One more race down in the House, with NC-02 coming to a conclusion. The recount requested by Bobby Etheridge didn't seem to change the numbers much, if at all:
Democratic Rep. Bobby Etheridge will concede to Republican Renee Ellmers, a Democratic source confirms.
With local election officials completing their recount of votes cast in North Carolina's 2nd District race, Ellmers led Etheridge by 1,489 votes.
With Ellmers pretty clearly on the outs with the NRCC, the real question here for her survival in 2012 is how much the North Carolina legislature, under GOP control for the redistricting process, will reconfigure the Raleigh area lines in order to protect Ellmers. (You might remember that a similarly-configured 2nd also had a Republican Rep. for 2 years following the previous GOP wave in 1994, the long-forgotten David Funderburk, beaten in 1996 by Etheridge.) The current configuration of the district (which includes part of Raleigh proper) is swingy enough (R+2) that she could have a rough time in her first re-election... unless her district gets pushed further out into the exurbs and rural counties, and Brad Miller's NC-13 becomes more Raleigh-centric.
Of all the list of outstanding races, this was the one that seemed least likely to get reversed, given that the disparity was always in the four digits and the AP never un-called the race. That leaves only four House races left to resolve, including CA-11 and CA-20, where Dem victories seem very likely, meaning that NY-01 and NY-25 are the real question marks. (UPDATE: Make that five, as a recount is still pending in the likely loss in TX-27.)
• AK-Sen: As it gets more and more apparent that victory isn't going to come on the write-in-challenges front, the Joe Miller camp seems to be admitting as much. However, they aren't preparing to concede, as they see one last ace in the hole: absentee ballots, which are still trickling in. The last to arrive (ahead of Wednesday's deadline) will be the military overseas ballots, which Miller expects will break heavily in his favor (seeing as how many military members nearing the end of their commitment are probably looking forward to a profitable career on Miller's paramilitary goon squad). With Lisa Murkowski's lead holding at 40-35, though, it's unclear whether military ballots would show up in sufficient numbers to turn the tide even if they broke widely for Miller.
• DE-Sen, WV-Sen: Congratulations today to Chris Coons and Joe Manchin, both of whom are being sworn into the Senate this afternoon for the lame-duck session. It's also the first day on the job for Earl Ray Tomblin, who becomes the new West Virginia Governor in Manchin's absence. If you're wondering about Mark Kirk, he'll be sworn in next week thanks to vagaries of Illinois law. (If I may be allowed a brief moment of alma mater pride, Coons appears to be the first Amherst alum elected to the Senate since the ill-fated Thomas Eagleton.)
• MA-Sen: You may remember a boomlet that peaked last week for Senate speculation concerning Setti Warren, the "rock star" mayor of Newton. Well, that's over, as he's now saying his "intent" is to finish his term, which runs through 2013. However, a different young up-and-coming mayor of one of the Bay State's larger cities is now poking the Senate race with a stick: Will Flanagan, the 30-year-old mayor of the much more blue-collar Fall River, is gauging the race.
• TX-Sen: The Fix has a look at possible primary challengers to Kay Bailey Hutchison, who, with her bungled gubernatorial run and her TARP vote, seems to have painted a big target on her back aimed at Texas tea partiers looking for a promotion. Former SoS Roger Williams and former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones are already in the race (dating back to when it was expected that KBH would be on her way to the Governor's Mansion at this point), but the bigger names to watch are Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Dewhurst is establishment but has the personal wealth to get a foothold here, while Williams has no money but is the favorite of the tea party set. Dallas mayor Tom Leppert is also mentioned as a wild-card. One Dem who won't be making the race is former Houston mayor Bill White, who in wake of his gubernatorial loss says he won't pivot to a Senate race. That probably frees up the Dem Senate slot for former comptroller John Sharp, who was going to run in the hypothetical special election that never happened and already has a big stack of cash saved up for the race.
• CT-Gov: If you're hearing zombie lies from Republican friends about the Connecticut gubernatorial race being stolen by the urban machines, here's a handy debunking point: exit polls show that the huge falloff in votes in Bridgeport neatly tracks the statewide falloff in Dem crossover votes for the Republican candidate in general from 2006 (when the broadly-popular Jodi Rell ran) to 2010.
• KY-Gov: One more Republican to keep in mind as a potential challenger in next year's off-year gubernatorial election: Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw. That's kind of a big step up to Governor, so it seems like she might be starting with a high negotiating position with the party to try to worm her way into the SoS slot instead (assuming Trey Grayson follows through on plans to run for AG instead).
• NC-02, TX-27: Here are updates on two of our outstanding races: recounts have been officially approved in both of 'em. Six counties in the 27th will be recounted, per Solomon Ortiz's request, as he trails by about 800. In the 2nd, the canvass was officially certified with Bobby Etheridge trailing by 1,489, but he'll be pursuing a recount as allowed under state law. While neither of these prospects looks that hopeful, we can take some solace in that the likely victors, Blake Farenthold and Renee Elmers, are some of the most amateur-hour entrants into the new House and hopefully likely to help define the new face of the Republican Party.
• NY-29: Best wishes for a quick recovery to soon-to-be-sworn-in Tom Reed, who literally just arrived in Washington and was immediately sickened by it. He was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs and says he'll be released in one or two days, ready to get to work.
• WA-01, WA-03: I'd hoped that Brian Baird was going to take his unique variety of douchiness to the private sector for good, but it looks like his strange retirement decision may have been an inspired case of district-shopping instead. He's moving to Edmonds in Seattle's northern suburbs, which just happens to be in the 1st District. Assuming that Jay Inslee follows through on his widely-known plans to run for Governor, lo and behold, the 1st will be an open seat in 2012. The 1st (which is a pretty safe district in its current configuration, and will probably keep similar lines in redistricting) has to be more appealing than the 3rd, which redistricting will probably move from a true swing district to a light-red one, as liberal Olympia will probably have to be exchanged for a Columbia Gorge-centered district that's based in Vancouver but that runs east into conservative Yakima County. (Which, unfortunately, would be tailor-made for Jaime Herrera, who's Latina but living in the Vancouver burbs, and will make her much harder to dislodge.) For more detail on Washington's likely 10-district map, see here.
• NY-St. Sen.: Here's an update on the three races that are holding New York State Senate control in the balance. Dem incumbent Craig Johnson trails by only 427, and seems to be gaining at a rapid clip as absentee votes get counted, so the trajectory indicates he might pull ahead by the end. Things seem more locked in with two more Dem incumbents, though: Suzi Oppenheimer leads by 504, while Antoine Thompson trails by 597. Wins by Johnson and Oppenheimer would set up a 31-31 tie.
• Chicago mayor: The election's been over for two weeks, and it's already time for the first new edition of SSP TV: Rahm Emanuel kicked off his mayoral bid with his first TV spot already. Rep. Danny Davis also made it official this weekend, launching his bid and dubbing himself the "grassroots" candidate. (He looks like he'll be giving up his House seat only in the event that he wins the mayoral race.)
• DSCC: After some hopeful signs that Michael Bennet might be willing to take on the role of DSCC head, he said "no thanks" late Friday. At this point, Beltway pundits seem to think that the shortest straw has Patty Murray's name on it.
• RGA: Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed on for another cycle at the helm of the Republican Governor's Association. I've seen speculation that he's doing it mostly to shut down rumors that he's really running for President, although it should be a pretty sleepy gubernatorial cycle and he might be able to juggle both tasks (since most big states elect governors during the midterms, and only a few open seats loom... Indiana, North Carolina, and Washington may be the highest-profile races).
• Redistricting: The Wall Street Journal has a good overview of what to expect with redistricting, and they seem to come to the same conclusion that I have: that the downside for the GOP of their strong performance in Dem-held red districts is that it means there are a lot fewer opportunities to turf anyone out through aggressive gerrymandering, and instead their efforts are going to have to more defensive, oriented toward shoring up the deadwood that washed ashore. Meaning, of course, that predictions of another large redistricting-driven gain in the House for the GOP aren't likely to come to pass, although it will still make it harder for the Dems to regain significant ground.
A couple articles are also out today dealing with the biggest redistricting prize of all, California, although whether it's a prize or not has much to do with what happens with the newly-created (by Prop 20) congressional redistricting commission; this week, out of the pool of 36,000 applicants, 36 finalists for the commission's citizen slots will be picked. Of particular interest is what exactly happens with the seats in northern Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, where there's a push underway to get a Hispanic district. (Worth noting: CA-28 already has a Hispanic majority, although Howard Berman seems pretty primary-proof there, and there don't seem to be enough parts and pieces elsewhere in the Valley to create another neatly-shaped one.)
• Demographics: Here's a big surprise, on the demographic front: there are reports that there are 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were when SB 1070 passed. That may not have a big impact on voting behavior (since those emigrants are probably unlikely voters), but a big impact on redistricting, where the possibility of a third VRA district in Arizona looms. Or maybe not... since the census only cares where you were on April 1, much of that fleeing may not have happened yet at that point.
• Dave's App: Exciting news from over in the diaries: version 2.0 of Dave's Redistricting App is available. You can check out all the details at the link, but two major improvements including use of street maps (making urban work much easier) and ability to save JPGs. Redistricting is going to be one of Swing State Project's main preoccupations over the next year, and Dave's App is one of the best tools we have in our arsenal.
Recounts: The Hill reports that the DCCC has sent staffers to assist with recount efforts in California, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Washington state. One state is notably not on the list, and I think that says a lot: Texas. Check out our TX-27 item below for more.
AK-Sen: Here's the schedule: Absentee ballots (30,500) will start getting counted today. Tomorrow, write-ins (83K) will be talled. And provisional ballots (12,000) will be opened on Friday. Joe Miller needs to find a way to disqualify over 13,000 write-ins to have a shot (as things stand now) - or pray that people wrote in someone other than Lisa Murkowski. Interestingly, the NRSC is still backing Miller's play, with Big John Cornyn and Jim "Crème" DeMenthe both sending fundraising emails on his behalf to help with recount efforts. Meanwhile, for her part, Murkowski has brought in notorious GOP hatchet man Ben Ginsburg. You may remember Ginsburg from such recounts as "Florida 2000: The Brooks Brothers Riot" and "Dickface Norm Coleman's Dickfaced Adventure: The Whinening." A little late-breaking cat fud!
MN-Gov: Though he trails Dem Mark Dayton by more than 8,700 votes, Tom Emmer (through his lawyer) says he won't forego a recount. Cynical (i.e., sensible) observers imagine that Emmer will pursue even a hopeless recount just to give GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty some more time in office. With the state lege having just flipped to the Republicans, this would give the right-wing wrecking crew some unfettered time at the controls. The incoming state House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, says that even if this scenario came to pass, the Republicans would not "rush to ram something right through." Of course, you trust him, right?
CA-11: Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney's lead over David Harmer has now climbed to 804 votes. A judge also rejected GOP demands that the elections chief for Contra Costa County allow observers to "compare signatures on vote-by-mail ballots with voter affidavit signatures on file in the office." (The Contra Costa portion of the 10th CD went for Obama 56-43.)
CA-20: Republican Andy Vidak has seen his lead shrivel to just 145 votes... but it's Dem Rep. Jim Costa who is in the driver's seat. Huge numbers of ballots remain to be counted in Fresno County (perhaps 50 to 70K), and the Fresno part of this district went for Obama by a two-to-one ratio. Hard to see how Vidak hangs on.
IL-08: Though she picked up 188 votes last week, Rep. Melissa Bean (D) still trails Jim Walsh by 350. According to the AP, "hundreds of provisional and absentee ballots are still being counted in Cook, McHenry and Lake counties," but the count won't be finalized any sooner than Nov. 16th, the deadline for absentees to arrive. Provisional ballots will get counted after that date. In related barf-inducing news, unnamed sources (aka "buzz," according to Politico) are supposedly floating Bean's name to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Board if she doesn't pull this one out. Gack!
KY-06: Andy Barr is down 649 votes to Rep. Ben Chandler (D), but he won't concede until after a recanvass (scheduled for Nov. 12th) is complete. Barr vaguely sounded like he might be interested in a rematch, saying ""the cause will continue... and you can count on me whether I'm in Congress, a citizen, or a candidate for Congress."
NC-02: A lot of roundups keep forgetting this race, but Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge has not conceded to Renee Ellmers - and in fact, he's already filed a request for a recount. As long as the margin stays under 1% (as it is now), Etheridge is automatically entitled to have the votes tallied a second time. Even so, the gap right now is quite wide - 1,646 votes - but it seems like Dems are pinning their hopes on more errors like the one on election night, where Samson County failed to report votes from three of four early voting sites. Once these were added to the tally, Etheridge gained 453 votes. Still, he's got a long way to go.
NY-01: Dem Rep. Tim Bishop's lawyers are apparently headed to court today, seeking a full hand recount of all the ballots cast in this race. (And he's raising money for the cause, too.) As you will recall, Bishop had a 3,400-vote lead on election night, but somehow that has since swung all the way to a 383-vote advantange for Randy Altschuler. New York finally moved to a modern, scantron-type ballot system this year; problems with the transition are being blamed for all kinds of issues. As for absentees, Hotline says: "There are approximately 10,000 absentee ballots still to be counted; 4,200 from voters of parties that endorsed Altschuler and 3,900 from voters of parties that endorsed Bishop."
NY-25: Dem Rep. Dan Maffei trails Ann Marie Buerkle by 659 votes, but the AP says that "more than 7,000 absentee and other ballots remain outstanding and most won't be counted until Nov. 15." Also note that military and overseas ballots have until Nov. 24th to come in, which could be a factor if the race tightens. However, an analysis in AuburnPub.com suggests that if the absentees follow the same pattern as votes cast on election day, Buerkle's lead will actually increase a bit.
TX-27: Dem Rep. Solomon Ortiz is gearing up to request a recount, but this one looks pretty hopeless. There are fewer votes remaining to be counted (and this includes provisionals, which are subject to getting tossed) than separate Ortiz from Blake Farenthold. Oritz is alleging irregularities at the polls, but local officials haven't heard any such reports.
VA-11: As we mentioned yesterday, Republican Keith Fimian is conceding the race to Rep. Gerry Connolly.
WA-02: As we mentioned yesterday, the AP has called the race for Dem Rep. Rick Larsen over John Koster.
Republican Renee Ellmers, who will likely face a recount in her bid to unseat Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), appealed for help Thursday from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The NRCC declined and Ellmers isn't happy about it.
The Republican said she asked the committee for help covering the costs related to a looming recount - Ellmers leads Etheridge by some 1,600 votes and earlier this week the incumbent signaled his intention to request a recount.
After elections officials discovered a counting error in one of the state's counties, the Republican's lead over Etheridge shrunk. The difference between the two is now less than 1 percent of the vote, enabling Etheridge to ask for a recount.
Now, the Ellmers campaign has always had a notoriously frosty relationship with the NRCC, but since when is that a valid reason to cut a seat loose? What the hell is going on here?
• IL-Gov: The DGA is sending 'round a press release congratulating Pat Quinn on his who'da-thunk-it re-election victory. No official call yet, but the trendlines in the count (with a margin now of 20,000 votes) make it pretty clear what's happening. Bill Brady says he isn't ready to concede... yet. UPDATE: CNN has called it.
• CT-Gov: More vacillation in the Connecticut count, this time with Dan Malloy back on top by about 6,000 votes. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with actual counting, but simply with the AP getting its facts straight (it seemed to be missing a large slab of urban and assumedly heavily Democratic votes, mostly from New Haven). Final tallies remain unknown because we're still waiting on Bridgeport (another Dem stronghold), although SoS Susan Bysiewicz has promised results by the end of the day. (Doesn't seem like she'll make it, though.) Relatedly, Dan Debicella in CT-04 is "waiting and seeing" what the Bridgeport situation is before conceding, although that race has already been called against him.
• FL-Gov: This was pretty well decided yesterday, but Alex Sink officially conceded, finalizing the transaction on Rick Scott's self-financed purchase of the gubernatorial election.
• NE-Sen: Ben Nelson says he won't switch parties. (Why the heck would he want to, considering that the Dems still have a Lieberman-proof majority in the Senate, that he's part of? He'd just get teabagged to death in the 2012 GOP primary a la poor Parker Griffith.) It's worth wondering, though, if any House Dems are considering a switch... but, with the possible exception of Dan Boren, all of the most likely suspects have already lost, saving us the trouble of such speculation. UPDATE: Although here's an interesting post-script to the Nelson story: GOP Gov. Dave Heineman, who's led a few hypothetical polls against Nelson for 2012, has already announced that he won't run for the Senate in two years.
• NV-Sen: The one major race where the polls really seemed off was Nevada, where Harry Reid's 4-pt average deficit turned into a 5-point victory and in retrospect, that's easy to explain: pollsters weren't reaching Latinos. Exit polls suggest that Latinos did turn out well in Nevada (thanks in no doubt to the Reid-friendly hotel unions in Las Vegas). Nate Silver graphs the variance in other states with large Latino populations: it may also have played a role in Colorado, although the poll variance wasn't as bad there, though it was enough to predict a Ken Buck victory... and Latino turnout didn't seem to work in Texas, where Rick Perry exceeded polling predictions (and which explains the sudden and probably brief appearance of Rep. Blake Farenthold).
• KY-06: Here's a race that's definitely going to recount. Andy Barr, trailing Ben Chandler by about 600 votes, has formally requested a "routine recanvass."
• NC-02: Here's one more race where we're not quite dead yet. Bob Etheridge hasn't conceded, it turns out, nor should he: he's down only 1,646 votes, after cutting his deficit against Renee Elmers by more than 500 in late counting yesterday.
• NC-11: When Heath Shuler announced that he'd challenge Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, the proper response was laughter, although my main question at the time was whether he planned to challenge her for minority leader. It sounds like, yes, he does still plan to go through with his kooky gambit (made all the kookier because there aren't any core Blue Dogs left besides him who need to follow through on their promises to not vote for Pelosi). Anyway, the scuttlebutt seems to be leaning toward a voluntary sword-falling and a painless transition to Steny Hoyer, in which case the Shuler challenge would be even more pointless.
• WV-01: After maintaining for most of yesterday that he wasn't dead yet (given the narrow margin, currently 1,357), Mike Oliverio did wind up conceding eventually late yesterday.
• Redistricting: As much as the mess in the state legislatures really messes up hopes of wresting an advantage out of the redistricting process, here's some good news: Amendment 6 in Florida surprisingly passed, clearing the super-high 60% hurdle at 63%. This doesn't create a commission, but it does impose requirements that redistricting be done without political consideration (but without violating federal law, namely the Voting Rights Act). However, two U.S. Reps... probably the two in Florida who have the most to lose from having less friendly districts drawn for them... Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart, are challenging the law in court. With the passage of Proposition 20 in California, though, which creates an independent redistricting commission there, it's all kind of a wash, as a less-bad Florida map is balanced out by not being able to aggressively redistrict California. (Similarly, while it takes some sting out of Alex Sink's narrow loss, it also deflates the impact of Jerry Brown's victory.)
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
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
• AK-Sen: Daily Kos just added Scott McAdams to its Orange to Blue list, so if you're still looking to throw some money in his direction, you can do so via Big Orange. Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is trying to gear up her write-in campaign, and with Ted Stevens having been laid to rest this week, she's mulling whether to roll out those ads featuring Stevens that she had ready to go pre-primary but pulled because of his death. This can't be good news for Murkowski, though: Rep. Don Young, more from the Murkowski/Stevens wing of the local GOP than the teabagger wing, is having a bout of self-preservation and is staying neutral, not endorsing anyone in the race. Finally, here's one more page in Joe Miller's ongoing saga of milking the system that he hates so darn much: when new to Alaska (but after he'd bought his expensive house and started working as an attorney), he obtained an indigent hunting/fishing license that required an income of less than $8,200/yr.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell says she attended Oxford. Oh, no, wait, she took a course from something called the Phoenix Institute that "rented space from" Oxford. Why am I not surprised?
• FL-Sen: I always figured that the early love affair between the local teabaggery and Marco Rubio wouldn't last; he seemed more from the mainstream Jeb Bush camp and it seemed more a marriage of convenience based on his charisma but mostly on the fact that he wasn't Charlie Crist. Anyway, he's pretty much severed the relationship and making a break for the establishment with his latest revelation, that he decided several months ago against privatizing Social Security after concluding the idea "doesn't work." (If Ken Buck gets elected, I wonder how long it'll take him to make the same move?)
• IL-Sen: The DSCC is keeping on pouring money into the Land of Lincoln, bolstering Alexi Giannoulias. They're adding another $400K to the pile, for another week on the air.
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is taking the opposite tack, engaging in a little advertisus interruptus and pulling out for a week from Kentucky. (They claim they're doing so from a position of strength, naturally.) Meanwhile, this is kind of small ball ($1,400 in contributions from three guys), but it's still the kind of headline you probably don't want to see if you're Rand Paul, especially once you've made your feelings on the Civil Rights Act clear:
Conway camp calls on Paul to return money from white separatists
• NY-Sen-B: Marist (9/19-22, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parentheses):
Marist gives you a buffet of different numbers of choose from, as it's 54-42 for Gillibrand when leaners are pushed, or it's 55-36 when polling just registered voters (meaning there's an enthusiasm gap worth 8 points here). They also find Chuck Schumer having no problems in the other Senate race, leading Jay Townsend 58-37 among LVs (and 63-32 among RVs).
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson's one act of political participation prior to this year -- testifying before the state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan-supported Wisconsin Child Victims Act -- is getting a second look in the press. His main interest in opposing the bill was that it could lead to corporations or other business entities being held liable for acts of employees, worried about the "economic havoc" it would create (and worried that those meddling "trial lawyers" would benefit). Think Progress has video of the testimony.
• WV-Sen: This seems like a new one to me... John Raese is actually paying people to write letters to the editor on his behalf. Not just offering them McCain Bucks that can't be redeemed for anything in the real world, but running an actual contest giving money to people who get the most letters published. Also, I'll give John Raese credit for being himself even when he's being followed around by reporters. Here's his reaction to finding out that the NRA endorsement went to Joe Manchin:
Raese speaks angrily into the phone, his words full of threat: "Tell them that I have an A plus rating with them, and that if they are fair they should include that. Tell them about the polling. Tell them I'm riding an elephant." Raese pulls the cell phone away from his ear, hands it back to Patrick the driver, and says "That has made it a lot harder."
• CT-Gov: Little known fact: did you know that Jodi Rell still hasn't endorsed Tom Foley yet, despite only weeks to go? Foley's camp is saying it's imminent, but it looks like Rell has summoned up even less enthusiasm in the general as she did for her Lt. Gov., Michael Fedele, in the GOP primary.
• FL-Gov: Here's an interesting endorsement for Alex Sink: she got the backing of term-limited Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Villalobos is also backing Charlie Crist (and even Dan Gelber in the AG race), so this exactly a sign of the Republican edifice collapsing, though.
• IA-Gov, SD-AL: Add one more to the long list of Dems who are getting a nice NRA endorsement as their box-of-Rice-a-Roni-and-can-of-Turtle-Wax-style parting gift on their way out the studio door. Chet Culver just got the backing of the gun lobby. (One state to the north, they also just backed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today.)
• CA-44: PPP for Democrats.com (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bill Hedrick (D): 38
Ken Calvert (R-inc): 49
Despite being woefully underfunded, Bill Hedrick's keeping the race competitive in his rematch against Ken Calvert (recall that he almost won, out of nowhere, in 2008). How he makes up that last 12 points in this climate, though, I'm not sure.
• FL-22: Harstad Research Group for Project New West (9/20-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 43
There's lots of back-and-forth in the polling of the 22nd, with each side sporting their own internal with a lead in the last week. Dem pollster Harstad weighs in with another one going in Ron Klein's column.
• KS-03: Moore money, Moore problems? Retiring Rep. Dennis Moore is still busy emptying out his campaign coffers, transferring $100K more to the Kansas Democratic party (on top of a previous $100K in June). That's probably with the understanding that the money will be used to pay for their newest mailer in support of Stephene Moore, running to succeed her husband.
• NH-01, NH-02: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 40
Frank Guinta (R): 50
Ann McLane Kuster (D): 36
Charlie Bass (R): 38
Here are some unusual results from ARG! (although should we expect anything else?): they find Carol Shea-Porter getting keelhauled in the 1st, while the open seat battle in the 2nd is a swashbuckling battle (contrary to other polls we've seem of these races, where the 1st has been a tossup or a narrow CSP advantage while the 2nd has looked bad).
• PA-08: I've been patiently waiting here for actual toplines for more than a day, but it seems like they aren't forthcoming... so I'll just let you know there's a Harstad Research Group poll (on behalf of SEIU and VoteVets, not the Patrick Murphy campaign) out in the 8th that gives Murphy a 3-point lead over Mike Fitzpatrick and an 8-point lead among voters who voted in 2006. It was taken Sept. 20-22.
• WI-07: Garin Hart Yang for Julie Lassa (9/26-27, likely voters, in parentheses):
Julie Lassa (D): 41
Sean Duffy (R): 42
Gary Kauther (I): 7
I don't know how good a sign this is, releasing an internal where you're still trailing in a Democratic-leaning district. Lassa needs to let the donors know she's still in this, I suppose.
• WV-03: Global Strategy Group for DCCC (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Well, here's one district where all the polls (even the one from AFF) are consistent in showing a nearly-20 point edge for long-time Dem Nick Rahall.
• NY-St. Sen.: Four polls from Siena of key New York State Senate races have, on the balance, bad news for the Democrats: Darrell Aubertine, the first Democrat in several geological epochs to hold SD-48 in the North Country, is trailing GOP opponent Pattie Ritchie for re-election, 48-45. Brian Foley, in Long Island-based SD-4, is also in a tough race, leading Lee Zeldin 44-43. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents are looking fairly safe: Frank Padavan, who barely survived 2008 in Dem-leaning Queens-based SD-11, leads ex-city councilor Tony Avella 56-32, while in SD-44, Hugh Farley leads Susan Savage 55-37. (I'd rather see them poll the open seat races; that's where the Republicans are at more risk.)
• Mayors: There aren't a lot of big-city mayoral races where the decisive vote is in November (most were wrapped up in the primaries), but one interesting one is Louisville, where the longtime Dem incumbent Jerry Abramson is leaving in order to run for LG next year. Dem Greg Fischer (who you may remember from the 2008 Senate primary) is beating Republican city councilor Hal Heiner 48-42, according to SurveyUSA.
• DLCC: You probably saw yesterday that the DLCC is out with a first round of 20 "essential races" for controlling key state legislative chambers. Well, over in diaries, now they're soliciting suggestions for further additions to the list, so please add some suggestions from races that are near and dear to your own hearts.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce, trying to salvage this dwindling race, tries to hang the "career politician" tag on Barbara Boxer
• CO-Sen: The DSCC goes after Ken Buck on Social Security again
• CO-Sen: The NRSC runs an anti-Michael Bennet ad, hitting him on his support for health care reform
• DE-Sen: The DSCC crams as much Christine O'Donnell insanity as it can into 30 seconds
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk goes back to where he began, with another bio spot of small town boy made good
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's newest ad keeps on trying to tie Pat Toomey to Wall Street
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese for supporting eliminating the minimum wage and his own ooopses at his own company
• CT-Gov: The DGA hits Tom Foley on outsourcing in his former career as textile magnate
• MI-Gov: The RGA hits Virg Bernero on spending as mayor (OMG! he spent $1,277 on pencils!)
• NM-Gov: Another Susana Martinez attack ad hits Diane Denish for some bungled solar power thingamajig
• TX-Gov: Here's a mindblowing stat: the DGA has never paid for advertising in Texas... until now. They're out with an attack on Rick Perry, calling him what nobody wants to be called this cycle ("career politican")
• KY-03: Todd Lally's out with two ads, one a bio spot, the other a pretty funny attack on John Yarmuth using the K-Tel greatest hits album motif
• MI-07: Tim Walberg has to call on his mom for help: not to do any polling on his behalf, just to appear in an ad about Social Security
• NC-02: This was probably inevitable... AJS weighs into the 2nd with an ad using Bob Etheridge going apeshit on a poor innocent little tracker
• NC-11: Repent now or Jeff Miller will forever cast you into the fiery pits of Nancy Pelosi's hell!
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy touts how well he cooperated with George W. Bush! (on Medicare Part D, though, which probably plays well among North Dakota's aging population)
• PA-08: Outsourcing must be polling well for the Dems these days, as Patrick Murphy hits Mike Fitzpatrick on that
• VA-05: Indie candidate Jeff Clark scrounged up enough money to advertise? And he's attacking GOPer Robert Hurt? That's good enough for me
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 50%, Tom Foley (R) 40%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• Fox/Pulse (aka Rasmussen):
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 44%, Dan Maes (R) 15%, Tom Tancredo (C) 34%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 8%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 42%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 45%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%
DE-Sen: 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