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Margaret Anderson Kelliher

CO, CT, GA, and MN Primary Results

by: Crisitunity

Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM EDT

Colorado: What looked like a hotly contested race on the Democratic side of the Senate race (thanks to a mixed bag of poll results, including an Andrew Romanoff lead according to SurveyUSA) turned into a fairly comfortable win for Michael Bennet in the end. Propped up by Obama and DSCC help, and weathering a last-minute patented hit job from the New York Times, Bennet won 54-46. Maybe this'll help put to sleep two memes that are getting very very tiresome: that it's an "anti-incumbent year," and that Obama endorsees all lose. Bennet will face off against Ken Buck, who defeated Jane Norton in the GOP primary 52-48. Polls haven't been conclusive in terms of whether Dems should have wanted to face off against Buck or Norton. Buck gets lumped in with Sharron Angle and Rand Paul because of his teabagger proclivities, but he's considerably more skilled than they are; nevertheless, he still seems gaffe-prone and irritable, so I'll take him.

Dan Maes won the GOP gubernatorial nod, 51-49. The only way things could have gone better for Dems in the GOP gubernatorial race would be if Maes' margin had been small enough to force a recount. The risk here was that irreparably-damaged Scott McInnis would win and then, being a good GOP team player, promptly drop out, allowing a better Republican (Jane Norton?) to take his place, which would then drive Tom Tancredo out of his indie bid. Maes has vowed to fight on, though, and his underwhelming presence is likely to keep Tancredo in the race, meaning not one but two guys not just spewing the crazy, but splitting the crazy vote and ensuring Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Finally, in Colorado, the GOP House primaries were uneventful wins for establishment candidates, with Ryan Frazier beating Lang Sias 64-36 in CO-07 and Scott Tipton beating Bob McConnell (Sarah Palin's other losing endorsee yesterday) winning 56-44 in CO-03.

Connecticut: Probably the biggest surprise of the night was the 58-42 victory by former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy over Ned Lamont in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, seeing as how Lamont had led all polls (although polls did capture a late and rapid Malloy surge). The lesson here mostly boils down to one more race where the organizational power of the local political establishment was able to overcome the money of a rich outsider, but there's one other story here that Dem message-setters will hopefully notice. Judging by when polls saw the race tigthen, the wheels seemed to come off Lamont's campaign with a late round of attack ads that focused on layoffs at Lamont's company. Taking not just that but the air war in the PA-12 special in mind (where Mark Critz won in large measure by hammering Tim Burns over outsourcing), it really seems like, despite this year's overarching CW, voters will go for a "career politician" over a self-described job-creating outsider businessman, once it's made clear that said businessman's interest in jobs only extends as far as his own bottom line.

Malloy will face a flawed Tom Foley in November, and based on general election polling recently should be considered a slight favorite. Foley won the GOP primary narrowly over Lt. Governor Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel 42-39-19. Also, for the GOP, Linda McMahon unsurprisingly won the GOP primary in the face of Rob Simmons' half-assed comeback-type-thing. Simmons and Paulist economist Peter Schiff did keep her under 50% though: 49-28-23. McMahon faces Richard Blumenthal in November, who already launched his first TV ad this morning, shirking a no-doubt-tempting smackdown in favor of... what's that thing that McMahon doesn't have... oh, yeah. Dignity. The three GOP House primaries led to expected victories for Janet Peckinpaugh in CT-02 (43-38 over Daria Novak), Dan Debicella in CT-04 (60-24 over Rob Merkle), and Sam Caligiuri in CT-05 (40-32-28 over Justin Bernier and Mark Greenberg).

Georgia: The main event in Georgia was the GOP gubernatorial runoff, and hoo boy, did it live up to its billing. The two candidates finished in recount territory at 50-50, with Nathan Deal leading Karen Handel by 2,500 votes. Unfortunately, Handel just conceded this morning rather than following through with the recount, so Dem nominee Roy Barnes doesn't get to spend weeks watching them keep fighting it out. Pundits will no doubt focus on the proxy war aspects of the battle ("Huck beats Palin!"), but the outcome seems to have more to do with Deal consolidating conservative votes outside the Atlanta area, where Handel's anti-corruption, anti-good-ol'-boyism message may have fallen flat.

We also had outcomes in three GOP House primaries, one to determine the nominee in a Likely Dem race, and the others to determine who's the next Rep. in dark-red districts. In GA-07, establishment-backed former John Linder CoS Rob Woodall beat teabagging radio talker Jody Hice, 56-44. In GA-09, Rep. Tom Graves won his fourth (and probably final) faceoff against Lee Hawkins, 55-45. And in GA-12, Ray McKinney beat Carl Smith 62-38 for the right to take on Rep. John Barrow. If you want to argue that this year's crop of Republican candidates is radioactive, you don't need to look any further than McKinney; he's a nuclear power plant project manager by day.

Minnesota: Finally, there was only one race worth watching last night in Minnesota, and it turned out to be a barnburner: the DFL gubernatorial primary. State House speaker (and DFL endorsee) Margaret Anderson Kelliher led most of the night based on her strength in the Twin Cities, but as results trickled in from the rest of the state, ex-Sen. Mark Dayton crept into the lead. In the end, despite having convincing pre-primary poll leads, Dayton won 41-40-18 over Kelliher and Matt Entenza. Dayton pretty clearly benefited not only from his statewide familiarity, but also from picking a running mate from Duluth, where he cleaned up, late in the game. With a 7,000 margin separating them, Kelliher didn't concede last night... but she did this morning, meaning Dayton faces the increasingly woeful GOP nominee Tom Emmer in November. The most recent spate of polls has given Dayton double-digits advantages in that matchup.

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Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Minnesota Primary Previews

by: Crisitunity

Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 1:35 PM EDT

CO-Sen (D): The Democratic heavyweights are out in this marquee race on our side in Colorado, splitting between appointed incumbent and former Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet and Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff. Obama's recorded a robocall for Bennet, while the Big Dog's been stumping for Romanoff (who, yes, endorsed Hillary in 2008). While Romanoff's bid seemed quixotic at first, he's managed to gain some traction, with the most recent polling in the race offering a split decision, with PPP saying Bennet 49-43 and SurveyUSA saying Romanoff 48-45. Much hay was made about Bennet's accidental incumbency, and the newest scuttle in the race takes the form of Bennet's financial dealings while Superintendent. While that news may have broken a little late, Romanoff still has the momentum -- but will it be enough? (JMD)

CO-Sen (R): The Devil Wears Prada! Or, perhaps more appropriately, former Lt. Gov Jane Norton wears high heels, according to her rival, Weld County DA Ken Buck. The two have been duking it out for the conservative mantle. Buck's been endorsed by GOP would-be kingmaker Jim DeMint and has had some airpower in the form of shady 501(c)(4) group Americans for Job Security; Norton's earned the endorsements of both John McCain and the star of Saved By The Xenophobia, Jan Brewer. Norton and Buck remain close in polling, with PPP giving Norton a narrow edge at 41-40 and SurveyUSA giving Buck some more breathing room at 50-41. All of this remains in complete flux though, and any result tonight could be rendered moot by a switcheroo with the Governor's race, should the Colorado GOP somehow manage to cast off their albatross in Scott McInnis. (JMD)

CO-Gov (R): Former Rep. Scott McInnis was at one time considered a major get for the GOP, and the strength of his candidacy was such that he helped push incumbent Dem Gov. Bill Ritter out of the race after just one term. No more. While some initially dismissed McInnis's plagiarism scandal as a minor white-collar affair that wouldn't interest average voters, his transgressions in fact proved unusually potent, leading to his campaign's utter ruin. Polls now show a dead heat between McInnis (whose fundraising has dried up) and crazy fringer Some Dude Dan Maes (who never raised squat to begin with). The primary may be completely moot, though: Rumors have abounded that if McInnis were to win, he'd step down in favor of a less-damaged candidate. We should probably be rooting for Maes, though, who has explicitly said he'd do no such thing. (D)

CO-03 (R): Former state Rep. Scott Tipton, who represented a large swath of Southwestern Colorado before running against incumbent Dem. John Salazar in 2006, looked like he would easily earn the right to challenge Salazar a second time, but was held to only 45% at the state nominating against the teabaggish Bob McConnell, who also earned 45%. As a result, the two square off tonight, with McConnell running to Tipton's right, even boasting a Sarah Palin endorsement. Both candidates have some cash to play with, Tipton having spent $213k and McConnell having spent $132k so far. Given the relative low profile of this race - Salazar bested Tipton with 62% in 2006 and seems to be more entrenched than most vulnerable Dems - the race remains unpredictable. (JMD)

CO-07 (R): The primary field in this suburban Denver district is also down to two after the convention, with Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier having earned 49% and carpetbagging former Democrat Lang Sias having earned 43%. Frazier is winning the money race by quite a distance, $252k to Sias's $89k cash-on-hand. Sias -- who lives in CO-02 and became a Republican in 2007, however, boasts endorsements from both former 7th CD Rep. Bob Beauprez, the one and only Tom Tancredo, and John McCain, who Sias campaigned for (but didn't vote for). Again, Perlmutter doesn't seem particularly vulnerable, leading to a lower-profile -- and less predictable -- race tonight. (JMD)

CT-Gov (D): Connecticut Democrats are hungry for a win this November -- which would be their first gubernatorial win since William O'Neill's re-election in 1986 -- but they'll have to get through a fast-closing primary tonight to see who their nominee will be. '06 Senate nominee and Lieberman primary-slayer Ned Lamont is facing off against former 14-year Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, and this race looks like it's going down to the wire. After lagging in the polls behind Lamont for months, Malloy has used some well-timed punches to turn Lamont's business experience against him, releasing TV ads criticizing Lamont for layoffs at his telecommunications company. The latest Q-poll shows that Lamont's lead has eroded to a mere three points -- certainly not a margin to bet the farm on tonight. (JL)

CT-Gov (R): While technically this one is a three-way decision, the only candidates with a shot at winning the Republican nomination tonight are ex-Ambassador Tom Foley and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele. Like Lamont, Foley has used his personal fortune to catapult himself to an early lead. Fedele has had a rough time keeping pace, highlighted by his failures to secure endorsements from Gov. Jodi Rell and the state GOP convention. Still, Fedele has swung back at Foley with TV ads drawing attention to layoffs at one of Foley's textile factories in Georgia. The latest Q-Poll shows some juice for Fedele, but he still lags behind Foley by 38-30. (JL)

CT-Sen (R): Little Bobby Simmons announced that he was taking his ball and going home, but it turns out that he was just lingering behind the bleachers until he could muster up the courage to take another at-bat. The results aren't pretty: a 50-28 lead for controversial WWE Queen Linda McMahon in the latest Q-Poll. Next! (JL)

CT-02 (R): Now this one's getting down in the weeds, but Republicans are trying to prod as many Dem-held seats for potential weakness as possible. The crop of candidates going up against two-term Rep. Joe Courtney, however, leaves much to be desired. After their most well-funded recruit, former Hebron Board of Finance vice chairman Matthew Daly, dropped out in May, Republicans are picking between former TV anchorwoman Janet Peckinpaugh, former State Department official Daria Novak, and farmer/attorney Douglas Dubitsky. Peckinpaugh, the most "hyped" of the trio, failed to raise more than $50K for her campaign, and her candidacy drew early fire for her most recent employment stint as a shill for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads. As much success as Republicans have had in expanding the map this year, this race stacks up as a glaring recruiting failure. (JL)

CT-04 (R): State Sen. Dan Debicella is the clear front-runner in the race to take on Rep. Jim Himes. He faces a couple of Some Dudes who, as befits their Some Dude status, haven't raised squat: Rick Torres and Rob Merkle. (A more credible opponent, Tom Herrmann, dropped out in June after petition fraud meant he couldn't qualify for the ballot.) Debicella won his party's backing at the state convention earlier this year. (D)

CT-05 (R): Though the 5th district would seem to be a tougher GOP target than the 4th, the Republican primary here has attracted quite a bit more money, and a larger number of credible candidates. Another state senator, Sam Caligiuri, is also the presumed front-runner here, having won 70% of the delegate vote at his party's nominating convention. But Afghanistan vet Justin Bernier, who was running in this race (and got some favorable notice) before Caligiuri dropped down from the senate contest last November, has raised a creditable sum and hasn't given up. Like many others in his position, though, it seems he's had a chip on his shoulder ever since Caligiuri hopped into the race, and that's usually not very appealing. Wealthy businessman Mark Greenberg actually leads the money race, with over a million raised (most of that from his own pockets), but most of the media attention devoted to this contest has seemed to focus on the Caligiuri-Bernier matchup. The winner, whomever he may be, gets to challenge sophomore Rep. (and all-time SSP hero) Chris Murphy in the fall. (D)

GA-Gov (R): The big ticket race in Georgia is the Republican gubernatorial runoff, between Karen Handel, the former SoS who finished a dominant first in the primary, and Nathan Deal, the former U.S. Rep. who was second. The Beltway media tends to emphasize that this is a proxy fight between possible presidential candidates (with Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney backing Handel, and Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee backing Deal), but the important post-primary endorsements here may have been the NRA, and third-place finisher state Sen. Eric Johnson (who has a strong base in the Savannah area), which both seemed to have consolidate conservative and rural Johnson and John Oxendine votes behind Deal. With that, Deal has pulled into a polling tie with Handel, promising a down-to-the-wire race tonight. (C)

GA-07 (R): With the surprising third-place finish of state Rep. Clay Cox (who'd had the backing of the Club for Growth and many local endorsers), meaning he's not in the runoff, it's anybody's guess as to who has the upper hand tonight in the Republican runoff in the dark-red open seat 7th and be the district's next Rep. (Actually, this part of Atlanta's northern suburbs is going through a lot of demographic change that will be beneficial to Democrats in the long run, but this isn't going to be the year to capitalize on that.) John Linder's former CoS, Rob Woodall, faces off against radio talk show host Jody Hice. (C)

GA-09 (R): Few candidates are as well acquainted with each other as newly-minted Rep. Tom Graves and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins, who, thanks to a special election, special election runoff, and primary, are now poised to face each other for the fourth time this year. Graves has won the first three rounds, and barely missed winning the primary outright (with 49% of the vote), so it would be a pretty monumental turnaround for Hawkins to finally win it, on the time it really counts (as November will be of little import in this dark-red district). Maybe having been in Congress for five months is enough to give Graves the unacceptable taint of incumbency, though. The county to watch is Hall, where Hawkins has his geographic base and which tends to report late. (C)

GA-12 (R): Democratic Rep. John Barrow -- who overcame his main challenge this year, a challenge from the left from former state Sen. Regina Thomas, in the primary -- will be watching with some interest tonight to see who his Republican opponent will be: nuclear power plant project manager Ray McKinney, or former fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, Carl Smith? Neither one is particularly well-funded or has an imposing profile, but this race could be competitive if the Republican wave is particularly large. (C)

MN-Gov (D): Minnesota Democrats will finally have a chance to participate in some real democracy today, rather than having their gubernatorial nominee chosen for them by a bunch of elites at a party convention. State House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher did in fact win the endorsement of state delegates, but former Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza forged on with primary challenges regardless. It was probably a wise move for the wealthy Dayton, seeing as recent polls have all shown him to be in first place, with MAK in second and Entenza (who also has access to family money) in third. While this race may not wind up being very exciting, in a low turnout three-way with one woman and two men, the outcome could be unexpected. (D)

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MN-Gov: Can You Feel the Emmer-mentum?

by: jeffmd

Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 1:53 PM EDT

SurveyUSA for KSTP-TV (8/2-4, likely voters, 6/14-6/16 in parens; 5/3-5 in brackets):

Mark Dayton (DFL): 46 (38) [34]
Tom Emmer (R): 32 (35) [42]
Tom Horner (I): 9 (12) [9]
Undecided: 13 (15) [15]

Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 39 (33) [33]
Tom Emmer (R): 33 (35) [41]
Tom Horner (I): 9 (12) [9]
Undecided: 13 (21) [17]

Matt Entenza (DFL): 38 (33) [31]
Tom Emmer (R): 33 (37) [42]
Tom Horner (I): 12 (12) [10]
Undecided: 17 (18) [16]
(MoE: ±2.7%)

The wheels on the bus go round-and-round, except, of course, if your bus is Tom Emmer's gubernatorial candidacy. Emmer's hit a few speedbumps recently, having been on the receiving end of ads from DFL candidate Matt Entenza attacking Emmer's Palinism and outside groups hitting Emmer on drunk driving laws.

SurveyUSA follows up with a second poll confirming the results of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's poll earlier this week, with leads for each of the DFL hopefuls. Emmer's decline's been quite stunning, having consistently lost points in each progressive SurveyUSA poll. We've had "Joementum" and felt the "Mumpower", and now, there's "Emmermentum." Mark Dayton fares the best, now boasting a 14-point lead, up from an 8-point deficit three months ago - a remarkable 22% swing in that time. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is now up 6, a 14-point swing from being down 8; Entenza's now 5 up, a 16-point swing from being 11 down.

SurveyUSA for KSTP-TV (8/2-4, likely voters, 6/14-6/16 in parens):

Mark Dayton (DFL): 43 (39)
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 27 (26)
Matt Entenza (DFL): 22 (22)
Undecided: 7 (11)
(MoE: ±4.5%)

The corresponding part of the poll examining the DFL primary also mirrors the Star Tribune's poll. There's been slight movement since SurveyUSA last examined the race in June, with Mark Dayton still in the driver's seat with a 16-point lead over MAK and Entenza in third. Dayton looks well on his way along the road to redemption since retiring from the Senate four years ago; with these results and Emmer's rising unfavorables, there's good reason for optimism that we'll take back the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul.

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MN-Gov: All Dems Lead Emmer, Dayton Leads Primary

by: Crisitunity

Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 1:10 PM EDT

Princeton Survey Research for Minneapolis Star-Tribune (7/26-29, registered voters, no trendlines):

Mark Dayton (DFL): 40
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 30
Matt Entenza (DFL): 17
Undecided: 12
(MoE: ±7.8%)

Mark Dayton (DFL): 40
Tom Emmer (R): 30
Tom Horner (I): 13
Undecided: 17

Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 38
Tom Emmer (R): 29
Tom Horner (I): 13
Undecided: 18

Matt Entenza (DFL): 36
Tom Emmer (R): 31
Tom Horner (I): 15
Undecided: 17
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Things haven't been going so well for Tom Emmer lately, who at one point immediately after the GOP convention had a unity-bounce lead in the polls (or at least in the Rasmussen/SurveyUSA likely voter universe). In the last few weeks, he's released a weak fundraising report, been the target of big advertising blitzes from both Matt Entenza and a Dem 527, and won't be able to ever eat in a restaurant in Minnesota again, as his waitstaff is likely to be serving him loogie sandwiches for the foreseeable future. On top of all that comes the new Star-Tribune poll, which may be the most bullish on DFL chances of any poll yet: it gives all three DFL candidates, even Entenza, a decent lead over Emmer.

They also look at the DFL primary, although the 7.8% MoE is pretty absurd. At any rate, the results mirror what other polls of the primary have found: Mark Dayton with a lead of 10 or so over Margaret Anderson Kelliher. The DFL-endorsed Kelliher also got the Star-Tribune's endorsement over the weekend. Whether those endorsements help her to overcome Dayton and Entenza's money, well, we'll have to wait until Aug. 10 to find out.

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SSP Daily Digest: 7/27 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Tue Jul 27, 2010 at 4:04 PM EDT

CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff, who's had seeming trouble articulating a motivation for his primary campaign against appointee Michael Bennet (other than "it was my turn"), still seems like he's confident in his chances of winning the primary. He just doubled down by selling his house and lending the $325K proceeds to his campaign (or maybe he was just eager to sell the dump, anyway). Romanoff had $464K CoH on June 30, but most of that has been gobbled up by ad buys. Also on the ad front in Colorado, the shadowy, Ken Buck-backing 501(c)(4) Americans for Job Security is out with another anti-Jane Norton ad, attacking her over her support for anti-TABOR Proposition C.

DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell, the forgotten right-winger in the Delaware GOP primary against Rep. Mike Castle, keeps hitting wingnut paydirt. Having already secured the Susan B. Anthony List endorsement, she's now getting backing from two more of the engines pulling the crazy train: the Tea Party Express (the corporate astroturf umbrella org for the teabaggers), and Concerned Women for America (Phyllis Schlafly's group). The Politico article includes a litany of O'Donnell's baggage as rattled off by Delaware's GOP state party chair, so it seems like the establishment is taking note and starting to push back.

FL-Sen: Well, that was fast; I guess when you have a few hundred million dollars at your disposal, you can whip up ads pretty quickly (or just have  a couple extra sitting in the can, ready to go). With Kendrick Meek having launched his first Dem primary ad yesterday, a negative ad against Jeff Greene, today Greene hit back with two different anti-Meek ads. One focuses on Meek's family connections to a corrupt developer, and the other focuses on the cigar-maker carveout from SCHIP. As always, NWOTSOB.

KY-Sen: The Jack Conway camp has leaked Daily Kos an internal from Benenson giving them a 44-44 tie with Rand Paul, and a 48-46 lead over Paul with leaners pushed. The poll's a little stale, having been taken June 26-29, but it's good news; if nothing else, it's confirmation for the most recent PPP poll, which also saw a tie. We have a copy of the full memo here. Another small reason for optimism in the Bluegrass State: there's word of a new (and apparently nameless, for now) 527 headed by former progressive Democratic '08 Senate candidate Andrew Horne, that will be playing in the Kentucky race. They have $2 million pledged by various business leaders to work with, and they've lined up Anzalone Liszt and Zata|3 to work for them.

CT-Gov: This is one of my favorite headlines since "Lamborn Primaried by Local Crank": "Looney Backs Malloy in Governor's Bid." (Martin Looney is the state Senate majority leader.)

FL-Gov: Taking a page from Raul Labrador, Bill McCollum's out with an internal. His own poll from McLaughlin & Associates finds him trailing Rick Scott 37-31. (The polling memo actually has the audacity to ask, "Why hasn't Rick Scott done better?")

MD-Gov: Local pollster Gonzales Research is out with their second look at the Maryland gubernatorial race; they find a 45-42 lead for Martin O'Malley over Robert Ehrlich, which very closely echoes the PPP poll from a few weeks ago. Their trendlines go back to January, when a Ehrlich re-run was only vaguely being discussed; then, O'Malley had a 9-point lead.

MN-Gov: Fundraising reports in Minnesota were due yesterday. GOPer Tom Emmer might well need to use that giant jar of pennies he had dumped on his table in order to buy some ad time, as he's lagging on the financial front. Emmer has less than $300K CoH and raised under $800K in the first six months of the year, while DFL endorsee Margaret Anderson Kelliher has $385K CoH and raised about $1 million. Kelliher, however, still might not get out of her primary against two rich guys: Matt Entenza raised $360K during that period but also loaned himself $3.5 million (and spent $3.9 million, mostly on TV ads). Mark Dayton hasn't filed yet.

OR-Gov: Republican Chris Dudley is padding his financial advantage over John Kitzhaber in Oregon's gubernatorial race: he's raised $850K since the May 18 primary, compared with $269K for Kitzhaber. Dudley has raised $2.6 million all cycle long, compared with Kitz's $1.7 million. (One historical note, though: Ted Kulongoski was easily re-elected in 2006 despite being outspent by opponent Ron Saxton and his $7 million.) Much of Dudley's money seems to be coming in from out-of-state, as the former NBA player and current financial advisor is getting a lot of Wall Street and sports industry money. Interestingly, the timber industry, usually a Republican force in the state, is staying largely on the sidelines this election, as they're fairly friendly with Kitzhaber.

TN-Gov: Having nowhere to go in the GOP primary polls but up, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is going the out-and-proud Islamophobe route. Spurred on by the ongoing controversy over the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Ramsey, in response to a question at an appearance, said, "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion or is it a nationality, way of life or cult, whatever you want to call it."

ID-01: Raul Labrador, a conspicuous absence from the NRCC's anyone-with-a-pulse Young Guns program, says that he "opted out" of the Young Guns. (Yeah... just like I "opted out" of junior prom.) He didn't give a specific reason why, although tensions between him and the NRCC have been high.

MN-03: I'm not exactly sure why Jim Meffert thought it was a good idea to release this internal, but I guess he needed to let people know that he's actually contesting this thing. His poll (no mention of the pollster in the article) finds him trailing freshman GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen 44-27, with 7% for an IP candidate. The number he'd probably like us to focus on is that Paulsen has only a 33% re-elect (although only 12% say they're a definite "no").

MN-06: Seems like Johnny Law doesn't like Michele Bachmann's particularly freaky brand of law and order: the state's police union, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, just gave its endorsement to Dem Tarryl Clark in the 6th.

RI-01: The American Federation of Teachers, having just endorsed indie Lincoln Chafee instead of Dem Frank Caprio, also went for unconventional with their 1st District endorsement. They went for young up-and-comer state Rep. David Segal, who's tried to stake out the most progressive turf in the Dem primary, instead of Providence mayor and presumed frontrunner David Cicilline.

TN-09: On top of having gotten SSP's annual John Hostettler Award for outstanding performance at filing quarterly reports (for failing to electronically file his FEC report on time, despite having only $19K CoH), Willie Herenton got a much worse piece of news: the Congressional Black Caucus either doesn't think much of his chances, or think much of him. Although they wouldn't let Steve Cohen join their club in 2007, they did just endorse him, and sent $5,000 his way.

Rasmussen:
AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 29%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 59%
AZ-Sen (D): Rodney Glassman (D) 15%, Cathy Eden (D) 11%, Randy Parraz (D) 10%, John Dougherty (D) 7%
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 40%, Jane Norton (R) 44%
CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 39%, Jane Norton (R) 48%
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 38%, Charlie Baker (R) 32%, Tim Cahill (I) 17%

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SSP Daily Digest: 7/21

by: Crisitunity

Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 3:45 PM EDT

Election results: Last night's Georgia primary election went pretty much as expected. The main surprise was the collapse of John Oxendine in the GOP gubernatorial primary, who had the most money and led most polls, but his collapse was plainly foreseeable via polls over the last few weeks. He finished fourth, behind Karen Handel and Nathan Deal (who'll advance to the runoff, where the Palin-backed Handel will attack Deal for being corrupt and the Gingrich-backed Deal will attack Handel for being a RINO), and Eric Johnson. Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes locked down the Democratic nomination without a runoff. Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond easily advanced to face GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson in the Senate race.

In the House races, Dems in two of the three potentially competitive races in Georgia know who their opponents will be: Mike Keown in GA-02 and Austin Scott in GA-08 won without runoffs. John Barrow -- who beat back a challenge from the left from Regina Thomas in GA-12 (with a final score of 58-42, as Thomas's Savannah stronghold reported late) -- will need to wait for a runoff between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. Hank Johnson in GA-04 escaped his three-way primary against Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes without a runoff, too. Finally, two dark-red seats will feature GOP runoffs: GA-09's newly-elected Rep. Tom Graves will face off yet again against Lee Hawkins, who lost the special election, while the GA-07 race features a runoff between Rob Woodall and Jody Hice.

AR-Sen, AR-Gov: That internal poll from Blanche Lincoln didn't seem to do anything to stem the gusher of bad polls. One additional poll came out yesterday, from Ipsos on behalf of Reuters. It finds John Boozman leading Lincoln 54-35. On the plus side, it also looks at the Governor's race and finds that the Zata|3 poll finding only a 9-point lead for incumbent Dem Mike Beebe may have been a bit pessimistic. They find Beebe leading Republican challenger Jim Keet 57-35, more consistent with other polling.

IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth is out with a new introductory TV ad in the Indiana Senate race. It focuses on his blue collar roots and his experience as Sheriff; there's nary a mention of his time in Congress.

LA-Sen: It turns out David Vitter may actually be a better family-values role model than his newly minted GOP primary opponent. Faulkner character State Rep. Noble Ellington says that Chet Traylor was "significantly involved" in his divorce from his ex-wife Peggy McDowell, who then married Traylor. Traylor is currently romantically involved with the estranged wife of one of his stepsons via McDowell. The two stepsons have also filed a lawsuit against Traylor, accusing him of hiding information about his financial assets, as part of their probate case concerning McDowell's recent death without a will. (If someone wants to call me classist in the comments, please feel free, but I can't help but notice that Traylor's name is a homonym for a certain type of dwelling whose residents are stereotypically and often unfairly associated with such behavior.)

WV-Sen, WV-Gov: As expected (at least as expected since late last night), Shelly Moore Capito announced this morning that she won't run in the Senate special election in November, despite the nice Capito Carveout specifically designed by the legislature to facilitate her doing so. This leaves self-funding businessman John Raese the likely candidate. (In fact, he'd sounded likely to run in the primary with or without Capito, which may have been a major deterrent for Capito. She cited not wanting to run for two things at once, though, and the potential legal challenges to her doing so.) The primary is Aug. 28, so someone will need to fill the gap soon. West Virigina political analyst Hoppy Kercheval seemed to be the first to correctly diagnose the situation earlier yesterday, pointing out her risk-averse past.

There was one surprise, today, though: Joe Manchin drew a primary opponent, theoretically from the left. He was recently in the news for his staunch opposition to Mike Oliverio in WV-01; it's former SoS and former Rep. Ken Hechler. Hechler, by the way, is 95 years old, older even than Robert Byrd was, so, well, take that for what it's worth. Most of the speculation today instead seems to involve what happens with the Governorship. Succession laws aren't very clear (and there's no Lt. Gov.), but apparently State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be acting Governor in the event of a Manchin move to the Senate. The bigger question is when the election to fill that job would occur: in a 2011 special election, or in 2012 when Manchin's term would end anyway? Any discussion of GOP candidates for that begins and ends with Capito, but the Dem list is endless, ranging from temp Sen. Carte Goodwin to SoS Natalie Tennant, but almost certain to include state Treasurer John Perdue and state Sens. Jeff Kessler and Brooks McCabe.

AL-Gov: Following the lead of Artur Davis on the Democratic side, Bradley Byrne finally got around to endorsing Robert Bentley, sticking his knife in his back a few more times along the way for good measure. His parting shot was that Bentley still needs to answer questions about his relationship with the teachers' union, the Alabama Education Association.

CO-Gov: OK, so it's looking like if Scott McInnis does get kicked to the curb, no one is going to rally behind Dan Maes. His vaunted financial small-business acumen turned out to be a lot of inflated boasting, as newly-released tax returns reveal that his credit reporting business turns out to be a small operation and one that paid him earnings that put his family below the poverty line in 2005 and 2008. When asked how he made ends meet, he responded, "there are other ways to pay yourself than salary," without further elaboration. Well, that's true... are those ways legal, though?

HI-Gov: After padding things out as long as he could, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann finally resigned his day job today and launched his gubernatorial campaign in earnest. Hawaii has a "resign to run" law, so Hannemann wasn't officially running until now, despite having been transparently campaigning for many months in the Dem primary against Neil Abercrombie.

MA-Gov: Massachusetts Citizens for Life endorsed ex-Dem indie candidate Tim Cahill, rather than Republican Charlie Baker. Baker, from the moderate blue-blood side of the party, is pro-choice.

NV-Gov (pdf): PPP's Tom Jensen finds it ironic that somehow the Nevada GOP managed to pick the strongest possible Republican for the gubernatorial race and the weakest possible one for the Senate race. The telegenic and inoffensive Brian Sandoval is somehow managing to avoid having his GOP predecessor Jim Gibbons' unpopularity (25/63) rub off on him (Sandoval is at 42/31). Sandoval leads Rory Reid (who's at 34/48) by 52-38 in the general election.

RI-Gov: Bill Clinton will be appearing in Rhode Island on behalf of Democratic candidate Frank Caprio, last man standing in the Dem primary, on July 29. Caprio backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.

WI-Gov: Fundraising numbers in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race are out. Democrat Tom Barrett raised $2.39 million in the period of January through June, while GOPers Scott Walker and Mark Neumann raised $2.59 million and $1.96 million respectively (although some of Neumann's money seems to be out of his own pocket). In terms of CoH, it's Barrett (with no primary opposition) with $2.89 million, Walker with $2.57 million, and Neumann with $1.05 million.

IA-02: Marianette Miller-Meeks, the ophthalmologist who lost severely to David Loebsack in 2008, is back for a rematch, and seems to be in better shape this time (better, even, than Raul Labrador), if her own internal is to be believed. Her poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research gives Loebsack a 46-41 lead.

NJ-03: The Courier-Post wonders aloud "who the heck is Peter DeStefano?" That's because no one really seems to know. He's the independent Tea Party candidate in the 3rd, who hasn't done anything to promote himself and whose main claim to fame was polling in the double-digits in John Adler's recent internal poll where he was dominating Jon Runyan. This led, naturally, to GOP claims that DeStefano was some sort of plant from the Adler camp. DeStefano denies that, but isn't helping matters with his pattern of ducking publicity, not just among the teabagging rank and file but even with the Courier-Post too.

PA-11: Naturally, it's never a sign of strength for an incumbent to go negative on his challenger this early... but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Paul Kanjorski is in a heap of trouble in his rematch against Lou Barletta. But Kanjorski may feel he's not only better served by localizing, not nationalizing his race, but also that he has a target-rich environment for hits on Barletta, given Barletta's tenure as mayor of city of Hazleton, which has the highest unemployment in the state and whose local government is in danger of going into receivership.

TX-06: I suppose this is an example of karma at work. Rep. Joe Barton's campaign fund took a loss of $154K over the last three months because of hits to its investments... perhaps most significantly, because of losses at BP.

RNC: It seems like Michael Steele can say all the dumb things he wants and keep his job (fo shizzle), but could financial mismanagement be the straw that breaks the camel's back? The RNC has had to report new debts that were kept off the books by staffers loyal to Steele, and treasurer Randy Pullen (not a Steele ally) is going public alleging that the debts go much deeper than what was reported to the FEC, claiming that more than another $7 million in debt is out there. The dispute is likely to dominate matters at the RNC's annual meeting in two weeks. This also leads to speculation that American Crossroads, the Karl Rove 527 operation that finally seemed to kick into high gear last month, will be the de facto main source for independent expenditures this year while the RNC sputters.

House: Well, it looks like we're stuck with 435 for the foreseeable future. A federal district court ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that claimed that only 435 seats was unconstitutional under 14th Amendment grounds, because of malapportionment between different states (i.e. Montana and Wyoming each getting one Rep., despite their population differences).

Rasmussen:
KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
MN-Gov: Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 35%
MN-Gov: Matt Entenza (D) 37%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc): 43%, John Kasich (R) 48%

Discuss :: (140 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 7/12 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 4:14 PM EDT

CO-Sen: Isn't this the second time this has happened in about a month? Tom Tancredo says something ridiculous, Republican candidate with an eye on the general repudiates the statement, then walks back the repudiation once he realizes that the teabaggers' widdle feewings might get hurt. This time it was Ken Buck (on whose behalf Tancredo called Barack Obama the "greatest threat to the United States today" last week); he might have been helped along in his flip-flopping after Jane Norton, who's losing the primary because Buck outflanked her on the right, started going on about how she agreed with Tancredo,.

FL-Sen: Marco Rubio's having a good day so far: he rolled out a ridiculously big fundraising number for the second quarter: $4.5 million raised. No mention of his CoH, though. (All eyes turn to Charlie Crist, though, for his first report after switching to an indie bid, to see whether that shrank or expanded his pool of donors.) Rubio's second bit of good news is an endorsement from Crist's former right-hand-man, temporary Sen. George LeMieux. (Since LeMieux reportedly has designs on Bill Nelson's seat, and he seems to prefer running as a Republican and not on the Crist For Florida line, what else is he going to do, though?)

NH-Sen: I know, I know, straw poll, terrible gauge of broad public support, take with salt, bla bla bla. Still, here's a barometer of where the hardcore Live Free or Die crowd currently stands: Ovide Lamontagne dominated the straw poll at the Taxpayer Reunion Picnic, an annual gathering of those who were teabagging long before it was cool. He won 109 to 74 over Jim Bender, a rich guy who's going the crazy viral ad route. Establishment candidate Kelly Ayotte and moderate outsider Bill Binnie were at 23 and 10.

WA-Sen: Clint Didier, apparently aware of the stink lines of rank hypocrisy radiating off him, said that he's swearing off farm subsidies in the future. (Seeing as how it made him look like the worst possible caricature of the teabaggers' mantra of "I hate the gub'ment! Except when it's giving me money for doing nothing!") Apparently that was enough absolution for Rep. Ron Paul's satisfaction, as he threw his backing behind Didier this weekend.

WV-Sen: Rep. Shelly Capito Moore is at least honest about being scared about running for Senate (almost certainly against highly popular Gov. Joe Manchin), although she isn't couching it in terms of being afraid of Manchin per se, instead saying "I'm afraid to lose momentum that I think I provide for the state." At any rate, she says she'll make her (seeming unlikely) decision whether to run in the next few days, probably coinciding with the clarification on the election's when and how, to be decided in a July 15 legislative special session.

AZ-Gov: Ain't that a kick in the head? State Treasurer Dean Martin, who was regarded as something of a frontrunner when he jumped into the GOP primary earlier this year, is suspending his campaign, ostensibly because he didn't want to be a distraction to Gov. Jan Brewer as she fights lawsuits over SB 1070. In reality, Martin never really caught fire, first when rich self-funder Owen Buz Mills grabbed the not-Brewer mantle and then, mostly, when Brewer suddenly became belle of the right-wing ball when she signed SB 1070.

FL-Gov: Bill McCollum apparently didn't want to be touting his fundraising numbers, but they're out anyway, thanks to a court filing pertaining to Rick Scott's challenge to the state public financing system. At any rate, McCollum's sitting on a paltry $800K in cash, a mere blip compared to what Scott can pull out of his own wallet. Of course, Scott could still pull defeat out of the jaws of victory, by antagonizing pretty much the entire RPOF by trying to hang ex-state party chair Jim Greer around McCollum's neck... and by staking his pro-life credentials on a family who are loudly preferring that he shut up about them.

GA-Gov: InsiderAdvantage, which offered its poll of the GOP primary last week, has a matching Dem poll today. The question for Dems isn't whether Roy Barnes gets the most votes but whether he avoids a runoff, and they seem to err on the side of "no runoff:" Barnes is at 59, with Thurbert Baker at 15, and Dubose Porter and David Poythress both at 2, behind someone by the name of Bill Bolton (at 3). Meanwhile, on the GOP side, it seemed like something of an oversight that this endorsement hadn't happened before, but Sarah Palin finally added Karen Handel to the ever-growing list of Mama Grizzlies. UPDATE: Thurbert Baker just got a top-tier endorsement, from Bill Clinton. It may be too late for that to matter much, though, because at this point Baker needs to not only win all the undecideds but peel away a significant number of Barnes voters. (H/t TheUnknown285.)

MI-Gov: Motor City endorsements aplenty in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Michigan: Andy Dillon got the backing of former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer, who many observers thought would have made the strongest candidate had he run. Virg Bernero got endorsements from Detroit's two House members, John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

MN-Gov: Republican nominee Tom Emmer seems to have dug a large hole for himself with his proposal to start including tips toward restaurant servers' minimum wage requirement (which has the effect of slashing their hourly base pay); he's planning on doing a "listening tour" with servers as atonement. Also adding to Emmer's worries is blowback from his Sarah Palin endorsement, which helped him upset Marty Seifert at the GOP convention but is now already being used as a cudgel in general election advertising (courtesy of Matt Entenza). Meanwhile, Entenza's Democratic rival Margaret Anderson Kelliher is running her first TV spot; the total buy is for only about $50K, though.

NE-Gov: Democrats in Nebraska seem to be actively considering just punting the ball, rather than trying to find a replacement candidate for nominee Mark Lakers. On the plus side, that would free up local Democratic money for other ventures (like the race in NE-02), in what was destined to be a thorough loss even with Lakers in the race. On the other hand, Tom White's challenge to Lee Terry would probably benefit from having, well, something at the top of the ballot.

PA-Gov: If Tom Corbett is trying to position himself as a moderate for the general election, well, this isn't the way. He's publicly using the Sharron Angle line of argumentation that unemployment benefits cause more unemployment, because, naturally, people would rather live on their meager checks than go out and get one of those many abundant jobs that are out there. The ads write themselves... presuming the Democrats ever get around to actually writing them.

TN-Gov: A mysterious 527 (is there any other kind?) has emerged to pour money into the Tennessee GOP primary. There's no word on who's the power behind the throne for Tennesseans for a Better Tomorrow, but they'll be advertising on behalf of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who's back in third in the polls and needs a surrogate to do the dirty work of negative advertising against Bill Haslam.

AZ-03: Jon Hulburd's fundraising (and self-funding ability) is the main thing keeping this red-district open seat race at least somewhat on the map for the Dems; he's announcing $250K raised last quarter. (No word on CoH.)

CO-04: Freshman Rep. Betsy Markey had a strong quarter, raising $530K and sitting on $1.5 million CoH. In this Republican-leaning district, she'll need every penny of it to get through this year.

KS-04: Democratic State Rep. Raj Goyle, whose fundraising skills have put this dark-red open seat onto the map, is out with an introductory TV spot. Seems a little earlier for that, doesn't it? We'd guess that he's concerned about the primary (remember that there was a SurveyUSA poll a few weeks back that showed him not that far ahead of Some Dude with, well, a more 'Merican sounding name) and not wanting to go the route of historical footnote Vic Rawl.

MO-08: Tommy Sowers, if nothing else, is showing a lot of hustle in his long-shot bid against GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson in this dark-red rural district. He says he's passed the $1 million mark for funds raised over the total cycle (nothing specific on 2Q or CoH, though).

NJ-03: Democratic freshman Rep. John Adler seems to be putting some fundraising distance between himself and Jon Runyan. Adler raised $415K in 2Q to break the $2 million mark for CoH, while Runyan has about $500K in cash.

NY-01: Randy Altschuler's got a whole lotta cash: he's reporting $1.8 million CoH. A lot of that is coming right of the Altschuler family piggy bank, though. He raised a decent $257K last quarter, but loaned himself another $500K on top of that.

OH-16: Yikes! GOP nominee Jim Renacci must have some deep-pocketed connections from the high-stakes world of Arena Football, because he's reporting $725K raised last quarter. (No word on CoH.)

PA-04: This is kind of a small haul to be touting (touting may not be the right word, actually, when even your own campaign adviser calls it "not half bad"), but maybe it's a good amount when you weren't even supposed to have won the primary in the first place. Keith Rothfus, who blasted establishment fave Mary Beth Buchanan in the GOP primary, says he has $200K CoH (up from $157K in his pre-primary report ... no word on what he actually raised).

VA-05: Finally, here's the delicious cherry on top of the shit sundae of fundraising reports: Tom Perriello announces that he raised $660K last quarter, giving him $1.7 million CoH. No word yet from Robert Hurt, but with $121K on hand in his May 19 pre-primary report, I can imagine it's not in Perriello's ballpark. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an interesting compare-and-contrast enterprise in how Perriello and fellow vulnerable freshman Dem Glenn Nye are approaching their re-elections (Perriello emphasizing his base, Nye emphasizing his independence); clearly, based on these numbers, playing to the base can pay off, at least at the bank.

CA-LG (pdf): We're still sweeping up from that last installment of the Field Poll. In the Lt. Governor's race, there's surprisingly good news for Dems, with Gavin Newsom looking solid against appointed GOPer Abel Maldonado, leading 43-34. The Attorney General results aren't that surprising: Republican Los Angeles Co. DA Steve Cooley has a narrow edge over SF DA Kamala Harris, 37-34.

Illinois: It looks like we'll never have another Scott Lee Cohen scenario again (or for that matter, probably not even another Jason Plummer scenario). Pat Quinn signed into law new legislation requiring, from now on, that Governor and Lt. Governor tickets are joined together before the primary, not after.

Rasmussen:
IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 30%, Dan Coats (R) 51%
MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 46%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 47%

Discuss :: (126 Comments)

MN-Gov: EMILY's List Head Tweets That Dayton, Entenza Are "Lazy Men" - Then Deletes It

by: DavidNYC

Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:52 AM EDT

Stephanie Schriock, a former campaign manager for Al Franken and Jon Tester (as well as Tester chief-of-staff), became the new head of EMILY's List earlier this year. Her organization is supporting state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. Kelliher is running against two men for the Democratic nomination, former Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza. Last Thursday, Schriock tweeted:

It's nearly MAKction time in #MNGov & I can't wait to hear the gr8 things that @MAKminnesota will accomplish. Better than those #lazy$ men.

If you click the link, you'll notice that she since deleted that tweet (which was up for, I believe, at least a day). But there's no acknowledgement or apology on her Twitter account.

Discuss :: (25 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 6/23 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM EDT

KY-Sen: The Louisville Courier-Journal has something of a compendium of Rand Paul's Greatest Hits, selecting the dodgiest bits from his public appearances from the last decade. While the whole thing's worth a look, the highlight most likely to attract the most attention is his criticisms of the current health care system and how it "keeps patients from negotiating lower prices with their doctors." Bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack...

LA-Sen: A key David Vitter aide has resigned after his long rap sheet was revealed, perhaps most significantly that he pled guilty in 2008 to charges associated with a "knife-wielding altercation" with an ex-girlfriend, as well as that he's still wanted on an open warrant in Baton Rouge on DWI charges. Perhaps most disturbingly, this was an aide that Vitter had been assigned to "oversee women's issues."

MO-Sen: I'll bet you'd forgotten that Roy Blunt had a teabagging primary challenger, in the form of state Sen. Roy Purgason (I had). Well, Purgason wants you to know that, despite complete silence from the DeMint/RedState/CfG/FreedomWorks axis, he's still hanging in there; he just rolled out an endorsement from one of his Senate colleagues, Matt Bartle.

NV-Sen: Well, this doesn't look good for John Ensign. Staffers, in depositions, have told the Senate Ethics Committee that, yes, they knew that the one-year lobbying ban was being broken when they helped set up former Ensign staffer and cuckolded husband Doug Hampton with a cushy lobbying gig.

NY-Sen-B: After Quinnipiac didn't even bother polling him this week, Joe DioGuardi (who holds the Conservative ballot line and its trying to petition into the GOP primary) wants you to know he's still in this thing. He released an internal poll from the ubiquitous POS showing that he's within 11 points of Kirsten Gillibrand (49-38), and, more plausibly, that he has a big edge in the GOP primary, at 21 against Bruce Blakeman's 7 and David Malpass at 3.

OR-Sen: Rasmussen has been working hard to convince people that there just might be a competitive race in Oregon for Ron Wyden, against little-known law professor Jim Huffman. Looking to head that off at the pass, Wyden rolled out an internal poll today from Grove Insight that should be a bucket of cold water for the Huffman camp: Wyden leads 53-23.

CA-Gov: I'm not sure how much of this is Politico just, as is its wont, looking for drama where there isn't much, and how much of this is genuine discontent. But they have an article today about an increasing sense among Dem insiders of wondering when Jerry Brown is going to drop the Zen approach and, if not attack Meg Whitman, at least work on some of the infrastructural aspects of the campaign.

CT-Gov: Ned Lamont got a key labor endorsement, from the state's largest teachers' union, the Connecticut Education Association. Lamont and Dan Malloy have split the endorsements from the various trade unions. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Tom Foley got an endorsement that may help him with that all-important demographic bloc of Massachusetts expatriates; ex-Gov. William Weld gave Foley his backing.

MI-Gov: Peter Hoekstra got an endorsement from his next-door neighbor in the House, outgoing (and considerably more moderate) Rep. Vern Ehlers, who had earlier said he wouldn't endorse but qualified that by saying "If there is an exceptional candidate that appears to be lagging" he'd endorse. Hoekstra in fact does seem to be lagging, facing a seeming surge from AG Mike Cox in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

MN-Gov: This seems odd; when she pulled the plug on her campaign after the DFL convention, Ramsey Co. DA Susan Gaertner said she didn't want to get in the way of the historic prospect of a female governor and didn't want to be a spoiler for Margaret Anderson Kelliher. So what did she do today? She endorsed Matt Entenza in the DFL primary instead.

NM-Gov (pdf): Magellan (a Republican pollster, but one who've started releasing a lot of polls where they don't have a candidate) is out with a poll of the New Mexico governor's race, and like several other pollsters are finding the Diane Denish/Susana Martinez race to be in tossup territory. They find the Republican Martinez leading Denish 44-43. There's a huge gender gap here: women support Denish 48-36, while men support Martinez 53-36. One other item from the crosstabs, which either casts some doubt on the findings or else is the key to why Martinez may win this: while Martinez is losing in Albuquerque-based NM-01, she's actually winning in NM-03 (45-41), the most liberal of the state's three districts but also the most-heavily Latino.

AL-07: Local African-American organizations (the same ones who threw their backing to Ron Sparks in the gubernatorial primary) seem split on what do to in the runoff in the 7th. The Alabama New South Coalition (who'd backed Earl Hilliard Jr. in the primary) has now endorsed Terri Sewell, while the Alabama Democratic Conference is backing Shelia Smoot.

OH-05: Rep. Bob Latta languishes as one of the GOP's most obscure back-benchers, but he's in the news because of two different things that happened at a town hall meeting. First, he went birther-agnostic at the meeting in response to a participant's questions, only to try to walk that back later when talking to a reporter. And second, he didn't immediately respond to another participant's suggestion that the President be "shot in the head."

OK-02: State Sen. Jim Wilson is challenging Rep. Dan Boren in the Democratic primary in the 2nd; he's out with an internal poll from Lake Research with a dismal topline (Boren leads 62-17) but with better numbers on the "informed ballot." The topline numbers aren't that different from Boren's own internal poll released last week. Still, between Boren releasing an internal, airing an anti-Wilson ad, and rolling out an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it's clear Boren is taking the threat seriously.

Census: The Census Bureau is out this week with its 2009 population estimates of the nation's cities, the last estimate it'll provide before releasing the numbers from the actual 2010 count. Perhaps most notably, they found the population of New York City is up another 45,000 over the last year. NYC's growth over the last decade accounts for two-thirds of the state's population growth over the last decade; as we've discussed before, this means that in the next round of redistricting (Congressional, but especially legislative) the city is going to continue to gain strength at the expense of dwindling Upstate.

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MN-Gov: Dayton Leads DFL Primary, Beats Emmer

by: Crisitunity

Fri Jun 18, 2010 at 1:11 PM EDT

SurveyUSA for KSTP (6/14-16, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parens):

Mark Dayton (DFL): 39
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 26
Matt Entenza (DFL): 22
Undecided: 11
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Mark Dayton (DFL): 38 (34)
Tom Emmer (R): 35 (42)
Tom Horner (IP): 12 (9)
Undecided: 15 (15)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL): 33 (33)
Tom Emmer (R): 35 (41)
Tom Horner (IP): 12 (9)
Undecided: 21 (17)

Matt Entenza (DFL): 33 (31)
Tom Emmer (R): 37 (42)
Tom Horner (IP): 12 (10)
Undecided: 18 (16)
(MoE: ±2.5%)

The newest SurveyUSA poll of the Minnesota governor's race shows an unlikely political comeback underway: ex-Sen. Mark Dayton, who retired in 2006 because few people expected him to be able to win re-election, is now the favorite in the DFL primary against DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and also the only Dem currently beating Republican Tom Emmer.

It's a better set of numbers for the Dems than the ones put up in the previous SurveyUSA poll, where Emmer had a substantial lead in the midst of a post-convention bounce. These numbers instead look much closer to the more recent MPR poll, which had Dayton beating Kelliher by 10 in the primary and Emmer by 4 in the general (while Emmer narrowly beat MAK and Entenza). The previous SurveyUSA poll was distinguished by much demographic weirdness in the crosstabs, but today's poll has many of the same oddities (the Democratic primary sample in today's poll, for instance, is only 34% liberal, is only 56% in the Twin Cities, and actually has 22% Tea Party supporters in it, while those 18-34 year olds still continue to be big Emmer backers)... so I suspect there is some real movement away from Emmer as his bounce fades, rather than merely a more favorable sample.

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