AK-Sen: The NRSC is coughing up money for Joe Miller; they just cut him a $42,600 check and say they'll be spending $170,000 in coordinated expenditures on his behalf, which CQ reports represents "the maximum allowed under the law". I'm not sure how that's possible, though, as the FEC has a $87,000 limit on coordinated party expenditures for Senate races in Alaska. What I do know is that Democrat Scott McAdams is already making the GOP sweat (although, Joe Miller's balls-out insanity may have a little something to do with that). You see that thermometer on the top right corner of this page? You know what you have to do.
FL-Sen: Libertarian Alex Snitker has popped up to remind the world that he's actually in this race... by announcing that he won't be dropping out of the race, despite pressure in the form of "numerous e-mails and Facebook messages" from Republicans urging him to get out of Marco Rubio's way.
NC-Sen: Normally, I'd bunch this bullet down in the ad section, but Richard Burr's latest spot deserves some special attention. The ad, entitled "Front Porch", resurrects the highly-acclaimed "rocking chair" actors employed by the DSCC in their extremely effective ads against Elizabeth Dole in 2008. Only this time, they're singing Richard Burr's praises and railing against the national debt. At least, I think those are the same actors; if not, they're dead ringers for the originals. (To see what I mean, click here.) I've gotta say - pretty damned clever move on Burr's part.
WA-Sen: The DSCC has reserved $2 million worth of ad time to help protect Patty Murray against Dino Rossi. The DSCC's ads will begin on October 5th.
CO-Gov: Democrat John Hickenlooper doubled up on American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo in August fundraising, bringing in just over $400K to Tancredo's $200K. Tancredo, in turn, quadrupled up on Republican flag-bearer Dan Maes, who raised $50K, nearly half of which was spent on legal fees and campaign finance penalties. Meanwhile, downballot Republicans are doing their best to rally around Tancredo, the only guy with the money and semblance of cred to run a real campaign. More than 20 elected GOPers in Colorado came out in support of Tanc. RGA chair Haley Barbour sounds about ready to throw in the towel, though.
AZ-01, AZ-05: Here's a pair of fresh GOP internal polls from Arizona for your consumption: In AZ-01, rogue dentist Paul Gosar is tied with Dem Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick at 43-43 in a Moore Information poll conducted at the end of August. In AZ-05, National Research, Inc. has David Schweikert up on Dem Harry Mitchell by 46-38.
FL-02: Blue Dog Allen Boyd rolled out the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday.
KS-04: By all indications, Republicans are set to have a very good year at the polls, but they would be foolish to consider a race like the open seat battle to replace Todd Tiahrt in the bag. Not only has Democratic state Rep. Raj Goyle been fundraising strongly and pollingcompetitively in this GOP-friendly district against dickbag Republican Mike Pompeo, it looks like there's a very real chance that there could be some serious vote-splitting on the right. Mega-wealthy businessman Wink Hartman, who lost to Pompeo in the Republican primary, is interested in running as a Libertarian, and Kansas Libertarian Party Chairman Andrew Gray said the chances of that happening are "very favorable". Hartman, who spent over $1.5 million on Republican campaign, had a phone interview with the Libertarians on Tuesday, and they apparently loved what they had to hear. Hartman would be taking the place of David Moffett on the Libertarian ballot, who pulled his name last week after citing personal health reasons. Republicans, of course, are crying foul, but the KS SoS has already denied one objection to the withdrawal.
D-bags: Add NRCC tool Andy Sere to the list. Just click the link.
DE-Sen: Chris Coons is out with his first ad, a spot touting his record as New Castle County Executive. NWOTSOTB, but it's a statewide cable buy that the campaign decided to roll out earlier than planned in order to take advantage of the cat fud fight between Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle.
AR-01: Chad Causey's first ad of the general election is a spot that's mostly biographical, but one that ends with a left hook on Republican Rick Crawford for his support for the bad kind of SSP.
AZ-08: Gabrielle Giffords is out with a solid hit on tea-flavored douchebag Jesse Kelly, hitting him with his own words on his plan to "privatize" and "phase out" Social Security, which, along with Medicare, are apparently the "biggest Ponzi schemes in history". Hey, Jesse: thank you for being a moron.
CA-45: Mary Bono Mack's first ad touts her efforts to support the "magic" of the doctor-patient relationship. Or something.
IL-11: Republican Adam Kinzinger is up with his first ad, an autobiographical piece which touts his Air Force service and his intervention in a knife attack on a woman back home.
IL-17: Phil Hare is out with his first ad in four years, hitting Republican Bobby Schilling on his support of "a bad trade deal with Korea".
IN-02: GOPer Jackie Walorski has the right issue (the economy), but the wrong remedy (trickle down nonsense).
IN-08: Republican Larry Buschon's first spot hits Democrats on, you guessed it, spending - and also on the curious notion that food grows in grocery stores.
MD-01: Frank Kratovil Reads The Bills. (The ad will run "on broadcast stations in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets".)
NE-02: Dem Tom White hits Lee Terry on the national debt, citing his vote for TARP.
NJ-12: Rush Holt's first ad is half-negative, hitting hedge fund kingpin Scott Sipprelle for his supply-side economics, and half-positive, touting Holt's support of the middle class.
TN-08: Dem Roy Herron comes out against drug dealers, predatory lenders, and Wall Street. This one seems like it could use more of an emotional punch, though.
SSP IE Tracker:
Longtime fans of SSP will remember the House Independent Expenditure tracker that we updated on a regular basis two years ago. As much as I'd like to resurrect that project this year, the time constraints of law school prevent me from investing that kind of time. However, we'll still try to keep you in the loop on noteworthy independent expenditure reports here in the Daily Digest.
NH-Sen: CULAC the PAC files a $66K radio ad buy on behalf of conservative Republican Ovide Lamontagne
IN-02: The NRCC files $95K in ads and polls against Joe Donnelly
MA-09: The SEIU is spending $190K on phonebanks and radio ads in support of Mac D'Alessandro in his primary fight against Stephen Lynch
MI-01: The DCCC buys $48K in ads against Dan Benishek
WI-07: The DCCC has re-upped their ad buy against Sean Duffy by another $50K.
Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
• AZ-Sen: As the Arizona GOP Senate primary heats up, ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth has pulled in a prominent backer, one of the state's unfortunately most popular politicians: Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio - a hero of the anti-immigrant set who'd been the subject of calls to get into the gubernatorial race this year - wrote a fundraising letter for Hayworth that's being sent around nationally.
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio got two more endorsements today from the GOP's right flank: from Indiana's Rep. Mike Pence, #3 in the House GOP and a favorite of the social values set, and on the economic-conservative side of the party, bathtub-drowning fan Grover Norquist.
• NH-Sen (pdf): A couple different polls are out today in the New Hampshire Senate race, although both from pollsters in the "take with salt" category. UNH looks at the general election, finding a lead for Kelly Ayotte over Paul Hodes that's about in line with most other pollsters: 41-33. Hodes leads the lesser GOPers in the race, though; he beats Jim Bender 36-27, William Binnie 34-30, and Ovide Lamontagne 38-29. What about that thorny GOP primary, though? Republican internal pollster Magellan has some answers, although it's not clear if this poll was on the behalf of any particular candidate. They see Ayotte at 37%, but contrary to that recent R2K poll, they have Binnie in second place at 23% and Lamontagne back at 12. (Binnie seems to be the most moderate in the field, and gained a lot of attention, at least in the Boston media market parts of the state, for running ads on behalf of Scott Brown in Massachusetts.) In case anyone was wondering about the GOP gubernatorial primary, that's in there too, although nobody has any idea who these candidates are: Jack Kimball beats Karen Testerman 18-5.
• AL-Gov: There's one other interesting poll from a Republican pollster of a Republican primary (this time in Alabama); it's from Baselice, and they're explicit about not working on behalf of any of these candidates. Former higher ed system chancellor Bradley Byrne has a narrow lead, and he has a lot of company. Byrne is at 20, followed closely by wingnut judge Roy Moore at 17. Real estate developer (and gubernatorial spawn) Tim James is at 8, state Rep. Robert Bentley is at 4, state treasurer Kay Ivey is at 3, and former Economic Development Dir. Bill Johnson is at 2.
• AL-05: Democrats now have two candidates lined up to go against Parker Griffith (or whatever other GOPer teabags him out of a job): the new one is attorney (and former Air Force JAG) Mitchell Howie. Howie is young and doesn't have electoral experience, but is the grandson of a well-loved local physician. Prominent attorney Taze Shepard made his candidacy official today as well (via press release).
• AL-07: EMILY's List weighed in with an endorsement in the Democratic primary in the 7th. Interestingly, they showed their hand even though there are two women well-positioned in the field - and they went with attorney Terri Sewell, who's something of the moneyed-interests candidate in the race with ties to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis, rather than the more progressive option of Jefferson Co. Commissioner Shelia Smoot.
• AR-02: Add one more Dem to the field in the 2nd, to replace retiring Rep. Vic Snyder. Assistant Attorney General John Adams launched a bid today, although it's unclear whether he'll pose much of an obstacle to state House speaker Robbie Wills.
• AZ-03: One of the widely-expected candidates to run in the open seat vacated by Rep. John Shadegg has decided not to get involved, after all. Shadegg's former chief of staff Sean Noble said he won't run. The field is already top-heavy with Republicans, including former state Sens. Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring (both of whom resigned to run, per state law), former state Rep. Sam Crump, Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker, and former Paradise Valley mayor Ed Winkler.
• CO-03: Hat-tip to Daily Kos's Steve Singiser, who, while rummaging through the used-polls bin, found a stale Republican internal poll of the race in the 3rd that hadn't caught anyone's notice before. It points to a close race in the Republican-leaning, mostly-rural district; Democratic Rep. Pete Salazar leads GOP state Rep. Scott Tipton (who lost the 2006 race to Salazar) 46-44.
• NH-01, 02 (pdf): Both of the New Hampshire House races are looking like tossups, according to the same UNH poll mentioned above. In the 1st, they find Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in bad shape against any of her GOP challengers; she loses 43-33 to Frank Guinta, 36-33 to Bob Bestani, 36-33 to Rich Ashooh, and 39-32 to Sean Mahoney. (Of course, UNH repeatedly showed her in a tight spot in 2008 until the closing weeks of the campaign - although without Obama coattails this year, she may not get that late boost.) And in the 2nd, Dems only win one potential matchup: Katrina Swett beats Jennifer Horn 30-26. Swett loses to Charlie Bass 37-30, while Ann McLane Kuster loses to both Bass (39-28) and Horn (28-25). (One other caveat: these are small samples, with 6.2% MoEs.)
• NJ-02: Add Rep. Frank LoBiondo to the long list of establishment Republicans getting a good teabagging this year. Schoolteacher and tea partier Michael Conte will challenge LoBiondo in the GOP primary. Conte seems most put out about LoBiondo's cap-and-trade vote, and supports opening up the Jersey Shore to offshore oil drilling. (Somehow, I can't see that part being popular.)
• TX-14: The epidemic of own-eating on the teabagging right has reached French Revolution proportions, to the extent that now Ron Paul, pretty much the spiritual forefather of the movement, is facing not one but three teabagging primary challengers. Weirdly, one of their knocks against Paul is that he's "too extreme," and also that he's against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan... all pretty suggestive that there's nothing "new" about the Tea Party movement, just that it's a catchall for conservative Republicans who are feeling extra-agitated about things.
• TX-32: The DCCC has been stepping up its attacks on Rep. Pete Sessions, maybe in part to keep the NRCC head pinned down a bit, but also because they may sense this is one of the few places where they have a legitimate shot at playing offense. Between the district's rapidly changing demographics, Sessions' ties to Ponzi schemer "Sir" Alan Stanford, a serious primary challenge from a teabagger, and good fundraising from Dem challenger Grier Raggio, there may be some substance to that.
• IL-LG: With Dan Hynes having taken his name out of consideration for the now-vacant LG slot for the Dems in Illinois, Lynn Sweet runs down the top contenders. First on the docket is state Rep. Art Turner, who finished second to Scott Lee Cohen in the primary and now has state House speaker Michael Madigan's stamp of approval. Other possibilities include state Sen. Rickey Hendon, state Sen. Terry Link, or state Rep. Mike Boland (all of whom fared worse in the primary), or if they want to go with a woman, either state Rep. Julie Hamos (who narrowly lost the IL-10 primary, and is now campaigning for the LG slot) or VA Deputy Sec. Tammy Duckworth.
• CfG: A couple more endorsements, as the Club for Growth picked the zaniest of the bunch in a few competitive primaries in dark-red seats that are open. They endorsed former state GOP chair Robin Smith in TN-03, and businessman Mike Pompeo in KS-04.
• NRCC: Here's a good catch from the Boston Phoenix: the NRCC is really putting the "guns" in "Young Guns," as a whopping total of 4 of the 64 members of its offense program are women - with only one, Martha Roby (in AL-02) looking like she's in position to possibly make it through both the primary and general.
• NY-St. Ass.: There are not one, but four, special elections for open seats in New York's Assembly tonight, all resulting from legislators getting elected to something better-paying in November. The Democrats are defending seats in Queens (although there the Republican lineholder is a lifelong Democrat), Suffolk County, and Westchester County, while the Republicans are defending a Nassau County seat.
• Polltopia: More back-and-forth in the discussion over the polls that SurveyUSA performed for Firedoglake, that we may have accidentally triggered (pointing out the dramatically low young-voter composition of the polls). SurveyUSA's Jay Leve responded "vehemently" (Mark Blumenthal's words) to last week's critique from poli sci professor Alan Abramowitz, while Blumenthal offers some interesting graphs showing the disparity between the SurveyUSA numbers and actual Catalist records. PPP's Tom Jensen offered some qualified support for SurveyUSA, though, by pointing out that even if you "weighted up" the youth numbers to the levels seen in Catalist (the Dems' voter database), it wouldn't tend to impact the topline numbers by a significant amount.
• Election results: A lot happened last night, most prominently Martha Coakley's victory in the MA-Sen Democratic primary, with 47% of the vote to Michael Capuano's 28, Alan Khazei's 13, and Stephen Paglicua's 12. Coakley is poised to become the Bay State's first female Senator; the big question for the Jan. 19 general is whether Republican state Sen. Scott Brown (who won the GOP nod 88-12 over Jack E. Robinson) can break 40%. In Kentucky, the Dems' run of pickups in the state Senate came to a screeching halt, as Jodie Haydon lost to GOP state Rep. Jimmy Higdon 56-44 in a previously GOP-held open seat in SD-14, so the Senate's composition stays at 20 (plus 1 GOP-leaning indie) to 17 in favor of the GOP. The GOP also picked up a previously Dem-held seat in the state House, HD-96. Republicans also retained SD-4 in Arkansas's dark-red northwest. In Birmingham, Alabama's mayoral race advances to a runoff between attorney (and 2007 loser) Patrick Cooper and Jefferson County Commissioner William Bell. And in Los Angeles, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian won a vacant City Council seat despite being widely outspent by Christine Essel -- which sets up an Assembly special election and temporarily leaves Dems there shy one seat.
• AR-Sen: With some encouragement from labor and the netroots, it looks like Lt. Gov. Bill Halter may actually be moving forward on plans to mount a Democratic primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln from the left. He's in Washington DC meeting with labor officials and blogosphere leaders.
• FL-Sen: In more evidence of Charlie Crist's willingness to take money from anyone, a mailer from a big fundraiser hosted for Crist by Broward County developer Ron Bergeron headlined one particular large contributor: Joseph Cobo, the Broward County Health Commissioner who's currently under criminal investigation for corruption. Cobo was quickly removed from the host committee and Crist's camp said the mailer was a "draft" mistakenly sent.
• OH-Sen: David Plouffe, one of the architects of Barack Obama's campaign, has weighed into the Democratic Senate primary (despite not having any obvious connections to Ohio). Plouffe endorsed Lee Fisher over Jennifer Brunner in a fundraising e-mail, perhaps suggesting subtle White House moves to consolidate things behind Fisher and start gearing up for the general.
• AK-Gov: It was clear that newly-appointed Gov. Sean Parnell was going to face a primary fight with a member of the state's political establishment, but the surprise today seems to be which one. Former state House speaker Ralph Samuels announced he's running for Governor today. In summer, another former speaker, John Harris, had said he was going to run against Parnell, but today's ADN article makes no mention of Harris; it does list Bill Walker and Gerald Heikes as other GOP candidates. The flashpoint in the Parnell/Samuels race appears to be oil industry taxes imposed by that known tax-and-spend liberal, Sarah Palin; Parnell supports continuation of them while Samuels wants an end.
• IL-Gov, IL-Sen: In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, incumbent Pat Quinn picked up some Chicago-area endorsements, from Rep. Danny Davis and an array of aldermen; he also recently got the Sierra Club's nod. His opponent, Comptroller Dan Hynes, however, got an endorsement from a major union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and a victory of sorts by getting the AFL-CIO to not endorse. The AFL-CIO did, however, just endorse Alexi Giannoulias in the Senate race.
• NH-Gov: As expected, social conservative activist Karen Testerman launched her bid for Governor in New Hampshire. She brings some name recognition to the race based on her radio show and a long track record of religious right rabble-rousing, but isn't expected to pose much of a challenge for Democratic incumbent John Lynch as he seeks a barely-precedented fourth term.
• FL-02: Faced with the realization that state Sen. Al Lawson is staying in the Democratic primary race no matter what, Rep. Allen Boyd is taking advantage of his big cash edge to run a TV spot already. Despite his vote against health care reform last month, he's running an ad that's basically pro-HCR (although with the GOP-sounding hedges thrown in there).
• IL-14: It didn't take long for the last remaining minor player to bail out of the GOP field in the 14th, the third in a week. Jeff Danklefsen will apparently be taking his name of the ballot, and endorsing state sen. Randy Hultgren. Hultgren's camp is also keeping an eye on Mark Vargas, who dropped out but endorsed Ethan Hastert; they want to make sure Vargas actually pulls his name off the ballot instead of remaining on there and splitting the anti-Hastert vote.
• KS-02: Because even when you vote the conservative position 95% of the time, that's just not conservative enough... freshman Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins, already facing a credible Democratic challenge in the form of state Sen. Laura Kelly, may now face a primary challenge from state Sen. Dennis Pyle, who filed candidacy papers last week. (Former state Treasurer Jenkins was from the "moderate" wing of the party in Kansas, and beat religious right ex-Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2008 primary.)
• MD-01: Something seems amiss at the Andy Harris camp, as he prepares for a rematch against Dem freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil; his campaign manager, Mike Spellings hit the road. Other insiders say it was just a personality clash.
• NJ-02: I don't know if anyone was counting on Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew making his long-awaited run against Rep. Frank LoBiondo next year, but the question was asked. Van Drew says "the likelihood is not there," but didn't completely rule it out.
• PA-07: Here's what the GOP establishment had been hoping to avoid: the possibility of a contested primary in the open 7th, where the field was painstakingly cleared for former US Attorney Pat Meehan. Dawn Stensland, the former news anchor for the Philly Fox affiliate, says she's considering a run for the Republican nomination. Unfortunately for her, she comes with her own built-in attention-grabbing scandal relating to her husband, another local news anchor, having an affair with yet another competing local news anchor.
• AR-Sen: I'm not sure what it is about the Arkansas Senate race that's making it flypaper for never-before-elected wingnuts. At any rate, former Army colonel Conrad Reynolds, from Conway, announced his candidacy on Monday.
• FL-Sen: The Fix confirms that Marco Rubio will stay in the Florida GOP Senate primary, despite a terrible fundraising disparity and a brief public flirtation with dropping down to the AG race in the hopes of, y'know, not getting demolished.
• IL-Sen: Newly elected Rep. Mike Quigley became the third Democratic House member from Illinois to endorse Alexi Giannoulias today (although the endorsement may not even be necessary if Chris Kennedy doesn't get around to showing up).
• MO-Sen: State Senator Chuck Purgason has been sending around e-mails telling the press that tomorrow he'll hold a press conference (at the Ozark Cafe, in West Plains, if you happen to be in the area) where he'll announce his plans for the GOP primary race against Rep. Roy Blunt. Spoiler alert! Purgason's own e-mail goes on to say "It is expected that Purgason will announce that he will enter the race..."
• NH-Sen: Here are two items that fall in the "well, duh" file: Kelly Ayotte has set up an exploratory committee so she can consider running for Senate, and Senator Judd Gregg hints strongly that he plans to endorse her.
• WV-Sen: Here's some good news, not just because we like to see our friends stay healthy but because he's badly needed for cloture votes: Robert Byrd is back on the job on the Hill, after six weeks of hospitalization and some additional time to recuperate.
• KS-Gov: Kansas Democrats are back to Plan A in the 2010 Governor's race (not that they ever really had a Plan B): going back to Gov. Mark Parkinson and begging him to reconsider his decision not to run for election to a full term. Parkinson remains adamant, though.
• ME-Gov: Another entrant to the Democratic field in the slow-to-take-shape Maine governor's race: Portland businesswoman Rosa Scarcelli, who owns a housing company. Former state House Speaker and AG Steve Rowe still seems to have inside track for the Dems; the GOP, by contrast, doesn't seem to have anyone yet.
• MI-Gov: The GOP primary in the Michigan governor's race got even more cluttered today, when, as expected, businessman Rick Snyder got into the race. Snyder is a venture capitalist who briefly served as CEO of PC maker Gateway back in the 1990s.
• NJ-Gov: Chris Christie picked Monmouth County Sheriff Kimberly Guadagno as his Lt. Gov. candidate yesterday. It's consistent with his approach of running a law and order, outsider-ish campaign. Christie supposedly also gave a lot of consideration to picking Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who, had he won, would have created a tasty pickup opportunity in NJ-02.
• UT-Gov: This week's confirmation hearing of Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China is expected to be a quick affair. He could be in his new job before the summer recess, leaving Gary Herbert in charge of Utah in a matter of weeks.
• AL-07: In the wake of recent fundraising reports, Roll Call takes a look at the race to fill the open seat left behind by Rep. Artur Davis, running for Alabama governor. Corporate attorney Terri Sewell, thanks to her job, seems to have the best fundraising connections, and leads the money chase by far ($173K last quarter). However, she probably trails two other candidates in name recognition: state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. (son of the former Representative that Davis beat in a primary) and Jefferson Co. Commissioner Shelia Smoot, who is also known for having her own radio show. Also in the race are former Selma mayor James Perkins Jr., attorney Martha Bozeman (Davis's former campaign manager), and businessman Eddison Walters (who racked up 9% against Davis in a 2006 primary).
• KS-02: Former Rep. Nancy Boyda landed on her feet, getting sworn in yesterday to her new job at the Pentagon, as deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for manpower and personnel. This would suggest she won't be running again in KS-02, which is fine, as she seems better suited for a policy job than one that requires a lot of campaigning.
• NY-23: In other confirmation news, John McHugh's confirmation hearing as Secretary of the Army won't happen until after the August recess (although no one expects holds on the moderate Republican to be a problem). McHugh will remain in office until his confirmation, and after that there will still be several months' lead time until a special election.
• TX-23: Republican lawyer and banker Quico Canseco is back for another whack at Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in the San Antonio-based 23rd. Actually, Canseco never got that whack in 2008 -- highly touted by the NRCC, Canseco was upset in the GOP primary by Bexar Co. Commissioner Lyle Larson, despite spending over $1 million of his own money.
• Mayors: You may remember businessman Greg Fischer, who lost the 2008 Democratic Senate primary in Kentucky to Bruce Lunsford. He announced that he'll run for Louisville mayor in 2010, as 20-year mayor Jerry Abramson recently announced he won't run again.
for a good laugh, I set myself up on the Club for Growth e-mail list. I love to see what Democrats they target and I especially love to see them promote primary challenges to Republicans....especially when they are Republicans that we are targetting...like Mark Kirk.
Recently, the CfG sent out an e-mail complaining about 8 RINO's who voted in favor the "dangerous cap and trade bill" last Friday. They are looking for viable candidates to run primary challenges against these 7 (McHugh is the 8th vote but he's retiring)
Bono Mack, Mary (CA-45)
Castle, Mike (DE-AL)
Kirk, Mark (IL-10)
Lance, Leonard (NJ-07)
LoBiondo, Frank (NJ-02)
Reichert, Dave (WA-08)
Smith, Chris (NJ-04)
I can't help but notice that Democrats ran strong challenges in several of these districts and are primed to do so again. It would certaintly work to our benefit if we gave the CfG a little boost in helping to find some viable primary challengers to these Republican candidates.
Does anybody have any knowledge of potential Republican candidates in these races that we could give some encouragement to get into these races or give the CfG some encouragement to try and get them in themselves??
• CT-Sen: I guess I wasn't dreaming when I thought I heard economist and talking head Peter Schiff say he was still looking into the GOP primary for the Connecticut Senate race Tuesday night on the Daily Show... apparently he's making a full-court press all week gauging his support for a run. Schiff is a favorite of the Paulist wing of the party, and true to anarcho-libertarian form, he shrugs off the fact that he can't remember the last time he voted.
• FL-Sen: The Club for Growth doesn't get involved in Senate primaries very often (RI in 2006 and NM in 2008 being the exceptions), but the fact that Marco Rubio met this week with the CfG and they admitted to being "impressed" suggests that they might get involved here. The CfG may still be reluctant to get involved, though, simply given the unlikely return on their investment with the long odds Rubio faces against Charlie Crist.
• NY-Sen-B: Writer Jonathan Tasini, who got 17% in a challenge from the left to Hillary Clinton in the 2006 Senate primary, announced that he's going to run against Kirsten Gillibrand in the 2010 primary. It's still as unclear as ever if Rep. Carolyn Maloney will officially join Tasini in the hunt (and Tasini getting in may make it more difficult for her, seeing as how Tasini would eat into her share of the purer-than-thou vote), but Maloney seems to be testing out various attack lines against Gillibrand in a prerecorded interview with NY1 that will air tonight. Meanwhile, Gillibrand got another prominent endorsement today, although this one may help her more in the general than with the liberal base: former NYC mayor Ed Koch.
• UT-Sen: Somehow Bob Bennett has become flypaper for wingnuts lately. He's pulled down his fourth primary challenger, businessman and conservative activist James Williams.
• NJ-Gov: The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at a new conundrum for both Jon Corzine and Chris Christie: picking running mates. (This is the first New Jersey gubernatorial election since the creation of the Lt. Gov. position, a need made apparent by the resignations of both Christie Todd Whitman and Jim McGreevey.) This looks like an exercise in ticket-balancing, both in terms of gender and geography. State Senator Diane Allen from the Philly burbs in Burlington Co. (who declined the chance to run in NJ-03) may have the inside track for the GOP nod, although (paging open seat fans) one other name that gets a mention is NJ-02's Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
• OK-Gov: No surprise here, but AG Drew Edmondson today officially launched his exploratory campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor. Edmondson faces Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in the primary, giving the Dems two strong candidates facing a steep climb uphill against Oklahoma's ever-darker shade of red.
• DE-AL: Rep. Mike Castle said today that he won't seek the newly-open position of ranking member on the Education and Labor Committee, saying he wanted GOP stability on the panel. While this doesn't help us know whether he's planning to run for the Senate or retire, it does send a pretty clear signal the 69-year-old Castle isn't staying in the House.
• FL-24: This race is barely a couple days old, and already it's one of the most heated in the nation. Once Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel announced her run, some local Democrats (although not the Kosmas camp) began pointing to a 2007 Orlando Sentinel article discussing some of her odd actions and outbursts. That brought on a counterattack from state GOP chair Jim Greer, who attacked freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas directly for gutter politicking.
• NV-03: The NRCC hasn't had much luck on the recruiting front in this D+2 district in the Las Vegas suburbs to take on freshman Rep. Dina Titus. Local banking executive John Guedry looks willing to step up to the plate, though, saying he's "seriously considering" it. Other possible GOPers include former Clark County GOP chair Brian Scroggins and former state Controller Steve Martin.
• SC-01: With Linda Ketner turning down the rematch against Rep. Henry Brown, all eyes have turned to state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis as a potential Dem nominee. He said he'll make a decision "sometime in July."
• TN-09: Rep. Steve Cohen is getting fundraising help from an interesting source, and still one of the most powerful forces in Memphis politics: former Rep. Harold Ford Sr. At first this seems odd, since Ford campaigned against Cohen and in support of his son, Jake Ford, in the 2006 general election (where Ford was running as an independent). However, Ford Sr. is a long-time foe of Cohen's 2010 primary opponent, Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, so that would tend to explain it all.
We had a pretty good night on election night in the Northeast. We cleaned house. We nailed 1 GOP Senator, 6 House of Reps Districts, 1 State Senate and held on to all of the State Senates, State Houses, US House Reps and US Senators we had coming into this cycle.
That the Northeast is rapidly realigning towards team Blue is undeniable!
But the work my friends has merely begun. Forget the bunkum about us being irretrievably on defense in 2010 come below the fold to see who should be in our sights in 2010 as we stay on offense in the Northeast........
Zogby International for the Press of Atlantic City and the Richard Stockton College (9/18-20, likely voters):
David Kurkowski (D): 26
Frank LoBiondo (R-inc): 62
First off, note that this is from Zogby International, not the ridiculous internet-based polling of Zogby Interactive. The 2nd CD is a D+4 district that supported Gore by a wide margin, but gave Bush a single-point win in 2004. While this district seems ripe for a takeover attempt at some point, LoBiondo has tirelessly worked the constituent service side of his job over the years, and he retains some significant popularity at home. Don't count on a shocking upset here.
And now for the open seat race in NJ-03:
John Adler (D): 37
Chris Myers (R): 39
The only other poll we've seen of this race, a McLaughlin & Associates internal for Myers from earlier this month, showed a similarly close (but wide open) race: 33-29 for Myers. South Jersey, and this District in particular, isn't accustomed to sending Democrats to the House of Representatives, so perhaps these numbers are an accurate snapshot of the race as it stands today -- or at least, as it stood last week.
However, the poll was taken before the DCCC kicked in with a TV buy against Myers. It's also a question of money -- Adler held a commanding $1.46 million to $155K cash-on-hand advantage at the end of June. While Myers recently was aided by a fundraiser from his political hero, President Bush, he's still playing catchup here.
Zogby finds Obama edging McCain by 46-44 in the 3rd CD. That would be a slight improvement over the two-point Bush win here in 2004, but not nearly the 54-43 Gore romp of 2000.