• AK-Sen: The Tea Party Express is reloading in Alaska, with Lisa Murkowski having popped up again as a target. They're launching a new ad blitz starting Monday, although no word on how much they plan to spend on this go-round.
• CA-Sen: It seems like the NRSC can read the handwriting on the wall in California: they've canceled a $1.9 million ad buy on Carly Fiorina's behalf for the last week before the election (probably sensing that money's more valuable in West Virginia). They're, of course, framing it as "advancing in another direction," saying they wanted to give her flexibility to spend the money "around the state and not just in one city."
• CO-Sen: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for DSCC (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Michael Bennet (D-inc): 48
Ken Buck (R): 46
The DSCC has the first publicly-offered poll in a while giving Michael Bennet a lead, here up 2 on Ken Buck. (The last poll with a Bennet lead seems to be that joint POS/Fairbank Maslin poll from early September, which had him up by 3.)
• DE-Sen: Wow, Christine O'Donnell's resume (on her LinkedIn profile) is falling apart like it was made out of balsa wood and chewing gum. After getting called on not having actually taken any classes at Oxford yesterday, now it turns out that she never took any classes at Claremont Graduate University. And she's offering a really strange denial, the kind of thing you might expect from a first-grader rather than a 41-year old: that Linked In profile with her name on it? Yeah, she's saying she didn't put it up and doesn't know who did.
• LA-Sen: I don't know if anyone has compared this yet to that epic-length R. Kelly video that has him hiding in closet and there's a dwarf apropos of nothing? At any rate, Charlie Melancon is out with a new ad that's not the first time he's broached the issue of David Vitter's, um, personal failings... but this one goes on for two whole minutes, chronicling the whole thing in great detail. Given its remarkable length, it should be no surprise that it's only running on cable.
• NC-Sen: Public Policy Polling (pdf) (9/23-26, likely voters, late Aug. in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 36 (38)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (43)
Michael Beitler (L): (6)
Undecided: 11 (13)
The movement toward Richard Burr (thanks to his seemingly-effective advertising, paid for with his huge financial edge) shown by other pollsters is corroborated by PPP, who've tended to see a closer race here in their home state than anyone else. He leads by 13, instead of 5 like last time. One galling number, indicating this could be a real race if Elaine Marshall had any money (not forthcoming, since the DSCC is playing so much defense elsewhere), is that Marshall actually leads 47-45 among those who have an opinion of her.
• NV-Sen: Jon Ralston continues to pummel Sharron Angle, this time over her strange attempts to walk back claims that she wants to privatize the VA. "Walk back" may not even be the right word, since her seem to involve the argument that she never actually said the words that she previously said in May. Meanwhile, here's the level of message discipline they have over at Camp Angle: her own spokesperson is criticizing Angle's latest ad on immigration as "propaganda," in her side gig as chair of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus!
• WA-Sen: Who's the most popular politician in America these days? Bill Clinton, believe it or not. So it's no surprise he's in demand as Democratic surrogate, and he's even coming to Washington on Patty Murray's behalf, headlining a Boeing-themed event in Everett on Oct. 18.
• CA-Gov: This story seems to be developing as the day goes on: Meg Whitman's camp has had to cop to the fact that she once employed a housekeeper who was, gasp, an illegal immigrant. The fight... which will probably determine how much of a story this becomes (if any) over the next few days... seems to be over how much Whitman personally knew about her status (although the non-matching social security number seems like it should've been a tipoff).
• CO-Gov: Wow, this might actually help Dan Maes climb his way out of polling in the low teens! Today he offers some exculpatory evidence that he did too sorta-kinda work as an undercover officer for a small-town police department in Kansas. (Of course, it also shows that he was in fact fired for leaking information about the probe to the relative of a target.)
• OH-Gov: Benenson for Campaign for the Moderate Majority (9/25-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
You might apply a little salt as this is a poll by a Dem pollster for Dem-sounding group, but this is still the first we've seen this in a long, long while... a poll with Ted Strickland in the lead. With a trio of polls in the last few days showing Strickland down by either 1 or 2, there's some definite late closing in this race. (One strange item, though, is that "other" candidates are eating up 6% of the vote here. I'd be surprised if that continues.)
• CO-02: Magellan (9/29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Jared Polis (D-inc): 48
Stephen Bailey (R): 36
I'm not sure why Magellan fired up their crack team of robo-dialers to test this race, not really on anyone's radar screen -- maybe they're prospecting for unusual targets. As one would expect, Jared Polis isn't in particular danger in this D+11 district, although thanks to the drag of the national climate his numbers seem softer than the district's heavy lean.
• NC-07: SurveyUSA for Civitas (pdf) (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McIntyre (D-inc): 45
Ilario Pantano (R): 46
SurveyUSA takes a look at NC-07, as part of the Civitas Institute's rotating cast of pollsters. The (not very comforting) good news is that this is SurveyUSA, which has been putting out very GOP-friendly polling in House races, especially in North Carolina. (See their NC-11 polling, compared to other sources.) The bad news is that this race is pretty low on people's watch lists, although the NRCC has started to spending some money on ads here.
• VA-02: POS for Scott Rigell (9/26-27, likely voters, no trendlines):
Glenn Nye (D-inc): 35
Scott Rigell (R): 42
Kenny Golden (I): 5
On top of the NRCC internal poll leaked yesterday (giving Scott Rigell a decent if not-awe-inspiring 45-40 lead over Glenn Nye in an Ayres McHenry poll on 9/23-26), now Rigell's out with his own internal poll from POS giving him a slightly bigger lead. There's one very strange detail here, though: the voters going for tea-flavored indie Kenny Golden seem to be coming out Glenn Nye's column, as that subsample has 59/23 Obama approvals. The MoE on that subsample is probably astronomical, but still, there seems to be some message confusion here about who's who.
• WI-07: POS for Sean Duffy (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Julie Lassa (D): 43
Sean Duffy (R): 47
With Julie Lassa having released a poll yesterday showing her down by 1, Sean Duffy retaliated with a poll showing, well, not much difference: his poll has Lassa down by 4. This gets a little confusing, because the NRCC is out with a totally different internal poll today giving Duffy a better result (see below). At any rate, the polls taken in combination seem to give him a definite advantage here.
• NRSC: Here are some McCain Bucks that are actually worth something in the real world! Apparently feeling confident in his general (having survived a bigger challenge in his primary from J.D. Hayworth), John McCain just kicked $1 million over to the NRSC. (Alternate title: Good news! From John McCain!)
• NRCC: In addition to those couple candidate-released internals, the NRCC leaked five more internals of its own today to the Hotline, the majority of which confirm the expected trouble in three Midwestern open seats, but one showing a sleepy race is a live one and one with flat-out awful numbers for the Dem:
WI-08: Steve Kagen (D-inc) 39%, Reid Ribble (R) 57% (OnMessage, 9/15-16)
IL-17: Phil Hare (D-inc) 43%, Bobby Schilling (R) 44% (Tarrance Group, 9/23-25)
WI-07: Julie Lassa (D) 38%, Sean Duffy (R) 52% (Fabrizio, McLaughlin 9/15-16)
MI-01: Gary McDowell (D) 24%, Dan Benishek (R) 40% (Hill Research, 9/19-22) (um, no polling on Glenn Wilson?)
IN-08: Trent Van Haaften (D) 20%, Larry Buchson (R) 41% (OnMessage, 9/13-14)
• American Crossroads: Money's flowing out of American Crossroads as fast as it flows in, from their handful of billionaire donors: they're launching TV ad buys worth $724K in CO-Sen, $618K in IL-Sen, $346K in NV-Sen, $267K in PA-Sen, $492K in WA-Sen, $384K in MO-Sen, and also $247K in direct mail in FL-Sen. (Here's a peek at their WA-Sen ad.)
• NFIB: Committees? Who needs 'em? The National Federation of Independent Business is getting straight into the IE business, too, and in a big way. They have a new PA-Sen ad out (see the link). They're also starting to advertise in NC-Sen, WI-Sen, IN-08, WI-07, ND-AL, OH-16, NM-01, NV-03, FL-08, SC-05, VA-05, and WI-08.
• State legislatures: Louis Jacobson, writing for Governing magazine, updates his state legislature projections, with almost every move in the Republicans' favor. 25 of the 28 chambers "in play" are Democratic-controlled. The most alarming moves include moving the Dem-held Pennsylvania House and Ohio House to Lean Republican, and the North Carolina Senate and Colorado House to Tossup. The one remaining viable pickup opportunity for Dems is the Texas House.
• Polltopia: There isn't exactly anything new in this Politico piece from Maggie Haberman, but it does convey that professional pollsters and poll watchers in the Beltway are throwing up their hands in frustration about wildly vacillating, inconclusive polling this cycle as the rest of us are... showing that, really, nobody has much of a clue as to what's about to happen. Just to help everyone take a deep breath and keep things in perspective here...
• SSP TV:
• FL-Sen: The winning ad of the day comes from the Florida Democratic Party, on Kendrick Meek's behalf, letting Charlie Crist do all the talking about how he's really a conservative Republican
• WI-Sen: I actually agree with the Fix here that this is an effective Ron Johnson ad, letting him play the outsider in the same way that Russ Feingold did 18 years ago
• WV-Sen: The NRSC contrasts at-home Joe Manchin vs. Washington Joe Manchin
• FL-Gov: The FDP is also out with two different ads in the Governor's race, hitting Rick Scott on his Columbia/HCA tenure and contrasting that with Alex Sink's uncontroversial time at Bank of America
• MA-Gov: The RGA keeps hitting Tim Cahill (on the lottery this time), knowing full well that less Cahill means more Charlie Baker
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley is one politician embracing instead of fleeing Barack Obama, in a new radio ad
• FL-22: Ron Klein is out with another anti-Allen West ad, but it's back to the tax liens instead of dipping into the well of crazy
• IA-01: AFF is out with a mondo-sized ad buy against Bruce Braley in a race that no one else but them seems to be paying attention to (for $800K!) (h/t desmoinesdem)
• KS-03: Stephene Moore is finally out with her first TV spot, which is mostly an attack on Kevin Yoder (though self-narrated, which is unusual for that)
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster's out with an ad hitting Charlie Bass for wanting to "pick up where he left off"
• NV-03: Here's a link to that Dina Titus "peas in a pod" ad that we mentioned this morning, tying Joe Heck to Sharron Angle
• PA-12: Mark Critz's first ad talks about his own hardscrabble roots, and about outsourcing
• WI-07: As cool as it is to watch, how many more ads is Sean Duffy going to keep playing lumberjack in?
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 42%, Rob Portman (R) 51%
• AK-Sen: Daily Kos just added Scott McAdams to its Orange to Blue list, so if you're still looking to throw some money in his direction, you can do so via Big Orange. Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is trying to gear up her write-in campaign, and with Ted Stevens having been laid to rest this week, she's mulling whether to roll out those ads featuring Stevens that she had ready to go pre-primary but pulled because of his death. This can't be good news for Murkowski, though: Rep. Don Young, more from the Murkowski/Stevens wing of the local GOP than the teabagger wing, is having a bout of self-preservation and is staying neutral, not endorsing anyone in the race. Finally, here's one more page in Joe Miller's ongoing saga of milking the system that he hates so darn much: when new to Alaska (but after he'd bought his expensive house and started working as an attorney), he obtained an indigent hunting/fishing license that required an income of less than $8,200/yr.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell says she attended Oxford. Oh, no, wait, she took a course from something called the Phoenix Institute that "rented space from" Oxford. Why am I not surprised?
• FL-Sen: I always figured that the early love affair between the local teabaggery and Marco Rubio wouldn't last; he seemed more from the mainstream Jeb Bush camp and it seemed more a marriage of convenience based on his charisma but mostly on the fact that he wasn't Charlie Crist. Anyway, he's pretty much severed the relationship and making a break for the establishment with his latest revelation, that he decided several months ago against privatizing Social Security after concluding the idea "doesn't work." (If Ken Buck gets elected, I wonder how long it'll take him to make the same move?)
• IL-Sen: The DSCC is keeping on pouring money into the Land of Lincoln, bolstering Alexi Giannoulias. They're adding another $400K to the pile, for another week on the air.
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is taking the opposite tack, engaging in a little advertisus interruptus and pulling out for a week from Kentucky. (They claim they're doing so from a position of strength, naturally.) Meanwhile, this is kind of small ball ($1,400 in contributions from three guys), but it's still the kind of headline you probably don't want to see if you're Rand Paul, especially once you've made your feelings on the Civil Rights Act clear:
Conway camp calls on Paul to return money from white separatists
• NY-Sen-B: Marist (9/19-22, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parentheses):
Marist gives you a buffet of different numbers of choose from, as it's 54-42 for Gillibrand when leaners are pushed, or it's 55-36 when polling just registered voters (meaning there's an enthusiasm gap worth 8 points here). They also find Chuck Schumer having no problems in the other Senate race, leading Jay Townsend 58-37 among LVs (and 63-32 among RVs).
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson's one act of political participation prior to this year -- testifying before the state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan-supported Wisconsin Child Victims Act -- is getting a second look in the press. His main interest in opposing the bill was that it could lead to corporations or other business entities being held liable for acts of employees, worried about the "economic havoc" it would create (and worried that those meddling "trial lawyers" would benefit). Think Progress has video of the testimony.
• WV-Sen: This seems like a new one to me... John Raese is actually paying people to write letters to the editor on his behalf. Not just offering them McCain Bucks that can't be redeemed for anything in the real world, but running an actual contest giving money to people who get the most letters published. Also, I'll give John Raese credit for being himself even when he's being followed around by reporters. Here's his reaction to finding out that the NRA endorsement went to Joe Manchin:
Raese speaks angrily into the phone, his words full of threat: "Tell them that I have an A plus rating with them, and that if they are fair they should include that. Tell them about the polling. Tell them I'm riding an elephant." Raese pulls the cell phone away from his ear, hands it back to Patrick the driver, and says "That has made it a lot harder."
• CT-Gov: Little known fact: did you know that Jodi Rell still hasn't endorsed Tom Foley yet, despite only weeks to go? Foley's camp is saying it's imminent, but it looks like Rell has summoned up even less enthusiasm in the general as she did for her Lt. Gov., Michael Fedele, in the GOP primary.
• FL-Gov: Here's an interesting endorsement for Alex Sink: she got the backing of term-limited Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Villalobos is also backing Charlie Crist (and even Dan Gelber in the AG race), so this exactly a sign of the Republican edifice collapsing, though.
• IA-Gov, SD-AL: Add one more to the long list of Dems who are getting a nice NRA endorsement as their box-of-Rice-a-Roni-and-can-of-Turtle-Wax-style parting gift on their way out the studio door. Chet Culver just got the backing of the gun lobby. (One state to the north, they also just backed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today.)
• CA-44: PPP for Democrats.com (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bill Hedrick (D): 38
Ken Calvert (R-inc): 49
Despite being woefully underfunded, Bill Hedrick's keeping the race competitive in his rematch against Ken Calvert (recall that he almost won, out of nowhere, in 2008). How he makes up that last 12 points in this climate, though, I'm not sure.
• FL-22: Harstad Research Group for Project New West (9/20-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 43
There's lots of back-and-forth in the polling of the 22nd, with each side sporting their own internal with a lead in the last week. Dem pollster Harstad weighs in with another one going in Ron Klein's column.
• KS-03: Moore money, Moore problems? Retiring Rep. Dennis Moore is still busy emptying out his campaign coffers, transferring $100K more to the Kansas Democratic party (on top of a previous $100K in June). That's probably with the understanding that the money will be used to pay for their newest mailer in support of Stephene Moore, running to succeed her husband.
• NH-01, NH-02: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 40
Frank Guinta (R): 50
Ann McLane Kuster (D): 36
Charlie Bass (R): 38
Here are some unusual results from ARG! (although should we expect anything else?): they find Carol Shea-Porter getting keelhauled in the 1st, while the open seat battle in the 2nd is a swashbuckling battle (contrary to other polls we've seem of these races, where the 1st has been a tossup or a narrow CSP advantage while the 2nd has looked bad).
• PA-08: I've been patiently waiting here for actual toplines for more than a day, but it seems like they aren't forthcoming... so I'll just let you know there's a Harstad Research Group poll (on behalf of SEIU and VoteVets, not the Patrick Murphy campaign) out in the 8th that gives Murphy a 3-point lead over Mike Fitzpatrick and an 8-point lead among voters who voted in 2006. It was taken Sept. 20-22.
• WI-07: Garin Hart Yang for Julie Lassa (9/26-27, likely voters, in parentheses):
Julie Lassa (D): 41
Sean Duffy (R): 42
Gary Kauther (I): 7
I don't know how good a sign this is, releasing an internal where you're still trailing in a Democratic-leaning district. Lassa needs to let the donors know she's still in this, I suppose.
• WV-03: Global Strategy Group for DCCC (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Well, here's one district where all the polls (even the one from AFF) are consistent in showing a nearly-20 point edge for long-time Dem Nick Rahall.
• NY-St. Sen.: Four polls from Siena of key New York State Senate races have, on the balance, bad news for the Democrats: Darrell Aubertine, the first Democrat in several geological epochs to hold SD-48 in the North Country, is trailing GOP opponent Pattie Ritchie for re-election, 48-45. Brian Foley, in Long Island-based SD-4, is also in a tough race, leading Lee Zeldin 44-43. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents are looking fairly safe: Frank Padavan, who barely survived 2008 in Dem-leaning Queens-based SD-11, leads ex-city councilor Tony Avella 56-32, while in SD-44, Hugh Farley leads Susan Savage 55-37. (I'd rather see them poll the open seat races; that's where the Republicans are at more risk.)
• Mayors: There aren't a lot of big-city mayoral races where the decisive vote is in November (most were wrapped up in the primaries), but one interesting one is Louisville, where the longtime Dem incumbent Jerry Abramson is leaving in order to run for LG next year. Dem Greg Fischer (who you may remember from the 2008 Senate primary) is beating Republican city councilor Hal Heiner 48-42, according to SurveyUSA.
• DLCC: You probably saw yesterday that the DLCC is out with a first round of 20 "essential races" for controlling key state legislative chambers. Well, over in diaries, now they're soliciting suggestions for further additions to the list, so please add some suggestions from races that are near and dear to your own hearts.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce, trying to salvage this dwindling race, tries to hang the "career politician" tag on Barbara Boxer
• CO-Sen: The DSCC goes after Ken Buck on Social Security again
• CO-Sen: The NRSC runs an anti-Michael Bennet ad, hitting him on his support for health care reform
• DE-Sen: The DSCC crams as much Christine O'Donnell insanity as it can into 30 seconds
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk goes back to where he began, with another bio spot of small town boy made good
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's newest ad keeps on trying to tie Pat Toomey to Wall Street
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese for supporting eliminating the minimum wage and his own ooopses at his own company
• CT-Gov: The DGA hits Tom Foley on outsourcing in his former career as textile magnate
• MI-Gov: The RGA hits Virg Bernero on spending as mayor (OMG! he spent $1,277 on pencils!)
• NM-Gov: Another Susana Martinez attack ad hits Diane Denish for some bungled solar power thingamajig
• TX-Gov: Here's a mindblowing stat: the DGA has never paid for advertising in Texas... until now. They're out with an attack on Rick Perry, calling him what nobody wants to be called this cycle ("career politican")
• KY-03: Todd Lally's out with two ads, one a bio spot, the other a pretty funny attack on John Yarmuth using the K-Tel greatest hits album motif
• MI-07: Tim Walberg has to call on his mom for help: not to do any polling on his behalf, just to appear in an ad about Social Security
• NC-02: This was probably inevitable... AJS weighs into the 2nd with an ad using Bob Etheridge going apeshit on a poor innocent little tracker
• NC-11: Repent now or Jeff Miller will forever cast you into the fiery pits of Nancy Pelosi's hell!
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy touts how well he cooperated with George W. Bush! (on Medicare Part D, though, which probably plays well among North Dakota's aging population)
• PA-08: Outsourcing must be polling well for the Dems these days, as Patrick Murphy hits Mike Fitzpatrick on that
• VA-05: Indie candidate Jeff Clark scrounged up enough money to advertise? And he's attacking GOPer Robert Hurt? That's good enough for me
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 50%, Tom Foley (R) 40%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• Fox/Pulse (aka Rasmussen):
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 44%, Dan Maes (R) 15%, Tom Tancredo (C) 34%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 8%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 42%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 45%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%
• 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%
• 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%
• KS-Sen: In this social conservative-fiscal conservative battle for the soul of the GOP, 1st CD Rep. Jerry Moran prevailed over 4th Cd Rep. Todd Tiahrt by a narrow 50-45 margin. Each won big in his home congressional district, but Moran narrowly carried the neutral territory in between. This represents somewhat of a win for would-be rightwing kingmaker Jim DeMint, who endorsed Moran... over would-be rightwing kingmaker Sarah Palin, who endorsed Tiahrt. Moran starts as the presumptive favorite over Dem Lisa Johnston, who won her primary with 31% of the vote over publisher Charles Schollenberger. (JMD)
• KS-01 (R): With the last poll of the race from SurveyUSA showing the top three contenders tied, Growther (and Dodge City-area state Sen.) Tim Huelskamp pulled away from fellow state Sen. Jim Barnett and real estate broker Tracey Mann, earning a more comfortable-than-expected 35-25 win over Barnett. Mann finished in third with 21. Huelskamp, of course, was expected to be the most conservative of the bunch. (JMD)
• KS-02 (R): Great White Dope Lynn Jenkins survived an under-the-radar teabagging from Atchison-area state sen. Dennis Pyle, who unabashedly ran at Jenkins' already-conservative right flank. Jenkins gets her name added to the list of weak performing incumbents, at 57%. (JMD)
• KS-03: As expected, faux-moderate Overland Park state Rep. Kevin Yoder easily clinched the GOP nomination for the seat of the retiring Dennis Moore. Despite having aligned himself with the conservative faction in the Kansas legislature, he still earned 44% in this Johnson County-based district, where the KS GOP internecine war has traditionally benefited Dems in the past up and down the ballot. Patricia Lightner finished second with 37%; Yoder goes on to face Moore's wife, Stephene Moore, who clinched her own nomination without much trouble. (JMD)
• KS-04: RNC Committeeman Mike Pompeo easily secured the GOP nomination to replace Todd Tiahrt, scoring 39% against the pro-choice Planned Parenthood endorsed Jean Schodorf with 24%; she narrowly edged out Wink Hartman, who earned 23% and had seat-buying tendencies unseen this side of Meg Whitman. Up-and-coming Wichita State Rep. Raj Goyle - who lagged in an earlier poll - was easily nominated on the Dem side with 80% of the vote. (JMD)
• MI-Gov: Given a pretty clear ideological choice, Democrats opted for the loudly populist Lansing mayor Virg Bernero over centrist state House speaker Andy Dillon, 59-41. Bernero, who trailed in most polls until the last couple weeks, benefited from a late push from organized labor. He'll face an uphill battle in November against GOP winner Rick Snyder. The sorta-moderate Snyder benefited from a three-way split among conservatives out of the four viable candidates. While it's nice to know that Michigan's governor won't be a nut and that Peter Hoekstra got sent packing, Snyder, with his moderate appeal, is probably the toughest matchup of all the GOPers for Bernero in November. (C)
• MI-01 (R): This wound up being the closest major race of the night, if not all cycle. Right now, physician Dan Benishek leads Jason Allen by 14 votes, 27,078-27,064. (Our final projection of the night was for Benishek by 10 votes, so we were way off.) Assuming Benishek's lead survives, he'll face Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell for Bart Stupak's open seat. (Also worth noting: that Inside Michigan Politics poll that we derided for its small sample size foresaw a tie for Benishek and Allen, so they can feel vindicated too.) (C)
• MI-02 (R): Another close race happened in the Republican primary in the 2nd, to fill the dark-red open seat left by Peter Hoekstra. We may also be waiting a while before this race is formally resolved, as former state Rep. Bill Huizenga and former NFL player Jay Riemersma are both at 25%, with Huizenga with a 658-vote lead. State Sen. William Kuipers (22) and businessman Bill Cooper (19) were also competitive. (C)
• MI-03 (R): 30-year-old state Rep. Justin Amash, a favorite of the Club for Growth and local powerbroker Dick DeVos, won a surprisingly easy victory in the Republican primary over two less strident opponents, state Sen. Bill Hardiman and former Kent Co. Commissioner Steve Heacock, 40-24-26. There's been some speculation on whether the combination of hard-right Amash (in a district that Obama narrowly won, and that's only elected moderate Republicans like Vern Ehlers and, going way back, Gerald Ford) and well-connected Democratic opponent Patrick Miles might put this race on the map, but, well, probably not this year. (C)
• MI-06 (R): This race wasn't really too high on anyone's radar screens (we last mentioned it back in March), but incumbent Rep. Fred Upton was held to a surprisingly weak 57-43 primary win over ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who was last seen getting badly pummeled by Carl Levin in 2008's Senate race. Hoogendyk ran on a full 'bagger platform, hitting Upton for his votes in favor of TARP, No Child Left Behind, and S-CHIP. Upton's performance certainly wasn't inspiring, especially considering he outspent Hoogendyk by an absurd margin. (JL)
• MI-07 (R): Rooney eats it! Ex-Rep/'08 loser Tim Walberg handily dispatched attorney and Steelers family grandson Brian Rooney by 58-32 margin. Walberg will now advance to a rematch against Democrat Mark Schauer, who I expect is pleased by this result. (JL)
• MI-09 (R): Ex-state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski won the right to take on frosh Dem Rep. Gary Peters in this slightly Dem-tilting suburban seat. Rocky beat ex-Rep. Joe Knollenberg's former chief of staff, Paul Welday, by a convincing 42-28 margin, meaning that you can add Raczkowski's name to the list of Base Connect clients who successfully withstood a well-funded primary challenge. (JL)
• MI-12 (D): Veteran Dem Rep. Sander Levin easily beat back a challenge from his right, creaming term-limited state Sen. Michael Switalski by a 76-24 spread. Nothing to see here, folks. (JL)
• MI-13 (D): Two years after escaping political death with her 39% primary win over a split field of credible challengers, Dem Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick finally bit the dust last night, losing her primary to state Sen. Hansen Clarke by a 47-41 margin. Cheeks Kilpatrick becomes the fourth House incumbent to lose a primary this year (after Parker Griffith, Alan Mollohan, and Bob Inglis), and Hansen Clarke, as noted in the comments by DCCyclone, is on track to become the first Democrat of (partial) South Asian descent to serve in Congress since Dalip Singh Saund in the 1950s. (JL)
• MO-Sen (R): The teabaggers' last stand in Missouri (which went so far as to include their turning against their own spiritual leader Michele Bachmann, for her support of Roy Blunt) really seemed to go nowhere in the Republican primary, as their man, state Sen. Chuck Purgason, never gained any traction. Establishment Rep. Roy Blunt won ridiculously easily over Purgason, 71-13. Blunt will face Democratic SoS Robin Carnahan in the general election, in one of the year's marquee Senate races. (C)
• MO-04 (R): Despite the local GOP establishment's preference for state Sen. Bill Stouffer, former state Rep. Vicki Hartzler emerged victorious from their air war, and won the right to challenge longtime Dem Ike Skelton by a fairly convincing 40-30 margin. If Hartzler's endorsements - including Reps. Marsha Blackburn (sigh of disgust), Virginia Foxx (evil grandmotherly sigh of disgust), and Jean Schmidt (nuclear waste-tinged sigh of disgust) - are predictive, we'd better hope for Ike to hold on. (JMD)
• MO-07 (R): In the race to fill the dark-red seat left behind by Roy Blunt, the winner was self-funding auctioneer Billy Long. (An auctioneer makes enough money to self-fund? His company's website doesn't exactly scream wealth... or having been updated since the Netscape era...) Overcoming a late attack from the mysterious Americans for Job Security, he defeated state Sens. Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler 37-29-14. (C)
When I first heard that Stephene Moore was running to succeed her husband in Congress, I was really disappointed that we'd put up what I saw as a "Hail Mary" type of candidate in a district where it didn't have to be that way. As someone born and raised in KS-03, it was extra disappointing.
The reaction from friends and family in the area was similar--what the heck do the Moores think they're doing? There were tons of questions--mostly along the lines of why Dennis would "retire from politics" and yet have his wife run? And of course, the wingnuts went crazy with a weird attack that the Moores wanted a second congressional pension and that was why Stephene would subject herself (and her husband) to continued political fire.
But might Stephene Moore turn out to be just the type of candidate we need this cycle to hold the seat? The conclusion I came to might just surprise you...
An all-House digest today - and it's an hour earlier than usual! Remember, today is primary day in IN, NC & OH, so be sure to check out SSP's handy election guide.
AL-07: Attorney Terri Sewell, who is probably the candidate ideologically closest to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis, is going up with a TV ad buy in Montgomery and Birmingham which will stay up through the primary (which is a month from now). No word on the size of the buy, though.
CT-02: Republicans are courting former television news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh to run against Rep. Joe Courtney, who has luckily skated by without much in the way of opposition this cycle. Peckinpaugh says she's considering it. She was most recently seen shilling for a now-defunct mortgage company in deceptive, TV news-like ads, clearly trading on her reputation as a newsreader. The company, Lend America, shut down in December after it was placed under federal investigation.
FL-12: After screwing up the establishment's efforts to clear the GOP primary field for ex-state Rep. Dennis Ross by jumping into the race, Polk County Comm'r Randy Wilkinson is bidding adieu to the Republican Party. Instead, he's going to run as the Tea Party candidate (there's an actual Tea Party in Florida, just like the Whigs). Wilkinson has raised very little money - his FEC reports are a mess, and he seems to like filing them in hand-written form, so he doesn't even appear in their electronic database.
FL-21: What a bummer - zero Dems filed in the open 21st CD, which means that Mario Diaz-Balart will automatically inherit his brother Lincoln's seat. I can't really blame folks too much, though, as Florida has especially onerous ballot access requirements. If you don't petition on, you have to pay a filing fee, which is an insane $10,000+.
HI-01: The DCCC threw down another $70K for negative ads against Charles Djou.
ID-01, OH-15: We mentioned the other day that GOPer Steve Stivers, busy with a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, said he favors repealing the 17th amendment - the one which gives citizens the right to vote for their senators (rather than having them be appointed by state legislatures). Well, after taking a lot of much-deserved heat, he's backed off that fantasy. But his would-be colleague, Vaughn Ward, is taking up the mantle. Ward, running against Rep. Walt Minnick in ID-01, offered a rationale worthy of Miss Teen South Carolina, saying "When you look at how come state's rights have been so abrogated, it's because of things like the 17th Amendment that has taken away those rights from our states." Yuh huh. Exactly.
IL-08: Just click the link and read about the greatest political implosion of the entire cycle. (Thankfully, it's the bad guys.) More here, here, and here.
KS-03: Along with Joe Garcia (see yesterday's morning digest), the DCCC added another candidate to their Red to Blue list, Stephene Moore, who is the wife of retiring Rep. Dennis Moore.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeff Perry, running for Bill Delahunt's open seat, scored an endorsement from ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney. Perry, who was also previously endorsed by Sen. Scott Brown, has a primary against ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Malone has some baggage-related cooties, which probably explains Perry's run of good fortune.
MD-01 (PDF): Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Americans for Prosperity (R) (4/25-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Frank Kratovil (D-inc): 36
Andy Harris (R): 39
Richard Davis (L): 6
Two things about this poll: First off, in contravention of appropriate practice, POS asked all kinds of axe-grindy issue questions ("Gov. O'Malley raised taxes by $1.3 billion") before getting to the horserace question. This does damage to POS's reputation as a supposedly respectable pollster. Secondly, the weird thing is that Harris switched pollsters - and his last survey, from the Tarrance Group back in November, had him up by a whopping 52-39. While it's not a proper trendline, you gotta wonder - is Harris slipping? Or is he getting snowed by his various pollsters? (Update: D'oh! Our mistake -- this poll was not done for Harris, but actually the right-wing consortium of douches known as the Americans for Prosperity.)
MI-01: Dem state Rep. Joel Sheltrown, who got into the race to replace Bart Stupak just a few weeks ago, is bowing out.
MI-09: Self-funder Gene Goodman is dropping out of the race to take on Rep. Gary Peters, despite having loaned his campaign $450K. That leaves ex-state Rep. Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski and former Oakland County GOP Chair Paul Welday in the running, both of whom have had unimpressive fundraising - and in fact, Rocky is yet another victim (albeit a more minor one) of Base Connect.
Meanwhile, we missed a Welday internal poll from a couple of weeks ago (taken by Mitchell Research & Communications), which had Peters leading by just 44-43. The poll sampled just 300 LVs, though, and according to the Hotline, was in the field at two discontiguous times. Peters' camp attacked the poll's sample composition, but Steve Mitchell says he used the same methodology as he did in September of 2008, when (according to the article), " he declared Peters was going to defeat Joe Knollenberg." Is this hindsight proving to be 20/20? Mitchell's poll from back then had the race tied.
NY-13: Global Strategy Group (D) for Mike McMahon (4/7-11, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Allegretti (R): 24
Mike McMahon (D-inc): 56
Mike Grimm (R): 23
OH-09: Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who is not really on anyone's radar in terms of having a competitive race, is nonetheless facing a moneybags challenger. Former Food Town CEO Rich Iott just dumped $319,000 into his campaign. Kaptur has over a million on hand, and the 9th CD voted 62% for Obama and 58% for Kerry.
PA-12: Anzalone-Liszt (D) for the DCCC (4/27-29, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Critz (D): 43
Tim Burns (R): 41
TN-08: A couple of disgusting low-lifes running for TN-08, Ron Kirkland and Randy Smith, had this delightful exchange at a candidate forum:
Kirkland, of Jackson, referred to his Army training during the Vietnam War and said: "I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can't describe to you."
Smith, a chef from Mercer who served in the Navy during the Gulf War, said: "I definitely wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said."
These sick bastards have serious issues.
SD-AL: Heh - GOP state Rep. Kristi Noem has a biographical spot up on the air, talking about her return to her family farm after her father's death. The only problem is that she shot the ad in Texas - which became apparent given that the backdrop (a grove of leafy green trees) is something you can't really find in North South Dakota this time of year. Reminds me of when Bob Schaffer ran an ad pretending that Alaska's Mount McKinley was actually Colorado's famous Pikes Peak while running for CO-Sen in 2008.
• AZ-Sen: Maybe she was scared off by that R2K poll that had her down more than 20-odd points? Nan Stockholm Walden, a wealthy attorney and businesswoman who had been the subject of DSCC interest as a candidate in Arizona, decided not to run. That gives Tucson city councilor Rodney Glassman a pretty clear path to the nomination (assuming he runs; he's still in exploratory mode).
• CT-Sen: Did you know that Linda McMahon actually held (until now) a political position, in addition to, of course, all the important work she does at WWE? She was on Connecticut's Board of Education (an appointed position, courtesy of Jodi Rell), but just resigned from that role. She says that there are too many restrictions on political activities by board members for her to be able to remain in that position, as she tries to get the GOP Senate nomination.
• SD-Sen: John Thune may have dodged having to run against a Democrat in November, but he won't be running purely unopposed. He's still facing off against an independent, perennial candidate Kurt Evans.
• WI-Sen, WI-Gov: I had no idea that St. Norbert was the patron saint of fucked-up polls. A poll from Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College is tilted even further in the Republican direction than recent offerings from Rasmussen and the decidedly conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. They find Russ Feingold losing to Tommy Thompson 45-33 (with 14% for an independent/third party, whoever that might be), and beating Generic R by only 40-37. Their gubernatorial numbers find Tom Barrett losing to Scott Walker 44-28 and to Mark Neumann 43-29. Even the GOP primary numbers seem screwy, with underdog Neumann almost even with Walker, who leads 24-23.
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman rummaged around in her purse and found another $20 million to throw on the table, bringing her personal contributions to the race up to a whopping $59 million. Despite her big lead over Steve Poizner in the primary, she may need to prepare to shore things up, as Poizner has been telegraphing that he's going to start going hard at her on the hot-button issue of immigration, in a last-ditch effort to get the state's right-wingers to pay some attention to him.
• GA-12: There were some poorly sourced rumors yesterday that Rep. John Barrow -- a conservadem in a swing district facing a primary challenge and the ire of a large swath of his African-American constituency after his HCR "no" vote -- was going to switch parties. Barrow now says he was never even contemplating that, though.
• KS-03: After the Kansas City Star reported last week that Stephene Moore was going to run to replace her husband, Dennis, in the 3rd, she started acting coy about it (despite insider assurances that it was a done deal). As expected, though, today she made it official, filing a glaring hole in this R+3 open seat.
• LA-03: It looks like the NRCC is finally getting a top-tier participant in the open seat race in the 3rd (despite that winning it won't be much of a prize, as the 3rd is poised to vaporize in 2012 redistricting). Former state House speaker Hunt Downer says he'll announce his candidacy very soon. Probably the surest indication that Downer is serious is that state Rep. Nickie Monica, who may have been the strongest GOPer in the field to date, now says he's getting out of the race to make way for Downer. With attorney Ravi Sangisetty the only Dem willing to stick his neck out for this one, this one's pretty thoroughly in the GOP column.
• MN-06: State Sen. Tarryl Clark has been putting up some monster fundraising numbers against Michele Bachmann this cycle; I guess that's what happens when you run against one of the nation's top lightning rods for teh crazy. She pulled in $505K last quarter, bringing her to $1.1 million in total receipts this cycle. Unfortunately, Clark (or her primary opponent Maureen Reed, who's also raised well but hasn't released Q1 numbers yet) will likely have to contend with the presence of spoiler Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson. Anderson pulled in 10% of the vote in 2008 (while Elwyn Tinklenberg lost by only 3%), and he's seeking the IP's endorsement again.
• NH-01: RNC committee member Sean Mahoney made a big show out of resigning his post, ostensibly out of disgust with the Michael Steele administration and its free-spending, strip-clubbing ways. Speculation, though, is that Mahoney is planning to run in the GOP primary in the 1st (where Manchester mayor Frank Guinta is considered frontrunner, although so-so fundraising has diminished his luster a bit), which would require him to resign anyway. Mahoney isn't promising anything on that front yet, though.
• NY-29: The Democrats have literally chosen Some Dude as their standard bearer in the 29th. The party chairs in the eight counties in the district issued a statement where they said they've chosen a consensus nominee to replace Eric Massa in the special election that may or may not happen. However, they neglected to actually say who that candidate might be. We'll know the masked man's identity next week.
• TN-03: A Huck divided against itself cannot stand? In a prime example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing, HuckPAC (Mike Huckabee's national financial arm) and Team Huck Tennessee (the local grassroots operation) are endorsing different candidates in the GOP primary in the 3rd. Team Huck is endorsing former state GOP chair Robin Smith, while HuckPAC (and presumably, Huckabee himself) is going with attorney Chuck Fleischmann.
• TN-08: State Sen. Roy Herron had another fine fundraising quarter as he tries to keep this open seat in Democratic hands; he pulled in $490K last quarter, leaving him with more than $1 million cash on hand. It's not an expensive district, media-wise, but he has some strong fundraising competition from humble gospel-singing farmer agribusiness mogul Stephen Fincher, who pulled in over $300K himself and is sitting on $820K CoH.
• PA-St. Sen.: As if the Pennsylvania legislature couldn't be held in any lower esteem, here's another fresh scandal. Luckily, this one seems to be falling on the Republican side of the aisle: state Sen. Jane Orie, the body's third-ranking GOPer, was just accused by a grand jury of repeatedly using her staff for political campaigns on the state's dime (include the campaign of her sister, state Supreme Court justice Joan Orie Melvin). Charges are expected, but Orie is shrugging it off, saying it's a politically motivated smear by Democratic Allegheny Co. DA Stephen Zappala.
• Filings: The filing deadline in Missouri has passed, on March 30. Rep. Roy Blunt wound up with (count 'em) 10 Republican primary opponents in the Senate race, although state Sen. Chuck Purgason seems the only one worth paying attention to. The number of GOPers vying to take on Ike Skelton in MO-04 also reached the double digits. Probably the biggest surprise and disappointment was in MO-09: not that the DCCC would likely have strongly contested this district that they barely lost in 2008 when it was open, but not a single Democrat showed up to run in this race.
• Teabaggers: Here's a nice catch from Ruy Teixeira: teabagging is about as popular as socialism. In slightly-differently-worded questions from two different 2010 polls, Gallup found that 37% had a favorable opinion of "the Tea Party movement" (including 14% of Democrats), while 36% had a positive image of "socialism" (including 17% of Republicans?!?).
• CA-Sen: Republican Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is still lagging in the single digits in polling, but prominent conservatives keep coming to his aid. He just got the endorsement of libertarian-minded Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, and also of the Tea Party Express (the corporate wing of the teabaggers' movement).
• DE-Sen: "Repeal!" of HCR has become the rallying cry for almost every Republican candidate for federal office lately, but Rep. Mike Castle has stood out from the crowd with his reluctance, saying repeal is not "realistic." Now that's turning into an issue in his GOP primary, where his far-right opponent, marketing consultant and occasional Fox News contributor Christine O'Donnell, is accusing him of "breaking faith" with Delaware voters by not supporting it. A few other of the more sensible GOPers running in blue states, like Rob Simmons and Tom Campbell, are also keeping repeal at arms-length.
• FL-Sen: Good news for Charlie Crist, I suppose: Mason-Dixon has polled the GOP primary, and they find that he's losing to Marco Rubio by a mere 11 points (much less than a number of other pollsters, ranging from Rasmussen to R2K, have found): 48-37. Crist leads Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek 50-26, while Rubio leads Meek 44-29, although half of respondents didn't know who Meek was. Meanwhile, you might have forgotten (as I often did) that ex-New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith was, as far as he was concerned, in the GOP primary as well. Well, not anymore: Smith shuttered his campaign today, citing (big surprise) fundraising problems.
• WA-Sen: If there's one group that should be getting behind Dino Rossi's possible Senate candidacy, it's the Washington Association of Realtors. Not only are they a usually conservative-leaning organization with close ties to the builders' lobby, but also Rossi is one of them: his day job is real estate salesperson. So, hot on the heels of yesterday's R2K poll, here's another problem Rossi needs to seriously contemplate: WAR just endorsed Patty Murray.
• CA-Gov: Remember Pete Wilson? The former Governor is largely responsible for turning the California Republican Party's name into mud, among Latinos, in the 1990s with his support for anti-immigrant Proposition 187 -- a decision that may have had short-term benefits but has turned into a long-term disaster as the state's demographics change. The California Accountability Project is shining the spotlight back on Wilson in his new job: campaign chair for Meg Whitman.
• MI-Gov: Um, no. Just no. Mop-topped attorney Geoffrey Fieger is best known for his defense of Jack Kevorkian, but he also somehow wound up with the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and went on to lose to John Engler by a 62-38 margin after a slew of bone-headed remarks. Fieger now says he's considering another run at the Democratic nomination.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Marist has a new poll of the New York gubernatorial race, finding that party-switching Suffolk Co. Executive Steven Levy is in for a rude reception from the GOP. He's losing the primary to ex-Rep. Rick Lazio, 53-21. Andrew Cuomo dispatches either one, 61-30 against Lazio or 65-26 against Levy. Meanwhile, the saga of David Paterson (with a 16/80 job rating according to Marist) keeps getting sadder/weirder/yuckier, with a NYT article today about his attempts to secure an endorsement from the woman involved in a domestic dispute with one of his top aides.
• TN-Gov: The GOP side in the gubernatorial race shrank today, with the withdrawal of Shelby County DA Bill Gibbons from the race. He had the advantage of being the only western Tennessee candidate in the primary, but he never got very far on the fundraising front. Meanwhile, among what's left of the Democratic field, beer baron Mike McWherter just got an endorsement from Memphis's new mayor, A.C. Wharton. McWherter's only remaining Dem opponent is former state House majority leader Kim McMillan.
• AR-03, PA-07: Mike Huckabee offered up two different endorsements, one right on his home turf. He endorsed former state Rep. Doug Matayo in the open seat race to succeed John Boozman in the dark-red 3rd. The other place seems kind of odd: endorsing ostensibly moderate Pat Meehan in the Dem-leaning, heavily Catholic, decidedly non-Southern-fried PA-07.
• HI-01: The final candidate list for the May 22 all-mail special election in the 1st is out. The only three candidates of consequence are, as expected, Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case for the Dems, and Charles Djou for the GOP. With the winner-takes-all nature, minor candidates may weigh heavily on the outcome, but there's a pretty even split with three extra no-name Democrats and four extra GOPers, as well as four independents.
• KS-03: Stephene Moore, the wife of retiring Rep. Dennis Moore, backed off slightly from reports yesterday that she was entering the race to succeed him. She said that she was going to continue thinking about it and would have a formal statement soon. Chris Cillizza has sources, though, who say it's a done deal.
• IL-LG: It sounds like Pat Quinn has settled on something of an outsider (albeit one with a famous family name) for his Lt. Governor running mate: Sheila Simon, the daughter of former Sen. (and former LG) Paul Simon. She's a law professor at Southern Illinois Univ., whose only political experience seems to be losing a race for Carbondale mayor. State Sen. Susan Garrett appears to have been bypassed over not supporting Quinn's income tax plan, which Simon supports. Meanwhile, supporters of African-American Rep. Art Turner are warning of depressed black turnout in November if Quinn doesn't opt for Turner instead.
• RNC: A decision from the trial-level U.S. District Court in Washington DC was a fundraising setback for the RNC, which wanted to be able to raise unlimited soft money from corporations and individuals but didn't receive the green light to do so.
Looks like the Dems are going to try to keep it all in the family in the open seat R+3 3rd:
Democratic sources this afternoon tell Prime Buzz that Stephene Moore, wife of the six-term Democratic congressman, will run to succeed her husband this year.
Democrats recently polled the district. The result? "Basically a coin flip," the source said.
This entry has to be considered good news, in a race that had seemed to be slipping away from the Dems. While I'd expect the DCCC would rather be touting Kansas City, Kansas mayor Joe Reardon (or his predecessor Carol Marinovich, both of whom they pursued), Stephene Moore, who's never been a candidate before, certainly benefits from sharing a last name with the outgoing Congressman, as well as easy access to all the names in her husband's fundraising database. There's no word on when the formal announcement will take place.