• Weather: Forecasts today call for plagues of locusts in Arizona, frogs falling from the sky in Illinois, periodic blood showers in Pennsylvania, hellfire and brimstone in Ohio. Partly sunny in California.
• AK-Sen: The rumor mill over the last few days has had the NRSC turning its attentions back to Lisa Murkowski, whom they'd once shunned, seeing her as their best plan for holding Alaska as Joe Miller seems to lag. (Of course, they may have semi-consciously been doing that for weeks, running ads hitting Scott McAdams instead of hitting Murkowski.) Miller, for his part, is dismissive, saying he didn't need them to win the primary.
DC Dems are finally showing some interest here... maybe it was a conscious decision to avoid the taint of Washington in this race, or more likely it was just being blind to the possibility of a pickup here until the last moment. Bill Clinton is robocalling on McAdams' behalf, and the DSCC finally rolled out a TV ad here over the weekend (anti-Murkowski, not anti-Miller). Here's what's probably motivated them: the final Hays Research poll, this time on behalf of the DSCC (instead of the IBEW like the last ones). Its results: Miller 27, McAdams 26, "another candidate you have to write in" 25, and undecided 21. That's close. With the specter of analyzing tens of thousands of write-in ballots for intent, and the attendant legal challenges, it will almost assuredly be weeks before we have a winner in Alaska. UPDATE: Just got late word of yet another poll here, from yet another local pollster: Dittman. I don't know who, if anyone Dittman is working for, but they're pretty Murkowski-friendly results: Murko 37, Miller 26, McAdams 22.
• DE-Sen: Despite having essentially no chance of winning, somehow Christine O'Donnell got more media coverage than any other candidate this cycle, according to a Pew study. (Thanks, Gawker!) Of course, it's hard not to, when she provides us with so much good material, as with her closing argument fail: she'd planned on 30-minute blocks of TV time on the local Fox affiliate and on public access, but somehow neither happened, owing to miscommunication and flat-out never getting around to purchasing the time on Fox. A remarkable end to a remarkable campaign.
• PA-08: I imagine you'll be hearing a lot of stories today and in the following days about voter "suppression" (from the Dems) and "fraud" (from the GOP), but we're already getting a jump on it in the 8th: both sides are alleging irregularities in absentee ballots. 8,000 ballots have been sequestered at the Bucks County courthouse already, so assuming the margin is less than that, here's another one we can already expect to find its way into court.
To start with it may be worth highlighting the numbers from each of those previous three diaries.
SENATE - GOP +5
GOVERNORS - GOP +5
SENATE - GOP +6
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
SENATE - GOP +7
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
I call that a trend. And not a good one. Unfortunately these final projections continue that trend.
WA (Not at all confident here. And it will probably take several weeks to see if I'm right.)
NV (Polling could well be unreliable here but I have to go with it. Hope I'm wrong.)
CO (Bennet has held on well here but I suspect the year is too much for him.)
IL (Still possible that unexpected Dem turnout can save Alexi.)
PA (Sestak has closed fast but I don't think it will be quite enough.)
CA (This one was a worry at times but I think most of us always felt confident enough.)
WV (Still say he was crazy to push for an election this year but it looks like Manchin will get away with it.)
WI (Poor campaign from Feingold but may not have mattered. His principles are both admirable and frustrating all at the same time.)
AK (Murkowski likely pulls it off but weird things happen up there. No result of the three would shock me.)
DE (Chris Coons will be my favorite Dem Senate Freshman. Not that there is much competition.)
CT (Another that caused a few nerves but the fundamentals always suggested retention.)
MO (The state may be trending away but I think, like many before her, Robin will be back.)
NH (Many say Hodes ran a poor campaign. I don't buy it. The year made it impossible here with so many indies.)
KY (Paul would have won even without Conway ad own goal. At least he will be entertaining.)
OH (Nobody was beating Portman this year with all that cash.)
FL (Rubio may or may not be a national figure in waiting but Crist is certainly done on that front.)
NC (Biggest recruiting fail of the cycle but even someone like Cooper may have struggled with the environment.)
IN (Surprisingly lackluster campaign from Ellsworth.)
AR (The state has finally broken to join the rest of the region in becoming Republican.)
LA (Vitter is scum but the electorate down their think Obama is scummier.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
OR (Kitzhaber turned things around just in time.)
VT (If Rasmussen says Shumlin is leading I'm more than happy to believe him for once.)
FL (Biggest consolation prize of the night.)
CT (Late momentum for Foley probably keeps this Republican.)
OH (Strickland may well yet pull this out. Would be a another great consolation prize.)
IL (Can turnout save Quinn? Probably not but possible.)
CA (Money can't buy you love and all that. Always preferred nostalgia myself.)
MN (I wonder what would have happened here without the perennial third wheel?)
MA (Very impressed with Patrick's recovery. Cahill makes little difference in the end.)
HI (Abercrombie recovering from a few shaky polls.)
CO (Suspect Tancredo's ceiling is 45 percent.)
RI (Chafee ain't a Dem but Caprio makes him as good as.)
NH (Nature of the year that this ended as close as it did.)
PA (D, R, D, R. Like clockwork.)
TX (Very hopeful White has another run in him.)
GA (Environment means no return for Barnes despite Deal's ethical issues.)
NM (Denish weighed down by Richardson and national environment but Martinez a good nominee anyway.)
WI (Barrett never could shake bad environment and Doyle's unpopularity.)
SC (Tighter than many expected but Haley wins nevertheless.)
ME (Hoping Cutler can pull a shocker here but probably not.)
MD (Senator O'Malley in the future perhaps? Maybe the cabinet?)
NY (I suspect Paladino may well cost the GOP some House seats.)
AR (Beebe bucks the tide quite easily.)
NV (One Reid was quite enough already.)
MI (Figure that Bernero may out perform the polls a little but still won't get close.)
AZ (Hating Brown people saves Brewer her job.)
OK (Nobody really ever expected to be even remotely competitive here did they?)
IA (Culver may well have lost to any Republican. He never had a chance agianst Branstad.)
TN (There are many worse people than Haslam that could be winning this for Republicans.)
KS (I do wonder if this would have been competitive in a better year. Parkinson may even have had an outside shot this year.)
AL (Sparksmania didn't quite materialize.)
ID (Otter polls surprisingly weak once again but that hardly matters up here.)
AK (Ethan Berkowitz meet Tony Knowles. You have much in common.)
WY safely in the GOP column.
SENATE - GOP +8
GOVERNORS - GOP +7
• AK-Sen: Where even to start in Alaska? With vague reports of Joe Miller in "free fall" in private polling, both the NRSC and his own personal kingmaker, Jim DeMint, are having to step in with advertising in order to back him up. The NRSC's buy is for $162K, which I'm sure they'd rather spend putting out fires in Pennsylvania and Kentucky instead of on a should-have-been-sure-thing... and the ad (which focuses on Barack Obama, not Lisa Murkowski or Scott McAdams) can be seen here. DeMint's ad is for $100K and touts Miller's pro-life credentials.
Meanwhile, the drip-drip of unsavory stuff from Miller's past keeps coming. It turns out he worked for one of Alaska's top law firms after graduating from Yale, prior to sliding down the food chain to working for the borough of Fairbanks; while they wouldn't elaborate because of personnel policies, a firm partner said they were "not eager" to have him stay on and "relieved" when he left after three years. Also, a CPA with commercial property knowledge should double-check a look at this story before we start alleging wrongdoing, but it's an interesting catch: Miller may have been paying himself ridiculously-above-market rents on the law office he owned, in order to game his taxes. And finally, with the damage already done, it looks like no charges will be filed in the "irrational blogger" handcuffing incident, either against Tony Hopfinger or Miller's hired goons.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway succeeded in getting an NRSC ad pulled from a local TV station, seeing as how the whole premise was based on a lie (that Conway has supported cap-and-trade). WHAS-TV pulled the ad after the NRSC was unable to provide convincing sources for the alleged quotes.
• MO-Sen: This might be too little too late, but Roy Blunt is the third Republican candidate in the last month to get a bad case of housekeeper-itis. State Democrats released documents yesterday showing that in 1990 Blunt hired an "illegal worker" and then tried to expedite the citizenship process for her. Blunt's campaign says she never worked directly for them, only for some church events, but the documents say she had "done some work" for Blunt's wife at the time.
• NY-Sen: Charles Schumer, one of the few people anywhere routinely polling over 60%, has decided to dole out more of his gigantic war chest to other Democrats rather than spending it on himself. (It may not be entirely altruistic, as he may still have a Majority Leader battle in mind if Harry Reid can't pull it out.) In recent weeks, he gave an additional $1 million (on top of a previous $2 mil) to the DSCC. He's also given widely to state parties, including $250K in both New York and Nevada, as well as smaller amounts in 11 other states.
• PA-Sen: Before you get too excited about the major shift in polling in the Pennsylvania Senate race, absentee ballot numbers out of the Keystone State should be considered a dash of cold water. Of the 127,000 absentee ballots requested, Republicans have requested 50% and Dems have requested 42%, and also returning them at a faster clip. (I'm sure you could parse that by saying that Republican voters are likely to be older and thus less likely to want to vote in person, but either way it's not an encouraging figure.)
• WV-Sen: Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of John Raese last week -- apparently predicated on the fact that they have lockers near each other at an expensive private country club in Palm Beach, Florida -- may have done more damage to Raese beyond the obvious problem of making him look like a rich, entitled carpetbagger. After a little digging, it turns out that the Everglades Club is an all-white affair. Although it doesn't have specific membership requirements, it's never had a black member, and only one Jewish member. (In fact, remember that membership in this club was considered one of the disqualifying factors when Limbaugh was making noises about buying the St. Louis Rams several years back.)
• CO-Gov: Credit Dan Maes for entrepreneurial spirit: when he needed a job, he created one for himself... running for Governor. In the last year, Maes' campaign has reimbursed his family $72K. That's actually his campaign's second-biggest expense, and nearly one-third of the paltry $304K he's raised all along. Maes says much of that money was "mileage," though.
• OR-Gov: Here's something that we've been seeing almost nothing of this cycle, even though we saw a lot of it in 2008 (especially in Oregon, with Gordon Smith): kissing up to Barack Obama. But that's what Chris Dudley did in an open letter published as a print ad in the Oregonian this week, saying that while they might have their differences he'll work together with him on educational issues (one area where Dudley's been making some Democratic-sounding promises, albeit without any discussion of how to do that and pay for his tax cuts at the same time). With Barack Obama more popular in Oregon than much of the nation, and about to host a large rally with John Kitzhaber, the timing is not surprising.
• MA-04: I don't know if Barney Frank knows something that his own internals aren't telling us, or if he just believes in not leaving anything to chance, but he's lending himself $200K out of his own wallet to fund the stretch run in his mildly-interesting House race.
• MA-10: The illegal strip search issue (where Jeff Perry, then a police sergeant, failed to stop an underling from strip searching two teenage girls) is back in the media spotlight in a big way today, with one of the victims ending her silence and speaking to the press. Perry has defended himself saying it wasn't "in my presence," but she says he was a whole 15 feet away, and that he tried to cover up the incident.
• NJ-03: It seems like every day the honor of dumbest person running for office changes, and today the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Jon Runyan. When asked in a debate what Supreme Court case of the last 10 or 15 years he disagrees with, Runyan's answer was Dred Scott. As TPM's David Kurtz says, given the crop of GOPers this year, maybe we should just be grateful that he disagrees with Dred Scott.
• VA-05: If Tom Perriello loses this cycle, he's one guy who can walk out with his head held high:
In return, Hurt asked Perriello if he was willing to admit his votes on stimulus funding, health care and energy were mistakes.
Perriello stood behind his votes and the positive impact he says they have had or will have on the district....
"Leadership is about making tough decisions," he said.
• IA-St. House: The Iowa state House is one of the most hotly contested (and likeliest to flip to the GOP) chambers in the nation this cycle, and here's a Des Moines Register analysis of the 23 biggest races to watch in that chamber. (Bear in mind, though, that although Iowa is on track to lose a House seat, it uses independent commission redistricting, so the state legislature is not pivotal in that aspect.)
• DNC: The DNC somehow raised $11.1 million in the first 13 days of October, putting them on track for one of their best months ever for a midterm election. Wondering what's happening with that money? The DNC is out with a new TV ad of their own, saying don't go back to failed Republican policies and decrying the flow of outside money into this election. I have no idea where it's running, but the non-specificness of the pitch leaves me wondering if it'll run in nationwide contexts. (The DNC is also running $3 million in radio ads on nationally syndicated programs, particularly targeted to black audiences.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Someone called WFUPAC (funded by SEIU and AFT) hits Mark Kirk for being buddy-buddy with George W. Bush in the bad ol' days
• NH-Sen: Kelly Ayotte's out with a boilerplate litany of everything Dems have done wrong
• WV-Sen: The NRSC returns to the "Manchin's a good governor, keep him here, and send a message to Obama" theme
• MN-01: The DCCC has to push the playing field boundaries a little further with their first ad in the 1st, hitting Randy Demmer on Social Security privatization
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster has two different ads out, both on outsourcing and job creation, one hitting Charlie Bass and one positive • PA-03: Here's that AFSCME ad (see above for the IE) hitting Mike Kelly
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi says Washington hasn't been listening to you
• WA-08: Suzan DelBene's fourth ad touts her as "smart moderate" and wields her Seattle Times endorsement
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 20%, Marco Rubio (R) 43%, Charlie Crist (I) 32%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 44%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 43%, John Raese (R) 50%
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
Jim Rogers (D): 22
Tom Coburn (R-inc): 62
Other results here find the GOP leading for all statewide offices: 40-28 for LG, 50-30 for Attorney General, 41-35 for Insurance Commissioner, 45-31 for Treasurer, 35-32 for State Superintendent, 44-33 for Labor Commissioner, and 41-35 for Auditor/Inspector. Dems had held most of these offices, if you'll recall.
OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA for KATU-TV (10/12-14, likely voters, 9/12-14 in parens):
John Kitzhaber (D): 46 (43)
Chris Dudley (R): 45 (49)
Greg Kord (C): 4 (3)
Wes Wagner (L): 3 (2)
Ron Wyden (D-inc): 56 (54)
Jim Huffman (R): 34 (38)
Bruce Cronk (WF): 2 (3)
Marc Delphine (L): 2 (1)
Rick Staggenborg (P): 2 (0)
PA-Gov: Magellan (10/10, likely voters, 9/21 in parens):
Dan Onorato (D): 38 (38)
Tom Corbett (R): 48 (50)
VT-Sen, VT-Gov, VT-AL: Mason-Dixon for Vermont Public Radio (10/11-13, registered voters):
Patrick Leahy (D-inc): 62
Len Britton (R): 27
Peter Shumlin (D): 43
Brian Dubie (R): 44
Peter Welch (D): 61
Paul Beaudry (R): 25
• CO-Sen: This probably doesn't count as an October Surprise since it made a big media impression five years ago, but it's suddenly popped back into view, and making things dicier for Ken Buck, already on the wrong end of a sizable gender gap in the polls. Buck refused to prosecute a rape case as Weld Co. DA five years ago (despite the police having recommended charges), and the alleged victim is now back in the news. She has a taped recording of their meeting (transcript available at the link) in which he seems to blame the victim and suggest that the case wouldn't pass muster with a jury.
• FL-Sen: Mason-Dixon (10/4-6, likely voters, 9/20-22 in parens):
Kendrick Meek (D): 21 (23)
Marco Rubio (R): 42 (40)
Charlie Crist (I): 27 (28)
With Marco Rubio way ahead, it looks like a Kendrick Meek dropout (rumored on Friday) and a cobbling-together of some sort of Meek/Crist hybrid cyborg would be the only way for the non-Rubio forces to get an advantage in this race. However, Meek's definitely not acting like a man who's dropping out, if getting the president of the United States to cut a radio ad for you is any indication.
• WV-Sen: Remember that "hicky" ad that the NRSC ran, and then promptly got apologetic over, once the casting call instructions got leaked? (I know, that was last week, a lifetime ago in politics...) Now it sounds like it just kept running anyway, through last Friday for several days after the story broke, despite promises to take it down.
• NM-Gov: Yep, this is definitely the most over-polled, or at least over-internal-poll-leaked, race around. Today it's Diane Denish's turn to retaliate, and she's out with another poll from one of her apparently two pollsters, Third Eye Strategies, with a 46-46 tie (a little stale, taken 9/21-23). I think we get the general idea, already: Denish sees a tie, Susana Martinez sees a high-single-digits lead for herself, public pollsters see something in between. (UPDATE: That's odd... we reported this poll several weeks ago. Not sure why it's back in the news today.)
• CA-47: This is the kind of unity that Loretta Sanchez (last seen alienating her district's small but politically active Vietnamese community with an ill-advised remark) probably doesn't like to see: apparently there was a major rift with the Vietnamese Republican community that just got sealed up, as long-time Van Tran rival Janet Nguyen (an Orange County councilor) gave a late-game endorsement to Tran.
• CT-02, CT-03: Merriman River Group hits the quinella in Connecticut, with polls of the two House races in the Nutmeg State that aren't interesting. In the 2nd, despite getting some touting when she got in the race, GOPer Janet Peckinpaugh is making little impression against Joe Courtney, trailing 55-41. And in the 3rd, Rosa DeLauro is the state's safest Dem, leading Jerry Labriola 58-37.
• FL-22: Endorsements from primary challengers, especially at this stage in the game, are interesting only when they go to the guy from the other party. But that's what's happening in the 22nd, where the guy who lost to Allen West, David Brady, gave his backing to Democratic incumbent Ron Klein today. (So too did several minor-league local elected GOPers, including Palm Beach mayor Jack McDonald.) Says Brady, apparently from the sane wing of the GOP (to the extent that the Palm Beach Post endorsed him in the primary): "I ran against Allen West. I debated him and I can tell you: Allen West is too extreme for this community."
• MS-04: Dueling polls in the 4th, where everything still averages out to a Democratic lean but unfortunately this is looking like one more real race. GOP state Rep. Steven Palazzo offered a poll a few weeks ago saying incumbent Gene Taylor led by only 4, and now Taylor says, no, he's leading by 8 (without giving us any other useful information, like the toplines, let alone the pollster or dates). Hmmm, that's only a difference of four points, so why show your hand, especially in such haphazard fashion? Somehow I don't think Taylor would be a very good poker player.
• NY-22, NY-25: Bill Clinton showing up in upstate New York to stump on behalf of Dan Maffei, that's not a surprise, as this race seems to be competitive. But also Maurice Hinchey in the 22nd? We haven't gotten any smoke signals out of that district before, but that's an indication that something may bubbling under here. (It's a D+6 district, and Hinchey barely won in '94.)
• OH-01: One more unfortunate though unsurprising triage decision to report: Steve Driehaus seems to have run out of time at the DCCC, who are canceling their remaining ad buy in the Cincinnati market for the next two weeks. The deadline for reservations cancellations is coming up soon, so we'll soon know who else gets the shortest straw drawn for them.
• PA-10: After seeing a incumbent Chris Carney up by single digits in a recent public poll from Lycoming, GOP challenger Tom Marino rummaged around in his poll drawer and pulled out one from the Tarrance Group giving him a 47-42 lead on Carney. (No word from the Fix on the dates, though.)
• TN-04: One last GOP internal to throw into the mix: a POS survey (from 9/27-28) on behalf of Scott DesJarlais shows him tied with Dem incumbent Lincoln Davis, 42-42. We haven't seen any public polling of this race (and may not, as the NRCC doesn't seem to be pushing this one hard, maybe on the off chance that it's the kind of district that'll flip in a wave regardless of what they do), but Davis claimed an 11-point lead in a late August internal.
• House: If you're thinking that it seems like there are a lot more races in the "Tossup" and "Lean" categories this year, you're not alone. Nate Silver quantifies various ways in which there are way more competitive races this year than in other recent cycles, including number of races where there are polls within single-digits, where there are polls period, and where there are major financial contributions.
• Redistricting: This is an interesting, if counterintuitive, piece from HuffPo on redistricting, which proposes that we'll be in better shape in 2010 redistricting than 2000 redistricting because (based on projected gubernatorial and state legislative outcomes) we'll have more control over the process in more important states: oddly he leaves out California, but also including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia (all states where there was a GOP trifecta last time), and Minnesota and New York (where we might get the trifecta this time)... while the states where the GOP will improve its position aren't as large (Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee... with Georgia the most significant one). The article also gets into the nitty-gritty of where the population growth within the fast-growing states has occurred (i.e. among minorities).
• Polltopia: You might have noticed that Political Wire briefly had some Senate polls up today from somebody I've never heard of before, called "TCJ Research." Those polls mysteriously vanished after Nate Silver, vanquisher of bogus pollsters, showed up on the scene with a simple tweet:
A Wordpress blog getting ~500 hits a day on posts like "October Giveaway: 32 Gigabyte Apple iPad!" suddenly commissions 5 polls? Not likely.
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Two different ads from the DSCC attacking Mark Kirk, hitting him for his House voting record and also revisiting Kirk's misrememberment of his military record
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall's finally out with a TV spot, going after Richard Burr for helping to break the economy
• WV-Sen: While John Raese nods to the 'hick' ad semi-apologetically before changing the subject back to Washington Dems, Joe Manchin seems to be trying to out-hick the hick ad by touting his pro-gun and anti-environment credentials in one fell swoop by (I kid you not) shooting a copy of the cap-and-trade bill
• IL-Gov: The most famous Illinoisian, Barack Obama, cuts a radio spot on behalf of Pat Quinn
• RI-Gov: The DGA pounds Lincoln Chafee one more time from the right, accusing him of being a tax-hiking hippy
• FL-22: Ron Klein moves past the boring fixation on Allen West's tax liens and onto the really juicy stuff about 2nd Amendment remedies
• MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann on Social Security
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper touts her pro-life credentials in her new ad, explaining her siding with the Stupak bloc on health care reform
• VA-02: The DCCC's IE unit points the "hypocrite" arrow at Scott Rigell, for making hundreds of thousands of dollars off "Cash for Clunkers"
• WI-08: Ditto the DCCC ad in the 8th, where they hit Reid Ribble for making hundreds of thousands of dollars for his roofing business off stimulus projects
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 44%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 47%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 19%, Marco Rubio (R) 50%, Charlie Crist (I) 25%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 50%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 38%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 53%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 38%, Tom Horner (I) 15%
• NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 24%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 66%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 43%, Susana Martinez (R) 52%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 53%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 48%, Chris Dudley (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 33%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 57%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 53%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 49%
• Angus-Reid: Some of you might have gotten excited about the California numbers offered up today by Angus-Reid (a well-established Canadian pollster, but apparently making their first foray into the States). Well, don't, because they're using an RV model, and more importantly, it's an Internet sample. (Now presumably there's some scientific selection behind it, not just a "click here!" banner ad, but we're highly skeptical nonetheless, especially since that seemed to produce notably pro-Dem results in California.)
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 41%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 55%, Carly Fiorina (R) 39%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 46%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek, sensing that time is running out, decided to reject the endorsement of the Sierra Club. Why? Because they wanted to co-endorse Charlie Crist, and Meek needs to do anything he can to differentiate himself from the governor, since they're largely drawing from the same pool of voters these days. Meek tried to cast this as a principled stance, saying "The Sierra Club has chosen to stand with a governor who stood on stage applauding as Sarah Palin chanted, 'Drill, Baby, Drill.'"
MO-Sen: The Smart Media Group is saying that the DSCC has cancelled two weeks worth of ad buys in Missouri. Given how often the tea-leaf reading has been wrong with all this ad stuff, I'd like to see further confirmation before making up my mind about what this means. (And guys, I don't think you're using cutesy hashtags properly.)
Congressional candidate and veteran political consultant Steve Raby once ran four north Alabama political action committees that authorities say were used to route $200,000 from a Dothan casino owner to a state senator in a vote-buying scheme. Raby says he relinquished control of the PACs weeks before the money transfers.
And this is just not a headline you ever want to see in your own race:
Raby: I have not been accused of doing anything wrong
AR-04: Here's a race that's not on a lot of folks' radars but probably should be, just because of the nature of the year & state. Republican Beth Anne Rankin is out with a one-day robopoll from Diamond State Consulting Group that shows Rep. Mike Ross leading by just a 44-41 margin, with 5% going to Green Party candidate Josh Drake. A poll from July had Ross up 55-33. But does Rankin have the resources to take down the Lord Satrap of the Blue Dogs? Ross had $1.1 million on hand as of June 30; Rankin, just $70K.
CT-04: Believe it or not, Merriman River Group is a Democratic pollster. But they sure have been putting out all kinds of numbers this week which are at odds with... well, everyone else's numbers, particularly in CT-Sen and CT-05. In their most recent effort, they have Rep. Jim Himes at 49 and Republican Dan Debicella at 47, so I'll be really curious to see if internals bear this one out. There are at least two things I don't like about this poll: First off, they report numbers to decimal places, which is a bad practice because it gives a false sense of accuracy. Secondly, they refer to Himes's opponent as "Dan DeBicella" throughout. C'mon, guys.
CT-05: Speaking of CT-05, here's another poll from Chris Murphy (courtesy the Gotham Research Group), showing him up 48-34 over Sam Caligiuri. Murph's last poll had a similar 50-38 margin. The only thing I don't like here is the weak swipe at robopollsters (like Merriman) in the press release: "An automated computer survey can't tell who is actually picking up the phone - a registered voter in the Fifth District, or a voter's 10 year old cousin visiting from South Carolina." Chris - we love you, man, but we know you can do better.
ID-01: In response to some rumor-mongering that showed up the other day in Roll Call, Walt Minnick said he "has no intention of changing parties." I think the Parker Griffith party switch actually was a very good thing for us, as it demonstrated what is likely to happen to any other Dems who follow suit - you'll get teabagged to death.
KS-01: In the race to succeed Rep. Jerry Moran (who is running for Senate), Republican Tim Huelskamp leads Democrat Alan Jilka by a 63-26 margin, according to SurveyUSA.
KY-06: Dueling internals in Eastern Kentucky. First up is Ben Chandler, whose poll from the Mellman group has him up 52-40 over Andy Barr. That's actually a decline from his numbers a few weeks ago which had him up 53-33, but Barr's gain seems pretty understandable - and importantly, Chandler hasn't slipped. (These numbers are also backed up by a recent Braun poll.) Meanwhile, Barr's survey has it 48-47 in favor of the Republican, which are the best numbers we've seen from his camp all cycle.
TX-17: Chet Edwards also has an internal poll out, from Bennett, Petts and Normington. It's not particularly good news: Bill Flores leads 46-42. Still, it's better than the most recent Flores own-poll, which had him up 55-36.
VA-05: Jesus, what is with this guy? Teabagger Jeff Clark has been pulling the Hamlet act more melodramatically than anyone since Mario Cuomo. Now he's claiming he might drop out of the race because he's being excluded from a series of debates between Rep. Tom Perriello and Republican Rob Hurt. Some of his backers say they might file a legal challenge, but that seems dubious.
NH-Sen: Even though Democrats on the Hill were too fucking stupid to schedule a vote on the Obama tax cuts which would have given them great campaign fodder, props to Paul Hodes for cutting an ad on the issue regardless. Hodes says he supports extending middle class tax cuts, but is very explicit that he wants to let tax breaks for the wealthiest expire - unlike Kelly Ayotte
NV-Sen: Hah, if this works, I'll be impressed: Sharron Angle's ad hits Reid on a few votes (like the stimulus), and also includes this gem: Reid's vote against Tom Coburn's retarded "no Viagra for sex offenders" poison-pill amendment to the healthcare reform bill
• CT-Sen: I hope Joe Lieberman has a nice lobbying firm picked out for a job starting in 2013. PPP threw in some Lieberman-related questions in their Connecticut sample, and he generates genuine bipartisan support in terms of the desire to replace him with someone else (72% of Dems, 63% of indies, and 61% of GOPers say "someone new"). He has 31/57 approval, including 20/69 among Dems. In a three-way with Dem Chris Murphy and GOPer Jodi Rell, Lieberman finishes 3rd, with Murphy winning 37-29-17. Substitute Peter Schiff for Rell and it's about the same: 39-25-19. If Lieberman goes the full GOP, he still loses a head-to-head with Murphy, 47-33.
• IL-Sen: Barack Obama's coming to town today, on behalf of Alexi Giannoulias. No stumping though, just two fundraisers. (On a related note, though, Obama will be in Oregon on Oct. 20 to appear with gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber.)
Dan Onorato (D): 36 (37)
Tom Corbett (R): 47 (46)
These races just don't seem to budge. Muhlenberg's newest numbers are just where they were a few weeks earlier, and they're pretty much at the median for all pollsters' averages in these races.
• VA-Sen: More looking ahead to 2012: George Allen is probably figuring that 'macaca' has faded into the mists of time, and he's starting to publicly let it be know that he's interested in a rematch with the man who beat him, Jim Webb. No formal preparatory activities, but it seems like he's engaging in some pre-emptive GOP field-clearing.
• WA-Sen: Here's something we haven't seen in a while: a poll with a lead for Dino Rossi. Of course, it's a Republican poll (from Fabrizio & Associates, on behalf of American Action Forum (that's AAF, not AFF)), so take it with some salt, but it's a reminder that this race is far from a done deal and that things may have tightened since that polling bulge for Patty Murray a few weeks ago. Rossi leads Murray 48-42 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• WV-Sen: You've probably already heard about this story: the NRSC has pulled an ad that it had started running in West Virginia featuring stereotypically blue-collar guy sitting around a diner grousing. Well, if they seem a little stereotypical, it's because they were intended to be, if you read the details from the NRSC's casting call for the ad that was shot in Philadelphia, asking for a "'hicky' blue collar look" and listing the various blue-collar clothing items that they should wear, including "John Deer [sic] hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)."" Somehow, I'm not hopeful this flap will become a game-changer in the race, but maybe it'll help West Virginians see what Beltway Republicans really think of them. The NRSC is in fact distancing itself from the ad, throwing the talent agency under the bus.
Meanwhile, this seems like a richer vein to mine: the ongoing and seemingly growing controversy of John Raese's residence. He owns a Florida mansion, where his wife and kids spent most of their time. But Dems are trying to raise questions about whether Raese is a West Virginia resident at all, and are asking whether he's filed West Virginia income taxes (Florida, as you might know, doesn't impose income taxes).
• NM-Gov: Can a race have too much internal poll leaking? There seems to be more tit-for-tat in this race than any. In response to yesterday's Diane Denish internal showing a 3-point race, today Susana Martinez brandishes a POS internal from 10/3-5 giving her a 51-42 lead over Denish.
Andrew Cuomo (D): 55 (49)
Carl Paladino (R): 37 (43)
Undecided: 6 (7)
Either Carl Paladino had a huge primary bounce that quickly faded, people who hadn't been paying close attention a few weeks ago suddenly found out that Paladino is a sputtering rage volcano who'd be a huge liability in office, or Quinnipiac put up a big stinky outlier a few weeks ago. (Probably a little of all three.)
• WI-Gov: Marist for McClatchy (9/26-28, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Barrett (D): 43
Scott Walker (R): 51
Ooops, we missed that there was a gubernatorial half to that Marist poll from a few days ago.
• AL-02: I don't know which is a bigger story here: that Bobby Bright is the first Democratic incumbent to announce, pre-election, that he won't vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, or that he's trailing in a Martha Roby internal after having, for most of the cycle, seemed safer than a lot of other incumbents in less hostile districts... although the announcement seems pretty clearly motivated by the polling trends here. He says he certainly won't vote for John Boehner, though, saying he wants to vote for a centrist "more like me." Roby's poll comes from POS, giving her a 45-43 lead (with the memo saying their July poll gave Bright a 49-41 lead). Bright still overperforms the generic ballot by a wide margin, which is 51-32 for the GOP in this R+16 district.
• CT-01: Merriman River Group (who put up a surprising poll finding Chris Murphy trailing in CT-05 yesterday) are out with another poll that should give some pause: they find John Larson only ahead by 7 against no-namer Ann Brinkley, 52-45, in what's Connecticut's bluest (D+13) congressional district. For what it's worth, this district is eleven points bluer than D+2 CT-05, so the spread (Murphy was down 5) is consistent... but also remember that Merriman was about five points to the right of where everybody else was seeing the statewide races in that big pile of CT polls from the last couple days, so feel free to adjust accordingly.
• IL-17: Yep, we've definitely got a real race here this time, after Phil Hare got away unopposed in 2008. He's up only slightly over Bobby Schilling in a POS internal (which I assume is on behalf of the Schilling camp, as the NRCC has been using Tarrance in this district), leading 38-37 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• IN-02: EPIC-MRA for WSBT (10/1-3, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Donnelly (D): 48
Jackie Walorski (R): 39
Mike Vogel (I): 6
These numbers (which include leaners) look pretty good for Donnelly, in the first public poll of the race (although he's seemed to fare OK in partisan polls of the race, compared with many other vulnerable Dems, leading in both AFF and Susan B. Anthony List polls). Donnelly has 47/32 faves, while Walorski is at 32/35.
• NY-23: Here's one more Republican internal, that was taken before Doug Hoffman officially pulled the plug on his Conservative Party bid, but suggesting that he wasn't having much of an effect this year anyway. In the POS poll taken for the NRCC 9/22-23, Matt Doheny leads Dem incumbent Bill Owens 51-37. (Somehow they didn't leak what percentage Hoffman was getting... obviously it couldn't be more than 12%... but they do tell us 68% of Hoffman supporters would, in the alternate, support Doheny.)
• PA-07: Monmouth (10/4-6, likely voters, no trendlines):
Believe it or not, this is the first public poll of this race, and it's definitely better than the conventional wisdom on this race would dictate: although Bryan Lentz is still losing, it's by a 4-point margin. It's a seat that leans Dem-enough that even with a strong GOP candidate and a strong GOP tailwind it looks like it'll still be at least close. (That conventional wisdom seems founded largely on a June Meehan internal giving him a 21-point lead.) One other interesting tidbit: Joe Sestak, the district's current Rep., is leading Pat Toomey 49-46 within the district in the Senate race. He'd need to be cleaning up by a much wider margin than that, here, to be competitive statewide.
• WA-08: Let's throw in a Democratic internal poll to break up the monotony. It's from one of the few Dem challengers who seem to be keeping things within striking distance, Suzan DelBene. She trails GOP incumbent Dave Reichert by only 48-44 in a Fairbank Maslin poll taken 10/4-5 (where they gave Reichert a 9-point lead in August). That coincides, perhaps not coincidentally, with Dave Reichert finally having to come out and say "no, I don't have brain damage." Reichert, you may remember, had to have emergency surgery after getting hit in the head by a tree branch in March. Reichert's fitness had been the subject of increasing whispers and question marks in recent months, some of which may have rubbed off on his poll numbers.
• Early voting: Fun fact of the day: early voting is up 50% over this point in time over the 2006 midterm, with nearly 6 million votes already having been cast. This, of course, is in large part because states have, in the intervening years, made it easier to vote early. (Nearly 30% of votes were cast early in 2008; officials don't expect this year's numbers to reach that peak, though.) At any rate, it looks like early voting is increasingly here to stay, and campaigns will have to adjust their strategies accordingly. (I.e. planning for the "September Surprise" instead?)
• Demographics: Now these are some interesting numbers: a chart breaking down the "voting-eligible" (not just "voting age") population by percentage in each state, eliminating non-citizens as well as prisoners and ineligible felons. And here's an interesting statistic: despite the fact that we haven't completed the dang fence, the percentage of non-citizens in the U.S. has actually dropped from 2006 (8.6%) to 2010 (8.3%), partly because the government has processed a backlog in citizenship cases and partly because the lousier economy has made the U.S. a less attractive destination.
• SSP TV:
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln uses Bill Clinton as surrogate to talk about John Boozman's privatization mania
• PA-Sen: The Club for Growth does some stimulus act cherry-picking to portray Joe Sestak as a sockpuppet for the sockpuppet lobby
• WV-Sen: The DSCC hits John Raese on outsourcing
• ND-AL: The NRCC attacks Earl Pomeroy for taking money from the insurance industry
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's newest ad focuses on her work on parochial issues, while Kristin Noem's ad says Sandlin's gone Washington
WV (Jury is out on wisdom of election this year.)
CT (People like Blumenthal and aren't fussed about McMahon but closer than it should be.)
NV (Reid can't pull away but surely Nevadans can't elect that nut. Can they?)
IL (Hardest call to make. I'm still confident Alexi can get over the hump though.)
NY (Kirsten's problem was always that people don't know her. First ads now helping with that.)
WA (Need to see polls not by Rasmussen to see if Rossi has bounced back.)
CA (Boxer isn't out of the woods yet but the GOP have better targets.)
WI (Shocked this has shifted so quickly and so convincingly.)
CO (Bennet doesn't seem to be getting any traction.)
KY (The one remaining shot at a pickup but I suspect it will be another heartbreaker like '04.)
PA (Sestak has left it too late this time I fear.)
MO (This will be close but doesn't look good.)
NH (Independents leaning heavily Republican across the country so Hodes has little chance with them dominating the electorate here.)
DE (Thanks Teabaggers!)
OH (No Brunner fans she would not be doing better.)
FL (Crist is becoming a bit of a joke.)
NC (Marshall has no money so no contest.)
IN (In any other year I think Ellsworth wins. Want more polls.)
AR (Lincoln won't lose as big as some think.)
AK (McAdams has great ads but think Dems will be strategic and help Murkowski.)
LA (Melancon ad hitting Vitter where it hurts in final bid but he was never winning this year if any.)
ND safely in the GOP column.
CA (August as good as it gets for Whitman. As suspected Brown just had to go up on tv to get ahead. No blowout though.)
OH (Strickland running a great campaign but Kasich a tough opponent.)
IL (Quinn is clearly closing despite his problems. Not sure if it will be enough though.)
ME (LePage seems to be sinking but suspect he still leads. Just.)
VT (Need more polling to see if Shumlin has closed here.)
FL (Scott floods the airwaves and Floridians don't seem to care how dodgy he is.)
OR (Kitzhaber surprisingly weak but still in with a good shout.)
CT (Foley has skeletons and Malloy does not which in a blue state means a Dem gain.)
MN (Dayton isn't perfect but split field means a Dem gain.)
MD (Blue state and decent O'Malley approvals mean no Ehrlich return.)
NH (Longevity and the cycle hurt Lynch but I think he'll be fine.)
MA (Patrick's job numbers have risen steadily. Suspect he wins even if Cahill drops out late.)
PA (Onorato seems to be closing a little but too little too late I fancy.)
TX (Great campaign from Bill White but afraid the state is just too red this year.)
GA (Cannot quite believe Deal is getting a pass here.)
NM (Martinez has a perfect resume for this year.)
WI (Seems to be moving away from Barrett.)
CO (Hickenlooper breaks 50 on election day despite having two opponents.)
HI (Abercrombie will have to work for it but should be fine.)
RI (Caprio with the advantage but even if Chafee wins this is basically a Dem gain either way.)
NY (No longer a rout but I'm not worried.)
AR (Every incumbent Dem should be on this board!)
SC (Latest poll looks dodgy but still expect this to tighten in the final weeks.)
NV (Possible Rory could make this close but I can't see any way he wins.)
MI (Since a Republican was always likely to win Snyder isn't half bad.)
AZ (Brewer's debate debacle doesn't seem to have hurt much.)
OK (I suspect no total blowout but a comfy margin all the same.)
IA (Culver might be toast even with a weaker Republican.)
TN (McWherter turns out to be a bit of dud.)
KS (Nobody seems to have much love for Brownback but even fewer love Dems this year.)
ID (Closer than expected but Otter will win.)
AK (Berkowitz is a decent nominee but I bet he wishes he had challenged Murkowski instead.)