• FL-Sen: Dem Sen. Bill Nelson said he raised over $2 million in Q1 and would report somewhere between $4.5 and $5 million on hand. Republican Mike Haridopolos said he raised $2.6 million and would show $2.5 mil in the bank.
• HI-Sen: So that weird SMS poll we showed you yesterday which only pitted Ed Case vs. Mufi Hannemann in a Dem primary had another, more useful component. They also included favorables for a whole host of Hawaii politicians. Mazie Hirono was best (62% fave), while Linda Lingle was worst (44% unfave). Click the link for the rest. (And no, we still don't know who SMS took this poll for. They're just saying it was a private client.)
• MI-Sen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $3 million on hand.
• MO-Sen: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) raised over $1 million in Q1 and has about $1.8 million on hand.
• NM-Sen: Teabagging businessman Greg Sowards raised $150K in Q1... but it sounds like that's all his own money. The writeup is unclear, though - it's possible he raised $150K from outside sources and threw in an equal amount on his own.
• NV-Sen: Wealthy Dem attorney Byron Georgiou raised $1.1 million in Q1, with $500K of that coming from his own pockets.
• ME-Gov: We previously mentioned a proposed constitutional amendment in Maine that would require gubernatorial candidates to receive 50% of the vote (a hurdle almost no one has reached in recent decades). That proposal just died in the state Senate, so it's basically dead for this term.
• MT-Gov: Democratic state Sen. Larry Jent officially announced he is running for governor. He faces fellow state Sen. Dave Wanzenried in the primary. State AG Steve Bullock may also run.
• AZ-06: Ex-Rep. Matt Salmon, who served in a similar seat in the 1990s, says he's now thinking about running for Jeff Flake's open seat. Salmon previously said he was considering a run for governor.
• CA-03: Dem Ami Bera, seeking a rematch against Dan Lungren, says he raised over $230K in Q1. If this haul only dates to the time of his official announcement (just two weeks before the end of the quarter), it's nothing short of un-fucking-believable. However, he gets a demerit for emailing me a press release without putting it on his website so that I can link to it directly. Boo!
• CA-06: Activist Norman Solomon became the second Dem to file in Lynn Woolsey's district, in the event that she retires this cycle.
• CT-05: Dem Dan Roberti, a 28-year-old public relations exec whose father Vincent was a state rep, officially announced his entrance into the race to succeed Chris Murphy. On the GOP side, businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, who sought the Republican nomination for Lt. Gov. last year, also said she was getting in.
• FL-22: Lois Frankel announced she raised $250K in Q1. Previously, we mentioned that fellow Dem "no not that" Patrick Murphy said he raised $350K.
• IN-02: Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly announced he raised $363,288 in Q1, his best single quarter ever. Dude's not going down without a fight.
• NM-01, NM-Sen: An unnamed advisor to state Auditor Hector Balderas says he won't seek Rep. Martin Heinrich's now-open House seat (something that insiders apparently were encouraging him to do, in the hopes of avoiding a contested primary). According to this advisor, Balderas is still considering a Senate run. Personally, I think it was a mistake for Balderas to say he was almost definitely going to run, only to be upstaged by Heinrich, who of course said he was actually going to run. I think Heinrich has the advantage in a primary, but Balderas needs a way to save face here if he doesn't want that fight any longer.
• NY-19: Freshman GOPer Nan Hayworth announced she raised $330K in Q1 and has a similar amount on hand. Question of the day: Do you think Hayworth could get teabagged to death?
• NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul announced she raised $350K for the special election coming up on May 24th.
• OR-01: It took a little time, but Dems are now finally drawing out the knives for Rep. David Wu in earnest. Oregon Labor Commissioner (an elected position) Brad Avakian is putting together a team of political advisors and is likely to challenge Wu in the Dem primary. Another Dem elected official, Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, also apparently became the first Democrat to openly call for regime change (though he says he isn't interested in running). All eyes will certainly be on Wu's fundraising report, due on Friday.
• PA-07: Republican frosh Pat Meehan raised $325K in Q1.
• WI-07: Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow has formed an exploratory committee for a possible challenge to freshman GOP Rep. Sean Duffy. Kreitlow served a single term in the Senate after defeating a Republican incumbent, before losing in last year's red tide. This could be a pretty good get for us if he goes through with it (which seems likely, just reading this article).
• NJ Lege: Johnny Longtorso has a good summary of the candidate filing for New Jersey's legislative races this November. Out of 120 seats, only four total are unopposed (though there may be signature challenges).
• Suffolk Co. Exec.: Will seriously no one hire Rick Lazio? Perennially a contender for Saddest Sack of the Year, Lazio is apparently considering a run for Suffolk County Executive, now that the seat will be open in the wake of Steve Levy's unusual plea agreement with law enforcement (which involved him not seeking re-election).
• Dark Money: Dems are finally starting to play catchup with the David Kochs of the world. Ali Lapp, a former DCCC official (and wife of one-time DCCC ED John Lapp) will head up a new "Super PAC" called the House Majority PAC. Such groups are actually not all that shadowy - they do have to disclose their donors. But they can raise and spend in unlimited amounts, and engage in direct "vote for/vote against" advocacy.
• EMILY's List: EMILY announced four new GOP targets: Bob Dold (IL-10), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), and Steve Stivers (OH-15). The group only endorses women, and there are no declared Dems in any of these races yet, but I note with interest that they claim "there is major Democratic female talent waiting in the wings." In NH-01, they could be expecting a rematch from ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, and I guesss maybe Debbie Halvorson in IL-11 and Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, but those seem very unlikely. Any ideas?
• Iowa: It looks like Iowa's new maps will indeed pass into law very shortly. A state Senate committee approved them unanimously, and now the full body is deliberating. The state House will take the issue up today. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't yet said whether he'll support the new plans, but it'd be pretty explosive if he nuked the maps in the face of widespread backing among legislators. This has all been a very interesting process to watch, especially since after the initial federal map threw both Republican congressmen together, it was easy to imagine that the GOP would want to go back to the drawing board. But the fear of the unknown has pushed politicians to accept what they have before them, rather than risk something worse.
• Indiana: With the new GOP maps looking very much like reality (how Bobby Jindal must envy Mitch Daniels), the state legislator shuffle is set to begin. The AP notes that the new state House map "has three districts that put two current Republican legislators together, three districts with at least two Democrats and four districts with a Republican and a Democratic incumbent," which doesn't sound so bad, but Democrats point out that "five of their House members from Indianapolis were drawn into just two districts."
• Michigan: The MI lege is about to start the redistricting process. State law says maps have to be drawn by Nov. 1st.
• Texas: Republicans in the lege have introduced a bill that would require any new maps (or voter ID bills) to get litigated before a three-judge panel in D.C., rather than go through the DoJ for pre-clearance. Rick Perry apparently is already interested in this alternative. As I've speculated before, he may be hoping for a more favorable hearing from potentially conservative judges. However, I'll note that you can still sue even after the DoJ renders a pre-clearance decision, so I'm not sure why you wouldn't just take the (cheaper and easier) free shot first.
Also of note, the Latino civil rights group MALDEF released two proposals for nine majority-minority districts in Texas. (They deliberately did not offer a map that covered the entire state.) MALDEF is no random organization: They were part of the LULAC v. Perry litigation in 2006, in which the Supreme Court forced Texas to redistrict yet again because Tom DeLay's map had improperly diluted Hispanic voting strength.
• Virginia: So what's going on with this supposed deal? In a rather public bit of horse-trading, Dems (who control the state Senate) and Republicans (who control the state House and the governor's mansion) agreed that each body would get to gerrymander itself (that sounds kind of dirty, huh?), and would also agree to an incumbent protection map for congress, which would of course lock in the GOP's 8-3 advantage. But now Republicans and Democrats have each produced separate federal maps, and they are quite different, with the Dems deliberately trying to create a second district likely to elect a minority.
The oddest part of this deal is that the legislative parts of the deal have already passed - the congressional map is now an entirely separate beast, which I don't really get, since they each seemed to constitute one leg of a three-legged stool. I guess that's why the Senate Dems felt free to reject the House's federal plan, which suggests that the agreement has fallen apart. But Republicans don't seem to be howling that the Dems have somehow reneged, so maybe we didn't understand this deal properly in the first place. In any event, we're very much at an impasse here, but sometimes these logjams break apart very abruptly (see Louisiana and Arkansas).
• OH-Sen: This is about as far from the horse's mouth as you can get (paging Goldy?): The Columbus Dispatch is simply asserting that Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel "is leaning toward a run for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and will make an announcement this spring." They don't even say, "according to sources"-is that supposed to be implied or something? Anyhow, I'll wait for Young Master Josh to confirm, seeing as no one else is reporting this.
• CA-Gov (PDF): The Field Poll has preliminary job approval ratings for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has a pretty sharp-looking 48-21 score in the early going. But don't get too excited: Guess who had 54-15 approvals at the same point in his first term? Yep, that'd be Gray Davis (scroll down to p. 3 for the completely historical picture).
• NC-Gov (PDF): I'll be honest, PPP's regular NC-Gov polls were starting to all run together in my head, but this time, Tom Jensen & the gang tried something different: they tested a bunch of alternatives to the very unpopular incumbent Dem, Bev Perdue. The sad news for Team Blue, though, is that even our best hope, AG Roy Cooper, still trails likely GOP nominee Pat McCrory by a 43-35 margin, though that's better than Perdue's 50-36 gap. State Sen. Dan Blue (trailing 48-28) and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (trailing 47-27) don't change the equation, either. I also seriously doubt that Cooper would run; he was courted for Senate in 2009 but declined early on. He seems pretty happy where he is and, at age 53, can still wait a bit before deciding to move up. (I'm guessing 2016 vs. McCrory would be a good matchup.)
• WA-Gov: This is kind of meh, but if you like your tea weak, drink up.
• FL-26: No, that's not a typo! It's just another super-genious catch by Greg Giroux. Lunatic Karen Diebel, last seen losing the FL-24 GOP primary to now-Rep. Sandy Adams, has filed to run for Congress once again. What's awesome about this is that Diebel has kicked her DeLorean up to 88 miles per hour, since her paperwork says she plans to run in the as-yet-uncreated twenty-sixth congressional district. Click the PDF for the documentary proof. This should be great. (Click here if you need a refresher on Diebel's batshittery, including the infamous Snakes in a Pool incident.)
• IN-02: Former Republican state Rep. Jackie Walorski, best known as Wacky Jackie, surprised no one in formally announcing she'd seek a rematch against Rep. Joe Donnelly, something she'd been toying with ever since her narrow loss last fall. (Walorski blames Donnelly's one-point escape on the five percent a Libertarian Party candidate managed to snag.) Of course, two huge, inter-related questions remain here: What will the 2nd CD look like after redistricting, and will Donnelly seek re-election or try his hand at higher office? Stay tuned... for a while.
• NY-26: Janie's got an ad: Republican Jane Corwin is out with a second spot (her first was a bio ad) that hits themes as old as the hills: Dem Kathy Hochul wants to raise taxes, and she's a clone of Nancy Pelosi. NWOTSOTB, but the Corwin campaign claims that the ad is "is airing districtwide on broadcast," according to The Hill.
• OH-10: With his seat potentially headed for the carving board, Dennis Kucinich is obviously trying to win over as many friends as possible before the state legislature starts up the redistricting process. Kucinich said in an interview on Monday that President Obama's decision to order air strikes on Libya "would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense." (By the way, check out that PPP item up above - Kucinich has 27-40 favorables statewide.)
• PA-07: Now this is damn interesting. At that recent DCCC fundraiser in Philly we mentioned the other day, Steve Israel reportedly met with former Safe Schools Advocate Jack Stollsteimer about a potential run against freshman Rep. Pat Meehan, who took over Joe Sestak's old seat last cycle. Stollsteimer confirms he met with "party leaders," and says he's giving the race "serious consideration." But what makes all this so unusual is that Stollsteimer served as Meehan's press spokesperson for many years while Meehan was Delaware Co. DA and later U.S. Attorney! It's only been a few months, but Stollsteimer says he has "serious problems with what [Meehan]'s already done as our Congressman." Could be good!
• PA-08: That don't impress-a me much: the NRCC put out a press release attacking ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy for something or other, perhaps because they're concerned he might run for his old seat again. (That's possible, though he might also run for state AG.) But press releases are cheap, and who knows how many carbon-copy releases the NRCC put out, seeing as they don't put them all up on their website.
• LA-St. Sen.: They switch parties in Louisiana like Denny Hastert changes underwear-which is to say, not every day, but perhaps with some frequency. It should come as little surprise that the latest state legislator to don a not-so-fresh pair of tighty-whities is moving from D to R. But a diarist at Daily Kingfish points out that Norby Chabert (great name) isn't exactly some crusty Dixiecrat playing out the string-he's a freshman who has said publicly he voted for Obama, and was relentlessly attacked on that score during his first election campaign in 2009. It'll be interesting to see if the whole mess of recent converts like Chabert wind up getting teabagged to death.
• Philly Mayor: A judge denied Mayor Michael Nutter's request to remove wacky opponent Milton Street from the ballot, and Nutter said he would not appeal. (Nutter said that Street violated the city's residency requirements, which say you have to live in Philadelphia for three years before seeking office, because Street was serving out a sentence in a federal prison in Kentucky.)
• Wisconsin Recall: The RSLC-that's the Republican State Leadership Committee, the GOP equivalent of the DLCC-is going up with new television ads against Democratic state Sens. Jim Holperin and Dave Hansen, who sit in the two most Republican districts held by Dems and are the target of recall efforts. Neither district is really red, though-they were both lost by Kerry but won by Obama, making them more swingish than anything else. Politico notes that the RSLC has already been running ads against Holperin, and that the new buy is expect to cost $50K a week, while the anti-Hansen campaign will run "six figures over several weeks."
How is this for awesome, though? One Wisconsin totally busted the RSLC for using stock footage so fake, it was actually watermarked with the words "FILE FOOTAGE" in the bottom corner!
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: It was only a matter of time-and not that much. The WMC-Wisconsin's version of the Chamber of Commerce-is preparing to run ads in support of Republican David Prosser's campaign to stay on as justice. (I'm guessing these will be attack ads against JoAnne Kloppenburg.) Progressive groups are already on the air with a spot that equates Prosser with Gov. Scott Walker.
Meanwhile, in a candidate forum yesterday, Prosser's already infamous "I'll destroy you, bitch" comments of course came up-and he once again repeated his defense that, well, a bunch of women made him do it, by (as the AP put it) "ganging up on him." He also apparently failed to apologize for his remarks.
• Alaska: Yes, Alaska! While the state obviously doesn't have to worry about congressional redistricting, it does have to re-do its legislative maps. And believe it or not, the state actually has something of a Democratic gerrymander, since last time around, Dem Gov. Tony Knowles controlled key appointments to the panel responsible for producing new maps. This time, of course, Republicans control all the levers of power, so payback is expected.
• Maryland: MD has long been a popular target at SSP for redistricting plans, so I'm not sure there's much new here in Aaron Blake's latest state-by-state installment. But you geeks tell me!
• Mississippi: Dems in the state House voted to join that NAACP lawsuit I mentioned yesterday, which is seeking to enjoin the state from holding elections this year under the old district lines-something which could happen if the legislature stalemates on new maps, which is looking increasingly likely.
• FL-Sen: Mike Haridopolos is starting to look like one of those guys who just seems to track muck wherever he goes - or has been. How do you like this for both ridiculous and corrupt? He received an astounding (a) $152K (b) in taxpayer money to (c) write a book that (d) no one would ever read - and that (e) never got published because (f) the manuscript was too shitty to print. Getting that much (a) to do (c) is remarkable in any environment, but particularly when (a) is in the form of (b), and (d) ensures that the whole venture will be a major money-loser. (E) and (f) are really just the punch line - which makes Haridopolos the joke (and Florida taxpayers the serious losers here).
• MA-Sen: I get the sense that Deval Patrick's decision to blab to the National Journal about the candidates he's talked to who might run for senate must either have been deliberately planned or really unappreciated. Patrick said that 2010 special election candidate Alan Khazei and Newton Mayor Setti Warren told him they are "in, for sure" - leading Warren to tell Wicked Local Newton that he's merely considering the race and has no timetable for an announcement. Was Patrick fluffing Warren in a helpful way, or was he just cracking out of turn?
• MT-Sen, MT-Gov: Was this even a thing? Dave Catanese asked Gov. Brian Schweitzer if he and Sen. Jon Tester might trade places - the term-limited Schweitzer running for senate and the flat-topped Tester running for governor. Schweitzer said nuh-uh.
• TN-Sen: I won't call it a "must-read," but a strong "should-read" piece in the Tennesean gives some good background on Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who may be one of the strongest (only?) Dem options to take on Sen. Bob Corker in 2012. Dean has a Phil Bredesen-like "moderate" background, has been largely successful as mayor, and also has a very wealthy wife. But the article notes that Dean first has to win re-election as mayor this August (though he's the favorite) - and more importantly, he hasn't express any particular interest in running for senate. Maybe a run against freshman Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014 might be a better choice.
• VT-Sen: Republican state Auditor Tom Salmon says he'll decide on whether to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders this week. He has a conference planned for noon Thursday.
• IN-Gov: Mike Pence, a very likely gubernatorial candidate, offered quite a bit less than a full-throttled defense of Gov. Scott Walker's attempts at union busting, perhaps in an effort to avoid a rift with the man he's hoping to replace, Gov. Mitch Daniels. But given that Daniels' decision not to follow Walker's lead engendered a ton of teabagger vitriol, I'm wondering if Pence's move to go soft here might cause him trouble in a potential GOP primary.
• ME-Gov: Speaking of Scott Walker, Gov. Paul LePage, elected with 38% of the vote, says that he, too, will pursue his lifelong dream of destroying collective bargaining rights. LePage may run into static from the GOP legislature, though, before he has the chance to fully transform himself into Kochbot 2.0.
• MS-Gov: It's always a little tricky when someone is referred to as a businessman of some sort, but I'm going to guess that newly-announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Williams, "owner of Pascagoula-based Hazmat Services Inc.," is a lot closer to the Some Dude end of the spectrum than the zillionaire kapitalist side.
• WI-Gov: Speaking of Scott Walker yet again, the RGA has a new ad coming out in support of said governor, but of course, NWOTSOTB. Meanwhile, a fellow who says he did "micro-targeting" for Obama in 2008, Ken Strasma of Strategic Telemetry, has a poll out which he says supports the idea that Walker could be vulnerable to a recall. And through the use of un-revealed "micro-targeting models," Strasma also thinks that there would be more than enough people willing to sign a petition in each of the eight Republican state senate districts where senators are currently exposed to the legal possibility of a recall.
• WA-Gov: Show of hands - does anyone here think Gov. Christine Gregoire will actually seek a third term? Hey, maybe we're all wrong, but the very fact that she's even been entertaining the idea has already been a big enough surprise. Anyhow, Gregoire says she'll decide by "early summer."
Meanwhile, Democratic King County Executive Dow Constantine, whose name proverbially "came up" last December (see SSP Amazing Daily Digest, Issue #44) as Rep. Jay Inslee was seen to be holding his fire, sounds largely like a "no." Constantine said he might "at some point be interested in an opportunity," but "I have on my plate a few matters in King County government and I'm going to remain focused on that this year." Of course, with Gregoire now fogging in the control tower, everyone else is probably going to be put in a holding pattern.
• CA-36: This may not be a huge surprise, but Janice Hahn said that now ex-Rep. Jane Harman was querying her about her future political plans when she was a guest of Harman's at the State of the Union address in January (going so far as to ask Hahn whether she'd be interested in running for CA-36), then tipped Hahn about her resignation announcement hours before she made it. This helps explain Hahn's particularly energetic burst out of the gates, but it doesn't explain - or excuse - Debra Bowen's anemic start. Two weeks after announcing, Bowen's website is still nothing more than a splash page with a big "Contribute" button, and I haven't seen a single announcement of any high-profile endorsements. Does a sitting Secretary of State really have that few friends in high places?
• FL-25: When you've lost Eric Cantor... the no. 2 Republican in the House was in Miami for a fundraiser, but already-doomed Rep. David Rivera was pointedly asked to stay away. Worse, Cantor said he has "concerns" about Rivera, and worse still, he was seen meeting with former state Rep. Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a possible replacement for Rivera. (Diaz de la Portilla, who served just one term in the state House a decade ago, is the brother of former state Sen. Alex, who was touted as a possible FL-25 candidate last cycle, and current state Sen. Miguel.)
• NY-13: Rep. Mike Grimm is obviously doing the sensible thing here, working with Democrats (and somewhat less-insane-than-usual Republicans) to secure funding for government programs that actually matter to New Yorkers. Money for cops = popular! Of course, "the sensible thing" has pissed off local teabaggers, which could prove a problem for Grimm as he seeks re-election.
• NY-25: The namejacking anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List is running an ad thanking Ann Marie Buerkle for her vote to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Kudos to Dave Catanese, who says the size of the buy (which includes online ads) is $75,000, and that the ad itself is expected to run 182 times. It sounds like SBA is also planning to spend another $125K running radio ads in a number of other GOP-held districts: IL-08, IL-14, NH-01, PA-07, and PA-08.
• OR-01: Another GOP name has surfaced as a possible challenger to David Wu: State Sen. Bruce Starr says he's considering a run. I think it would be more interesting to get a sense of which Dems are likely to succeed Wu, though, since odds seem slim that a Republican will hold this seat. But of course, most Democrats aren't saying much, and that includes DCCC chair Steve Israel. When your own party's re-election chief says "no comment" about your future, you're long past the point where you should be stepping aside.
• Census: The good folks at the Census Bureau will have redistricting data this week for DE, KS, NE, NC, and WY. In other census news, be very glad that Robert Groves is the director of the bureau and the guy he replaced is long-gone. Steve Murdock told the Houston Chronicle that "it's basically over for Anglos" in Texas and that it's a "terrible situation." Wow.
• Crossroads GPS: Karl Rove's dark money front organization says it's already spent a million bucks on House race ads this year, which the DCCC "has been unable to come close to matching," according to The Hill. The article makes reference to the David Brock-Kathleen Kennedy Towsend (oy) group that's supposed to be the Dem answer to Crossroads, but has anyone heard a peep from "American Bridge" yet?
• Las Vegas Mayor: Diarist atdleft has a good roundup of ads currently in rotation in the Las Vegas mayoral race. If you haven't been following this one, current mayor Oscar Goodman is term-limited out, and a field including two Dems (Larry Brown and Chris Giunchigliani), one Republican (Victor Chaltiel), and one independent (Goodman's wife Carol) is vying to replace him. There's a top-two primary on April 5th and a run-off (if no one gets 50%) on June 7th.
• Teabaggers: Even though 84 Republican freshman joined the House this January, just 11 have joined Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus - and the caucus is now actually smaller than it was when it first started. Anyhow, at least a few of these (click the link for the article) are probably sitting in blue enough territory that this decision will cause heartburn for them on the campaign trail. (But see the classic rock-and-hard-place conundrum faced by Mike Grimm in the NY-13 bullet above.)
• Twitter: The Fix compiled a list of their favorite Twitterers in all fifty states. I haven't checked it out yet, though, so I don't even have an opinion. But enjoy!
• IL-Sen: Serial exaggerator Mark Kirk has a new one on his hands: he was previously claiming that he was the driving force behind a bill that cracked down on companies that do business with Iran (but that got turned into a Howard Berman bill so it could pass the Democratic House, says Kirk). Berman says that's not the case at all, and that his committee didn't even consider the Kirk version of the bill.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle had possibly the weirdest ever visit to a group of Latino high school students, first telling them that those weren't supposed to be Latinos in her ad featuring scary-looking dark-skinned persons crossing the border. Maybe those are actually Arabs, and maybe they're crossing the Canadian border, she mused? She then turned the tables back on the students, saying that "I don't know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me." Asian like... Middle Eastern terrorists, maybe? With Sharron Angle speaking, who even knows?
• IL-Gov: Whitey no more? Green Party candidate "Rich Whitey" will apparently get ballots in select Chicago wards changed back to his actual (and preferred) name, Rich Whitney. Apparently there was enough time to reprogram all the machines if crews work overtime.
• SC-Gov: I'm not sure whose side to take here: on the one hand, it's good to see the DNC putting money into the late-breaking South Carolina governor's race, where internals see it as a mid-single-digits race and a real opportunity now. On the other hand, South Carolina Dems just sound pissed, saying the $100K expenditure is too little too late (which is probably true).
• CA-03: Here's an eye-catching independent expenditure: American Crossroads (aka Rove, Inc.) is pouring $682K into a TV buy against Ami Bera in the 3rd. That would tend to support the idea that Dan Lungren, who's lost the fundraising game to Bera every quarter, is also putting up some middling internals too.
• PA-07: Now this isn't good, especially this late in the game: the Pennsylvania state Teamsters suddenly revoked their endorsement of Bryan Lentz. There's no official word on what caused the rift, but it seems to relate back to Lentz's sponsorship of a bill that cracks down on construction firms that misclassify workers to avoid paying taxes.
• OH-St. House: The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a good profile of 10 of the most important races in one of our most important legislative chambers, where Dems have a small edge (53-46) and need to hold it for redistricting purposes. It's a mix of suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, and the rural southern part of the state.
• AFL-CIO: Here's an interesting memo out from the AFL-CIO's political director today suggesting that they've made a lot of under-the-radar progress in the last few weeks, redirecting members who weren't engaged or were flirting with the Republicans. In particular, Pennsylvania stands out, where they're finding that Joe Sestak now has a 55-26 lead among union members, up from only 45-39 at the start of September. They also point out that Joe Manchin now has a 40-point lead among union members in another union-heavy state, West Virginia.
• Early voting: Early voting gets underway today in Florida and Texas, along with five other smaller states. Adding in the states where voting has already started, that means the election is truly afoot in nearly half of all states.
• Debates: We're adding a new component to our digests: courtesy of our friends at C-SPAN, a list of all the debates that are on tap and on the air each night on C-SPAN. Because if you're reading this, we know you can't get enough politicking:
8 pm ET: WV-Sen
9 pm ET: WI-07
10 pm ET: IL-11
11 pm ET : AZ-05
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski may be the only Republican running a pro-pork campaign, with her new ad talking about how Joe Miller will cut off the flow of federal funds to Alaska
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet hits Ken Buck on Social Security privatization and his hardcore pro-life positions
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway moves quickly along from the 'Aqua Buddha' ad, turning the conversation back to mine safety, while Rand Paul continues to whine about it, spending an ad touting his Christian faith
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt tries out a little Medicare sleight-of-hand (the whole HCR-cut-Medicare!!1! line)
• NH-Gov: The DGA, via local group Citizens for Strength and Security, hits John Stephen for retaining his campaign manager even after he received a restraining order for stalking
• NRCC: If you've ever wanted to watch 40+ Republican House ads in one sitting, here's your chance
• AK-Gov: Ethan Berkowitz (D) 39%, Sean Parnell (R-inc) 52%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 49%, Tom Foley (R) 45%
• HI-Sen: Dan Inouye (D-inc) 53%, Cam Cavasso (R) 40%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 47%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 6%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 50%
• UT-Gov: Peter Corroon (D) 29%, Gary Herbert (R-inc) 66%
• UT-Sen: Sam Granato (D) 29%, Mike Lee (R) 54%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 49%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
With only two weeks remaining, it's time for another round of updates to our Senate, Gubernatorial, and House ratings. With DCCC triage in full effect, giving us a clear picture of who's on the very wrong side of the House firewall, you may notice that this is the first time we've added House incumbents to the "Lean Republican" column. (In an interesting bit of symmetry, FL-24 was also the first race in 2008 where we dropped an incumbent -- Tom Feeney -- to "Lean D," also about two weeks prior to the election.)
DE-Sen: Lean D to Likely D
FL-Sen: Lean R to Likely R
OH-Sen: Lean R to Likely R
WI-Sen: Tossup to Lean R
IL-Gov: Lean R to Tossup
ME-Gov: Lean R to Tossup
NH-Gov: Likely D to Lean D
SC-Gov: Likely R to Lean R
AR-04: Safe D to Likely D
AZ-07: Safe D to Tossup
AZ-08: Lean D to Tossup
CA-11: Lean D to Tossup
CA-20: Likely D to Lean D
FL-24: Tossup to Lean R
GA-08: Lean D to Tossup
ID-01: Tossup to Lean D
IL-11: Tossup to Lean R
IL-17: Lean D to Tossup
IN-08: Lean R to Likely R
MA-04: Safe D to Likely D
MI-15: Safe D to Likely D
MN-08: Safe D to Likely D
MS-04: Likely D to Lean D
NC-08: Lean D to Tossup
NJ-12: Likely D to Lean D
NY-04: Safe D to Likely D
NY-22: Safe D to Likely D
OH-01: Tossup to Lean R
OH-06: Likely D to Lean D
OH-09: Likely D to Safe D
OH-13: Tossup to Lean D
OH-15: Tossup to Lean R
OR-04: Safe D to Likely D
PA-03: Tossup to Lean R
PA-07: Lean R to Tossup
TX-17: Tossup to Lean R
WA-08: Likely R to Lean R
28 of these changes favor Republicans; 9 races (DE-Sen, 3 of the 4 gubernatorial races, and 5 House races, including the Ohio implosion duo) have moved in the Democratic direction.
Noted d-bag Mark Penn is out with ten new polls conducted for The Hill. These are all open seat races with departing Democratic incumbents, with the exception of GOP Rep. Charles Djou's race and the open seat being vacated by Mark Kirk.
Penn Schoen for The Hill (10/2-7, likely voters, MoE: ±4.9%):
• CT-Sen: I hope Joe Lieberman has a nice lobbying firm picked out for a job starting in 2013. PPP threw in some Lieberman-related questions in their Connecticut sample, and he generates genuine bipartisan support in terms of the desire to replace him with someone else (72% of Dems, 63% of indies, and 61% of GOPers say "someone new"). He has 31/57 approval, including 20/69 among Dems. In a three-way with Dem Chris Murphy and GOPer Jodi Rell, Lieberman finishes 3rd, with Murphy winning 37-29-17. Substitute Peter Schiff for Rell and it's about the same: 39-25-19. If Lieberman goes the full GOP, he still loses a head-to-head with Murphy, 47-33.
• IL-Sen: Barack Obama's coming to town today, on behalf of Alexi Giannoulias. No stumping though, just two fundraisers. (On a related note, though, Obama will be in Oregon on Oct. 20 to appear with gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber.)
Dan Onorato (D): 36 (37)
Tom Corbett (R): 47 (46)
These races just don't seem to budge. Muhlenberg's newest numbers are just where they were a few weeks earlier, and they're pretty much at the median for all pollsters' averages in these races.
• VA-Sen: More looking ahead to 2012: George Allen is probably figuring that 'macaca' has faded into the mists of time, and he's starting to publicly let it be know that he's interested in a rematch with the man who beat him, Jim Webb. No formal preparatory activities, but it seems like he's engaging in some pre-emptive GOP field-clearing.
• WA-Sen: Here's something we haven't seen in a while: a poll with a lead for Dino Rossi. Of course, it's a Republican poll (from Fabrizio & Associates, on behalf of American Action Forum (that's AAF, not AFF)), so take it with some salt, but it's a reminder that this race is far from a done deal and that things may have tightened since that polling bulge for Patty Murray a few weeks ago. Rossi leads Murray 48-42 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• WV-Sen: You've probably already heard about this story: the NRSC has pulled an ad that it had started running in West Virginia featuring stereotypically blue-collar guy sitting around a diner grousing. Well, if they seem a little stereotypical, it's because they were intended to be, if you read the details from the NRSC's casting call for the ad that was shot in Philadelphia, asking for a "'hicky' blue collar look" and listing the various blue-collar clothing items that they should wear, including "John Deer [sic] hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)."" Somehow, I'm not hopeful this flap will become a game-changer in the race, but maybe it'll help West Virginians see what Beltway Republicans really think of them. The NRSC is in fact distancing itself from the ad, throwing the talent agency under the bus.
Meanwhile, this seems like a richer vein to mine: the ongoing and seemingly growing controversy of John Raese's residence. He owns a Florida mansion, where his wife and kids spent most of their time. But Dems are trying to raise questions about whether Raese is a West Virginia resident at all, and are asking whether he's filed West Virginia income taxes (Florida, as you might know, doesn't impose income taxes).
• NM-Gov: Can a race have too much internal poll leaking? There seems to be more tit-for-tat in this race than any. In response to yesterday's Diane Denish internal showing a 3-point race, today Susana Martinez brandishes a POS internal from 10/3-5 giving her a 51-42 lead over Denish.
Andrew Cuomo (D): 55 (49)
Carl Paladino (R): 37 (43)
Undecided: 6 (7)
Either Carl Paladino had a huge primary bounce that quickly faded, people who hadn't been paying close attention a few weeks ago suddenly found out that Paladino is a sputtering rage volcano who'd be a huge liability in office, or Quinnipiac put up a big stinky outlier a few weeks ago. (Probably a little of all three.)
• WI-Gov: Marist for McClatchy (9/26-28, likely voters, no trendlines):
Tom Barrett (D): 43
Scott Walker (R): 51
Ooops, we missed that there was a gubernatorial half to that Marist poll from a few days ago.
• AL-02: I don't know which is a bigger story here: that Bobby Bright is the first Democratic incumbent to announce, pre-election, that he won't vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, or that he's trailing in a Martha Roby internal after having, for most of the cycle, seemed safer than a lot of other incumbents in less hostile districts... although the announcement seems pretty clearly motivated by the polling trends here. He says he certainly won't vote for John Boehner, though, saying he wants to vote for a centrist "more like me." Roby's poll comes from POS, giving her a 45-43 lead (with the memo saying their July poll gave Bright a 49-41 lead). Bright still overperforms the generic ballot by a wide margin, which is 51-32 for the GOP in this R+16 district.
• CT-01: Merriman River Group (who put up a surprising poll finding Chris Murphy trailing in CT-05 yesterday) are out with another poll that should give some pause: they find John Larson only ahead by 7 against no-namer Ann Brinkley, 52-45, in what's Connecticut's bluest (D+13) congressional district. For what it's worth, this district is eleven points bluer than D+2 CT-05, so the spread (Murphy was down 5) is consistent... but also remember that Merriman was about five points to the right of where everybody else was seeing the statewide races in that big pile of CT polls from the last couple days, so feel free to adjust accordingly.
• IL-17: Yep, we've definitely got a real race here this time, after Phil Hare got away unopposed in 2008. He's up only slightly over Bobby Schilling in a POS internal (which I assume is on behalf of the Schilling camp, as the NRCC has been using Tarrance in this district), leading 38-37 in a 9/26-27 sample.
• IN-02: EPIC-MRA for WSBT (10/1-3, likely voters, no trendlines):
Joe Donnelly (D): 48
Jackie Walorski (R): 39
Mike Vogel (I): 6
These numbers (which include leaners) look pretty good for Donnelly, in the first public poll of the race (although he's seemed to fare OK in partisan polls of the race, compared with many other vulnerable Dems, leading in both AFF and Susan B. Anthony List polls). Donnelly has 47/32 faves, while Walorski is at 32/35.
• NY-23: Here's one more Republican internal, that was taken before Doug Hoffman officially pulled the plug on his Conservative Party bid, but suggesting that he wasn't having much of an effect this year anyway. In the POS poll taken for the NRCC 9/22-23, Matt Doheny leads Dem incumbent Bill Owens 51-37. (Somehow they didn't leak what percentage Hoffman was getting... obviously it couldn't be more than 12%... but they do tell us 68% of Hoffman supporters would, in the alternate, support Doheny.)
• PA-07: Monmouth (10/4-6, likely voters, no trendlines):
Believe it or not, this is the first public poll of this race, and it's definitely better than the conventional wisdom on this race would dictate: although Bryan Lentz is still losing, it's by a 4-point margin. It's a seat that leans Dem-enough that even with a strong GOP candidate and a strong GOP tailwind it looks like it'll still be at least close. (That conventional wisdom seems founded largely on a June Meehan internal giving him a 21-point lead.) One other interesting tidbit: Joe Sestak, the district's current Rep., is leading Pat Toomey 49-46 within the district in the Senate race. He'd need to be cleaning up by a much wider margin than that, here, to be competitive statewide.
• WA-08: Let's throw in a Democratic internal poll to break up the monotony. It's from one of the few Dem challengers who seem to be keeping things within striking distance, Suzan DelBene. She trails GOP incumbent Dave Reichert by only 48-44 in a Fairbank Maslin poll taken 10/4-5 (where they gave Reichert a 9-point lead in August). That coincides, perhaps not coincidentally, with Dave Reichert finally having to come out and say "no, I don't have brain damage." Reichert, you may remember, had to have emergency surgery after getting hit in the head by a tree branch in March. Reichert's fitness had been the subject of increasing whispers and question marks in recent months, some of which may have rubbed off on his poll numbers.
• Early voting: Fun fact of the day: early voting is up 50% over this point in time over the 2006 midterm, with nearly 6 million votes already having been cast. This, of course, is in large part because states have, in the intervening years, made it easier to vote early. (Nearly 30% of votes were cast early in 2008; officials don't expect this year's numbers to reach that peak, though.) At any rate, it looks like early voting is increasingly here to stay, and campaigns will have to adjust their strategies accordingly. (I.e. planning for the "September Surprise" instead?)
• Demographics: Now these are some interesting numbers: a chart breaking down the "voting-eligible" (not just "voting age") population by percentage in each state, eliminating non-citizens as well as prisoners and ineligible felons. And here's an interesting statistic: despite the fact that we haven't completed the dang fence, the percentage of non-citizens in the U.S. has actually dropped from 2006 (8.6%) to 2010 (8.3%), partly because the government has processed a backlog in citizenship cases and partly because the lousier economy has made the U.S. a less attractive destination.
• SSP TV:
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln uses Bill Clinton as surrogate to talk about John Boozman's privatization mania
• PA-Sen: The Club for Growth does some stimulus act cherry-picking to portray Joe Sestak as a sockpuppet for the sockpuppet lobby
• WV-Sen: The DSCC hits John Raese on outsourcing
• ND-AL: The NRCC attacks Earl Pomeroy for taking money from the insurance industry
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's newest ad focuses on her work on parochial issues, while Kristin Noem's ad says Sandlin's gone Washington
• AK-Sen: It's never a dull moment with Joe Miller in the race. Hot on the heels of the news that he believes that federal unemployment insurance is unconstitutional, today comes the news that his wife went on unemployment after leaving a job in 2004, and that Miller did not disown his wife for betraying the Founding Fathers. But wait, it just gets more interesting: the job Miller's wife left was working for... Miller himself. He hired his wife as a part-time clerk when he was working for several years as a magistrate judge for the federal district court (y'know, for the federal government he just hates so much). Local gadfly (and Lisa Murkowski ally) Andrew Halcro is, in fact, suggesting that Miller was forced to fire his wife because the blatant nepotism may have been a violation of court policies. (Of course, Miller's response was that Murkowski's not one to talk about nepotism.)
And on top of that, now it's come out that Miller is a full-on Seventeenther. In other words, part of the new crop of right-wingers who want you to vote for him so he can take away your rights to vote for him in the future.
• HI-Sen: Term-limited GOP Gov. Linda Lingle is saying she'll "take a look" at a Senate bid in 2012. That seat's current occupant, Dan Akaka, is 86 years old, so it's not clear whether he'll run for another term or not. Lingle is probably the only Republican on the bench in Hawaii with enough juice to make a Senate race, especially an open seat one, competitive.
• IL-Sen, IL-Gov: Mark Kirk is out with an internal poll (from Fulcrum), giving him a much larger lead than, well, anyone else, considering that most pollsters have seen this within a point or two either way. His poll says he leads Alexi Giannoulias 42-33, with 2 for the Green Party's LeAlan Jones. (The same poll also shows Bill Brady leading Pat Quinn 39-27 in the Governor's race.) Sitting on a big cash advantage, Kirk has reserved most of his entire kitty ($5.2 million) on ad buys for the remaining month.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold seems determined to follow Nancy Boyda down the path of integrity/obscurity. He's telling the DSCC (who haven't advertised yet on his behalf) to back off and let him fight the election himself. Says Feingold: "I consider it to be outside help of a kind that is uncontrolled and tends to believe in a philosophy of slash-and-burn politics. That's frankly not who I am. I don't want to win that way."
• NH-Gov: Univ. of New Hampshire (9/23-29, likely voters, July in parentheses):
John Lynch (D-inc): 51 (54)
John Stephen (R): 34 (29)
Considering that UNH's sample had Paul Hodes down by 15 and Carol Shea-Porter losing too, it's pleasantly surprising to see John Lynch hanging in there with little trouble (in contrast to several other recent polls, such as UNH's in-state rival for weird results, ARG).
• WV-Gov: I guess the 2010 election is over already? Because the conversation today already seems to be changing to 2012. Republican state Sen. Clark Barnes (whom you might remember for briefly getting in and then getting out of the field in WV-01 last year) says he'll run for governor two years from now.
• NY-20: Finding himself on the very wrong end of both a Siena poll and a Scott Murphy internal, Chris Gibson offers up a POS internal of his own, taken 9/27-28, showing that he's still within striking distance. He says he trails Murphy 42-38.
• VA-05: Here's one more Dem poll from the 5th that shows Tom Perriello is narrowly trailing, but not officially dead yet. Rob Hurt leads Perriello 44-43 in a poll sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters and the SEIU (no word on who the pollster is, though). (UPDATE: The pollster is David Dougherty, and the memo is here. The sample was taken 9/20-23 with a 4.4% MoE.)
• American Crossroads: Remember back when we all laughed at American Crossroads for not raising any money, apparently because they were waiting for the million-dollar checks from their half-a-dozen billionaire donors to clear? Ha ha, boy, those were simpler times. Anyway, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center are going to the IRS to ask for an investigation of Crossroads GPS, one tentacle of the group that's organized as a non-profit "social welfare organization" or 501(c)(4). The larger Crossroads is a PAC, but GPS itself isn't supposed to participate in campaigns. Rather than take it up with the FEC, which has fallen into chaotic uselessness because of empty seats on the commission, they're going straight to the IRS, alleging tax law violations instead.
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt raised $2 million in 3Q, no CoH given
• PA-07: Pat Meehan raised $725K, giving him $1.5 million CoH
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Two different ads, one a coordinated spot between the Joe Miller camp and the NRSC that's a bio spot for Miller, the other a Tea Party Express one-minute extravaganza that calls Lisa Murkowski a liar, a fraud, and various other things
• IN-Sen: Here's a link to that Brad Ellsworth ad we mentioned yesterday, where he literally calls Dan Coats a sellout over that all-covers album he released outsourcing
• KY-Sen: The DSCC rolls out an ad hitting Rand Paul on his proposed $2,000 Medicare deductible, while Paul's newest ad returns to the Jack Conway=Obama theme
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan goes back to the theme of Roy Blunt's cozy DC insider relationships
• NY-Sen-B: Joe DioGuardi's first ad is an intro spot, as well as bemoaning the dwindling American Dream
• WA-Sen: The DSCC revisits Dino Rossi's days as a state Senator, including support for cutting unemployment benefits and the minimum wage
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold takes the GOP to task for prematurely celebrating short of the end zone
• WV-Sen: John Raese follows the NRSC's lead with his own ad doing the Joe Manchin=Obama thing
• FL-Gov: The DGA's out with a Florida ad with various law enforcement officials bashing Rick Scott's Medicare fraud
• NH-Gov: Here's the ad of the day: John Lynch leaps out of the gate and punches John Stephen in the nose over scandals at New Hampshire's HHS Dept.
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland, bedecked in camo, reminds the state's hunters who got the NRA's backing
• PA-Gov: Well, at least Tom Corbett isn't saying Dan Onorato = Obama, but he is saying Onorato = Ed Rendell
• RI-Gov: The DGA hits Lincoln Chafee from the right? Their new ad says that vulnerable Rhode Islanders can't afford all the new taxes Chafee wants
• FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas hits Sandy Adams over the Paul Ryan roadmap
• PA-04: Oh, good... more kids complaining about how their allowance isn't big enough to cover all the debt they're going to have to pay off, courtesy of Keith Rothfus
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 33%, John McCain (R-inc) 54%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 45%
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 43%, Dan Maes (R) 16%, Tom Tancredo (C) 35%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 50%
• Rasmussen (appearing as Fox/Pulse):
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 47%, Tom Foley (R) 41%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Linda McMahon (R) 42%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 42%, Roy Blunt (R) 50%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 46%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 49%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 53%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 43%, John Raese (R) 48%
• CT-Sen: This might get swallowed up by Linda McMahon's minimum wage comments, which are still dominating the coverage of this particular race, but here's a new instance of McMahon getting tripped up by those annoying little facts. At a tea party rally in April, she fended off a question about lobbyists, saying "I have not spent lobbying dollars in Washington." Disclosures show that WWE, between 2001 and 2008, spent $680K on lobbying expenses, including $340K in 2007-2008 during the period when Congress was investigating use of steroids in sports.
• DE-Sen: When asked about his plans for the Delaware race, John Cornyn (after having gotten goaded into giving Christine O'Donnell $42K post-primary) has returned to sounding disinterested: "We will be supporting Christine O'Donnell as appropriate if that race is competitive. Right now it looks like it is not as competitive as other places around the country." (Counting down to another blast of anti-NRSC teabagger fury in 3... 2...) Meanwhile, travel back in time (for the future of mankind) to 2002, and check out this great photo of O'Donnell and friends (which ought to further alarm some of her more conservative supporters worried about her witchcraft past... did it involve bat-head biting too?). Is O'Donnell just Paranoid, or is she really riding the Crazy Train?
• AR-Gov: Here's a poll from the one (count 'em, 1) gubernatorial race in the country where the incumbent Democrat is more or less safe. Hendrix College, on behalf of Talk Business, finds Mike Beebe leading Republican Jim Keet 49-35. That's a bit of an improvement from their previous poll in July, where Beebe led 50-41.
• CA-Gov: Realizing that she's on the wrong end of written evidence, Meg Whitman's trying out a new tactic: blaming her husband (the soap-opera-named Dr. Griff Harsh). Whitman denied knowing about the letter, but now says she "suspects" that the handwriting on the letter regarding her housekeeper's Social Security number is his. Meanwhile, here's a link to that Spanish-language TV ad on the housekeeper issue that we mentioned yesterday, as part of the SEIU's huge cash infusion to this race.
• FL-Gov: With a number of public polls this week showing Rick Scott having moved back into the lead, Alex Sink is leaking an internal poll. She's leading, although by a much smaller margin than the Mason-Dixon poll from just last week that had her up 7. Instead, she's up by only 1, 45-44, in the poll taken over Sept. 23-29 (no word on who the pollster is).
• IN-Gov: Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh, of the eight-digit war chest, just gave $500K to the Indiana Democratic Party (after having given $1 million earlier in the year). Presumably that's to help with the three tight House races there, but many are interpreting it as a sign of goodwill oriented toward bolstering his shot at taking back over as Governor in 2012.
• MA-Gov: I'll just quote DavidNYC on this: "I hope they sell sacks in XXXL size for Tim Cahill to put his sad into." How craptacular is your campaign when not just your campaign manager but then your actual running mate bails on you and endorses your opponent? That's what happened to indie candidate Tim Cahill, whose Lt. Gov. running mate, Republican state Rep. Paul Loscocco, announced that he's leaving the ticket and backing Charlie Baker instead, perhaps realizing that Cahill's presence is the main thing keeping Baker from a shot at winning. (Also recall that Loscocco had originally wanted to be Baker's running mate but got snubbed for that, and accepted Cahill's offer as something of a fallback.) Cahill, pretty much friendless at this point, just announced in a press conference that he's staying in the race, though.
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo got an unusual endorsement today, from the always-unpredictable world of Staten Island politics. The Conservative borough president, James Molinaro, threw his backing to Cuomo. (Molinaro is a key ally of Michael Bloomberg. Don't confuse him with ex-Rep. and county Conservative party chair Guy Molinari, who's the real power behind the throne on Staten Island.) Also, the war between Carl Paladino (last seen going ballistic on the venerable Fred Dicker) and the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post seems to be intensifying, if the latest opus from editor-in-chief Col Allen is any indication (note the intentional use of plural form!). If you're a Republican in New York and you've lost the Post, well, you've lost.
Mr. Caputo should check his facts before making charges against Post personnel. In addition, Mr. Paladino should not be surprised by the media's interest in his families...
• OH-13: Now this is seems like it has some game-changing potential here: Tom Ganley, the moneybags car dealer who's turned the Dem-leaning 13th into a real race, just got sued for sexual assault by a former enthusiastic supporter who says she met him at a Tea Party rally and tried to volunteer for his campaign. Ganley, she says, wanted her to volunteer for some rather different duties:
While she waited in Ganley's office, the suit says, he made sexually suggestive comments and invited her to join him and his friends at a condominium he owns in Strongsville. Ganley gave her a $100 bill and told her to buy some lingerie and high-heeled shoes, according to the lawsuit.
Ganley told her he wanted her to dominate her, parade her on a leash and have sex with her in front of his "play friends," the suit says. It accuses him of grabbing her from behind, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her and, despite her resistance, reaching into her pants.
Naturally, the Ganley camp is calling the suit "extortion" and politically motivated.
• PA-07: Now that primary season is over, we've pretty much stopped reporting on union endorsements, as they shouldn't come as any surprise at this point... except when they endorse the Republican. That's what happened in the 7th, though, as the United Aerospace Workers local gave its backing to Pat Meehan. (They're a major presence in the district, given the large Boeing helicopter plant near the Philly airport.)
• Enthusiasm gap: PPP hasn't been putting out very encouraging numbers lately, but they do offer some cause for optimism that may or may not pan out: with Republican unity pretty much maxed out, the enthusiasm gap can't do anything but shrink. They point out that there are many more Democratic undecideds than Republican ones right now. They show that's especially profound in the Illinois races (and that late coming-home may be what's propelling Pat Quinn all of a sudden), and, although it's not on their chart, I'd guess also in Pennsylvania, where the Dem undecideds have always been strangely high and we may be seeing some gap-closing beginning too.
• Money: If you've noticed that there's a crapload of independent expenditures coming from billionaire-funded 527s and 501(c)(3)s in the last month, pretty much wiping out whatever cash advantage the Democratic congressional committees had over the GOP committees, you're not alone in that realization. Bloomberg calculates that independent organizations have outspent the parties combined in trying to buy shape the election: $33 million from folks like American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce, compared with $20 million from all of the party committees.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski works fast to turn Joe Miller's ill-advised drapes-measuring tweets against him, with a new radio ad
• IL-Sen: Here's another ad with cute babies, this time from Mark Kirk, but this time not about abortion but how DEBT WILL CRUSH US ALL!!1!
• NH-Gov: Wow, the RGA must suddenly sense they have an opportunity here, and they have an ad up hitting John Lynch on spending
• TX-Gov: Rick Perry can't coast to re-election this time and he's up with another ad, this time hitting Bill White on one of his perceived strengths (emergency management during Hurricane Rita)
• FL-08: The NRCC hits back against Alan Grayson for his "Taliban Dan" ad against Dan Webster, calling Grayson "a national embarrassment"
• IL-10: The DCCC does a half-and-half ad, touting Dan Seals' business background and hitting Bob Dold! on pro-life and tea party connections
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 41%, Rick Scott (R) 46%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 40%, Pat Toomey (R) 49%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 50%