• CA-Sen: Despite getting only a small vote share in the GOP Senate primary this year (as conservatives decided to go with the slightly-more-electable Carly Fiorina), Chuck DeVore is talking Senate again, for 2012, when Dianne Feinstein will presumably run for re-election. Or is he? All he's saying is that he's likely to run in 2012, but hasn't decided what office. Senate is the only thing that's available, though, which makes his statement seem kind of strange (unless he's talking about trying to rejoin the state Assembly). If Barbara Boxer could still win by 10 points in a terrible year, the more-popular Feinstein in a presidential year is an even more daunting target, meaning that DeVore may be the only prominent GOPer crazy enough to take on the task.
• MA-Sen: Nobody really has any idea whether or not Vicki Kennedy plans to run for Senate -- she'd probably have a massive field-clearing effect in the Dem primary if she did -- but Joan Vennochi is seeing some signs of the groundwork for a run, looking at Kennedy's stepped-up routine of public appearances around the state.
• OH-Sen: Rep. Jim Jordan had probably been the GOPer most associated with a potential run against Sherrod Brown this cycle, but now he's publicly saying that he's "leaning heavily against" the run. He has a plum job coming up as head of the right-wing caucus (the Republican Study Committee), which is often a leadership springboard, and given his ultra-safe district, that may be a more appealing track than rolling the dice on a Senate run. Auditor and soon-to-be Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (who you may recall got a few weeks of Senate speculation in 2009 when conservatives were casting about for someone more charismatic and less wonky than Rob Portman) may be next in line.
PPP is out with its primary numbers for the GOP side, too, and they find that Jordan was actually in first place among those few people who actually know him. It's one of those everybody-but-the-kitchen-sink fields where the guy with the name rec winds up winning out: Incoming AG and ex-Sen. Mike DeWine (who's quite unlikely to run, given his new job) leads at 27, with ex-SoS Ken Blackwell at 17, new SoS Jon Husted at 11, Jordan at 10, Taylor at 7, Rep. Steve LaTourette at 6, new Treasurer Josh Mandel at 5, and state Sen. Kevin Coughlin at 2.
• PA-Sen: Quinnipiac's new poll of the Pennsylvania Senate turned out to not be that revealing, seeing as how they only testing Bob Casey Jr. against Generic R. (Although they can be forgiven, given the paucity of GOP candidates willing to reveal themselves yet.) At any rate, Casey is in good shape, although the percentage of people with no opinion seems strangely high, maybe reflective of his low-key nature. He beats Generic R 43-35, and has an approval of 39/29 (55/16 among Dems, 28/42 among GOPers, and 36/30 among indies).
• House: Politico has another list of possible rematches among the ranks of defeated Dems. Some of these you're probably already familiar with (Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, Phil Hare, and Alan Mollohan(?!?)), but other names now weighing another bid include Dina Titus, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, and Bobby Bright. Mark Schauer says he's waiting to see what the GOP-held Michigan legislature does to his district, and Ron Klein is waiting to see how his district responds to Allen West.
• NY-St. Sen.: Craig Johnson lost his case concerning the result in SD-7 (in which the balance of the state Senate hangs) at the Appellate Division level, who found there wasn't a basis for a full hand recount. Johnson is still planning to appeal to the Court of Appeals. (In New York, for some screwed-up reason, the Supreme Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court. Also, hamburgers eat people.)
• Switchers: Courtesy of the Fix's Aaron Blake, here's a list from GOPAC of all the state legislators who've switched parties in the last month, if you're having trouble keeping track. There's a list of 20, although almost all come from three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana). Also an interesting note: we've actually found someone who just switched from the GOP to the Democrats, although you have to go even further into the weeds: Luzerne County (in Pennsylvania) Commissioner Steve Urban. Before you get too excited, though, the move seems to be mostly driven out of personal pique stemming from Urban's recent loss in a state Senate race.
• California: It looks like California's switch to a Washington-style "top two" primary is a done deal. It survived a court challenge, with the state Supreme Court refusing to block a challenge to two of its provisions. (One of the provisions is one way in which it'll differ from Washington: in California, party affiliation can be listed only if one belongs to a party that's officially recognized by the state, while in Washington, you can list yourself as belonging to whatever crazy made-up party you want.)
• CfG: The Club for Growth is issuing one of its litmus test warnings, saying that primaries will result for GOPers who defy its will... and it's over one of the less controversial things on the current docket: the omnibus spending bill (which contains... gasp!... earmarks.)
• Votes: The House, as you're probably well aware, easily passed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell yesterday (although its Senate future is hazy; ask again later). The 15 Dem "no" votes are mostly Blue Dogs in socially conservative districts (with nine of them not coming back, either via loss or retirement), with one key exception: Artur Davis, still seeming completely intent on maxing out on his frequent douchebag miles before leaving. The 15 GOP "yes" votes are more interesting, a mix of departing moderates (Castle, Djou, Cao, Ehlers), remaining moderates in well-educated (and presumably low homophobia) districts (Biggert, Reichert, Dent, Platts), GOPers with substantially gay constituencies (Bono Mack, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart... and we can double-count Cao), die-hard libertarians (Paul, Flake, Campbell), and in his own category, David Dreier.
• WATN?: Dede Scozzafava, perhaps as a reward for, in her own round-about way, giving us the gift of Bill Owens in NY-23, is in talks to get a job in the incoming Cuomo administration. The exact position hasn't been defined, but will be something about "streamlining" government.
• Demographics: Here's an interesting piece in the Democratic Strategist that does some demographic slice-and-dice of the House seats where Dems lost. Some of it isn't a surprise (losses occurred where race and education overlap, as the white working class particularly turned right), but it adds an important variable to the mix that nobody else seems to have noticed: manufacturing. There's a definite correlation between losses and how reliant the district is on a manufacturing economy.
CO-Sen: Clinton alert! The Big Dog is doing a rally for Sen. Michael Bennet in Denver on Oct. 18th. Interestingly, Bill had endorsed Andrew Romanoff in the primary.
CT-Sen: Open seat fans, start getting ready for the 2022 cycle! In a weird attempt to channel 1994, Linda McMahon says she will serve a maximum of two terms. Uh, okay.
NY-Gov: The Carl Paladino charm offensive continues:
Flame-throwing Republican Carl Paladino erupted again, declaring yesterday that being gay is "not the example that we should be showing our children."
"I don't want [children] brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option - it isn't," Paladino said to applause at a meeting with Hasidic Jewish leaders in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section.
In a version of the speech distributed by a rabbi, the anti-gay rant went further, charging there is "nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual."
Getting less play, but likely to damage him among the very community he was trying to reach out to, were Paladino's remarks attacking Orthodox Jewish "power brokers" who supposedly have conned key rabbis.
AZ-07: While my feeling is that Raul Grijalva probably does have a competitive race on his hands, I'm not sure this Politico piece really adds much in the way of new news. All we have is that one Magellan poll which showed the race tight, and a lot of whispers. It's almost like Politico is holding up a mirror at the edge of a rippling pond and - lo and behold! - making the ripples appear to be twice as broad as they actually are. The only real tidbit here is that Rep. Xavier Becerra, a member of leadership, recently exhorted Congressional Hispanic Caucus members to give to Grijalva.
MI-07: Former Rep. Joe Schwarz once again endorsed Mark Schauer, the man who beat Tim Walberg - aka the man who beat Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary in 2006. Schwarz also backed Schauer in 2008 (and previously backed Walberg's opponent Brian Rooney in this year's Republican primary).
NJ-03: This is the kind of thing which makes the bedwetters at newspaper editorial boards wring their hands like mad men, but as far as I'm concerned, it's just good politics. The Courier-Post has a detailed story explaining how Democrats helped mysterious teabagger Peter DeStefano get on the ballot. No one except us junkies care about process stories, so I think Dems should be doing a lot more of this kind of thing.
NY-02: NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg heads outside city and party lines to endorse Democratic Long Island Rep. Steve Israel.
SC-05: Yet another Republican hypocrite. John Spratt's been hitting Mick Mulvaney for his involvement in a real estate development deal that received a $30 million loan from Lancaster County and then went south - but not before Mulvaney flipped the property for a profit. Now Mulvaney says, "I believe small business needs government to get out of the way." Spratt fired back: "When he needed $30 million, he didn't go to his bank, he didn't go to private sources, he went to county government." Spratt's also been running an ad on this issue.
TX-17: Man, yet another similar story. Here Dave Michaels of the Dallas Morning News' lede says it all: "The Republican challenger who has assailed Rep. Chet Edwards for supporting taxpayer bailouts once led his company through a bankruptcy that let it avoid a $7.5 million debt to the U.S. government." The piece goes on to note that (predictably) Flores "insists that private companies shouldn't rely on the government for subsidies or financing." Of course he does.
Chamber of Commerce: The LA Times has a piece noting that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been digging deep to help a bunch of Blue Dogs late this cycle, including TV ads on behalf of Jim Marshall (GA-08), Glenn Nye (VA-02), Frank Kratovil (MD-01), Travis Childers (MS-01), and Bobby Bright (AL-02). These spots are taking the form of "issue" ads so as to avoid election-related regulations - you can see one example here.
DGA: The DGA says it raised $10 million in the third quarter and has $13 million on hand. Allied groups have some $3 million in cash. Politico says the RGA is expected to top these numbers.
DE-Sen: A shadowy third-party group has a funny new ad out supporting Zerata the Enchantress... uh, I mean, Christine O'Donnell
IL-Sen: A new spot from MoveOn hits a topic Dems nationwide have been making a big issue of recently: foreign money being used to potentially support Chamber of Commerce election activities
KY-Sen: Another Jack Conway ad hitting Rand Paul for his $2,000 Medicare deductable scheme - and his desire to increase payments to doctors
LA-Sen: Wow. This must-see ad from David Vitter takes the cake as by far the most racist ad of the 2010 cycle
WV-Sen: Joe Manchin attacks John Raese for the "hicky" ad casting call - and the fact that Raese wife is registered to vote in Florida and can't even vote for her husband. A second ad could have been written and produced by Republicans
SC-Gov: Vince Sheheen goes after Nikki Haley for double-speak on economic issues, though I think it tries to cram too many things in, and the drum-beat kind of interferes with the audio
IL-17: The conservative American Future Fund says they're dropping half a million bucks on a new ad campaign targeting Rep. Phil Hare - here's what they're spending it on
LA-02: Joe Cao has a pretty good ad hitting Cedric Richmond on ethical issues
MA-10: Dem Bill Keating has a good ad nailing Jeff Perry for the illegal strip-search business that took place on his watch as a police sergeant
MN-01: GOPer Randy Demmer has a comparison spot, going after Tim Walz for the usual (healthcare, cap-n-trade, etc.) and then finishing with some positive bio-ish crap
PA-08: Patrick Murphy attacks Mike Fitzpatrick for raising property taxes
SC-02: Rob Miller goes after Joe Wilson for spending taxpayer money on travel to Hawaii and France
• DE-Sen: One more Real World alum in the political news: that's first-season vet Eric Neis debating Christine O'Donnell in this new 90s video that's surfaced. Ooops, I'm burying the lede: the point of the video is that O'Donnell answers in the affirmative when asked if she wants to stop the whole country from having sex.
• KY-Sen: Benenson Strategy Group for DSCC (9/14-19, likely voters, early Sept. in parentheses):
Jack Conway (D): 42 (45)
Rand Paul (R): 45 (47)
Undecided: 13 (8)
The newest Benenson poll from the DSCC shows things pretty stable in the Kentucky race, with Jack Conway hanging back within striking distance of Rand Paul. They also find Conway leading 48-45 among those who actually know both candidates (and find Paul with greater name recognition: 84%, to 72% for Conway).
• MO-Sen: The DSCC is also out with an internal poll in Missouri, one of the other races where they'd like you to know they're still playing offense, courtesy of Garin Hart Yang (no mention of the dates, MoE, or any of that useful stuff, though... just a leak to the Fix). The poll has Robin Carnahan trailing Roy Blunt 45-41 (and only 41-40 without leaners). Roy Blunt, meanwhile, is engaging in typical frontrunner behavior, trying to limit debates (to avoid any grist for the negative ad mill); there will only be two debates, neither in a network TV setting.
• NC-Sen: National Research for Civitas (9/15-17, likely voters, 7/19-21 in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 29 (37)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (44)
Mike Beitler (L): 3 (3)
Undecided: 17 (15)
Thanks to a big lead with unaffiliateds (48-21), Richard Burr has a big lead in North Carolina. With a big financial disparity, unless there's some outside assistance, that lead's probably going to continue (although I'd be surprised if it's actually a full 20 points). One other interesting note: Civitas hires out third-party pollsters, and this is their first poll since they switched to Republican internal pollster National Research.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The only evidence we have of this poll is a Jon Ralston tweet, but apparently there's a poll rumbling around behind the scenes from a reputable Republican pollster that gives a 5-point lead to Harry Reid, 42-37 (among RVs). That's quite plausible; the real shock here, though, is that it also finds Rory Reid trailing only by 6 in the governor's race.
• WV-Sen: The big news here is probably that the NRSC is plowing $1.2 million into this race, hoping for the upset (as this race seems to be increasingly taking the place of Washington and California) or at least to pull DSCC fire away from elsewhere. That's just to run one new ad, tying Joe Manchin to Barack Obama; part of the expense is that the ad is running in the DC market, so it can reach the Panhandle. (You can see the IE filing here.)
One more plus, though, for Joe Manchin, is that he's getting the NRA's endorsement (one more in a seemingly endless parade of ConservaDems getting backed this week). Also, some details about John Raese are surfacing that may lead to ads that write themselves: photos of his marble-driveway Florida mansion, where it turns out his family lives full-time (presumably because of Florida's big juicy homestead exemption, but also because of the schools, as he wants a school system he "believes in")... and Raese's own description, in a radio interview yesterday, of how hard he worked for his riches:
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
• AZ-Gov: Here's a look at the financial situation in Arizona, where both gubernatorial candidates are relying on clean elections public financing in their bids. Dem Terry Goddard has about $1 million left to spend, while Jan Brewer has $860K left. Goddard also spent more in the last reporting period, spending $477K to Brewer's $291K.
• MA-Gov: If you're shedding your main campaign strategist with 40 days to go, that's probably a sign that you're not going to win. That's what happened with the Tim Cahill camp, who said goodbye to John Weaver. Having seen Cahill's share plunge into the single digits, Weaver said (in a parting shot) at this point, Cahill's candidacy is just hurting Charlie Baker's chances.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (67)
Carl Paladino (R): 34 (22)
Rick Lazio (C) : 9 (NA)
Undecided: 6 (11)
I don't know if the Marist poll exactly qualifies as a tie-breaker in the New York gubernatorial race, but it's a likely voter poll (instead of an RV poll, like Siena), and it doesn't have that outlier-ish whiff that Quinnipiac had. Also adding to its potential credibility: it's about halfway between the two, if erring somewhat on the side of Andrew Cuomo's safety. (It looks like they'll release Senate numbers later, separately.)
• CA-47: This is the first time I've ever used the scary all-caps to put words in the mouth of a Democratic candidate, but Loretta Sanchez just sent up the alarm that THE VIETNAMESE ARE COMING FOR HER SEAT!!!1!! Not just Van Tran, but apparently all of them!!! I suppose that's a dog-whistle of sorts to her Latino base in this seat that has a Latino majority (though not a lot of actual voters among them) and a politically active Asian minority, where her Republican challenger is Vietnamese. Kind of a faceplant moment for Sanchez, who has had good outreach to the Vietnamese community in the past (up until now, I'd imagine) and has relied on their votes to stay in office.
• MI-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Gary McDowell (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Gary McDowell (D): 38
Dan Benishek (R): 41
Glenn Wilson (I): 12
Here are some not-bad numbers from an internal for Gary McDowell, showing this is one of the few Republican-leaning open seats where we're still in fighting shape right now. McDowell's offering some pushback against a Dan Benishek internal that gave Benishek a 39-25 lead in a race that also includes wealthy independent Glenn Wilson.
• MI-07: It's a little late in the game for ex-Rep. Tim Walberg to be jumping on the birther train (that's so 2009...) but he just said that he doesn't know if Obama was born in the U.S. Meanwhile, his incumbent Dem opponent, Mark Schauer, is out with an internal poll in response to the Rossman Group poll that gave a 4-point lead to Walberg. Schauer's poll, taken 9/21-22 by Myers Research, finds a mirror-image 4-point lead for Schauer, 49-45 (or if you'd prefer inclusion of all third-party candidates, he's up 45-43).
• NRCC: The NRCC is wading into six more districts that they haven't been in before, with IE ad buys. Most (except for WA-03) of these districts feel like "Lean Dem" districts right now, but where the GOP thinks it can make some inroads: Ike Skelton's MO-04, Chris Carney's PA-10, Steve Kagen's WI-08, Martin Heinrich's NM-01, and the open seats in MA-10 and WA-03.
• AFF: The financially-disadvantaged NRCC can't win this all on its own, so AFF is keeping up its IEs, too. They're going on the air in four new districts, two of which overlap the above list. They're hitting SD-AL ($360K), TX-17 ($117K), NM-01 ($290K), and WA-03 ($875K).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The softer side of Ken Buck? He's out with a positive ad with testimonials from senior citizens
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist simultaneously hits both his opponents on corruption issues in one ad, hitting Kendrick Meek's real estate dealing and Marco Rubio's enthusiastic use of RPOF credit cards
• NC-Sen: It seemed to work well the first time for Richard Burr, so the rocking chair guys are back for another round
• NV-Sen: The newest ad from Harry Reid hits Sharron Angle for not supporting requiring health insurers to cover mammograms and colonoscopies
• NY-Sen-A: Chuck Schumer's running his first ad of the cycle, a bio spot, on local cable
• PA-Sen: Pat Toomey's newest ad is a hard negative one linking Joe Sestak to Barack Obama; interestingly, it's not running in the Philadelphia market
• WA-Sen: Dem group Commonsense Ten is out with an anti-Dino Rossi ad throwing the kitchen sink at him, including the foreclosure seminars
• CA-Gov: The latest Meg Whitman opus attacks Jerry Brown over Oakland schools during his tenure as mayor
• CA-47: Loretta Sanchez launches a negative ad against Van Tran, featuring him asleep on the job (during an Assembly budget all-nighter)
• LA-03: Bet you'd forgotten there's still one race where the field isn't set? (There's still a GOP runoff here.) Anyway, Hunt Downer is out with an ad full of adorable babies... to make the point that Jeff Landry is insufficiently pro-life
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper engages in some fat-cat bashing, tying Mike Kelly to Wall Street
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 40%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 41%, Tom Emmer (R) 42%, Tom Horner (I) 9%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 34%, Mary Fallin (R) 60%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 33%, Nikki Haley (R) 50%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 48%
DE-Sen: Interesting - Mike Castle isn't ruling out a write-in bid. If he does pull the trigger, let's see if the NRSC and the Senate GOP caucus have the stomach to tell Castle to fuck off. It'd be a great test of their will - and their willingness to embrace Christine O'Donnell.
FL-Sen: Al Gore Alert! In a rare sighting on the campaign trail, Al Gore (still my president!) will headline a rally for Kendrick Meek in Tampa on September 30th. Have we seen Gore do events for any other candidates this cycle?
KY-Sen: Objectively pro-methamphetamine senate candidate Rand Paul keeps running into trouble over his views on drugs. Republican Clay County Sherriff Kevin Johnson endorsed Paul after Paul told him he supported Operation UNITE, a federally-funded anti-drug task force. Paul's hostility to UNITE, though, is what's gotten him into hot water in the first place - and amazingly enough, when asked to confirm his pledge to Johnson, Paul's campaign refused to back it up! I had always hoped/prayed/expected that Rand Paul was such a hardcore libertarian that he'd rigidly - and publicly - cling to beliefs that halfway-competent politicians would be smart enough to elide, deny, or just plain hide. I just figured it would be something like the gold standard, not, you know, meth.
Surprisingly, Paul hassmelled the glove belonging to a very different interest group, the neocons. They mistrust Paul's views on Israel and probably just on the general concept of randomly invading countries and killing people.
AR-Gov: That Ipsos poll which showed Blanche Lincoln "only" 14 points into her political grave also has a gubernatorial component. Dem Gov. Mike Beebe is beating Republican Jim Keet by a 55-37 margin among LVs. You want an enthusiasm gap? Beebe wins 58-30 among RVs. (It was 57-35 among RVs back in July.)
CO-Gov: God, I love the smell of ratfucking in the morning. So, we all know about Scott McInnis's now-legendary implosion thanks to his plagiarism/theft scandal, but Democrats had a big hand in consigning him to the dustbin of history. It turns out that a group called the Colorado Freedom Fund spent half a million bucks on ads blistering McInnis during the primary, in order to help bolster Dan Maes. The DGA was a big contributor to this effort, chipping in $150K, while unions and wealthy philanthropist Pat Stryker gave the rest. Excellent fucking work, guys.
MN-Gov: The RGA is funneling $428K to a pro-Tom Emmer group, while the DGA sent a quarter mil to an org helping Dem Mark Dayton.
TX-Gov: Rick Perry may not be the suckiest suck who ever sucked, but you'll have to agree that he is pretty sucky. The Texas Farm Bureau finally agrees, too. Though they've always endorsed him in the past (and have always endorsed Republicans for governor), they're giving up on his sorry ass this year and staying neutral in the race. (They previously endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison against him in the primary.) It probably didn't help that a Perry spokesman, in an attempt to bolster his boss's teabagger/secessionista cred, derided the bureau as "an insurance company that supported the bailout."
IL-14: We could call this the Hypocrisy State Project and still have tons to write about. The latest chapter in this never-ending saga is penned by Republican Randy Hultgren, who was responsible for marketing his investment firm's funds. One of the firm's offerings invested entirely in bailout-backed securities, which were described by one Wall Streeter as "an incredibly free lunch." This is a two-fer, because this fund was also based in the Cayman Islands, to take advantage of lax tax laws, of course.
MA-10: Massachusetts, at least, is one place where Republicans still need to run away from their own party in order to be electable. So it's no surprise to see Jeffrey Perry declare that he doesn't want Sarah Palin showing up in his district. (Don't worry, bud, I think you're safe.) Of course, Perry isn't exactly from the non-crazy wing of the Republican Party (to the extent there still is such a thing), since he has teabagger ties himself.
MI-07: Rossman Group/Team Telcom (9/20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Schauer (D-inc): 38
Tim Walberg (R): 42
NY-18: This interview with Jim Russell - remember him from yesterday? the guy whose writings have been favorably cited by the KKK? - is just brutal. He doesn't disavow anything. So we've gotta ask: Why isn't the press giving this guy the Alvin Greene treatment? After all, Greene's weirdest idea was to sell bobblehead dolls. Russell thinks there are too many Jews. Anyhow, the Westchester GOP is trying to get Russell off the ballot through legal means, and they say if they can't, they'll run a write-in candidate.
NY-19: A judge ruled against a group trying to knock Nan Hayworth off the Independence Party line for a lack of valid signatures. Hayworth gets to keep the line, while incumbent John Hall has the Working Families line.
NY-23: With the vote count all but completed, it looks like Matt Doheny is (still) the winner of the Republican primary, but Doug Hoffman ain't conceding yet. I guess he feels burned after what happened in the special election, where he tried to "un-concede" after some counting errors emerged (but still lost anyway). The vote count does not officially get certified until the 27th, but Doheny could declare victory (and/or Hoffman could concede) before then. Hoffman still hasn't said anything about how vigorously (if at all) he plans to wage war from the Conservative Party line.
PA-10: Another day, another NRA endorsement for a Dem. Chris Carney is the latest in a string of mostly-conservative Democrats to rack up the group's support, even though they labeled him a "true enemy" of guns just four years ago.
TN-09: Heh - the Memphis Flyer commissioned a poll by Yacoubian Research, which found Steve Cohen leading Charlotte Bergmann 66-23. There were only 205 respondents, and note that we previously flagged a Yacoubian poll of the primary for attempting to screen voters by asking them if they lived in the 9th CD - how many people actually know what district they live in, by number? But whatever, Steve Cohen ain't losing.
VA-09: Rick Boucher successfully got an ad by Americans for Job Security pulled off the air for making a misleading statements. The ad said "Rick Boucher supports Nancy Pelosi 96 percent of the time," but this claim was based on the Washington Post's "party voting" score, which Boucher rightly argued does not measure "support for Pelosi." (A good time to remind folks that it's much, much easier to get third-party ads yanked because stations are liable for defamation when they run these ads. Media outlets are immune from liability for candidate ads.)
SSP TV (by James L.):
LA-Sen: "Diaper" David Vitter hits Charlie Melancon for attending a fundraiser in Canada, of all places.
AR-01: Chad Causey's latest spot takes a shotgun approach to messaging, touting his heritage, his support for a balanced budget amendment and a paycut for Congress, while hitting Republican Rick Crawford over the bad kind of SSP and for his support of a 23% national sales tax
FL-22: Allen West takes on Ron Klein over a Florida Democratic Party mailer that boneheadedly revealed West's Social Security number
GA-08: Dem Rep. Jim Marshall goes heavy negative on GOP state Rep. Austin Scott on immigration - not once, but twice
MI-07: GOP douche Tim Walberg says that Dem Rep. Mark Schauer is spending America into ruin, and also makes the dubious claim that he "strongly supports" Social Security. The ad, a coordinated expenditure partially paid for by the RNC, is airing in the Lansing media market and cost $85,000.
MI-15: John Dingell goes negative on Republican Rob Steele over his support from the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Wall Street, while Steele has gone up with an ad of his own touting his record as a physician and poking Dingell over spending
NC-02: Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge's latest ad features the testimonials of locals who say that Etheridge saved their jobs
OH-12: Dem Paula Brooks touts her record on the Franklin County Commission while spilling marbles all over her kitchen island
OR-05: GOPer Scott Bruun will stop the spending... except when it comes to restoring Medicare cuts, apparently
SC-02: Libruhl Rob Miller and libruhl Nancy Pelosi will liberally kill all your jobs; meanwhile, Joe Wilson still sounds like he uses a speech synthesizer instead of a functional set of vocal cords. Seriously, what a creepy-sounding asshole.
VA-09: Republican Morgan Griffith plays a clip of Barack Obama saying "I love Rick Boucher" - four times in thirty seconds
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's gotta be wondering why all those former employees couldn't wait until after the November election to up and die. With the death two weeks ago of Lance McNaught still in the news, another WWE star, Luna Vachon, died over the weekend. An autopsy is scheduled, but the WWE paid for rehab for substance abuse for Vachon last year.
• KY-Sen: Democrat Jack Conway's out with his first TV ad for the general election. The ad buy, touting Conway's work against prescription drug abuse and child pornography as AG, is for about $150K. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is out with a doozy of a legislative proposal: to audit the nation's gold reserves. As with many things that come out of the gray area between ultra-libertarianism and black helicopters-territory, the "huh? why?" part is best answered by reading the comments on the article, which apparently suggest that our nation's gold supply actually been given away as collateral on all our debt to commercial banks/our Chinese overlords/the UN/the Bavarian Illuminati. Why is this getting filed under KY-Sen? Partly because those reserves are (allegedly!!!!1!) in Kentucky at Fort Knox, but also because at some point Rand Paul is going to inevitably get called on the carpet to say whether he agrees with dad's latest scheme.
• NC-Sen: Civitas is out with a new poll of the Senate race in the Tar Heel State, but it's an odd little critter, only polling "unaffiliated" voters. They seem to mirror the larger split statewide, with Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 39-32 (with 7 for Libertarian Michael Beitler). 34% of respondents had still never heard of Marshall. Burr is also out with his first TV ad of the cycle, focusing on his down-home-ness, presumably to ward off the "gone Washington" problem that sank Elizabeth Dole two years ago. The buy is for $578K (click the link to see the breakdown among the state's many media markets).
• NH-Sen: Ovide Lamontagne just got a big score: the endorsement of the Manchester Union-Leader, the state's largest newspaper and also one of the most consistently right-wing editorial pages anywhere. Newspaper endorsements can usually be shrugged off, but the Union-Leader's endorsement of Lamontagne in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary helped him pull of the surprise upset of Rep. Bill Zeliff. Can this help him in a four-way split, though, instead of just a two-way, especially when Kelly Ayotte and Bill Binnie have dramatically outspent him so far? Lamontagne is also finally hitting the airwaves with his first TV ad, with the primary approaching in just a couple weeks. (No dollar figure given, but it's only a one-week cable buy.)
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle just keeps handing gift after gift to Harry Reid, this time unfortunately timed to coincide with Katrina's 5th anniversary: video has surfaced from Angle's 2006 NV-02 bid in which she says she would have voted against Katrina relief funds. One other minor Nevada point, also courtesy of Jon Ralston: Clark County's GOP chair just resigned, leaving more disarray in the local Republican hierarchy as far as staying organized and disciplined for November.
• OH-Sen: The national Chamber of Commerce is out with a new positive ad touting Rob Portman, which is odd since Portman has enough money in the bank that he can pay his own way and then some. (The establishment, free-tradin' Portman is definitely their kind of guy, though, much more so than the teabaggers cluttering a number of other close Senate races.) NWOTSOTB.
• AL-05: Republican Mo Brooks (who blew out party-switching Parker Griffith in the GOP primary) has a decent, but not overwhelming, lead over Dem Steve Raby, at least according to his own internal courtesy of POS. Brooks leads 48-37; taking into consideration that it's an internal, this race isn't a likely pickup but certainly still on the table.
• KY-06: One other ad to consider today: Ben Chandler's out with another spot, this time going negative against local attorney Andy Barr, hitting him on the issue of the bad kind of SSP (social security privatization).
• MI-01, MI-03, MI-07: We Ask America is out with a trio of House district polls in Michigan. As is their usual modus operandi, the Republicans are in the lead. In the Dem-held open seat 1st, Dan Benishek leads Gary McDowell 45-29 (even WAA admits they expect that to tighten a lot, based on Benishek's name being in the news from the ultra-close GOP primary). In the reddish open-seat 3rd being vacated by GOPer Vern Ehlers, Justin Amash leads Patrick Miles 51-30. And the state's most vulnerable Dem incumbent, Mark Schauer trails ex-Rep. Tim Walberg in a rematch, 45-37.
• OH-17: "Trafican't" just got turned into "Trafican." Although there's no official word, supporters of ex-con ex-Rep. Jim Traficant are saying that re-canvassing of petitions has yielded enough valid signatures to get him on the ballot as an independent. He was only 20 shy, and they've found at least 27 new valid signatures. Traficant isn't likely to be much of a factor against incumbent Rep. Tim Ryan in this solidly blue district, though.
• AGs: I know I can rely on Louis Jacobson to go even deeper into the weeds than we here at SSP ever will. Writing for Governing magazine, he handicaps and encapsulates the nation's many state Attorney General races. He finds the Dems (who currenly have a 32-18 edge in AG positions) in danger of losing at least six seats this year, including Dem-held open seats in California, Arizona, and Georgia. One of the Dems' best (if only) offensive opportunities is Bill McCollum's old post in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times has a deeper profile of the race between Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber, and the Sarah Palin-backed Hillsborough Co. prosecutor Pam Bondi.
• Mayors: Here's a second poll in a week's time showing current Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty significantly trailing in his bid for re-election, against Democratic primary opponent Vincent Gray. The Washington Post finds Gray leading Fenty 53-36 among likely voters, or 49-36 among registered voters.
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 38%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 57%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 44%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 37%, Mary Fallin (R) 52%
• OK-Sen: Jim Rogers (D) 24%, Tom Coburn (R-inc) 67%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 19%, Jim DeMint (R) 63%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 48%, John Raese (R) 42%
• KS-Sen: In this social conservative-fiscal conservative battle for the soul of the GOP, 1st CD Rep. Jerry Moran prevailed over 4th Cd Rep. Todd Tiahrt by a narrow 50-45 margin. Each won big in his home congressional district, but Moran narrowly carried the neutral territory in between. This represents somewhat of a win for would-be rightwing kingmaker Jim DeMint, who endorsed Moran... over would-be rightwing kingmaker Sarah Palin, who endorsed Tiahrt. Moran starts as the presumptive favorite over Dem Lisa Johnston, who won her primary with 31% of the vote over publisher Charles Schollenberger. (JMD)
• KS-01 (R): With the last poll of the race from SurveyUSA showing the top three contenders tied, Growther (and Dodge City-area state Sen.) Tim Huelskamp pulled away from fellow state Sen. Jim Barnett and real estate broker Tracey Mann, earning a more comfortable-than-expected 35-25 win over Barnett. Mann finished in third with 21. Huelskamp, of course, was expected to be the most conservative of the bunch. (JMD)
• KS-02 (R): Great White Dope Lynn Jenkins survived an under-the-radar teabagging from Atchison-area state sen. Dennis Pyle, who unabashedly ran at Jenkins' already-conservative right flank. Jenkins gets her name added to the list of weak performing incumbents, at 57%. (JMD)
• KS-03: As expected, faux-moderate Overland Park state Rep. Kevin Yoder easily clinched the GOP nomination for the seat of the retiring Dennis Moore. Despite having aligned himself with the conservative faction in the Kansas legislature, he still earned 44% in this Johnson County-based district, where the KS GOP internecine war has traditionally benefited Dems in the past up and down the ballot. Patricia Lightner finished second with 37%; Yoder goes on to face Moore's wife, Stephene Moore, who clinched her own nomination without much trouble. (JMD)
• KS-04: RNC Committeeman Mike Pompeo easily secured the GOP nomination to replace Todd Tiahrt, scoring 39% against the pro-choice Planned Parenthood endorsed Jean Schodorf with 24%; she narrowly edged out Wink Hartman, who earned 23% and had seat-buying tendencies unseen this side of Meg Whitman. Up-and-coming Wichita State Rep. Raj Goyle - who lagged in an earlier poll - was easily nominated on the Dem side with 80% of the vote. (JMD)
• MI-Gov: Given a pretty clear ideological choice, Democrats opted for the loudly populist Lansing mayor Virg Bernero over centrist state House speaker Andy Dillon, 59-41. Bernero, who trailed in most polls until the last couple weeks, benefited from a late push from organized labor. He'll face an uphill battle in November against GOP winner Rick Snyder. The sorta-moderate Snyder benefited from a three-way split among conservatives out of the four viable candidates. While it's nice to know that Michigan's governor won't be a nut and that Peter Hoekstra got sent packing, Snyder, with his moderate appeal, is probably the toughest matchup of all the GOPers for Bernero in November. (C)
• MI-01 (R): This wound up being the closest major race of the night, if not all cycle. Right now, physician Dan Benishek leads Jason Allen by 14 votes, 27,078-27,064. (Our final projection of the night was for Benishek by 10 votes, so we were way off.) Assuming Benishek's lead survives, he'll face Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell for Bart Stupak's open seat. (Also worth noting: that Inside Michigan Politics poll that we derided for its small sample size foresaw a tie for Benishek and Allen, so they can feel vindicated too.) (C)
• MI-02 (R): Another close race happened in the Republican primary in the 2nd, to fill the dark-red open seat left by Peter Hoekstra. We may also be waiting a while before this race is formally resolved, as former state Rep. Bill Huizenga and former NFL player Jay Riemersma are both at 25%, with Huizenga with a 658-vote lead. State Sen. William Kuipers (22) and businessman Bill Cooper (19) were also competitive. (C)
• MI-03 (R): 30-year-old state Rep. Justin Amash, a favorite of the Club for Growth and local powerbroker Dick DeVos, won a surprisingly easy victory in the Republican primary over two less strident opponents, state Sen. Bill Hardiman and former Kent Co. Commissioner Steve Heacock, 40-24-26. There's been some speculation on whether the combination of hard-right Amash (in a district that Obama narrowly won, and that's only elected moderate Republicans like Vern Ehlers and, going way back, Gerald Ford) and well-connected Democratic opponent Patrick Miles might put this race on the map, but, well, probably not this year. (C)
• MI-06 (R): This race wasn't really too high on anyone's radar screens (we last mentioned it back in March), but incumbent Rep. Fred Upton was held to a surprisingly weak 57-43 primary win over ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who was last seen getting badly pummeled by Carl Levin in 2008's Senate race. Hoogendyk ran on a full 'bagger platform, hitting Upton for his votes in favor of TARP, No Child Left Behind, and S-CHIP. Upton's performance certainly wasn't inspiring, especially considering he outspent Hoogendyk by an absurd margin. (JL)
• MI-07 (R): Rooney eats it! Ex-Rep/'08 loser Tim Walberg handily dispatched attorney and Steelers family grandson Brian Rooney by 58-32 margin. Walberg will now advance to a rematch against Democrat Mark Schauer, who I expect is pleased by this result. (JL)
• MI-09 (R): Ex-state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski won the right to take on frosh Dem Rep. Gary Peters in this slightly Dem-tilting suburban seat. Rocky beat ex-Rep. Joe Knollenberg's former chief of staff, Paul Welday, by a convincing 42-28 margin, meaning that you can add Raczkowski's name to the list of Base Connect clients who successfully withstood a well-funded primary challenge. (JL)
• MI-12 (D): Veteran Dem Rep. Sander Levin easily beat back a challenge from his right, creaming term-limited state Sen. Michael Switalski by a 76-24 spread. Nothing to see here, folks. (JL)
• MI-13 (D): Two years after escaping political death with her 39% primary win over a split field of credible challengers, Dem Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick finally bit the dust last night, losing her primary to state Sen. Hansen Clarke by a 47-41 margin. Cheeks Kilpatrick becomes the fourth House incumbent to lose a primary this year (after Parker Griffith, Alan Mollohan, and Bob Inglis), and Hansen Clarke, as noted in the comments by DCCyclone, is on track to become the first Democrat of (partial) South Asian descent to serve in Congress since Dalip Singh Saund in the 1950s. (JL)
• MO-Sen (R): The teabaggers' last stand in Missouri (which went so far as to include their turning against their own spiritual leader Michele Bachmann, for her support of Roy Blunt) really seemed to go nowhere in the Republican primary, as their man, state Sen. Chuck Purgason, never gained any traction. Establishment Rep. Roy Blunt won ridiculously easily over Purgason, 71-13. Blunt will face Democratic SoS Robin Carnahan in the general election, in one of the year's marquee Senate races. (C)
• MO-04 (R): Despite the local GOP establishment's preference for state Sen. Bill Stouffer, former state Rep. Vicki Hartzler emerged victorious from their air war, and won the right to challenge longtime Dem Ike Skelton by a fairly convincing 40-30 margin. If Hartzler's endorsements - including Reps. Marsha Blackburn (sigh of disgust), Virginia Foxx (evil grandmotherly sigh of disgust), and Jean Schmidt (nuclear waste-tinged sigh of disgust) - are predictive, we'd better hope for Ike to hold on. (JMD)
• MO-07 (R): In the race to fill the dark-red seat left behind by Roy Blunt, the winner was self-funding auctioneer Billy Long. (An auctioneer makes enough money to self-fund? His company's website doesn't exactly scream wealth... or having been updated since the Netscape era...) Overcoming a late attack from the mysterious Americans for Job Security, he defeated state Sens. Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler 37-29-14. (C)
Only the first in a month chock-full of primaries.
KS-Sen (R): The main event in Kansas is the GOP Senate primary; with underfunded Democratic opposition (and Kansas's many decades of sending only Republicans to the Senate), this basically determines its next Senator. It's a geographical and ideological battle between two of Kansas's four Representatives: Jerry Moran, who represents KS-01 across the state's empty western two-thirds, and Todd Tiahrt, from the Wichita-area KS-04. Moran, while no one's idea of a "moderate," doesn't have a hard-right reputation; yet, he's the preferred choice of many on the right (like Jim DeMint) because of his fiscal hawkishness and Tiahrt's role ladling out pork on Appropriations. Tiahrt is the favorite of the social conservatives, and boasts a Sarah Palin endorsement. Moran has led all polling, ranging by anywhere from 3 to 20 points, with Moran leading by 10 in SurveyUSA's final poll released yesterday. (C)
KS-Sen (D): Democrats have a primary here too, for the privilege of being a speed bump for Moran or Tiahrt in November. Retired newspaper publisher Charles Schollenberger was originally expected to be the nominee, then state Sen. David Haley showed up. However, professor Lisa Johnston has led the few polls of the race. (C)
KS-01 (R): In a CD that gave Barack Obama a mere 30% of its vote in 2008 (a high-water mark for Dems, considering Gore and Kerry languished in the 20s here), the only party with a keg and a boom box is on the Republican side of the fence -- and everyone's jumpin'. In a crowded field, the GOP primary for Moran's open seat is coming down to state Sen. Jim Barnett, realtor Tracey Mann, and Club For Growth favorite state Sen. Tim Huelskamp. SUSA's most recent poll had the trio tied at exactly 24% each -- a true three-way tossup. Barnett's probably the most "moderate" of the three, but the most at stake here is the difference between Very Conservative and Ultra Douchey Wingnut Conservative. (JL)
KS-03 (R): State Rep. Kevin Yoder has been labeled a moderate by the national press, which is curious due to his allegiance with the conservative factions of the Kansas state legislature. Whatever the case, it looks like he has a solid grip on the Republican nomination for the seat of retiring Dem Rep. Dennis Moore. As of mid-July, he's out-raised his conservative primary challenger, ex-state Rep. Patricia Lightner, by an 8-to-1 margin. The winner will square off against Stephene Moore, Dennis Moore's wife, this fall. (JL)
KS-04 (D): Will state Rep. Raj Goyle, a fundraising machine, get VicRawl'd? For a brief while, it looked like Goyle, one of the DCCC's few bright lights this cycle, was in serious danger of losing to Some Dude Robert Tillman, a retiree who has not filed a fundraising report with the FEC. It looks like Goyle successfully turned up the volume on his campaign, though, as SUSA's final poll of the primary gave Goyle a commanding 63-19 lead. (JL)
KS-04 (R): In the scramble to replace dry rub-flavored wingnut Todd Tiahrt, the most recent SUSA poll has given RNC committee member Mike Pompeo a 31-24 lead over state Sen. Jean Schodorf (who was actually endorsed by Planned Parenthood), with 21% going to carpetbagging businessman Wink Hartman, who has invested over $1.5 million of his own funds into his campaign. That represents something of a slide for Hartman and a surge for Schodorf, but there may not have been enough time left on the clock for Schodorf to steal this one. (JL)
MI-Gov (D): Pugnacious populist vs. smooth centrist. That's the easy alliterative description of the choice Democratic voters have, between Lansing mayor Virg Bernero and state House speaker Andy Dillon, in the gubernatorial primary. Bernero caught the eye of many on the left with his strong advocacy for government assistance to the automakers and has AFL-CIO backing (which includes the UAW), while the pro-life and business-friendly Dillon has had often strained relations with labor (although he does have some labor backing of his own, including the Teamsters). Dillon has led most polls thanks to better name rec in the Detroit area, but Bernero seems to have caught a late bounce and led this weekend's EPIC-MRA poll. (C)
MI-Gov (R): There are potentially four different candidates who could win the Republican gubernatorial primary. Rick Snyder, the former CEO of Gateway Computers who made a name for himself with his "one tough nerd" ad campaign, had a tiny lead in this weekend's EPIC-MRA poll, and may have a path to victory in that he basically has the moderate vote to himself (and is relying on crossover votes from indies in the open primary), while the others are all fighting over the conservative share. Rep. Peter Hoekstra and AG Mike Cox have traded polling leads back-and-forth throughout most of the campaign (with Hoekstra having a built-in advantage as the only western Michigan candidate), with Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard always hanging back within striking distance. Michigan doesn't use runoffs, so whoever wins will be doing so with only about 30%. (C)
MI-01 (R): This race spent last year on no one's radar screen, but with Rep. Bart Stupak's surprise retirement, it attracted some additional Republican interest. Physician Dan Benishek was the only Republican running for the spot before Stupak's announcement. State Sen. Jason Allen got in afterwards, but Benishek stayed in. Allen has the "establishment" mantle here, but may be geographically hampered by being from the Traverse City area, not the Upper Peninsula. Benishek is opting for the "true conservative" route, pointing to Allen's insufficient hatred of labor. The lone poll of the primary found Allen and Benishek tied. (C)
MI-02 (R): The race to replace retiring Rep. Peter Hoekstra will no doubt find the torch being passed to another ultra-conservative Dutch-American, which should be no surprise, given the district's profile. The frontrunner appears to be former NFL tight end and Family Research Council executive Jay Riemersma, who raised more than twice the money of any other candidate and also a lead in the lone poll. He faces state Sen. Wayne Kuipers and former state Rep. Bill Huizenga. One potential wild card is businessman Bill Cooper, who's been reaching out to the Tea Partiers and who has a base in the Muskegon area, unlike the others, all from the district's population center of Ottawa County. (C)
MI-03 (R): Republican voters in the 3rd are choosing between three options to replace retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers: brash young state Rep. Justin Amash (who's the Tea Party fave, but also the protege of the DeVos family, the Republican power behind the throne in Michigan), termed-out state Sen. Bill Hardiman, and former Kent Co. Commissioner Steve Heacock. Amash had raised the most money, and has a narrow lead in the one poll of the race. Heacock is the most moderate in the field and has the backing of Ehlers and a number of other local politicians. (C)
MI-07 (R): Former Rep. Tim Walberg is attempting to make a comeback after his defeat at the hands of now Rep. Mark Schauer, but he'll have to get through attorney Brian (and grandson of Steelers owner Art) Rooney. Walberg is playing the social conservative angle as always, but has some surprising endorsements, including one Rudolph Giuliani. Rooney's playing the moderate angle somewhat, having garnered the endorsement of former Rep. Joe Schwarz, who Walberg primaried out in 2006; the Detroit Free Press has opted as well for Rooney. Walberg is no doubt out there, but he is winning the money race and this is a district that's booted a moderate at least once. (JMD)
MI-09 (R): Republicans sense an opportunity to knock off freshman Dem Gary Peters, with four candidates having jumped into the fray. The two frontrunners - former Farmington Hills State Rep. Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski and former 9th CD Rep. Joe Knollenberg's former Chief of Staff Paul Welday (what a mouthful) - have gone after each other, trying to out-conservative the other. Raczkowski put out a poll in May giving him a 26-15 lead, but that was ages, a Detroit Free Press endorsement for Rocky, and at least $100k in TV ads ago; this race remains quite the tossup. (JMD)
MI-12 (D): What happens when you implement term limits? Politicians start playing musical chairs, of course. Term-limited state Senator Mickey Switalski of suburban Macomb County is challenging 14-term incumbent Sander (and older brother of US Senator Carl) Levin. Switalski - who's challenged his party in the state Senate - is hitting Levin from the right, emphasizing the deficit (eye roll) and "bipartisanship" (double eye roll). An ancient poll in March, which had Levin leading 62-14, and Switalski's $32k in cycle-to-date expenditures make it hard to imagine that he's getting much traction in this quixotic challenge. (JMD)
MI-13 (D): Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick stumbled across the finish line two years ago with 39% against two opponents who split the anti-Kilpatrick vote, and she's drawn five opponents this year. However, things seem to be a little different, with one of her challengers - State Senator Hansen Clarke, who represents a section of the city of Detroit, presenting himself as the clear not-Kilpatrick. While Cheeks Kilpatrick might take solace that her scandal-plagued son - former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick - is out of the news (and in state prison, no less), she ought to be worried that she's up against only one credible challenger. With several recent polls and the Detroit Free Press having given Clarke sizeable leads and an endorsement respectively, Cheeks Kilpatrick may very well find her name next to Alan Mollohan's and Parker Griffith's on the list of incumbents bounced in this year's primaries. (JMD)
MO-Sen (R): Back in the early days of teabagger ferment, when it seemed like those plucky little nutbars could take on the entire GOP empire themselves, it was at least plausible to imagine state Sen. Chuck Purgason giving Rep. Roy Blunt a run for his money. Alas, as we've learned, that's still the one thing you need in this world, even if you are fueled by the paranoid fury of a million mouthbreathers: money. And Purgason has none of it. Blunt has outspent him literally 100-to-1, and Purgason doesn't even have enough cash left over to treat his staff to Starbucks. Blunt may be a despised creature of the establishment, but like Mark Kirk, he should have no problem kicking teabagger ass. (D)
MO-04 (R): While something like a dozen Republicans signed up in the primary to face longtime Dem Rep. Ike Skelton, only two have raised money above the "surely you must be joking" level: state Sen. Bill Stouffer ($450K) and former state Rep. Vicky Hartzler ($500K). Both candidates are on the NRCC's Young Guns list, but the local establishment, apparently preferring Stouffer, tried to talk Hartzler out of the race back in March. That obviously didn't work, and in the last couple of weeks, both candidates have taken to the airwaves, with each accusing the other of raising taxes. This is definitely anybody's race. Hartzler's stronghold should be Cass County (the site of her old district), in CD 4's northwest corner. Stouffer hails from Saline County in the north-central part of the district, and his state senate district also covers Ray and Lafayette counties in the 4th. (D)
MO-07 (R): The primary in this dark-red district in southwestern Missouri is principally a three-way affair between self-funding auctioneer Billy Long and two state senators, Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler. Long has tried to wear the "true conservative" mantle (he's been endorsed by Mike Huckabee), but he's also been attacked by the shadowy Americans for Job Security as an earmark-happy member of a local airport's board of directors. Long fired back with an ad of his own, accusing both of his opponents of the same sin. There have actually been a bunch of internal polls of this race, but they mostly just show the top three candidates jumbled together somewhere around 20 points, plus or minus a few. Nodler hails from Jasper County on the Kansas border, while Goodman lives in adjacent Lawrence County, just to the east. Long, meanwhile, is from Springfield, MO, which is in the next county over, Greene. (D)
CO-Sen: Ken Buck raised $417K in Q2 and had $664K cash-on-hand - more than rival Jane Norton does, despite the fact that she outraised him.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul campaign chair David Adams is leaving - or being asked to leave. You never know with these things. Anyhow, Adams supposedly prefers state to federal politics (especially funny in the context of this campaign) and is going to manage some unspecified gubernatorial candidate. As CNN notes, though, Adams had actually been Paul's campaign manager, but was recently demoted after Rand's disastrous set of post-primary interviews.
NV-Sen: In an interview with Ralph Reed, Sharron Angle informs the world that "God has been in this" - her campaign - "from the beginning." I think Harry Reid would agree, since it's a damn near miracle that we landed an opponent so awful!
WA-Sen: Dino Rossi says he raised $1.4 million since launching his campaign six weeks ago, but no word on his cash-on-hand. That's not too shabby, and it might look impressive compared to Patty Murray's $1.6 million haul for the entire quarter. But that first batch of cash is always the easiest to raise - the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Can he sustain that momentum?
WI-Sen: King of the Loons Jim DeMint has endorsed Ron Johnson - a rare instance, as Dave Catanese points out, where the establishment choice has also been DeMinted.
WV-Sen: Gov. Joe Manchin says he'll name a temporary replacement for Robert Byrd by 5pm on Friday. Manchin also released the text of proposed legislation to change WV's succession laws. The new law would allow a special election this November, with primaries (if necessary) to be held on August 31st.
AZ-Gov: It's pretty amazing how much becoming the standard-bearer for xenophobia has dramatically altered Jan Brewer's entire candidacy. She was an accidental governor, elevated to the post by Janet Napolitano's appointment to the Department of Homeland Security. She also looked like electoral roadkill, losing ugly fights with an even further-right state legislature and drawing several high-profile opponents. But along came SB 1070, Arizona's infamous new immigration law. Brewer's full-throated support for the legislation, and her hysterical ranting about undocumented immigrants, have made her the conservative belle du jour. Just a few days ago, one of her major challengers, state Treasurer Dean Martin, bailed on the race. And now, the other big name running against her - wealthy NRA board member Buz Mills - is also dropping out. So at this point, it's pretty much game on between Brewer and Dem AG Terry Goddard.
GA-Gov: Magellan Strategies (7/8, likely Republican primary voters, no trendlines):
Karen Handel: 32
Nathan Deal: 18
John Oxendine: 18
Eric Johnson: 12
Ray McBerry: 3
Jeff Chapman: 3
Otis Putnam: 0
MI-07: Former Rep. Joe Schwarz, who held this seat for one term, has endorsed Brian Rooney in the GOP primary, over the man who primaried him out in 2006, Club for Growth cabana boy Tim Walberg. It's not clear how much a Schwarz endorsement helps in a Republican race, though, considering he also backed now-Rep. Mark Schauer (D) in 2008. And this bit of support is entirely conditional - not only does Schwarz say he'll definitely support Schauer if Walberg wins the primary, but he might even do so if Rooney wins, saying he'll re-evaluate things later.
MN-06: Both Michele Bachmann's chief-of-staff and (of more relevance to her campaign) her finance director have parted ways with the polarizing congresswoman. It's often tricky to tell whether a departure is a sign of turmoil, an indicator that a campaign is getting an upgrade, or really just nothing doing. But in this case, the fact that no replacements are being announced suggests that this isn't part of an orderly transition. What's more, why would Bachmann's fundraiser leave right after announcing such an enormous quarterly haul? It's especially telling that the fundraiser, Zandra Wolcott, wouldn't say if she left or was pushed.
NM-01: A healthy quarter for Martin Heinrich: $376K raised, $1.3 million cash-on-hand.
PA-07: Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates for Pat Meehan (6/16-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bryan Lentz (D): 26
Pat Meehan (R): 47
Meehan favorables: 33-12. Lentz favorables: 12-7. A Lentz spokesperson attacked the poll as "skewed" but offered no specific critiques.
SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is out with her first ad of the campaign season, a bio spot which touts her vote against a "trillion-dollar health care plan."
TN-08: The hip-hop wars are raging again! But it's no longer Tupac vs. Biggie - this time it's Republican Rob Kirkland versus radio station owner George Flinn on the mean streets of Memphis, TN. You may recall the odd situation here where Rob has been spending a fortune on allegedly "independent" expenditures on behalf of his brother Ron, who is the actual candidate in this race. Anyhow, Rob's latest broadside is against Flinn's ownership of a local hip-hop station, which (according to a Kirkland tv ad) "promotes gang violence, drug abuse, and insults women." Another mailer attacks Flinn for "filthy gangster rap into our district." Hey, guess what? Tipper Gore called, she wants her 1992-era harangue back.
DSCC: Seriously, who in hell allowed this to happen? Pretty much every Democratic senate candidate under the sun participated in a trial lawyers fundraiser... in Vancouver, CANADA. WTF? Could the optics be any worse? A fundraiser in a foreign country? And I don't want to get all GOP-talking-point on you, but the fact that it's the trial lawyers doesn't really help. I'm filing this one under "DSCC" because you can't possibly pull off an event of this magnitude without the DS knowing - and someone there should have had the brains to stop it. Or at least change the fucking venue to, you know, the United States of America. Maybe? Jeez.
Iowa: Jonathan Martin has an interesting piece at Politico about Christie Vilsack, who says she is "really interested" in running for office, perhaps as soon as 2012. It sounds like the House is her most likely target, but it's hard to say where she might run. She and her family have ties all over the state, and Iowa is likely to lose a congressional district after the census. Though Martin doesn't mention it, it's not inconceivable that Sen. Tom Harkin will retire in 2014 (when he'll be 75), which would create a big opening.
AR-Sen: Mark Blumenthal has a detailed post-mortem of the polling in the Arkansas senate runoff, including some off-the-record claims that both Halter's and Lincoln's internal polling showed Lincoln ahead. I sort of wonder why Lincoln didn't put out these numbers, if true.
CT-Sen: Several big-name Republican fundraisers are hosting an event for none other than Joe Lieberman, to benefit his 2012 re-election campaign. Some of the hosts include Robbie Aiken, Wayne Berman, Rachel Pearson, and Kathryn Rand. Obviously an outright party switch is always possible with this fuckin' guy.
FL-Sen: Wow, so there really is a Democrat who wants death panels (more or less). Maurice Ferre, himself 75 years old, said in a meeting with the Palm Beach Post editorial board:
"Well, you know what, when you get to be 85 or 90 years old, you're going to die. And I'm sorry, you call it, Sarah Palin, what you want, but the fact is that it is absurd for us to be spending the types of money we're spending to extend life three months."
Asked what he'd do as a Senator to control such costs, Ferre said: "I would absolutely say that this is the cap on how much is available for you to spend at age 90, 87, with a heart condition of this sort, with diabetes of this sort, two legs missing and, you know, this is how much is available for you to spend. And you spend it any way you want."
There are other ways to lose races in Florida, but this is the simplest and most direct.
KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell's sticking in his bite-guard and gritting his teeth hard to do a fundraiser for Roark Rand Paul later this month. Believe it or not, we happened to get the advance text of Paul's prepared remarks for the event:
Throughout the ages, the finger painter, the Play-Doh sculptor, the Lincoln Logger stood alone against the daycare teacher of her time. She did not live to earn approval stamps. She lived for herself, that she might achieve things that are the glory of all humanity. These are my terms; I do not care to play by any others. And now, if the court will allow me, it's naptime.
NV-Sen: The Big Dog is coming to the Silver State to do a campaign rally for Handsome Harry Reid next week - who won't actually be there because the Senate will be in session. No word on whether a fundraiser is also on tap.
PA-Sen: Pat Toomey is taking some heat for a long-ago resume item: He used to work on Wall Street - in derivatives trading, no less.
SC-Sen: Alvin Greene, the mysterious Dem senate nominee in South Carolina, says he won't drop out of the race, in spite of the state party's call for him to bail in the wake of revelations that he was arrested on an obscenity charge last fall. Then again, Scott Lee Cohen said he wouldn't bow out, either.
KS-Gov: Dem gubernatorial hopeful Tom Holland picked fellow state Sen. Kelly Kultala, considered something of a rising star in KS politics, as his running mate. The two formally kicked off their campaign yesterday.
NM-Gov, WI-07: In NM-Gov, we mentioned a little while back that Dem LG Diane Denish is hitting GOP nominee Susana Martinez's record as a prosecutor in TV ads, specifically targeting her conviction rate. A related issue is coming up in WI-07, where Dems are charging ex-prosecutor Sean Duffy with misusing his (very recently) former office to compile conviction statistics helpful to his political campaign.
SC-Gov: Mitt Romney, who endorsed Nikki Haley back in March, is heading back down to the Palmetto state to campaign for her once more. Haley faces a runoff against Rep. Gresham Barrett on June 22nd.
AK-AL: Former communications exec Sheldon Fisher is running ads against his primary opponent, GOP Rep. Don Young, portraying himself as the "new conservative choice." Kudos to the AP for reporting that the ad buy is $40,000 in size - not much by conventional standards, perhaps, but that money ought to go a lot further in Alaska.
IN-03: So this is pretty bizarre. Ex-Rep. Mark Souder, who recently resigned on account of having an extra-marital affair with a staffer, sent an odd message on Facebook concerning his likely successor, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman. On the one hand, he says Stutzman is "probably best qualified" to fill his spot. But then, explains the AP:
In one paragraph, he says Stutzman knew nothing of the affair and therefore couldn't have tipped off the media. In another, he mentions that Stutzman or a political consulting firm leaked word of the affair to Fox News after getting information from the staffer's husband, Brad Jackson a Kosciusko County commissioner.
Hmm, I thought it was Mike Pence who dimed out Souder?
MD-01: Businessman Rob Fisher is going up with an ad presenting himself as an outsider in the GOP primary. He faces the better-known state Sen. Andy Harris (the 2008 loser). BIG props to Ben Pershing at the Washington Post for nailing down these details: "The spot is running on cable stations in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets, with an initial buy of more than $70,000."
MI-07, MI-09: President Obama did some fundraisers in Michigan earlier this week - one for the DNC, and another joint event for Reps. Gary Peters and Mark Schauer.
OH-18: Zack Space is doin' it right: He's launching a "six-figure" buy for an ad attacking GOP opponent Bob Gibbs as a tax-hiker and self-pay-raiser. Why do I like this move? Because Space is using his use cash edge ($1.3 mil to $0.1mil) to define Gibbs, at a time when Gibbs has only just emerged from the uncertainty of a primary recount (which he won with an absurdly pathetic 20.9%). For his part, Gibbs fired back with a popgunpress release, the poor man's television ad - very poor man's.
VA-05: True to his word, Some Dude Jeff Clark is going ahead with his plans to run as a teabagging independent, since Rob Hurt won the GOP primary to take on Tom Perriello. In fact, Clark filed petitions with the board of elections last week. Note, though, something he hasn't yet filed: an FEC report. Meanwhile, second-place finisher Jim McKelvey, who swore he wouldn't support Hurt if he became the nominee, is still playing coy. Election night remarks suggested he was prepared to fall in line, but he hasn't officially endorsed. (The other four also-rans have in fact done so.)
Polltopia: Taegan Goddard relays some blind non-quotes from random "pollsters" complaining about the alleged lack of transparency in Nate Silver's pollster ratings - in particular, the fact that he hasn't published his database of polls. Leaving aside the delicious irony that anonymous pollsters are complaining about transparency, I think this is a red herring. As Nate points out in a post of his own, anyone can recreate his work (with a lot of time and a little money) - and his main concern is the legal issues involved in making public a database that in part relies on information drawn from for-pay services.