• FL-Sen: George LeMieux is unsurprisingly trying to distance himself from the label "Charlie Crist Republican," but all I can say is... good luck with that. The Miami Herald has a lengthy look at just how close the two men were, and while Crist himself won't say a word against LeMieux, other former staffers are more than happy to detail just how tight their working relationship was.
• MA-Sen: Hey, Richie Neal: Shut the fuck up. Seriously. What is it with Democratic congressmen from Massachusetts who love to crack out of turn? First Barney Frank, and now this crap. And yeah, you'll have to click the link if you want to know what I'm worked up about.
• TX-Sen: Over at Burnt Orange Report, Karl-Thomas Musselman, a long-time friend of SSP, has a good piece about Democrats' flawed strategies in Texas statewide races over the last decade, and how Team Blue should approach things differently going forward.
• IA-Gov: In a way, this might be the roughest "do-over" poll of all. Former Dem Gov. Chet Culver lost by double digits last fall, the worst performance of any incumbent governor, yet even he now beats Terry Branstad 48-46 in a hypothetical PPP rematch.
• PA-Gov: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett's disapproval rating has soared in the past couple of months. He was at 39-11 in February, and is now at 39-37, according to Quinnipiac. I guess this means not a single new person in the state of PA grew to approve of Corbett in two months!
• AZ-06, AZ-Sen: It's getting hard to keep track of what Republican Russell Pearce's plans are. The author of Arizona's notorious immigration law supposedly was out of the running for the open Senate seat, was heavily talked up for the open 6th CD, then was talked down for it, and is now saying he's leaving both doors open. He says he wants to stay on through the end of the 2012 legislative session, though, and Arizona has a resign-to-run law, so who knows.
On the other hand, House Speaker Kirk Adams just announced that he will resign from the legislature, which can only mean he's gearing up for a run in the 6th. (We've mentioned his name a couple of times before as a possibility.) It's going to be a crowded GOP primary, as the field already includes ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (who used to hold this seat, more or less) and former state Senate majority leader Chuck Gray.
• IA-04: These are statewide numbers, but still interesting: Steve King is the least-popular member of Iowa's congressional delegation, with 27-34 favorables. Christie Vilsack, meanwhile, is at 38-23. Certainly these scores within the new fourth district would look different, but unless there is some wild base of support for King in northwest Iowa, I can't see how you wouldn't prefer to have Vilsack's numbers.
• NC-11: Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell says he'll challenge Rep. Health Shuler in the Democratic primary next year. Shuler, thanks to his vote against healthcare reform, took just 61% in a primary last year against Aixa Wilson, who did not even file any FEC reports.
• ND-AL: With a Rick Berg run for Senate looking likely, people are starting to look at filling his at-large House seat. On the Republican side, state House Majority Leader Al Carlson said he's considering a race. Other possible names, according to the linked piece, are state Sen. Tony Grindberg and Tax Commissioner Cory Fong. I wonder if PSC Commish Brian Kalk might slide down from the Senate race, too.
• NV-02: Oh well, I can't always be right! Sharron Angle shot down an unsourced rumor in the LVRJ that she'd run as an independent in the special election to replace Dean Heller if she isn't chosen as the GOP nominee. (She won't be.)
• NY-13: Now it's Mike Grimm's turn to tell his side of the story about his instantly notorious nightclub incident from 1999. Meanwhile, NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio is calling on the NYPD and DoJ to release their records from their investigations of the matter. Not really sure why DeBlas, of all people, is inserting himself into this one, except perhaps to try to take a GOP scalp as he eyes the 2013 mayoral race.
• OR-01: Here's another interesting bit of sub-text to the whole David Wu saga: Nike. The sneaker company has apparently never forgiven Wu for his vote against a bill that would have expanded trade with China back in 2000, and Nike's chairman endorsed Republican Rob Cornilles last year. (The company also donated to him via their PAC.) It'll probably be easier to get rid of Wu in the Democratic primary, though, so Nike may decide to get involved yet again.
• 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.)
• CO-Sen: In case there was any doubt about where Ken Buck is on abortion, new video has come out from June that he's not only against Roe v. Wade, but against the whole concept of a right of privacy (on the usual teabagger grounds that it wasn't explicitly laid out in the Constitution).
• PA-Sen: Although there will be a Barack Obama appearance in Philly proper this weekend, Bill Clinton is left with the task of headlining rallies around the rest of the state. Today Clinton appears on Joe Sestak's behalf in the Philly suburbs, in Bryn Mawr and Cheyney. Clinton also appears with Dan Onorato and John Callahan in Bethlehem today.
• WV-Sen: Good news for John Raese on two different fronts. The Palm Beach architecture commission approved his plans to replace a "giant dollhouse" in the yard of his Palm Beach mansion with a glass conservatory! (Just be sure to hide all the blunt objects when Colonel Mustard comes over for a visit.) Also, it turns out he's a +13 handicap, occasionally getting down into the high 70s, so he's definitely got some game on the links. (Unfortunately for Raese, the reason we know this is because somebody leaked his self-reported scorecards from the golf ladder at the Everglades Club, the all-white country club in Palm Beach about which he's stonewalled on inquiries on whether he's a member or not.)
• HI-Gov: Credit Mufi Hannemann for good sportsmanship. In response to evidence that his supporters from the primary (who tended to skew socially conservative) were tending to break toward Duke Aiona, Hannemann recently cut a TV ad urging his backers to vote for Neil Abercrombie. The ad's part of a $200K buy by Hawaii labor unions.
• AZ-03: It's sounding like that PPP poll that gave him a lead wasn't a total fluke. Whatever Jon Hulburd is seeing is enough to get him to open up his personal checkbook and hand his campaign another $250K for a final push. No specific numbers are available, but the article says that his internal polling sees him "within the margin of error." (That's not usually the phrasing of someone who's leading in his internals, but maybe he still can gut it out.)
• NC-11: A handful of Democrats in tough races have said that they'd rather vote for someone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, but no one has actually stepped forward until now to volunteer himself as a receptacle for Blue Dog votes. Heath Shuler, previously declared as one of the "no" votes, said he'll do it if no one else will. There's not telling how this gambit would work out if the Dems keep the House, or if he'll be running for minority leader if not.
• Passages: Condolences to the friends and family of Owen Pickett, the former long-time Democratic Rep. from VA-02. Pickett, who was 80, served there from 1987 to 2001.
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's closing argument is an endorsement from her daughter, celebrexecutive (that should be a word, if it isn't) Stephanie
• LA-Sen: Assuming Charlie Melancon loses, still give him credit for using all the material at his disposal: his TV spot hits David Vitter as hard as possible, saying his taxpayer-paid salary paid for prostitutes and it's a "sin" he represents Louisiana at all
• WV-Sen: Credit to Joe Manchin, too, for not Coakleying this one up; once he found himself in an unexpected close race, he buckled down, found messages that worked, and hammered on them, as in his final ad
• FL-22: Ron Klein goes positive with his last spot, touting endorsements from a variety of citizen groups
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster's ad is a combo platter of hitting Charlie Bass on his Wall Street ways and going positive on her own job creation plans
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 44%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 45%, Rick Scott (R) 48%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 29%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 59%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 26%, Paul LePage (R) 40%, Eliot Cutler (I) 26%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 44%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 47%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
(um, do you really want that to be your final answer on WA-Sen?)
• CA-Sen: Best wishes to Carly Fiorina, who's temporarily off the campaign trail and in the hospital after an infection associated with reconstructive surgery that she had over the summer after recovering from breast cancer. She's says she'll be back in action soon.
• CO-Sen: The Democrats in Colorado have filed an FEC complaint with Ken Buck, alleging illegal coordination. The coordination was between Buck and Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund (which has spent $370K here so far). This doesn't look likely to get addressed before Election Day, though.
• KY-Sen: Rand Paul eventually got around, today, to cutting ties with and condemning a volunteer involved in assaulting a MoveOn activist before last night's debate, outside the venue. An activist trying to give a fake award to Paul was shoved to the ground and kicked/trampled.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle has always been the prime example of the GOP's apparent strategy for its more troublesome candidates (which is to have them hide from the media), but this is a little extreme: all manner of sleight-of-hand was used at a Reno appearance to keep her away from about 40 reporters who were looking for her, to the extent of using a decoy to get into her official vehicle while she left through a side door. Also, here's an interesting catch, especially since Angle supposedly has a lot of cash these days: her latest filing has nothing about salaries for her staff. Oversight, or is there more of a burn rate problem than we'd been led to believe?
• WA-Sen: This CQ article is your generic this-race-is-tight-and-important piece, but it has a few interesting tidbits buried in it: one, Patty Murray's internals have her up "around 4," although that's all we get to find out. And two, this election is already effectively more-than-half over: the state SoS's office says that 50% of all voters have submitted their ballots, on track for turnout of at least 66%, which would be third-highest non-presidential turnout ever in the state. (I assume you all know which party tends to do better in higher-turnout models.) Finally, Dino Rossi's doing a little hiding from the media himself: on a conference call with reporters, Rossi actually refused to say where he was calling from, just that he was "traveling all over right now." (Maybe we should be looking for the guy in the red and white striped shirt?)
• VT-Gov: Biden alert! Here's one election where every single vote will count (seeing as how it has fewer constituents than most House districts), and the veep is trying to roust out some votes with a Burlington appearance with Dem nominee Peter Shumlin the day before the election.
• CA-47: This was a weird election even before this, with stark racial overtones, and now it's even weirder: an independent candidate, Cecilia Iglesias, is making her presence known with a TV ad buy (although just on local cable on Univision). Who will this hurt? The GOP says it'll hurt Loretta Sanchez, because it splits the Latino vote. The Dems say it'll hurt Van Tran, since Iglesias is a "known Republican."
• CT-05: Hmm, here's a novel strategy for dealing with ads from third party groups that contain blatant lies: push back against them, and TV stations just may stop running them. That's what happened in Connecticut, where the American Action Network's ads against Chris Murphy got taken down, by Fox-CT (on cable) no less. (The ad is part of the series saying that you can go to jail for not having health insurance.)
• VA-05: This is big all around: that the President is stumping on behalf of a House candidate (albeit one within a helicopter ride away from DC), and that said House candidate in a red district is welcoming him. In case you didn't guess, it's Tom Perriello, who'll be rallying UVA students with the Prez in Charlottesville.
• American Crossroads: Here's part of the Crossroads road map for the last week: at a cost of $3 million altogether, they're moving into NC-11, NY-20, and GA-02, as well as continuing their presence in HI-01 and NY-22. They're also launching ads in CA-20, IN-02, MO-03, ND-AL, TN-04, OH-16, and TX-23.
• SSP TV:
• KY-Sen: The NRSC and Rand Paul both turn the tables on Jack Conway, saying he wants to talk about Paul's checkered past (i.e. Aqua Buddha) to avoid talking about Obama
• NV-Sen: The NRSC is out with a rather incoherent ad about how Harry Reid fancies himself a superhero, while Sharron Angle's out with another border-themed ad with menacing shadowy men who, of course, aren't actually Latino
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's closing argument cites his independence
• WV-Sen: Thank God for trackers... Joe Manchin's camp strings together John Raese's greatest hits at various appearances to demonstrate his "crazy" ideas
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown wins the jujitsu black belt for his closing ad (if not the overall Zen master award for his whole campaign): unlike the very busy Manchin ad, he only needs one quote from Meg Whitman to make his own case for himself... she says she came to California 30 years ago because it back then it was a land of opportunity and it worked (uh, Meg? who was governor of California 30 years ago?)
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal's closing ad says Roy Barnes is too ambitious, and Deal is just a humble public servant
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad says 10 years is too long, playing the dread "career politician" card on Rick Perry
• MA-10: The DCCC's new ad in the 10th goes after Jeff Perry's controversial police sergeant tenure, in case anyone there was unaware of it
• OH-18: Zack Space goes after Bob Gibbs on outsourcing and immigration
• VA-05: The Sierra Club's out with an ad bolstering Tom Perriello
• CA-Init: I'm not sure I thought I'd live to see the day where there ads running in favor of the legalization of marijuana, but apparently the Yes on 19 campaign was able to scrape together enough stems and seeds for a TV buy
• Rasmussen Classic:
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 46%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 49%, John Monds (L) 5%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 42%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 58 21%, Jim DeMint (R-inc) 21 58%, Some other 15%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 53%
• New Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39%, Bill Brady (R) 44%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 43%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 43%, Rand Paul (R) 50%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 47%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
14 of these changes favor Republicans; 6 races have moved in the Democratic direction. If anything, we're seeing a continuation of the pattern where the Dems in some high-profile statewide races seem to have bottomed out and there's a little bounce-back, but where things seem to be keeping on worsening in the House. (Although that probably doesn't have as much to do with the overall national atmosphere continuing to get worse, as it just does with additional polling coming to light that lets us see more underserved races in sharper relief.)
Rather unusually, Suffolk included Blumenthal & Malloy twice in their head-to-head questions: once as the Dem candidate, and once as the Working Families Party candidate. Each got about 3-4% as the WFP candidate. I've never seen a pollster do this in New York, where the practice of fusion voting is best known.
IL-Gov (PPP): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 41 (35), Bill Brady (R) 42 (42)
FL-22 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Ron Klein (D-inc) 44, Allen West (R) 47
MA-04 (Fleming & Associates for WPRI): Barney Frank (D-inc) 49, Sean Bielat (R) 37
MD-01 (Monmouth): Frank Kratovil (D-inc) 42, Andy Harris (R) 53
MI-03 (EPIC/MRA): Pat Miles (D) 37, Justin Amash (R) 46
MN-01 (Grove Insight (D) for Project New West): Tim Walz (D-inc) 50, Randy Demmer (R) 34
MS-04 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steven Palazzo): Gene Taylor (D-inc) 41, Steven Palazzo (R) 43
NC-11 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for DCCC): Heath Shuler (D-inc) 54, Jeff Miller 39
NM-02 (Tarrance Group (R) for Steve Pearce): Harry Teague (D-inc) 41, Steve Pearce (R) 50
NY-20 (Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Chris Gibson): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42, Chris Gibson 44
OR-05 (SurveyUSA for KATU-TV): Kurt Schrader (D-inc) 41, Scott Bruun (R) 51
Note: Among the 10% who have already voted, Schrader leads 47-46. This continues a pattern we've seen in other SUSA polls (and also some, but not all, of the early voting numbers by party registration).
PA-06 (Monmouth): Manan Trivedi (D) 44, Jim Gerlach (R-inc) 54
PA-17 (Susquehanna for ABC27 News): Tim Holden (D-inc) 58, Justin Argall (R) 28
• AK-Sen: I thought Joe Miller (last seen praising the COMMUNISTS!!1! in East Germany for their wall-building skills) wasn't going to talk about his personal life anymore (i.e. personal stuff like his on-the-job politicking while working for the borough of Fairbanks)? Well, now he is, and he's openly admitted on CNN that he was disciplined by the borough for an ethical violation. "John, I'll admit I'm a man of many flaws," he said. Apparently one of those flaws was using his various co-workers' computers while they were away for lunch to rig an online poll intended to displace Randy Ruedrich as state GOP chair, then wiping out their caches to cover his tracks, then getting caught when the wiped caches were discovered. Miller said he was reprimanded and docked pay as a result. However he maintains the incident had nothing to do with his departure from the office a year and a half later (which others maintain was imminently before he was about to be fired). So... a guy is possibly about to go from not being able to hack it as a contract attorney for a city of about 25,000, to a Senator, in the space of about a year? Geez, only in America.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon's no slouch either on the self-funding front: she loaned herself $20 million last quarter, bringing her all-cycle total to $41.5 million. (No word, of course, on how much of that $20 million actually has been or will be spent.) Meg Whitman was heard sniffing disdainfully and saying McMahon should call once she reaches the eight digits.
• DE-Sen: Sometimes, it's best to keep your mouth shut and let everyone assume you're a fool, rather than open your mouth and categorically prove it. The highlight of last night's debate:
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion....
"The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish religion," Coons said.
"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell interrupted. "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
• KY-Sen: With Aqua Buddha suddenly back dominating coverage of this race, no one's really stopped to ask Aqua Buddha lady what she thinks of all this. She thinks that Jack Conway's ad's tone is over-the-top, but agrees with the fundamentals, that it's an accurate reflection of Rand Paul's past views and that he should acknowledge that he's just changed his religious views since then (instead of playing the victim).
• MA-Sen: Wait, the 2010 election hasn't happened yet? Still not too early to talk about 2012. Rep. Mike Capuano, runner-up in the Dem primary in the special election and considered the likeliest opponent against Scott Brown in two years, is openly "mulling" the race, although his official line is "Talk to me in December."
• NV-Sen: We finally have some confirmation on what we'd suspected, regarding Sharron Angle's burn rate, thanks to Salon's crack team. She may have raised $14 million, but she also spent $5.3 million on direct mail expenses last quarter in order to get that money. $920K of that went to BaseConnect and its affiliates, with $1.5 million to somebody called Patton-Kiehl, who seemed responsible for the actual printing and postage. Another $4 million went to TV ads, leaving her with the $4 million CoH she reported.
• MD-Gov: This one looks closer and closer to being wrapped up in favor of Martin O'Malley. On top of today's Gonzales poll, there's also news that the RGA is scaling things back in Maryland, planning to spend less than $200K for Bob Ehrlich in the final two weeks. O'Malley may also benefit from an across-the-aisle endorsement (although it's from a figure who's committed his fair share of apostasies): ex-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest gave him his backing today.
• MN-Gov: Here's one more across-the-aisle endorsement (the only kind we'd bother reporting on, at this stage in the game). Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate in Minnesota, got an endorsement from Mike Ciresi, a wealthy attorney who you might remember from losing the 2000 DFL Senate primary to Mark Dayton (wonder if there are any hard feelings there?) and ran again for Senate in 2008 but dropped out pre-convention. That may make things a smidge harder for Dayton, who needs Horner to draw votes mostly from the R column.
• AL-02: This has to be one of the weirdest IEs of the cycle: Blue America is spending in AL-02 of all places, and they're spending $48K against Bobby Bright. I guess they hate Blue Dogs just that much.
• FL-22: You know, if you're fighting allegations that you have links to the outlaw biker gang conveniently known as the Outlaws, probably the best way to do that is by not having bikers providing security at your rallies. Well, that's what happened at an Allen West appearance, where bikers physically drove off a Ron Klein tracker. Video is available at the link. (At least "Sympathy for the Devil" wasn't playing in the background.)
• NC-07: Here's some interesting scuttlebutt out of the 7th, where Mike McIntyre is joining the I-won't-vote-for-Pelosi brigade but where he's also saying that he's heard that she won't be running for Speaker again. (That would, of course, presume having a majority; no word on whether he's heard if she plans on running for minority leader.) Relatedly, even Mike McMahon, who's looking like a good bet to survive his red-leaning district this year, is now sounding noncommittal but at least Pelosi-skeptical.
• OR-04: Wondering who the mysterious Concerned Taxpayers of America are, who've trained most of their advertising firepower on Peter DeFazio, turning this into at least a mildly competitive race? Well, it turns out there's a grand total of two of them, each of whom has ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of them, Robert Mercer, appears to be the one with the beef against DeFazio, probably because he's a hedge fund manager and takes issue with DeFazio's leadership on taxing major hedge-fund transactions.
• VA-05: I guess demanding the moon and the sun when you make your initial offer in a negotiating session is a good strategy, but independent teabagger Jeffrey Clark may have taken that ridiculously far in his attempts to negotiate a dropout from the race and an endorsement for GOP candidate Robert Hurt. Clark offered to drop out if he got the chance to debate Hurt one-on-one, and then if subsequent polling didn't have him at 25% of the vote! Hurt has refused to appear any at any debates where Clark is included, and doesn't seem any likelier to do so now.
• WA-08: I know it's fashionable to paint Dave Reichert as not being one of the sharpest tools in the shed, but it's hard not to do so when he gives you so much material: at a forum with opponent Suzan DelBene, confessed in response to a question that he wasn't familiar with the Glass-Steagall Act. (The resurrection of Glass-Steagall was one of the main things being debated as part of the financial reform package passed this year.)
• DCCC: Here's some activity from the D-Trip that doesn't bode well: they've started going on the air in NC-11 for Heath Shuler, previously thought safe based on most of the polling we've seen so far but has been in the crosshairs of a lot of third-party advertising from folks like Americans for Job Security. (NWOTSOTB.) They're also increasing their buys in the coming weeks in neighboring districts SC-05 (John Spratt) and NC-07 (Mike McIntyre). Also, file this under a sorta-kinda triage decision: the DCCC is cutting off ads in NM-02, on behalf of Harry Teague. Chris Van Hollen says they're leaving Teague in "great position," which (shades of Steve Kagen here) is probably code for "he's personally wealthy" and it's time for him to buy his own bandaids.
• Polltopia: PPP is letting you choose an unprecedented six states to poll in, as part of their final round of polling. They must be renting some extra robots, because they're planning to poll 18 different states the week before the election, although 12 states (basically, the most obvious ones) are already locked in. Go vote!
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: EMILY's List is out with a TV spot featuring an opera guy singing a ditty about Carly Fiorina (and her time as Hewlett-Packard CEO)
• NV-Sen: Both the DSCC and NRSC are out with ads; the DSCC says that while you're angry, don't take it out by voting for Sharron Angle, while the GOP says Harry Reid lives in a fancy hotel and parties with supermodels
• WA-Sen: One of the Dems' few big-money behind-the-scenes groups, Commonsense Ten, looks at Dino Rossi's cozy connections
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's new ad just flat out says "John Raese uses people"
• CA-Gov: Too bad this is only a Jerry Brown web ad, because it's one of the most effective ones we've seen this cycle: it ties Meg Whitman to unpopular Arnold Schwarzenegger, matching them quote for quote (UPDATE: Good news, everybody! The ad is going to be running on television, despite its one-minute length! It's that good.)
• TX-Gov: Bill White's new ad hits Rick Perry on his rental mansion
• SC-02: Joe "Yewwwwww Laaaaaah!" Wilson talks about dodging mortar fire in his newest ad (mortar fire that apparently landed on the other end of the airport while on what Rob Miller has been calling a Congressional junket, but that's OK)
• TX-17: Here's a sign that Chet Edwards has done something to show that he's stemmed the bleeding (or at least that he called in some serious favors), as the DCCC's back on the air here with an effective ad about bailout funds for Bill Flores' oil company
• Original recipe Rasmussen:
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 42%, Rand Paul (R) 47%
• MI-Gov: Virg Bernero (D) 34%, Rick Snyder (R) 54%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 37%, Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
• Extra crispy Rasmussen (aka Fox/Pulse):
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 43%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 40 45%, Dan Maes (R) 10%, Tom Tancredo (C) 45 40%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 46%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 45%, John Raese (R) 48%
CO-Sen: In a debate on Meet the Press with Sen. Michael Bennet, GOPer Ken Buck said he thinks that being gay is a choice - and then followed up by saying, "I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice."
NH-Sen: This is not so helpful: Paul Hodes's former pollster, Mountain West Research, just agreed to pay New Hampshire a $20K fine for failing to comply with state law regarding a negative message-testing poll they did on behalf of Hodes this past summer. The AP calls it "push polling," but it quite clearly wasn't, given the small number of respondents involved, and also the timing (push polling is something you do to mass numbers of people right before election day). It seems like Mountain West's sin was failing to identify the poll's sponsor (i.e., Hodes) on their calls.
PA-Sen: CQ says that the DSCC has spent $4.7 million in Pennsylvania to date (not include the $1.2 million they shelled out to help Arlen Specter), and Dems expect to spend $9 million before all is said and done, making it the biggest commitment in the nation. Thanks to independent groups, the NRSC has only spent about $600K here so far.
WV-Sen: This has already come up on the campaign trail (Joe Manchin's mentioned it in ads, for instance), but now it's official: John Raese's wife has been formally purged from the West Virginia voting rolls - because she's also registered to vote in Florida, where she lives. (Ooh! Voter fraud!) And while we're on the topic, Raese probably wishes that Rush Limbaugh would shut his big fat mouth. This is how Big Pharma described the senate candidate while endorsing him on his show:
"Full disclosure, I happen to know John Raese. He is a part-time resident here in Palm Beach and he has a locker right across the, right across the bench from me at a prominent local club. I've never played golf with him, but I've met him."
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Daniel Malloy says, "The image of Raese rubbing elbows with Rush at a swank Palm Beach country club is not one that the Raese campaign must welcome right now."
AZ-07: I wonder what guys like Steve Driehaus have to think when they get told to walk the plank while veterans in much bluer districts who are victims only of their own self-inflicted wounds - oh, such as, I dunno, Raul Grijalva - get help airlifted in from above. Anyhow, the DCCC must clearly sense trouble in AZ's 7th CD, since they've gone up on the air here with an ad hitting Ruth McClung for supporting a 23% national sales tax.
FL-22: You may have seen the news that GOPer Allen West has a disturbingly close relationship with a notorious gang of violent criminals known as the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. The best part now, though, is West's denial that he has any affiliation with the group, in which he channels a sort of Bizarro Groucho Marx. The Outlaws, you see, "do not accept blacks, Jews or gays." Phew!
NC-11: Big Dog alert! Bill Clinton is doing a rally for Heath Shuler in Asheville on Thursday.
NY-22: It may not be quite Paul LePage levels, but Maurice Hinchey probably wishes he hadn't gotten so testy with a reporter who asked him questions about whether he had a financial interest in a local development project. On tape, you can see Hinchey tell William Kemble that he is "full of baloney" and to "shut up." After the cameras stopped rolling, though, Hinchey apparently "made a beeline for Kemble and got in his face." Crew for local station YNN said they "saw the congressman poke Kemble in the chest aggressively."
TN-08: Though Ron Johnson's received probably the most attention in recent months, I think Steve Fincher may be this cycle's granddaddy for bailouts-for-me-but-not-for-thee Republicanism. As an agribusiness kingpin, he's raked in millions in federal farm subsidies. Now it turns out that he also received a state grant just last year - and may have even violated the terms of that grant by selling the equipment it helped him buy too quickly.
TX-17: It looks like Bill Flores is going to win the Tommy Thompson Award for Crazy Beliefs Blamed on Bodily Functions. You may recall that Thompson (by far my favorite Republican candidate to run in the last GOP presidential primary) claimed that a full bladder caused him to say he favored allowing employers to fire gay employees during a debate in 2007. Now Flores wants backsies for telling an interviewer that he was not opposed to raising the Social Security retirement age... because he had a headache.
DCCC/NRCC: CQ says that so far, the NRCC has spent $31 million on independent expenditures this cycle, while the D-Trip has spent $22 mil.
Senate: Politico has a roundup of senate fundraising numbers.
PA-Sen: It's been a while, but at long last, we finally have another poop-themed ad, thanks to Joe Sestak
KY-Sen: I worship you, Aqua Buddha! (Apparently this ad has turned Rand Paul into a WATB)
GA-Gov: Roy Barnes hits Nathan Deal for once having tried to weaken the state's rape shield law; the RGA uses a clip of Roy Barnes dismissing the deaths of two children in state custody: "Out of 20,000 children, you're going to have children die every day."
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo whacks Carl Paladino on abortion rights
CA-03: Karl Rove's American Crossroads attacks Ami Bera for supporting "Obamacare"
CA-20: The DCCC says Republican Andy Vidak wants to cut federal funding for water projects (apparently a big issue in this district)
NY-04: Carolyn McCarthy's first spot of the cycle touts her focus on job creation
OH-02: Dem Surya Yalamanchili says his ad cost him only $20 to make
TX-27: In a much-less-good-than-it-could-have-been ad, Rep. Solomon Ortiz features that goofy photo of Blake Farenthold in his pajamas with a scantily clad woman
VA-01: Dem Krystal Ball introduces herself with her first ad
• 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%