KY-Sen: Jack Conway has succeeded in getting a false and misleading ad by the "First Amendment Alliance" pulled off at least one television station, Louisville's Fox 41.
WI-Sen: On the other side of the equation, Russ Feingold is being forced by the NFL to alter an ad which featured some footage of embarrassing end zone victory dances, including Randy Moss taunting Green Bay Packer fans. Could this really have been a mindless goof by Feingold's media team? The Hotline's Tim Alberta had the same thought I did: This sure was a good way to get plenty of free media coverage for this ad. (Judging by the number of Twitter mentions, at least, this ploy worked - if it was indeed the plan.)
AZ-08: The Smart Media Group is reporting that the DCCC has cancelled all of their ad buys in Tucson except for the final week of October. I suppose there are three ways you can interpret this news. The first is that Gabby Giffords is cruising and doesn't need much help. The second I'll call "panzers reconsolidating": She's basically doomed. And the third lies between the two: The D-Trip is performing triage, figuring that Giffords is strong enough to have a chance on her own, while other more fragile campaigns are in greater need of help. Choose your own adventure!
NY-24: Mike Arcuri is a lucky man. As you may recall, he created a new third party just so that he could have an extra ballot line to run on (and perhaps draw in a few votes from people who like him personally but can't stomach the thought of pulling the lever for a Democrat). The problem: He called it the "New York Moderates" party, but state law forbids any party name from including the words "American," 'United States," "National," "New York State," "Empire State," or any abbreviation of those. Fortunately, a court ruled that he was able to retain the line by renaming it just the "Moderates" party.
MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan: $2.1 million raised, "on par with" Roy Blunt
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D): $3.2 million raised, Pat Toomey (R): $3.8 million raised
CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D): $361K raised from 9/16-29, Dan Maes (R): $28K raised, Tom Tancredo (ACP): $149K
OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D): $1.6 million raised from 9/3-10/4
CT-Sen: Sources tell Aaron Blake that the DSCC has added $1.2 million to its buy here
OH-01: The Campaign for Working Families throws down $125K for ads to help Steve Chabot (R)
OR-05: CULAC the PAC chips in $34K for mail on behalf of Rep. Kurt Schrader (D)
NV-Sen: Harry Reid's latest is actually half-positive/half-negative, and concludes by calling Sharron Angle "a foreign worker's best friend"; Angle's newest is a race-baity spot that - jeez - features footage of scary brown people sneaking through a fence (wish I were kidding)
PA-Sen: The DSCC also has an ad out that's fairly race-baity, talking about Pat Toomey's support for sending jobs to China - complete with Asian-style gong noises that were embarrassing even when John Hughes brought us Long Duk Dong more than a quarter-century ago
GA-Gov: In a reversal of the usual roles, Republican Nathan Deal paints himself as the friend of teachers (and education in general) in his first attack ad
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo continues to sound like an anodyne Republican in his ads (cut wasteful government, blah blah), and says that Carl Paladino's "anger is not a governing strategy"
AL-05: Steve Raby goes back to his mailbox to criticize Mo Brooks for being a DC tool (and then litters)
CA-45: In this Steve Pougnet ad, little kids singing bowdlerized versions of the "Miss Mary Mack" (Mary Bono Mack, get it?) schoolyard rhyme are annoying
CO-07: In an ad with weak production values, Ryan Frazier attacks Ed Perlmutter for supporting the stimulus and cap-and-trade
FL-12: Dennis Ross recites some conservative pabulum
FL-25: In a minute-long spot, Joe Garcia uses news coverage to revisit the David Rivera ramming-a-delivery-truck-carrying-his-opponents-flyers incident
ID-01: Walt Minnick can't resist hitting the illegal immigration theme again - and he, too, features footage of Hispanic-looking people. Just uck
MN-06: A Tarryl Clark ad with really low production values stands out only because the otherwise serious-sounding female announcer declares: "Michele Bachmann: Not doing [bleep] for the people of the sixth district" (yes, there's an actual bleep sound) [UPDATE: Gah, it's just a fucking web ad.]
NC-02: Bob Etheridge hits one of my favorite attack ad topics: Renee Ellmers' support of a 23% national sales tax
NV-03: As she did in her last ad, Dina Titus compares Joe Heck to Sharron Angle, this time attacking his record on education
NY-13: Big fucking surprise: Despite voting against healthcare reform, Mike McMahon is getting attacked on it anyway - for not supporting repeal, and for just generally siding with Pelosi & Obama. Will Democrats never learn? Don't answer that
NY-20: Chris Gibson attacks Scott Murphy for supporting the stimulus. Man, it was a damn long time ago, but remember how much traction Murphy got last year by attacking Jim Tedisco (lol) for opposing the stimulus? (Not surprised to see the ad in that link has since been removed)
OH-18: Oh man. Clearly polls must be showing Dems that attacks on Republicans for wanting to send jobs overseas must be especially potent, 'cause here's another one, from Zack Space. No gong in this one, though - instead, he features a prototypical Chinese dragon, and then even has the announcer say a mock "thank you" in Chinese! I really can't wait for this election to be over
AK-Sen: Hello! McFly! You ever heard of the Commerce Clause? Joe Miller evidently got quite a fine education at Yale Law, since he somehow believes that the minimum wage is "not within the scope of the powers that are given to the federal government." Oh, yeah, "merit scholarship." Now make like a tree and beat it!
P.S. Miller's personal financial disclosures - which he promised to file last week, after ignoring the law since April - are still "going to take a little while." Anybody home, McFly?!
DE-Sen: By now, you've probably all seen Christine O'Donnell's new ad. If not, drop everything and watch it. It might just blow your mind. But I don't want this other crucial item to get lost in the shuffle: In a 2006 debate, O'Donnell said that "China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn't divulge." Reminds me of one of my all-time fave Michele Bachmann quotes.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul is no slouch when it comes to slagging the social safety net. At a debate this weekend, he announced that he wanted to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age. And at a meeting with (who else?) the state Chamber of Commerce, he also declared that Medicaid - a program which benefits some 800,000 Kentuckians - has created "intergenerational welfare."
GA-02: Those federal indictments in Alabama regarding bribery-for-bingo charges are having effects across state lines. Jay Walker was "chief strategist" for Republican Scott McKeown, who has been making some serious headway against Rep. Sanford Bishop of late. Walker, unsurprisingly, has resigned his post.
MN-08: Republican Chip Cravaack (yep, that's how you spell it) is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies (n=300) showing him nipping at longtime Rep. Jim Oberstar's heels, 45-42. Oberstar's campaign claims that the survey was a "push poll," but Cravaack's campaign denies it (though they won't release the questionnaire). I'd be surprised if a firm like POS did anything outright shady, though. Anyhow, Cravaack had just $42K on hand as of July 21 and had only raised $100K overall. Oberstar has $1.1 million in the bank.
WA-03: This is weird - the Lower Columbia Daily News asked GOPer Jaime Herrera for a list of campaign events she's done since the August primary, but she refused to provide one, claiming it might be used to attack her. Denny Heck's campaign, for their part, says they think Herrera's all but disappeared from the campaign trail. An unofficial list shows that she supposedly did about a dozen events in this timeframe, to some 30-odd by Heck.
NY-State Sen: Did you know that Iona College was in the polling biz? I had no idea. Anyhow, it looks like they've released a couple of state Senate polls in the last few weeks (but no telling exactly how many, since I can't seem to find a central hub for them anywhere). I've come across two surveys, though: In SD-35 (PDF), Dem Andrea Stewart-Cousins leads Republican Liam McLaughlin 44-37. Meanwhile, in SD-40, GOPer Greg Ball leads Dem Mike Kaplowitz 45-35. (A Siena poll yesterday of the same race had Ball up just 45-44.) The sponsor of these polls is a right-wing business group called the Westchester County Association, which also promises to poll SD-37 and NY-19.
ID-01, OH-15: The Hotline has numbers for Walt Minnick and Mary Jo Kilroy
Ophthalmologists: Those rogues are backing a rare Dem, Glenn Nye (VA-02), and a guy whose name hasn't come up in well over a year, Erik Paulsen (MN-03), to the tune of about $65K each
CT-Sen: The DSCC is spending half a mil on TV for Richard Blumenthal
CA-Sen: Uh, is it just me, or does this ad seem like a parody of itself?
ND-AL: I like seeing this a lot. It's not the greatest ad of the cycle, but here Earl Pomeroy proudly touts his support of healthcare reform (I think he was the Dem in the reddest district to vote in favor), while attacking Rick Berg for supporting the never-popular insurance companies. If you know they're going to attack you anyway, you need to just go strong
• DE-Sen: It'd D-Day for the Republican Party: the "D" could stand for "Delaware," or maybe for the "dipshits" in the Tea Party who we'll see tonight whether they've fully succeeded in taking over the asylum. At any rate, the state GOP is rolling out a robocall from a former Christine O'Donnell 2008 staffer who's now supporting Mike Castle; she says O'Donnell isn't a "true conservative" (although that's evidenced by her inability to get her own spending under control). O'Donnell's camp responds saying the disgruntled staffer was fired after a week, rather than leaving on her own. The Beltway CW of today, at least as far as Politico goes, seems to be that Castle has regained some momentum over the last few days what with the increased scrutiny of O'Donnell, pointing to changes in responses to phonebanking in recent days.
• FL-Sen: Here's an interesting endorsement for Charlie Crist, that may help him with the growing Haitian community in the Miami area. Haitian-American State Rep. Yolly Roberson, who recently lost the FL-17 Democratic primary, gave his backing to Crist instead of Kendrick Meek, whose newly-vacated seat he was vying to occupy.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The first of three (count 'em) polls out in the Nevada Senate race has what just about everyone else has seen in this quickly-getting-overpolled race: Harry Reid leads Sharron Angle in the low single digits. Ipsos/Reuter's second poll of the race gives Reid a 46-44 lead. (It was 48-44 in favor of Reid in their first poll in early August.) Apparently this wasn't the respected pollster showing a single-digit gubernatorial race that Jon Ralston was rumbling about, though: their gubernatorial numbers are 60 for Brian Sandoval, and 31 for Rory Reid. (The trendlines were 50-39 for Sandoval, so that's quite a drop, especially when considering that the Senate race has barely budged.)
• WA-Sen: Republicans hoping for some sort of reconciliation in Washington are out of luck. Clint Didier is still holding out on endorsement for Dino Rossi, popping up briefly yesterday to tell Politico that he won't do so unless Rossi capitulates to Didier's three demands regarding action items.
• RI-Gov: Michael Bloomberg parachuted into yet another race with an endorsement, as part of his nebulous goals of advancing some sort of center-left post-partisan zeitgeist. He offered his backing to moderate GOPer-turned-liberal indie Lincoln Chafee, who seems to fit the Bloomberg worldview pretty well.
• NY-St. Sen.: Veteran political reporter Liz Benjamin is out with her handicapping of the New York state Senate races this year (New York elects all Senators every two years, so everybody's up this year, as always). She points to seven Tossups, four of which are Dems and three of which are GOPers (thanks in large part to open seats). That means that control of the body, currently 32-29 (with 1 previously-GOP vacancy), is truly up for grabs this year. It's all presented in a nice-looking map format, although the functionality needs some help.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer's campaign's first ad emphasizes veterans, small business, and green jobs
• MO-Sen: The winning ad of the day may just be a little radio ad from Robin Carnahan, which actually uses a jingle (how many political ads do that anymore?); the song goes amusingly negative against Roy Blunt
• KY-Sen: The newest Jack Conway ad works the law & order angle, saying Rand Paul is soft on crime, while the NRSC is out with an ad that seems to be poking fun at Conway's horse-owning ways as a means of linking him to Barack Obama... or something like that
• CO-Gov: The Colorado trainwreck continues unabated, as Tom Tancredo's first ad is an anti-Dan Maes hit job, featuring a nice little old lady who says that Maes conned her out of her money without getting into any of the specifics
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's back on the air after letting his money have a few weeks off, trying yet again to tie Alex Sink to Barack Obama
• MA-Gov: An anti-Charlie Baker spot from Bay State Future hits Baker on his stewardship of the Big Dig, a 90s public works debacle that turned into a collective scar on the Massachusetts psyche
• CA-03: Ami Bera's first ad focuses on Dan Lungren's last minute pay raise that he gave himself as state AG, boosting his pension
• CO-07: Ed Perlmutter's out with his first ad, a positive spot
• IL-11: Debbie Halvorson's first ad uses testimonials from the unemployed to hit Adam Kinzinger hard for his support of free trade agreements
• OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy, similarly endangered, also opts for the negative ad route, hitting Steve Stivers for his work as banking industry lobbyist
• OH-18: Sensing a theme? Zack Space hits Bob Gibbs on his support for free trade agreements too
• PA-07: Bryan Lentz is out with two separate ads, one a basic intro spot, the other making an argument that all Dems should be making: that supporting extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy doesn't jibe with wanting to reduce the deficit
• PA-08: Patrick Murphy talks to the camera to do some compare & contrast with Mike Fitzpatrick
• SD-AL: Two dueling ads from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem: Noem's first ad is a generic attack on Washington, while Herseth tries to rebut an ad from AFF, saying, no, she's actually conservative
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 46%, Dan Maes (R) 21%, Tom Tancredo (C) 25%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 48%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 41%, Rob Portman (R) 49%
• A Rasmussen By Any Other Name Would Still Smell: When a gigantic slew of polls for Fox News came out, showing, as one might expect from Fox, bad results for Democrats, I wasn't surprised. Something seemed off, though: I first noticed that this wasn't Fox's usual pollster (which is Opinion Dynamics), but someone called Pulse. Then some of the details really made my antennae twitch: these were auto-dialed polls conducted over one day (meaning no callbacks), and the day they chose was not only a Saturday (when young people tend to out, y'know, doing things) but freakin' 9/11! Then Taegan Goddard helpfully pointed out this, which explains it all: Pulse Research is a subsidiary of Rasmussen. You may recall some discussion earlier in the year of a new Rasmussen venture that would let people pay $600 to poll anything or anyone they wanted... that's Pulse. So, they're just going in the Rasmussen containment pool with the "real" Rasmussen polls; for what it's worth, the numbers are pretty much in line with where Rasmussen sees the races, so at least we know Pulse isn't doing anything differently.
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 43%, Meg Whitman (R) 49%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 46%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 49%, Rick Scott (R) 41%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 27%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 38%, Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 44%, Sharron Angle (R) 45%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 41%, Rob Portman (R) 48%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 41%, Pat Toomey (R) 47%
Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.
FL-Sen: Great catch by CQ's Greg Giroux, who always has some of the tastiest FEC tidbits. None other than Bob Dole (Bob Dole!) has cut a $1,000 check to Charlie Crist's senate campaign. It feels great to be writing about Bob Dole again! Bob Dole!
PA-Sen, PA-Gov, PA-08: Like some Green and teabagger candidates before them, the Libertarians have all been kicked off the statewide ballots in PA. That's because of a punitive Pennsylvania law which requires that a party which loses a challenge to its ballot status to pay the legal fees of the winner. Unsurprisingly, many minor party candidates tend to bail rather than risk a huge debt. In the same vein, indy Tom Lingenfelter also quit the race in PA-08, under intense courtroom pressure from Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign.
KY-Gov: This seems like a good get for Dem Gov. Steve Beshear: Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent next month in Jefferson County. This is a big deal because Pence is not only a Republican, but he served as LG for the man that Beshear beat, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. (Pence didn't seek re-election in 2007, and in fact had a pretty serious falling-out with Fletcher.)
AZ-08: Not something you see every day: Teabagger Jesse Kelly, hanging on in an uphill fight against establishment fave Jonathan Paton, is attacking none other than Sarah Palin, saying that the ur-Mama Grizz has been endorsing lots of front-runners (like Carly Fiorina) out of pure political calculation, and that she "needs to rehab" her image to woo independents. Paton fell all over himself trying to proclaim his Rich Lowry-like love for Palin, who in point of fact hasn't actually endorsed him. In an interesting aside, Paton's once-hot fundraising has fallen off a cliff, and Kelly actually outraised him in the pre-primary period.
OH-13: Remember how yesterday I was saying that despite the GOP's great recruitment efforts, they still have to deal with a serious structural problem - the stark raving insanity of their entire movement? Well, even prize recruit Tom Ganley is not immune. Here you have a multi-millionaire who is willing to self-fund, an extremely successful car dealer whose name is all over town, a guy who even helped police investigate the mob... and yet he pops off with statements like this: "I don't have a position on whether he's a Muslim." You can guess who he's talking about. A little while later, Ganley put out a statement trying to backtrack, but really, he's still a fucking nutter.
OH-15/16/18: Another shadowy right-wing group, a 501(c)4 with the Nixonian name "The Committee for Truth in Politics," is up to some dirty tricks, launching ads against Reps. Zack Space ($190K worth) and John Boccieri ($130K). CQ also says that a further $62K buy looks like it will be targeted against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The one odd thing about this writeup is that it says the anti-Space ad buy is going up in Cleveland, but if you compare a media market map with a map of Space's district, you'll see that his CD mostly falls in a bunch of other markets, principally Columbus. I wonder what gives.
Meanwhile, also in OH-16, Republican Jim Renacci (and soon-to-be DavidNYC opponent in the race for NYC Zoning Board) has filed a lawsuit against AFSCME, which is spending $750K on an ad buy against him. Renacci is alleging the ad, which accuses him of "cheating on his income taxes," is defamatory. It's more typical to threaten the TV stations running the ad, though, as they generally are pretty pliant when it comes to removing potentially questionable third-party ads from the air. Maybe he'll try that as well.
ND-AL: Republican Rick Berg is up with his first ad of the general election campaign, which you can view here. NWOTSOTB. Rep. Earl Pomeroy already has three different ads airing.
NY-13: Wingers disgruntled with the state Conservative Party have formed a new ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. (The name reminds me a little bit of George Pataki's vanity line in 1994, the Tax Cut Now Party.) Anyhow, Michael Allegretti, himself spurned by the Conservatives, is probably the TP's biggest name so far, having just filed 5,000 signatures to get on their line. This constitutes at least some bottom-shelf cat fud, since Allegretti would stay on the line even if he loses the GOP primary. Meanwhile, if rival Mike Grimm loses the Republican nod, he'll have the Conservative line no matter what. What did I say about the Republicans never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?
TN-03: Am I sniffing some cat fud on the horizon? Crazy Lady Robin Smith lost the GOP primary in this uber-red district by a 30-28 margin to self-funder Chuck Fleischmann, and already she's talking about running again in 2012. Smith hasn't endorsed Fleischmann, and for his part, Fleischmann says he hasn't responded to Smith's request for a reconciliation tête-à-tête. Since the only advice I like to give to Republicans is bad advice, nobody tell Fleischmann he should probably reconsider, as 30% doesn't exactly constitute a mandate. (Remember what happened to another Tennessean who barely won his primary in 2006?) Anyhow, Smith is also hoping that the district will get redrawn with a more southerly configuration, as Fleischmann did better in the northern counties. Could be messy!
Race Ratings: CQ has a cool new feature which, I admit, I'm quite envious of. A couple of years ago, James and I dreamed of creating a system which would allow SSP users to rate races as they saw fit, and then generate an "aggregate" rating across the site. Unfortunately, as a purely volunteer outfit with extremely minimal ad revenues, we simply didn't have the money for this project. But now, CQ has gone and created something very close to the tool we were hoping to build. The interface could use some improvement (right now, you have to drill down to a separate page for each race individually, and you can also only rate races that are already on their list), but it still looks pretty promising.
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck twisted himself into a knot that's unlikely to satisfy anyone. After it came out that, about a year ago, he'd announced his support for the repeal of the 17th Amendment (which allows for direct election of Senators, and should alarm any non-teabagger), on Friday he clarified that, no, he's changed his mind and supports the 17th now (which should piss off any teabagger). While several House GOP candidates have touted the idea, Buck is the first Senate candidate to discuss why it's a good idea for people to vote for him so he can go to Washington and take away their right to vote... for him.
• FL-Sen: There's one more Florida poll to add to the growing pile; it's only of the Democratic Senate primary, though, and it's from Republican pollster Susquehanna on behalf of online media outlet Sunshine State News. They join in the chorus seeing Kendrick Meek pulling away from Jeff Greene, 45-30.
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's getting some support from an unexpected place: Michael Bloomberg, the loudly post-partisan New York mayor. Bloomberg, who'll stump on Sestak's behalf in Pennsylvania tomorrow, seems to like Sestak's efforts on better lending for small businesses. Another bright spot for Sestak: Green Party candidate Mel Packer is dropping out of the Senate race, not seeming able to withstand the pending court challenge to his petitions from the Sestak camp.
• AL-Gov: With friends like Artur Davis, who needs enemies? The ostensibly Democratic Rep., who seems to have gotten consumed with bile after his surprising yet thorough loss to Ron Sparks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, published an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser yesterday titled "A lack of vision" that said that Sparks is "no champion of real change." The key quote: "In a break with tradition, I did not attend that [unity] event and will not be campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee." But really: read the whole thing, especially if you still had any shreds of respect left for Davis.
• CA-Gov: You know that saying about how if you want to experience the sense of yachting, just go stand in the shower with your clothes on and keep continuously flushing money down the toilet? I wonder if Meg Whitman is starting to get that sense about her own campaign and its nine figures worth of out-of-pocket sunk costs. She just wrote herself another $13 million check, saying that she had to throw down more because of the nerve of those unions and their insistence on using independent expenditures.
• IA-Gov: You might remember the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse, a former Des Moines school board member and alternative newspaper publisher who'd made some motions about challenging Chet Culver in the Dem primary. Well, now he's back, and he's planning to mount an independent bid instead. He claims to have enough signatures to qualify, and despite his ostensibly left-of-center orientation claims to be getting a lot of interest from disgruntled Bob Vander Plaats supporters looking for an option to Terry Branstad.
• LA-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Bobby Jindal confirmed that he'll be running for re-election for Governor in 2011. That makes a 2012 presidential run seem less likely, given the quick turnaround, but he's young enough that he needn't hurry.
• MS-01: Travis Childers is out with his second ad in as many weeks, this one a negative spot against Alan Nunnelee (although self-narrated by Childers, rather than using the usual grainy black-and-white photos and angry-sounding voice of doom like most negative ads). Childers hits Nunnelee for raising various taxes while in the state legislature.
• NH-01: Frank Guinta, the presumed frontrunner in the GOP primary for the right to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has some good news and bad news. The good news: he seems to have discovered an extra bank account in his name that had somewhere between $250K and $500K in it, which hadn't been on previous disclosure forms because of "an inadvertent oversight." The bad news: now he has to explain where all that money came from, which isn't exactly clear, as Guinta has partially self-funded his run but also done a lot of outside fundraising. This looks serious enough that ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley is calling for Guinta to drop out if he can't provide a credible explanation (although it should be noted that, although Bradley hasn't officially endorsed, he was already informally backing GOP primary rival Sean Mahoney).
• NY-06, NY-13: The New York AFL-CIO endorsed all but four New York House incumbents over the weekend: the two Republicans, naturally, but also Reps. Mike McMahon and... Greg Meeks? Turns out they've had a beef with Meeks (who's a bit of a mismatch with his dark-blue district) for a while, going back to his CAFTA vote. So this means they did endorse Mike Arcuri in NY-24, despite his HCR vote and subsequent antipathy from the Working Families Party.
• Ohio: We Ask America, an auto-dialing pollster with Republican connections that occasionally pops up with flurries of polls, rolled out three polls of different House races in Ohio last week. They add one more poll to the heap of doom for Rep. Steve Driehaus in OH-01, finding him losing to ex-Rep. Steve Chabot 51-39. They also find Paula Brooks unlikely to prevail in her right-candidate-wrong-year challenge to GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi in OH-12; she trails 51-34. Perhaps most interesting is OH-15, which I believe is the first poll released of this race, which many Dems have mentally written off already. While they have freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trailing, it's not that bad, in comeback-able range with a 46-41 lead for GOP rematch candidate Steve Stivers.
• Stumping: Barack Obama is making a three-state road swing over the next few days, appearing on behalf of three vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer in California, and Patty Murray in Washington. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is making three appearances around Florida today on behalf of Hillary-endorsing Kendrick Meek in his Senate primary.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 48%, Tom Foley (R) 33%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 41%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 55%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 30%, Paul LePage (R) 38%, Eliot Cutler (I) 16%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 69%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 44%, Rick Berg (R) 53%
• GA-Sen: Here's some great news out of Georgia: we may actually score a late top-tier challenger in the Senate race. Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who's held that office since 1998, has been considering promotion opportunities (including, reportedly, not just this but also a GA-12 primary challenge), and it looks like he's likely to pull the trigger on a run against Johnny Isakson. Isakson has had soft approval ratings, but has benefited from lack of much of a challenge (R.J. Hadley is the only announced Dem). A recent R2K poll had Thurmond losing to Isakson 53-26, but maybe that poll gave some encouragement to Thurmond in that he might be able to ride the surging Roy Barnes's coattails a bit (and maybe also give a boost to Barnes, by driving up African-American turnout).
• NV-Sen: Mason-Dixon, for the Las Vegas Review-Journal did another poll of the Nevada Senate, despite having issued one just a week ago. I'm not exactly sure why; perhaps they felt that, in the wake of Jon Scott Ashjian's bad week (with revelations of the financial disaster in his personal life, as well as the kerfuffle about whether he even qualifies for the ballot), they needed to re-evalute. They also added another right-wing third-party candidate to the mix, Tim Fasano of the American Independent Party. Polling only on the Harry Reid/Sue Lowden matchup, they find not much has changed. Ashjian's support has dropped, but that may have more to do with the addition of Fasano to the mix and the splitting of the hardcore no-RINOs crowd. They found Lowden 47, Reid 37, Fasano 3, and Ashjian 2. (Compared with last week's 46-38, with 5 for Ashjian.) At least one thing is going right for Ashjian: he was just given the green light by a court to remain on the ballot for the Tea Party, despite the fact that he was still a registered Republican when he filed.
• NY-Sen: The search goes on for a challenger to Chuck Schumer, and the GOP may have a willing victim: George Maragos. You can't fault Maragos for lack of ambition: he was just became Nassau County Comptroller at the start of the year, as part of the GOP's comeback in Nassau in November, and he's already looking to move up. Political consultant Jay Townsend has also floated his name for the race.
• WI-Sen: Beer baron (and former state Commerce Secretary) Dick Leinenkugel didn't waste much time following Tommy Thompson's rambling announcement of his non-candidacy; he issued a statement last night that sounds very candidate-ish, although the jist of it was to "stay tuned" over the next couple weeks.
• MN-Gov: Coleman endorses Rybak! No, relax, not Norm Coleman. Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul and an oft-rumored candidate himself last year, endorsed R.T. Rybak, mayor of the other Twin City (Minneapolis) for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
• CA-11: Here's a race to keep an eye on. David Harmer, who performed above expectations in the CA-10 special last year, is doing well in the next-door 11th also. He raised $380K last quarter, outpacing Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney's $286K.
• MN-06: Rep. Michele Bachmann rode the Crazy Train all the way to Moneyville, it looks like. She raised $810K in the first quarter, giving her $1.53 million CoH. If that number seems eerily familiar, it's almost exactly what was reported by Alan Grayson, her lightning-rod bookend at the other end of Congress.
• MO-08: Sleeper candidate Tommy Sowers reported a nice cash haul ($295K for the quarter), and now it looks like he's outraised incumbent GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson for the second straight quarter. She brought in only $223K.
• NC-08: One guy's who's lagging on the fundraising front -- although it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given the last four years of history -- is Democratic freshman Rep. Larry Kissell (lauded, or notorious, depending on your perspective, for preferring to work on a shoestring budget). He raised only $72K for the quarter, giving him $326K CoH, as he was outpaced by self-funding GOP opponent Tim D'Annunzio.
• NV-03: Rep. Dina Titus may not be faring well in the polls against Joe Heck, but she's whupping him in the cash department. Titus raised $254K last quarter and has $902K CoH, compared with $148K raised and $257K CoH for Heck.
• NY-24: There's a less somewhere in here about keeping your base (you know, the ones holding the wallets) happy. Rep. Mike Arcuri's fundraising wasn't that impressive for a competitive race, as he raised $208K, leaving him with $493K CoH. He was outpaced by GOP rival Richard Hanna, who raised $358K (and reports the same amount as CoH).
• OH-15: Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy had a good quarter, raising $308K. It still wasn't enough to top her GOP competition, Steve Stivers, though; he reported $367K for the quarter.
• PA-10: Here's a loudly-touted GOP candidate who's not living up to the hype yet. Ex-US Attorney Tom Marino's first quarter was unimpressive, raising $111K and ending up with $74K CoH. Democratic incumbent Rep. Chris Carney sits on $665K CoH.
• PA-12: The DCCC is getting involved in a big way in the 12th, laying out $136K for ad time in the special election in the 12th. The ad is a negative ad against the GOP's Tim Burns. Also, while he has a small cash edge over Dem Mark Critz right now, it's fitting that, given his name, Mr. Burns is self-funding his campaign. Of the $325K raised by his campaign so far, $221K has come from his own pocket.
• VA-11: It looks like this is going to be a big money race all around. As the gear up for the GOP primary, Fairfax Co. Supervisor Pat Herrity and rich guy Keith Fimian are engaged in a tiresome spin battle about who has more money. Herrity raised $275K despite a late entry during the quarter and has $195K CoH, while Fimian raised $278K and has $609K CoH. Rep. Gerry Connolly can marshal his resources for the general; he bested them both, raising $446K and sitting on $1.04 million CoH.
• WV-01: Mike Oliverio, running in the Democratic primary, had a big quarter: he raised $240K and has as much cash on hand as Rep. Alan Mollohan.
• NY-AG: Former Rep. and NYC controller Elizabeth Holtzman looks poised for yet another comeback; she's released an internal poll showing her with a big lead in the Democratic AG primary, which, while she's not running yet, isn't the usual action of someone who doesn't plan to run. Her poll finds her at 29%, with Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice in second at 9%.
• DNC: Someone at the DNC seems to know what to do: they're pledging to spend $50 million on cash and field operations for the 2010 midterm. They say there's going to be a big emphasis on base turnout (youth, African-Americans and Latinos, first-time voters); in other words, they understand they need to rebuild the Obama coalition as much as possible to limit losses in November.
• MA-Sen: With last night's Suffolk poll, there really can't be any doubt any more that the Massachusetts Senate race qualifies as a "Toss Up," so we're changing our rating to reflect that. There's still room for skepticism on whether Scott Brown can in fact pull it out, given not only the difficulty of pinning down a likely voter universe in a rapidly-fluctuating special election, but also the Democrats' structural advantages on the ground in the Bay State. (The Democrats have the advantage of labor and local machines long-skilled at rousting out voters and getting them to the polls, while it's questionable whether the Republicans have, given their long neglect of the state, any ground troops to deploy here, or even up-to-date, refined voter databases.) Nevertheless, given what can actually be quantified, right now the polls balance out to more or less a tie, and that's how we have to treat the race.
The breaking news du jour is that Barack Obama has finally agreed to head up to Massachusetts and stump for Martha Coakley on Sunday. Also, the Coakley campaign is rolling out a second ad for the weekend, to go with their ad showcasing the Vicki Kennedy endorsement; they're also running a populist-themed ad on Wall Street regulation (specifically, the rather narrow issue of the proposed bonus tax on banks). The ad deluge is being bolstered a League of Conservation Voters ad buy for $350K; on the third-party front, that's being countered by a pro-Brown ad buy for $500K from Americans for Job Security.
• CA-Sen: Yesterday I was musing about whether ex-Rep. Tom Campbell's entry into the GOP Senate primary hurt Carly Fiorina or Chuck DeVore more, and we already seem to have an answer. The Campbell camp is touting an internal poll showing them with a sizable lead over both Fiorina and DeVore in the primary: Campbell is at 31, with Fiorina at 15 and DeVore at 12. The few polls of the primary so far have shown Fiorina and DeVore deadlocked in the 20s, so maybe it's safe to say that Campbell hurts them each equally.
• FL-Sen: Which of these is not like the other? There's a new multi-candidate GOP fundraising PAC called the U.S. Senate Victory Committee, which benefits seven different Republicans: Kelly Ayotte, Roy Blunt, Jane Norton, Rob Portman, Rob Simmons, Pat Toomey... and Marco Rubio? Six establishment candidates, and one insurgent. Or is Rubio the new establishment?
• PPP (pdf): PPP looks all the way to 2012 as part of their wide-ranging Nevada survey, and finds that John Ensign may weather his whole giving-a-patronage-job-to-the-cuckolded-husband-of-his-mistress thing, if he runs again. Ensign trails Las Vegas mayor (but probable 2010 gubernatorial candidate) only Oscar Goodman 43-41, but leads Rep. Shelly Berkley 49-40 and SoS Ross Miller 47-36. Of course, Berkley and Miller aren't that well-known yet and would presumably gain ground in an active 2012 race, but again, more food for thought on the idea that Republicans really don't get the vapors over sex scandals after all, so long as they're perpetrated by Republicans.
• MN-Gov: The St. Paul Pioneer Press is out with a poll of Minnesota voters (by a pollster I've never heard of, Decision Resources Ltd.). The poll seemed most focused on the question of whether there should be public funding of the new Vikings stadium, but it did throw in (almost as an afterthought) something we haven't seen before: general election head-to-heads in the Governor's race. The numbers are pretty encouraging for the Democrats: ex-Sen. Mark Dayton leads ex-Sen. Norm Coleman 41-31, and state Rep. Marty Seifert (who, assuming Coleman doesn't get in, is the likeliest GOP nominee) 41-25. State House speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher beats Coleman 33-31, and Pat Anderson (who dropped out of the race this week) 33-23. There weren't any numbers for Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, another strong contender for the Dem nod. And yes, if you're wondering, this does take into account the potential spoiler role of Minnesota's Independence Party; IP candidates account for 11 to 13 percent of the vote in each of these trial heats. (H/t alphaaqua.)
• NH-Gov: One other gubernatorial poll has good news for Democrats, and it even comes from Rasmussen. They find incumbent Gov. John Lynch in safe position with 58/38 approvals and, against his no-name opponents, leading social conservative activist Karen Testerman 53-30 and businessman Jack Kimball 51-32.
• OH-Gov: Who knew that John Kasich had the power to transcend the boundaries of space and time? In an effort to court the GOP's restive base, Kasich said "I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party."
• WY-Gov: One more big-name Republican (by Wyoming's small standards) is getting into the gubernatorial race, banking on the assumption that incumbent Dem Dave Freudenthal won't jump through the legal hoops necessary to run for a third term. Auditor Rita Meyer is getting into the race, where potential GOP primary rivals include former US Attorney Matt Mead and state House speaker Colin Simpson.
• AL-05: Rep. Parker Griffith is showing his true colors. The party-switcher has been turning away requests for refunds of contributions that don't meet the requirements buried in the fine print: he says he can't refund donations for the 2008 cycle, only the 2010 cycle, because the 2008 contributions were spent long ago.
• AR-02: Rep. Vic Snyder is in pretty dire shape, if a new poll from SurveyUSA is to be believed: he trails Republican candidate and former US Attorney Tim Griffin by a 56-39 margin. You may want to take this poll with a grain of salt, as it was paid for by Firedoglake, who seem to have an axe to grind in the health care reform debate, and the Snyder numbers seem to be less the main point than engaging in strangely-right-wing-sounding message-testing. The good news is that, even after a variety of anti-HCR arguments have been offered (and Nate Silver does a fine job of picking apart the survey), Snyder doesn't fare much worse (at 58-35); the bad news, though, is that the 56-39 topline question was asked before any of the litany of anti-HCR talking points, suggesting that, HCR or no, we have a major problem in Arkansas.
• AZ-03: Despite Jon Hulburd's surprising cash haul, he may have bigger company in the Democratic primary to replace recently-retired Republican Rep. John Shadegg. Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon is the subject of speculation; he had briefly considered a 2008 run against Shadegg before ruling it out, saying his post-mayoral future would be in the private sector, but all eyes are on what he does now. (Gordon lives slightly outside the district's boundaries.) On the GOP side, there's no clear frontrunner at all. State Rep. Sam Crump has already said he's running. Possible other candidates include state Treasurer Dean Martin (who would have to drop down from the gubernatorial bid he just launched this week), state Sens. Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring, Phoenix city councilor Peggy Neely, former ASU football star Andrew Walter, and, in a shocker, the co-founder of Taser International Inc., Tom Smith. Former state House speaker Jim Weiers has taken himself out of the running.
• NC-11: Businessman Jeff Miller has reversed course and will run against Democratic Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler in the 11th. Miller had been recruited to run, but decided against it; he'll have to face a primary against Hendersonville mayor Greg Newman, who got in after Miller initially declined.
• OH-15: The Ohio GOP is still searching for an Auditor candidate after Mary Taylor decided to run for Lt. Governor instead of re-election. Former state Sen. Steve Stivers has been asked to run for Auditor, but made clear he'll be staying in the race in the 15th (where he might actually have better odds, considering how close he came to Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy last time).
• AR-Sen: Shortest Senate campaign ever. Former Arkansas Farm Bureau president Stanley Reed, about one week into his campaign, dropped out today, citing health reasons. Reed, with his resume and connections, was considered a very credible candidate when stacked up against the rest of the ragtag band of misfits running for the GOP. On the Dem side comes the intriguing news that the SEIU is paying down Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's campaign debt. Daily Kos's Jed seems optimistic that the SEIU is facilitating a primary run against Blanche Lincoln (they said he "has a very bright political future," although not specifically referencing the Senate race), although, considering there were rumors that the SEIU's anti-Gilbert Baker ad was interpreted as a sign to Lincoln that they had her back (in exchange for her cooperation on an HCR cloture vote), it's also possible this could be a carrot from the SEIU to Halter to stay out of the primary. This one's worth keeping an eye on.
• AZ-Sen: This might be a clue that there's some growing substance to the rumors that ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth is gearing up for a primary run against John McCain. He's in Washington DC this week, meeting with potential supporters including conservative advocacy group Citizens United.
• CT-Sen: I'm not sure how much sway former Democratic state party chair Ed Marcus has over Chris Dodd or anybody else, but he's gone on the record advocating that Dodd hang it up and make way for Richard Blumenthal. Dodd's people responded that Marcus has some sort of old grudge against Dodd.
• KY-Sen: Um, whoops. Rand Paul's campaign manager Chris Hightower had to resign his post yesterday after local blog Barefoot and Progressive found racist comments on Hightower's MySpace page (and also video of performances by Hightower's death metal band... gotta love those crazy libertarians). (Wait... MySpace? Srsly?) Primary rival Trey Grayson's campaign wasted no time jumping on this, adding some fuel to their argument that Paul isn't coming from mainstream Republican turf.
• IL-Gov: Rasmussen added some gubernatorial numbers to their Illinois sample, finding fairly comfortable leads for both incumbent Pat Quinn and Dem comptroller Dan Hynes against their Republican opposition. It wouldn't be a Rasmussen poll without something inexplicable in it, though, and this time it's the decision not to poll former AG Jim Ryan, who's probably the Republican field's frontrunner. Still, Quinn beats state party chair Andy McKenna 41-33, state Sen. Bill Brady 45-30, and state Sen. Kirk Dillard 41-30, while Hynes beats McKenna 43-30, Brady 46-27, and Dillard 42-29. Interesting to see Hynes overperforming Quinn in the general, even as Hynes looks unlikely to make it out of the primary; that may have to do with some Blago-related stench coming off of Quinn (Blago's ex-LG, although they had absolutely nothing to do with each other), or just the reversal of positions, where the former reformer Quinn is now the insider and the well-connected Hynes is now the outsider. In the Dem primary, long-time SoS Jesse White threw his endorsement to Quinn. The Dem field also shrank to only Quinn and Hynes as the two minor candidates were vanquished; attorney Ed Scanlon was knocked off the ballot, while activist Dock Walls withdrew.
• NY-Gov: It had looked like Erie County Exec Chris Collins had gaffed his way out of contention for a possible run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination (after a bizarre tirade against Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver). But with Rudy Giuliani pretty clearly out of the field and ex-Rep. Rick Lazio exciting absolutely nobody, it looks like Collins may still take a whack at it. He just hired a campaign consulting firm run by a former Giuliani aide.
• IL-10: One of the four GOPers in the field in the 10th, Bill Cadigan, has dropped out; without state Rep. Beth Coulson's name rec or the money of Dick Green or Bob Dold, he really didn't have a foot in the door. Speaking of Bob Dold, Bob Dold is now on the air with a TV spot touting Bob Dold's conservative economic views. Bob Dold!
• MN-06: If there's someone out there who seems like she'd be one of those crazy bosses, it's Rep. Michele Bachmann. She's had a terrible time holding onto chiefs of staff, and now she's facing a rupture with her entire fundraising group, described as a "defection" (although it's not clear where they're defecting to).
• NH-02: This isn't going to endear ex-Rep. Charlie Bass to the teabag set, as he seeks to reclaim his seat. Bass just got a $2,500 check from NRCC chair Pete Sessions' PAC. The anti-establishment right already has to be inclined to support right-wing radio talker Jennifer Horn over the moderate Bass.
• OH-15: Ex-state Sen. (and 2008 loser) Steve Stivers won't get the GOP primary to himself; he's facing a challenge from the right from John Adams, who's labeling himself as the "conservative alternative." Stivers also faces third-party right-winger David Ryon in the general, similar to what hamstrung him last time and let Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy squeak into office.
• OH-17: Ex-Rep. (and ex-con) Jim Traficant is in the news again, sounding revved up to, well, yell and gesticulate a lot, as always. He's also still talking about another run for Congress, although he's not sure where. He said he'd circulate nominating petitions in three different districts. His former seat in the 17th is likeliest, although so too is the neighboring 6th.
• PA-10: The race in the 10th has been slow to take shape, compared with most other red-leaning districts held by Democrats. But with state Rep. Mike Peifer recently having announced he's interested in a race against Rep. Chris Carney, now someone else potentially higher up the food chain is checking it out too: former US Attorney Tom Marino, who already (wisely) passed on the race in 2008.
• PA-15: Here's one more district with teabagger troubles for the NRCC and the Republican establishment. Rep. Charlie Dent is facing his toughest challenge yet from Democratic mayor of Bethlehem John Callahan, and now comes word of a challenge in the GOP primary from 9/12 movement member Matthew Benol. There's also a third-party teabagger awaiting Dent in the general, Jake Towne.
• TN-06: State Sen. Jim Tracy seemed to have an early edge on securing the GOP nod in the now-open 6th, vacated recently by Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon. That was bolstered by his recent announcement that he'd already raised $100K in funds just this week, and that he'd gotten the endorsement of fellow state Sen. (and potential primary rival) Bill Ketron. However, he's got some competition from another fellow state Senator now: Diane Black announced that she's joining the race too. (Black is from suburban Gallatin, while Tracy is from more rural Shelbyville.)
• TN-08: Republican candidate Stephen Fincher had been successfully playing the "I'm just a humble farmer/gospel singer who's never even been to Washington" role for a while, it seems, but suddenly the teabaggers are turning their wrath on even him, too. They're taking an issue with his fundraising, as almost all of his money is coming from nearby farm families who've maxed-out on donations (which is a good sign, as his big haul so far was just him picking the low-hanging fruit; now the real test comes). What's alarming to the anti-pork crowd is that how deep in the pocket of Big Ag he seems to be; his supporters have received a cumulative $80,000,000 in farm subsidies, and Fincher himself has gotten $6,000,000 in farm subsidies over the years, including $800,000 in 2007 alone.
• WA-03: The Democratic field seems to be solidifying, with Olympia-area state Rep. Brendan Williams, a frequently-mentioned possible candidate, deciding against a run. With state Sen. Craig Pridemore and state Rep. Deb Wallace both in, the two main candidates are both from Vancouver instead. Also worth noting: peace activist Cheryl Crist is in the race for the Dems too. Crist primaried Brian Baird in 2008, doing well at the activist-dominated nominating convention but making little impact in the actual primary.
• GA-St. House: It's official; David Ralston is the new Republican speaker of Georgia's House, following the suicide attempt and resignation of former speaker Glenn Richardson. If you're looking for broader implications, it takes Ralston's name out of contention in the open seat in GA-09, where he'd been rumored to be interested in a run.
• Demographics: Josh Goodman does some neat number-tweaking, overlaying Census projections onto the 2008 presidential election to try and predict the 2052 election. Assuming that racial groups keep voting for the same parties at the same proportions, he projects 58-40 Democratic edge. Of course, that's easier said than done, as, for starters, Hispanics could return to their 2004-level GOP performance; also, as he points out, "Heck, in 40 years the Tea Party and the Green Party might be the major players in contesting the all-important cyborg vote."
• FL-Sen: Everything's coming up Milhouse for Rep. Kendrick Meek these days: Rep. Corrine Brown decided not to challenge him in the primary, he's watching Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio go hammer and tongs at each other on the GOP side, and now he has the endorsement of Florida's currently most successful Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson.
• NH-Sen: Oh please oh please... the geniuses at the Club for Growth are considering getting involved in the New Hampshire Senate race, where the position-less campaign of Kelly Ayotte doesn't seem to be capturing their fancy. (This is buried at the end of an article on how they're still weighing involvement in FL-Sen.)
• NY-Gov: David Paterson is playing a different tune than before, sounding less defiant and ready to "reassess" if his numbers stay in the tank on into early 2010. Meanwhile, this may be a tea leaf that Rudy Giuliani isn't planning to run -- or simply one Suffolk County resident doing a favor for another one -- but Suffolk County (on Lon Gisland) GOP leader John Jay LaValle endorsed Rick Lazio last week, and now Orange County (in the Hudson Valley) GOP leader Bill DeProspo is also endorsing Lazio. (And with Lazio poised to get demolished in a Rudy primary, you wouldn't likely make that endorsement and risk the Rudy's wrath unless you had a sense that he wasn't running.) Finally, Erie County Exec Chris Collins had been considered a post-Rudy Plan B for the GOP, but he seems to have taken himself out of the running with bizarre remarks last weekend comparing Democratic Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver to both Hitler and the anti-Christ.
• VA-Gov: Two more Virginia polls to add to the pile today: Roanoke College (in its first and apparently only poll) finds Bob McDonnell with a 53-36 lead over Creigh Deeds. In another bit of bad news, Republicans lead Democrats 43-33 on a generic ballot question concerning the House of Delegates. Research 2000 also looks at the race, finding a 54-44 lead for McDonnell -- one of Deeds' best performances recently, although that's not saying much.
• IA-03: Republican state Sen. (and former mayor of the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale) Brad Zaun says he's seriously considering a run against Rep. Leonard Boswell in the 3rd next year. Mike Mahaffey, former state GOP chair, is set to decide by next week whether or not he'll run too.
• IL-18: Democrat D.K. Hirner will run for the nomination to face off against Rep. Aaron Schock in the Peoria-area 18th (who benefited from Democratic recruitment problems in his initial run in 2008). Hirner is the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group.
• MN-03: Democratic psychiatrist Maureen Hackett filed campaign papers to run in the 3rd against freshman Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen (who won with only 49% of the vote in 2008). Minnesota PTA president Jim Meffert-Nelson is also planning to announce his bid soon, while state Sen. Teri Bonoff, the district's heavyweight Dem, is still weighing the race.
• NH-02: EMILY's List has one more endorsee: attorney Ann McLane Kuster, in the open seat race in the 2nd. You may be wondering "Wait, isn't Katrina Swett going to run there?" While Kuster is officially in the race and has been fundraising well, Swett hasn't committed to a bid yet, though... and more importantly, supports parental notification for abortion, making an endorsement unlikely.
• OH-15: Here's a positive development at both the micro and macro levels: little-known anti-abortion Ron Paul-supporter David Ryon dropped out of the Republican primary field against state Sen. Steve Stivers (who's seeking a rematch against freshman Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy), and he's going to go the third party route. This is good at a micro level because it's similar to what happened in 2008, when two minor right-wing candidates siphoned off 9% of the vote, allowing Kilroy to get past the pro-choice Stivers despite an underwhelming performance (and without Obama on the ballot driving turnout in a university-dominated district, Kilroy is poised to underwhelm again in 2010). And at a macro level, it may be an indication that various wingnuts are taking stock of the Doug Hoffman situation and saying "Hey, that could be me!" (Thus further exacerabting the rifts in the GOP.)
• OH-16: Buried at the end of an article that's mostly profiling alleged GOP frontrunner Jim Renacci, there's news that conservative former Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller is planning a third run in the primary in the 16th. Miller, if you'll recall, got 42% in the 2006 primary against long-time Rep. Ralph Regula (which was probably instrumental in prompting Regula's 2008 retirement), and then almost won the 2008 primary against state Sen. Kirk Schuring. So it's hardly a foregone conclusion that freshman Democratic Rep. John Boccieri will be facing Renacci next year.
• VA-07: Democratic real estate developer Charles Diradour has decided to scrap his nascent candidacy against Eric Cantor, so it's back to the drawing board for Dems in the reddish 7th. Cantor has the biggest bankroll of any House Republican, so it'd be an uphill fight, to say the least.
• NY-St. Sen.: With state Sen. Hiram Monserrate intending to stay in the Senate despite having been convicted of misdemeanor assault last week, the Queens Democratic Party (led by Rep. Joe Crowley) is taking the unusual step of recruiting and endorsing a primary challenger to him. Assemblyman Jose Peralta will be running against Monserrate with the local party's blessing. The Senate is also still considering whether to begin expulsion proceedings against Monserrate.
• PA-S. Ct.: Josh Goodman has a good catch on how the lone Supreme Court race on the ballot in Pennsylvania next week is actually a key race, in terms of state legislative redistricting in 2010. The state's legislative redistricting board has 5 seats, with two seats from each legislative chamber and the remaining seat chosen by the first 4. But if the two legislative chambers are controlled by different parties (as is currently the case), there's a deadlock, and the 5th member is chosen by the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court is also currently deadlocked between the parties (3-3, with the victor of next week's race the tiebreaking vote), so the Supreme Court race essentially is for control of state legislative redistricting for the next decade. In the one poll I've seen of the race, Democrat Jack Panella led GOPer Joan Orie Melvin 38-35.
• Polling: PPP is asking for your help again: they'd like to know what you'd like to see for a release schedule over the next week.
• MA-Sen: Here's another academic name popping up in connect with Ted Kennedy's vacant senate seat. The Center for American Progress Action Fund thinks that Deval Patrick should appoint Harvard prof and Boston-based surgeon Atul Gawande to the post. Gawande is best-known these days for his seminal article this summer in the New Yorker about health-care costs, but he also was a healthcare advisor to Bill Clinton in the early 90s. (D)
Also in the Bay State, Rep. Mike Capuano got a potentially helpful endorsement, from fellow Rep. Barney Frank. Frank's imprimatur may help Capuano prove his liberal bona fides and win over some voters in the Boston suburbs who may not be familiar with him.
• NH-Sen: Despite Kelly Ayotte's reputed field-clearing abilities, yet another Republican is adding his name to the list of possible candidates in the New Hampshire Senate race. Real estate investor William Binnie is quite literally from the country club wing of the GOP -- he's owner and president of the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Country Club and owner/driver of an auto racing team. Another suggestion he may be running to the left of Ayotte (although her intentionally amorphous political persona gives no clue about her ideology); Binnie is tight with moderate GOP ex-Rep. Andrew Zeliff, and has given money to Democratic candidates in the past.
• TX-Sen: Rumors out of Texas have Kay Bailey Hutchison resigning her seat at year's end (on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1) in order to pursue her gubernatorial bid against Rick Perry. Under Texas law, this would lead to a short-term appointment, and then a special election on May 8.
• IA-Gov: Incumbent Dem Chet Culver continues to sport rather good favorables, clocking in at 50/37, but his re-elect numbers may give him some pause (28% say "definitely vote for," 27% say "consider an alternative," and 21% say "definitely vote for alternative"). Republican ex-Gov. Terry Branstad, who's been receptive to the idea of a bid for a return to office, is still remembered fondly by Iowans, with favorables of 59/22. Sen. Chuck Grassley is the state's best-liked figure, though, with 64% favorables and a 45% "definitely vote for." (H/t Steve Benen.)
• NJ-Gov (pdf): Neighborhood Research is a Republican internal pollster (they worked with primary loser Steve Lonegan), but they were the first pollster to find Jon Corzine moving back within the margin of error. They're back with a new poll, showing Corzine still within striking distance, trailing Chris Christie 37-33 (although that's down from their August finding of 37-35) with Chris Daggett at 6. Meanwhile, Chris Daggett has joined a voter suit challenging ballot ordering in New Jersey, which favors the two major-party candidates.
• PA-Gov: Montgomery County Commissioner and ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel says he's moving ahead with plans to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. No formal announcement date is set, but the progressive from the Philly suburbs is starting to staff up, and is bolstered by an internal poll he commissioned through Lake Research, showing him leading the nebulous field at 15%, with Allegheny County Exec Dan Onorato and state Auditor Jack Wagner both at 12, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty at 6, and Philly businessman Tom Knox at 5.
• NY-23: With the 23rd now officially vacant, Dem candidate Bill Owens is the first to put up a TV spot. He stresses his military roots and efforts to generated jobs via the redevelopment of the old Plattsburgh AFB.
• TN-01: Get ready for Roe vs. Davis III in the 1st. Ex-Rep. David Davis, who defeated current Rep. Phil Roe in the 2006 GOP primary and then lost the 2008 GOP primary to him (in this R+21 district), has been publicly blasting Roe's record.
• NY-Lt. Gov: On Friday, Sept. 11th, New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, heard oral arguments regarding David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch as Lt. Governor. According to reports, Paterson's camp seemed to have gotten its most favorable treatment to date. Lawyers on both sides, says the NYT, expect a decision within two weeks, which would mean the end of this week or the beginning of next. One possibility is that the court could rule that Republican leader Dean Skelos simply didn't have standing to sue, which would leave the Ravitch appointment intact. (D)
• NYC-Mayor: Marist finds that Democratic city Comptroller William Thompson, despite a convincing primary win, still trails Independent/Republican incumbent Mike Bloomberg in the general, 50-39 among RVs and 52-43 among LVs. It's still some improvement for Thompson, who trailed 48-35 among RVs in July.
• Ads: Conservative PAC the Family Research Council has published its own target list for the 2010 cycle: Michael Bennet and Chris Dodd, plus the Missouri and Ohio open seats, in the Senate, and John Boccieri, Steve Driehaus, Parker Griffith, Mary Jo Kilroy, Ann Kirkpatrick, Betsy Markey, Walt Minnick, John Murtha, Glenn Nye, Tom Perriello, and Dina Titus in the House.