• IN-Sen: Wow, for a late-70-something, Dick Lugar's got a major pair of huevos. He keeps on giving the tea partiers the middle finger despite the great likelihood of a primary challenge, and maybe took that up a notch yesterday, calling the movement out for offering only "cliché" and not being able to "articulate the specifics."
• MI-Sen: You'd expect a poll from Republican pollster Wilson Research to offer worse news for Debbie Stabenow than PPP would, but that's not the case, as they find wider margins against Peter Hoekstra and Terry Lynn Land. Not that Stabenow should be popping the champagne corks yet, as she's still in the proverbial danger zone; she beats Hoekstra 47-41 (whom she led by only 1, in PPP's December poll) and beats Land 46-41. She also sports a definite re-elect of 33%, compared with a "consider someone else" of 36% and 23% definitely "vote against."
• NV-Sen: Well, this is a vague tea leaf that Sharron Angle might be too busy to run for Senate in 2012 as some have speculated; instead, she might be too busy running for President, if her strange visit to Iowa is any indication.
• UT-Sen: This is a striking piece of news, considering that the Tea Party Express attacked pretty much every Republican to the left of Jim DeMint in 2010 and seemed to be gearing up for another round in 2012 (with rumors that he was looking into a primary challenge to John Barrasso!). But today TPX's head, Sal Russo, said that Orrin Hatch, one of the big three teabagger targets among GOP incumbents up in 2012, won't be a TPX target. He even went so far as to call Hatch "an original tea partier." Gotta wonder what Russo's angle is here. This comes only shortly after John Cornyn basically said that Hatch was on his own in the primary, that the NRSC wouldn't be getting involved on his behalf.
• AL-Gov: "Sir" Charles Barkley has been threatening to run for Alabama Governor for seemingly ages, but it seems like the dream has finally died. He says he's no longer considering it, saying politics is "a bad business right now." Also, speaking of Alabama, it looks like 2010 gubernatorial loser Ron Sparks has quickly landed on his feet, picking up a job in the administration of the man who defeated him, new Gov. Robert Bentley. Sparks will be the first head of the newly-created Alabama Rural Development Office.
• IN-Gov: Today was supposed to be the big decision day for Mike Pence, but we really wound up only getting half a decision (although the other half looks pretty clear, by implication). He said that he won't be running for President, and that his "heart is in Indiana." That seems a pretty clear suggestion that he'll be running for Governor instead, but he stopped well short of actually saying that today, simply saying he'll decide "later this year" what to do next.
• CT-05: Here's some more movement in the GOP field in what's the earliest-developing open seat race of 2012. Justin Bernier, who narrowly lost the three-way primary in 2010 (and who'd started in pole position until Sam Caligiuri dropped down from the Senate race), makes it official, saying he's going to run again. Also, state Sen. Andrew Roraback is talking himself up for the race; he's loudly touting his moderate credentials, even citing Mike Castle as a legislative role model.
• PA-St. House: It looks like the Pennsylvania state House didn't quite get the memo on civility that was passed around a few weeks ago. Video of the House floor meltdown is available at the link, although as far as legislative riots go, they still have a long way to go before they can rival the Taiwanese.
• AL-Gov (Univ. of S. Alabama): Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 48%
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Suffolk): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: Kamala Harris leads Steve Cooley 35-34 in the AG race, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 55-40)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (SurveyUSA for KABC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 40%; Jerry Brown (D) 46%, Meg Whitman (R) 38%
(Bonus: Gavin Newsom leads Abel Maldonado 42-34 for LG, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 46-44)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (PPP): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 45-48)
• CA-20 (SurveyUSA for KFSN): Jim Costa (D-inc) 42%, Andy Vidak (R) 52%
(note: this poll population is 37% Hispanic, compared with 67% in reality) (also, the DCCC responded with a poll giving Costa a 47-41 lead, although they neglected to leak the pollster's name) (UPDATE: The pollster is Bennet Petts & Normington, with the sample over the same 10/21-24 period as SurveyUSA)
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov (Quinnipiac): Richard Blumenthal (D) 54% (54), Linda McMahon (R) 42% (43); Dan Malloy (D) 48% (49), Tom Foley (R) 43% (42)
• FL-08 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alan Grayson (D-inc) 41% (36), Daniel Webster (R) 48% (43), Peg Dunmire (T) 4%
• GA-Gov (InsiderAdvantage): Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 47%, John Monds (L) 5%
• ID-Gov, ID-Sen, ID-01, ID-02 (Mason-Dixon for Idaho newspapers): Keith Allred (D) 30%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%; Tom Sullivan (D) 20%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%; Walt Minnick (D-inc) 44%, Raul Labrador (R) 41%; Mike Crawford (D) 17%, Mike Simpson (R-inc) 67%
• IA-Gov (Global Strategy Group for Chet Culver): Chet Culver (D-inc) 40%, Terry Branstad (R) 46%
• IL-Gov (MarketShares for Chicago Tribune): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39% (39), Bill Brady (R) 43% (38), Scott Lee Cohen (I) 5%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%, Lex Green (L) 2%
• IL-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt for DSCC): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 38%, Mark Kirk (R) 36%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%, Mike Labno (L) 4%
• KY-Sen (PPP): Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
• KY-03 (RiverCity for Todd Lally): John Yarmuth (D-inc) 41%, Todd Lally (R) 37% (note: n = only 239, yet they claim MoE of 4.5%)
• LA-02 (Anzalone-Liszt): Cedric Richmond (D) 49%, Joe Cao (R-inc) 32%
• NY-20 (Siena): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42% (54), Chris Gibson (R) 51% (37)
(The Murphy camp leaked an internal from Global Strategy Group today, although only saying a 3-point lead without specific toplines)
• OH-Gov, OH-Sen (Quinnipiac): Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43% (41), John Kasich (R) 49% (51); Lee Fisher (D) 36% (34), Rob Portman (R) 53% (55)
• OH-Sen (Wilson Research, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Lee Fisher (D) 38%, Rob Portman (R) 49%
• OH-Sen (Univ. of Cincinnati for Ohio newspapers): Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman 58%
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Ipsos for Reuters): Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%; Dan Onorato (D) 43%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
(Sestak leads 46-42 among RVs, and even Onorato leads 46-43 among RVs)
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Muhlenberg): Joe Sestak (D) 40% (42), Pat Toomey (R) 48% (47); Dan Onorato (D) 39% (41), Tom Corbett (R) 50% (49)
• PA-08 (POS for Mike Fitzpatrick): Patrick Murphy (D-inc) 40%, Mike Fitzpatrick (R) 50%
• PA-10 (Lycoming): Chris Carney (D-inc) 45%, Tom Marino (R) 39%
• SD-Gov (Neilson Brothers): Scott Heidepriem (D) 40%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 43%
• VA-09 (SurveyUSA for WDBJ): Rick Boucher (D-inc) 46%, Morgan Griffith (R) 47%
• WI-Gov (Mellman Group, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
CT-Sen: It feels as thought we've been partying like it's 1994 in more ways that one this cycle. One major throwback has been Republicans who can't control teh crazy and insist, Newt Gingrich-style, on calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. In fact, Linda McMahon did `em one better, telling some teabaggers that she would also consider getting rid of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't understand whatever cultural bug Republicans have up their ass about the Dept. of Education, but suffice it to say that when you say you want to get rid of it, it sounds like you want to cut education funding, period. So please, keep saying that.
DE-Sen: A GOP source tells Politico that Mike Castle is fielding a poll to test his chances as a write-in. Castle has until Sept. 30th to file a statement with the elections board, something a spokesman said is an "under 5%" chance.
AL-Gov: We've seen all kinds of unexpected touting of seemingly sucky internal polls this cycle, but this may be one of the roughest. Dem Ron Sparks is saying that a poll by Capital Survey Research Center showing him down 52-39 to Republican Robert Bentley is "good news," because a July survey had Sparks behind by 22. (Technically this isn't an internal, but rather was produced by Dem-allied teachers union Alabama Education Association.)
FL-22: Allen West is out with what the Palm Beach Post is terming a "brushfire" poll (n=300) from Wilson Research Strategies that has him up 48-42 over Ron Klein. A recent Klein internal had almost opposite numbers, 48-40 for the Dem.
NC-04: This is a couple of weeks old, but repeat Republican candidate B.J. Lawson claims to have an internal poll from robopollster Action Solutions, purporting to show him up 47-46 over Rep. David Price. But, cautions Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report: "This isn't your standard polling outfit. This is an outfit that most in Washington would not consider reputable." Lawson only has $50K on hand (though Price only has $300K), and got crushed last time out, 63-37. His fundraising also seems to be off from his 2008 pace, when he took in half a million (he's raised just $150K this cycle).
RI-01: Dem David Cicilline is out with a comforting poll from the Feldman Group, showing him up 53-38 over Republican John Loughlin.
VA-05: I'm almost getting tired of keeping track of these, but anyhow... the NRA is expected to endorse Dem Tom Perriello.
NY-AG: A couple of pollsters also took a look at the AG's race in their recent New York polling packages. Quinnipiac, unsurprisingly, finds a close race: Dem Eric Schneiderman is at 37 while Republican Dan Donovan is at 36. Siena (PDF) paints a somewhat different picture, showing Schneiderman up 45-32 over Donovan. Both men have very low name rec in both polls, and the both hold voters of their own parties equally well. Donovan has small leads among independents in both surveys.
• 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%
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist has to be feeling good about having limited this damage: few major Republican donors have switched over from Crist to Marco Rubio, after his switch to an independent campaign. Only five of Crist's donors who gave more than $200 pre-switch have given similar amounts to Rubio since then, totalling only $6,340.
• LA-Sen: Clarus Research, on behalf of local TV station WWL, finds a somewhat closer Senate race in Louisiana than other pollster have; they see David Vitter leading Charlie Melancon 48-36 (with Vitter sporting a 51/37 approval). Vitter's also in solid shape in his primary (suggesting that Chet Traylor internal was pretty thoroughly ginned-up with "informed ballot" questions); Vitter leads Traylor 74-5, with 3 for Nick Accardo.
• MO-Sen: The Missouri Senate race, not the recipient of much national attention until just recently, is now at the epicenter of ad spending. The DSCC is plowing $4 million into ads here (along with $1.3 million in KY-Sen), while Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads is also launching a new ad in Missouri, as well as one in NV-Sen. The combined buy is for $2 million (no word on how it breaks down between the states); maybe not coincidentally, Crossroads raised $2 million in July, almost all of which came from exactly two donors (prominent conservative donors Harold Simmons and Jerry Perenchio).
• WA-Sen: Maybe that usual calculus of adding Dino Rossi and Clint Didier votes in the primary to see if they add up to the Patty Murray votes shouldn't apply... Didier just held a press conference today to announce that he's not endorsing Rossi (at least not yet). He said he'd back Rossi if he promised to pledge to support no new taxes, sponsor an anti-abortion bill, and... get this... never vote for anything that would "increase the federal budget." We'll have to see if Rossi even bothers dignifying that with a response.
• WV-Sen, WV-Gov: A new "MindField Poll" (yes, that's what they call it) by local pollster R.L. Repass finds an unsurprisingly large lead for Gov. Joe Manchin in the Senate special election; he leads GOPer John Raese 54-32, and is sitting on a 65% approval. They also look at the gubernatorial election in 2012 in the post-Manchin world, and find GOP Rep. Shelly Capito in the best shape. She beats all Democrats mentioned: Senate President (and Governor, if Manchin quits) Earl Ray Tomblin (43-29), state House Speaker Rick Thompson (44-29), Treasurer John Perdue (44-32), and SoS Natalie Tennant (40-37). Former Republican SoS Betty Ireland was also polled, but loses to all the Democrats (by margins as large as 44-24 to Tennant).
• CO-Gov: On what seems like a quest to be the first ever major party candidate to get 0% in a gubernatorial race, Dan Maes is busy pissing off his one remaining clutch of supporters, the teabaggers, with his choice of the somewhat centrist Tambor Williams as his running mate. She was a supporter of anti-TABOR Referenda C and D, but more aggravating to Maes backers is that although she says she's anti-abortion, she's taken some notably pro-choice votes in the leigslature. Maes hasn't lost any major endorsers over it, but is running damage control on the right.
• IL-Gov: It seems like Pat Quinn may be racing Maes to the bottom, in terms of campaign woes. He and his media team -- David Axelrod's former firm, AKPD -- parted ways, seemingly at Quinn's decision. AKPD doesn't seem to sad to be heading out the door; their terse statement about the parting of ways was, "We and the Quinn campaign agreed that our divergent approaches to disciplined, professional communications are incompatible. We wish Pat well."
• FL-08: Daniel Webster is getting some last minute help on the stump in the closing days of the Florida primary campaign. Mike Huckabee (who endorsed Webster a long whiel ago) will appear with him this weekend.
• FL-22: Here's a hilarious little piece on Allen West's attempts to surround and conquer his district, rather than actually do anything in it: he just opened his new campaign office in West Palm Beach... in FL-23. He recently also held a town hall in FL-19, and perhaps most significantly, lives in Plantation, in FL-20. (It is worth noting the 22nd is one convoluted-looking district.)
• Mayors: That vaunted "anti-incumbent" year hasn't panned out much in the primaries, but there is one other race coming up soon that looks like it's on track for a loss by an incumbent. A new Clarus poll of the Washington, DC mayoral race finds Vincent Gray leading incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty, 39-36, in the Democratic primary.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 34%, Robert Bentley (R) 58%
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 27%, John Boozman (R) 65%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 38%, John Robitaille (R) 20%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 32%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 40%, Victor Moffitt (R) 17%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 33%
• WY-Gov: Leslie Petersen (D) 24%, Matt Mead (R) 58%
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck twisted himself into a knot that's unlikely to satisfy anyone. After it came out that, about a year ago, he'd announced his support for the repeal of the 17th Amendment (which allows for direct election of Senators, and should alarm any non-teabagger), on Friday he clarified that, no, he's changed his mind and supports the 17th now (which should piss off any teabagger). While several House GOP candidates have touted the idea, Buck is the first Senate candidate to discuss why it's a good idea for people to vote for him so he can go to Washington and take away their right to vote... for him.
• FL-Sen: There's one more Florida poll to add to the growing pile; it's only of the Democratic Senate primary, though, and it's from Republican pollster Susquehanna on behalf of online media outlet Sunshine State News. They join in the chorus seeing Kendrick Meek pulling away from Jeff Greene, 45-30.
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's getting some support from an unexpected place: Michael Bloomberg, the loudly post-partisan New York mayor. Bloomberg, who'll stump on Sestak's behalf in Pennsylvania tomorrow, seems to like Sestak's efforts on better lending for small businesses. Another bright spot for Sestak: Green Party candidate Mel Packer is dropping out of the Senate race, not seeming able to withstand the pending court challenge to his petitions from the Sestak camp.
• AL-Gov: With friends like Artur Davis, who needs enemies? The ostensibly Democratic Rep., who seems to have gotten consumed with bile after his surprising yet thorough loss to Ron Sparks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, published an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser yesterday titled "A lack of vision" that said that Sparks is "no champion of real change." The key quote: "In a break with tradition, I did not attend that [unity] event and will not be campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee." But really: read the whole thing, especially if you still had any shreds of respect left for Davis.
• CA-Gov: You know that saying about how if you want to experience the sense of yachting, just go stand in the shower with your clothes on and keep continuously flushing money down the toilet? I wonder if Meg Whitman is starting to get that sense about her own campaign and its nine figures worth of out-of-pocket sunk costs. She just wrote herself another $13 million check, saying that she had to throw down more because of the nerve of those unions and their insistence on using independent expenditures.
• IA-Gov: You might remember the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse, a former Des Moines school board member and alternative newspaper publisher who'd made some motions about challenging Chet Culver in the Dem primary. Well, now he's back, and he's planning to mount an independent bid instead. He claims to have enough signatures to qualify, and despite his ostensibly left-of-center orientation claims to be getting a lot of interest from disgruntled Bob Vander Plaats supporters looking for an option to Terry Branstad.
• LA-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Bobby Jindal confirmed that he'll be running for re-election for Governor in 2011. That makes a 2012 presidential run seem less likely, given the quick turnaround, but he's young enough that he needn't hurry.
• MS-01: Travis Childers is out with his second ad in as many weeks, this one a negative spot against Alan Nunnelee (although self-narrated by Childers, rather than using the usual grainy black-and-white photos and angry-sounding voice of doom like most negative ads). Childers hits Nunnelee for raising various taxes while in the state legislature.
• NH-01: Frank Guinta, the presumed frontrunner in the GOP primary for the right to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has some good news and bad news. The good news: he seems to have discovered an extra bank account in his name that had somewhere between $250K and $500K in it, which hadn't been on previous disclosure forms because of "an inadvertent oversight." The bad news: now he has to explain where all that money came from, which isn't exactly clear, as Guinta has partially self-funded his run but also done a lot of outside fundraising. This looks serious enough that ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley is calling for Guinta to drop out if he can't provide a credible explanation (although it should be noted that, although Bradley hasn't officially endorsed, he was already informally backing GOP primary rival Sean Mahoney).
• NY-06, NY-13: The New York AFL-CIO endorsed all but four New York House incumbents over the weekend: the two Republicans, naturally, but also Reps. Mike McMahon and... Greg Meeks? Turns out they've had a beef with Meeks (who's a bit of a mismatch with his dark-blue district) for a while, going back to his CAFTA vote. So this means they did endorse Mike Arcuri in NY-24, despite his HCR vote and subsequent antipathy from the Working Families Party.
• Ohio: We Ask America, an auto-dialing pollster with Republican connections that occasionally pops up with flurries of polls, rolled out three polls of different House races in Ohio last week. They add one more poll to the heap of doom for Rep. Steve Driehaus in OH-01, finding him losing to ex-Rep. Steve Chabot 51-39. They also find Paula Brooks unlikely to prevail in her right-candidate-wrong-year challenge to GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi in OH-12; she trails 51-34. Perhaps most interesting is OH-15, which I believe is the first poll released of this race, which many Dems have mentally written off already. While they have freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trailing, it's not that bad, in comeback-able range with a 46-41 lead for GOP rematch candidate Steve Stivers.
• Stumping: Barack Obama is making a three-state road swing over the next few days, appearing on behalf of three vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer in California, and Patty Murray in Washington. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is making three appearances around Florida today on behalf of Hillary-endorsing Kendrick Meek in his Senate primary.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 48%, Tom Foley (R) 33%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 41%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 55%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 30%, Paul LePage (R) 38%, Eliot Cutler (I) 16%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 69%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 44%, Rick Berg (R) 53%
• NH-Sen, NH-Gov (pdf): As PPP's Tom Jensen hinted yesterday, Kelly Ayotte may have lost some ground in the general election, but isn't suffering in the GOP primary. Ayotte has a 53/23 favorable among GOPers, and they also say that by a 38/28 margin, a Sarah Palin endorsement makes it more likely that they'd vote for the endorsee. Ayotte is polling at 47%, with Bill Binnie at 14, Ovide Lamontagne at 8, Jim Bender at 6, and a handful of Some Dudes in low single-digits. (Lamontagne's personal unpopularity seems to be keeping him from catching fire among the right wing; he's at 23/31.) They also looked at the gubernatorial primary, where establishment frontrunner John Stephen hasn't quite sealed the deal against teabagging businessman Jack Kimball and social conservative activist Karen Testerman. Stephen leads Kimball and Testerman 26-15-5.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Quinnipiac offers up polls of the major races in New York state today, and, try as they may, they just can't find anything interesting going on here, any more so than any other pollster. The main point of interest may be the GOP primaries; they find Rick Lazio leading Carl Paladino 39-23 in the gubernatorial primary, and Bruce Blakeman leading David Malpass 19-12 in the Senate primary (although Joe DioGuardi, who has submitted his petitions, really should be polled in that race too). In the general, they find Kirsten Gillibrand beating Blakeman 48-27 and Malpass 49-24. Andrew Cuomo defeats Lazio 56-26 and Paladino 55-25.
• WA-Sen: Having been on the receiving end of one of Fred Davis's abstract-expressionist attack ads, Patty Murray's out with her own first second TV spot of the election cycle, one that's relentlessly job-o-centric and focuses on her close links to the region's largest employer: Boeing. It's a panorama of Boeing workers thanking her for saving their jobs.
• FL-Gov: Bill McCollum's trailing in the polls of the GOP primary, but he got a boost from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which is endorsing him. The Chamber also gave the cash-starved McCollum a $500K transfusion, although it went to McCollum-supporting 527 Florida First Initiative rather than directly to McCollum.
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal got two presents, one good, one very bad. He got the endorsement for the runoff from fellow House member Jack Kingston, who had previously endorsed fellow Savannah resident Eric Johnson in the GOP primary. However, he also got news that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas of Georgia's Revenue Commissioner, in its investigation of whether Deal personally intervened with him to protect a state auto inspection program that was particularly beneficial to the Deal family's auto salvage business. At least Deal isn't lagging on the fundraising front; both he and rival Karen Handel have raised about $500K each in the week since the primary.
• MI-Gov: Rumors keep on resurfacing regarding Republican AG Mike Cox's presence at an out-of-control mayoral mansion party hosted by now-disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and they're back in the news again, inconveniently timed for him with the primary next week. An eyewitness has just signed an affidavit placing the religious-right Cox at the stripper-laden party. Meanwhile, Rick Snyder, who's actively trying to court Dems and indies to cross over to the GOP primary to vote for him, has rolled out an endorsement from a highly respected but long-ago GOP governor: William Milliken.
• MN-Gov: Alliance for a Better Minnesota is out with a new TV ad that's hitting Republican nominee Tom Emmer on one of his weakest spots (of which it turns out he has many). It criticizes him for voting to weaken drunk driving laws, and oh, just happening to point out that Emmer himself has twice been convicted of drunk driving. (The Alliance name is a little oblique, probably intentionally so, but they're a labor-backed 501(c)(4).)
• CO-04: Could Scott McInnis's implosion and Tom Tancredo's gubernatorial run actually help Democratic fortunes downballot, especially in the hotly-contested 4th? That's what Politico is wondering, with a piece looking at how reduced GOP turnout and/or increased interest in Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden might ultimately benefit Democratic freshman Rep. Betsy Markey.
• NH-02: If there's one competitive Democratic primary left where there's a pretty clear ideological contrast, it's in the 2nd. While Ann McLane Kuster is a netroots fave, Katrina Swett is on record as having supported the Bush-era tax cuts in 2002 (the decision of whether or not to extend said cuts is about to become an issue in Congress). Swett says she's being misrepresented, to the extent that only supported the middle-class parts of the tax cuts, although she didn't clarify whether or not she would have voted for the whole shebang.
• PA-06: Buried in a story about how Rep. Jim Gerlach has actually been giving money to the NRCC (to the tune of $44K just now, for a total of $100K all cycle) is news of an internal poll from a few weeks ago, which suggests he's not in the sort of imminent danger that would require him to horde cash. He's pointing to a Wilson Research poll from mid-July that gives him a 54-29 lead over Dem nominee Manan Trivedi.
• MI-Legislature: One state where we aren't hurting for details on the state of the state legislatures, thanks to Michigan Liberal's pbratt, is Michigan. He's out with pre-primary filing fundraising databases for both the Senate (Republican-controlled, but one of our best offensive opportunities) and the House (reliably Democratic-controlled).
• Meta: I've always wondered, if this is such an anti-incumbent year, where the losing incumbents actually are. The Fix's Aaron Blake is taking notice of the same thing, as we're on track to have not really any more of an anti-incumbent year than 2008. With really only one more House member who seems on track to lose a primary (Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick), that puts us on track for 4 primary losses for both parties in the House... exactly the same number as 2008. Winning a primary, of course, takes loads of money, and the thing that sets the successful challengers (Mike Oliverio or Mo Brooks, or Joe Sestak at the Senate level) apart from the vast array of the rabble attacking from both left and right is $$. It is worth observing, though, that the average incumbent winning percentage seems to be down this year from last cycle, with many incumbents winning ugly, in the 60-70% range. We'd need to investigate how much that average percentage has changed since 2008, though, before declaring a trend to be underway.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 43%, Mark Kirk (R) 41%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 43%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 47%
If you'd told me back in, say, January, that in late July Rasmussen would be finding Harry Reid winning and John Kitzhaber losing, I wouldn't have even laughed at you, I would have just picked up the phone and called for assistance from men in white suits with big butterfly nets.
IL-Sen: Undoubtedly Alexi Giannoulias wishes this kind of thing happened every week: Barack Obama is coming to town for a fundraiser on August 5th.
PA-Sen: The Philly Inquirer has a good look at Pat Toomey's attempted "moderate" makeover. He's doing a fundraiser with Susan Collins, who was lambasted last year by the Club for Growth - Toomey's old group - as "Comrade of the Month" for her stimulus vote. He's also getting the support of a former Specter chief-of-staff (who "stayed loyal" to his old boss when he became a Dem), and perhaps most famously, came out in favor of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the SCOTUS. The real question is, will this stick? Or will Joe Sestak be able to show Toomey for the ultra-conservative he really is?
WV-Sen: This is unexpected: The West Virginia legislature, called into a special session specifically for the purpose of amending the state's elections laws, recessed yesterday without taking any action. Apparently, the two houses are still ironing out differences. (Remind me why we need bicameral state legislatures?) The Secretary of State's office says that it thinks it has time to hold a special election this fall if a bill passes today, but that timetable may be in doubt if lawmakers tarry any longer. Gov. Joe Manchin could also rely on a state AG opinion and schedule a special even if the lege fails to act - but he might also do nothing, meaning Carte Goodwin could serve past November.
AL-Gov: Artur Davis is determined to be remembered as the Asshole of Alabama. Despite endorsing Ron Sparks in his concession speech, Artur Douchebag spewed a bunch of right-wang talking points about his former opponent - and also went out of his way to praise Republican candidate Robert Bentley. Ooh, ArturD2, I definitely see some phat lobbying jobs in your future - and maybe a seat on a deficit commission some day. Stay douchey!
MN-Gov: GOP nominee Tom Emmer really stepped in some serious shit when he suggested that the minimum wage should be revoked for waiters in Minnesota - and that he had heard of servers making over $100,000 a year. So to make reparations, he held... I guess, not a town hall but a dining hall hall with restaurant workers, who were mostly annoyed by his refusal to get specific. (Said one: "I didn't know of him before this. I know him now. And I don't like him.") But it all came to an abrupt end when activist Nick Espinosa dumped a couple thousand pennies on Emmer's table, barking "Here's your tip!"
NY-01: Stay nasty, boys. Randy Altschuler is sending out mailers attacking rival Chris Cox for his support of Dede Scozzafava and Charlie Crist.
NY State Sen: You may remember Pedro Espada as the "Democrat" who spearheaded last year's attempted coup by Republicans in the state Senate. In addition to being a scumbag under federal investigation, he's also been targeted by the Working Families Party, who say that his defeat in the September primary is their "No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 priority." To that end, they've been aiding Jose Gustavo River, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. On top of that, Bill Samuels, a bigtime Dem donor, is pledging to spend $250K to boot Espada. Let's hope it happens!
• Election Results: No big surprises last night in the Alabama runoffs. Robert Bentley, who'd had the edge in the one public poll shortly before the runoff, beat Bradley Byrne in the gubernatorial GOP runoff, 56-44; he and Ron Sparks are now promising each other a positive, issues-oriented race. (Assortedwonks are trying to figure out today if Bentley, friendly - or at least friendlier - with the AEA, was helped along by Democratic crossover votes... and the answer appears to be no, not really.) In the GOP runoff in AL-02, Mike Barber is sending his gathered armies back home after losing by a 60-40 margin to Martha Roby. In the Dem runoff in AL-07, Terri Sewell beat Shelia Smoot 55-45, and is almost certain to succeed Artur Davis. Finally, the closest race of the night was the GOP Agriculture Commissioner runoff, where Dale Peterson-powered John McMillan sent Dorman Grace back to his chicken farm, 52-48.
• AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov (pdf): A new Rocky Mountain poll from the Behavior Research Center finds [insert usual "good news" joke here]. John McCain leads J.D. Hayworth (seeming DOA after the free-grant-money thing) in the GOP primary 64-19, with 5 for someone named Jim Deakin. They also polled the now-irrelevant gubernatorial primary, finding Jan Brewer at 57, with 12 for Owen Buz Mills and 9 for Dean Martin (both of whom have dropped out since the poll's completion). Matthew Jatte remains in the primary, but he polled at "less than 1%."
• FL-Sen: Here's some good news for Kendrick Meek, who seems to be counting on a last minute Democratic surge: Bill Clinton will be appearing on his behalf in August, to stump for him in August. Dem primary rival Jeff Greene has some less good news: he just lost his campaign manager Josh Morrow. (It's unclear whether he fled, or was pushed.) The St. Petersburg Times has an interesting profile of Greene today, too, that delves below the headline-grabbing superficial weirdnesses.
• KS-Sen: Tancredo sez: get a brain, Moran! (No, I'm never going to get tired of that joke.) The loudmouthed ex-Rep., last seen torpedoing ally Ken Buck, today barged back into the Kansas GOP Senate primary and admitted he had gotten it all wrong. He withdrew his earlier backing for Rep. Jerry Moran and switched over to Rep. Todd Tiahrt instead, saying that Moran had "deceived him" on his apparently inadequate hatred for teh brown people. In other news, did you know there was actually a third guy running in the primary, and he wasn't just Some Dude® but a former state Attorney General? Of course, he was AG from the years 1965 to 1969 Anno Domini, so you could be forgiven for not remembering Robert Londerholm. At any rate, Londerholm dropped out of the race today.
• LA-Sen: Bobby Jindal had previously hedged on his support for David Vitter, showing up at some fundraising events but never actually going so far as to say that he endorsed him. That's going to be more of an issue now that Vitter has some serious primary opposition from Chet Traylor, and Jindal is doubling down on his neutrality, saying he's not focused on the race. At least Vitter continues to have the NRSC in his corner.
• NC-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with another poll in NC-Sen, on behalf of WRAL. Richard Burr continues to have a lead over Elaine Marshall, currently at 46-36, with 6 to Libertarian Mike Beitler. Burr's favorables are 28/27 (with 23 neutral and 22 no opinion), while Marshall is at 25/12 (with 28 neutral and 35 no opinion), so usual caveats at Marshall's room to grow apply. Interestingly, SurveyUSA followed their WA-Sen lead and added a cellphone oversample, which in various permutations had little effect on the toplines.
• NV-Sen: No polling memo to link to, at least not yet, but Jon Ralston calls our attention to a new poll from Dem pollster Fairbanks Maslin on behalf of the Patriot Majority. If it's a quasi-internal, you can probably guess where we're going with this... it actually has Harry Reid in the lead, over Sharron Angle 44-40. Both Reid (45/52) and Angle (40/41) have net-negative favorables, though.
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott lost a court battle (though the war over the Millionaire's Amendment is no doubt not over, though). A federal district court judge denied Scott's request for an injunction against Florida's campaign finance law, which would give a truckload of money to the near-broke Bill McCollum because of Scott's aggressive self-funding.
• MI-Gov: There are two separate polls of the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary floating around today. One is a public poll from Mitchell Research & Communications; it sees a flat-out three-way tie between Mike Cox, Peter Hoekstra, and Rick Snyder, each of them at 18, with Mike Bouchard at 9 and Tom George at 2. Not quite content with that, Bouchard rolled out an internal poll (from McLaughlin & Associates) which, in marked contrast with, well, every other poll, had Bouchard tied for the lead. His poll has him and Hoekstra at 19, with Cox at 16, Snyder at 12, and George at 3. Mitchell also has numbers from the Dem primary, where they find Andy Dillon leading Virg Bernero 35-15.
• RI-Gov: This seems out of the blue, although he had been lagging in fundraising and underperforming in the polls: Democratic AG Patrick Lynch will be dropping out of the gubernatorial primary, effective tomorrow. That leaves state Treasurer Frank Caprio as de facto Dem nominee, sparing him a primary battle with the more liberal Lynch. It's the day before nominating papers are due, so maybe he'll re-up for more AGing. The main question now seems to be positioning for the general election... maybe most notably whether independent ex-GOP ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee finds himself running to the left of the generally moderate Caprio.
• WA-08: Via press release, we have fundraising numbers from Suzan DelBene, who's raising strongly despite little netroots interest so far. She raised $378K last quarter, and is sitting on $1.04 million CoH. She's raised $1.65 million over the cycle.
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 49%, Carly Fiorina (R) 42%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 45%, Roy Blunt (R) 47%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 37%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 49%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 43%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Bill Binnie (R) 49%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 39%, Jim Bender (R) 43%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 36%, Brian Sandoval (R) 57%
Aside from a weird little special primary for the Dems in sleepy OH-03, all eyes tonight are on the runoffs in Alabama. Let's check in on the three big-ticket items tonight (there's also a Dem runoff in the AG's race, and a sadly Dale Peterson-free Republican runoff in the Ag Commissioner's race).
• AL-Gov (R): The GOP gubernatorial runoff between ex-state Sen. Bradley Byrne and state Rep. Robert Bentley is a convoluted one, as Byrne is simultaneously getting squeezed from the left and from the right, by Bentley in both cases. Bentley, who's closely linked to Mike Huckabee's camp, has the social conservative cred, and seems to have consolidated many former Tim James and Roy Moore voters, in opposition to the former Democrat and GOP-establishment-backed Byrne. Byrne, however, has been a tireless foe of the Alabama Education Association, who are much friendlier with Bentley. (As much as this is a duel between two guys trying to out-conservative each other, remember that these are the two comparatively reasonable guys in the field, with serious wackos Moore and James having fallen by the wayside). Both candidates have internal polls giving them the lead, but a sorta-public poll from Baselice gives Bentley the edge. The winner faces Democratic Ag Commissioner Ron Sparks.
• AL-02 (R): Gather your armies! Montgomery city councilwoman Martha Roby, the NRCC-crowned establishment favorite, just barely fell short of an outright primary victory last month, taking 49% to teabagging businessman Rick "The Barber" Barber's 29%. Barber, who has lagged in the fundraising race against Roby, has attempted to gin up interest in his campaign through a series of increasingly absurd "viral" videos. Either candidate will face a tough general election fight against frosh Dem Rep. Bobby Bright, who's leaving little room for his would-be opponent on his right flank. (J)
• AL-07 (D): Wall Street securities lawyer Terri Sewell squares off against Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. Sewell led after the first round, with 37% of the vote to Smoot's 29%. (Earl Hilliard, Jr. took 22% but hasn't endorsed anyone in the runoff.) Sewell has swamped Smoot on the fundraising front, taking in some $1 million to Smoot's $150,000 (thanks at least in part to her befuddling EMILY's List endorsement), and has dominated the airwaves. The campaign has turned negative during the long runoff period, with Smoot accusing Sewell of accepting lots of out-of-state "Republican" money and calling her "Artur Davis in a dress." Meanwhile, Sewell has suggested that Smoot double-dipped on a car allowance from JeffCo. No polls of the runoff have been released, so we'll see whether Sewell's money can carry the day for her, or whether Smoot has effectively tied her opponent to Davis (who performed very badly here - his home district - in the AL-Gov primary against Ron Sparks). (D)
If you have any predictions, please share them in the comments!
Polls close at 7 pm Central time (8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific).