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
AK-Sen: Joe Miller is taking a vow of omertà, insisting that he simply won't answer any more questions about his personal background. He's also taking a page right out of the Sarah Palin playbook, whining that he's been the victim of "journalist impropriety," and making up stories about reporters gaining access to his "confidential file," in "violation of the law." I despairingly think that Miller won't pay the price for this that he ought to - look at Rick Perry, who refuses to meet with newspaper editorial boards, as an example.
Also of note: Miller is trying to unring that Seventeenther bell a bit - but not really. His stance now is that a constitutional amendment to eliminate the direct election of senators is not "practical," but sure sounds like he'd love to do it if he could. What a weirdo.
NV-Sen: Clinton alert! The Big Dog will be in Nevada today to campaign with Harry Reid.
WV-Sen: Clinton alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton was in Morgantown yesterday, campaigning for Joe Manchin. He made a point of saying that the "hick-y" ad "burns me up."
KS-Gov: This creeptastic story is finally getting some play in the Kansas gubernatorial race. Back around 2002 or so, Sam Brownback was roommates in Washington, DC with a radical cleric named Lou Engle. You might remember Engle as the Talibangelist who led a "prayer" rally in Uganda right when the country was debating passage of a bill which would have implemented the death penalty for homosexuals. Though he later tried to distance himself from the measure, at the time, Engle "praised the country's 'courage' and 'righteousness' in promoting the bill. In the past, Engle has also donated to Brownback's campaigns, and Brownback has done events with him as recently as last year. Seemingly caught off-guard by all this, the Brownback campaign had no statement in response.
NY-Gov: When you've lost Rudy Giuliani... His Dingusness attacked fellow Republican Carl Paladino over his anti-gay remarks, calling them "highly offensive" and saying Paladino should apologize. Not really sure what Rudy's angle is here, though.
TN-Gov: Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Haslam poured in another $2.8 million of his own money in the third quarter, for $4.3 mil total. He's also raised a pretty amazing $12.5 million from outside donors, all told; combined, this apparently makes for a new Tennessee record. (Recall that Haslam had a very competitive GOP primary.) Dem Mike McWherter hasn't released 3Q nums yet, but he's raised just a fraction of what Haslam has.
FL-22: Barack Obama did a fundraiser last night at the home of former NBA great Alonzo Mourning (which we mentioned to you back in SSP Amazing Digest #88). The event raised a million bucks, split between the Ron Klein campaign and the DNC. In attendance were Miami Heat players Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade (but not LeBron James), as well as Magic Johnson.
ME-02: Looks like Jason Levesque is going to have to beg his mom for rides to campaign rallies: the Republican just got his license suspended, after three speeding convictions in the past year. Lifetime, he has 18 driving-related convictions (including nine for speeding), and his licenses has been suspended three times.
NV-03: Joe Heck has a serious problem wrapped around his neck like a twenty-pound goiter. It's called Sharron Angle, and he just doesn't know what do with it. When asked directly by a voter whether he planned to vote for his own party's senate nominee, Heck responded: "I'm waiting to see all of the evidence before I make my choice."
NY-01: Biden alert! The VPOTUS is coming to NYC to do a fundraiser for Tim Bishop on Oct. 26th. Seems awfully late in the game to be raising scratch, but I suppose a Biden event is such a sure thing that Bishop can max out the campaign credit cards against the expected take.
OH-09: As he watches his candidacy circle the drain, Rich Iott lashed out at the top-ranking Jewish Republican in the Milky Way, Eric Cantor, who had repudiated him a day earlier:
"I think that Representative Cantor did what so many career politicians do. He reacted before he had all the facts. He didn't know the whole story. He didn't understand what historical reenacting is all about, or the education side of it. And he just made a decision without all the facts. My opponent here is cut out of the same cloth. Those are the people who passed the health care bill before they knew what was in it. The same folks who passed the stimulus bill...."
Because comparing the minority whip to Democrats is a good idea for a Republican candidate with a future, right? Anyhow, for those of you who perhaps wanted to hold out hope that Iott was just some weird LARPer (but I repeat myself), please review this paragraph taken from the website of his fellow Nazi re-enactors:
Nazi Germany had no problem in recruiting the multitudes of volunteers willing to lay down their lives to ensure a "New and Free Europe", free of the threat of Communism. National Socialism was seen by many in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other eastern European and Balkan countries as the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life, despite the true underlying totalitarian (and quite twisted, in most cases) nature of the movement. Regardless, thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.
OR-04: There's no direct quote here, but the Douglas County News-Review reports that Rep. Peter DeFazio "says he favors replacing Pelosi as speaker if Democrats retain their majority." DeFazio has long had an antagonistic relationship with Pelosi, most recently coming to a head with his refusal to vote for the stimulus, allegedly from the left.
OR-05: These Republicans have no respect for Godwin's Law, do they? Speaking of the healthcare reform bill, Scott Bruun said:
"From a social perspective, it's right up there, I would argue - probably the fugitive slave law was worse. But still, the healthcare bill was pretty darn bad."
The Fugitive Slave Act, which "required any runaway slaves who had escaped their bondage and were living free in the Northern states be returned to their owners" - and was one of the causes of the Civil War. Right on!
PA-03, PA-12: Biden alert (retroactive)! The VPOTUS did a fundraiser in Pittsburgh with both Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper and Mark Critz in attendance. The Hill makes a big deal out of the fact that this event didn't take place in Critz's district - but I'm just going to guess that there are a lot more wealthy Dems in the P'burgh area than in the 12th CD.
PA-06: Can an internal ever be too good? Well, you tell me if you believe this Susquehanna survey that Jim Gerlach is touting, which has him up by a massive 61-31 spread. Still, now would be a good time for Manan Trivedi or the DCCC to show us something different.
PA-11: If Paul Kanjorski somehow, improbably, survives once more, he will owe his fortune yet again to the realtors, who have already spent three-quarters of a million on ads on his behalf, after spending a million bucks last time.
Polltopia: Time to help PPP pick their next state to poll.
FL-Gov: In a move we've seen a few times this cycle, Alex Sink is trying out the long-form political ad, this time with a 2-minute spot detailing Rick Scott's Medicare fraud and his attempts to hide from it
WA-08: In her third ad, Suzan DelBene hits Reichert on raising taxes & shipping jobs overseas
AFSCME: Throws down $750K against Republican roofer Reid Ribble (WI-08) and $628K against GOPer Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
NRA: Almost $3 million in senate buys (here & here)
• CA-Gov: Another few weeks go by, and Meg Whitman keeps smashing the barriers on over-the-top self-funding: she's spent $140 million out of pocket over the entire cycle now. Here's the number that's gotta suck for her, though: Jerry Brown, having spent all of $10 million so far this cycle, is sitting on $22 million in reserves for the remaining month, allowing him to compete on perhaps an even financial footing for the last month. Whitman's cash reserves are $9 million, but even if she cuts herself the biggest check of all to re-up, there's only a finite amount of TV time left for her to buy. Truly the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
• NM-Gov: The Diane Denish camp keeps up the onslaught of internal polls showing her behind but within arm's length of Susana Martinez. This time, the poll is from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and gives Martinez a 49-46 lead. That still feels kind of "meh" to me, but there's an interesting kernel in the fine print: Martinez has fallen into net negative favorables for the first time (39/42, down from 42/31 in August), suggesting the ad war is having its effect.
• OH-Gov: I'm going to wait until I start seeing these kind of numbers in public polls before I start getting too optimistic about whether Ted Strickland's comeback really has legs, but here's another strong internal from his camp. The Feldman Group poll taken 10/3-5 gives Strickland a 46-42 lead over John Kasich, and finds Strickland with 47/40 favorables.
• CA-03: Ami Bera continues to be a fundraising force among Democratic challengers (not that he has much high-profile competition on that front); he raised $550K in 3Q, and $2.1 million raised over the cycle. He beat incumbent Dan Lungren yet again, who raised $480K for a $1.7 mil total.
• FL-02: We still haven't seen any public polling of this race, but here's a second GOP poll for challenger Steve Southerland giving him a double digit lead over Allen Boyd (the first one was an NRCC poll from the Tarrance Group way back in May, giving Southerland a 52-37 lead). This one's from National Research (presumably on Southerland's behalf?), taken 9/29-30, giving Southerland a 46-30 lead.
• VA-05: The US Chamber of Commerce gave its backing to Robert Hurt, not much of a surprise as he's the kind of non-threatening establishment conservative that wing of the GOP tends to like. Tom Perriello picked that up and is using it as a cudgel that seems to combine various elements that have apparently polled well for Dems (outsourcing and Citizens United), saying that the endorsement means "foreign money" is pouring into the race now, citing companies in Bahrain, Russia, and China that give money to the US Chamber.
• DCCC: Here's some more detail on the various ways in which the DCCC is, um, advancing in other directions (we told you about their pullout in AZ-08 last night, which probably has to do with Gabby Giffords having enough money to pull her own weight). They've also reduced buys for one week in a few other districts: a mix of ones where they seem genuinely hosed (CO-04, TX-17, FL-24, and the KS-03 and IN-08 open seats), one that seems a true tossup but where our guy has money (Harry Teague in NM-02), and one that's looking like a pickup (LA-02). The DCCC will be using at least some of that money putting out a new brushfire that popped up in NY-23, where Doug Hoffman's ceasing and desisting makes the race a tossup, and where they're spending $500K.
• NRCC: Speaking of CO-04 and being hosed, here's some additional evidence: the NRCC is taking $700K out of the 4th, and moving it next door to another race that's looking decidedly tossup-ish: John Salazar's CO-03.
• Redistricting: This may be the single best use of money anywhere by Dems this cycle: they're finally putting some money into Florida's redistricting amendments that purport to make the process less subject to gerrymandering. Over $1 million has flowed from Democratic groups to Fair Districts Florida, who are behind the measures. Fair Districts is ostensibly nonpartisan, but obviously the net effect of a less partisan map would be to dismantle one of the most effective Republican gerrymanders anywhere.
• Polltopia: With dramatically different results (especially in the generic ballot tests, but also in head-to-head polls) popping up that often seem to have very different definitions of "likely voter," Mark Blumenthal looks at the various ways pollsters cobble together their LV models. There's a marked difference between the way academic pollsters and partisan pollsters do it, revealing major disparities. If you haven't seen it already, this should be required reading.
• Independent expenditures: The folks at Zata|3 have put together a very useful table, adding up and comparing DCCC and NRCC independent expenditures in all the districts where they've weighed in. (The NRCC has spent a lot more so far, despite their cash shortfall vs. the DCCC. The D-Trip seems to be saving up for a massive blast in the final weeks. Or maybe just saving up for 2012.) They also have charts for the DCCC and NRCC that break down each district's expenditures by category (media buys, production, internet, etc.).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC hits Ken Buck for his enthusiasm for privatizing everything he can get his hands on
• CT-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce has a fairly boilerplate ad against Richard Blumenthal for being too anti-(big) business
• KY-Sen: There are six different ads embedded in this Inquirer article, several of which you've already seen (including the DSCC ad on Medicare deductibles), but including a new Rand Paul campaign ad on the "Conway = Obama" theme; separately, the NRSC has a new ad here on Conway waffling on extending Bush tax cuts
• MO-Sen: The DSCC has yet another ad about Roy Blunt and his lobbyist friends
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand's out with a second bio ad that seems specifically aimed at the upstate market, pointing out her roots in that part of the state
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad points to what we junkies have long known, that Pat Toomey's free market fundamentalism has given him aggregator ratings even more conservative than Rick Santorum
• WI-Sen: A second cookie-cutter ad from the Chamber of Commerce, this one targeting Russ Feingold
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland's out with his first ad of the cycle, a comparison spot that's half negative against Sam Brownback, half positive intro of Holland
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad rebuts some of Rick Perry's claims about his mayoral leadership and lists his various commendations
• AZ-05: The National Education Association gets into the ad war in a big way, hitting David Schweikert for being anti-public education (this buy is part of a $15 million initiative on the NEA's part, also including TV in OH-13 and mailers in NC-08)
• CO-04: EMILY's List is still sticking around in the 4th, bolstering Betsy Markey with an anti-Cory Gardener spot that's a mother of a child with autism addressing Gardener not wanting to require insurers to cover that
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 39%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 55%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 54%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 38%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 45%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 49%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 41%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 30%, John Robitaille (R) 22%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 33%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 44%, John Raese (R) 50%
• AR-Sen: Move along, nothing to see here. Talk Business, via Hendrix College, is out with another poll of the Arkansas Senate race. They find John Boozman leading Blanche Lincoln 56-29, with 5 for indie Trevor Drown. (The previous Talk Business poll, taken by Zata|3, had it at 57-32.)
• DE-Sen: Trying to put his money where his mouth is, Jim DeMint, via his Senate Conservatives Funds, is going on the air with a new cable TV spot on behalf of Christine O'Donnell. The buy is for at least $250K. As I expected, it makes very obvious hay out of Harry Reid's dumb reference to Chris Coons as his "pet."
• FL-Sen: This is a long read, but worth checking out, not just from a partisan standpoint but also as insight into the constant revolving door between politics, big law, academia, and the nebulous world of "consulting." It's a thorough going-over of Marco Rubio's finances over the years, looking at some of the already-known stuff (his foreclosure problems and overuse of state party credit cards) but also at the connections that have gradually allowed him to enrich himself.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA finds... brace yourselves... Republicans in the lead in Kansas! The Senate race appears to be out in no-man's land, with Jerry Moran leading Lisa Johnston 66-24. The Governor's race, however, remains moderately interesting, with Sam Brownback up over Tom Holland 59-32. Still not a good result, but that's a 15-point swing in Holland's favor from last time, as he now leads among self-described moderates.
• KY-Sen: This poll from last week is probably interesting enough for the front page... but it's getting more than a little stale, after our having repeatedly fumbled attempts to write it up, so we're just dropping it off here (figuring many of you have already seen it on over at Daily Kos). PPP, on behalf of Big Orange, finds that Rand Paul leads Jack Conway 49-42. On the plus side, not much of an enthusiasm gap here, thanks to Paul's polarizing nature; it's just a solidly red state.
• LA-Sen: Two different polls in Louisiana tell different stories. Dem pollster Bennett Petts & Normington, on behalf of the DSCC, sees a 10-point race, with David Vitter leading Charlie Melancon 48-38. On the other hand, Republican pollster Magellan sees it as an 18-point race: 52-34. The truth, as is often said, probably lies somewhere in between.
• UT-Sen: The Senate half of the Dan Jones poll (for the Deseret News and KSL-TV) finally showed up. In what could be called "not a surprise," the Republican is winning in Utah. Mike Lee (who turfed out Bob Bennett at the state convention) is easily beating Sam Granato, 52-25.
• WA-Sen: Here's a nice story about hypocrisy... or hypoc-Rossi, in this case. Dino Rossi made a campaign stop at a Whidbey Island shipyard last week, one that's nearly doubled its workforce from 130 to 210. Turns out, though, that the shipyard received $841K in stimulus funds, and the yard's owner says the expansion is a direct result of the stimulus. (Interestingly, Rossi, without any guidance from Admiral Ackbar, may have sailed right into A TRAP: he showed up at the invitation of the yard's owner, who has donated to Patty Murray in the past.)
• WI-Sen: If that Rossi hypocrisy story seems kind of small potatoes to you, well, don't worry, because Ron Johnson seems to have, over the last few weeks, been exposed as the absolute master of hypocrisy about engorging yourself on the government teat all the while raging against it. While he can claim that building-a-rail-spur-to-Pacur thing was in the distant past, now it comes out that in March 2009, in his role as board member of Oshkosh's Grand Opera House, he sought stimulus funds for renovations to the opera. Y'know, the stimulus bill that's KILLING US ALL AND ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS!!1!
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin has had good relations with the state-level Chamber of Commerce, who've backed him in the past. They must have put in a good word for him with the national organization, as now the US Chamber of Commerce is endorsing him too, quite the rarity for a high-profile Dem.
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's previous defense against the massive Medicare fraud problems at his former healthcare company Columbia/HCA was that he'd have stopped them if only he'd known they were going on (which, considering his job was to run the company, should have demolished his credibility right there). But now it's been revealed that his legal team was keeping him apprised, at least on the issue of trying to skirt a federal anti-kickback law.
• FL-22: They've had to call out the biggest fundraising gun of all for Ron Klein, seeing as how he's up against a nutty opponent but one with a direct line into seemingly hundreds of thousands of teabaggers' wallets in Allen West. Barack Obama will fundraise for Klein in the Miami area on Oct. 11 (at the home of former NBA star Alonzo Mourning).
• MS-01: The Tarrance Group is out with another Alan Nunnelee internal giving him a single-digit lead over Travis Childers in the 1st: this time, he's up 48-41.
• NY-23: Would you believe the NY-23 count is still going on? Although it seems like Matt Doheny is the likely victor in the GOP primary, with a 582-vote lead right now, 1,969 military and overseas ballots remain to be counted. In Friday's count, Doug Hoffman added 207 votes while Doheny added 177.
• American Crossroads: Rove, Inc., seems to be becoming the main conduit for billionaires looking to put their thumbs on the electoral scales but skeptical of the Michael Steele-helmed RNC: they raised $14.5 million in the last 30 days, almost doubling their year-to-date total.
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with a bonanza of IEs in 23 different districts (click the FEC link for specific numbers): PA-11, VA-09, PA-08, WI-07, NJ-03, PA-03, IL-14, MI-01, MI-07, PA-07, NC-07, IL-11, AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-23, VA-05, IN-02, and IL-10.
• SEIU: So, while the CoC is endorsing the Dem in West Virginia, the SEIU is endorsing the not-Dem in Rhode Island: they've thrown their backing behind indie Lincoln Chafee. (United Nurses and Allied Professionals will also endorse Chafee today, and the AFL-CIO is currently meeting about which way to go.) The SEIU is also out with a couple IEs of their own, spending $250K against Tim Walberg in MI-07 and $435K against deep-pocketed Jim Renacci in OH-16.
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with three different ads focusing on various aspects of Ken Buck's nuttery, including the 17th Amendment and opposition to common birth control methods • CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal's ad focuses on pushback against various Linda McMahon misrepresentations
• FL-22: Ron Klein calls out Allen West for his various veiled calls for armed uprising
• HI-01: Charles Djou's first ad of the general is a positive spot listing accomplishments from his short time in office
• IL-10: Bob Dold! ties Dan Seals to Nancy Pelosi in a health care-themed ad
• PA-10: Here's the winner of the day: Chris Carney quickly and effectively summarizes the nasty links between Tom Marino and Louis DeNaples
• PA-15: Charlie Dent goes after John Callahan's bookkeeping as mayor of Bethlehem
• WI-08: Steve Kagen dips into the well of 50s-era public-domain stock footage to hit Reid Ribble on his calls for Social Security phaseout
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 50%, Bob Ehrlich 47%
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski (D-inc) 54%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 48%, John Stephen (R) 46%
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 54%, Carl Paladino (R) 38%, Rick Lazio (C) 0% because Rasmussen didn't bother to include him
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 43%, Scott Walker (R) 51%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 50%, John Raese (R) 43%
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball
• AK-Sen: Joe Miller has two things going for him in the Alaska GOP Senate primary: the endorsements of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. On the other hand, Lisa Murkowski has the backing of about 1.9 million dead presidents behind her. That's her cash on hand, based on $300K raised in July and early August. Miller raised only $68K in that span and now has $84K CoH.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA, no stranger to Republican-friendly samples lately, comes up with quite the GOP wipeout in Kansas. They find Republican Rep. Jerry Moran leading Lisa Johnston in the Senate race, 69-23, and find Sam Brownback leading state Sen. Tom Holland in the gubernatorial race, 67-25. They even find several Dem incumbents losing to GOP challengers in downballot races. It may be worth, noting, however, the disparity in self-described ideology between this sample and the 2008 exit polls: this poll is 49 conservative, 37 moderate, 9 liberal, compared with 2008's 45 moderate, 38 conservative, 16 liberal.
• NV-Sen: With her endorsement percentage starting to trend steeply downward (with last night's losses by Rita Meyer and Clint Didier), Sarah Palin's trying out a new angle, literally. She's backing Sharron Angle in Nevada, saying she'll "actively help" her and that Angle "is putting up with more crap than she deserves." Palin avoided getting involved in the primary, probably in large part because of other family members' support for Danny Tarkanian.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov (pdf): Siena's out with another look at the big-ticket races in New York, finding the same-old same-old. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Bruce Blakeman 55-28, Joe DioGuardi 54-29, and David Malpass 55-27. DioGuardi is on track to win the GOP Senate primary, leading Blakeman and Malpass 19-8-5. And Andrew Cuomo is even more dominant, leading Rick Lazio 60-26 and Carl Paladino 60-27. Lazio leads Paladino 43-30 in the GOP primary, much closer than previous months. Further down the ballot, they find incumbent Dem comptroller Tom DiNapoli leading Harry Wilson 46-28, and Dems leading a generic ballot-type question about the state legislature, 33-27.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes picked his running mate: former state Rep. and former Dept. of Regulatory Agencies head Tambor Williams. Williams seems to actually be something of a moderate by today's GOP standards, which is an interesting act of ticket-balancing by the wackadoodle Maes (although you have to wonder how "moderate" someone willing to be joined at the hip to Maes can be). Meanwhile, Tom Tancredo is focusing most of his fire on Maes, not on John Hickenlooper, attacking Maes', well, utter lack of qualifications. Tancredo seems to realize that the only path to viability in this election as an indie is reducing Maes to the Alan Schlesinger-style single-digits role. And guess who's throwing up their hands and walking away? The RGA, which according to several local Republicans, has confirmed it won't be spending money in Colorado.
• ID-Gov, ID-01: We've gotten an inkling that the Idaho gubernatorial race (where GOP incumbent Butch Otter was elected with lackluster numbers in 2006) was possibly a real race, and these poll numbers seem to confirm it. I don't know whether to call this a Republican poll (it's taken by a local pollster who usually works for Republicans, Greg Strimple, on behalf of the Idaho Hospital Association) or an independent one, but either way, it's not good news for the GOP. Otter leads Dem Keith Allred by only 47-36. Also good news: that Raul Labrador internal poll that had him losing by double digits was actually pretty optimistic, on his part. This sample sees Dem Walt Minnick beating Labrador by a startling 52-29 margin. Maybe all that chatter about the NRCC moving to write off this seat has some real roots.
• VT-Gov: Lone Republican Brian Dubie is the fundraising leader in the decidedly small-dollar gubernatorial race in Vermont. Dubie has raised the most over the course of the campaign (slightly more than $1 million). (Maybe if Meg Whitman can't win in California, she should consider moving to Vermont and buying the gubernatorial race here. In fact, maybe she should just consider buying the entire state of Vermont, which would still be cheaper than buying the gubernatorial race in California.) The Dems are all closely bunched, with Peter Shumlin and Deb Markowitz more or less tied for most raised. But all five major Dems are low on cash, each reporting less than $100K CoH (Matt Dunne has the most, at $83K). For some reason, the article doesn't tell us Dubie's CoH.
• GA-08: GOP state Rep. Austin Scott (following hot on the heels of fellow legislator and GA-02 candidate Mike Keown's internal poll release) is out with an internal showing a competitive race against Rep. Jim Marshall. Marshall leads Scott 44-39 in the poll conducted in late July by American Viewpoint.
• MI-01: This has the potential to mightily reshuffle things in the open seat race in the 1st... or it could turn out to be so much wind in sails, as promises of massive self-funding usually are. Random teabagger and indie candidate Glenn Wilson is promising to spend $2 million of his own money in order to defeat Gary McDowell and Dan Benishek, the Dem and GOP nominees. In this rural seat with dirt-cheap media markets, that could go a long way toward blanketing the airwaves... but without the organizational backing that the party apparatuses provide, that seems like it still might not translate into actual votes.
• TN-08: Humble farmer/gospel singer and, in his spare time, director of Fight Club, Stephen Fincher is out with an internal poll from the Tarrance Group that gives him a lead over Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron in this open seat race. He claims a 47-37 lead, with conservative indie Donn James at 5, in a poll taken immediately post-primary. Herron, who avoided much trouble in the primary and was able to bank a lot of money, is already hitting Fincher with TV ads, though.
• RGA: One nice thing about the post-Citizens United universe is that it lets us see everything in the open that we've only just suspected in the past. Case in point: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (the Fox News and WSJ parent corporation) just gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. Insert obvious snarky comment about "Fair and Balanced" here.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 40%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 38%, Tom Corbett (R) 48%
• AK-Sen: You might have seen mention at other sites of a Tea Party Express "poll" of the GOP Senate primary in Alaska that had Joe Miller within 9 points of Lisa Murkowski. Mother Jones has been digging around, trying to find the poll, and can find no confirmation of its existence or even word of who took the poll, from either the Miller campaign or TPE.
• CO-Sen: Jane Norton's closing argument wasn't about how great she was, but rather about her "concerns" with Ken Buck. Her interview with Politico this morning alluded to his "issues with spending and ethics."
• IL-Sen: If all else fails, try tying your opponent to Saddam Hussein. That's what Mark Kirk's attempting, with an ad that accuses Broadway Bank of having made a 2006 loan to an Iraqi businessman with some sort of Hussein connections. Alexi Giannoulias pointed out that was after he'd already left the bank, but I think a better argument would be that Saddam Hussein was played in South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut by Matt Stone, who was in Baseketball with Greg Grunberg, who was in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon is out with his very first TV ad, as he and GOP candidate Chet Traylor try to put the squeeze on David Vitter from both directions. The ad (NWOTSOTB for $115K) launches a direct hit on how Vitter "hasn't been honest."
• PA-Sen: Pat Toomey is out with yet another TV ad, a negative ad against opponent Joe Sestak. Their only word on the size of the buy is "significant." The Toomey campaign has been on the air with at least five different ads for a month now, without seeming to budge the poll numbers at all. Sestak hasn't hit the TV airwaves yet, and seems to, as was the case with his successful primary bid, marshalling his resources for a large salvo closer to the election.
• KS-Gov: Wow, check out the opponent Sam Brownback dispatched in the GOP gubernatorial primary, if you're in the mood for serious nutjobbery. Joan Heffington alleges "CIA infiltration of western Kansas" and has faced sanctions for practicing law without a license. At any rate, having garnered 15% in the GOP primary, she's now saying she's a GDI (God-driven independent) and shouldn't have gotten suckered into that whole Republican racket in the first place, and as such is launching a write-in candidacy for November.
• MI-Gov: You may remember state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, who pulled the plug on her gubernatorial candidacy on the day of the filing deadline, saying she didn't want to split the progressive vote (and thus giving a big boost to Lansing mayor and eventual primary winner Virg Bernero). Probably figuring that Bernero owes her big-time and also that he'd like some diversity on the ticket, Smith is now floating her own name for the Lt. Governor slot.
• NY-Gov: GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has gone ahead and pulled the trigger on creating his own ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. It still remains a completely open question as to whether he plans to run on it if he loses the GOP primary, though. (He originally said he wouldn't be a spoiler in the race against Andrew Cuomo, but then changed to an "options open" position.)
• IL-10: Dan Seals got apparently re-endorsed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers today. (He also had their backing in the Dem primary against Julie Hamos.)
• IL-11: Rep. Debbie Halvorson didn't start out near the top of anyone's list of vulnerable Democrats, but she's starting to earn her position there. Republican opponent Adam Kinzinger has issued a second internal poll (the first one was in March) giving him a lead over Halvorson. The poll from POS gives him a 51-40 edge. (The article, however, helpfully points out that POS saw Halvorson with only a 2-point lead over the hapless Marty Ozinga six weeks before the election in 2008, a race which she went on to win by 24. Update: In 2008, we wrote about that POS poll here.)
• IN-02: Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, no stranger to occasional use of conservative framing, goes an extra step in his new TV ad hating on those immigrants, using a photo of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama when saying how he stands apart from "the Washington crowd." John Boehner's lurking in the photo's background, too, so at least it's bipartisan.
• KS-01: Wow, SurveyUSA sure likes polling KS-01, probably one of the likeliest races in the country to stay red. (Or at least KWCH-TV sure likes paying them to poll it.) They find Republican state Sen. Tim Huelskamp, who just won the primary, leading Dem Alan Jilka 65-23. (Jilka is a former mayor of Salina, which may actually make him a pretty big 'get' as far as this hopeless district goes.)
• NH-02: When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist? It turns out that Katrina Swett, who has denied (gasp) lobbying, in fact filled out the required federal paperwork in 1997 to register as a lobbyist, although now her defense is that she never actually got around to lobbying once she registered. Swett has previously been attacking Dem primary foe Ann McLane Kuster for her own previous lobbying work.
• TX-17: Rep. Chet Edwards got a key endorsement in this dark-red, largely rural Texas district: he got the backing of the NRA. It may seem odd to see so many conservaDems getting NRA backing, but the NRA's policy is where there are two equally pro-gun candidates, the incumbent gets the nod.
• WV-01: Alan Mollohan 2.0? The man is actually talking like he's eyeing a 2012 comeback, having filed FEC paperwork setting up a 2012 candidacy (although it's unclear whether that was just to have a fundraising receptacle for donors' funds to repay a personal loan to his committee). He also just issued a long memo to supporters, bashing, well, everyone, ranging from Republican House members who pursued ethics complaints against him while they were in charge, to Mike Oliverio, who he says defeated him in this year's Dem primary using those discredited charges.
• Census: Next time a Republican complains to you about the ineffective, bloated government, point him in the direction of the Census, which just came in $1.6 billion under budget (out of a total $14.7 billion appropriated) as it wraps up its main phase. A solid 72% initial response rate helped save money on the inevitable follow-up process.
• Passages: Sadly, today we bid farewell to Ted Stevens, the long-serving Republican Senator from Alaska and chronicler of the inner workings of the series of tubes. Stevens died last night in a plane crash near the town of Dillingham, at the age of 86. Stevens was the survivor of a previous 1978 plane crash, which killed his first wife. We offer our best wishes to his friends and family.
• IA-Sen: Roxanne Conlin (D) 35%, Chuck Grassley (R-inc) 55%
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 29%, Dan Coats (R) 50%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 50%, John Stephen (R) 39%
• AK-Sen: Wow, now we've got Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin working in harmony in at least one place: Huckabee just endorsed Joe Miller, the little-known right-wing challenger to Lisa Murkowski in the GOP Senate primary.
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is out with a new ad in a last-ditch effort to make up some ground on John McCain, and he's relying on time-honored tradition of pulling a few of his opponents' words out of context. In this case, he swipes the passage "I chose lying" from McCain's 2002 audiobook, although in the book it was talking about the South Carolina confederate flag controversy, and Hayworth just slaps it down in an ad about immigration. The ad buy is for $365K.
• CA-Sen: This isn't a surprise in terms of which of the candidates they endorsed, but it might be interesting that the Chamber of Commerce decided there was enough of a shot in this race for them to weigh in. They're backing Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race, based on, y'know, her long track record of success at Hewlett-Packard.
• FL-Sen: A Mason-Dixon poll released late last week gives some hope to Kendrick Meek, who other polls had shown had fallen behind billionaire weirdo Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary. Their poll (conducted for "Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association") gives Meek a 33-29 lead. Greene's main problem seems to be that the press keeps on doing stories about, well, all those things that Greene has been doing for the last couple decades; yesterday the St. Petersburg Times looked at Greene's involvement in a California condo deal that belies his claims that he was a high-level investor and not involved in any of the myriad ground-level predatory lending transactions that, when all added together, helped create the real estate asset bubble. Greene's defense? "I don't follow what happens after the sale.... All I care about is that I get my money." Finally, whether Greene or Meek wins the primary, one more problem they'll have to deal with is the movement of prominent Democratic money to indie Charlie Crist. Pollster Mark Penn hasn't been anyone's image of a reliable or useful Democrat lately, but he is at least a prominent Democrat; he's now raising for Crist.
• KY-Sen: Will "I worship you, Aqua Buddha" become the newest political catchphrase that sweeps the nation? GQ has a hilarious (if somewhat disturbing) look back at Rand Paul's hellraising days at an undergrad at Baylor (a school from which, by the way, he doesn't have a bachelor's degree). It'll be interesting to see if this actually creates any blowback for Paul.
• WA-Sen: Interesting: another endorsement for the once-moderate Dino Rossi from another celebrity on the right in the Senate. Unlike Jim DeMint (whose backing he got last week), who has something of a fundraising network that comes with his endorsement, Tom Coburn (who just announced his support) just has cachet with right-wing fanboys. More evidence that Rossi, while publicly pretending to be focused only on the general, is scrambling to shore up his right flank before the Top 2 primary where he faces competition from various teabaggers, most significantly Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier.
• FL-Gov: That Mason-Dixon poll had a Republican gubernatorial portion as well, and they do provide some confirmation for the sense that Bill McCollum is worming his way back into this thing, with not much time left on the clock. Rick Scott leads McCollum only 37-31. Worth noting: it doesn't seem to have anything to do with people taking notice of Scott's legacy of Medicare fraud at Columbia/HCA, but rather, McCollum consolidating the Republican Hispanic vote (where he leads 3-1), probably thanks to Scott's demagoguery on the immigration issue and McCollum's more even-handed stance. Meanwhile, not that Bud Chiles was gaining much momentum, but explaining this could be a big distraction: his former leadership of innocuous-sounding charity HOPE Worldwide, which it turns out is an arm of the cultish International Churches of Christ.
• IA-Gov: Social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats ran a surprisingly close race against Terry Branstad in the GOP gubernatorial primary and then threatened an independent run when he didn't receive the proper amount of fealty post-primary. However, he announced last Friday that he won't attempt a third-party bid (which would probably give the advantage in the race back to Chet Culver). He'll focus his energies on defeating members of the Iowa Supreme Court, in retaliation for its gay marriage ruling.
• MN-Gov: If there's one campaign out there in need of a shakeup, it's Tom Emmer's, as polls have made clear that the GOP gubernatorial nominee's trajectory post-nomination has been aimed almost straight down. Old campaign manager Tom Mason departed for a farm upstate, replaced by former '08 Norm Coleman CM Cullen Sheehan.
• PA-Gov: Remember Sam Rohrer, the socially conservative state Rep. who persisted in the GOP primary against AG Tom Corbett (and lost big)? His supporters still haven't given up hope, and, although Pennsylvania law prohibits him from a ballot line in November, are now launching an independent write-in campaign for Rohrer. (Rohrer hasn't endorsed the idea, but isn't dissuading them either.) The write-in campaign is a particularly difficult beast, though, meaning that it's likely that Rohrer wouldn't pick up more than a couple percent, and the race would have to get closer than it currently is for that to harm Corbett's odds against Dem Dan Onorato.
• RI-Gov: Brown University is out with a poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race, and one thing is clear: no current Republican is going to win the race. Democratic state Treasurer Frank Caprio leads independent ex-Republican ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee, by a bare 28-27 margin. For some reason, they seemed to poll the two Republicans jungle-style, but it really doesn't matter as both are non-factors: former Don Carcieri communications director John Robitaille is at 7 and ex-state Rep. Victor Moffitt is at 2.
• FL-08: Jeb! backs Web! Ex-gov. Jeb Bush cut an ad in support of ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, who, with his dithering, managed to blow his early shot at consolidating GOP establishment support in the primary. Instead, he's one of many guys stuffed in the clown car, fighting for the right to oppose Rep. Alan Grayson.
• ID-01: The omission of Raul Labrador from the NRCC's Young Guns, which seems to admit any Republican who has enough opposable digits to successfully operate a telephone and call donors, seemed like it was becoming too embarrassing for even the NRCC's skilled writers to spin away. Labrador says he "changed his mind" and is now willing to join the entourage. Labrador, who has $69K, is only entering at the "On the Radar" level, though, the bottom of the pyramid.
• IL-14: State Sen. Randy Hultgren thought he struck some electoral gold when he found a contribution to Rep. Bill Foster from fellow Dem Maxine Waters for $1,000, which then demanded Foster give back. Unfortunately, there's something to be said for basic reading skills: the contribution wasn't to Bill Foster, but rather to former music industry exec Gary Foster, who's now head of a charitable org called Upliftment Jamaica. Naturally, the Hultgren camp blamed the FEC for forcing them to screw up.
• LA-02: Sen. Mary Landrieu announced her backing for state Rep. Cedric Richmond in the Dem primary in the 2nd, more evidence that the Dem establishment is trying to unite behind Richmond and put the squeeze on primary rival state Rep. Juan LaFonta.
• MI-09: As part of the transition from primary to general election, one item that's high on GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski's to-do list is to walk back his previous birtherism. After telling Politico in a post-primary interview that he'd "love" to see Obama's birth certificate, he's now out with a statement that Politico took his out of context... without, of course, explaining what context such a comment should be taken in.
• OH-18: Stop the presses! (And hide the women!) Bill Clinton adviser turned Fox News talking head Dick Morris has announced he'll be making appearances on behalf of at least 40 Republican candidates this year. That includes a fundraiser for Rep. Zack Space's opponent, state Sen. Bob Gibbs, later this month.
• RI-01, RI-02: That Brown gubernatorial poll also looked at the Democratic primaries in the 1st and 2nd, although the margin of error is terribly high (7.4% in RI-01). In the 1st, Providence mayor David Cicilline is in command of the Dem field, leading former state party chair William Lynch 32-11 15, with 11 for businessman Anthony Gemma and 5 for state Rep. David Segal (who just got the local SEIU's backing, by the way). In the 2nd, Rep. Jim Langevin looks likely to weather his primary challenge with ease; he leads state Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan 55-12.
• SBA List: Anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List has come out with polls of one open Senate race and three House races featuring Dem incumbents (where the common thread seems that all the Dems are anti-abortion), courtesy of that Republican pollster with the oh-so-creative name, The Polling Company. They find Dan Coats leading Brad Ellsworth 50-35 in the Indiana Senate race. The House races are an interesting mix of the good, the bad, and the so-so. For the good, Rep. Joe Donnelly seems to start on solid ground in IN-02, where he leads state Rep. Jackie Walorski 52-35. For the bad, Rep. Steve Driehaus may just be the most DOA of any House Democrat, as this is one more poll giving him a double-digit deficit against ex-Rep. Steve Chabot (51-41). And for the so-so, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (last seen losing in a too-good-to-be-true internal from GOP opponent Mike Kelly) is leading Kelly by a pretty plausible 46-42.
• Blue Dogs: The Blue Dogs handed out a load of endorsements to Dem candidates, looking to replenish their soon-to-be-depleted ranks (thanks to a number of retirements, as well as many of their members being in many of the nation's most competitive races). Endorsees are Steve Raby in AL-05, Chad Causey in AR-01, Roy Herron in TN-08, Trent van Haaften in IN-08, and Stephene Moore in KS-03.
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 46%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 36%, Terry Branstad (R) 52%
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland (D) 34%, Sam Brownback (R) 57%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Bill Binnie (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 27%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 59%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 42%, Kristi Noem (R) 51%
CT-Sen: I thought it was pretty weird that alleged non-candidate Rob Simmons was going to participate in a GOP debate last night. Well, he un-weirded things (I guess) by declaring at this debate that he is "running for the United States Senate." We'll see if it sticks. The primary, by the way, is August 10th.
KS-Sen: Not something you see every day: Rep. Jerry Moran's former campaign manager, who claims he was pushed out in April, has endorsed rival Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Paul Moore said he thinks Moran, who has led in every single public poll, is not "instinctively conservative."
NC-Sen: A new Civitas poll has Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 44-37. It's been a really long time since Civitas looked at this race; in December of last year, they found Burr up 40-32.
WA-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS will headline a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray on August 17th in Seattle.
FL-Gov: McLaughlin & Associates supposedly has yet another poll out, but not for their client Bill McCollum. Apparently, they did double duty for the Florida Medical Association, and - surprise - found Rick Scott leading McCollum 37-33. This seems like a pretty colossal waste of money, since McCollum's internal - released just the other day - had him down 37-31.
Meanwhile, McCollum had to deal with a small brush fire: former Florida House Speaker Alan Bense held a private meeting with Rick Scott over the weekend. The problem is that Bense is supposed to be a McCollum supporter - something he re-iterated after his soiree, saying he only got together with Scott to be polite. Bense is also the chairman-elect of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and his group is expected to get behind Billy Mac. And in case anyone still cares what unlovable loser Gary Bauer thinks, he endorsed McCollum.
KS-Gov: Dem state Sen. Tom Holland raised $283K from Jan. 1 to July 22nd and has $103K on hand. His Republican opponent, Sen. Sam Brownback, took in $519K and has $1.2 million in the bank. Note, though, that Holland's fundraising mostly took place after the legislative session ended in June (there are strict regulations on fundraising while the lege is in operation), while Brownback was free to raise from all sources throughout the reporting period. Brownback's been spending his time well, mind you: He just introduced legislation which would ban the creation of "part-human, part-animal creatures." Sadly, this would mean no manticores, minotaurs, or mermaids. And I was really looking forward to embracing our brave new Greek mythology future.
MN-Gov: Glad to see that Citizens United is proving to be a two-edged sword. Target has donated $150,000 to a right-wing group called MN Forward, which is running TV ads on behalf of extremist Republican nominee Tom Emmer. Gay groups in particular are incensed, since Target had been known as a gay-friendly employer, even going so far as to support the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. And speaking for myself, Target can get fucked - as can Best Buy and any other corporation which uses corporate money to help elect Republicans. Not shopping at either location anymore, that's for sure.
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is launching his first TV ad of the cycle, a spot about property taxes. Of course, NWOTSOTB, or whether it's cable or broadcast, or even where it's airing. Sigh.
OH-Gov: Obama alert 2! The day after the POTUS appears in WA (see bullet above), he'll be doing a fundraiser for Ted Strickland in Columbus.
OR-Gov: We haven't done writeups of our most recent batch of race ratings yet, but Carla Axtman of Blue Oregon has a nice writeup of an interview she did with Crisitunity at Netroots Nation, where he explains our decision to move OR-Gov from Likely D to Tossup.
RI-Gov: Linc Chafee is doing his best to out-do Martha Coakley when it comes to alienating Red Sox Nation (a broad constituency throughout New England). While criticizing state loan guarantees to a video game company owned by Schilling, he also decided to question whether Schilling's famous "bloody sock" game was legit. Already Chafee's tried to walk back the remark - but there are no do-overs in baseball. Or politics.
GA-02: Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop, in a competitive race with Republican Mike Keown (who oh-so-narrowly outraised the incumbent last quarter), formally kicked off his campaign yesterday with a newly-famous Georgian at his side: Shirley Sherrod, with whom you are most certainly familiar by now. Even though this district is almost 48% black, it's also extremely competitive politically, going 54% for Obama and 50% for Kerry.
KS-01: SurveyUSA has one final look at the open-seat GOP primary in KS-01, finding a three-way tie between state Sen. Jim Barnett, realtor Tracey Mann, and state Sen. Tim Huelskamp. All pull 24%. Last time, it was 23-20-18.
MA-09: Bubba alert! Bill Clinton is doing a fundraiser and rally this Thursday for conservadem and anti-healthcare reform asshole Stephen Lynch. Lynch faces a primary from Mac D'Alessandro and has a monster cash advantage ($1.3 million to just $72K), so this surely seems like overkill to me - but of course, the Big Dog loves to pay back favors, and Lynch was (you guessed it) a Hillary supporter in 2008.
NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon, seeking to avoid a primary on the Independence Party line, is challenging the petitions of third-party irritant John Tabacco. Tabacco needs only 497 valid signatures, but New York has absurdly stringent rules which make it very easy to knock "bad" sigs out. Therefore, the common rule of thumb is that you need to submit at least twice as many petitions as the law requires, and Tabacco only provided 678. Therefore, I'm going to guess that McMahon - who is highly motivated here - will succeed in his challenges. Tabacco has some more problems to worry about, though - after giving a loan to the wife of the chair of the state Independence Party last year, he suddenly got their ballot line in a city council race (funnily enough, for the seat vacated by McMahon).
NY-15: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is dipping a toe into new waters, suggesting that resignation is an option for Charlie Rangel. So is fighting the charges, Hoyer says, but a ringing endorsement of the embattled former Ways and Means chair this is not. Meanwhile, Walt Minnick isn't playing footsie, becoming the second Dem (after OH-13's Betty Sutton) to call on Rangel to quit the House.
Rangel is still in talks with the ethics committee to try to reach some sort of plea bargain, but it seems that he's unwilling to cop to a sufficiently broad array of violations to satisfy the committee members. If Rangel can't come to terms, he'd face a "public hearing" (essentially a trial). As the New York Times points out, the last time this happened was in 2002, when Jim Traficant was expelled from the House.
PA-07: Teabagger Jim Schneller, hoping to appear on the ballot as an independent, says he's gathered 5,200 signatures so far - a thousand more than the 4,200 he needs to submit by August 2nd. It remains to be seen if Republican Pat Meehan will try to challenge Schneller's bid.
TN-03: Politico has a piece documenting the wingnut-on-wingnut violence stemming from the fight to replace outgoing Rep. Zach Wamp in this dark-red seat. The battle is between attorney Chuck Fleischmann and former state GOP chair Robin Smith.
Fundraising: A rare day: two Steny Hoyer mentions in one digest. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck, and the undeserving Larry Kissell. Hoyer, like Nancy Pelosi, got where he is because lots and lots of people owe him - and will continue to owe him. Let this be a lesson to aspiring progressive leaders in Congress.
• AR-Sen (pdf): One more poll added to Blanche Lincoln's woes today. It's from Republican pollster Magellan, and unlike a number of their polls lately that have been sua sponte, this one is on behalf of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. It gives John Boozman a 60-29 lead over Lincoln. Lincoln decided to put a stop to the string of polls showing her DOA, by (taking a page from Raul Labrador here) releasing her own internal from Benenson showing her, well, only a little bit dead. It has her trailing Boozman "only" 45-36, with 6 going to indie Trevor Drown.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA looks at the statewide primaries in Kansas yet again, and, as usual, finds Rep. Jerry Moran with a big lead over fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the GOP Senate primary, 50-36 (which is actually an improvement for Tiahrt; the last SUSA poll was 53-33). College professor Lisa Johnston continues to lead the Dem Senate primary at 23, with 14 for Charles Schollenberger and 12 for state Sen. David Haley. The GOP gubernatorial primary continues to be a non-event, with Sam Brownback leading Joan Heffington 73-19.
• NE-Sen (pdf): Magellan, on behalf of JCN, is also out with a poll of the 2012 Senate race, presumably intended to scare Ben Nelson into voting against Elena Kagan. At this rate, it may not matter how he votes on Kagan or anything else: if he runs again, Nelson is losing to GOP Gov. Dave Heineman 58-28.
• NH-Sen: The Paul Hodes campaign continues to hit Kelly Ayotte over her being asleep at the switch on mortgage fraud with another ad on the topic. It's a $100K ad buy, and it's going up in Boston, meaning that it'll hit a lot of eyeballs (but also that that $100K gets burned through pretty quickly).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak has been fighting with local TV stations over them airing an ad from a conservative group attacking him on Israel policy. Now he's getting some backing from liberal Israel policy group J Street, who are running a new TV spot saying he "consistently votes for aid to Israel." NWOTSOTB, but it is running "in major media markets."
• SC-Sen: Green, not Greene? The Columbia area AFL-CIO must not have been impressed with Alvin Greene's first major policy speech last weekend, because now they've rolled out their endorsement of Green Party candidate Tom Clements instead.
• WI-Sen (pdf): But wait, there's more! With your purchase of these fine AR-Sen and NE-Sen polls, you also get a bonus WI-Sen poll, perfect for triggering one of Russ Feingold's patented flashes of maverickiness. Magellan, on behalf, of JCN, also finds Feingold leading Ron Johnson 45-43.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy got the endorsement of the six state affiliates of the SEIU in Connecticut, a key union endorsement. Ned Lamont isn't hurting for union backing, though; he has the support of the Connecticut Education Association, the UAW, and the UFCW.
• MI-Gov: The Detroit News poll from yesterday also had a Democratic primary component to it. They find, with only weeks to go, Undecided still in the lead at 40. Andy Dillon leads Virg Bernero 34-25. 44% of respondents haven't heard of Bernero, while 26% don't know Dillon. On the GOP side, this may give some more moderate cred to Rick Snyder: he got the endorsement of ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz, who had briefly considered an independent run for Governor himself.
• MT-Gov: GOPers already have a candidate for Governor in 2012 in Montana, where Brian Schweitzer is termed out. Republican former state Senate minority leader Corey Stapleton just announced his bid. The article mentions some other possibilities too, including long-ago ex-Rep. Rick Hill on the GOP side. AG Steve Bullock may be the Dems' best bet.
• FL-02: Politico has a profile of Rep. Allen Boyd, who's getting squeezed both left and right as he first faces state Sen. Al Lawson in the Dem primary and then faces funeral home owner Steve Southerland. Boyd's response? To play "offense," including going negative in TV ads against Lawson. Boyd's already spent $1.9 million this cycle, and still has many times more CoH than his two opponents together.
• NY-15: Buried deep in a Hill article about how Chuck Schumer is still standing up for Charles Rangel when no one else will, kicking him a $10K check for his re-election, is a noteworthy poll of the Dem primary. The poll was conducted by PPP, and was paid for by Democrats.com; it finds Rangel with a not-very-imposing lead of 39-21 over Adam Clayton Powell IV in the primary.
• NY-23: After being the flavor of the month for, well, a month or so prior to last fall's NY-23 special election, Doug Hoffman seems to have fallen off most people's radars. He wants you to know he's still around, though, and just released an internal poll from McLaughlin & Associates that gives him a sizable lead over Matt Doheny (who has most of the local GOP establishment backing) in the GOP primary. He leads Doheny 52-20. Bear in mind, of course, that Hoffman already has the Conservative line and Doheny has the IP line, meaning they're going to meet in the general election (and spoil each other's days) either way.
• TN-09: Finally, here's a poll of the Dem primary in the 9th. It looks like former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton is having the same trouble playing the race card that Nikki Tinker did in 2008; he's trailing Steve Cohen by a 65-15 margin. The poll's not an internal, taken by Yacoubian Research for WMC-TV, but there's one reason to raise an eyebrow at it: it screens voters by asking them if they're in the 9th District (and how many people in the real world know the number of their congressional district?).
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 40%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Peter Schiff (R) 34%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Rob Simmons (R) 38%
• ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 27%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 31%, Paul LePage (R) 39%, Eliot Cutler (I) 15%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman (R) 45%