• CT-Sen: Remember how Linda McMahon was touting how the WWE dialed things back to "PG-rated" entertainment this decade? That didn't seem to take into account some corporate synergy between WWE and the Girls Gone Wild empire, who collaborated on a 2003 pay-per-view. My Left Nutmeg has the rundown on GGW's greatest legal hits, and also some compare and contrast with WWE's own most luridly misogynist moments from its pre-PG days.
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth, after a few weeks in the dark, is going back on the air with an ad hitting Dan Coats on outsourcing, including his lobbying ties to job-shippers and his own NAFTA vote in the early 90s. However, it looks like this ad is coming out of the Ellsworth campaign coffers, as the DSCC (contrary to a brief flurry of reports) still doesn't seem to be buying any time here.
• MD-Sen: Washington Post (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Barbara Mikulski (D): 61
Eric Wargotz (R): 29
Here's the Senate half of WaPo's last Maryland poll, with Barbara Mikulski looking like she might match the 65% she got in her 2004 re-election. Her lead is 59-24 among RVs, so Maryland, like many solidly blue states, has less of an enthusiasm gap problem than the swing states. Her opponent's problem is, naturally, name rec: he has 10/9 favorables, with 81% with no opinion.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle will be in Washington DC tomorrow, fundraising at the NRSC headquarters at a minimum-$500 event replete with many lobbyists and ex-Senators. If that causes a little head-spinning cognitive dissonance for you -- in the wake of revelations of her inexplicably tape-recorded summit with Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian in which they both agree that the GOP has been corrupt since, oh, at least 1994 -- well, then, clearly you're not a Republican.
• CA-Gov: While Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown have actually gotten down to some debating lately, tomorrow's planned debate is suddenly off... and without any explanation it's by mutual agreement, not purely a Whitman pullout (while she retrenches in the wake of her illegal employment arrangement with her housekeeper). If you're wondering what the first poll of the race taken since the story broke looks like and whether it's hurting Whitman, well, there's a box called "Rasmussen" down at the bottom of the digest...
• CO-Gov: Here's a little more info on what happens to the Colorado GOP if Dan Maes doesn't reach 10% in the gubernatorial race. You probably know they get stuck in "minor party" status, which affects their ballot position in both 2012 and 2014. But (this is new, at least to me) it also has major fundraising ramifications for state legislative candidates in those cycles, halving what they can raise from individual donors.
• MA-Gov: Tim Cahill, whose right-leaning indie campaign lost its wheels months ago and last week seems to have lost most of its chassis as well too, still plans to go on the air with $1 million worth of attack ads (his only ads so far have been positive, which may explain why he's polling in the single digits). And here's the good news... he's going after Republican Charlie Baker. If he were to join Baker in training his guns only on Deval Patrick, that could be a problem, but he won't. (Makes me wonder if he was a Patrick plant all along? Probably not, but it'd be one of the greatest stories in the history of ratfucking if true.)
• NY-Gov: Now here's one big financial disparity, at least on paper. Andrew Cuomo's warchest, as of required reports last week, is more than $19 million CoH. That contrasts sharply with Carl Paladino's $209K. Of course, Paladino can write his own checks, and has promised to spend up to $10 million of his own money if necessary. (Even if he did, that'd still be a 2:1 disadvantage, with little likelihood of 'recouping' that money in the form of a win, so don't count on it.) Cuomo spent almost $3 million on TV ads in the last few weeks, so he's leaving nothing to chance.
• AL-02: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for DCCC (9/26-28, likely voters, 8/23-26 in parentheses):
Not a typo. The numbers seem to have stayed exactly the same over the last month, since GQR's previous internal on behalf of Bobby Bright. In this climate, consistency is good.
• IA-01: If, like me, you've been wondering why AFF is pouring $800K into the race against Bruce Braley in the 1st, which no observer has taken much interest in or seen any smoke coming from, well, now you have an answer: Sandy Grenier is the head of AFF. She's also running for state Senate in her spare time... in Iowa. In other words, she's pouring money into a race that's her own personal hobby horse, at the expense of other races that are actually competitive. (And that's not even the main point of the article... it turns out that Grenier, like so many other members of the current wave of GOP candidates, is a big believer in sucker-punching the government with one hand even as you take money from it with the other. Her family has received over $935K in farm subsidies over the last 15 years.)
• NY-20: Grove Insight for DCCC (9/28-30, likely voters, no trendlines):
Scott Murphy (D-inc): 51
Chris Gibson (R): 38
We haven't seen an internal in this district until now. While the numbers are nice, this actually isn't as good as Siena's poll of the district mid-September, which put Murphy up 54-37.
• WV-03: Anzalone Liszt for Nick Rahall (9/27-29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Nick Rahall (D-inc): 59
Spike Maynard (R): 34
With the DCCC out with a poll a couple weeks ago giving Rahall a 55-37 lead (and even that round of AFF polls showing him up by 16), I think it may be time to stop discussing this race as competitive. What's most remarkable here is that the Dems manage to have a 47-37 edge on the generic ballot question, and Maynard (a controversial ex-state Supreme Court justice) still manages to underperform that low bar.
• DCCC: Now who's copping out on their DCCC dues payments? CQ finds that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been particularly remiss on making its payments, with only junior leadership member Xavier Becerra having paid all his dues as of the Aug. 24 tally. (Two more, including CHC chair Nydia Velazquez, report having paid up since then.) Some members cite failure to move immigration reform as a reason for holding out and giving directly to cooperative individual Reps instead.
• AL-St. Sen.: Despite having a 25-10 20-15 Democratic edge in the Alabama state Senate, many observers are thinking it's high on the list of legislative chambers that could flip this year, given a perfect storm of local and national dynamics. And this isn't going to help: 4 different members of the 35-person body got snared in a federal probe of a bingo operation. One is a retiring Republican, but the others are a Dem running in a tossup seat, a Dem running in a safe seat, and an independent running for re-election who was expected to caucus with Dems next session (Harri Anne Smith, whom you might remember from the AL-02 2008 GOP primary). This scandal looks like it'll drive the legislative race conversation in the state for the remaining weeks.
• NY-St. Sen.: There are four more polls from Siena of state Senate races in New York, showing two pretty safe incumbents (one from each party) but two open seats in true tossup territory. The safe-ish incumbents are Dem David Valesky in SD-40 (beating Andrew Russo 50-40) and GOPer James Alesi in SD-55 (beating Mary Wilmot 55-35). The other two races seem close mostly because of their screwy circumstances. In the Hudson Valley's GOP-held SD-40, GOPer Greg Ball (an inflammatory teabagger out of step with a district more amenable to moderate GOPers) leads Dem Michael Kaplowitz 45-44. And in Buffalo-area Dem-held SD-58, GOPer Jack Quinn (not the ex-Rep., but a relative) leads at 42, but that's because Tim Kennedy (on the Dem and Con lines) is at 39 and William Stachowski (whom Kennedy beat in the Dem primary) is at 12 on the WFP and IP lines.
• State legislatures: At SSP, we're always about finding ways for you to maximize the leverage you get out of your political contributions, and there's no better way to do that than through giving at the state legislative level, where a little money can go a long way (especially a lot of vulnerable chambers and redistricting looming.) The DLCC is out with its second list of Essential races, in the contests they consider important ones in the quest to hold important legislative chambers.
One other resource you should check out is the "Win Big By Thinking Small" ActBlue page, courtesy of Progressive Kick. They have 18 different progressives in important state legislative races all in one place. (One name you might remember is Patsy Keever, who ran in NC-11 in 2004.)
• SSP TV:
• CT-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad simply called "Bad" focusing on Linda McMahon as bad CEO of WWE; meanwhile, the McMahon camp is out with an ad calling Richard Blumenthal a liar for the nth time over his Vietnam service
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski seems to have an easy race, but is still hitting the airwaves touting her education record
• OH-Gov: John Kasich says that 400,000 Ohio jobs were lost under Ted Strickland's watch (without, of course, guessing at how many of those job losses were proximally related to the devastation of the credit market in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers)
• CA-03: Ami Bera hits Dan Lungren for using ethical loopholes to party with lobbyists in Hawaii
• FL-12: Faced with a state Rep. opponent, Dem Lori Edwards tries running against Tallahassee instead of Washington (and against big insurance, while she's at it), in what's definitely today's most cut-through-the-clutter ad
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski keeps going to the well of how bad a mayor of Hazleton Lou Barletta was
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with freakin' 27 different ads today... you can see the full list at their blog, and even watch them if you have 13½ minutes of your life you don't want to get back
• AR-Gov: Mike Beebe (D-inc) 51%, Jim Keet (R) 41%
• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln (D-inc) 37%, John Boozman (R) 55%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 49%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 41%, Susana Martinez (R) 51%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 41%, Tom Corbett (R) 53%
• WY-Gov: Leslie Peterson (D) 25%, Matt Mead (R) 61%
AK-Sen: Scott McAdams reports raising $650K since the August primary, saying over half his donations came from Alaskans and some 90% were $200 or less. The DSCC also finally registered its first public interest in the race, sending McAdams a $42,000 contribution, the maximum allowable direct donation. McAdams described this as the DS's "first" check to him, suggesting more help might be on the way - but bear in mind that $42K was exactly what the NRSC gave Christine O'Donnell.
IN-Sen: Aaron Blake tweets that the DSCC appears to be up on the air with a "small ad buy... in the South Bend market." SSP hoosiers in that corner of the state, let us know if you see anything.
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston obtained a 38-minute tape of an apparently private meeting between Sharron Angle and Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian, wherein Angle (among other things) pleads with Ashjian to drop out lest he cost her the election. Ralston has links to the full audio, and also posts some transcribed excerpts. The question remains: Why the hell did Angle tape this meeting - and how did it get released publicly?
AL-Gov: Robert Bentley, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, just told Mitt Romney to take a hike. Romney endorsed a bunch of Alabama Republicans (obviously as part of his pre-campaign ass-kissing), but Bentley declined the singular honor. Not surprised, given that you can find something about Willard Mitt which probably makes his backing unwelcome in every state in the union.
SC-Gov (PDF): So there's a poll out by a firm I've never heard of, Cranston & Associates, purporting to show Republican Nikki Haley up just 45-41 over Dem Vincent Sheheen. There are more than a few problem with this poll, though - click a link and check out the responses to their questions. It's apparently an RV poll, but 100% of respondents say they're going to vote. The male-female split is twice what it was in 2008, and the African American percentage is equal to 2008. In other words, this sample is waaay too friendly.
CA-03: I can't summarize this charming bit of hypocrisy better than Torey Van Oot of the Sacramento Bee, whose lede reads: "Rep. Dan Lungren likened the federal stimulus plan to a "spending spree which will add to a growing mountain of debt," but he helped secure $30 million from the program for a local company whose leaders later contributed to his campaign." Click the link for the full details.
CA-47: Clinton Alert! The Big Dog is coming to do a rally for Loretta Sanchez (a Hillary supporter, natch) on Oct. 15th. Recall that Joe Biden was in town last month to support Sanchez, who needs all the help she can get these days. After telling a radio host that "The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, (trying) to take this seat" and that her opponent Van Tran is "is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic," Sanchez came under intense fire and offered a bullshit "I'm sorry if you misunderstood me" non-apology. This one is not going well.
DE-AL: Republican Glen Urquhart is touting a Wilson Research Strategies poll (n=300) which supposedly has him just three points back of Dem John Carney, 45-42.
MA-04: Republican newcomer Sean Bielat, running against Rep. Barney Frank, says he raised $400K in September alone (and has the same amount on hand), after raising just $230K through August 25th. Frank has $1 million on hand. Even though Obama, Kerry, and Gore all won about 65% here, Scott Brown narrowly won this district, 50-49.
MN-06: Jebus - Michele Bachmann says she raised over $3.4 million in the third quarter alone. $3.4 million would be a lot for an entire cycle, let alone just one quarter. Put another way: That's probably 3 to 4 times what Lee Fisher raised last quarter.
PA-10: Given that things like "competence" and "judgment" were not on the list of criteria Karl Rove used when hiring US Attorneys, it's no surprise to hear that another legal impropriety has cropped up in connection with Tom Marino. During his days as Lycoming County D.A., Marino sought to get a friend's drug conviction expunged - and when one local judge refused to do so, he asked another, who granted the expungement, but then reversed himself upon learning what happened with the first judge. Pretty scuzzy - and why was Marino, who seems to have a history of wanting to do favors for unsavory characters, even seeking the expungement in the first place? The Luzerne County Citizens' Voice also tantalizes us with some other unexplored alleged Marino misbehavior "including claims he hired law enforcement colleagues to serve as an "entourage" and would go days at a time without going to the office."
Meanwhile, the Allentown Morning Call confirms what I've always assumed to be the case, that Marino resigned as US Attorney while he was under investigation in the Louis DeNaples matter (see PA-10 tags), which had the effect of halting the inquiry. Reminds me of Nathan Deal bailing on Congress to stop his ethics investigation.
TN-08: Uh-oh - time to get Steve Fincher on "Better Know a District." The Republican agribusiness kingpin didn't realize that the 8th CD includes parts of a small little town you might have heard of once... you know, Memphis, Tennessee. While declaring his ignorance, Fincher also informed the public that he wouldn't debate his opponent, Dem Roy Herron, nor would he release his tax returns (Herron has). Herron's also raised some questions about Fincher's personal financial disclosures, noting that they include zero liabilities - even though Fincher obtained a $250K bank loan that he in turn loaned to his campaign.
AL-02: Bobby Bright runs through a litany of numbers which he says define him - including voting with John Boehner 80% of the time
AZ-03: In his first ad, Dem John Hulburd strikes out at Ben Quayle for his fucked-up moral compass
IA-01: Republican Ben Lange has his first ad up, a biographical spot
LA-02: Cedric Richmond features President Obama speaking directly to the camera (and making lots of hand gestures that look like someone speaking very broken sign language)
NRCC: $5.3 million worth of NRCC spending on too many races to count
SC-05: "Citizens for a Working America" spends $250K against Dem Rep. John Spratt
Instead, all the excitement seems to be surrounding this poll from the Republican internal pollster, POS (although thanks to lots of leaking from Jon Ralston, we all knew about it last Friday). I'm not sure on whose behalf POS polled the race, or whose partisan interest they're serving by leaking these results, but at any rate they give Harry Reid one of the best results he had since the GOP primary, and even more interestingly, the first pollever to have Rory Reid within single digits of Brian Sandoval. Is there dual Reid-mentum going on, or just a blip?
UPDATE: atdleft, in the comments, points out that the poll was on behalf of the Nevada Retail Association, who are probably more interested in taxation issues and aren't likely to be interested in trying to spin the statewide race toplines.
• AR-Sen: Mason-Dixon takes another look at the Arkansas Senate race, on behalf of Arkansas News Bureau. Blanche Lincoln hasn't gotten any deader than she was before: she trails John Boozman 51-34, with 4 for other minor candidates (no real change from the last time they polled, back in May pre-primary, where Boozman led 52-35). Lincoln's faves have improved a smidge: now 30/47, instead of 28/53.
• DE-Sen: Whooo, where even to begin? The national media is just starting to dig into Christine O'Donnell's gigantic and eminently mineable opposition file, with NPR and ABC detailing her history of getting fired from right-wing think tanks and her suing for discrimination in response, of IRS audits that she blamed on "thug politics" and liens that she blamed on "computer errors," of failure to pay for her college, and of using her campaign money to pay the rent on her house as it's also her campaign headquarters. We also know about her stance on AIDS prevention, thanks to helpful tipsters in the comments. At least O'Donnell's faring well in the fundraising department, raising $1 million since her victory (with Chris Coons raising only $125K, showing the harmful effects of a short-of-the-endzone victory dance). Not leaving things to chance, reports are coming in that Joe Biden will campaign for Coons "next week" and that the DSCC is starting to put money into Delaware, starting with an $85K buy in the Salisbury market.
The establishment isn't budging much on her: the state's virulently anti-O'Donnell GOP chair, Tom Ross, is staying in place (though calling for "unity"), and Karl Rove, although he sorta backed down in the face of a Rush Limbaugh broadside, is still challenging O'Donnell to be "honest" to voters about her difficulties... and again running through the list of all those difficulties in his media appearances. Meanwhile, O'Donnell strips.... her website, perhaps at the urging of the NRSC; after her nomination, all issues stuff vanished and it just became a donation ask. Still, Harry Reid seems to be doing all he can to fuck this up, issuing a strange quote that should play right into the whole "Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda!!1!" messaging, expressing enthusiasm for Chris Coons but calling him his "pet."
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov (pdf): Part of the CNN/Time onslaught yesterday was polls of Nevada (which we're relegating to the digest, as this state, as we've complained before, is veering rapidly into over-polled territory). This raised some eyebrows for showing a Sharron Angle lead over Harry Reid (42-41, with 5 for Scott Ashjian) among LVs, but that's only a point or three off from the narrow band of results that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen have been consistently generating. (Reid leads 42-34-7 among RVs.) Many people (starting with Jon Ralston) also seemed surprised by some crosstabs weirdness, showing the race a dead heat in Democratic-favorable Clark County but giving Reid a big lead in swingy Washoe County. Brian Sandoval leads Rory Reid 58-31 in the Gov race.
• CA-Gov: It's official: Meg Whitman is now the biggest self-funder in political history, having shown that piker Michael Bloomberg how it's done. She gave her campaign another $15 million, which brings her personal spending on the race to $118 million overall.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes just picked up Scott McInnis's former campaign manager, George Culpepper, so it seems like the local GOP establishment isn't totally abandoning him. The Colorado Independent has an in-depth piece, though, with a more nuanced look, based on interviews with at least a dozen county GOP chairs. Some of them fully back Maes, some grudgingly do so, some back Tom Tancredo, and some are still in a state of shock.
• GA-Gov: After doing some pushback yesterday, Nathan "Let's Make a" Deal had to admit today that, yes, he is in some personally dire financial straits, saying his debts are even bigger than the $2.3 million loan that's outstanding... but also saying that he isn't releasing any more financial records to the press. It also turns out that he never disclosed that loan to the state Ethics Commission on his financial disclosure form, which he's now scrambling to update.
• MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA's out with yet another poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race; I think we can start relegating their frequent polls of this pretty-much-out-of-reach race to the digest, too. They give Rick Snyder a 53-29 lead over Virg Bernero (a slight improvement for Snyder over 51-29 three weeks ago).
• UT-Gov: OK, what kind of a world is it when we're faring better in the Utah governor's race than we are in Michigan? Not like this is a competitive race either, but it could be a good dress rehearsal for a 2012 rematch (remember that this 2010 race is a special election). Dem Peter Corroon trails Gary Herbert by "only" 21 points, 52-31, in a poll taken by Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News and KSL. The numbers haven't really changed since their previous poll in April (where Herbert led by 20).
• CA-11: As with 2008, Jerry McNerney rolled out endorsements from some local elected Republicans, as part of a list of 16 county supervisors and mayors who are backing him. Maybe most notable is the backing from the mayor of Manteca (or, in Spanish, Lard), Willie Weatherford, who had previously backed GOP primary loser Brad Goehring.
• CO-03: Here's a boost for John Salazar, in a suddenly-tough race in this rural western district against Republican Scott Tipton: he got the backing of the National Rifle Association, with an "A" rating.
• IA-02: Another warning sign for David Loebsack: the Mariannette Miller-Meeks campaign is out with another internal poll, showing her creeping closer than her previous one. The Tarrance Group poll has her trailing Loebsack by only 1 point: 41-40 (with 6 for a Libertarian). She could do some damage her with more money.
• LA-02: Lawyer Ron Austin dropped out of the LA-02 race today, where he was an independent candidate. This is really the first I'd ever heard of him, so I can't imagine he'd have been much of a factor here; I can't glean whether he was running on the left or the right, but he is African-American, so that in itself may shift at least a handful of votes in Cedric Richmond's direction in what may yet turn out to be a close race. Two other no-name indies remain.
• MD-01: One other internal poll got leaked to the Fix today, too, and this one's a pleasant surprise for the Dems. Frank Kratovil is still claiming a lead over Andy Harris, who just won the GOP nod for a rematch. Kratovil's poll by Garin-Hart-Yang gives him a 45-39 lead. (When I say "still," Kratovil released an earlier internal with a 5-point lead. Harris has released two internals of his own giving him a lead.)
• MO-04: Here's the good news: Ike Skelton got a shared endorsement from Missouri Right to Life, along with GOP challenger Vicky Hartzler. The bad news is: Skelton has generally had that endorsement to himself in the past.
• NY-14: Give Reshma Saujani credit for one thing: she's persistent. She's already announced that she'll try again in 2012 to unseat Carolyn Maloney in the NY-14 Dem primary.
• NY-23: Local teabaggers (or at least one of them) sound pretty upset with Conservative nominee (and GOP primary loser) Doug Hoffman, meaning that he, rather than the GOP nominee, may find himself in the third-wheel position this time around. Mark Barie, chairman of a local Tea Party organization criticized Hoffman for a listless campaign run by outsiders with little familiarity with the district. He threw his support behind Matt Doheny, who appears to have narrowly won the GOP primary despite a late close by Hoffman in late counting.
• CfG: The Club for Growth launched a five-state buy in Senate races, to a total tune of $1.5 million (no word on specific allocation). The states under assault are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
• NRCC: Two different rounds of TV ad buys came from the NRCC today. The first one was in WA-03 ($900K) and NM-01 ($300K), and a second one covers PA-10 ($595K), NH-01 ($1 mil), NH-02 ($1 mil), FL-08 ($817K), FL-24 ($817K), and VA-09 ($?).
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer goes negative against Carly Fiorina in a new spot, hitting her on (what else?) her failed tenure at HP
• MO-Sen: A new spot against Roy Blunt from Dem group Commonsense Ten (never heard of 'em, either) hits his consummate insider credentials
• PA-Sen: Yet another ad from Pat Toomey, this one featuring an oppressed doctor who doesn't like HCR (who just happens to be a big Republican activist too, not the ad says that)
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi's first negative ad features him personally narrating an attack on Patty Murray (instead of using the off-camera voice of doom); he calls her "part of the problem"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid's newest TV spot, by way of fighting back against Angle's attacks on immigration issues, just goes ahead and says it: it calls Sharron Angle "crazy"
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo doesn't want to leave anything to chance despite his big lead (he has the money to burn, at any rate), and he's out with a new bio ad (not that he needs much introduction)
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato tries introducing himself to Pennsylvania again, this time with a shorter 30-second ad that helpfully lets people know how to pronounce his name
• TX-Gov: Even Rick Perry's going negative: three different ads go after Bill White, two trying to tie him to Barack Obama and one attacking his handling of Hurricane Rita
• VT-Gov: The RGA wades into Vermont with a negative ad against Peter Shumlin, hitting him on taxes
• CT-04: Jim Himes has not one but two new ads, stressing his independence and debt hawkishness
• KS-03: Stephene Moore's first ad plays up her day job as a nurse
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy has two different anti-Rick Berg ads, one of which focuses on his crazy plans to drill for oil in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster (who's now rebranded herself as "Annie Kuster") goes negative on Charlie Bass in her first ad, framing him as failed retread
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's newest spot focuses on his own personal record of job creation as businessman before entering Congress
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is out with a positive ad, touting his work on veteran's issues like VA health care
• WA-02: John Koster tries to cram both a negative ad and a positive ad into a discordant 30 seconds
• WI-07: Sean Duffy plays up his lumberjack credentials, saying he'll "take an ax" to Washington (I'll admit, that's kinda clever)
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 53%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 42%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 39%, Brian Sandoval (R) 52%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 51%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
There's very little movement in the Nevada Senate race; most everyone has decided and it's a game of inches. Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian is in better shape after a U.S. District Court judge dismissed a suit intended to keep Ashjian off the ballot, saying the time for legal challenges was long ago. Of course, with "Other" (not just Ashjian, but also the AIP candidate) polling at 1%, that really doesn't mater one iota.
Jon Ralston has teased the existence of some other poll that has Reid the Younger within 9 (saying "he's not dead yet"), which we'll be on the lookout for. That, plus Ralston-tweeted word of another Reid internal that has him within 7, and the trendlines here, suggest that Reid somehow has gotten some momentum. Is there enough time left to capitalize, though?
Dina Titus (D-inc): 47 (43)
Joe Heck (R): 43 (42)
Other: 1 (3)
None of these: 2 (4)
Undecided: 7 (8)
One other race where there's some Democratic progress -- and where it may actually affect the bottom line -- is the 3rd, where Dina Titus moved from a 1-point edge to a 4-point edge, and closer to the 50% mark. It's pretty easy to diagnose what happened there, though: the AFSCME poured $750K into the district on Titus's behalf. Now if we could just get them to do that in about 30 or 40 other districts, then we'd be in pretty good shape overall.
If you're wondering about the state's downballot offices, they're all crammed in there too. GOPer Brian Krolicki is poised to return for another turn as Lt. Governor, while the Dems, including sorta-embattled AG Catherine Cortez Masto, are winning the other four races.
IL-Sen: Crain's Chicago Business is reporting that a teabaggish libertarian, Michael Labno, appears to have survived challenges to his petitions and will likely appear on the ballot this fall. Presumably this is good news for Alexi Giannoulias.
NV-Sen: Who knew he was even gone? Sketchball and possibly ersatz teabagger Scott Ashjian had apparently been AWOL for some time, but Jon Ralston has been keeping tabs. The erstwhile Ashjian put out his first press release in however long yesterday, to remind the world that he exists. It also serves the remind the world that he does not know how to use spell check.
AR-01: GOPer Rick Crawford just caught a break: conservative indie candidate Richard Walden just dropped out of the race and threw his backing to the Republican.
IN-09: Another similar story to the AR-01 item above: Indie Ron Kimsey has bailed on the race, in order to help Republican Todd Young beat Rep. Baron Hill.
NM-02: In one of the first independent expenditures aimed at the general election, Defenders of Wildlife plunked down $125,000 for a two-week buy to air an ad against GOP retread Steve Pearce. Big problem, though: The Pearce campaign put out a press release saying they got KOAT-TV to take down the ad on the grounds that it was false and misleading. Really hate to see a Dem ally stumble out of the gate like this.
NY-14: Talk about chutzpah: Reshma Saujani baselessly attacked Carolyn Maloney for the fact that the 9/11 healthcare bill failed to pass, carping that "A real leader would have passed this bill years ago." Not only did this bill fail purely due to Republican obstructionism, I'd like to know where Saujani was lobbying on this legislation "years ago." Fortunately, the attack has generated some swift blowback: the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association says he supports Maloney's efforts, and the head of the NY AFL-CIO said Saujani's charges were "absolutely ridiculous." Now, the chief of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (a different outfit) has also chimed in, slamming Saujani for her "disingenuous and offensive" attacks.
PA-15: Say what you will about Bill Clinton, but the man is touring America like a fuggin' champ on behalf of Democratic candidates this year. In addition to stumping on behalf of Joe Sestak yesterday, Clinton stopped by the Lehigh Valley to help Dem John Callahan raise $150K for his race against GOP incumbent Charlie Dent. (JL)
WV-01: Politico reports that the AFL-CIO is threatening to remain neutral in this race, rather than back Dem Mike Oliverio, who hasn't exactly compiled a very pro-labor record. (Indeed, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers endorsed his Republican opponent, David McKinley.) It could of course all be a ploy to extract promises out of Oliverio. (If so, good.) In any event, the AFL will decide on an endorsement this weekend.
Wow -- Sharron Angle appears to be packing her Dirty Harry Hand Cannon and aroma-therapeutic massage oils all the way to a remarkable victory, if these polls are to be believed. Recall that Angle, a wild-eyed Club for Growth-backed whacko, was last seen washing out of the primary race to replace now-Gov. Jim Gibbons in the 2nd Congressional District back in 2006. Let's just hope that Danny Tarkanian doesn't somehow sneak through as Lowden and Angle continue to go nuclear on each other in the closing days.
Meanwhile, Sue Lowden has been scrambling to defend a burial fee for that she proposed for non-combat veterans. In a hastily-arranged press conference, Lowden repeatedly defended the tax, and even trotted out a veteran to say that the fee was okay. Uh, is this really the sort of thing that any politician wants to spend time defending? Man, I'll almost be sorry to see her lose.
R2K also took a look at the general election, and found some of the rosiest numbers yet for Harry Reid -- though that's not really saying much:
Harry Reid (D): 42 (41)
Sue Lowden (R): 38 (45)
Scott Ashjian (T): 2 (4)
None: 7 (2)
Other: 3 (2)
Undecided: 8 (6)
Harry Reid (D): 43 (41)
Danny Tarkanian (R): 39 (43)
Scott Ashjian (TP): 2 (6)
None: 6 (2)
Other: 3 (2)
Undecided: 7 (6)
I'll believe that Harry Reid is beating his Republican opponents once I see several more corroborative polls, but it can't be denied that these clowns are actually giving Harry Reid a shot at survival.
And, finally, that darned gubernatorial race (no trend lines):
The good news is that Rory Reid can beat somebody: namely, Jim Gibbons or maybe, possibly, if he's lucky, Mike Montandon. The bad news is that there's little chance of either such match-up happening. Ex-AG Brian Sandoval beats Gibbons by 48-27 in the GOP primary (with Montandon at 6) according to R2K, and Suffolk pegs the race at a nearly identical 47-25.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist went the full-on "I" today; he made a big show of switching his own party registration to "no party affiliation" today, to match having filed as an independent to run for Senate. Free from his Republican shackles, Crist is also following through on plans to call a special legislative session on oil drilling, which could result in Floridians voting on a constitutional amendment to ban offshore drilling in Florida waters. And one final middle-finger to his former Republican allies: after previously saying he was open to refunding money to donors unhappy with his party switch, today he said he wouldn't be giving any contributions back.
• NC-Sen (pdf): PPP's out with another quick poll of the runoff for the Democratic Senate nomination between Cal Cunningham and Elaine Marshall. It's a tie, with Cunningham and Marshall both at 36. While this would initially suggest that Cunningham (who finished 2nd) is picking up the bulk of the also-rans' votes, that's not the case; Marshall is still leading among liberals and African-Americans, which probably means she's getting most Kenneth Lewis voters. PPP's analysis is that Cunningham's improved standing is a result of an enthusiasm gap between their supporters; Cunningham backers seem likelier to actually show up for the runoff.
• NV-Sen: Here's something we haven't seen in probably more than a year, which is half a lifetime in politics years: Harry Reid is posting a lead. Now, granted, this is a Democratic poll, although not a Reid internal; it was taken by Dem pollster Fairbanks Maslin on behalf of the New West Project. But still, this shows that the chickens have come home to roost for Sue Lowden, in the wake of her quadrupling-down on her HCR gaffe; she's now trailing Reid 42-35 (with 5 for Tim Fasano, 3 for Scott Ashjian). Reid is tied with Danny Tarkanian, who isn't gaffe-tainted (and in fact is now trying to tar and feather Lowden with it in the primary), at 37-37 (with 7 for Fasano and 2 for Ashjian).
• UT-Sen: One impure collaborationist down, one to go. With Bob Bennett out, teabagger frenzy is now turning to Orrin Hatch. Mason-Dixon finds Hatch's 2012 numbers pretty weak, with a 35% re-elect and 51% wanting someone else. And that "someone else" is already making his interest known, more than two years out (probably with an eye toward goading the 78-year-old Hatch into retirement): ambitious freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
• WI-Sen: Wealthy businessman Ron Johnson, the teabaggers' horse in the Wisconsin Senate GOP derby, made it official, filing as a candidate today. He'll officially launch his bid next Monday.
• AL-Gov: Bradley Byrne, the supposed moderate (by Alabama GOP standards) in the race, has had to two-step to the right and defend his creationist cred, after an ad from the "True Republican PAC" attacked him for the unforgivable sin of teaching evolution in schools. Turns out that there's some tasty Democratic dirty pool behind all this: the True Republican PAC is funded by the state teacher's union, the Alabama Education Association (who are also Ron Sparks' biggest financial backer). Their rationale seems to be that they'd rather, Gray Davis-style, torpedo Bradley Byrne in the GOP primary, on the assumption that he'd be the most difficult Republican to beat in the general.
• CT-Gov: On the Chris Cillizza hierarchy of endorsements, I think this one falls under the category of "10) Wtf?" State Sen. minority leader John McKinney, who'd considered a gubernatorial run himself, endorsed neither of the GOP frontrunners, but rather the random businessman with the weird name, Oz Griebel. The former head of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce has been polling in the low single digits.
• OH-Gov: Lehman Brothers keeps turning into a bigger and bigger albatross around John Kasich's neck. It turns out that Kasich, while he was head of Lehman's Columbus office in 2002, tried to convince two state pension funds (OPFPF and OPERS) to invest with the now-imploded investment bank.
• OR-Gov: Yet another poll of the primaries in the Oregon gubernatorial race, confirming what's come into pretty sharp focus lately, that it'll be a John Kitzhaber/Chris Dudley matchup in November. Local pollster Tim Hibbitts, on behalf of assorted media outlets including Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Portland Tribune, found Kitzhaber beating Bill Bradbury 53-23 on the Dem side. For the GOPers, Dudley leads Allen Alley by a not-overwhelming 33-23, but there's little time left for Alley to make a move. (John Lim is at 8 and Bill Sizemore is at 6.) They also looked at the Dem primary in the special election for Treasurer, finding a competitive race with lots of undecideds: appointed incumbent (and ex-Multnomah Co. Chair) Ted Wheeler leads state Sen. Rick Metsger 29-24.
• WA-Gov: The rumor du jour is that Chris Gregoire is now on the short list to become Solicitor General, assuming Elena Kagan gets promoted to the SCOTUS. Allow me to say: bad idea, if only because it means at least several months of Governor Brad Owen. Under Washington law, though, Owen wouldn't serve for long, as a special election would be held. The timeline varies, depending on when Gregoire might quit as Governor. If it happens before May 31, a primary would be held, followed by a two-person general in November. If it happens after May 31 but before October 3, it would result in a jungle-style election in November. And if it happens after October 3, we'd be blessed with two full years of Owen. One other major wrinkle: if this looks like it has legs, it may shut the door on a Dino Rossi run for the Senate, as it's a poorly-kept secret that he'd really prefer another gubernatorial run rather than wasting his third strike on getting pasted by Patty Murray, and this would be the way for him to do it.
• NY-29: David Paterson did the unthinkable and called a special election for the 29th. Heh... except he called it for the regularly-scheduled election day in November, so the winner will get to serve for a few weeks in the lame duck session, Snelly Gibr-style. Smart move by the Gov, as it saves Dems from a potentially embarrassing special election on a day when that's the only story. Instead, the outcome will probably be that Tom Reed gets to start work a few weeks early.
• PA-12: Two polls are out today in the 12th, both giving a single-digit lead to Democrat Mark Critz. One poll is a Critz internal, so you'd expect a lead there: Global Strategy Group gives him an 8-point lead of 44-36 (up from 41-38 in mid-April). But the other is from Susquehanna, a pollster who often works for Republican candidates but here is polling on behalf of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (the GOP paper in town). They find Critz up 44-38, and Critz even leads by 19 among "super voters" (who've voted in 3 of the last 4 primaries). Interestingly, they find Republican Tim Burns' woes increasing on two different fronts: he's also in a "dead heat" with BaseConnect stooge Bill Russell (who got passed over for the special election nod) in the regularly-scheduled GOP primary on the same day. For some reason, specific numbers weren't available for the GOP primary or the Dem primary, although it says Critz has "a majority" against Ryan Bucchanieri.
• AR-Sen: Barack Obama is cutting a radio ad in support of Blanche Lincoln as she faces a primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Also on the ad front, here's an ad that both Lincoln and Halter agree on. Both have condemned the anti-Halter ad from Americans for Job Security as racist; the ad uses Indian actors and backdrops to accuse Halter of having offshored jobs. AJS's head says he sees nothing wrong with the ad and won't be pulling it; it's a big ad buy and scheduled to run for the next two weeks in the leadup to the primary.
• KY-Sen: Lots happening in Kentucky, most notably a strange switcheroo by Christian right leader James Dobson. He outright switched his endorsement from Trey Grayson to Rand Paul, blaming GOP insiders for feeding him misinformation about Paul (such as that he was pro-choice). Dobson's endorsement is bound to help the Paul attract some social conservative voters uneasy about his libertarianism, and also helps paint Grayson as tool of the dread insiders. True to form, Grayson is touting a new endorsement that's pretty insidery: from Rep. Hal Rogers, the low-profile, long-term Rep. from the state's Appalachian southeast corner and a key pork-doling Appropriations member. Grayson is also touting his own internal poll, which shows Paul and Grayson deadlocked at 40-40, contrary to, well, every public poll of the race.
• LA-Sen, LA-LG: Here's the first non-Rasmussen poll of Louisiana we've seen in a while, not that it has Charlie Melancon in a particularly better position. It was conducted by Southern Media & Opinion Research on behalf of businessman Lane Grigsby (a wealthy meddler in Republican politics, last seen swaying LA-06 in 2008 with hundreds of thousands of IEs from his own pocket). Vitter leads Melancon 49-31, and Vitter has 55/36 favorables. It also seems to be the first poll to take a look at the Republican all-party jungle primary in the developing Lt. Governor's race (created by Mitch Landrieu's election as New Orleans mayor). State Treasurer John Kennedy (the ex-Dem and loser of the 2008 Senate race) leads the pack at 21, followed by SoS Jay Dardenne at 15, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell at 14, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis at 6, and state GOP chair Roger Villere at 2. (Kennedy and Campbell, however, haven't announced their candidacies yet.) (H/t Darth Jeff).
• NC-Sen: PPP has one last look at the Democratic primary in the Senate race, although this one may well be going into overtime (someone needs to break 40% to avoid a top-two runoff). They find Elaine Marshall leading Cal Cunningham 28-21 (a bigger spread than her 26-23 lead one week ago). Kenneth Lewis is at 9, with assorted others taking up another 9%. PPP also polls on the potential runoff, finding Marshall would beat Cunningham in a runoff 43-32 (as Lewis's voters would break to Marshall by a 47-32 margin).
• NH-Sen: Kelly Ayotte seems to be leaving any "moderate" pretenses in the dust, as she just came out in favor of Arizona's new anti-illegal immigrant law. (Of course, New Hampshire is one of the whitest and least Hispanic states in that nation, so it still may not wind up hurting her much.)
• NV-Sen: Research 2000, for Daily Kos, came out with a poll of the Nevada Senate race last Friday. Nothing unusual here, inasmuch as they find Harry Reid not looking as DOA as Rasmussen always does, though there are still lots of flies circling around him. Reid's faves are 37/53, and he trails Sue Lowden 45-41 (with 4 for the Tea Party's Scott Ashjian, 2 for "other," and 2 for Nevada's unique "None of the Above" line). He also trails Danny Tarkanian 43-41 and Sharron Angle 44-41. Despite Lowden getting low marks for her chicken bartering proposals (14/81 approval of that, including 27/68 among Republicans), she still has 42/34 favorables overall and is leading the way in the GOP primary, although perhaps by a narrowing margin: she's at 38, to 28 for Tarkanian, 13 for Angle, and 12 for "other," with 9 undecided.
• OH-Sen: One last poll sneaked under the finish line before tomorrow's Democratic primary in the Ohio Senate race. Quinnipiac finds last-minute momentum for Lee Fisher (in the wake of actually spending some money on TV ads): he leads Jennifer Brunner 43-23. It pretty much seems to depend on name rec (which, in turns, depends on ads): Fisher has 44/8 favorables among likely primary voters, while Brunner is at 26/7 (with 65% having no opinion of her).
• AZ-Gov: I hadn't been aware until today that controversial Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was still seriously considering a run in the GOP gubernatorial primary (especially since, with Jan Brewer signing the anti-illegal immigrant law into effect, his main raison d'etre to challenge her was gone). At any rate, after making a big show of "major announcement today!" he then issued a brief press release saying that he wasn't going to run.
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman is treading carefully in the wake of the Arizona immigration law's passage, probably mindful of the California GOP's short-term gains but long-term ruin in the wake of Proposition 187. Meg Whitman came out against it (while primary opponent Steve Poizner supports it), perhaps an indication that she feels safe enough to start charting a moderate course for the general election.
• CT-Gov: Two interesting developments in Connecticut: one, former HartStamford mayor Dan Malloy, Ned Lamont's main Democratic primary opposition, will qualify for public financing of his campaign. This will help Malloy compete on a somewhat more level playing field against Lamont, who can self-finance. Also, the Democratic field shrank a little, as one of the minor candidates in the field, Mary Glassman (the First Selectwoman of Simsbury) dropped out and signed on as Lamont's Lt. Governor running mate instead.
• IL-Gov: Democratic running-mate-for-a-day Scott Lee Cohen followed through on earlier threats, and today announced his independent candidacy for Governor. His rationale? "I believe that the people of Illinois have forgiven me."
• MN-Gov: Needless to say, I'm feeling better about our chances in Minnesota, as newly-anointed GOP nominee Tom Emmer is laying down markers way, way outside the Minnesota mainstream. Turns out he's a full-on "Tenther," having recently sponsored state legislation that would purport to nullify all federal laws that are not approved by a two-thirds supermajority in the Minnesota legislature. (He also recently said that the Arizona immigration law was a "wonderful first step.")
• NY-Gov: We're getting very mixed signals on the Steve Levy campaign for the GOP nomination. On the one hand, Levy is claiming that the RGA is ready to pony up $8 million to $10 million in support of his campaign. On the other hand, state GOP chair Ed Cox, the guy who arm-twisted Levy to get into the race in the first place, is privately expressing worries that Levy won't get the 50% of county chairs' endorsements to get the ballot line, and there are rumors that he's now floating the idea of a Rick Lazio-Steve Levy ticket.
• OH-Gov: Incumbent Dem Gov. Ted Strickland is going on the air starting on primary election day, with a major TV ad buy of 1,000 points each in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dayton. Strickland has $2 million more cash than John Kasich, so he probably figures now's the time to use it.
• OR-Gov: A variety of polls have popped up of the primaries in Oregon, whose fast-approaching primary is kind of dwarfed by higher-profile affairs in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania on the same day, May 18. Tim Hibbitts (on behalf of Nike and Standard Insurance, in case there was any doubt that Oregon is, in fact, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Phil Knight) found John Kitzhaber firmly in control of the Dem primary, leading Bill Bradbury 50-21. Local TV affiliate KATU also commissioned a poll by SurveyUSA, which was taken in mid-April but they seem to have sat on the results until now. It's apparently the first public poll of the Republican primary; they find Chris Dudley, who's been spending heavily on TV time, leading the pack at 28. Allen Alley is at 13, under-indictment Bill Sizemore is at 11, John Lim is at 7, and assorted tea-bagging "others" add up to 8.
• UT-Gov: Looks like those rumors that Democratic candidate Peter Corroon was going to pick a Republican running mate were right. Corroon tapped state Rep. Sheryl Allen, one of the legislature's leading moderate GOPers, as his number two.
• OH-17: Insert obligatory "beam me up" joke here! Ex-Rep. Jim Traficant, out of prison, is looking to get back in the game, and he'll be taking on his former employee, Rep. Tim Ryan, by running as an independent in his old district, the 17th. While there had been rumors that Traficant was also going to file to run in the next-door 6th (as, bizarrely, you can run in multiple different districts in Ohio), but he decided against that. Bear in mind that Traficant already ran against Ryan in the 17th as an independent shortly after his 2002 conviction and House expulsion, but only got 15% in that race.
IL-Sen: Have I mentioned lately that Mark Kirk is an utter wiener? No? Well, Mark Kirk is an utterly predictable wiener. After charging gung-ho in the direction of "Repeal!", Kirk has decided to quickly drop his push to roll back healthcare reform, preferring instead to remind everyone how expensive it is.
NV-Sen: Here's some bitter tea for fans of right-wing vote-splitting. It appears that Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian is facing criminal charges for theft relating to bad checks he allegedly wrote for his asphalt business. Ashjian won't have to withdraw his candidacy if arrested, but headlines like these can't help him syphon off any substantial amount of votes from the GOP's flank.
PA-Sen: Arlen Specter landed a huge endorsement in his primary battle against Joe Sestak yesterday, with the news that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO has elected to back the five-term incumbent.
TX-Sen: Kay Bailey Hutchison will announce her future plans in San Antonio this morning, flanked by Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. I think it's probably a safe guess to say that she's likely going to serve out the remainder of her term, despite her many promises otherwise.
FL-Gov: Republican Bill McCollum leads Democrat Alex Sink by 49-34 according to the latest Mason-Dixon poll of the race.
GA-Gov: 31 douchebags Republican state legislators have signed a resolution calling for the impeachment of Democratic AG Thurbert Baker after his refusal to challenge the constitutionality of the recent healthcare reform legislation. Baker, who has been struggling in the polls for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against ex-Gov. Roy Barnes, is probably enjoying the free publicity, if nothing else.
MA-Gov: State Treasurer Tim Cahill got busted for sending out a mass fundraising solicitation for his Independent gubernatorial bid to state legislators from his official e-mail account, which is a violation of Massachusetts campaign finance rules.
MD-Gov: Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich confirmed on Tuesday that he will attempt a comeback against Democrat Martin O'Malley this year.
AR-01: This one ranks pretty low on the list of unexpected political news. Retiring Democratic Rep. Marion Berry will endorse his former chief of staff, Chad Causey, for the Dem nomination to succeed him. Causey also recently picked up the support of the Arkansas AFL-CIO.
FL-19: At least one of these things may strain your credulity. Republican Ed Lynch, running in the April 13 special election to replace Democrat Robert Wexler in the House, says that his fundraising has seen "probably a thousand percent increase" since Congress passed healthcare reform, and that "polling we've done" shows him ahead of Democrat Ted Deutch. Of course, his campaign isn't coming forward with any evidence of the existence of any such polls.
GA-12: Republican Ray McKinney, a nuclear power project manager who lost the GOP primary in 2008 for the right to take on John Barrow, says that he's going to try again this year. McKinney joins Thunderbolt Fire Chief Carl Smith, retired businessman Mike Horner, activist Jeanne Seaver and restaurant owner George Brady in the GOP primary.
MI-13: Metro Detroit pastor Glenn Plummer, the founder of the African American Christian Television Network, has announced that he'll challenge Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick in the Democratic primary, joining state Sen. Hansen Clarke for a three-way race. Don't expect Plummer to be a progressive choice, though: he freely admits that he voted for Bush in 2004, spoke to a GOP convention that same year, and has also used his pulpit to argue in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Yuck.
MO-03: Rusty Wallace -- not the NASCAR champion, but a CAD technician and avid teabagger -- will join the highly-touted Ed Martin in the Republican primary for the right to upset Dem Rep. Russ Carnahan.
MO-07: It looks like a couple of high profile candidates have slipped under the wire for the race to fill the seat of Senatorial aspirant Roy Blunt. Ex-state Rep. Steve Hunter will become the ninth GOP candidate in the mix, which some local observers suspect may be a ploy from one of the other candidates to syphon off votes from state Sen. Gary Noodler, who shares Hunter's regional base. For the Democrats, Scott Eckersley, an attorney who served in ex-Gov. Matt Blunt's administration, also filed to run for this R+17 seat. Eckersley settled a wrongful termination lawsuit with the state last year after alleging that he was dismissed for raising questions within the administration over the destruction of controversial state e-mails. Eckersley isn't committed to a run, though, and said he filed in order to keep his options open.
NV-03: Ex-state Sen. Joe Heck (R) is leading Democratic frosh Rep. Dina Titus by 40-35, according to a new internal poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies for Heck's campaign.
NY-29: Local Democrats still haven't settled on a nominee for the special election in this upstate New York district, but at least we now know the names of six of the potential candidates:
The interviewed candidates include Southern Tier native Matthew Zeller, former Allegany County District 4 Legislator Michael McCormick, David Nachbar, a former state Senate candidate and businessman from Pittsford, Rush-Henrietta Central School District teacher David Rose, and Assemblyman David Koon, D-Perinton. Mary Wilmot, an aide to Gov. David Paterson, was the lone women interviewed.
PA-10: I never thought I'd say this, but why can't we have more Dems like Chris Carney? After harshly criticizing Sarah Palin for putting his House district in literal cross hairs, Carney defended his HCR vote to a local TV station:
"You can't vote worried about your career, you have to vote the right way," Carney said. "You have to vote your conscience and for me this was a vote of conscience."
SC-05: John Spratt is a true hero. Just a day after filing for re-election in the face of persistent retirement rumors fueled by NRCC schemers and beltway natterers, Spratt has announced that he's been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's disease. Spratt insists that his symptoms are mild and that his condition won't impede his ability to serve in Congress -- or run a vigorous re-election race.
SD-AL: Physician Kevin Weiland has dropped his plans to challenge Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the Democratic primary, citing his concern for party unity. Weiland issued a joint press release with Herseth Sandlin announcing the news, and based his decision partly on assurances from Herseth Sandlin that she would not vote to repeal healthcare reform. (Hat-tip: doug tuttle)
TN-06: Democrats have finally found a candidate to run for the seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon. Marine Capt. Ben Leming, an Iraq War veteran, received permission from the secretary of the Navy to file his candidacy. However, Leming can't actively campaign until his active duty ends on May 1st.
WA-01: This seat isn't on anyone's radar, but Republican businessman James Watkins recently released an internal poll, conducted by Moore Information, showing him trailing Democrat Jay Inslee by 41-27.
WI-03: Is this what state Sen. Dan Kapanke signed up for when he decided to run for Congress against Democrat Ron Kind? Kapanke jumped into the race with much fanfare in the anticipation that Kind would bail on the race to run for Governor. That didn't happen, and now Kapanke is facing a primary from ex-banker Bruce Evers, who has some truly wild ideas on constraining government spending.