• IN-Sen: Chris "Count" Chocola, head of the Club for Growth and himself a Hoosier, says his organization may step in to help oust apostate Sen. Dick Lugar. The CFG has already talked to Treasurer Richard Mourdock, and if they get involved, they could make up for his lackluster fundraising so far.
• MA-Sen: Remember when ThinkProgress busted Scott Brown for sucking up to David Koch for donations while he was publicly saying he wasn't even thinking about 2012? His pitch worked, I guess: Koch Industries coughed up a $2,500 donation to Brown's campaign last quarter.
In other MA-Sen news, why does Barney Frank keep doing this? On Monday, he repeated his remarks that he thinks Newton Mayor Setti Warren shouldn't run for Senate, this time to local blog Newton TAB. I honestly think this is a bit embarrassing for Frank, and makes him look like a jackass. It's an admission that his private suggestions to Warren haven't been well-received, and that he's had to take to the press to accomplish what he apparently doesn't have the power to do on his own. It's ugly, and what's more, I don't even see the percentage in it. Why does Frank care so much whether Warren runs? Really, just enough.
• MN-Sen: Former state Sen. and unsuccessful 2010 SoS candidate Dan Severson says he might seek the Republican nod to challenge Amy Klobuchar, who so far has drawn no opponents. Severson says he'll decide by May. Also, attorney Chris Barden, another unsuccessful statewide candidate last year (he ran for AG), says he may attempt a Senate race, too.
• MO-Sen: It's getting' mighty crowded in here... well, maybe. Wealthy businessman John Brunner (who can at least partially self-fund) says he might join the GOP field to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Reps. Todd Akin and Blaine Leutekemeyer are also still weighing bids, while former Treasurer Sarah Steelman and teabagger fave Ed Martin are already in the race.
• TX-Sen: This is just weird. Ashwin Madia (who you may remember as the Dem candidate in MN-03 back in 2008) is also chair of the progressive veterans group VoteVets. His organization put out a statement the other day in which he said it was "encouraging" to see Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez considering the Texas Senate race as a Dem. It's strange, as Adam Serwer points out, because Sanchez had a very suspect record on torture during his tenure as US commander in Iraq, while VoteVets has been very critical of torture. Another spokesman for the group hurried to say that VoteVets was not issuing a formal statement of endorsement, just an attaboy for a fellow servicemember.
• VA-Sen: Teabagger Jamie Radtke raised just $55K in Q1 and has only $47K on hand. I'm betting that if George Allen does wind up dealing with a serious speed bump on his way to the GOP nomination, it's going to take the form of Del. Bob Marshall, not Radtke. Still a big if.
• VT-Sen, VT-AL: Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $770K in Q1 (not bad for the 49th-largest state in the nation) and has over a million in the bank. The Burlington Free Press pegs an uptick in donations to Sanders after his now-famous eight-hour speech on the Senate floor in which he blasted tax cuts for the wealthy. Meanwhile, Rep. Peter Welch now has a million on hand.
• NJ-Gov, NJ-Sen: Chris Christie's starting to smell like a plate of scungilli left out in the sun after a July picnic. His job approval has dropped to 47-46, according to Quinnipiac, from 52-40 just a couple of months ago. Sen. Bob Menendez isn't doing so hot either, 42-40, but those sorts of numbers are nothing new for him (and are actually better than what he was getting last year). In news of more immediate importance, Dems improved to 47-39 on the generic legislative ballot, up from 43-41. (Thanks to andgarden for spotting that question, tucked away at the very end of the poll.) Also fun: Q asked respondents for an unprompted, open-ended one-word description of Christie. The number one response, by far? "Bully," with 140 mentions.
• AL-05: This is just odd. Freshman Republican Mo Brooks cancelled a town hall and replaced it with one-on-one meetings with constituents-by appointment only. What makes this extra-weird is that these meetings are scheduled to take place across the state line in... Tennessee. Reminds me of this infamous incident from the classic MS-01 special back in 2008.
• IA-04: Some great number-crunching from G-squared: The new 4th CD went for Terry Branstad 59-37 in 2010, 50-48 for GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle in 2006, and 49-48 for Tom Vilsack in 2002. I'll go one further and tell you that Vilsack lost the new 4th in 1998, 47-52. Greg also says that Rep. Steve King currently represents 47% of new CD.
• IL-03: Politico has a profile of John Atkinson, the Democratic businessman who may challenge Rep. Dan Lipinski from the left. Atkinson, who has already raised a boatload, hasn't formally declared yet (and may be waiting on redistricting), but a main theme for him is Lipinski's vote against healthcare reform.
• NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon, recently speaking to the Bay Ridge Democratic Club, definitely sounds like he's leaning toward a comeback. The linked piece from the Brooklyn Eagle contains McMahon's ruminations on why he lost last year, but I'm not sure I understand what he thinks the reasons are. On the one hand, he says "[t]here was a drop-off in progressive voters." On the other hand, he cited a memo from Third Way (ugh, but what do you expect) which polled Obama "switchers" and "dropouts." The memo claims that "[s]witchers were eager to vote in this election, whereas droppers didn't come out for a multitude of reasons, none of them being they were upset with Democrats."
What this misses out on, of course, is that Democratic organizations who were pissed with McMahon's vote against healthcare reform were less inclined to bust their asses for him and drag apathetic voters to the polls on his behalf-something members and officials of the Bay Ridge club made plain to him. (The article says some attendees used "harsher language," so since this is Brooklyn we're talking about, enjoy a moment or two imagining what this sounded like.) I'm not sure what McMahon thinks the solution is for next year, if he runs again, but it doesn't sound like he's ready to take back his anti-HCR vote. I think he'd be wise to do so.
• RI-01: Former Republican state Rep. John Loughlin, who lost by six points to now-Rep. David Cicilline last year, says he's considering a rematch, but first he's serving another tour of duty in Iraq. I wonder if Cicilline's self-inflicted wounds regarding the financial woes of Providence (the city of which he used to be mayor) will make him vulnerable-if not next year (which of course is a presidential year), then at some point in the near future... or in a primary.
• WI Recall: Republicans say they will file recall petitions against three Democrats today: Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch. Meanwhile, Greg Sargent says that Dems will file petitions against a fifth Republican, Alberta Darling, also today.
• WI Sup. Ct.: Yesterday, JoAnne Kloppenburg asked for a recount, which will come at state expense since the final margin of 7,316 votes was less than 0.5%. I'm pretty surprised at the decision, since overturning that kind of result seems almost inconceivable.
• Alaska (PDF): Dave Dittman, a pollster and former aide to the late Sen. Ted Stevens, tested Alaskans' feelings about local pols last month. Sen. Mark Begich, up for re-election in 2014, has a 57-33 job approval rating, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski is at 71-27 and Rep. Don Young is at 63-32. Joe Miller, who says he might run against Young next year or against Begich next cycle, has a hilariously awful favorability rating of 18-73. (FWIW, Sarah Palin is at 36-61.) Note that the poll had oddly long field dates: March 3 through March 17.
• Demographics: Aaron Blake has another good piece looking at the changing demographics of majority-black districts.
• House Majority PAC: The new Dem "super PAC" is out with its first-ever media buy (which they claim is "substantial"-you better be telling the truth), hitting ten GOP freshmen who voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan with radio ad. You can listen to a sample spot against Sean Duffy here. Click the first link for the other nine names.
• DCCC: Speaking of ad buys, props to Dave Catanese for busting what turned out to be a comically bullshit media "blitz" by the DCCC. I groused about this one yesterday, complaining that the size of the buy was sure to be "quite small," but I had no idea that it would be this comically small: The total purchase was just $6,000 across twenty-five districts, with just $40 (yes, $40!) spent against Larry Buchson in IN-08. Of course, it was the NRCC which provided this info to Catanese, which I'm not sure is such a smart move, since they play this stupid game, too. But my bigger concern is whether local reporters who wrote about these ads will be insulted by the joke dollar values and ignore the D-Trip in the future. I sure as hell would.
• Colorado: After instantly descending into a whole bunch of acrimony (mostly, it seemed to me, from the GOP side) after the first batch of maps were produced, both parties agreed to go back to the drawing board and start with a clean slate. Republicans sound a lot more excited about the prospect than Dems, but we'll see if this actually produces any kind of agreement... or if a stalemate eventually leads to court-drawn maps.
• Pennsylvania: No surprise here: The Republican majority on the PA Supreme Court picked a Republican superior court judge to serve as a tiebreaker on the panel which will re-draw Pennsylvania's state legislative maps. This is a direct consequence of a shameful loss of an open Dem-held seat on the court in 2009.
• Texas: A new plan for the Texas state House passed a House committee yesterday. The map increases the number of Latino districts from 28 to 30, but Democrats seem convinced that there are serious VRA issues with it.
Jim Rogers (D): 22
Tom Coburn (R-inc): 62
Other results here find the GOP leading for all statewide offices: 40-28 for LG, 50-30 for Attorney General, 41-35 for Insurance Commissioner, 45-31 for Treasurer, 35-32 for State Superintendent, 44-33 for Labor Commissioner, and 41-35 for Auditor/Inspector. Dems had held most of these offices, if you'll recall.
OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA for KATU-TV (10/12-14, likely voters, 9/12-14 in parens):
John Kitzhaber (D): 46 (43)
Chris Dudley (R): 45 (49)
Greg Kord (C): 4 (3)
Wes Wagner (L): 3 (2)
Ron Wyden (D-inc): 56 (54)
Jim Huffman (R): 34 (38)
Bruce Cronk (WF): 2 (3)
Marc Delphine (L): 2 (1)
Rick Staggenborg (P): 2 (0)
PA-Gov: Magellan (10/10, likely voters, 9/21 in parens):
Dan Onorato (D): 38 (38)
Tom Corbett (R): 48 (50)
VT-Sen, VT-Gov, VT-AL: Mason-Dixon for Vermont Public Radio (10/11-13, registered voters):
Patrick Leahy (D-inc): 62
Len Britton (R): 27
Peter Shumlin (D): 43
Brian Dubie (R): 44
Peter Welch (D): 61
Paul Beaudry (R): 25
AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln refuses to say whether she'd want Barack Obama to campaign with her - and for once, I can't blame her for being wishy-washy. She still managed to get in a dig at "the far left" in an interview with The Hill, which should really help her consolidate the base if she wins the primary. And graciously, she said that she wouldn't run as an independent if she were to lose the primary - which is good to know, since she only filed as a Dem. Meanwhile, the SEIU just threw down another $330K on TV ads and phonebanking to support Bill Halter.
DE-Sen: A good get for the Democrat: The Delaware State Education Association, a big teacher's union, has switched their endorsement from GOPer Mike Castle to Chris Coons. Though the DSEA has supported Castle in the past, they cited unhappiness over his votes against the stimulus (which had a lot of education money) and healthcare reform. Meanwhile, Castle secured his party's nomination with 70% of the vote at the GOP convention, but teabagger Christine O'Donnell pledged to fight on through the primary.
IN-Sen: Not that anyone expected otherwise, but Dem Rep. Brad Ellsworth was officially nominated by the state party, over joke candidate Bob Kern.
KY-Sen: A shadowy 527 organized by Lexington, Ky. "media specialist" Tim Isaac is running ads linking Rand Paul to absolutely batshit fucking insane radio host Alex Jones. (Paul appeared on the show a few times and kissed Jones's ass.) Probably too little, too late - and in this case, Isaac's refusal to announce the size of the buy is pretty glaring, since it seems like a blatant attempt to play local media. On the flipside, Paul said on Friday that he's pulling his attack ads from the air - which, given how little time there is before election day, again seems like a way to gin up some press coverage. I guess that's politics.
PA-Sen: An ugly late hit from Arlen Specter, which he prays doesn't make it back east: He's running web ads attacking Joe Sestak for his "F" rating from the NRA. Sestak doesn't have much time to raise hell about this, but this is obviously not a winning issue for Specter in Philly. Anyhow, Tuesday should be a barn-burner, with Specter and Sestak now tied at 44 apiece (with 11% undecided) in Muhlenberg's final tracking poll. (Kudos to Muhlenberg, btw, for what turned out to be a genius marketing move in providing this tracker.)
UT-Sen: Game on? Orrin Hatch is vowing to run for re-election in 2012, when, as the world is engulfed in flames foretold by a Mayan end-times prophecy, he'll be a spry 78. Will Jason Chaffetz seize the day, or let opportunity pass him by a second time? I also have to wonder if nervous incumbents will try to change the law regarding convention nominations before the next cycle rolls around, lest they become Bob Bennett Vol. II.
AL-Gov: Ron Sparks, as expected, just scored the endorsement of the Alabama Democratic Conference, the state's old black political organization. This means that he, and not African American primary opponent Artur Davis, has secured the backing of all four of Alabama's major black political groups. Pushing back against this unusual narrative, Davis announced endorsements from two fellow members of Congress: Jesse Jackson, Jr. and John Lewis, neither of whom represent Alabama (though Lewis was born there). Not sure this really helps Davis's "D.C." image.
CA-Gov: Steve Poizner, who has been making late headway in the polls, is finally airing some broadcast TV ads in the Bay Area, painting Meg Whitman as an apostate to the conservative movement. If I were a mouth-breather, I'd vote for him. As ever, no word on the size of the buy, but given how rich Poizner is, I'd guess it's substantial.
FL-Gov: Lawton Chiles III, son of the late governor of the same name, apparently wants to challenge Alex Sink in the gubernatorial primary this year, according to people close to him. The filing deadline for state races is not until June 18th, though even if he gets in right now, Chiles would have a major financial gap to make up with Sink. Maybe the young he-coon thinks he got some walk in him?
NV-Gov: Man, this is just an absolutely brutal profile of GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons, who regularly disappeared Mark Sanford-like during the meltdown of 2008, when his state needed leadership most. Just read it.
AL-07: EMILY's List made a small independent expenditure (sub-$30K) for mailers and phonebanking on behalf of Terri Sewell. Someone from EMILY really needs to explain why they endorsed Wall Street attorney Sewell over the well-known progressive (and equally pro-choice) Shelia Smoot.
CA-19: God bless KFSN-TV! Without them, we wouldn't have yet another poll of the fascinating CA-19 primaries. Even the pollster notes: "Compared to identical SurveyUSA polls released one and two months ago, the contest is unchanged." I guess the good news is that Dick Pombo looks slated to lose.
DE-AL: As expected, wealthy heiress Michele Rollins won the GOP's nomination for Delaware's at-large House seat, though it took her two rounds of balloting at the state convention. However, opponent Glen Urquhart has pledged to stay in through the primary.
FL-22: Your liberal media: A local TV reporter, Angela Sachitano, has been covering the FL-22 race for WPTV... and has also been serving as an informal media advisor to whacked-out Republican Allen West. Her employer, of course, is saying there's no harm done, and that they've taken unspecified "appropriate action." Typical liberals!
HI-01: Sue Lowden would be proud: Charles Djou is busy spending time with his chickens, so he can count them before they hatch. Said Djou to Sean Miller of The Hill: "This election is pretty much over." Djou was later seen hanging out with a bunch of lazy grasshoppers who were scoffing at hard-working ants preparing for winter. You've also got to wonder why he's spending $88K on TV ads attacking (for the first time) Ed Case if this thing is "over."
ID-01: Hoo boy this is good! Republican Vaughn Ward, the supposed establishment favorite in the race, has fired his campaign manager just a week-and-a-half before the primary. (Though CQ's Greg Giroux tweets that Ward is now supposedly saying his CM quit.) Read the Politico's piece for a full account Ward's long string of failures - it's like he's been touched by the ghost of Bill Sali.
Still, Ward might yet win. An independent poll last week from Greg Smith & Associates showed Ward leading Raul Labrador in the primary, 34-16, but with 50% undecided. The general election numbers (PDF) are really weird, though - Smith tested Rep. Walt Minnick "jungle-style" against both Labrador and Ward together. Yeah, Idaho doesn't do their elections that way, so I don't get the choice, but in any event, Minnick was at 50% with both Republicans combining for 20%.
MA-05: Rep. Niki Tsongas, in a diary on Blue Mass Group, says that her quote in the NYT last week has been "misinterpreted" and that she "will always welcome President Obama to Massachusetts and the Fifth District." Good.
PA-06: Doug Pike sure must enjoy being in the apology business. For the zillionth time this campaign, he's had to walk something back. In this case, it's a misleading mailer he sent out claiming he'd been awarded a "100% pro-choice rating" by NARAL. Not so fast, says the group - we haven't endorsed anyone in this race. Egg, face, repeat.
PA-12: A Pittsburgh TV station yanked a Democratic ad attacking Tim Burns for supporting a national sales tax instead of income taxes. A conservative victory over rascally Dems? Not quite - the station, WPGH, is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, who you might remember from 2004, when they forced their member stations to air a "documentary" swiftboating John Kerry just two weeks before election day.
SC-02: A sign of life from Dem Rob Miller's otherwise somnolent campaign? Miller has a poll out from Anzalone-Liszt showing Rep. Joe Wilson up 49-34. That might not seem like much to brag about, but Miller's making hay of the fact that he only has 34% name ID, and says that Wilson's incumbency is hurting him.
VT-AL: Retired 71-year-old businessman John Mitchell says he's joining the GOP field to take on Rep. Peter Welch. He joins conservative radio show host Paul Beaudry and businessman Keith Stern. It looks like none of these Republicans have yet raised a dime.
British Elections: I don't know about you, but the political spectrum across the pond always felt like Anarchy in the UK to me. Fortunately, SSP's EnglishLefty surfs to the rescue with a detailed explanation of the fault lines between the Labour Party (which just got turfed) and the Liberal Democrats (who've joined a coalition with the Tories). The ensuing comments are enlightening as well.
• CT-Sen: Could the GOP field for the Connecticut Senate primary actually grow to six? We all know about ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, ex-Ambassador Tom Foley, and Paulist economist Peter Schiff. But now two others are interested: businessman Jack Orchuli, who lost big-time to Chris Dodd in 2004, and businesswoman Linda McMahon. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, that's because she's the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and wife of Vince McMahon. (Well, if Jesse Ventura can become Governor, I suppose anything's possible.) Opposition researchers will have a field day with her track record, no doubt starting with her patently unfair treatment of Triple H at WrestleMania 2000.
• IL-Gov: Comptroller Dan Hynes, who recently decided to run against Governor Pat Quinn in the Dem primary after AG Lisa Madigan declined, picked up an endorsement that may help with the 80-and-older set: former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III (who served in the Senate from 1970-1981, and is son of the unsuccessful presidential candidate and archetypal egghead). The endorsement was published at the Huffington Post -- where I can't imagine there are too many readers who remember Stevenson.
• NJ-Gov: Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner finds that Jon Corzine is starting to move back within the margin of error in New Jersey against Chris Christie. In a 3-way matchup including centrist independent Chris Daggett, Christie leads Corzine 40-35-10, while in a 2-way, Christie leads Corzine 43-37. It seems like some headway is finally being made on driving up Christie's negatives, with his favorability at 32/31. With the recent Rove linkage reminding people that Christie is, in fact, a Republican, this trend may be poised to continue.
• NY-23: With everyone wondering "who the heck is Bill Owens?" here's a link to the first mailer he's sending out to voters in the 23rd, which focuses on job creation and his non-politician credentials.
• OH-18: Rep. Zack Space may avoid a challenge with his potentially most challenging GOP foe: state Sen. Jimmy Stewart, who says he "does not expect to run." (That's too bad that Stewart won't be going to Washington; I was really looking forward to hearing all those letters from Boy Scouts read on the House floor.) Former magistrate judge Jeanette Moll, who lost the 2008 GOP primary, is already seeking the GOP nod for 2010.
• PA-06, PA-07: 2008 candidate Bob Roggio, after sounding vaguely interested, today tells Pa2010 that he won't run in the open seat race for the 6th after all. Next door in the 7th, businessman Peter Welch sounds like he's staying in the GOP primary, even if ex-US Attorney and recent gubernatorial race dropout Pat Meehan gets in.
• SC-03: Republican state Rep. Rex Rice continues to build up momentum to take over for retiring Rep. Gresham Barrett. One of his primary rivals, state Rep. Michael Thompson withdrew from the race and endorsed Rice.
• TN-09: Is Willie Herenton crazy like a fox, or just plain crazy? He's resigning from his position as Memphis mayor to run for the House in the Democratic primary against Rep. Steve Cohen, but now he's picked up the paperwork to run in the special mayoral election, necessitated by his resignation, in order to succeed himself. He says he's still running for the House, but apparently needs to continue being Mayor to prevent Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery from screwing things up. (He already has several previous instances of trying to resign from office and then changing his mind.)
there's not much to this diary, just that the democratic congressman from vermont,peter welch, also won the republican nomination as a write-in. this is a ha-ha moment aimed at vt repubs and repubs in general. ha ha!