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SSP Daily Digest: 3/7

by: DavidNYC

Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 8:04 AM EST

HI-Sen: I'm not sure where these rumors started - or if they're just tradmed speculation - but Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he hasn't tried to get retiring Sen. Dan Akaka to resign early in order to appoint a replacement (who could then run for a full term next year as an incumbent). Count me among those who thinks former Gov. Linda Lingle isn't as intimidating in real life as she might seem on paper - particularly given the fact that Barack Obama is running for re-election, and that her exit poll approvals in 2010 were a sucky 41-56. So I'm not convinced there'd even really be any point in trying to push an Akaka resignation.

ME-Sen: As we wait for the Great Teabagger Hope to deliver our dreams, the Hotline has word of another possible challenger to Sen. Olympia Snowe: former state legislator Carol Weston, who is now the state director of the Maine branch of the David Koch front group Americans for Prosperity. That could mean access to serious resources - something Weston acknowledges is a key factor in deciding on a run. Anyhow, she's not ruling out a run, but claims she isn't really considering it yet. But she also says that as part of her job with AfP, she sometimes has to "reign in" Snowe - pretty denigrating words, if you ask me!

MI-Sen: We've mentioned him before, but now he's making it official: Former juvenile court judge and all-around social conservative Randy Hekman says he'll seek the GOP line to challenge Debbie Stabenow. Hekman sounds decidedly Some Dude-level, though.

NV-Sen: This time, the joke comes pre-written. The ultra-wealthy Sue Lowden still has hundreds of thousands in campaign debts and has now been sued by her former polling company, Denver-based Vitale & Associates, for unpaid bills. The pollster's attorney said Lowden is "probably driving around in her Bentley with a load of chickens in the back as barter to settle her campaign debts."

PA-Sen: Pretty sweet re-elects for Bob Casey (D) in this new Muhlenberg College poll of registered voters: 48% say yes, 24% no, and 25% are unsure. Against Generic R, Casey pulls 41 to 27, but Muhlenberg also allowed people to say "it depends on the candidate" (not sure that's such a helpful choice), which scored 18. It's not entirely clear what the sample looked like, though, since the Mule only gives the breakdowns for their larger "all adults" sample (36D, 36R, 11I). In 2008, it was 44D, 37R, 18I.

RI-Sen, RI-01: The head of the Rhode Island state police, Brendan Doherty, just unexpectedly announced that he would resign in April, and that's leading to talk he might be considering a run for office as a Republican. Though Doherty had originally been appointed by Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, he was re-appointed only last week by the new governor, Lincoln Chafee. Anyhow, Doherty supposedly is choosing between a challenge to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse or to freshman Rep. David Cicilline in the first district. He says he'll announce his plans at the end of May.

VA-Sen, VA-11: Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) is opting out of a Senate run, saying instead he'll seek re-election to a third term in the House. Like just about everyone else, he also declared that he wants to see Tim Kaine run. Speaking of which, Sen. Mark Warner said on the teevee this weekend that he thinks the odds of Kaine jumping in were "slim" but "are getting a lot better right now." I have no idea if Warner has any special insight, or if maybe he's just trying to pull a reverse-Inouye here (i.e., goad someone into running).

On a related note, PPP has a state-level report card out for VA politicians.

NV-Gov: Jon Ralston calls it "one of the most brazen schemes in Nevada history" (not just electoral history! and this is Nevada!), while Rory Reid says everything he did was "fully disclosed and complied with the law." Ralston describes this "scheme" as the formation of "91 shell political action committees that were used to funnel three quarters of a million dollars into his campaign." Ralston's had wall-to-wall coverage at his site. Among other things, Reid's legal advisor wrote a letter to the campaign saying he thought the use of these PACs was legal - and, in a point that Ralston is seriously disputing, also said he got sign-off from the Secretary of State. I don't really think Reid had much of a future in NV politics anyway, but if Ralston's reading of the situation is right, this could spell a lot of trouble for him. If not, then it's just some sketchy politics-as-usual. Even Ralston himself acknowledges that "the point here is less whether it actually was legal... but whether it should be."

CA-36: Finally some endorsements for Debra Bowen: She just announced the backing of state Sens. Alan Lowenthal and Fran Pavley, state Rep. Betsy Butler, and former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl.

MN-08: This is from a couple of weeks ago, but still relevant: Duluth-area state Sen. Roger Reinert says he won't challenge freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack next year, adding his name to the list of Dems who have declined to run. Others who have said no: Duluth Mayor Don Ness; former state House Majority Leader Tony Sertich; state Rep. Tom Rukavina; and state Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk (whom we'd previously mentioned). Man, that's a lot of dudes named Tom! (UPDATE: Just two - it's Tony, not Tom, Sertich.) That's most of the heaviest hitters, but another possible candidate is Duluth City Councilman Jeff Anderson, who told FOX 21 that he is "very interested" (their words) in the race.

Milwaukee Co. Exec.: Huh - I'd managed to forget that Scott Walker didn't just emerge fully-formed out of a rent in David Koch's skull on January 1st, 2011. Until not that long ago, he was the Milwaukee County Executive, which means that his old seat is up in a special election next month. It should come as no surprise that Walker's extremely unpopular attempts at union busting have become the issue in the race, and Republican state Rep. Jeff Stone is suffering badly for it. Stone voted for Walker's budget bill, but now says he "would have preferred to leave the collective bargaining intact" - even though, as TPM notes, he voted against every Democratic amendment that would have done exactly that. Stone's nominally independent but really Democratic opponent, philanthropist Chris Abele, has been hammering him on this front. The April 5th vote is actually a run-off; last month, Stone took 43% while Abele scored 25%, splitting the Democratic vote with the remaining candidates (all of whom were on the lefty side of the equation).

PA-AG: Columnist Jan Ting, who took 29% against Tom Carper in DE-Sen in 2006 but later left the GOP, says he has heard that former Rep. Patrick Murphy is considering a run for Pennsylvania Attorney General. A source also informs me that this is true. Note that most of PA's statewide positions other than governor are up in 2012, so this race would be coming on soon. Note, too, that it will be an open seat: Newly-elected Gov. Tom Corbett was himself AG, and he appointed Pittsburgh-area prosecutor Linda Kelly to take his place. Kelly, however, has said she won't run for the post next year.

Ohio Ballot: Though it's gotten less attention than the fight in Wisconsin, Ohio is on the verge of passing legislation which strip collective bargaining rights from public workers. TPM reports that Ohio Dems are planning to put the law, known as SB 5, on the ballot (it'd take about 230,000 signatures), something which could happen either this November or next. This could wind up being a truly epic fight - though I'm also reminded of the last time Ohio Dems put up some lefty ballot measures in an odd-numbered year, and that didn't turn out so well. (The 2005 effort was called Reform Ohio Now, and you can read all about it in the SSP Deep Archives.) Still, I think our chances would be a lot better this time.

KS Redistricting: In 2002, state lawmakers split the rather blue Douglas County (home to the city of Lawrence) between two congressional districts, the 2nd and 3rd. Now, though, thanks to growth in Johnson County, the third has to shed population (as we informed you last week), and one Democratic legislator is suggesting that Douglas could be reunited in a single CD. This seems unlikely, though, as it's manifestly in the Republican Party's interest to keep Lawrence cracked.

NE Redistricting: There's a similar story playing out in neighboring Nebraska, where the now-famous 2nd CD (which gave Barack Obama a very narrow win - and a single electoral vote) also has to reduce its population. Light-blue Douglas County (no, I'm not losing it - different county, different state, same name as above) is currently entirely within the borders of NE-02, but it could potentially get cracked. The linked article discusses a number of different possible scenarios for the whole state, and even has some hypothetical maps.

NJ Redistricting: No surprise here: Democrats and Republicans couldn't agree on a new map for New Jersey's state legislative districts, so the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, Stuart Rabner, appointed Rutgers Prof. Alan Rosenthal as tiebreaker (click here for a detailed profile). That wasn't a surprise, either, as the 78-year-old Rosenthal performed the same duties during the last two rounds of redistricting for the U.S. House. Rosenthal is a Democrat but has a very non-partisan reputation. Last time, Democrats convinced the appointed tiebreaker, Larry Bartels, that their proposed gerrymander would improve minority representation. A similar outcome is probably not so likely this time.

OR Redistricting: As you can see from all the above links, now that redistricting data has been released, we're starting to see a lot more redistricting-related stories with a little more meat to them. This piece outlines the issues facing Oregon and also explains some of the deadlines involved. If lawmakers don't enact a state lege map by July 1 (or the governor vetoes it), then the task falls to Secretary of State Kate Brown, a Democrat. This is typically what's happened in the past, though apparently there's some hope that the evenly-divided state House (with its unusual dual Speakerships) will produce something both sides can agree on. Note that there is no similar deadline for congressional redistricting.

PA Redistricting: Pennsylvania's congressional Republicans are headed to the state capital of Harrisburg this week, to discuss how best to gerrymander their map with their state legislative colleagues. Given that the GOP has absolute control over the redistricting process in PA, Democrats are going to get pretty fucked here, and PoliticsPA has a rundown of several possible scenarios that Republicans are supposedly considering.

New York: An issue which first came up nationwide last cycle is still percolating in New York. As we explained in September 2009, a new federal law (the MOVE Act) requires that absentee ballots be mailed to all overseas and military voters at least 45 days before the general election. That's a problem in states with late primaries, like New York, where results can't be certified and ballots can't be printed in time to meet this deadline. A couple of states (I think just Vermont and Minnesota) moved their primaries up a bit to aide compliance, but others, like NY, had to get waivers from the Department of Justice that allowed them to send out ballots later. Despite getting such a waiver, many boards of election (including NYC's) still failed to comply with even the later deadline - and now the DoJ (which had to sue NY last year) is unhappy with the state's lack of further efforts to remedy these problems. An association of local election commissioners, at a meeting in January, voted to ask the state legislature to move the primary to June to avoid these issues altogether.

Dave's Redistricting App: Dave has more data and more fixes, so that you can get your fix of data.

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NV-Sen: Heller Now Has Wide Primary Lead Over Ensign

by: Crisitunity

Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM EST

Public Policy Polling (1/3-5, "usual Nevada primary" voters, 10/7-9/10 in parentheses):

Dean Heller (R): 52 (37)
John Ensign (R-inc): 34 (45)
Undecided: 13 (18)

Dean Heller (R): 30
John Ensign (R-inc): 20
Sue Lowden (R): 12
Danny Tarkanian (R): 10
Sharron Angle (R): 9
Brian Krolicki (R): 6
John Chachas (R): 5
Someone else/Undecided: 8
(MoE: ±4.9%)

This is a pretty dramatic turnaround from the last time that PPP looked at the 2012 Republican Senate primary (which was released right after the November election, although I just noticed that the sample was taken before it). While the old poll had John Ensign looking surprisingly strong, this seems more in line with the conventional wisdom: that Ensign is toast, at least when matched up with GOP Rep. (and former SoS) Dean Heller. Ensign loses either as a two-way race or in a jungle-type configuration that throws in every possible GOPer. (Also noteworthy in the latter: Sharron Angle polls all of 9%, suggesting some serious buyer's remorse over having nominated her last year.)

I'm really not sure what (other than a very different sample composition) might have caused the sudden drop in Ensign's fortunes, since nothing has really happened to him in the last few months, but at any rate, he had a 64/23 approval (remember, among Republicans only) in October and now that's down to 53/30. Contrast that with Heller, who was at 56/8 in October and now is up to 63/12, suggesting he's getting better known without his negatives going up much, maybe consistent with people starting to pay more attention to the race and casting about for alternatives to the ethically-plagued Ensign. Given these numbers on top of Ensign's dried-up fundraising, it may truly be a short matter of time (as insiders expect) before Ensign announces he isn't running again.

As for a Democratic opponent, it'll be a while till we have a clear sense of that. Rep. Shelley Berkley has just announced that she's pushing back her timetable on making a decision about the race, to somewhere around "late spring or early summer." I've gotta wonder if she's waiting to see whether Ensign bails and Heller gets in without serious other GOP opposition, which might make the race much less appetizing to Berkley.

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SSP Daily Digest: 1/10

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM EST

CT-Sen: Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy is sounding very likely to challenge Joe Lieberman in 2012, at least if this WSJ piece primarily on Lieberman's re-election chances is any indication. It quotes Murphy as "definitely considering" the race and says his decision may be only weeks away, given the nature of permanent campaigning these days. Meanwhile, Paulist economist Peter Schiff (whose rather quixotic bid wound up with him deep in third place in the GOP primary in 2010) is saying he'd like to run for office again, but 2012 won't be the year, citing the likelihood of a Linda McMahon run and his inability to compete against her money. Finally, Lieberman himself has his mind on his money and his money on his mind, too... he's hungry enough for money that he's reaching out to his new friends from the No Labels movement and asking them to consider donating to politicians they don't necessarily agree with. Interesting argument (especially considering that the No Labels people are probably the likeliest people out there to agree with Lieberman).

MA-Sen: Long-time Boston mayor Tom Menino has occasionally gotten some coverage as a possible opponent to Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate race, but he's taking his name out of consideration, saying he'll never run for anything but even more terms as mayor. Menino also offered some warnings to potential Dem candidates about the race, saying "There's nobody that can beat him." (Recall that Menino caught some flak for not really deploying the Boston Dem machine full-force on Martha Coakley's behalf during the special election, so it's unclear whether he's truly fearful of Brown or just engaging in a little concern trolling on Brown's behalf.)

MI-Sen: Here's another indicator (after last month's PPP poll that had her mired in the 40s) that Debbie Stabenow could have a tough race in 2012, given the right GOP opponent. A Glengariff Group poll for the Detroit News doesn't include any head-to-heads, but gives her 37/39 approvals, and a 23% definite re-elect (vs. 43% someone new). Of course, the GOP will need to cough up someone more imposing than Tim Leuliette, the only publicly interested candidate so far.

MN-Sen: I hadn't heard Rep. John Kline (the GOP Rep. in MN-02, who labors in right-wing anonymity thanks to a lot of cover from noisy neighbor Michele Bachmann) get associated with the 2012 Senate race before, and after today, he probably won't again. He told a talk radio interview over the weekend that his "plate was full."

MT-Sen: There's been an uptick in speculation that Denny Rehberg may not run for Senate after all, given that he just landed a slot as not just one of the Appropriations cardinals (regarded by Beltway insiders as the uppermost tier in the House pantheon) but the subcommittee chair in charge of HHS, letting him carry the banner on any HCR repeal efforts. However, he's still being coy about his 2012 plans (and in fact getting a little meta about the endless Beltway media parsing of political career planning), saying a decision is "down the road... which is similar to around the corner."

NE-Sen: This has been pretty clearly telegraphed for a while now, but Republican state treasurer Don Stenberg is saying he's "quite likely" to get into the Senate race. That, of course, would set up a high-profile primary with another statewide GOPer already a formal candidate, AG Jon Bruning. Meanwhile, GOP state party chair Mark Fahnelson removed an image from his personal blog of Ben Nelson inside a red bullseye. In good Republican fashion, he reaffirmed that he himself, in fact, was the victim in all this.

NV-Sen: Hoping for Sue Lowden to be the 2012 Senate nominee for the GOP? Don't count your chickens before they hatch, because she's saying she won't consider running if Dean Heller is going to run (she would do it only if both John Ensign and Heller didn't run). Rather candidly, she admitted that she had no shot of beating Heller in a GOP primary. Meanwhile, Sharron Angle has decided that, having had a shot at the big time, another run for the state Senate would just be chicken feed at this point. She says that she won't seek the seat being vacated by resigning former GOP floor leader Bill Raggio (to whom she lost in a 2008 primary), although without saying anything more about another NV-Sen run or a NV-02 run if Heller runs for Senate.

TX-Sen: Here's another poll showing a Senator who may have a rough go of it in 2012, although in Kay Bailey Hutchison's case, the real hurdle is likely to be the GOP primary. A Blum & Weprin poll for various Texas newspapers found Hutchison with a 46% approval among all registered voters, and only 56% among Republicans. Hutchison, of course, has not given any indication whether she's running for another term or not.

LA-Gov: That gubernatorial election is only 10 months away, and Louisiana Democrats still seem to standing around scratching their heads wondering who their nominee will be. With GOP incumbent Bobby "Kenneth the Page" Jindal sitting on a $7.2 million war chest and, while not super-humanly popular anymore, still in positive territory, willing victims do not seem forthcoming. Dems seem most interested in somebody who can self-finance, which would probably be oft-rumored Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard, although other more remote possibilities include losing Lt. Gov. candidate Caroline Fayard, PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell (who finished 3rd in the 2007 primary), retired Gen. Russell Honore (who was briefly the subject of speculation for a GOP primary challenge to David Vitter last year), and even a return engagement from ex-Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

AZ-08: Best wishes to Gabby Giffords for what will no doubt be a long, slow recovery after this weekend's shooting. Physicians say that she is rapidly improving and may be removed from her breathing apparatus in several days if progress continues.

ND-AL: This has implications for North Dakota's House seat, but also potentially for the Senate seat in 2012, if Kent Conrad (last seen ramping up to start advertising already) does a sudden turnaround and opts for retirement. Ex-Rep. Earl Pomeroy (who's 58) is joining DC law firm Alston & Bird and says "I don't see myself running for office again."

NM-02: Similarly, Harry Teague has announced that he won't run again for his old seat or anything else, saying he has no plans to seek another office. The 61-year-old (and independently wealthy) Teague plans to return to his family oilfield business.

Mayors: Another day, another poll showing Rahm Emanuel way in the lead (albeit not out of runoff territory yet). This one's from Anzalone-Liszt on behalf of the Teamsters, and while it shows Carol Mosely Braun gaining ground (thanks to dropouts from Danny Davis and James Meeks), she's still far behind. It's Emanuel 42, Mosely Braun 26, Gerry Chico 10, and Miguel Del Valle 7. (November's Teamster poll was Emanuel 36, Mosely Braun 13, Chico 10.) Meanwhile, Chico can now boast an endorsement from Rep. Luis Gutierrez, which seems like a bit of a thumbed-nose at Emanuel (who used to be Gutierrez's neighbor in the House). And on the other side of the country, San Francisco has a newly-minted interim mayor: city administrator Ed Lee, who will fill in for the next 10 months as Gavin Newsom becomes Lt. Governor. The main thing that clinched it for Lee (who will be the city's first Asian-American mayor) was his promise not to run for the job in the November election. One of Newsom's last acts was to appoint a new DA in San Francisco, too (to replace the state's new AG, Kamala Harris): he promoted police chief George Gascon to that job.

WATN?: Where are they now? On the prison bus, that's where. At least that's the case with former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay, just sentenced this morning to three years on conspiracy charges associated with laundering corporate money into campaign donations.

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SSP Daily Digest: 6/14 (Afternoon Edition)

by: Crisitunity

Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 5:37 PM EDT

CT-Sen, CT-Gov: Leftover from last Friday is the most recent Quinnipiac poll of Connecticut. Without much changing from their previous poll other than some within-the-margin-of-error gains for Linda McMahon, the poll is very digestible. Richard Blumenthal leads McMahon 55-35 (instead of 56-31 in late May), leads Rob Simmons (who has "suspended" his campaign) 54-33, and leads Peter Schiff 56-29. McMahon leads Simmons and Schiff in the GOP primary 45-29-13. They also included gubernatorial primaries (but not the general): for the Dems, Ned Lamont leads Dan Malloy 39-22, while for the GOP Tom Foley leads Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel 39-12-2.

IL-Sen: With a growing sense that many Illinois residents would prefer to vote for neither Mark Kirk nor Alexi Giannoulias, a new right-winger with money to burn looks like he's daring to go where Patrick Hughes didn't. Mike Niecestro says he's a "disgusted Republican who has had it with the people the party throws at us," and differentiates himself from Kirk on cap-and-trade and immigration. Just another random teabagger who's all talk and no $$$? No, Niecestro says he already has the 25,000 signatures he needs to qualify before the June 21 deadline, and also has $1 million of his own money ready to go, along with another $100K he's raised elsewhere. Even if he winds up pulling in only a few percent off Kirk's right flank, that could be what that Giannoulias needs to squeak by in what otherwise looks to be a close race.

NV-Sen: Jon Scott Ashjian is turning into something of the white whale for the Nevada GOP. Even though his candidate lost the primary, Dan Burdish, former political director for Sue Lowden, is still filing complaints with the SoS's office to get Ashjian off the ballot. It doesn't look like it'll go anywhere, though; Ashjian himself has qualified for the ballot, easily meeting the low 250-vote signature hurdle even though the "Tea Party" didn't meet the signature requirements for its own ballot line. Of course, competing right-wing third party the Independent American Party is still trying to get Ashjian off the ballot too, and now the teabaggers in general have turned on Ashjian (who never really had much support from them in the first place) since one of their own, Sharron Angle, managed to snare the GOP nod.

NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Siena has yet another poll out of both the Senate races in New York. There's still very little of interest to report. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Bruce Blakeman 48-27, David Malpass 49-24, and Joe DioGuardi 47-29. DioGuardi leads the GOP primary over Blakeman and Malpass, 21-7-3. Chuck Schumer leads Jay Townsend 60-26 and Gary Berntsen 59-27. Townsend leads Berntsen in the other GOP primary, 20-15.

SC-Sen: Vic Rawl, who lost the Democratic nomination to the baffling Alvin Greene last week, is now formally contesting the results of the election. The state party's 92-member executive committee will meet on Thursday to hear evidence, but it's unlikely they'll do anything, as there's no precedent in South Carolina for throwing out a primary election's results.

WA-Sen: The state GOP convention was over the weekend in Washington; unlike, say, Utah or Connecticut, there's nothing at stake here, but the general sense in terms of signage, applause, and the like, was that the party's activist base is pretty jazzed about Sarah Palin-endorsed Clint Didier, and much more tepid about Dino Rossi than they were in 2008, when he was a more apt vehicle for their resentments. A straw poll at a Patriot Coalition event associated with the convention (a subset of a subset of the most hardcore base, so take with much salt) gave Didier a 99-12 edge over Rossi.

AL-Gov: Artur Davis isn't giving up on being a douchebag just because he lost the gubernatorial nomination; he said he isn't sure how Ron Sparks is going to be able to win the uphill fight in the general election, and that Sparks will need something "broader than bingo" to win. Also, this is a very strange time to be making any major staff changes, let alone plunging into what Reid Wilson is describing as "turmoil:" fresh off the triumph of (probably) making the GOP gubernatorial runoff against Bradley Byrne, Robert Bentley just sacked his campaign manager, communications director, and new media director. Bentley is bringing in members of the Mike Huckabee camp to take over (with Huckabee son-in-law Bryan Sanders the new CM), but it seems like his small-time help didn't get demoted, but instead rudely shown the door by the new bosses.

CO-Gov: Businessman Joe Gesundheit Schadenfreude Weltschmerz Gschwendtner has pulled the plug on his Republican gubernatorial bid, without endorsing anybody else. He wasn't able to round up enough signatures to qualify, which is odd, considering that people only need to be able to spell their own names, not his.

FL-Gov: With his once-clear path to the GOP nomination suddenly looking to be on life support, Bill McCollum got some help from a key GOP establishment figure: Mitt Romney. Romney will appear at two Sunshine State fundraisers today, handing out endorsements like candy to a number of other Republicans in better position too.

IA-Gov: You may recall that, in the wake of Terry Branstad's closer-than-expected victory over social conservative Bob vander Plaats, we lamented that the Dems didn't try any Gray Davis-style meddling in the primary to get the more-conservative, less-electable guy over the top. Well, it turns out they did try a little of that; the Dems launched an independent expenditure committee called "Iowans for Responsible Government" that ran ads on Fox News and sent direct mail attacking Branstad for tax hikes and putting his face on a liberal Mt. Rushmore next to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. While it didn't seal the deal, it may have contributed to the underwhelming showing by Branstad.

MI-Gov: AG Mike Cox won the endorsement of Michigan Right to Life, a big endorsement that will help him as he fights for the social conservative vote in the GOP primary with Rep. Peter Hoekstra. Cox might be the Republican we most want to face out of the GOP field; Rasmussen joined the crowd today in finding that he polls the weakest against either Democrat.

NY-Gov (pdf): Siena also polled the gubernatorial race; again, nothing noteworthy here, other than Andrew Cuomo having lost a few points since last time. Cuomo leads Rick Lazio 60-24, and leads Carl Paladino 65-23. Party-endorsed Lazio leads Paladino (assuming he can successfully petition onto the ballot) in the GOP primary, 45-18. Meanwhile, the race may get slightly more interesting as gadflyish New York city councilor Charles Barron seems to be moving forward on his quixotic plans to create a whole third party (New York Freedom Democratic Party) for a challenge to the left, mostly to protest Cuomo putting together an all-white ticket.

OH-Gov: Incumbent Dem Ted Strickland won the NRA endorsement today, instead of GOP ex-Rep. John Kasich. That may seem a surprise, but Strickland has a lifetime "A" rating from the NRA while Kasich was always an unusually anti-gun Republican.

GA-12: The Hill details how Rep. John Barrow's fundraising from fellow Dems has fallen way off this year, perhaps an indication of blowback over his "no" vote on HCR. He's only gotten money directly from five Democratic colleagues and five others' PACs, compared with 53 in 2006 and 22 in 2008. (An alternative explanation, of course, is that he's in no major trouble in the general election this year and that money may be more needed elsewhere.) Barrow still has the AFL-CIO's endorsement, and about a 20:1 CoH advantage over primary challenger Regina Thomas. Speaking of one of his minor GOP opponents, Carl Smith, the fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, has a less-appealing resume now that he just got canned by his city council, which opted to stop paying for a fire department and return to an all-volunteer operation.

IN-03: The Indiana state GOP met over the weekend to pick a nominee to fill the spot left behind by the resigned Rep. Mark Souder. It wasn't much of a surprise: they picked state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, an up-and-comer who gave Dan Coats a challenge in the GOP Senate primary. Stutzman won on the second ballot, with state Rep. Randy Borror a distant second. It was a double pick: Stutzman will be replace Souder as the GOP candidate in the general election, and also will be the GOP's candidate in the special election that will also be held on Election Day in November (which, assuming he wins, will allow him to serve in the post-election lame duck session).

NC-02: Rep. Bob Etheridge, usually one of the more low-key members of the House, had an embarrassing flip-out in front of two GOP trackers/college students asking him if he "supported the Obama agenda," grabbing one of them and his camera. Etheridge subsequently issued a statement apologizing.

Polltopia: PPP is soliciting opinions on where the poll next, both multiple-choice and open-ended. Let 'em know what burning questions you'd like answered.

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SSP Daily Digest: 6/8 (Morning Edition)

by: DavidNYC

Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 8:03 AM EDT

  • DE-Sen: Biden alert? Dem senate candidate Chris Coons says a Biden fundraiser is "in the works." I sure hope so! I think Coons is a sleeper candidate, and it would be ridic for Biden not to help a fellow Dem out in his own state (which is just outside of DC, anyhow).

  • NV-Sen: It may be too late to save her fricasseed campaign, but Sue Lowden has an over-the-top ad out hitting Sharron Angle for her support of a Scientology-backed plan to offer massage therapy to recovering drug addicts. Be sure to check out the cameo of a certain couch-jumping Top Gun star at about 20 seconds in.
  • NY-Sen-B: So as you know if you're a faithful SSP reader, the state GOP put two dudes on their ballot line for the September primary: Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass. They did not include ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi, but (and this is a big "but," DioGuardi did score the Conservative Party's ballot line all to himself. Though DioGuardi says he'll try to petition his way on to the GOP ballot, Republicans don't seem to have a lot of faith in him becoming their nominee, and they want to avoid a split ticket. So Conservative chair Mike Long got a bunch of calls asking him to bounce DioGuardi from his party's line, but he refused, pointing out that DioGuardi got 70% of the vote at the Conservative convention. Ah, the New York GOP - still a train wreck.
  • ID-Gov: The Idaho Statesman has a pretty good profile on Dem gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, who is running a surprisingly vigorous (and decently-funded) campaign against the not-so-hot incumbent Butch Otter. The most interesting detail is the fact that the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a chamber-of-commerce-type big business lobby, is already attacking Allred - not something you usually bother doing with an un-serious candidate.
  • SC-Gov: Rudy Giuliani jumped in with a last-minute endorsement of AG Henry McMaster yesterday - though note that the unlovable loser finished sixth in the South Carolina primary in 2008. (Though Joe Lieberman reassured him that it was actually an eleventy-way tie for fifth.) And in a seriously weird last-minute desperation move, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer released, uh, well... you'd expect me to say "released a poll," right? Nope - he released the results of a polygraph test (!), which he claims show he had no involvement in the various Nikki Haley affair allegations. Talk about protesting a wee bit too much, huh?
  • AL-05: A douchey move from a douchey guy: Bud Cramer, the Democrat who held this seat before giving way to Parker Griffith, is not "ready to endorse any candidate for Congress" - even though, you know, we have a nominee (Steve Raby). Cramer actually pulled this same shit last cycle after he announced his retirement, dithering for several weeks before finally endorsing Griffith. Back then, Cramer suggested he might endorse a Republican - and I guess he finally got his wish when Griffith switched parties. Jesus, though - do the right thing already.
  • FL-24: Former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel scored an endorsement from Mike Huckabee in her bid to become the GOP nominee against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.
  • MA-10: Republican Jeffrey Perry has been under fire for his oversight of a police officer under his command while Perry was a police sergeant in the early 1990s. The officer, Scott Flanagan, was ultimately fired and pled guilty for illegal strip-searching a 16-year-old girl. Now, the Cape Cod Times reports that Perry's own accounts of the incident and its aftermath are contradicted by police records from the time. In an earlier interview, Perry suggested that he had acted with alacrity in handling the situation, but now it appears he waited 24 hours to write up the officer, and almost a week to take a statement from a witness to the search.
  • NC-08: Heh, he actually went ahead and did it. Weapons-grade wingnut Tim D'Annunzio launched a defamation suit against his runoff opponent, Harold Johnson, for a "radio ad targeting D'Annunzio for his 'life of drugs, crime and time served in prison' and for supposedly failing to pay an employer payroll tax, having tax liens, and withholding child support." D'Annunzio had previously threatened to sue the chair of the NC GOP, but this is so much more fun.
  • NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon scored the endorsement of the Independence Party, which means he'll have their ballot line in November (something he didn't have last cycle). And while he won't get the support Working Families Party thanks to his "no" vote on healthcare, the WFP isn't expected to nominate any kind of challenger, so their line will likely remain blank in this race - thus avoiding a split of the left-leaning vote. A Dem primary challenge at this point also looks remote. Meanwhile, McMahon raised $140K at a fundraiser hosted by none other than Mike Bloomberg. He was also expected to take in some $90K at an Anthony Weiner event, which was also slated to feature Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, a Conservative.
  • NY-29: Judge David Larimer of the Western District of New York ruled against Republicans who were seeking to force Gov. David Paterson to call the special election for this vacant seat earlier than November, saying Paterson was empowered to call it for the fall. An appeal to the Second Circuit is possible, but no word yet on whether one is planned.
  • VA-11: This seems really lame.
  • CA-SoS: I guess maybe we were too busy laughing when we first heard stories that Orly Taitz was running for California Secretary of State to bother writing it up... but not only is she on the ballot, the CA GOP is worried she might win the primary! She's running against Damon Dunn, another ex-NFLer (what is with those guys running for office this year?), but Dunn's deliberately ignored her rather than attack. The Republicans have little chance against Dem incumbent Debra Bowen, but Orly as their nominee would be a nice, months-long goiter for them to deal with.
  • Blue Dogs: I think I agree with everything Chris Bowers says in this post.
  • Games: Several folks in comments were recommending a new game called Congress Forever the other day, where you battle for control of the House and Senate. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like the perfect nerd timewaster.
  • Polling: Nate Silver just released the latest version of his pollster ratings, which analyzes a truly massive data set of "4,670 distinct polls from 264 distinct pollsters covering 869 distinct electoral contests" going all the way back to 1998. He lays out his methodology in a separate post, which is a must-read. Also, that gang of polling maniacs over at PPP are soliciting your votes again: The choices this time are LA, MA, PA, WA or WI.
  • Redistricting: Politico has a piece out which claims that Republicans are lagging in the race to raise money and set up legal groups to wage the coming round of redistricting battles. I'm a little skeptical, because the article says that Republicans are hurting thanks to a lack of soft money in the post-McCain Feingold world - but if anything, Dems were known as the party most dependent on soft money before campaign finance reform passed. Still, P'Co suggests that Dems are more organized because of some top-down control being exercised by the Obama political operation.
  • Discuss :: (94 Comments)

    NV-Sen, NV-Gov: Angle, Sandoval Poised For Primary Wins

    by: Crisitunity

    Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 2:46 AM EDT

    Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Review-Journal (6/1-3, likely voters, 5/24-26 in parens):

    Sharron Angle (R): 32 (29)
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 24 (23)
    Sue Lowden (R): 23 (30)
    Other: 6 (7)
    None: 2 (3)
    Undecided: 13 (8)
    (MoE: ±4.5%)

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 41 (42)
    Sharron Angle (R): 44 (39)
    Other: 3 (5)
    None: 4 (4)
    Undecided: 8 (10)

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 42 (39)
    Sue Lowden (R): 41 (42)
    Other: 2 (3)
    None: 6 (6)
    Undecided: 9 (10)

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 39 (41)
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 46 (42)
    Other: 2 (4)
    None: 3 (3)
    Undecided: 10 (10)
    (MoE: ±4%)

    In case there was any doubt that Sharron Angle's surge in the GOP Senate primary in Nevada was complete, Mason-Dixon (for the LVRJ) weighs in with numbers very similar to Suffolk and R2K's results from late last week. Mason-Dixon's poll from the previous week had given a one-point lead to Sue Lowden, but she's losing ground as fast as Angle is gaining it. Lowden has also lost ground vis-a-vis Harry Reid, now losing to Reid, while Angle is now a few points ahead of Reid instead of trailing. I'm not sure whether to attribute this movement in the primary more to Angle finally being rescued from obscurity by attracting the attention of the Club for Growth and Tea Party Express, or Lowden's series of self-induced implosions; it's all a rich tapestry.

    Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Review-Journal (6/1-3, likely voters, 5/10-11 for primary trendlines, 4/5-7 for general trendlines):

    Brian Sandoval (R): 47 (45)
    Jim Gibbons (R-inc): 33 (27)
    Mike Montandon (R): 6 (6)
    Other: 1 (1)
    None: 1 (NA)
    Undecided: 12 (21)
    (MoE: ±4.5%)

    Rory Reid (D): 37 [35]
    Brian Sandoval (R): 51 [50]
    Other: 1 [NA]
    None: 1 [NA]
    Undecided: 10 [15]

    Rory Reid (D): 44 [42]
    Jim Gibbons (R-inc): 38 [40]
    Other: 2 [NA]
    None: 5 [NA]
    Undecided: 11 [18]
    (MoE: ±4%)

    Mason-Dixon has been a little inconsistent with when they poll what, so the trendlines for the primary don't match the general election trendlines. At any rate, there's not much change here, other than some last-minute progress for Jim Gibbons out of the "undecided" column that looks like too little, too late for the deeply unpopular governor. Brian Sandoval looks poised to win the GOP primary, which is bad news for Reid the Younger, who beats Gibbons almost as easily as he loses to Sandoval.

    Discuss :: (5 Comments)

    NV-Sen: Angle On Top in Two New Polls

    by: James L.

    Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 5:53 PM EDT

    Suffolk University (6/1-2, likely voters, no trend lines):

    Sharron Angle (R): 33
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 26
    Sue Lowden (R): 25
    Undecided: 7
    Other: 10
    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    Research 2000 for Daily Kos (5/31-6/2, likely voters, 4/26-28 in parens):

    Sharon Angle (R): 34 (13)
    Sue Lowden (R): 25 (38)
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 24 (28)
    Undecided: 5 (9)
    Other: 12 (12)
    (MoE: ±5%)

    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): 43 (41)
    Sharon Angle (R): 37 (44)
    Scott Ashjian (TP): 2 (5)
    None: 7 (2)
    Other: 3 (2)
    Undecided: 8 (6)

    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)
    (MoE: ±4%)

    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):

    Rory Reid (D): 52
    Jim Gibbons (R-inc): 31
    Other: 8
    Undecided: 9

    Rory Reid (D): 41
    Brian Sandoval (R): 51
    Other: 5
    Undecided: 3

    Rory Reid (D): 43
    Mike Montandon (R): 40
    Other: 7
    Undecided: 10
    (MoE: ±4%)

    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.

    Discuss :: (55 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 6/3 (Morning Edition)

    by: James L.

    Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 8:06 AM EDT

    Note: This digest was written entirely by DavidNYC.

  • AR-Sen: SEIU has a new ad out hitting Lincoln for her TARP vote and for her disloyalty during the health care debate. Props to CQ's Matthew Murray for trying to nail down the size of the buy from SEIU, which would only say that the run is "comprehensive." SEIU has gone pretty large in this race from day one, so they probably aren't going cheap on us now.

  • CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, in a move which will no doubt endear her to the teabaggers but embarrass her in the eyes of the state of California, has taken to decrying concerns about climate change as "worrying about the weather" in a new ad.

  • CO-Sen: I Do. Not. Care. about this stupid non-story. Why are journalists so damn breathless about crap like this? It's like they've never heard of politics.

  • NV-Sen: According to an analysis by the WaPo, Chicken Lady may have spent $100K on her primary out of funds that were designated for the general election only. Lowden bought $220K worth of ad time, but had only about $100K of primary money (mostly a loan from herself) on hand, so that extra hundred grand had to come from somewhere. God, you know, I just can't decide whom I'd rather face more: this crazy lady, or the other crazy lady. Harry Reid, you are one lucky dude. Just pray Danny Tarkanian doesn't pull an Alice Kryzan/Creigh Deeds.

  • NV-Gov: A district court judge enjoined a shadowy conservative group, Alliance for America's Future, from running ads until it registers with the Secretary of State, saying that voters have the right to know who is behind political advertising. The group, which has ties to Dick Cheney, had planned to spend $250K on behalf of GOPer Brian Sandoval.

  • SC-Gov: I don't care about this story, either.

  • AR-02: In the AR-02 runoff, state House Speaker Robbie Wills, a white male, has been arguing that he's "more electable" than state Senate Majority Leader Joyce Elliott, who is black and a woman. The chair of the Arkansas NAACP sees that a "code word for racism." Wills responded by saying that Elliott has "extreme views" which are out of step with the district. I hope this primary doesn't get much uglier, because words like that will be used by Republicans against whomever our nominee is.

  • CA-19: Dick Pombo is trying to win a GOP primary by reminding voters that he's a longtime creature of Washington, DC. No wonder he lost.

  • ID-01: Dear Vaughn Ward: socks before shoes. Also, hire publicists to get your side of the story out before election day, not after. Actually, no - we love you, don't change a thing!

  • MI-08: This is unfortunate. Kande Ngalamulume, the only Democrat running against GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, is dropping out of the race, just three weeks after formally announcing his candidacy. Though Ngalamulume hadn't filed any FEC reports, Obama actually won this district 53-46 (a major swing from Bush's 54-45 win over Kerry), and even being able to pin Rogers down just a bit would have been helpful. Michigan's filing deadline was May 11th, and I'm not sure if local Dems can nominate a replacement.

  • NH-02: Some Teabagger Andrew Hemingway says he won't get into the GOP primary in NH-02. Meh.

  • NY-13: It's always confusing in NY-13, but here's the deal: The state Conservative Party has given its backing to GOPer Michael Grimm, who was also endorsed by the Brooklyn wing of the party - even though the Staten Island Cons  recently got behind Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. (Party chair Mike Long wasn't going to let McMahon get their nod, though.) To make things even more complicated, the SI Republican Party endorsed Grimm's primary opponent, Michael Allegretti, as we mentioned last week, and the Brooklyn GOP did as well the week before. But Grimm has at least one big player on his side: Rudy Giuliani, who did a fundraiser for him earlier this week. Anyhow, I'm sure you can sniff the cat fud: Grimm has already locked up the Conservative line, but Allegretti could definitely win the Republican primary. There's already a lot of bad blood between the two Republican Mikes, which means we could see something of an NY-23 redux here.

  • NY-18: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS squeezed in a fundraiser yesterday for... Nita Lowey? She has over $1.1 million on hand, and I'm not aware of any meaningful Republican challenger in this race. (Obama/Kerry: 62/58.) So what gives?

  • OK-02: This is interesting: Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson says he's going to launch a primary challenge to conservative Rep. Dan Boren. Wilson specifically cited Boren's opposition to the healthcare reform bill in launching his campaign. The primary here is pretty soon, July 27th, though there's also a run-off on August 24th. However, as of now, there are only two candidates in the race.

  • TN-08: The internal warfare continues in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner. Though the NRCC is still touting agribusiness kingpin Stephen Fincher, ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is doing a fundraiser for Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn. An establishment divided against itself... yields to a teabagger?

  • WI-07: Hah! We mentioned the other day that establishment efforts to clear the primary field for Dem Julie Lassa hit a snag when Some Dude Joe Reasbeck said he was going to run. Well, turns out he's run for office before: as a write-in (wait, there's more) in Texas (heh, there's still more) as a Republican (not done yet), earning 89 votes. Hold on, hold on - more! Who was he running against? Well, only the most famous write-in candidate of all time, Snelly Gibbr! Shit like this is why I love politics.
  • Discuss :: (173 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 6/2 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 3:24 PM EDT

    AK-Sen: Sarah Palin, fresh off her triumphant endorsements of Vaughn Ward and "Angela McGowen," is now weighing in with an endorsement in her home state: she's backing Joe Miller, the Christian-right GOP primary challenger to incumbent Lisa Murkowski. What's surprising is that people are surprised today -- there's long-term bad blood between Palin and the Murkowskis (Palin, of course, beat incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the 2006 GOP primary, and was briefly considering a 2010 run against Lisa Murkowski in the primary), and Todd Palin (who presumably doesn't do anything without running it by the Palin family head office) had already endorsed Miller and headlined fundraisers for him.

    AR-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters is taking advantage of the oil spill in the Gulf being top-of-mind for most people today, to run a pre-runoff TV spot hitting Blanche Lincoln for her support for offshore drilling and her big campaign contributions from Big Oil.

    CA-Sen: Darkness descends over Team Campbell, with the primary one week away. Short on money and financially outgunned by Carly Fiorina, Tom Campbell has pulled the plug on TV advertising (at least for now; they say they're evaluating day-to-day what to spend on) and is relying on robocalls to drive turnout for the GOP primary. On the other hand, quixotic Democratic primary candidate Mickey Kaus is actually hitting the airwaves, and he's running an ad that very closely mirrors a now-famous 1990 ad from Paul Wellstone... which is pretty much the only thing that Kaus has in common with Wellstone (well, that and a weird hairline).

    FL-Sen: Jim Greer, the former state party chair of the aptly-acronymed RPOF, was just arrested on six felony charges: money laundering, grand theft, fraud... you know, the basic day-to-day aspects of running a political party. It'll be interesting to watch, as this case plays out, if there's any blowback to either Senate candidate: Charlie Crist, who helped put former key ally Greer into place as state party chair, or Marco Rubio, who had a taste for charging things to the state party's credit cards.

    IL-Sen: All of a sudden it seems like every time Mark Kirk plugs a leak concerning misrepresentations of his military record, another two spring up. Today, Kirk had to admit to the WaPo's Greg Sargent that his website incorrectly identifies him as "the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom." Kirk actually served stateside as a Naval Reservist during the Iraq War, and he says that he's corrected the website, as what he really meant was "to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom." Kirk also failed to correct Joe Scarborough when he said in 2003 that Kirk had "served Americans overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom." Hmmm, that whole scenario sounds vaguely familiar... I wonder where the front page NYT story about this is?

    NV-Sen: There's that old saying about when your opponent pulls out a knife, you pull out a gun... I guess the same thing's happening in Nevada, where when Sharron Angle pulls out allegations of wrongdoing involving a campaign bus, Sue Lowden pulls out allegations of wrongdoing involving a campaign plane. Angle hitched a ride to the "Showdown in Searchlight" rally on a supporter's private plane, and while she did reimburse the owner $67 for her share of the fuel, it turns out she needs to pay more like $7,000, for the going charter rate. Meanwhile, Lowden seems to be doing some hasty but serious-sounding damage control over the issue of the "veterans tax;" this is still in the sketchy stages, but we'll follow it as it develops.

    PA-Sen: The Clinton job offer scandal continues to roil the Joe Sestak campaign, threatening to torpedo the Democratic candidate as he struggles to gain momentum after winning an upset in the primary!!! Oh, wait a second, I was confused... for a moment there, I thought I was actually a Beltway pundit. In reality, nobody gives a shit, and Sestak continues to consolidate post-primary support, as seen in a new DSCC-sponsored poll by Garin Hart Yang, which gives Sestak a 47-40 lead over GOPer Pat Toomey. Both candidates are similarly liked yet ill-defined: Sestak's favorables are 34/18, while Toomey is at 30/19.

    WA-Sen: The University of Washington pollsters who released the poll several weeks ago giving Patty Murray a 44-40 edge over Dino Rossi did something unusual. They started asking Washington residents about their feelings about the Tea Party (worth a read, on its own), but they also kept asking them about Murray/Rossi and adding those voters to the previous poll's pool. I'm not sure if that's methodologically sound or not; on the one hand, it pushes the MoE down to a very robust 2.3%, but also pads out the sample period to a terribly long 25 days. At any rate, it doesn't affect the toplines one bit: Murray still leads 44-40.

    AZ-Gov: Is there just a weird outbreak of Lying-itis breaking out among our nation's politicians (or did everyone always do this, and now thanks to the Internet you can't get away with it anymore)? Now, it's Jan Brewer's turn: during the fight over Arizona's immigration law, she somehow tried to weave in her father's death "fighting the Nazi regime in Germany" in discussing the personal attacks against her. There's one small problem: her father was a civilian supervisor of a munitions depot during the war, and died of lung disease in 1955. Meanwhile, back in reality, one of Brewer's GOP primary rivals, former state party chair John Munger, has decided to drop out after getting little traction in the primary. He cited fundraising issues in his decision.

    FL-Gov: Did Rick Scott think that people were just not going to notice that whole Medicare fraud thing? Having gotten stung by outside advertising hitting him on the Columbia/HCA fraud and the $1.7 billion in fines associated with it, he's launching a defensive TV spot and website dedicated to telling his side of the story. Meanwhile, Dems might be sailing into a clusterf@ck of their very own: Bud Chiles (the son of popular Democratic ex-Gov. Lawton Chiles) is still looking into a gubernatorial run... and now seemingly considering doing it as an independent. An independent who soaks up mostly Democratic votes would pretty much be curtains for Alex Sink's chances at winning.

    GA-Gov: Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes got a couple endorsements that should help him with the African-American vote, as he faces African-American AG Thurbert Baker in the Dem primary. Two prominent former Atlanta mayors, Andrew Young and Shirley Franklin, backed Barnes.

    ME-Gov: The most overlooked gubernatorial race in the country has its primaries next week, and it seems like even Mainers have no idea what's going on. Pan Atlantic SMS polled the primary, but found 62% of Dems and 47% of GOPers undecided. On the Dem side, state Sen. president Libby Mitchell is at 13, with ex-AG Steve Rowe at 12, Rosa Scarcelli at 7, and Patrick McGowan at 6. On the Republican side, Les Otten is at 17, Paul LePage at 10, Peter Mills at 8, Steve Abbott at 8, Bill Beardsley at 4, Bruce Poliquin at 3, and Matt Jacobson at 2. Given the poll's MoE of 5.7%, all we know is that pretty much any of these candidates could be the nominees. Otten just got an endorsement from one of the few Republicans who isn't running: from state Sen. majority leader Kevin Raye.

    AR-01: In northeast Arkansas, I don't think endorsements come any bigger than this. Bill Clinton weighed in on Chad Causey's behalf, in the Democratic primary runoff against the more conservative Tim Wooldridge.

    CA-42: How about I just start reporting on the politicians who haven't fudged their war records? Now it's the turn for Rep. Gary Miller (who faces a potentially competitive teabagger primary next week). A number of bios, including his California Assembly bio, have said he served in the Army in 1967 and 1968. A news story linked from Miller's current official website said that he "served his country during the Vietnam War." Turns out he spent seven weeks in boot camp in 1967, at which point he was discharged for medical reasons.

    MS-01: Newly crowned GOP nominee in the 1st Alan Nunnelee gets today's hyperbole-in-action award. On Saturday, he told a local Rotary Club gathering that what's going on in Washington is worse than 9/11, because "What I see in Washington over the last 16 months is a more dangerous attack because it's an attack on our freedom that's coming from the inside."

    NC-08: Another day, another freakout from Tim d'Annunzio. His latest antics involve dropping out of a scheduled debate against GOP runoff opponent Harold Johnson, because of, as per d'Annunzio's usual modus operandi, "the collaboration between the Harold Johnson campaign and the news media to use partial truth, innuendo and accusations to unfairly smear me."

    PA-10: Best wishes for a quick recovery to the GOP candidate in the 10th, Tom Marino. He's in stable condition after being involved in a late-night head-on collision while driving back from a county GOP meeting last night.

    NY-St. Sen.: One state legislature where it's going to be tough for the GOP to make up much ground is the New York Senate, where they're now having to defend their fourth open seat (out of 30 total) this cycle. George Winner, who's been in the Senate since 2004 (making him a veritable youngster by NYS Senate GOP standards), is calling it quits. His Southern Tier district centered on Elmira has a 74K to 60K GOP registration advantage, but Obama won SD-53 by a 51-47 margin.

    Discuss :: (113 Comments)

    NV-Sen: Lowden Fading in Primary, General

    by: James L.

    Fri May 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM EDT

    Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Review-Journal (5/24-26, likely voters, 5/10-11 in parens):

    Sue Lowden (R): 30 (30)
    Sharron Angle (R): 29 (25)
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 23 (22)
    Other: 7 (5)
    None: 3 (n/a)
    Undecided: 8 (18)
    (MoE: ±4%)

    Get a load of that trend line for ex-Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who was mostly a footnote in this race until Lowden started to implode with her poultry obsession. Still, I have to wonder if Lowden and Angle will go nuclear on each other in the remaining week and a half, potentially giving ex-SoS candidate Danny Tarkanian a chance to pull an Alice Kryzan-style victory.

    Meanwhile, here are the general election numbers (4/13-14 in parens, 4/5-7 in brackets, 2/22-24 in italicized brackets):

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 39 (37)
    Sue Lowden (R): 42 (47)
    Other: 3 (5)
    None: 6 (3)
    Undecided: 10 (8)

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 42 [42]
    Sharron Angle (R): 39 [44]
    Other: 5 [n/a]
    None: 4 [n/a]
    Undecided: 10 [14]

    Harry Reid (D-inc): 41 [39]
    Danny Tarkanian (R): 42 [39]
    Other: 4 [11]
    None: 3 [n/a]
    Undecided: 10 [11]
    (MoE: ±4%)

    The trend lines are an absolute mess. It seems that the LVRJ has not exactly been consistent in including the three major Republicans against Reid in each round of their polling. They haven't tested Angle in a general election poll since February, and only went with Lowden in their mid-April poll.

    Still, it does show that Reid may have a ghost of a chance, particularly against Angle, who seems like a treasure trove for opposition researchers. But whether it's Angle or Lowden, his best hope may be to push as many voters as possible into the "none of the above" camp -- which, as you know, is an actual ballot choice in Nevada.

    Discuss :: (45 Comments)
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