas, Democrats have actually pulled into the lead (at least by party registration) among early voters, up by 20,000 in Clark County.

CO-Gov: My first question was why Tom Tancredo would even bother running for office if he felt this way, but then I remembered that he's running for an executive position this time, not a legislative one. Apparently he's a believer in a strong executive. Very, very, very strong.

There is a sort of an elitist idea that seeps into the head of a lot of people who get elected. And they begin to think of themselves as, really, there for only one purpose and that is to make laws. And why would you make laws?

IL-Gov: Oooops, ad buy fail. A round of Bill Brady ads were pulled from the air on Thursday because the appropriate television stations didn't get paid first. It appears to have been a "glitch" (their words) rather than a cash flow problem, though, nothing that a Fed-Exed check won't fix: the ads will resume running tonight.

PA-Gov: Ah, nice to see that a Republican briefly acknowledge that the fewer people vote, the better Republicans do. Tom Corbett, at a Philadelphia appearance, said that he wanted to keep Democratic participation down, saying "we want to make sure that they don't get 50 percent."

OH-13: Sensing a pattern here? A second woman is coming forward to accuse Tom Ganley of sexual harassment. She filed a police report stating that in 2005, while in the middle of a car transaction, Ganley groped her and later propositioned her. This race, despite Ganley's money, is seeming increasingly like one of the House Dems' lesser worries.

RGA: I'm not sure what you can do with $6.5 million in half a week, but the RGA is determined to find out. They put that much money into four governor's races in some of the nation's largest states: Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and (interestingly, since they haven't sweated this one before) Pennsylvania. (While the other three are for TV ads, in Florida it's for GOTV... seemingly something that Rick Scott forgot to purchase.)

Election night: This may be the most shocking news of all today, for the obsessive number crunchers among us. This will be the first election where the powers that be (mostly the AP) will be doing away with precinct reporting. Instead of giving specific numbers of precincts in, they'll be expressing it as "percentage of expected vote." The change in longstanding tradition has mostly to do with the increasing prevalence of mail-in votes and early votes, best seen with some locales dumping all their early votes all at once and calling it one precinct, messing with people like us who build complicated models ahead of time.

SSP TV:
IL-Sen: Mark Kirk's last ad calls Alexi Giannoulias "too immature" for the Senate (um, has he actually seen the Senate in action?)
NV-Sen: Obama! Fear! Tyranny! Aaaghh! And apparently the Carmina Burana playing the background! (Sharron Angle's closing statement, in other words)
WI-Sen: Russ Feingold puts on a plaid shirt and faces the camera, touting his accomplishments and newspaper endorsements
TX-Gov: Bill White also rolls out his newspaper endorsements, as well as lobbing "career politician" at Rick Perry one last time
MN-06: Taryl Clark's last ad is a look at real people with real problems in the 6th, and the myriad ways Michele Bachmann blew them off

Rasmussen:
CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 49%, Meg Whitman (R) 45%
CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 47%, Dan Maes (R) 5%, Tom Tancredo (C) 42%
KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 46%, Charlie Baker (R) 44%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 53%, Jim Huffman (R) 42%
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%

YouGov: The English pollster is out with a slew of polls; the numbers seem very plausible, but they're conducted over the Internet (probably using at least some sort of rigor, but that alone is enough for relegation to the end of the digest)
CA: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%; Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 45%
FL: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 41%; Kendrick Meek (D) 18%, Marco Rubio (R) 42%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D) 57%, Carl Paladino (R) 27%; Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 57%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%; Charles Schumer (D-inc) 59%, Jay Townsend (R) 35%
OH: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%; Lee Fisher (D) 40%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
PA: Dan Onorato (D) 41%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%; Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 50%

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SSP Daily Digest: 10/25 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM EDT

AK-Sen: I hope the Alaska journalist corps is fueled up on coffee and is ready to go on a week-long dumpster diving binge, because the mother lode just got opened up. A state superior court judge just ordered that Joe Miller's Fairbanks borough personnel records get released, saying the people's right to know trumps Miller's privacy concerns. The release won't happen until tomorrow, though, to allow time for an Alaska Supreme Court decision if necessary.

CA-Sen: The polls can't seem to decide whether the California Senate race is tightening, loosening, or staying basically the same, but it was enough to finally get Carly Fiorina to do what the NRSC had probably hoped she would have done months ago: she put $1 million of her own money into the race. (She'd spent $5 mil of her own on the primary, but nothing since then.) On top of that, the NRSC is throwing an additional $3 million into the race for the last week, while Barbara Boxer is calling the bluff with $4 million from her account for ads of her own.

NV-Sen: As we expected, Harry Reid's been keeping up a steady drip-drip of endorsements from prominent Republicans around Nevada. The most recent one: term-limited state Sen. Dean Rhoads, who represents almost all of the state (geographically) except Clark and Washoe Counties. (H/t LookingOver.)

FL-Gov: Wow, Bill McCollum actually ate his own cat fud. With little time left on the clock, he swallowed any remnants of his pride and endorsed primary rival Rick Scott, the guy he swore he'd never endorse.

RI-Gov: Interesting approach from a blue state Dem: Frank Caprio just told the President to "shove it," in reaction to Barack Obama's apparent decision not to endorse him when he was in Rhode Island today. Payback for Lincoln Chafee's Obama endorsement in '08? Or reverse payback for Caprio's reported flirting with a party switch? Or elaborate theater staged for Caprio's benefit, to help distance himself from the White House?

OH-Gov: Obama and Biden alert! The Dynamic Duo are adding yet another campaign stop in Ohio, where saving Ted Strickland seems to be one of the White House's top priorities. On Sunday, both will appear with Strickland, and then there'll be a Biden/Strickland stop later in Toledo.

CA-47: Um, maybe someone should tell Van Tran that taking a page from the Carl Paladino playbook isn't really a good idea right now... Tran's out with foul-smelling scratch-and-sniff mailers in the district, hitting Loretta Sanchez for the "stench of Washington."

CO-04: Add one more body on the plague wagon: the DCCC brought out Betsy Markey on Friday. They announced that they won't be spending any more on the 4th this cycle. They'd previously drawn down their efforts here, but now they're fully pulling out. (If there's a bright spot, this is probably their last triage move... with one week left, there's really no time left to cut anyone else off.)

FL-12: Is there a growing sense of Republican worry in this district? They shouldn't lose an R+5 district in this climate, but they have probably the most credible 3rd party Tea Party challenger anywhere here, in the form of an actual county commissioner, Randy Wilkinson, who internals polls have seen taking gobbling up double-digit vote shares. They're taking the problem seriously enough to have Newt Gingrich doing robocalling on behalf of GOP nominee Dennis Ross, suggesting that Wilkinson is a plant from next door's Alan Grayson.

IN-02: Oooops. Jackie Walorski ran footage in a web video of a South Bend neighborhood as an example of a neighborhood "in ruin" from Democratic policies. The residents of the neighborhood are now deeply offended, saying their neighborhood is hardly ruined at all, and are demanding an apology.

KS-03: In a more normal year, this might be enough to do some serious damage in a close race: just-released police records show that Kevin Yoder (the GOP's nominee here) refused to take a breath test during a 2009 traffic stop. He pled guilty to speeding, also received a citation for not taking the test, and it was left at that.

MS-04: Look who's in a bit of a panic, and revealing his true stripes: Gene Taylor just let his district's voters know that he isn't one of those Demmycrats at all! Why, he even voted for John McCain in 2008, he says.

PA-11: Bill Clinton's traveling schedule takes him to three blue-collar districts that were, in the '08 Dem primaries, some of the most die-hard Clinton districts anywhere, now all home to pitched battles. He's appearing in the 11th tomorrow in support of Paul Kanjorski (who we'd expected, a few months ago, to be the first Dem incumbent we wrote off, but who seems to still be in the thick of things). On Thursday, he also visits PA-03 and PA-15.

VA-05: If you weren't already sold on Tom Perriello's particular brand of awesome, check out the highlight reel of some of the best clips from his most recent debate with Rob Hurt.

WA-06: Here's an internal poll that's a real head-scratcher, that requires a bit of explanation. Rob Cloud, the same doofus who runs against Norm Dicks every cycle (four times in a row now) and gets crushed, claims to have an internal poll out giving him a four-point lead over the long-time Dem. (Well, four if you do your own math. For some reason, the poll gave actual respondent totals only, 609 to 558 with 95 undecided. If that strange method doesn't by itself set off alarm bells, the polling firm is someone called Wenzel (out of Ohio), a company I'd only heard of once, when they polled OH-Gov and OH-Sen last year on behalf of Ohio Right to Life... but (h/t to quiller) it turns out have a regular gig as WorldNetDaily's pollster and have been responsible for extremely leading-question-rife polls about Barack Obama's citizenship. And on top of all that, Dicks won the Top 2 primary (the most reliable poll possible) with 57% of the vote, with a combined GOP vote share of 43% (of which Cloud got a pathetic 29%),which shouldn't imply much vulnerability. On the other hand, Dicks' district is "only" D+5, one of the least-blue districts that isn't home to an on-the-radar race... and moreover, Dicks has seemed pretty invisible as far as I can tell, compared with next-door neighbor Adam Smith who's in a similarly D+5 district but got a polling-related wake-up call and has been working his butt off lately. So, uh... who knows?  

NRCC: Eager to maximize last-minute take-over opportunities, the party of fiscal responsibility is throwing some more debt on the pile. The NRCC just took out a $20 million line of credit to fund some more late-in-the-game advertising.

Dark Money: Just as the actual universe's mass is mostly composed of dark energy and dark matter, so too the political universe is apparently mostly composed of dark money these days. Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs has an excellent piece that pulls together all the GOP spending by shadowy third-party groups, fleshing out the IE picture greatly, and also showing a remarkable amount of avoidance of duplication of efforts in the districts. They couldn't actually be coordinating their efforts behind-the-scenes, you think? (Not that that's illegal, as far as I know.)

IEs: Speaking of IEs, if you haven't been following spiderdem's weekly series over in the diaries regarding the back-and-forth battle of the independent expenditures between the DCCC and NRCC, you absolutely should. It rounds all the numbers up in one handy place, and puts them in the context of the probable lay of the land.

SSP TV:
AK-Sen: Here's that NRSC ad mentioned late last week, where they hit Scott McAdams in a preemptive attack to keep him from shooting the gap (and here's the SOTB: $75K)
CA-Sen: No more giddy Carlyfornia Dreaming here, with a dour ad from the Fiorina camp hitting Barbara Boxer for California's dire economic straits
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio's closing statement is a plain talk-to-the-camera spot saying "Reclaim America!"
WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's out with the ad that he should have run about two months ago, making fun of Ron Johnson's whiteboard and platitudes
NM-Gov: Susana Martinez makes the Diane Denish/Bill Richardson connection about as explicit as humanly possible in her new spot
FL-22: Ron Klein seems to have finally moved away from Allen West's homeowners association liens, with the Outlaws gang connections too juicy even for him to ignore
ID-01: Walt Minnick cites his independence and rags on Raul Labrador for getting his own last ad pulled for its bogusness
MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann for, well, being a "celebrity"
VA-05: Robert Hurt goes after Tom Perriello for being a Washington insider

Rasmussen:
CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 56%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%
IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 52%
MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 52%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 42%
ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 72%
PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 45%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 48%
RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 28%, John Robitaille (R) 25%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 35%
SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 36%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 55%
TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 51%

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SSP Daily Digest: 10/15

by: Crisitunity

Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM EDT

AK-Sen: The elections officials in Alaska are out with some further guidance on just how stringent they'll be about misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name: "Murkowsky," for instance, will probably be OK, but misspellings of "Lisa" (hard to misspell, but anything's possible in a state that elected Sarah Palin, I guess) won't. Also, are MurkStrong bracelets on the horizon? They've said it's acceptable for voters to wear wristbands with Murkowski's name printed on them into the ballot booth, as long as they don't show them to other people.

IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias offers up an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, taken Oct. 10-12, giving him a 44-41 lead over Mark Kirk (with 4 for LeAlan Jones and 3 for Mike Labno). I don't know how much confidence to get filled with here (especially in view of Nate Silver's seeming ratification of the +5 rule on internal polls, in fact saying it's more like a +6)... but with most public pollsters, even Rasmussen, showing this race to be a game of inches, maybe this is truly worth something.

NV-Sen: Here's a clear illustration of burn rate, especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me... I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday). Despite her $14 million 3Q haul, her CoH is $4.1 million. That's almost exactly the CoH that Harry Reid just announced ($4 mil, based on raising $2.3 mil in 3Q).

FL-Gov: Wow, the next Alex Sink attack ad writes itself. It turns out that Rick Scott was actually sued by the state of Florida (the same state, of course, that he's vying to lead) in the late 90s for insider trading at the same time that the FBI was investigating assorted malfeasance at Columbia/HCA. (The case never went to trial, getting subsumed into the larger federal case.)

RI-Gov: This is pretty late in the game to fall into this state of disarray: Lincoln Chafee's campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini just resigned. It wasn't over any sort of disagreement (or, Tim Cahill-style, over the candidate's hopelessness), though, but rather because of the impropriety of having received unemployment benefits at the same time as working on the Chafee campaign (which he attributes to a payroll snafu). With or without Pagliarini, though, there's already a cloud of disarray hanging overhead, as seen by how little attention the Chafee camp seems to have drummed up surrounding their own internal poll giving them a 34-30 lead over Frank Caprio (with John Robitaille at 15).

CA-11: It was just yesterday that I was pointing out how clownish OR-04 candidate Art Robinson was a big proponent of eliminating public education altogether. Well, now it's turned out that David Harmer, certainly a "serious" candidate by standard media definitions, is of essentially the same mind, having made the same argument in a 2000 op-ed article in the widely-read San Francisco Chronicle.

FL-02: At this point I don't expect to see Allen Boyd back in Congress next year, but this poll seems weird even if you feel the same. It's from someone called P.M.I. Inc., only mentioned in a rather sketchily-reported article from the right-leaning Sunshine State News site (complete with a tasteless headline that sounds like something I would write) that doesn't make it clear whether this is an independent poll or taken on someone's behalf (and doesn't include dates or MoE). It shows Steve Southerland leading Allen Boyd 56-30, with two independent conservative candidates pulling in an additional 14 percent of the vote.

GA-02: With Mike Keown having released a poll showing him trailing Sanford Bishop by only 1, Bishop is rather predictably out with a poll of his own today. The Oct. 7-10 poll from Lester & Assocs. gives Bishop a 50-40 lead. (Keown's poll was taken several weeks earlier, before the DCCC started running ads here.)

MN-07: Here's one more race where there were "rumors" (without an actual piece of paper) about a competitive race, where the incumbent Dem whipped out an internal to quash that. This is one of the more lopsided polls we've seen lately: Collin Peterson leads Lee Byberg 54-20 in the Sept. 28 poll from Global Strategy Group.

NY-17: And here's one more mystery poll (expect to see lots more of these bubble up in the coming weeks): it shows Eliot Engel at 31 but leading his split opponents: Conservative York Kleinhandler at 25 and Republican Tony Mele at 23. The poll is from somebody called "YGSBS." Considering that "YG" is the initials of the proprietor of the blog where this poll first emerged (yossigestetner.com), and the "forthcoming" crosstabs still don't seem to have arrived, color me a little suspicious.

WV-03: Yet another internal poll in the why-are-we-still-talking-about-it WV-03 race: Dem Nick Rahall leads Spike Maynard by 19, in an Anzalone-Liszt poll from Oct. 10-12.

Fundraising: Here are some fundraising tidbits: via e-mail press release, Taryl Clark just announced $1.8 million last quarter, giving her $1 million CoH. (In any other House race, that'd be huge, but she's up against Michele Bachmann.) Two other fundraising machines who are sort of the polarizing ideological bookends of Florida also reported: Alan Grayson reports $967K last quarter while Allen West reports $1.6 mil (although no CoH numbers, important as his campaign relies heavily on direct-mail churn). Finally, CQ has some assorted other numbers, including $626K for Rick Boucher in VA-09, $700K for Dan Debicella in super-expensive CT-04, and $507K for Andy Harris in MD-01.

RGA: And here's the biggest number of all: yesterday the RGA reported $31 million in the 3rd quarter, which gives them a lot of leverage in the closing weeks in the tight races. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of that would have gone to the RNC instead in a more competent year.)

Polltopia: Nate Silver adds some thoughts on the cellphone debate, reignited by new Pew findings that we discussed yesterday. His main takeaway, one that I agree with whole-heartedly, is don't just go start adding 5 points in the Dem direction on every poll you see, simply because the cellphone effect isn't likely to apply uniformly in every population and in every pollster's method.

SSP TV:
AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski finally, as promised, rolls out Ted Stevens dancing with a vacuum cleaner endorsing her from beyond the grave, in a one-minute ad
KY-Sen: The NRSC is still pouring money into Kentucky (consider that good news), with another boilerplate Conway = Obama ad
NV-Sen: The Harry Reid team must have spent all last night in the editing suite, as they're already using Sharron Angle's words from last night's debate, on health insurance coverage exemptions, against her
PA-Sen: If internal polling and press release content are any indication, they've finally something that works against Pat Toomey: China, and outsourcing more in general (which explains why the DSCC is out with another ad on the topic, and also pointing out that in Toomey's last ad that, during the period where he was being a "small businessman" by owning a restaurant, he was really an absentee owner while being a large businessman in Hong Kong)
WA-Sen: Ditto the DSCC's new ad in Washington, up against Dino Rossi (which, I'll admit, is a strange tack in Washington, one of the most pro-trade states you'll see, and where Patty Murray is a regular vote in favor of trade agreements)
MO-04: Vicky Hartzler's ace in the hole? She has an ad up with footage of Ike Skelton telling fellow Rep. Todd Akin where to stick it, with repeated obscenities bleeped out (hmmm, that would just make me want to vote for Skelton more)
NRA: The NRA is out with a planned $6.75 million buy in a number of statewide races, including a few of their Dem friends, but mostly on behalf of GOPers; you can see a variety of their TV ad offerings at the link

Rasmussen:
CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
CO-Gov: John Hickelooper (D) 42%, Dan Maes (R) 12%, Tom Tancredo (C) 38%
CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 51%, Linda McMahon (R) 46%
DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 51%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%
HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) 49%, Duke Aiona (R) 47%
NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 55%
PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 54%

Discuss :: (196 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 10/13 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 3:56 PM EDT

AK-Sen: In the avalanche of various other acts of hypocrisy and self-dealing that have come out about Joe Miller in the last few weeks, somehow I missed this one: not only did he avail himself of low-income hunting and fishing licenses, but his family has received assistance from Medicaid and similar state-level Denali Kidcare. Somewhere, his most ardent supporters are hurling their copies of Atlas Shrugged into the fireplace in disgust, learning that their mighty Producer is nothing more than a parasite, weakly availing himself of every program under the sun designed to enslave man. (And somewhere, either heaven or Rick Barber's fevered imagination, James Madison is hurling his copy of the Federalist Papers into the fireplace, upset that this ostensible patriot is availing himself of such a plainly unconstitutional program.)

DE-Sen: I think this had been made pretty clear few weeks ago, but Mike Castle reiterated it in as official terms as possible on CNN yesterday: he's not endorsing anybody in the Senate race.

FL-Sen: Very-tanned centrist GOPer governors gotta stick together, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just gave his probably-not-worth-much backing to Charlie Crist yesterday. The Marco Rubio camp may have gotten the last laugh here, though:

"When it comes to inflicting 'Collateral Damage' on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely 'Twins.'  Charlie's flip-flops have made him a master at telling 'True Lies.' We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an 'Eraser' to 'The Running Man.'" - Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos, responding to Schwarzenegger's endorsement of Crist.

PA-Sen: I wouldn't start popping the champagne cork (or even buy a bottle of champagne) yet, but the DSCC seems to be seeing some negative-ad-driven progress in Pennsylvania. They've released an internal poll, via Garin Hart Yang, that actually gives Joe Sestak the lead. He's up 44-42 over Pat Toomey, in a poll taken Oct. 8-10. With leaners pushed, Sestak expands to a 47-44 lead. No public pollster has seen anything like that (at least yet).

WA-Sen: If you're wondering what's up with the huge disparities in Washington Senate numbers between the live-caller and auto-dialed polls, you're not alone. Nate Silver doesn't exactly have answers, pointing to unique Washington variables that confound pollsters, like its (almost entirely) vote-by-mail status and its large number of cellphone-only users. But he does have some interesting charts showing that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA have consistently overestimated GOP performance all decade long in Washington (while, at the same time, Elway has overestimated Dem performance).

WV-Sen: Hot on the heels of PPP's poll showing Joe Manchin back in the lead, the DSCC is out with an internal poll showing similar numbers. The GQR poll from Oct. 7-12, the height of "hicky" mania, gives Manchin a 49-44 lead over John Raese, whose 40/38 faves lag Manchin's 63/28.

CA-Gov: All previous political self-funding records are quickly receding in Meg Whitman's rearview mirror, as she just plowed another $20 million into her gubernatorial bid, bringing her all-cycle total to over $141 million.

WV-Gov: I don't know what West Virginians' aversion to comprehensible succession laws is, but after emerging from the morass of how to replace Robert Byrd, now the legislature is grappling with what to do with the Governor position if Joe Manchin manages to win the Senate special election. Legislative lawyers say that unless the legislature takes some sort of action, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin would take over as "acting governor" for the entire remainder of Manchin's term, until the regularly scheduled Nov. 2012 election... but that there would be two elections that day, one for the full four years and one for the lame-duck period.

FL-25: I look forward to seeing David Rivera's explanation:

Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development. But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera -- now a candidate for Congress -- or his company.

KS-04: SurveyUSA has shown an unexpectedly close race (for an open seat in a dark-red district in this climate), with several polls in high single digits, so GOP nominee Mike Pompeo is offering some pushback with an internal from Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates from Oct. 10-11. His poll gives him a 48-31 lead over Raj Goyle. (You may recall that this pollster works with the Club for Growth, and is responsible for highlights like this one. Senator Dick Zimmer vouches for their accuracy!)

NY-24: Richard Hanna's out with an internal poll, courtesy of  McLaughlin (no dates given by Politico, and with a big fat MoE of 5.6%). Hanna leads, but only by 46-43. Considering that Hanna is trying to push back against not a Mike Arcuri internal but an honest-to-gosh public poll (from Siena) with an Arcuri lead of 8, that seems like kind of weak sauce.

MN-06: Today's fundraising highlight is that Michele Bachmann pulled in $5.4 million in the third quarter. Interestingly, it looks like she'll report "only" $3.4 million cash on hand, suggesting a similar phenomenon as Sharron Angle (for whom there weren't any CoH numbers at all), where there's a lot of churn going on not just for a TV blitz but also for widespread nationwide direct-mail marketing, which is expensive. (Just ask Joe Cao.) While these numbers certainly don't bode well as far as unseating Bachmann this year, the bright side is that's money that low-information voters might otherwise have given to GOP House challengers in tight races who could have actually leveraged that money a lot more effectively.

TX-27: Even if you're a political junkie like us, yesterday's internal poll was probably the first you've ever heard of Blake Farenthold. The DCCC fills in some blanks, suggesting that you're probably not likely to hear too much about him in the future, either. He's somehow sitting on a negative $5K in cash, and... I'm not quite sure how this happened, but he appears on the front of what appears to be some sort of local tea party-oriented publication, in pajamas, in the company of what appears to be some sort of sex-industry professional (and not as an example of what not to do, but apparently because said publication is endorsing him). Yeah, I'm just as confused as you; you'll have to check out the link.

WA-08: Ordinarily, we don't report on newspaper endorsements, since they don't seem to move many votes and are usually pretty predictable based on each paper's e-board leanings. We'll make an exception in this case, since Dave Reichert largely owes his continued existence to the Seattle Times, who've clung to him as, in their eyes, the last remaining exemplar of the old-style moderate Republicanism they fetishize. So it's a strange and wondrous thing to see them turning their back on him in favor of Suzan DelBene.

Blue Dogs: CQ has an interesting piece about the yawning leadership gap at the Blue Dogs, where two of its key members, John Tanner and Dennis Moore, are skedaddling. It cites a number of possible new heads (most notably Allen Boyd and Jim Matheson), but there's a certain amount of cart-before-horse here, because the Blue Dogs are disproportionately in the crosshairs this cycle and it's unclear how many of the key ones (Boyd, especially, as well as Stephanie Herseth Sandlin) will even be back.

DLCC: The DLCC is out with its third and probably final installment in its "Essential Races" series, pointing you (and your contribution dollars) toward 15 more legislators in key races that might determine chamber control in some of the most important state legislatures.

Money: More evidence that the advantage by the Democratic committees and individual members was pretty illusory, given the myriad ways (527s and 501(c)(4)s, oh my) that the wealthy have to plow nearly-unlimited money into political races: an alliance of groups (Karl Rove's American Crossroads and Norm Coleman's American Action Network, as well as a new one, Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity) is planning a $50 million ad blitz focused on some relatively underserved House races. This includes IN-02, CO-07, and even Maurice Hinchey's NY-22. (H/t Nathan Gonzales.)

SSP TV:
IL-Sen: Mark Kirk revisits the Broadway Bank yet again with his newest ad
LA-Sen: A solid ad from Charlie Melancon, hitting David Vitter on outsourcing and cozying up to BP
MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan tries some anti-Washington (including congressional pay raises) shots at Roy Blunt
PA-Sen: VoteVets boosts Joe Sestak with a hit on Pat Toomey for voting against veterans' benefits
CT-Gov: The RGA has a boilerplate attack ad on Dan Malloy as tax-raising career politician
HI-Gov: It's not your imagination, this race is looking competitive, at least if the DGA is advertising here: they're out with an anti-Duke Aiona ad
IL-Gov: Pat Quinn's new ad actually comes close to saying that Bill Brady will kill your dog if you vote for him.
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland's ad goes back to the basics: hitting John Kasich on his outsourcing Wall Street ways
SC-Gov: The RGA is having to advertise and staff up in SC-Gov, probably much to their chagrin, as this looks like it's turning into a real race: their new spot calls Vincent Sheheen liberal, morphs him into Obama, and does all the usual
IL-17: The SEIU backs up one of labor's biggest backers in the House, Phil Hare, with a 10-day buy for $317K in the Quad Cities, for an ad hitting Bobby Schilling on free trade and outsourcing
PA-06: Manan Trivedi's new ad goes after Jim Gerlach and 'special interests'
PA-08: VoteVets is also out with a spot in the 8th, hitting Mike Fitzpatrick on veterans' benefits votes during his brief stay in Congress
WI-03: The National Federation of Independent Business is out with a slew of new ads that includes softening up not-quite-top-tier Dem districts, with 10-day ad buys including not just WI-03 but also CA-11, CO-03, MO-03, NY-19, NY-23, PA-10, OH-16, and SC-05.

Rasmussen:
ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 32%, Paul LePage (R) 35%, Eliot Cutler (I) 21%
NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 53%, John Stephen (R) 43%
NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%
OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D) 52%, Jim Huffman (R) 36%
WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 49%

Discuss :: (131 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 10/11 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 4:11 PM EDT

CO-Sen: This probably doesn't count as an October Surprise since it made a big media impression five years ago, but it's suddenly popped back into view, and making things dicier for Ken Buck, already on the wrong end of a sizable gender gap in the polls. Buck refused to prosecute a rape case as Weld Co. DA five years ago (despite the police having recommended charges), and the alleged victim is now back in the news. She has a taped recording of their meeting (transcript available at the link) in which he seems to blame the victim and suggest that the case wouldn't pass muster with a jury.

FL-Sen: Mason-Dixon (10/4-6, likely voters, 9/20-22 in parens):

Kendrick Meek (D): 21 (23)
Marco Rubio (R): 42 (40)
Charlie Crist (I): 27 (28)
(MoE: ±4%)

With Marco Rubio way ahead, it looks like a Kendrick Meek dropout (rumored on Friday) and a cobbling-together of some sort of Meek/Crist hybrid cyborg would be the only way for the non-Rubio forces to get an advantage in this race. However, Meek's definitely not acting like a man who's dropping out, if getting the president of the United States to cut a radio ad for you is any indication.

WV-Sen: Remember that "hicky" ad that the NRSC ran, and then promptly got apologetic over, once the casting call instructions got leaked? (I know, that was last week, a lifetime ago in politics...) Now it sounds like it just kept running anyway, through last Friday for several days after the story broke, despite promises to take it down.

NM-Gov: Yep, this is definitely the most over-polled, or at least over-internal-poll-leaked, race around. Today it's Diane Denish's turn to retaliate, and she's out with another poll from one of her apparently two pollsters, Third Eye Strategies, with a 46-46 tie (a little stale, taken 9/21-23). I think we get the general idea, already: Denish sees a tie, Susana Martinez sees a high-single-digits lead for herself, public pollsters see something in between. (UPDATE: That's odd... we reported this poll several weeks ago. Not sure why it's back in the news today.)

CA-47: This is the kind of unity that Loretta Sanchez (last seen alienating her district's small but politically active Vietnamese community with an ill-advised remark) probably doesn't like to see: apparently there was a major rift with the Vietnamese Republican community that just got sealed up, as long-time Van Tran rival Janet Nguyen (an Orange County councilor) gave a late-game endorsement to Tran.

CT-02, CT-03: Merriman River Group hits the quinella in Connecticut, with polls of the two House races in the Nutmeg State that aren't interesting. In the 2nd, despite getting some touting when she got in the race, GOPer Janet Peckinpaugh is making little impression against Joe Courtney, trailing 55-41. And in the 3rd, Rosa DeLauro is the state's safest Dem, leading Jerry Labriola 58-37.

FL-22: Endorsements from primary challengers, especially at this stage in the game, are interesting only when they go to the guy from the other party. But that's what's happening in the 22nd, where the guy who lost to Allen West, David Brady, gave his backing to Democratic incumbent Ron Klein today. (So too did several minor-league local elected GOPers, including Palm Beach mayor Jack McDonald.) Says Brady, apparently from the sane wing of the GOP (to the extent that the Palm Beach Post endorsed him in the primary): "I ran against Allen West. I debated him and I can tell you: Allen West is too extreme for this community."

MS-04: Dueling polls in the 4th, where everything still averages out to a Democratic lean but unfortunately this is looking like one more real race. GOP state Rep. Steven Palazzo offered a poll a few weeks ago saying incumbent Gene Taylor led by only 4, and now Taylor says, no, he's leading by 8 (without giving us any other useful information, like the toplines, let alone the pollster or dates). Hmmm, that's only a difference of four points, so why show your hand, especially in such haphazard fashion? Somehow I don't think Taylor would be a very good poker player.

NY-22, NY-25: Bill Clinton showing up in upstate New York to stump on behalf of Dan Maffei, that's not a surprise, as this race seems to be competitive. But also Maurice Hinchey in the 22nd? We haven't gotten any smoke signals out of that district before, but that's an indication that something may bubbling under here. (It's a D+6 district, and Hinchey barely won in '94.)

OH-01: One more unfortunate though unsurprising triage decision to report: Steve Driehaus seems to have run out of time at the DCCC, who are canceling their remaining ad buy in the Cincinnati market for the next two weeks. The deadline for reservations cancellations is coming up soon, so we'll soon know who else gets the shortest straw drawn for them.

PA-10: After seeing a incumbent Chris Carney up by single digits in a recent public poll from Lycoming, GOP challenger Tom Marino rummaged around in his poll drawer and pulled out one from the Tarrance Group giving him a 47-42 lead on Carney. (No word from the Fix on the dates, though.)

TN-04: One last GOP internal to throw into the mix: a POS survey (from 9/27-28) on behalf of Scott DesJarlais shows him tied with Dem incumbent Lincoln Davis, 42-42. We haven't seen any public polling of this race (and may not, as the NRCC doesn't seem to be pushing this one hard, maybe on the off chance that it's the kind of district that'll flip in a wave regardless of what they do), but Davis claimed an 11-point lead in a late August internal.

House: If you're thinking that it seems like there are a lot more races in the "Tossup" and "Lean" categories this year, you're not alone. Nate Silver quantifies various ways in which there are way more competitive races this year than in other recent cycles, including number of races where there are polls within single-digits, where there are polls period, and where there are major financial contributions.

Redistricting: This is an interesting, if counterintuitive, piece from HuffPo on redistricting, which proposes that we'll be in better shape in 2010 redistricting than 2000 redistricting because (based on projected gubernatorial and state legislative outcomes) we'll have more control over the process in more important states: oddly he leaves out California, but also including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia (all states where there was a GOP trifecta last time), and Minnesota and New York (where we might get the trifecta this time)... while the states where the GOP will improve its position aren't as large (Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee... with Georgia the most significant one). The article also gets into the nitty-gritty of where the population growth within the fast-growing states has occurred (i.e. among minorities).

Polltopia: You might have noticed that Political Wire briefly had some Senate polls up today from somebody I've never heard of before, called "TCJ Research." Those polls mysteriously vanished after Nate Silver, vanquisher of bogus pollsters, showed up on the scene with a simple tweet:

A Wordpress blog getting ~500 hits a day on posts like "October Giveaway: 32 Gigabyte Apple iPad!" suddenly commissions 5 polls? Not likely.

SSP TV:
IL-Sen: Two different ads from the DSCC attacking Mark Kirk, hitting him for his House voting record and also revisiting Kirk's misrememberment of his military record
NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall's finally out with a TV spot, going after Richard Burr for helping to break the economy
WV-Sen: While John Raese nods to the 'hick' ad semi-apologetically before changing the subject back to Washington Dems, Joe Manchin seems to be trying to out-hick the hick ad by touting his pro-gun and anti-environment credentials in one fell swoop by (I kid you not) shooting a copy of the cap-and-trade bill
IL-Gov: The most famous Illinoisian, Barack Obama, cuts a radio spot on behalf of Pat Quinn
RI-Gov: The DGA pounds Lincoln Chafee one more time from the right, accusing him of being a tax-hiking hippy
FL-22: Ron Klein moves past the boring fixation on Allen West's tax liens and onto the really juicy stuff about 2nd Amendment remedies
MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann on Social Security
PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper touts her pro-life credentials in her new ad, explaining her siding with the Stupak bloc on health care reform
VA-02: The DCCC's IE unit points the "hypocrite" arrow at Scott Rigell, for making hundreds of thousands of dollars off "Cash for Clunkers"
WI-08: Ditto the DCCC ad in the 8th, where they hit Reid Ribble for making hundreds of thousands of dollars for his roofing business off stimulus projects

Rasmussen:
CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 44%
FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 47%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 19%, Marco Rubio (R) 50%, Charlie Crist (I) 25%
GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 50%
GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 38%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 53%
MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 38%, Tom Horner (I) 15%
NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 24%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 66%
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 43%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 48%, Chris Dudley (R) 46%
SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 33%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 57%
TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 53%
WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 49%

Angus-Reid: Some of you might have gotten excited about the California numbers offered up today by Angus-Reid (a well-established Canadian pollster, but apparently making their first foray into the States). Well, don't, because they're using an RV model, and more importantly, it's an Internet sample. (Now presumably there's some scientific selection behind it, not just a "click here!" banner ad, but we're highly skeptical nonetheless, especially since that seemed to produce notably pro-Dem results in California.)
CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 55%, Carly Fiorina (R) 39%
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 46%, John Kasich (R) 48%
OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 53%

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