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: 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%
MO-Sen: Republican media trackers tell Politico that the DSCC has cancelled $1.3 million worth of ad buys in Kansas City and St. Louis for the final week before the election. The DS tried to push back, saying that "decisions are made on a week-to-week basis," but as Swingnuts well know, cancelling early reservations now subjects you to forfeiting deposits - and means you have to pay higher rates if you decide to go back in later. In other words, late cancellations are not made lightly.
WV-Sen: John Raese has one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
NV-Sen: So maybe some of that cash earmarked for Missouri is going to Nevada instead. On the heels of Sharron Angle's eye-bursting $14 million haul, the DSCC is making its first ad reservations in the Silver State, apparently for a million bucks a week.
GA-Gov: Wow, Nathan Deal really is the epitome of the corrupt scumbag who thinks the purposes of getting elected to public office is to use his position for personal gain. As the AP explains: "While in Congress, Republican Nathan Deal lobbied Georgia's attorney general and top state environmental officials to allow the development of a landfill that he and his business partner wanted next to their auto salvage yard...." Note that though this involves Deal's auto salvage business, this is actually a different scandal from the one which inspired him to resign from Congress (there, he had lobbied the state from his perch in the House to preserve a questionable vehicle inspection program from which he profited immensely).
NY-Gov: For the trouble of offering a half-assed, bullshit, "I'm sorry if you were offended" non-apology, Carl Paladino has now lost the backing of the right-wing rabbi, Yehuda Levin, who helped pen the anti-gay speech which got Paladino into such hot water to begin with.
Relatedly, a truly awesome catch by Politico's Maggie Haberman: She digs waaay deep to link a story at the Orthodox-oriented news blog Voz Iz Neias (Yiddish for "What's News?") about Paladino's flubbed outreach in the Orthodox community. Though it's getting far less play than his homophobic outburst, Paladino also attacked a bunch of big-time rebbes (Hasidic leaders) for supposedly being suckered into going soft on the libruhl Andrew Cuomo (who had also done the ritual meet-and-greets in Hasidic communities). Several prominent rabbis are now rebuking Paladino for waltzing on to their turf and making such presumptuous accusations against some of their own. So not only did Paladino piss off half the state thanks to this trip, he pissed off the very people he was trying to win over! In a word: fail.
CA-03: There aren't a whole lot of bright spots these days, but one of them is definitely Dan Lungren. The former state AG managed to win in 2008 against a badly underfunded opponent with less than 50% of the vote, and has been getting his ass kicked in fundraising literally every quarter this cycle by Ami Bera. So with his back against the wall, Karl Rove is coming to the rescue. American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS is launching ads in the district on Friday, but NWOTSOTB as yet.
CA-45: You know I'm a ratfucking fetishist, so of course it warms my heart to hear that Dem Steve Pougnet is doing his best to prop up teabagger Bill Lussenheide. He's targeting Republicans with robocalls that say Lussenheide is the "true conservative" - but he's also sending out mailers to the same households describing him as "extreme" and "dangerous" while calling Rep. Mary Bono Mack a "raging liberal." I imagine the idea is that what's "extreme" and "dangerous" to normal people is actually appealing to crazies. I also love the fact that Bono Mack's people whined that this was a "dirty trick" - just shows they are a bunch of weenies who don't know how to fight.
LA-02: Man, it seems like most pols in Louisiana care about party loyalty as much as the writers of LOST cared about not pissing off their fans after six fucking years of slavishly watching that goddamn... uh, where was I? Oh yeah, state Rep. Juan LaFonta, who got pasted in the Democratic primary by Cedric Richmond, has decided to endorse Republican Rep. Joe Cao for re-election. This does not seem like the winning move to me. (And screw you, J. J. Abrams!)
OH-09: This comment has the flavor of Star Trek nerds debating whether Captain Picard ever wore the Federation dress uniform while on the bridge of the Enterprise D during season 4... only, except, you know, this guy is actually trying to be serious. Rich Iott's spokesbot pleaded with Politico to understand that no, it was an SS uniform, not a NAZI uniform! I'm sure that will please John Boehner, who, as it turns out, gave $5,000 to Iott last month. Think he wants his Reichsmarks back?
PA-03: Paging Mark Twain... Mark Twain to the white courtesy phone. The AFSCME evidently thinks that rumors of Kathy Dahlkemper's demise are at least somewhat exaggerated, since they're dropping $350K on ads on her behalf. Triage is a tricky business.
WI-08: Aaron Blake tweets that the DCCC is "pulling out" of the 8th CD, but as is often the case, the picture is more nuanced. First off, AFSCME just dropped $750K here (to which Blake alludes). Secondly, Kagen is personally wealthy. In fact, in 2008, he was the 28th-richest member of the House, with a net worth of anywhere between $7 and $20 million. Hopefully his investments haven't taken too bad of hit the last couple of years and he can still afford to spend large (he gave his campaign almost $900K last cycle).
GA-08: Jim Marshall's anti-Pelosi ad actually has hippies in it - for reals
NY-20: Fuck yes - Scott Murphy's latest lacerates Chris Gibson for supporting repeal of the healthcare reform bill. Murphy, like Earl Pomeroy, knows the only way to win is to go loud and proud
TN-04: Lincoln Davis lacerates Scott DesJarlais for reportedly threatening his ex-wife with a gun - and threatening to kill himself. Stories like this were a big reason why Don Sherwood and Randy Kuhl both lost
ID-01: On behalf of Walt Minnick, the mother of a woman murdered by her abuser hits Raul Labrador for his failure to support laws that would protect women in abusive relationships
MA-06: Republican Bill Hudak hits Rep. John Tierney on a story we've been somewhat remiss in covering here: namely, his wife's recent guilty plea for tax fraud. By referring to "Tierney's family," the ad makes it sound like Tierney himself was involved, but Hudak gets away with this legerdemain because the wife's brother (family by marriage, I suppose) was also involved. The ad is only running on cable (Hudak had less than $100K on hand at the end of August)
America's Families First Action Fund: Sounds like a GOP group, but it's actually Dem to the bone: $80K against David Schweikert (AZ-05); $403K against David Rivera (FL-25); $94K on mail against Bob Dold! (FL-25); $200K against Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
EMILY: $520K against Tom Ganley (OH-13); $212K against Cory Gardner (CO-04); $20K against Frank Guinta (NH-01)
NEA: $1.4 million against Ken Buck (CO-Sen); $306K against Harold Johnson (NC-08)
• AK-Sen: In the avalanche of various other acts of hypocrisy and self-dealing that have come out about Joe Miller in the last few weeks, somehow I missed this one: not only did he avail himself of low-income hunting and fishing licenses, but his family has received assistance from Medicaid and similar state-level Denali Kidcare. Somewhere, his most ardent supporters are hurling their copies of Atlas Shrugged into the fireplace in disgust, learning that their mighty Producer is nothing more than a parasite, weakly availing himself of every program under the sun designed to enslave man. (And somewhere, either heaven or Rick Barber's fevered imagination, James Madison is hurling his copy of the Federalist Papers into the fireplace, upset that this ostensible patriot is availing himself of such a plainly unconstitutional program.)
• DE-Sen: I think this had been made pretty clear few weeks ago, but Mike Castle reiterated it in as official terms as possible on CNN yesterday: he's not endorsing anybody in the Senate race.
• FL-Sen: Very-tanned centrist GOPer governors gotta stick together, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just gave his probably-not-worth-much backing to Charlie Crist yesterday. The Marco Rubio camp may have gotten the last laugh here, though:
"When it comes to inflicting 'Collateral Damage' on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely 'Twins.' Charlie's flip-flops have made him a master at telling 'True Lies.' We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an 'Eraser' to 'The Running Man.'" - Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos, responding to Schwarzenegger's endorsement of Crist.
• PA-Sen: I wouldn't start popping the champagne cork (or even buy a bottle of champagne) yet, but the DSCC seems to be seeing some negative-ad-driven progress in Pennsylvania. They've released an internal poll, via Garin Hart Yang, that actually gives Joe Sestak the lead. He's up 44-42 over Pat Toomey, in a poll taken Oct. 8-10. With leaners pushed, Sestak expands to a 47-44 lead. No public pollster has seen anything like that (at least yet).
• WA-Sen: If you're wondering what's up with the huge disparities in Washington Senate numbers between the live-caller and auto-dialed polls, you're not alone. Nate Silver doesn't exactly have answers, pointing to unique Washington variables that confound pollsters, like its (almost entirely) vote-by-mail status and its large number of cellphone-only users. But he does have some interesting charts showing that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA have consistently overestimated GOP performance all decade long in Washington (while, at the same time, Elway has overestimated Dem performance).
• WV-Sen: Hot on the heels of PPP's poll showing Joe Manchin back in the lead, the DSCC is out with an internal poll showing similar numbers. The GQR poll from Oct. 7-12, the height of "hicky" mania, gives Manchin a 49-44 lead over John Raese, whose 40/38 faves lag Manchin's 63/28.
• CA-Gov: All previous political self-funding records are quickly receding in Meg Whitman's rearview mirror, as she just plowed another $20 million into her gubernatorial bid, bringing her all-cycle total to over $141 million.
• WV-Gov: I don't know what West Virginians' aversion to comprehensible succession laws is, but after emerging from the morass of how to replace Robert Byrd, now the legislature is grappling with what to do with the Governor position if Joe Manchin manages to win the Senate special election. Legislative lawyers say that unless the legislature takes some sort of action, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin would take over as "acting governor" for the entire remainder of Manchin's term, until the regularly scheduled Nov. 2012 election... but that there would be two elections that day, one for the full four years and one for the lame-duck period.
• FL-25: I look forward to seeing David Rivera's explanation:
Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development. But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera -- now a candidate for Congress -- or his company.
• KS-04: SurveyUSA has shown an unexpectedly close race (for an open seat in a dark-red district in this climate), with several polls in high single digits, so GOP nominee Mike Pompeo is offering some pushback with an internal from Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates from Oct. 10-11. His poll gives him a 48-31 lead over Raj Goyle. (You may recall that this pollster works with the Club for Growth, and is responsible for highlights like this one. Senator Dick Zimmer vouches for their accuracy!)
• NY-24: Richard Hanna's out with an internal poll, courtesy of McLaughlin (no dates given by Politico, and with a big fat MoE of 5.6%). Hanna leads, but only by 46-43. Considering that Hanna is trying to push back against not a Mike Arcuri internal but an honest-to-gosh public poll (from Siena) with an Arcuri lead of 8, that seems like kind of weak sauce.
• MN-06: Today's fundraising highlight is that Michele Bachmann pulled in $5.4 million in the third quarter. Interestingly, it looks like she'll report "only" $3.4 million cash on hand, suggesting a similar phenomenon as Sharron Angle (for whom there weren't any CoH numbers at all), where there's a lot of churn going on not just for a TV blitz but also for widespread nationwide direct-mail marketing, which is expensive. (Just ask Joe Cao.) While these numbers certainly don't bode well as far as unseating Bachmann this year, the bright side is that's money that low-information voters might otherwise have given to GOP House challengers in tight races who could have actually leveraged that money a lot more effectively.
• TX-27: Even if you're a political junkie like us, yesterday's internal poll was probably the first you've ever heard of Blake Farenthold. The DCCC fills in some blanks, suggesting that you're probably not likely to hear too much about him in the future, either. He's somehow sitting on a negative $5K in cash, and... I'm not quite sure how this happened, but he appears on the front of what appears to be some sort of local tea party-oriented publication, in pajamas, in the company of what appears to be some sort of sex-industry professional (and not as an example of what not to do, but apparently because said publication is endorsing him). Yeah, I'm just as confused as you; you'll have to check out the link.
• WA-08: Ordinarily, we don't report on newspaper endorsements, since they don't seem to move many votes and are usually pretty predictable based on each paper's e-board leanings. We'll make an exception in this case, since Dave Reichert largely owes his continued existence to the Seattle Times, who've clung to him as, in their eyes, the last remaining exemplar of the old-style moderate Republicanism they fetishize. So it's a strange and wondrous thing to see them turning their back on him in favor of Suzan DelBene.
• Blue Dogs: CQ has an interesting piece about the yawning leadership gap at the Blue Dogs, where two of its key members, John Tanner and Dennis Moore, are skedaddling. It cites a number of possible new heads (most notably Allen Boyd and Jim Matheson), but there's a certain amount of cart-before-horse here, because the Blue Dogs are disproportionately in the crosshairs this cycle and it's unclear how many of the key ones (Boyd, especially, as well as Stephanie Herseth Sandlin) will even be back.
• DLCC: The DLCC is out with its third and probably final installment in its "Essential Races" series, pointing you (and your contribution dollars) toward 15 more legislators in key races that might determine chamber control in some of the most important state legislatures.
• Money: More evidence that the advantage by the Democratic committees and individual members was pretty illusory, given the myriad ways (527s and 501(c)(4)s, oh my) that the wealthy have to plow nearly-unlimited money into political races: an alliance of groups (Karl Rove's American Crossroads and Norm Coleman's American Action Network, as well as a new one, Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity) is planning a $50 million ad blitz focused on some relatively underserved House races. This includes IN-02, CO-07, and even Maurice Hinchey's NY-22. (H/t Nathan Gonzales.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk revisits the Broadway Bank yet again with his newest ad
• LA-Sen: A solid ad from Charlie Melancon, hitting David Vitter on outsourcing and cozying up to BP
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan tries some anti-Washington (including congressional pay raises) shots at Roy Blunt
• PA-Sen: VoteVets boosts Joe Sestak with a hit on Pat Toomey for voting against veterans' benefits
• CT-Gov: The RGA has a boilerplate attack ad on Dan Malloy as tax-raising career politician
• HI-Gov: It's not your imagination, this race is looking competitive, at least if the DGA is advertising here: they're out with an anti-Duke Aiona ad
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn's new ad actually comes close to saying that Bill Brady will kill your dog if you vote for him.
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland's ad goes back to the basics: hitting John Kasich on his outsourcing Wall Street ways
• SC-Gov: The RGA is having to advertise and staff up in SC-Gov, probably much to their chagrin, as this looks like it's turning into a real race: their new spot calls Vincent Sheheen liberal, morphs him into Obama, and does all the usual
• IL-17: The SEIU backs up one of labor's biggest backers in the House, Phil Hare, with a 10-day buy for $317K in the Quad Cities, for an ad hitting Bobby Schilling on free trade and outsourcing
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's new ad goes after Jim Gerlach and 'special interests'
• PA-08: VoteVets is also out with a spot in the 8th, hitting Mike Fitzpatrick on veterans' benefits votes during his brief stay in Congress
• WI-03: The National Federation of Independent Business is out with a slew of new ads that includes softening up not-quite-top-tier Dem districts, with 10-day ad buys including not just WI-03 but also CA-11, CO-03, MO-03, NY-19, NY-23, PA-10, OH-16, and SC-05.
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 32%, Paul LePage (R) 35%, Eliot Cutler (I) 21%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 53%, John Stephen (R) 43%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D) 52%, Jim Huffman (R) 36%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 49%
Fundraising: Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, so now is a good time to donate to any Dems you like out there. Decisions on whom to help will be made in the final weeks of the election season based in part on who shows fundraising strength in this final quarter.
AK-Sen: It's not small - no no no. Republican Joe Miller has failed to file a personal finance disclosure with the Senate, something any candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000 is required to do within 30 days by law. Miller's been out of compliance with the law since at least April. The penalty? Up to $50,000. Politico caught up with Miller at a fancy DC fundraiser, but he refused to answer any questions about the issue.
Meanwhile, Dem Scott McAdams sends out a fundraising ask via email in response to word that the Tea Party Express will be pouring resources into the state to finish the job they started. McAdams reminds us of something we've been saying all along: "In some Alaskan towns it costs only $30 to run a radio ad and $200 for a TV spot." So if you still have some spare change to give, he still needs your help - and it will indeed make a difference, no matter how much you can afford to give.
PA-Sen, PA-07, PA-08: VoteVets is launching a half-million dollar canvassing effort on behalf of Joe Sestak, who of course is one of them. They'll also be helping out another pair of veterans, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy.
FL-Gov: Man, dejected gubernatorial loser Bill McCollum is serving up the cat fud personally, on a fucking silver platter. Rick Scott's been hitting Alex Sink on the airwaves over her alleged mismanagement of the state's investments while serving as Chief Financial Officer. But at a recent public meeting of the board of trustees of Florida's pension funds, McCollum made sure to repeatedly question a top administrator about the soundness of the funds - and was assured they were. It's like he's fact-checking and doing p.r. for Sink all at once! Someone hire this guy!
NY-Gov: Here's something that's no surprise: Carl Paladino was awarded the Conservative Party's ballot line. Here's something else that's no surprise: He's a motherfucking spazz who can't control his temper - even around reporters, even on camera. The video is fuzzy and the sound quality poor, but watch Paladino get into it with conservative New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker. The most amusing thing is that Paladino seems to think Dicker, who, uh, as I said, works for the Post, is a Cuomo plant.
AL-05: This parsing almost reaches Clintonian levels: Dem Steve Raby has been hammering Mo Brooks for opposing earmarks, thanks to some teabagger pledge that Brooks signed. This is not a popular position in Alabama, and Brooks had his name removed from the group's website - but claimed he was only opposing pork, not earmarks. Someone buy this poor fucker a thesaurus, stat!
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell's got a poll out from Bennett, Petts & Normington, showing him up 43-40 over David Schweikert.
LA-03: In the very last primary of the year, coming up this Saturday, a survey by a robopollster called ElectPoll shows Jeff Landry crushing fellow Republican Hunt Downer, 66-34. Can't say I'm too surprised, given that Landry missed avoiding a runoff by less than 200 votes. I doubt Downer made the right choice by continuing the fight. Meanwhile, Ravi Sangisetty becomes the latest anti-Pelosi Dem, saying he wouldn't vote to keep her as Speaker of the House. Somehow I doubt he'll have the chance to vote on that issue one way or another.
NM-01: So classic - another anti-government spending Republican who has embraced government spending for himself. It's really no different than the teabaggers who declare "Hands off my Medicare!" Anyhow, Jon Barela is the latest offender. His film production company has received cash assistance from taxpayers thanks to a special New Mexico rebate program designed to encourage movie-making in the state.
NY-20: Always gotta be careful not to read too much into stories about staff departures, but this is awfully late in the game to be losing your campaign manager - which just happened to Republican Chris Gibson. One red flag: That they didn't have someone lined up to replace Patrick Ziegler, who was supposedly recruited by the RNC to help with broader election efforts in the Hudson Valley. Another: Ziegler had almost no political experience and apparently was overwhelmed by the job. And finally: Ziegler himself has sought the GOP nomination, but dropped out of the race in March. A week later, he was hired by none other than Gibson. So perhaps this was not quite a match made in heaven in the first place.
OH-18: SEIU is sending out a mailer attacking Dem Zack Space, who flip-flopped and voted against healthcare reform in the end. No word on how much they're spending, though it seems to me that this fight really should have happened during the primaries. I mean, would they really prefer Bob Gibbs?
PA-06: A nice get for Manan Trivedi: He secured the endorsement of the Sierra Club, one of those groups which likes to back "moderate" Republicans to bolster their supposed bi-partisan cred. While they haven't backed Jim Gerlach in recent years, they haven't supported his opponents, either, so it's good to see them take the right side this time.
VA-02: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically friend to Republicans the world over, endorsed Democrat Glenn Nye. Somehow I don't think it'll stop the attacks that he's a libruhl who votes with Nancy Pelosi 743% of the time.
NRSC: Aaron Blake says Tom Coburn's going to give $1 million to the NRSC.
NRCC: Meanwhile, John Boehner just gave $1 million more to the NRCC, and supposedly succeeded in getting $4 million more in pledges from his buddies.
NRA: We are most definitively done with the NRA whip count, which got boring long ago. If you really want to keep checking up on it, keep this link handy.
AR-02: Dem Joyce Elliott touts her non-DC background as a teacher, and links herself to still-popular Gov. Mike Beebe
NC-02: Renee Ellmers accuses Bob Etheridge of cutting half a trillion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare"
NM-02: Harry Teague attacks Steve Pearce for being pro-shipping-jobs-to-India
SC-02: Rob Miller's campaign asks people how they know Rep. Joe Wilson has "gone Washington," but apparently folks need the help of a poster to answer
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck is running back to the middle, or at least the far right field instead of completely out of the ballpark, as he faces a close race in the general. He's backing down on his previous support of Colorado's "personhood" amendment (granting legal rights to embryos) that's on Colorado's ballot again, saying he's against it despite loudly touting it during his primary bid.
• NV-Sen: Observers are wondering if this is Sharron Angle's true chickens-for-checkups moment (in a campaign that's already littered with quotes that contend for that honor). A video from a 2009 tea party rally by a Dem tracker shows Angle taking issue with a recently passed Nevada state law requires insurance carriers to cover "autism." (And yes, she makes exaggerated air quotes while saying "autism.") I suppose she thinks it's nothing a good massage, sauna, and some aromatherapy can't fix.
• CO-Gov: While John Hickenlooper seems to skate toward the Governor's Mansion, Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo are descending even more comically into fighting to see who can garner a smaller share of the minority. Maes just called Tancredo "an illegal immigrant" (given Tanc's fixations, probably the single worst thing he could be called) in the gubernatorial race, seeing as how he "cheated his way in the back door."
• ID-01: Another day, another endorsement for Walt Minnick from another conservative organization looking to back one token Dem as a badge of bipartisanship. Today, he became the only Dem with the seal of approval from the Citizens Against Government Waste PAC.
• KY-06: Republican challenger Andy Barr, having been on the very wrong end of a couple Democratic polls in the last few weeks (giving Ben Chandler 20 and 14 point leads), comes out with his own internal to demonstrate that he's not that dead yet. His own poll, from the Tarrance Group, gives Chandler only a 49-42 lead, in the wake of Chandler attack ads tying Barr to his previous boss, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
• PA-08: Franklin & Marshall (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Patrick Murphy (D-inc): 35
Mike Fitzpatrick (R): 49
It's unexpected to see Patrick Murphy, in the friendlier confines of the 8th, in worse shape than Kathy Dahlkemper in the 3rd (trailing narrowly in a different F&M poll with the same timeframe). He's down 46-36 among RVs.
• PA-11: The Realtors® ride to Paul Kanjorski's rescue yet again! I'm not sure why they have such love for Kanjo in particular among Dems, but today they're slapping down $243K on his behalf. Recall that they spent over $1.3 million saving his hide in 2008.
• TX-17: Wow, that's a big lead. Republican pollster OnMessage, on behalf of Bill Flores, gives their client a 55-36 lead over Dem incumbent Chet Edwards, over 9/19-20. I wonder if this'll motivate Edwards, who notoriously holds his cards close to his vest, to roll out a response (if he has one). The article also notes that AFF is going on the air in the district with a new ad tying Edwards to (gee, guess who) Nancy Pelosi.
• DSCC: Reid Wilson has three new big buys from the DSCC in key states: $335K in Colorado, $235K in Illinois, and $470K in Pennsylvania.
• Redistricting: Here's an interesting piece from Josh Goodman, for those of you among us who like looking at long lists of population figures. (I know I do.) It suggests that the redistricting axe is going to have to fall hardest on rural areas, which is a positive note for Dems; Census data (based on the 2009 ACS... you're going to have to wait a few more months for 2010 data!) shows that the almost all of nation's largest cities have grown (some remarkably so) or at least held steady.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina calls Barbara Boxer "arrogant," citing her notorious examination of Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo has a target-rich environment for negative ads with Carl Paladino; one hit from his new ad includes Paladino's job creation record (or lack thereof)
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland belatedly tries out "You want angry? I'll give you angry!"
• OR-Gov: The SEIU hits Chris Dudley on his proposed income tax cuts for the wealthy
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi does the jujitsu move on Jim Gerlach's hits on his residency, pointing he was busy, y'know, serving the military overseas during the years in question
• AJS: Americans for Job Securities targets four Dem-held seats with cookie-cutter neg ads: IN-08, OH-18, PA-04, and PA-07.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes (D) 39%, Nathan Deal (R) 45%, John Monds (L) 5%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 44%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 48%
• AK-Sen: Two positive developments in the Alaska Senate race, as Scott McAdams seeks to introduce himself in this suddenly-competitive race. He was the recipient of a Mark Begich-headlined fundraiser yesterday in Washington DC, and he's also out with a radio ad stressing his Alaskan roots and that he'll keep fighting for "schools, hospitals, roads, and other nuts and bolts" - both key ways to differentiate himself from Joe Miller. As for Lisa Murkowski's plans, she's saying that she'll make her intentions known by Friday whether she wants to make a write-in bid (but her plans to return to DC might be a "no" tea leaf).
• DE-Sen: After running far, far away from Christine O'Donnell last night, the NRSC has done an about-face today, giving her the maximum $42K (with Mitch McConnell chipping in his own $5K). I'd be surprised if they give any more than that; this seems like an attempt to placate the base before they go ballistic. Mitt Romney is also backing O'Donnell and giving his own $5K, apparently more worried about getting past the base in the 2012 GOP primary than support for O'Donnell might look for him in the 2012 general. Meanwhile, for those hoping for outright support for Chris Coons from Mike Castle, the Castle camp has said there won't be an endorsement. (Assistance can take a variety of other forms, though, that aren't as likely to be apparent.) Finally, if you're wondering about how Christine O'Donnell sees herself within the Middle Earth context, now you can find out.
• NH-Sen: Although New Hampshire recount law would allow Ovide Lamontagne to seek a recount (since he finished within 1.5% of the total votes cast), he just opted against such an action, conceding the race to Kelly Ayotte. He had until the end of the day to request it.
• AK-Gov: It's the last day to get his name on the ballot in Alaska in any capacity (and not really at issue, since the AIP and Libertarians weren't open to subbing him as their candidate). That leaves 2nd place GOP gubernatorial finisher Bill Walker with a write-in bid as his only option, too, and he sounds like such a bid is "unlikely."
• CA-Gov: I don't know if all is truly well now between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown, or Clinton is just feeling that he's adequately established himself as the alpha dog in the wake of Brown's capitulation following their ill-advised sparring, but Clinton gave his endorsement to Brown. It remains to be seen what exactly Clinton does on Brown's behalf, though.
• CO-Gov: Tom Tancredo is able to stay on the ballot, said a U.S. District Court judge yesterday. He'd been the subject of a challenge from local GOPers, but the judge ruled that it wasn't relevant that Tancredo had been a member of the Republican Party up until launching his Constitution Party bid.
• FL-Gov: The DGA just plowed $1 million into the Florida governor's race, showing that they indeed think this (thanks to Rick Scott's presence) is one of their best pickup opportunities but also that the route to doing so will be through a whole lot of money.
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal is fighting back against reports that he's in such financial disarray right now that he might need to sell his house to avoid default on a large business loan. The $2.3 million loan is due on Feb. 1, which exceeds the Deal family's net worth. (This was an investment in a business started by his daughter which failed completely; it's entirely separate from the family auto salvage business that's at the heart of the Ethics complaint that chased him out of the House.)
• MD-Gov: Looks like we won't have any lingering bad feelings here, unlike a lot of other establishment/Tea Party GOP primaries: Brian Murphy, who lost badly to Bob Ehrlich, has offered his endorsement to Ehrlich "if he's willing to accept it."
• DSCC: I guess Charles Schumer looked at yesterday's election results and decided he didn't have much to worry about in November from Jay Townsend. He just transferred $1 million to the DSCC from his own cash yesterday, on top of a previous $1 million in August. That leaves him with "only" about $22 million CoH... about the same amount of cash on hand that the DSCC has!
• DCCC, NRCC: The DCCC and NRCC are out with slew of independent expenditures advertisements. (Expect to see that phrase in every digest for the next month and a half.) The DCCC rolled out three new IEs in HI-01, MI-01, and AL-02. The NRCC's buy is in 10 districts: most significantly in IN-02 (for $135K), but also AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, MS-01, TX-17, VA-05, WI-07 (for $79K), and TN-08 (for $105K). If you want more details on the NRCC's bid, you can check out the actual FEC filing.
• Self-funders: The Wall Street Journal has a helpful rundown on how self-funders are faring this year. As with, well, pretty much every other year, they're faring quite poorly. Of the 10 biggest self-funders in this cycle's Senate races, only three actually are still running (Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina, and Ron Johnson); the other seven (Jeff Greene, Steve Pagliuca, Bill Binnie, David Malpass, Sue Lowden, Jim Bender, and Terrence Wall) all fell by the wayside, often in spectacular fashion. Same story in the House, where only three of the top 10 self-funders (Tom Ganley, Randy Altschuler, and Matt Doheny) are still functional.
• Redistricting: Any SSP readers out in Arizona? Here's your chance to get out from behind Dave's App and actually get your hands on the real thing! The state's nonpartisan redistricting commission is seeking applications from the public for appointment to the 5-member commission.
• SSP TV:
• 60+ Assoc.: The health care astroturfers are running anti-Dem ads in WI-03, WI-08, NY-01, NY-20, and PA-10
• AFF: AFF launches a total $2.3 million buy in seven Dem districts: AL-02, GA-08, MI-01, MI-07, NJ-03, SC-05, and WV-01
• American Crossroads: Rove, Inc., is spending $330K on a MO-Sen ad and $550K on a CO-Sen ad
• FL-Sen: The US Chamber of Commerce hits Charlie Crist, pointing to his many flip-flops
• NV-Sen: The Sharron Angle camp has another anti-Harry Reid ad, calling him "the best friend an illegal immigrant ever had"
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand's out with her first ad, more or less explicitly introducing herself despite her two years or service
• NC-02: Bob Etheridge isn't leaving anything to chance this year, rolling out an ad that's mostly a pleasant bio spot
• OH-18: I mentioned Zack Space's anti-NAFTA ad yesterday, but here's an actual link to the ad
• PA-06: Jim Gerlach's first ad has him stepping away from the Republican label, saying he's "an independent voice for taxpayers"
• PA-10: Chris Carney's ad goes there, hitting Tom Marino on his ties to sketchy casino entrepreneur Louis DeNaples
• SC-05: Mick Mulvaney's new ad hits John Spratt for having gone native in Washington
• WI-07: Is the DCCC taking a page from the Fred Davis "Celebrity" ad that seemed to bizarrely work against Obama? Their new ad against Sean Duffy is rife with clips from his days on The Real World
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 23%, Marco Rubio (R) 41%, Charlie Crist (I) 30%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 50%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 41%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• VT-Gov: Peter Shumlin (D) 49%, Brian Dubie (R) 46%
• VT-Sen: Patrick Leahy (D) 62%, Len Britton (R) 32%
• AK-Sen: It seems like Lisa Murkowski's meetings with the Libertarian Party didn't lead to anything conclusive (while David Haase sounded amenable, the state party sounds opposed), as the signals she's putting out now seem to point more toward a write-in campaign, if anything. According to Roll Call, she's "strongly considering it" and will have an announcement as early as tomorrow. In case you're wondering about TX-22-style hilarity ensuing, the Alaska Division of Elections confirms that a voter can spell her name incorrectly and still have the vote count, which makes the prospect of a write-in campaign for Linda Mukrosky somewhat more doable.
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck may have dirty boots, but he's been busy scrubbing his website sparkly clean. The Michael Bennet camp has been observing lots of minor changes to Buck's website to make it more mainstream-y, with softer-sounding rewrites on his issues page on Afghanistan, stem cell research, and immigration.
• DE-Sen: In another sign that the GOP primary between Mike Castle and Christine O'Donnell isn't dialing down, both Castle and the Tea Party Express (on behalf of O'Donnell) are both extending their previous ad buys, starting today and running through next Tuesday's election. Again, kudos to Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs, who knows not only the Size Of The Buy but the complete breakdown (Castle, for instance, spent $75K in the Salisbury broadcast market, $27K on statewide cable, and $43K on radio, while the TPX spent $32K on cable only). He also susses out that at the current trajectory, the TPX will reach only slightly past the halfway point on its promise to spend $250K on O'Donnell, unless they want to blow a lot of money at the last minute in the pricey Philadelphia market. Meanwhile, TPM checks out how TPX's ongoing moneybomb for O'Donnell has been going, who has raised $89K since TPX got involved. Despite O'Donnell's frequent attacks on Castle's use of out-of-state money to power his campaign, they highlighted their $250+ donors, and a grand total of one (of 56) was a Delawarean.
• FL-Sen, FL-25: Biden alert! With Kendrick Meek having raised some bucks at a New York appearance with Bill Clinton last night, now he turns his attention to an upcoming fundraiser with the VPOTUS. (Expect to see the usual GOP carping about "Big Hollywood," seeing as how the fundraiser is in Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida, that is.) 25th District candidate Joe Garcia will also be a beneficiary.
• PA-Sen: The Philadelphia Inquirer has a rundown of Pat Toomey's past history of earmarks, in of course blatant contradiction with the pledges of austerity that define his current campaign... yet another Republican example of government largesse for me, but not for thee. In his first term in PA-15, Toomey won $9 million in earmarks, including $3 million for one company (Air Products & Chemicals) that then became his single biggest campaign contributor.
• CA-Gov: Steve Poizner seems to have finally gotten the message, if a few months on the late (and tepid) side. The Republican primary loser gave his endorsement to Meg Whitman yesterday... via press release.
• MI-Gov: Local pollster Mitchell Research is out with what appears to be their first poll of the general election in the Michigan gubernatorial race; like most pollsters, they find Republican Rick Snyder with a solid lead. He's ahead of Democrat Virg Bernero 53-26.
• OH-Gov: Bill Clinton will be in Ohio on behalf of (Hillary endorser) Ted Strickland on the 14th, also the day of his first debate with John Kasich. Clinton will stump for Strickland in both Cleveland and Columbus.
• NC-08: With the DCCC having rolled out a GQR internal poll yesterday giving Larry Kissell a decent lead (48-36) in the 8th (on top of Kissell releasing his own internal in late August with a 49-32 lead), GOP rival Harold Johnson offered up his own poll today to show he's still in this thing. His poll from POS finds Kissell still leading, but by a more surmountable margin: 39-34.
• NV-03: Politico has details on EMILY's List weighing into the 3rd, with a two-week TV ad blitz going after Joe Heck on women's health issues (like his vote against mandated insurance coverage for the HPV vaccine). While the article doesn't have a link to the ad, let alone the Size Of The Buy, it does have a very interesting look at the advanced micro-targeting they're using, focusing on very specific TV shows as well as Hulu and Facebook users.
• OH-16: Someone get Jim Renacci a high school history textbook, stat! When asked at the candidates' first debate what he'd like to do about civil rights, the Republican challenger to John Boccieri retreated to Rand Paul-style teabagger boilerplate, saying "We need to get our federal government out of the way," and that it was better dealt with as "local issues." Yeah, because local and state governments in the 50s and 60s were the paragons of tolerance and virtue during the civil rights movement, and that federal government just came in and screwed everything up...
• DGA: If you've been wondering what they're up to at the DGA, they're out with a strategy memo that outlines the next few months. Wisely, they're most concerned with the states with the greatest population and hence greatest redistricting impact, meaning that the smaller states with Dem-held open seats (Kansas, Wyoming, etc.) have already probably been on the losing end of their triage decisions.
• TX-St. House: We at SSP have been remiss in focusing on state legislatures in the last few months (for the same reason everyone else has -- it's hard to get good intelligence on them, and there's too dang much to focus on just at the national level alone), but Burnt Orange Report has done a bang-up job profiling the race for the Texas state House, one of the few legislatures where the Dems are on the offensive and have a slim but legitimate shot at a flip. They've written up summaries of the 21 hottest races, all helpfully collected in one place at the link.
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias ad rolling out his biggest gun: backing from Barack Obama
• PA-Sen: Not one but two ads from Pat Toomey ads with pretzel logic about how his time on Wall Street tells him that one shouldn't bail out Wall Street
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson ad hits Russ Feingold again for being a career politician
• TX-Gov: Bill White talks about border security
• VT-Gov: Dem group Green Mountain Future hits Brian Dubie on support for keeping local nuclear plant open
• FL-24: First Suzanne Kosmas ad hits Sandy Adams on teh crazy, especially the 17th Amendment
• GA-08: Jim Marshall ad tries to outflank Austin Scott on the right on the immigration issue
• MI-01: DCCC's 2nd IE ad goes after Dan Benishek on Social Security
• NY-25: Dan Maffei's first ad is anti-Ann Marie Buerkle, using Sarah Palin endorsement against her
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's second ad this week focuses on his time as a military doctor
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 38%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 60%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 42%, Meg Whitman (R) 46%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 42%, Carly Fiorina (R) 47%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 51%
• AK-Sen: Once again, the Swing State Project is proud to issue one of its once-in-a-blue-moon endorsements, and to do it for Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee in Alaska. We're two-thirds of the way to our $2,400 goal, and we've just hit 50 contributors, so please join in!
• CO-Sen, CO-Gov: This is a real head-scratcher: Ken Buck's camp is out with an internal poll by POS... showing him losing (despite what a number of public polls have said)?!? The poll gives a 43-40 edge to Michael Bennet, with 5 going to the Libertarian candidate. Either this is an odd attempt to mess with Dems' heads, or, more likely, a message to his supporters to stop taking the race for granted and to keep the contributions flowing. UPDATE: OK, this isn't a Buck internal; it's a joint POS/Fairbank Maslin collaboration, and it's not said on whose behalf this poll was performed. One other bit of news from the poll: it also includes gubernatorial numbers, and John Hickenlooper is closing in on the 50% mark. He's at 48, to 25 for Dan Maes and 15 for Tom Tancredo.
• DE-Sen: Tax liens and penalties are sort of the common cold of political scandals, but this isn't timed well for Mike Castle, who's trying to stave off a last-minute zone-flooding from Tea Party Express on behalf of Christine O'Donnell. Castle had to make interest and penalty payments three times on his Capitol Hill pad in 2005 and 2006, although of course that pales in comparison to O'Donnell's long track record of ducking her bills. Meanwhile, we have a sense of what the Tea Party Express's fully operational battle station looks like: they've spent only $60K on O'Donnell's behalf so far, but plan to have spent $250K by the primary (including more airing of their TV spot and radio ad, as well as direct mail and out-of-state phone banking).
• KY-Sen: The moneybomb shoe's on the other foot: Jack Conway's doing an online one-day fundraising scramble today. As of 1 pm ET, the day's total was up to $130K. Meanwhile, against that moneybomb backdrop, is an instance of a paid Rand Paul staffer having gotten caught sockpuppeting over at Daily Kos, concern-trolling against Conway from the left.
• NH-Sen: A lot of money ($10K from various officers and employees) has flowed into Kelly Ayotte's campaign from a decidedly sketchy company in Texas: Tax Masters, one of those companies that relies heavily on late-night advertising to generate business for helping resolve debts owed to the IRS. The company and its CEO were charged with multiple violations of Texas's consumer protection laws, in the wake of hundreds of consumer complaints.
• OH-Sen, OH-Gov: The Columbus Dispatch offers up some truly bad numbers for the Democratic candidates in Ohio, finding Rob Portman leading Lee Fisher 50-37 in the Senate race and John Kasich leading Ted Strickland 49-37 in the governor's race (and the GOP winning all lower statewide races too), among registered voters. One important caveat, though: the Dispatch's poll are notoriously an all-mail-in survey (why not just poll subscribers to Literary Digest?!?), and have consistently ranked dead last in most of 538's pollster ratings (until the most recent installment, when they managed to leap ahead of a few other members of the rogues' gallery, including Research 2000, ARG, and Zogby Interactive).
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray leaked an internal poll today to Politico, showing that the needle has barely budged in this race between two ubiquitously-known, well-defined candidates. The Fairbank Maslin poll gives Murray a 50-45 lead, and 53/42 approval. An April internal by the same pollster, back when Dino Rossi was only considering entering the race, gave Murray an 8-point lead.
• MA-Gov: A poll from local wire service State House News Service gives a decent lead to Deval Patrick, thanks to an assist from Tim Cahill. Their first poll of the gubernatorial race has Patrick leading Republican Charlie Baker, independent Cahill, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 34-28-18-4, among registered voters.
• MD-Gov: For every Joe Miller, there's, well, a Brian Murphy. The Washington Post takes a quick look at the upstart GOP gubernatorial candidate, whose Sarah Palin endorsement hasn't turned into much of anything (other than a way for Bob Ehrlich to burnish his moderate credentials). In the pre-primary reporting period (all of which covers the post-Palin period), he's raised only $35K, including $14K from himself, leaving him with $31K CoH. Ehrlich raised $725K over the 18-day period, taking him to $2.5 million CoH, while Dem Martin O'Malley raised $267K and has $6.5 million CoH.
• MI-Gov: While organized labor is the biggest force propelling Dem Virg Bernero in Michigan, there's one union that isn't falling in line. The state's largest construction union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, is backing Rick Snyder instead. More alarmingly for Bernero, the much-larger Teamsters haven't endorsed yet and could conceivably go for Snyder too.
• MS-Gov: The 2011 election is only fourteen months away, and things are taking shape in Mississippi. Phil Bryant, the first-term Republican Lt. Governor, is taking steps to prepare for a bid. Businessman Dave Dennis also seems likely to run, while the state's great-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann, also sounds like he's interested.
• TX-Gov: We have two wildly divergent polls in Texas, both from GOP pollsters. Hill Research, on behalf of the Texas Watch Foundation (in a poll that seems primarily about homeowners' insurance reform, but where the gube race seems to have gotten thrown-in as an attention-getter), finds Rick Perry leading Bill White by only a 42-41 margin. On the other hand, GOPAC (perhaps having gotten an advance heads-up about the Texas Watch numbers) rolled out numbers showing Perry in better shape. Their poll, via Wilson Research Strategies, gives Perry a 50-38 lead over White.
• KS-04: With polling now pretty consistently showing Mike Pompeo leading Raj Goyle by single digits in the open seat race in the 4th, the last thing the Republicans can afford here is a high-profile third-party challenge on the right. That's what they might get, though, if businessman (and former Tic-Tac-Dough host) Wink Hartman follows through on threats to pick up the just-abandoned Libertarian ballot line. The state party has started scrambling to lean on Hartman to get him to stand down.
• NY-various: There's a bonanza of pre-primary fundraising reports in New York (where the primary is next week). The biggest raiser among the various Republican House challengers was Chris Cox in the 1st, who raised $103K to Randy Altschuler's $59K (although Altschuler still has a big CoH advantage). In the 23rd, the numbers were much smaller: Matt Doheny raised $41K and Doug Hoffman raised $37K, although Doheny has about three times Hoffman's CoH.
• WV-01: On the back of the DCCC's wave of internal polls today, here's one more poll that probably has to go in the "good news" file: an internal poll, from POS, has Republican David McKinley trailing Dem Mike Oliverio in the open seat race in the 1st. Oliverio leads McKinley 41-36. The only other poll of this race was an Oliverio internal last month that gave him a seemingly too-good-to-be-true 52-36 lead over McKinley, but at the very least, it seems like everyone's in agreement that Oliverio's in pole position for now.
• CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad in Colorado, letting Ken Buck go after himself with his own words on Social Security and the 17th Amendment
• DE-Sen: Mike Castle's new ad is out; predictably, it goes after Christine O'Donnell for her crazy finances
• FL-Sen: First TV ad from Charlie Crist, stressing his (what else?) independence; also Kendrick Meek's first TV ad, which is him on a swamp boat and stressing his (what else?) Dem credentials
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt ad about how much he loves small business
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher's first TV ad out of the gate is negative, going after Rob Portman for being George Bush's job-exporting trade representative
• CA-Gov: Strangely sepia-toned ad is Jerry Brown's first, seemingly to remind older Californians about how much things sucked less when he was Governor the first time (SOTB: $1.2 million for one week... that's California for you)
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's first post-primary TV ad is an attack ad against... Barack Obama? (and Alex Sink, too, I guess)
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes goes negative against Nathan Deal on the issues of his recently-released tax returns, calling him "too corrupt even for Congress"
• SC-Gov: Nikki Haley's first TV spot, outsider-themed with a jab at Mark Sanford
• FL-22: The new Ron Klein spot is another anti-Allen West spot, but still hammering on the tax liens instead of, well, West's non-stop stream-of-consciousness crazy
• ID-01: Walt Minnick's first TV spot: please disregard the "D" next to his name, because he's independent
• IN-02: The NRCC's first television IE of the cycle, hitting Joe Donnelly for, well, being a Democrat
• IN-08: Trent van Haaften's first TV ad is a basic introductory spot
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper's second ad tries to cram "jobs" in there as many times as possible
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's first TV ad also works the outsider angle
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski's second ad works the Social Security privatization angle, smart in such an aged district
• PA-15: Interestingly, Charlie Dent's first ad is a negative shot against John Callahan (on local property taxes), indicating he may be feeling some heat here
• WI-07: Julie Lassa's second ad goes after Sean Duffy for saying that he can't do anything to create jobs
• AFSCME: Here's the big buy of the day: the AFSCME is shelling out $1.5 million in four states (Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) for an ad attacking Republicans for voting against the state aid package in August)
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 48%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 47%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• ID-Gov: Keith Allred (D) 36%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%
• ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 24%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 63%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 39%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 18%
• NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 28%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 61%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 33%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 45%
CT-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS is going to do a fundraiser in Stamford for Dick Blumenthal on Sept. 16th, the same day he was already scheduled to do a DNC event in Greenwich. Sorry to get all emo on you again, but if even Dick Blumenthal needs Obama's help....
DE-Sen: It's the battle of the sketchy polls! The Tea Party Express is touting a survey which supposedly shows Mike Castle up just 44-38 in the Republican primary over Christine O'Donnell. (Actually, they say Castle is at "43.7%" - too many significant digits is a classic sign of sketchiness.) Meanwhile, the Fix claims that "Internal GOP polling conducted last week showed Castle with a margin of nearly 20 points over O'Donnell." Anyhow, the TPX has no plans to evacuate in their moment of... well, we'll see if it's their moment of triumph... despite a surge of new questions about O'Donnell's fitness as a candidate. Among other things: Former aides say she never paid promised salaries on her 2008 campaign against Joe Biden, and she just received her degree from Farleigh Dickinson University last week, despite having attended 17 years ago and having repeatedly described herself as a graduate. Come on, baby, hold together!
IL-Sen: Amanda Terkel has spotted a trend among Mark Kirk's public statements: He can't shut up about the economic crisis in Greece - and Terkel thinks Kirk is attempting to link Alexi Giannoulias (who is of Greek descent) to the meltdown. Perhaps most egregious is Kirk's statement that while he "wore a U.S. Navy uniform, Alexi Giannoulias wore a basketball uniform in Greece." Really? That last part is relevant? A pretty ugly example of "othering."
LA-Sen: A little bit of Cajun-flavored cat fud: Gov. Bobby Jindal won't endorse Sen. David Vitter in his re-election campaign. Jindal claims he doesn't get involved in federal races, but WDSU has two very recent examples to the contrary. Anyhow, I can't think of too many sitting governors who haven't endorsed same-party, same-state senators, can you?
NH-Sen: Finally, a survey of the severely under-polled GOP senate primary in New Hampshire - though it's from Republican pollster Magellan, who likes to do Rasmussen-style one-day samples (a methodology that I think it's fair to say is not a best practice). Anyhow, here are the results (9/1, likely voters, May in parens):
UT-Sen: The battle for Orrin Hatch's senate seat - which won't take place until 2012 - is already getting ugly. Hatch is claiming that freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who, you'll recall, already knocked off one sitting incumbent at a state convention in 2008) promised him he wouldn't challenge him next cycle. Chaffetz says he only pledged not to run against Sen. Bob Bennett, who of course already lost earlier this year. A Hatch spokesbot took off the gloves in response, saying: "Senator Hatch takes very seriously the principle of keeping his word. Of course, I suppose Jason can break it any time he wants to."
WV-Sen: Robert Byrd's family is excoriating self-funding Republican John Raese for using a photo of Dem Joe Manchin and President Obama that was taken at Byrd's memorial service earlier this year in an attack ad. Raese's campaign manager said, "That's a stock photo. We had no idea it was from the memorial service." Well, now you know.
AZ-Gov: Does this statement remind you of O.J. Simpson's ill-fated "hypothetical" book, If I Did It? Because that was the first thing I thought of:
"That was an error, if I said that," Brewer said about beheadings occurring in Arizona.
AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick is out with her first ad of the cycle, a pretty dull positive spot about how she donated 5% of her congressional salary... national treasury... opposed bailout... etc., etc. Ordinarily I'd just relegate this to our ad roundup at the bottom of the digest, but I also wanted to point out this great observation from SSP's own Johnny Longtorso: namely, the fact that the Navajo Nation (the largest Indian tribe in the United States) is holding its presidential election this fall, which may help Kirkpatrick on the turnout front. (Indians vote heavily Dem.) According to Wikipedia, some 130,000 Navajo live within the nation's boundaries in Arizona (it also includes parts of Utah and New Mexico), almost all of which is contained within the 1st CD.
AZ-08: You know how the WWF tried to become the WWE? Well, true hardcore wingnuts aren't content with (the bad kind of) SSP - they want SSE: Social Security elimination. Given how toxic this is in the real world (i.e., for the 99.999% of people who have never heard of John Galt), it's no wonder that Republican nominee Jesse Kelly now say he wants to "protect" Social Security. Good luck getting past statements like this one, from just last year: "If you have any ideas on that, I'm all ears. I would love to eliminate the program."
IA-01: This doesn't seem like a positive sign to me. Bruce Braley is going on the air with an ad (watch it here) hitting back against an outside group's attack ad - not something a candidate in an apparently "Safe D" race ordinarily feels a need to do. The group, American Future Fund, is accusing Braley of "supporting" the Park51 community center, though Braley has taken the standard "don't wanna deal with it" approach of calling it a local zoning issue for NYC. On the flipside, I'll take it as a good sign that Braley doesn't plan to get Martha Coakley'd. (Though doesn't it sound like Braley's "I approve this message" was recorded via cell phone? Does that mean the ad was rushed on to the air?) NWOTSOTB for Braley, though AAF claims it has spent $50K and plans to spend more.
IN-03: A common theme rears its head once more: A Republican rails loudly against bailouts, but it turns out he's been the beneficiary of government largesse himself. In this case, Dem Tom Hayhurst has been attacking GOPer Marlin Stutzman for accepting $180K in agricultural subsidies since 1995. But as the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports, just last month Stutzman said: "It's time to get rid of farm subsidies. The subsidies only manipulate the market."
KS-04: You know, we always love reporting on cat fud for cat fud's sake. Sometimes it's just a whiff, but other times, the cat fud can really stink up a race. Case in point: Mike Pompeo, a top competitor for GOP Dickbag of the Year, wasn't endorsed by any of the candidates he beat in the Republican primary, and even refused to return phone calls from his opponents. Now, the cats are coming home to roost, because one of those opponents, rich guy Wink Hartman, is considering re-entering the race on the Libertarian Party line. (The Lib candidate dropped out of the race for health reasons.) Hartman, who spent almost $1.6 million of his own money on the primary, notably includes among his reasons for wanting to get back in the game the fact that Pompeo "misrepresented Hartman's pro-life position and residency." The Libertarians have until Sept. 20th to decide whether to tap Hartman. In any event, this could provide a huge boost to Dem Raj Goyle, who appears to be in a surprisingly good position to stage an upset.
LA-03: In an unusual move, the Louisiana state Republican Party has formally endorsed Jeff Landry over Hunt Downer in the runoff. State parties don't typically take sides in primaries like this, but it sounds like the powers that be are eager to see Downer bail, rather than prolong the race all the way until October 3rd. I personally suspect that Downer has no chance in the second round, and I think he'll wind up playing Kevin Calvey to Landry's Jim Lankford. (Check out our OK-05 tag if the analogy isn't ringing any bells.)
NC-11: Heh - looks like Heath Shuler's suggesting he could run for Speaker of the House, clearly as a way to distance himself from Nancy Pelosi. Shuler also claimed that cats eventually turn into dogs.
NH-02: Nice - progressive fave Ann McLane Kuster raised $223K in her pre-primary report (7/1-8/25), totally kicking the asses of all the other major candidates (Katrina Swett (D): $37K, Charlie Bass (R): $57K, Jennifer Horn (R): $39K). As for cash, it goes Kuster: $450K, Swett: $798K, Bass: $312K, Horn: $32K. Even better news: Kuster is touting an internal poll from the Mellman Group showing her with a commanding 47-24 lead over Swett in the primary, which is Sept. 14th.
NY-20, NY-23: Rahm Emanuel is headlining a joint fundraiser on Sept. 19th for two upstate Dems: Scott Murphy of the 20th CD and Bill Owens of the 23rd. Murphy has $1.5 million on hand but Owens has only $600K.
PA-06: A nasty bit of racial ugliness from the campaign of Jim Gerlach. Said a spokesman about Dem opponent Manan Trivedi: "The only one who has played the race card here is him, by going to Indian-American groups to raise money."
SC-02: The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating Rep. Joe Wilson's trips abroad - at least thirty over the last eight years - and his per diem spending habits. Wilson is a prolific traveler on the taxpayer's dime, ranking 29th among current House members and 39th among 734 members who've served since 1994, according to The State. Wilson has tried to downplay prior reports of the probe, claiming it was only about $12 spent on some cheap mementos from Afghanistan, but that's evidently not the case. Meanwhile, Dem Rob Miller has a new ad out hitting Wilson for his support of CAFTA. Check it out - I think it's pretty effective.
VA-05: In a move that vaguely brings to mind Carl Mumpower, teabagger Jeffrey Clark said he'd withdraw from the race if the party or parties responsible for disseminating information about his financial history came forward to claim responsibility. Dem Tom Perriello's campaign said it wasn't them, but Republican Rob Hurt wouldn't say anything, so Clark says he's staying in the race. Feel the Mumpower!
OH-AG: Wrapping up some odds-and-ends from their recent Ohio poll, PPP find ex-Sen. Mike DeWine leading incumbent Dem AG Richard Cordray 44-40.
DCCC: Another day, another triage story. This time, the NYT claims that "party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority." And while they don't have an actual quote from him, the Times claims Chris Van Hollen "conceded" that Dems "would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground." In response, reports The Hill:
Van Hollen released a statement saying that the story "erroneously" said that the DCCC would redirect resources to two dozen viable campaigns if a review in the next two weeks showed that vulnerables weren't gaining ground.
I have to wonder: Did the NYT really get Van Hollen wrong here, or is CVH deliberately trying to send mixed messages in order to motivate his troops through fear?